A Little Help From My Friends

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mitchell I spent a good part of the wedding going over all the different things we do and don't want at our wedding. There is so much to think about and consider it is a little overwhelming!

Just Married Banner

So I want to get some help from all you lovely blogging friends! I want to know what you think and what you did. What were your favorite parts of your wedding, what are you happy you spent money on, or what parts do you wish you had changed? Tell me everything! 

Not married? What were your favorite parts of weddings you have been to or what are you planning for your own? I can't wait to hear all your wonderful thoughts!


Sam {fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com} said...

we spent our money on a beautiful venue, great food, and good music (ceremony and reception). i didn't really care too much about flowers or other decorations and we found ways to save money on paper products, photography, and our honeymoon. wouldn't change a thing :)

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

oo! im excited to see what people say! im in the process of planning our wedding too! i think we'll end up spending the majority of the money on food, drinks and sweets. we both LOVE food and we want everyone to have a great meal :) good luck lady! and just remember that in the end it should be fun! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

Leslie *Fresh Out of Lemons* said...

My best advice: a wedding does not make a marriage. My husband and I really thought of the day as a (small) celebration with family and friends. I think we spent around $1,800 (and that icluded both of our Tiffany & Co wedding bands!)

We had a really quick ceremony; I didn't want to feel like I was "on display." We just had the guests gather around us, then we got to the food and fun parts! We were a united force against anyone who tried to talk us out of our vision for our day!

One of my all time favorite quotes:

"I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance, a church filled with flowers, friends and beautiful music; I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for, he said one that would make you my wife."

ErinMSW said...

My biggest regret is that I didn't shop around enough for photographers. And that I wrote off a really good one just because of the outcome from my sister's wedding (and it really is mostly her fault, I'm able to see now as a recent bride). We settled on one because we liked a few pictures, but now I really wish we would have shopped around and found one who reflected the style of photography we wanted (more casual and photojournalism, less posing). Otherwise, we spent the most money on food and decor, and I'd totally do the same thing over again there. I just finished recapping our wedding, so feel free to check it out over on my blog! And message me with any questions!

Alisha said...

Don't be afraid of money (not to be confused with splurging). You only get married once (or at least, you're supposed to), so plan like there's no tomorrow! And most of all, have fun.

Your wedding should be about you and your honey. Not the guests. They are just the special ones who get to witness you two pledging your love to each other.

You won't remember the things that went wrong (or rather, they won't matter). What matters is that you two are committing to each other and are celebrating your love!

Sarah said...

I can't stress how important it is to have a good MC and DJ. They keep the whole party informed and they also keeps things flowing nicely. I can't tell you how many times I've been to weddings where no one knows what's going on. It's just awkward.

- Sarah

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Of course I lurrrve all the pretty details down to the flowers! Most importantly i think, how the couple are enjoying the special day~ nervous couple always makes me & the guests nervous as well!

Lindsay [rookie's nest] said...

i recently attended a wedding that had no seating chart....after that experience i cannot stress the importance of it. there are so many cute and inexpensive ways to display a chart these days that not having one seems silly. it clears up a lot of confusion. and at the same wedding, the box for cards was not on display immediately so a lot of people were carrying around their cards. i think the area for gifts should be made obvious so as not to make anyone feel awkward/obligated to ask about it. :)

Melissa {TheScarletCardinal} said...

Best decisions: Having a sweetheart table. We were able to have a moment alone! Mingling during the cocktail hour so we could actually eat at the wedding. Don't sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, as long as you say "I Do" nothing else matters.

Mo Pie, Please said...

So - the one thing that my husband and I both keep wishing we would have had is a video of the wedding. I highly recommend shelling out the money to have someone carefully capture the entire day. I wish so badly that I could go back and see a video of us, hear the ceremony, especially from a different vantage point!

We didn't spend money on a DJ either - we had a friend emcee and play songs off his ipod. Seriously worth it.

Good luck planning - so much fun!

natasha {schue love} said...

Gosh, where do you begin!? There is so much above I agree with...good food, sweetheart table, having video {which we did not and regret...though his aunt filmed out ceremony}, GOOD DJ...to me that helps keep the wedding going and can make or break how much fun people have. I spent more money on my dress, florals, and the venue. The venue (including food/alcohol) was about half our budget, which I think is a good indicator for how to budget. Having a seating chart is a must too...it's really helpful for your guests. Last piece of advice is to at least have a "day-of" coordinator. Not one that works for the venue...one that works for you. She was a lifesaver for us and I know things would not have gone as smoothly without her. She'll keep the photographer under control and on time, set up your escort cards and thank you gifts, make sure no one gets out of control, pay your vendors, etc etc. She was definitely worth every penny!

