Posts in the 'Liz' Category
Photo: Chasing Glimpses Photography
We got an email from a bride who has been invited to two other weddings this year, on the same day, on the other side of the country. Two. Yes, it’s definitely that time of year, not to mention that time of your life. Your wedding is not the only show in town, it’s not even the only one you have tickets to. She’d love to go to both weddings, is that possible? She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, which is an easy thing to do when everyone is on social media. Or should she just choose one? And, if so, how does she do that?
What “Both” Looks Like
So, you’re going to one ceremony and one reception, that’s the least complicated way to do it. From the time you sit down the end of the ceremony is going to be an hour. The cocktail hour, is well, an hour. And then there’s dinner, immediately afterward. And somewhere in there you’ve got to get from Wedding A to Wedding B.
So, be realistic. If the weddings are 30 minutes away from each other then you can go to both. Ceremony, hang out for 15 minutes afterward to say hello to everyone, grab an appetizer, and bail. If your answer is, “I can probably make it in for dinner if there’s no traffic and everything starts on time,” that’s not going to work, because there will be, and it won’t. If the weddings are starting at different times, then you should just choose one to go to.
But if it looks like it’s going to work out, your first step is to let both couples know what’s going on. That’s a meal one person doesn’t need to pay for, and one meal another does, at the pre-requite $79,95 per person, plus tax and service, you know? Most couples don’t expect everyone to be able to make it. They would love you to come, of course, but they need to know if you are coming, at all. You’d want the same consideration. Keep it simple, “Can’t make it to both the ceremony and reception, but I’d love to see you, so I’d like to RSVP for x” Send them an email and send the card back . Do it both ways, not just one, and to both couples, not just one.
Seriously, Which one do you really want to go to? I know, that sounds harsh. “Really want to go” meaning the one where you’re most looking forward to the most. The one that you think will be more fun. Or maybe there’s one that you have to go to, like your cousin’s, or you know, your Dad’s! If it’s not that easy, pick the one whose invite you got first. That’s a good excuse/reason, too. But you’re going to have to choose.
You’re not going to hurt as many feelings as you think you are, so don’t twist yourself into knots trying to make everyone happy. Do what you know is best for you, especially since your wedding is coming up to. If this is going to stress you out, either psychologically or, more likely, financially, then go with the option that won’t, even if that means opting out entirely. That’s okay, too.
So, how many other weddings have you been invited to this year? How did you decide which ones to go to? Let me know in the comments below.
And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Before we get down to the business of Gown Hunting, let’s take a moment to welcome our new BAB team member, Caitlyn, who did a bang-up job on her post last week! Kudos, Caitlyn!
And now back to the fashion frenzy, reader fanfanstella had the most eloquent way of phrasing her dress dilemma. In her comment to another CAI/GOI post, she said the Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown “doesn’t come with a price tag as beautiful as the gown.” I hear ya, hon! That Chantilly lace is divine, and it has such an understated elegance in a delicate column silhouette with eyelash trim at the sweetheart neckline, so let’s get to work finding a replacement for under $1,500!
(And hey, if you weren’t already aware, we pay close attention to reader comments, so drop us a line if you need help finding that perfect gown!)
Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress (Style: 7439), $278 at Zappos
Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown, $1,495 at ShopBop
Nicole Miller Nina Bridal Gown, $1,200 at Zappos
Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown, rent it for $185 at Rent The Runway
Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: The column style gown, otherwise known as a sheath style, can be curve hugging to the point of restricting movement. If you plan to break it down at your reception, do a “dress rehearsal” in the dressing room while trying on the gown. Test out a few of your signature moves so you’ll know what you’ve got to work with.
So did you get your Chantilly lace fix? I know I sure did! Which gown is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.
