Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Confessions of a Clueless Bride

Wow, it feels like forever since the last blog post. I decided to take a break from wedding planning,school and work to get re-energized. And my wonderful fiancé took me a way for the weekend...I didn't want to come back.lol. 

Back to the title of my post. When I first started thinking of names for my blog this was my #1 choice. Unlike a lot of brides planning their wedding, I did not have my wedding details planned out since I was a little girl. I'm actually glad I didn't because I think I have changed a lot since then. Before I started planning I never thought about wedding themes, centerpieces, etc. I have to admit that I was (and still am) intimidated by brides I meet on 
TheKnot or other places. I have learned so much during the planning process and the type of bride I really am.

Here are some tips/advice that I've learned during the planning process:

1) Think about your wedding theme early on. ---I had no idea what I wanted to do. I started planning and luckily everything fit perfectly into a specific theme. I would suggest talking to your FI about what kind of vibe or atmosphere you want to create for your guests. Your theme should be (in my opinion) a reflection of you and your FI.

2) Get organized early on! ----Find a way to get organized. I keep all of my ideas on lists in folders on my computer. I also have a binder specifically for contracts. You can buy a wedding binder at Barnes & Nobles or Borders, but I think it's cheaper to create your own binder. In addition to my binder and folders I also bought a wedding planning book (recently) and it also gives me ideas. Theknot.com has also been my #1 source for organization.

3) Accept help from anyone who offers!---As a clueless bride I thought wedding planning would be a breeze. Being a laid-back person, I couldn't imagine planning being stressful. Boy was I wrong!! Without the help of family and friends, the planning process would not have been so smooth. As soon as I started realizing that I needed help, I accepted it from anyone who offered. The more help you have the less stress you will have.

4) Talk to other brides and share ideas. This is so important. I joined theknot in 2005 for a friend's wedding and a friend suggested that I look at the boards for my own wedding. More than 90% of what I learned and my ideas come from this website. I suggest looking at your local board (city), wedding month board, DIY (this is an awesome place to get ideas or inspiration) and Invites & Paper.

5) Start a blog/planning website and follow other blogs/websites. The wedding planning process goes by so fast and this is a way to remember the whole process. Also the blogs are a way to learn more and get 
inspiration.  Here are some blogs that I follow:
 http://heylucyphoto.blogspot.com/ (my photographer for both engagement pictures and the wedding)
http://chelseagetsmarried.blogspot.com/  (great DIY ideas)
 http://diyfashionista.weebly.com (gives tips on how to make a wishing tree and other ideas)
 http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/ (I love love love this!!)

6) Do research! -- Magazines, internet searches and books are your friends...use them often :)

7) Use Vistaprint and save money--I can't say enough about VP. I will devote a blog post to talk about the ways you can save by going to vistaprint.com
I'm sure there are more tips but I think these 7  will help you to not be a "clueless bride".

Friday, March 18, 2011

3 months til the big day!!!!

                                                         (Casey and I-Halloween 2009)

I can't believe the big day is almost here! This past week has been great especially because I didn't have finals. I was able to get some things done off the list and also some things that were not on the list. Unfortunately my camera is broken so I can't post pics of the tattoos or the completed wedding projects. But I hope to have a new camera by next weekend :).

Here was the to-do list for this week:
1) Talk to caterer to set up a taste test and discuss other questions/concerns -  I contacted the caterer with questions that I had and readjusted our contract. I still need to set up a taste test.
2) Choose a seamstress for alterations on the dress--
3) Find under-the-dress essentials--I still need to do this
4) Figure out what things to be bought or rented for the ceremony/reception-- Started doing this, I need to complete it.
5) Finalize the wedding day "schedule"--- We have a schedule but it may need to be changed..so we'll see.
6) Finalize music selection for ceremony-- Still need to finalize this but this will be decided when we meet with musician.

Other checks from this past week:
1) Scheduled an appointment with a seamstress for my minor alteration
2) Bridesmaid dresses are in!- I called the bridal shop yesterday and they had just been delivered.
3) Invitations were ordered Sunday and arrived on Wednesday!
4) Scheduled meeting with musician to discuss ceremony music.