At the end of the day, have fun! Once the day gets here, it's all out of your hands and the best thing you can do is enjoy and remember what it's all about! I just know you'll have a stunning wedding and you'll be a gorgeous bride! Can't wait to see the details! :)

Kristen said...

OOOOH girl I could go on and on about it... but I will sum it up for you:

1. DEFINITELY spend a good amount on the photographer. The photos are the only memories you have to look back on when the day is over! I also wish I did a video... today's technology can capture the moment is such an amazing way...

2. HAIR & MAKEUP.. I won't go into my own bad experiences but make sure you don't change your hairstyle too drastically before the wedding, and make sure you practice the style over and over until it's the way you want!

3. EAT! SOMETHING! I was so busy I didn't eat a damn thing except for the punch!

4. GOOD DJ THAT IS NOT A POTHEAD. AKA no cheesy ass music- it's ok to specify which songs you DO NOT want! The best weddings I've seen hire a band!

5. Don't allow ANYONE to control how or why you plan the wedding the way you do! Everyone will have their opinions and drama may be present, but just make sure you do the things you and your fiance want to do and not just to please other people.

OMG seriously! If I could do it all over I would elope or just go to the courthouse! lol!

I'm so happy for you and excited to see all of your ideas :) The best weddings are the ones that are totally personalized to reflect both of your tastes, personalities, and love for one another... just enjoy the little moments and try not to stress!

Amber Blue Bird said...

I have to agree with getting a videographer. They can be pricey but its really nice to have everything on film.

Rhiannon {Hey Gorg} said...

I'd say go with a great photographer and a fabulous venue, watch your budget and make choices for you and your fiance. Slowly everything will fall into place and well, I could go on for hours and hours about everything to do with weddings :)

Ruthiegyll said...

I am so glad that we spent the money that we did on our photographer. Beautiful photos are absolutely priceless.

I loved my dress, but in retrospect, I wouldn't be so worried about finding a dress that was under budget. I might have spent a little bit more money on my dress/the dress fitting experience.

Natasha said...

My husband and I decided to go small, we invited 32 of our closest family and friends to our wedding. I know that not all people can do this and I won't lie and say that it wasn't difficult to cut the list so short but in the end it was our day and an intimate wedding was really important to us. We had our reception at an amazing small family owned Italian restaurant and got to hang out with all our guests which was so great! Food is important, our guests still talk about the amazing meal that we shared together 3 years ago! And I would say splurge on a great photographer.
Enjoy this time and all the details, it's a lot yes but it's so amazing to
see all your plans come to life on your big day!!
Natasha xo

Zara said...

We went the following way:


*Main meal (you can still get yummy food for a reasonable price if you avoid the flash stuff!)

Plus we went DIY with everything we could.

Allison said...

Do as much as you can yourself and have fun with it. I had a few get togethers with girlfriends to make the place cards, invitations, etc. I would HIGHLY recommend a good photographer AND videographer. I can't tell you how many times I go back through my pictures and watch the video. They were both so worth the money!!!! Happy planning...I miss wedding planning!

la petite coquine said...

The most important thing at a wedding should be what matters to you guys-if you love to eat, spend that money on catering a delicious meal. If you're music buffs, find terrific groups to play at the ceremony and reception. If you ooh and aah at the flower stall, spend time on those gorgeous blooms! But more than anything else, chose what makes you happy. Good luck, darling!

Drew {Coral Cafe} said...

I'm not married but I have many dreams for my wedding day! Watching my sister plan her own wedding in 3 months made me realize that going with your gut instinct on things (aka..no time to be picky!) is ideal!! Making sure that you create your wedding especially for you and your fiance is the most important!

I'm planning on spending my money on my dress, lanterns and food!! Everything else will either be made or found at a low cost..(if at all possible, that is ;)

Your wedding will be great, I know it!! Just enjoy and don't stress about the silly things throughout the planning :)

Haley @ Cardigan Junkie said...

My usual tips (in no particular order):

1. Be open to restaurant catering, fancy food truck catering, and every option besides a traditional caterer if your venue allows it. I paid $8 per head for good Southern food from a small family restaurant, which saved me about $2,000.

2. Don't trick yourself into believing that guests care about all the details that you do (unless you're competing on TLC's Four Weddings). Your friends and family aren't there to judge you - they love you. If the food is tasty, the drinks plentiful (not necessarily unlimited liquor, but I think free is necessary) and the music fun then that's all you need.

3. Let people help you. (I failed here)

4. Unless flowers are your thing, you can save a ton of money buying wholesale flowers and having them arranged by a friend or one of the florists from the grocery store. (Ask if they do work on the side and bring a photo - you may be surprised)

5. Decide how many people you want and can afford and stick with that number.

6. Remember that invitations get thrown away. It's easy to get carried away with the options, but find the right balance between unique/pretty and expensive. I had a graphic designer friend create mine and had them printed on thick stock at Kinko's.