*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
Photo: Persimmon Images
Almost half of my wedding calendar this year involves couples who are coming from far and farther to get married in Los Angeles. I looked up, and all of a sudden destination weddings are one of my things. Here’s three tips to help you feel confident about making it one of yours, too:
Find your Savvy Local
You know, the person that lives in your wedding city, works there and can be your resource on how to get things done. Try and find a professional, too. Your best friend from college might know how long it takes to get to the beach from your hotel, but they probably won’t know if you need a permit to get married there, or if you have to pay for parking. That sort of thing. If you don’t have a wedding planner, make your venue manager, your hotel manager, your officiant, or your caterer your new best friend. Mostly you’re looking for leads, and potential roadblocks to avoid. If you’re worried about bugging them beyond what you’re paying them, spread the questions around. And, follow up every question with one last question, “Is there anything else I need to know?”
Keep it Simple
Just … Keep it simple. The less moving parts that are involved, the less there is to drive you crazy. One location, two if a meal is involved. No more than 45 minutes to get from point A to Point B at any time. If something requires more than three steps to get done, give it two days instead of one, or turn it into two steps instead of three. And if you are going to remember one thing, remember this: Nothing is going to take less time to do. If anything, since you’re dealing with so much unfamiliarity, in an unfamiliar place, it’s going to take more.
… Because the last sentence above is where the frustration is gonna come in. You’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. You’ve got to think about time zones, and fitting all of this into your already busy life. You have to ask the right questions, or ask enough wrong ones until you figure out what the right ones are. You’re not there, and you feel like you’re flying blind. There are a lot of details, and a not-so short learning curve, so be patient with yourself, with what you can do from where you are. Be patient with the process. Be patient with everyone you have to deal with during the process. It doesn’t all have to be done quickly, it just has to get done. Look forward to it being done, and having a wonderful day, okay?
In the meantime, while I’m here, do you have any questions about your destination wedding? Let me know in the comments below, and we’ll figure it out. And, if you’d like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, come find me at www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Credit: Persimmon Images
Hmmm …We’re beginning to notice something lately. And as the most adultish-adult around here (at least age-wise), I’ve been picked to say something about it:
The little, sniping, judgy being made about other people’s wedding choices.
Knock it off. It’s unbecoming. And honestly, it’s not making you feel any better about yourself or your wedding, right? Tearing someone else down doesn’t build you up.
Look, We All Do It.
Someone walks by you wearing, whatthehellisthat?? What, did they go out looking like that? Aren’t they afraid of what other people are going to think? I would NEVER wear anything like that. Hell, television dramas are built for that type of judgement. But it would never occur to you (I hope) to walk up to that person and tell them to go home and change. Or go into the multiple ways that they look a hot mess. Or explain to them that you would never go out in public like that. But it’s okay on the Internet? “Anonymous” doesn’t exist on the Internet. One real person just told another real person that their centerpiece looks tacky. Just because you’re hiding behind a user name doesn’t mean you — yourself — aren’t still being rude. And everyone has just seen you — yourself — be rude and not nice. So, there’s that.
Run Your Own Race
You have made decisions and choices that you are proud of. Be proud of them. Celebrate them, which you can do without attacking someone else’s decisions and choices. There is no “best” way to do anything, there’s just what’s best for you. And especially if you’re talking about weddings, which is all about style, and how you — yourself — feel about how something looks (we’re talking about the wedding, not the marriage part), then you can’t judge other people on that. It’s as pointless as questioning someone’s music taste. You would never listen to Taylor Swift. Okay, then keep doing that and live your life, and leave the Tayhards alone.
A wedding is not a pie-baking contest. Again, there are no better or best decisions — no universal consensus is available on table settings, or whatever. There are just the choices you’ve made and are going to make, that are going to build the wedding day that you want and have dreamed of. And that in no way depends on the choices some other bride has made. It doesn’t diminish your choice, just as your choices don’t diminish hers. They have nothing to do with one another.
Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged
Which is probably already happening on some level. Your parents aren’t totally on board with some piece of your wedding. The caterer or the venue is — or is going to — have an issue with something you want to bring in or do. You worry about what your guests will think. The feeling of being judged, pretty much sucks, doesn’t it? Don’t perpetuate that on another person.