Casey and I will be out of town next Friday so my to-do list will be for the next two Fridays:

1) Pick out/buy Casey's attire and select attire for groomsmen-doing this tomorrow :)
2) Finish enclosure cards for invitations and other materials needed to send them out
3) Buy shoes for flower girl
4) Find under-the-dress essentials
5) Set up taste taste with caterer
6) Start buying reception decor-(finalize items needed)
7) Contact ceremony/reception site to finalize rentals needed for wedding & book rehearsal time
8) Reserve rehearsal dinner
9) Buy wedding bands

So I have a lot to do for the next two Fridays. I will be doing another post on Sunday, so be sure to check that out!

Happy Friday everyone :) !!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

99 Days To Go!!!

I can't believe it's 99 days until the big day! The days are flying by and I still have so much that I want to do. This week was not my most productive week because I had papers and projects due for my classes. After I turn my last project in on Sunday I'll have two weeks of free time and it will be devoted to wedding related projects. With that being said here was the to-do list for this week:

 1) Talk to caterer to set up a taste test and discuss other questions/concerns -  I contacted the caterer with questions that I had and readjusted our contract. I still need to set up a taste test.
2) Choose a seamstress for alterations on the dress--I've researched some seamstress for the minor alteration that I need for the dress. Still need to contact the places I found and do a price comparison.
3) Find under-the-dress essentials--I still need to do this
4) Figure out what things to be bought or rented for the ceremony/reception-- Started doing this, I need to complete it.
5) Finalize the wedding day "schedule"--- I also started this but it may need to be changed based on our vendors.

So my list for next week will be to continue working on the items on the list above and one new item:

6) Finalize music selection for ceremony

I've also added new pages to the blog. Check out the "Inspiration" page to get an idea of our vision for the wedding. In the next week or so I will also add pictures of DIY items and projects that I'm working on. Please feel free to steal ideas or suggest ones to me :) . It is also my goal to do more posts during the week, I will really work on this one.

That's all for now.  Hopefully I'll have a more productive week this upcoming week.

Have a great Friday night everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Taking Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

So this week has been a stressful week, to say the least. My week started off with my laptop dying on me. I thought I was going to have a heart attack...seriously. Not only are all of my wedding related items (contracts, ideas, favorite blogs, etc) on that computer but also all of my documents and pictures. And to top it all off this is the week all of my things are due for school. Luckily FI took it to Best Buy, thank goodness I have a 3 year extended warranty, and it was just a faulty adapter. Now I'm just waiting patiently (or at least pretending to) for my free replacement to get here. Then to add fuel to the fire I met with the assistant dean of my college to discuss my incompetent advisor. The plan was to finish my MEd in June right before the wedding. But long story short I have to switch advisors and graduate in the summer. The dean apologized for the setback but it's just frustrating. On top of trying to do a master's project, I'm looking for teaching jobs and planning a wedding!  Oh and did I mention I had to work a 10 hour shift today?

Ok, glad I got that off my chest. This week has taught me a lot. I realized that I put way to much stress on myself. I'm a perfectionist, which can be a good and a very bad thing at the same time. I try to make everything, well perfect for lack of a better word. But along the way I stress myself out while keeping it all inside. However, I've decided to change all that. FI pointed out that I need to take all of it (wedding planning, my master's project and the job search) day by day. The more I think about the long lists of things I have to do the more I want to hyperventilate. So to all of you brides-to-be out there, take time to stop and smell the roses. The planning process goes by so fast so make sure you actually enjoy it! It can get stressful sometimes but when that happens you need to take a step back. Having a drink with the girls, reading a book or spending time with the FI are just some ways to jolt you back to reality. Of course we all want our wedding day to be perfect but not at the expense of our sanity! Another great way to reduce stress is to make to-do lists for each week that way you don't feel to overwhelmed.

Even with the crazy week I can still cross things of the list:

 1) Finalize the wedding day "schedule"-- This is still rough so I'm going to put this on the list for the coming week.
 2)  finalize wording for invitations and order them--  We're done with the wording so we just need to order them. Hoping to do that by Sun/Mon at the latest.
 3) confirm rehearsal dinner site and menu   Although we loved Pompilio's, we decided to choose a different location. But the location only books their party room 3 months out so we have to call the first week of April to have it booked. The menu should be easy because it's a Cincinnati favorite ;).
 4) finalize groom's and groomsmen attire   Casey has made up his mind and I think it is going to look great :) !

Here is this week's to-do list:

1) Talk to caterer to set up a taste test and discuss other questions/concerns
2) Choose a seamstress for alterations on the dress
3) Find under-the-dress essentials
4) Figure out what things to be bought or rented for the ceremony/reception
5) Finalize the wedding day "schedule"

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to take time to stop and smell the roses :)!