Have fun planning - I'm so excited for you!

TriGirl said...

Stopping by from Mingle Monday. I will chime in and say(like so many others) that a *great* photographer is a must! Your photos tell the story of your day so you want someone who can capture all the moments you will cherish; both the ones you are spending time planning now and the spontaneous ones. Also, make sure you spend time and (if needed) money on looking how you want to. Again, you'll be looking at your photos and you shouldn't be preoccupied with wishing your hair/dress/makeup looked different. Finally, get a dress you love then pay for alterations. A perfectly fitting dress will cinch the look and make you feel wonderful! Then...remember that your job is to have a wonderful time marrying your guy and don't sweat the details! Oh, and congrats!!

Karen said...

As a bit of a fashionista I must say that I think the dress is oh so important!! Not only does it set the tone for the wedding but it is a reflection of who you are (and also your husband). I spent more than I should have on my dress but I am so glad I did. I love it so much and my husband was so happy that I was happy!!

So excited for you!! Planning a wedding is so so much fun.

P.S. - I would def. get one of those cute banners!!



aj said...

Oh, I have a lot of thoughts!

1. Best decision was for it to be about US. As soon as we started to try to please other people - eek! Some people thought it was too fancy, others not fancy enough. There's no way you can please everyone, so we decided to simply please ourselves. :)

2. Cameras on the tables - awesome to see everyone's persepective! Photos are really important, BUT you'll only ever really see like 20 or 30 of them, and with hundreds to chose from, you're bound to get good ones.

3. Drink. Number one thing people remember.

4. A separate room for hubs and I (stocked with food and drink as well) gave us the time to be alone and connect.


Soooooo exciting!!! Have FUN!

allenaim photography and design said...

We spent $ on photography, but I am a photographer, so it was important to me to hjave good photos.

If I were to do it again, I would insist on less people and a later wedding so we could spend time with the people that were important to us. We ended up spending lots and lots of time talking to and greeting a bunch of people that were random friends and colleagues of parents. I still regret that...

We went to a seperate location for photos with just my husband and I...totally my favorite part of the day...

I wish I had spent a little more money on my dress...just kind of bought the first one I liked and I liked it fine, but in retrospect, I wish I would have shopped a bit more...

This is really really superficial, but I have never been skinnier than I was on my wedding day and it made me happy then and still makes me happy to look at the photos...especially after having 3 kids :)

Also, if I were to do it again I would definitely do all of the cute details myself and go all out on them, but I wouldn't pay a ton of money...and I would definitely NOT pay a rental company for linens and weird fake stuff like pillars. I would buy stuff from thrift stores and make it better, for cheap and then get to keep all the stuff L:)

allenaim photography and design said...

ok...I thought about some more after reading the rest of the comments...please forgive my hijacking your post :)

If I were to do it again...

1. I might go with the destination wedding...doesn't hurt feelings when you want to keep it small...

2. DEFINITELY would get restaurant catering...traditional catering ALWAYS tastes bad...a bride that I photographed last year simply reserved tables at a posh place (Hotel Hershey) instead of renting out the place and the food was EXCELLENT. Best wedding meal ever.

3. Counseling did nothing for us...7 years of marriage has done much more :)

4. I agree with the poster about the paper stuff...it is important for it to be cute if you are into that kind of stuff (I was...am!), but not important that it is expensive or highest quality. It WILL get thrown out. I made ours and was more than pleased...if I were to do it again...I would go with the handkercheif invites...love that idea...

ok..done now...promise not to keep commenting on your post :)

Anonymous said...

You have lots of advice there. One more as I am just back from my cousin wedding which so far the best one I've been to.

I would advice a Good Photographer, it is so important.
And a good DJ, looks obvious but your DJ will make the nght a good one or not AND I have seen pretty bad ones who ruin the atmosphere of the time.
Food is Important too - My cousin told me they met many people and had 3 appointments with the catering company they choose so don't worry try every one you feel to meet.
And something that was good, was in between each plate somebody was doing something enertaining (game, song, Photos)The 6 hours meal went fast and we all enjoyed it a lot.

At the end do what makes sens to you, as it is Your Day. Wishing you a bunch of happiness and keeping you in my prayers as I know marriage organisation can be tough some time.

Laura *You Stir Me* said...

Just poppin' in to say "You're gettin' maaaaawwweeeed!" I second what everyone has been saying: get a good photographer (but don't overspend!) and make sure there is some good music. People remember the music, the laughter, the love, and the location. Oh, and the bride and groom - you guys steal the show!

Anonymous said...

get a photobooth!!!

a friends wedding last year had one set up during the reception, and it printed 2 of each, one for you and one for keeps. it was hands down the most fun thing ive seen at a wedding :)

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Thanks for the lovely thoughts, I appreciate them all!