A couple of weeks ago our oldest daughter, Kate, got married. It was such a happy day for our family! A lot of people have asked if we had any advice about planning a wedding, so I thought I would share a few things while it was fresh in my memory!
My number one piece of advice is to hire the right vendors! The right vendors will make the planning and the day itself go so smoothly! We knew an engagement was coming for a couple months, so we started asking around and seeking the vendors we thought we would want to use. We set our budget and did our research so by the time Kate got engaged, it was just a day of phone calls to see which of our favorite vendors would be available. She wanted a quick engagement (just 6 months) as they had been living apart for the majority of the time they had been dating. We were very lucky to find a date that worked for all the vendors we had wanted. We did a final meeting with all of our vendors the week before the wedding to go over final details and make sure everything was the way we had imagined. We made an itinerary with our photographer of the way the day would play out and this assured everyone was on the same page.
The day of the wedding was calm and joyful not stressful and crazy. I really wanted everything done ahead of time so we could just enjoy the day. Another thing I would recommend is if you are planning to have hair and makeup done, find people who will come to the house. Our hair and makeup girls came to the house which was so nice! We had brunch and mimosas and relaxed. I really believe it helped set a calm mood. Our makeup artist even commented how calm and stress-free it was! We also took a few minutes right before we left for church to give Kate a special gift to remember the day and to shoot a couple family pics. It was so sweet to just be together as a family of six one last time. These are moments as a mom that I will always treasure!
We chose not to have a wedding planner but did hire two people on site just for the wedding day to help with little details. I would highly recommend doing this! I visited the venue the Friday before to make sure all the detail were taken care of. I didn't want Kate to see the venue until the day of the wedding so she could be surprised! :)
I think it is important to add some special touches to the day. It is fun to make it a little more personal! We had a signature bride and groom drink, had truffles at each guest's place with a note from Kate and Jake, flip flops on the dance floor in baskets for people to wear after dancing and a popcorn bar with different toppings. We also had cups, napkins and popcorn boxes made to match the wedding colors with cute sayings and their new initials on them. We found them from Sip, Sip Hooray on Etsy. Etsy is a great resource to get personalized party decor!
I also think a good DJ is critical to fun reception! Make sure to take time to choose the songs and dances you want throughout the evening. Also set up an itinerary to make sure that the evening flows the way you want it to. We had the toasts, first dance, father/daughter dance and cake cutting all while the guests were eating dinner so that once people were done eating they could get up and dance!
Most of all try to just drink it in! The day goes by quickly so just try to enjoy the moment!
Our photography by GEM Photography and amazing florals by Be Married