Plus, you don’t — and will never — know what their circumstances are. Not just budgetary concerns, but maybe there are other reasons as well. Maybe they won’t have the time to hand calligrapher their place cards. Or maybe their fiance has vetoed an arch at the end of the aisle, or they’ve found a solution they both like better. Maybe they just like daisies, which is not illegal. At least, not yet. It’s a universal truth, but it’s still the truth — until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you don’t know why they’re walking or what they’re walking to in the first place. Just as they don’t know anything about you, or your life, or why you’re doing what you’re doing. Don’t make assumptions, especially the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing, and need to be told so. You would hate it if that spotlight was turned on you, and you had to explain all of your choices. It’s not anyone’s business, so let’s keep it that way.
The Insecurity Thing
That’s another thing I’ve personally noticed, when I find myself being judgy. It feels like I’m judging this other person, but what I’m actually doing is judging myself for the choices (professional, personal, what have you) that I’ve made or haven’t made. Because we’re not always sure, are we? And that’s just being human. But, if you’re finding yourself questioning someone else, think about what you could be questioning of yourself. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, remember you have both the time and resources to change it. What’s wrong and what needs to get fixed, in your opinion? Figure out what you need in order to feel better about your wedding? All of us are always around to help you get there. But leave everyone else’s weddings alone.
So, when was the last time you made a judgement call about someone else’s wedding, or felt the cold eye of judgement upon yours? Let us know how you handled that in the comments below.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Photo: Lauren Lindley Photography
You know it — your wedding money is being thrown around fast and furious. Hundreds, thousands of dollars. Tens of thousands of dollars. Not all at once, mostly. But the word “eventually” looms closer every day.
So, what I’m trying to say is this post isn’t so much about budgeting as it is about stress relief. And a lot that means getting ahead of the stress in the first place.
Do This One Thing
Put all your payment due dates, with the current estimated cost in whatever calendar you look at the most — the one in your phone, the one on your wall, the one in your wedding notebook. Do it right now. Set or write an alert for a week or a couple of days ahead of time, whatever works for your schedule or will work with your bank account. Not so far ahead that it’s easy to forget (like a month before) but close enough so that you have enough time to pull together the funds, if you need to. You know how you are, so proceed accordingly. Bonus points for noting the method of payment, too.
Do This Other Thing
Any payment you can automate, do it. I take automated payments from my couples, and odds are your venue, you photographer and most of your other vendors do, too. Combining it with your alerts will keep you on track, or give you time to change tracks (or credit cards) if you need to. Also, Venmo is a great way to pay vendors quickly and easily right from your phone. It’s the app of life, y’all.
So, you’ve taken care of the wedding payment trees, don’t ignore the forest that’s your wedding budget! Have one place — an Excel sheet, a Google Doc spreadsheet, heck, a Word document — where you list the total cost of all this stuff! One place where it’s all accounted for, all added up and where you always know what you’re spending and what you’ve spent. When you can see the big picture, you’re setting yourself up to make the best choices, and take many, many deep breaths of relief.
So, what’s your calendar of choice? Do you have any questions about automatic payments or wedding budgets? Let me know in the comments below. And if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Credit: Lucky Photographer
The first step to having a grown-up wedding is acknowledging that you’re a grown-up. And that your guests and family are grown-ups. Marriage is the second most grown-up thing you can do. So, you might as well start now with the day that’s going to start it all off. In the immortal words of Monica Geller, “It sucks, you’re going to love it.”
You’re saying Yes … to Everything.
Your wedding is not something that’s happening to you. From the cost, to the menu, to the dress, to the guest list, to the decorations. With a shrug, with a frown, with an enthusiastic clapping of hands. You opted in. It’s a big day, and a big undertaking and it’s easy to do it now and resent the hell out of it later. So, remember:
You can say No … to Anything.
