Friday, October 21, 2011

Top Ten: Things I Learned About Planning a Wedding

Okay, so this may be the last of my posts about weddings for a little while. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE weddings, but I am bit on overload, if you know what I mean. I am still dreaming about tulle and place cards. That is just not normal.

But before I depart from this blissful topic, I thought I would share with you some of the crucial things I learned while helping Claire plan her big day. And please keep in mind that I have not planned my own wedding which may make all of these suggestions null and void when that happy day comes.

Are you ready for this? Here we go.

1. Flowers die. Therefore, don't spend a lot of money on flowers. For Rachel's wedding, she ordered hers from Costco and they were stunning. They were also extremely affordable. The day before her wedding we all sat around and made our bouquets. It was perfect.

2. Don't stress over invitations. Since Claire only had 10 days to plan her wedding, she just called people instead of sending an invite. However, if you have longer than 10 days, I would encourage you to not fret over those puppies. They are pieces of paper that will be thrown away and no one will remember if you used crimson instead of burgundy. I promise.

3. Having a restaurant do your reception is the way to go. Maggiano's did an amazing job. Claire and Carr picked their faves from the menu and they were steaming hot when we arrived. And she didn't have to worry about decorating or cleaning up...which meant that I didn't have to worry about decorating or cleaning up.

4.  If a wedding planner is in your budget, I would encourage you to get one. You can control the price by determining how much you want them to do. But they are oh-so helpful when you can't be in two places at once. And they are even more helpful if you have less that two weeks to plan your big day.

5. Favors, although thoughtful and always appreciated, are not essential. Your guests are just happy to be with you and if there is free food, total bonus.

6.  Manicures and pedicures are a must. I am now addicted and I don't even have fingernails.

7. Take time to enjoy the day. Claire was so calm and collected and that made everyone enjoy the process of getting ready. The bridesmaids hung out and chatted, the make-up artist took her time to make us each look fabulous, the moms sat around and talked and everyone came and went, grabbing food on their way. It was totally relaxing and enjoyable.

8. Less is more. Right before Claire went outside to take her first set of pictures, she was covered head to toe in pearls and lace and tulle and sparkles. At the last minute, she took off her pearl necklace and her birdcage veil (she wore it for the ceremony). All of sudden you could see her face! And it was like she wore the dress, not the other way around. De-cluttering made a huge difference.

9. Wear false eyelashes. Trust me on this, you won't be sorry.

10. If possible, don't have a long engagement. When Claire first told me that they had 10 days to plan their wedding, I almost went into cardiac arrest. But throughout those crazy 10 days, I realized that being with the one you love should not wait. Marriage is what is sacred, not the planning. Once you are engaged, run as fast as you can to the altar and don't look back.

So there you go, that's all I have to say about least for today. And someday, if I am ever engaged, and I am suffering from a severe case of bridezilla, please remind of these things so I can focus on what's really important, like the manicures and false eyelashes.

And happy Friday to you!


  1. Good tips Sarah :) I agree on the flowers - Costco is awesome!! Just don't try to spray paint the flowers. That never turns out good. :)

  2. I wish someone would have shared these tips with me! Where were you about 16 years ago? Oh, yeah, you were 5.... nevermind.

  3. I will add that silk flowers are a great way to go. Shop sales at Hobby Lobby and you get out with beautiful flowers for a steal and they can be ready weeks ahead of time. We did hydrangias. Nothing more. It was beautiful! And no fret of March blizzards could ruin or day : )

    I have to also add that we made our own invites. For us it was a fun bonding experience that took one evening and made for a fun memory. They were beautiful. But, I'm formal. I still send snail mail. All. The. Time. And crafting relaxes me. We had guests RSVP through and that was a great tool!

    I am also a fan of working part-time while planning a wedding. I got to be my own wedding planner and loved it!

    Less is more!

    Mike and I were slated to have a quick engagement (like 6 weeks) but opted for 4 months (still fast to some people). I will say there are benefits. But it also depends on the couple. I liked having everything planned. It made the day so much more enjoyable to me. And whisking away to Hawaii the day after our wedding was perfection!

    I will also add. If you're doing a cake, order a small cake from the fancy bakery and then have sheet cakes from Sam's club that can be cut while dinner is served so the guests don't have to wait. It also costs a lot less!