Easy to write, not so easy to do. I get yelled at a lot for this one. “I can’t say no to my parents [insert this thing they really want here], it’s impossible.” Nothing is impossible, but yes, some things are hard. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, you’re afraid you’re going to sound like a rude jerk. We covered this a little last week. Most people are not great at conflict, whether they are used to it or not. Be clear that you don’t want it, thank them for the suggestion, if there is an alternative that you like, hype it. Don’t be defensive, smile, change the subject. Works, I swear.
Your Guests are Adults. They Are Also Human Beings in Your Spotlight.
It’s mostly you on stage, but it’s not just you. Everyone wants to get it right, so everyone can enjoy the day. Back your guests up where you can — directional signs, someone standing by to help them find their place card. They do need to know where the restrooms are, they don’t have to be assigned a particular seat at a particular table. No one is going to freak out if you’re serving Coors Light and $5 wine instead of their choice of martini cocktails. Don’t think babysitting, just think “flow.” You cannot please everyone, but you can make it easier for them to enjoy themselves. What would you want if you were a guest? What would need? Make sure that’s covered.
Get Clear About Your Wedding Responsibilities
What goes into your wedding day must come out. When? Someone has to do it, and if it’s not you, then who? What are you allowed to do, and what are you not? Hint: If it has to be stuck on anything, sprinkled, lit or hung, ask first. How long do you have your vendors? When do they need to get paid? What do they need from you to do their job? Don’t assume they will stay later than asked and not get paid for that, or come earlier, or bring more equipment. Don’t make the day harder for them, because it’s going to end up being harder for you. That’s not going to be a good day.
You have a destination — your big fun, love- and joy-infused wedding day — and you are on your way. You have to give it some time, but you’re going to get there. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re doing it, because you’re doing it. There are plenty of maps and resources to help you. Course corrections can be made — they are not the end of the world or evidence that you are a crappy pilot. And when you get there, ENJOY THE DAY. That’s an order. It’s what adults do. And in the meantime, go easy on yourself, I can guarantee you’re doing a lot better than you think you are.
So, how are you taking a deep breath and putting on the big girl pants when it comes to your wedding? What do you think of my advice? Let me know in the comments below! And if you would like to learn a little more about me and and my part of Wedding World, come visit me at www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Credit: Life’s Highlights
Last week, I got an email from a bride who didn’t have a problem yet, but was anticipating a huge one. She and her fiance want a small wedding, surrounded by their good friends and close family. She was pretty sure that wasn’t going to happen once her mother got ahold of the list. What if her Mom insisted on inviting the 120 family members that she would probably want to add to that list? There’s a ton of you worried about the same thing. I know there’s a few (unnamed) couples on my roster who are, for sure.
So, how to combat that? For starters, stop thinking about it as a battle. It’s a wedding, its not a war. And if you keep looking at everything as a potential conflict, that’s exactly what you’ll find. I’m not so zen that I’m saying the guest list won’t be an issue. I…have parents, too. And what I (eventually) figured out was that it’s easier if you manage their expectations of your expectations. You’re not going to be able to avoid the conversation with them, but you can certainly put it into context.
Get specific with your numbers
Sit down with your fiance and make a list of everyone the two of you want to invite. It won’t take long, but go over it a couple more times to make sure you didn’t miss anyone, and that you included their significant others. Now, given that list, how many more people are you willing to have at your wedding? So, say you come up with a list of 50 people, or 25 couples. Are you willing to have another 50 people at your wedding, to bring it to 100? Another 25 people to bring it to 75? Think about it as people, and think about it as tables. 50 people is five tables, 100 people is 10. What feels right to you?
Be straightforward, and tell the truth: “We want to keep the guest list to 100 people, and we have 50 people that we want to invite. Can you help us and give us a list of the 50 people you want to invite by [make up a date in the next couple of weeks]?” This is what we want, this is what we have so far, this is what we’re asking from you and here’s the date we need it by. We really appreciate your help! DO NOT under any circumstances, apologize. You’re not being mean, you’re not being rude, DO NOT get defensive. Just state what you want, which is a wedding with this number of people. Ask for their help. And then change the subject as quick as you can. Check in a couple of times before your deadline. Be prepared to have the conversation again. Express gratitude for their help as often as you can.
Bonus points: Get specific with the costs
For extra credit, if you’ve already booked a venue and/or caterer, figure out out how much it is going to cost per person and for the entire group, and give that to her, too. So, say, your venue is $2500. if catering is $75 per person, plus tax and service (30% here) = $97.50 per person, or $14,750 for 100 people. See? You’re trying to be reasonable by sticking to a reasonable budget, whether they’re paying for it or you are.
They’ll be thinking about those numbers while they’re going over their own list. And, again, Do NOT apologize! No, “I’m really sorry about this.” For one thing, that’s a lie. For another, you’re not doing anything wrong. Ask her for help. Thank her for her help. Take a deep breath, and smile.
So, really, how many of you are facing a massive guest list from your folks that you don’t want? Got any questions about my advice? Let me know in the comments below!
See you at the end of the aisle,
Obviously, technology plays a huge part in our lives, but there’s a lot of corners you can find yourself banging into when it comes to tech in Wedding World.
Look, first it started with personal wedding websites and online gift registries. Then e-vites and e-RSVPs and cute apps that keep your guests and your wedding party constantly updated on your plans for the Big Day. You know, if they download the app.
It can never be enough, it seems, but it can also be too much. Because your pursuit of a perfectly efficient, streamlined, green wedding planning experience, will, somewhere along the way, fall victim to human nature.
The Tech That is Good
Wedding websites. One stop shop for additional information, which is just the best. Sign up on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Wedding Paper Divas or one of a dozen other sites, put it somewhere on your invite. Done.
Evites. The popular thought is still that you either have to send out paper invites or you have to send out both, but I’m not sure. I think that’s more of an expectation thing — you expect your grandmother (last seen checking email on her Kindle) won’t be able to open up an email, or will be offended that she has to. We’ve been working with this internet thing for over 20 years, now. Might be time to save a little money, a little paper and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
Online registries. Listed, hopefully on your wedding website. Ready to ship your wedding gifts to the house of your choice. For the most part, it prevents guests from having to bring gifts to your wedding, which you then have to lug to the house of your choice. For the most part.
When you’re looking for good Wed Tech, again, think “one-stop shopping.” The wedding website or e-vite that can track your RSVPs, that can tell your guests, with a click, where to buy your gifts and where to stay. Don’t drive yourself or your guests nuts trying to find the right information in a combination of seven different places.
The Tech That is Not So Great
Wedding apps. You can build a wedding app that takes the place of a wedding website. An app that stores/sends any pictures guests take at your wedding. The aforementioned app that keeps everyone informed on your planning progress. It’s not that the apps in of themselves are bad, but you’re going to lose most people when you send them to a secondary location (the app website) to get them to the third location (the app), and expecting everyone to download it, and then remember to use it. I checked — I have 120 apps on my phone. I use seven, maybe, on a daily or weekly basis. How about you? And before you think, “well, I can set up a notification system for updates”?
Just … No. Don’t spam your guests.
That’s a good rule for any Wed Tech you use. Don’t spam. Universal truth: No one cares about your wedding as much as you do. No one is as invested as you are, and it would be a little weird if they were. Don’t get me wrong, they care about you. They care about whether or not they can be there, and about doing the right thing when they get there. So, give them a place to go to get that information. But don’t worry that they have to know about every little change when it changes. Everyone’s grown. For the most part. Which brings us to …
The Tech That Will Not Work As Well As You Want It To
Manage your expectations:
Online RSVPs. It does not matter what you do, you will not get a 100% RSVP by your deadline. The human nature thing. People procrastinate, people aren’t sure if they can come when the deadline hits, people forget. Or they assume that you know that they’re coming, or that you know they’re not. Whatever the reason, you will have hunt the RSVP AWOLs down. Be proactive: Set up a spreadsheet with everyone’s names, phone numbers and email address and avoid scrambling. Scrambling sucks.
Online registries will not prevent some guests from physically bringing their gift to your wedding. Many guests will also bring envelopes with checks and cash. Have a place where those can go when they get there, and a plan for how to get them out.
So, seriously, is it time to go full green and make e-vites the new norm? What tech are you using for your wedding?
Let me know in the comments below. And if you’d like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Photo: Chasing Glimpses
Weddings are complicated creatures. There are a there a lot of things about your wedding that you can extrapolate from real life, and a lot of that you can find out by asking obvious questions. But there are also the unknown unknowns, the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know. And you don’t — or wouldn’t — know, because you haven’t done this before.
As a wedding planner, finding your photographer is always the next thing on our checklist, after your venue and a caterer. For one thing, it’s usually the next most expensive line item on your budget. Your wedding pictures are the only permanent thing, other than your spouse and your ring, that you’re taking away from your wedding day! But wedding photography is filled with unknown unknowns. What is that you don’t know that you don’t know about your wedding photography?
Choosing a Good Photographer
Like most art forms, “good photography” is subjective. So, first of all, look for pictures and styles that personally appeal to you. Look for pictures that are focused, whose subjects are are well-lit, against backgrounds that don’t distract from the photograph.
There are also no standard costs for photography, though here in Los Angeles, you can expect to throw back a few thousand dollars. When you’re deciding between photographers that you like, try and compare apples and apples. What services do they each provide, what are you getting for what you’re paying? How many hours on site? Are engagement pictures included? An album? A disk of pictures? And if one photographer doesn’t offer one apple that another does, ask how much it would be to add it. Either way, you’ll be able to find a great photographer in your price range. But don’t settle — sign that contract knowing that your pictures are going to be beautiful.
And, seriously? Choose a photographer that you like. They are going to literally be in your face all day during your wedding and you’ll be dealing with them after the wedding while they’re finishing your pictures and albums. You need to be okay with that.
How Much Time and Work is Invested in Your Pictures
There’s the lead-up to your wedding, the consultations about what pictures you want, the ones you don’t and discussing (several times) the general flow of the day. Engagement pictures usually take 2-3 hours. They are at your wedding for 8-12 hours. If you don’t have a planner, they’re going to be running the day with help from your DJ. And, depending on your venue and your guest count, there could be two photographers. And, no kidding, those photographers are going to take thousands of pictures. So, after your wedding, thousands pictures have to be sorted in chronological order, duplicates and blurry shots have to be deleted, and the rest have to be edited and touched up before you even see them. Raw images are not an option you want. So, it takes a few weeks! And, how fast you get your album after that depends on you and how fast you can pick the pictures you want in it.
About Those Pictures On Your Wedding Day …
As you’ve probably figured out if you’ve been reading for a while, I’m into wedding timing. How to manage it, when to ignore it, and when to pay very, very close attention to it. Pictures take a lot of time. Assembling everyone, for one. Posing. Posing again. Different locations, different shots. Groomsmen wander back to the bar, other people blink during group shots. This can eat up the time you have between hair and makeup and leaving for your venue, and it can definitely make your cocktail hour hectic! You don’t have to do it (you don’t have to do anything) but talk to your photographer about taking pictures of you and your fiance before the wedding, and getting as many group shots as you can after that. Less pictures during the cocktail hour, more of a chance for an appetizer and a drink, and to marvel in wonder that, WOW, you just got married! Ask your photographer about other ways to streamline the day. Trust me, they’ll have a ton of suggestions.
Are starting to look for photographers? And if you’ve already picked yours, how many did you talk to before you made a decision? Have you decided to do a first look? Let me know, along with any questions, in the comments below!
And if you would like to find out more about me, and my little part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.