"Spend those last weeks at the spa instead of playing concierge to your guests. And yes, that's totally possible. Here's how..."
As a wedding photographer, I've experienced a plethora of situations with my bride's, ranging from total Bridezilla's to zenful Bridechilla's. Now that i'm planning my own wedding, I've begun to uncover what it is that can make a bride Hulk out on her wedding day. At the same time, I've learned how some brides are completely relaxed and living in the moment of their wedding day. I want to share with you what i've learned to be the best way to ensure your wedding day is as chill as possible, leaving you with a clear mind that allows you to soak up the day and all of it's glory. After all, you've spent countless hours running errands, addressing envelopes, picking your wedding parties attire, probably tanning, working out, and we won't even get into the amount money you also probably spent. So, now that i've given you complete anxiety, let's focus on what you CAN do to prepare for the day of your wedding to guarantee you and your future hubs have the most amazing day of your lives.
ORGANIZATION. Say it out loud. OR-GAN-EYE-ZAY-SHION. We as brides-to-be have to stay organized. For starters, and in general, it's proven that organized people spend less money on unnecessary and avoidable expenses like *cough*cough* paying a late fee because you misplaced your electric bill and somehow forgot to make the payment. Or you forget to pay a parking ticket so now you have to pay an extra $35. for a $25. ticket. I may or may not be speaking from experience.
We've all been there a time or two. Staying organized isn't all that easy, especially when you're a busy human, and most of us are. However, though not easy, it is most definitely worth it.
I could do an entire blog series on how to become more organized in your everyday life but that's not the topic of this blog. If you're a hot, sloppy mess and cringe at the word "organization," please know you're not alone. And there is hope for you in the world of being more organized. I promise. To stay organized as a bride, you need to do a few key things:
1. Pick one of the following: a folder, binder, specific drawer, a box, a nook in your closet, etc. to keep ALL of your wedding related contracts and papers together. You'll know right where to look when you need to access that information about what your cake maker specified as their non-negotiable's.
2. Set reminders in your phone to alert you when an upcoming payment is due to certain vendors. You don't want to lose your booking with anyone you've already paid a deposit to.
3. Write in the Notes app on your phone where you put all of your wedding planning documents so that when you're scrambling and can't remember where you put them, your phone will tell you.;) Okay, so this one sounds extreme, but someone out there will use it.
Now that we've gotten the basics of staying organized as a bride-to-be down, let's move on to the next step to make certain your special day runs as smoothly as possible. Good news! It's a bit more entertaining than the previous three steps.
Having a wedding website is becoming more and more popular and I am 110% in understanding the reasons. In previous years, couples having a destination wedding were the primary people using wedding websites but that idea is now outdated. But for those of us not having a destination wedding, what's the point of making a wedding website? Good question. I didn't know the benefits either until researching the best hosting site for my own wedding website. In keeping with the theme of organizing, wedding websites allow you to stay organized all the while keeping your VIPs, family and friends in the know. Now, each site is going to be slightly different and have a range of different capabilities as far as customizing your site. And for you and I, I've done the research and found what I believe to be the BEST hosting site for your wedding website. Riley and Grey is what Chase and I are using for our wedding site and I have no doubt you will find value in it as well. Here are a few AMAZING benefits of using Riley and Grey for your own wedding website:
1. Personalized Domain Name. This one isn't so much for the organization sector of the blog, but it is a nice touch that is included when you use Riley and Grey. For instance, when using The Knot, your link will look something like, www.theknot.com/us/heatherandchase/391848 ...or something to that affect, which personally I think is hard to remember. With Riley and Grey, you are given the chance to create something simple and memorable like www.heatherandchase.com.
2. Signature RSVP system. The RSVP system used by Riley and Grey is lively, engaging, and rather practical all the same. This mad-lib style system saves you the money you'd spend on getting your RSVP cards printed and paying for the postage to have them sent back to you from your guests. If you're into being environmental friendly, you're lessening the amount of paper you're using by having the RSVP's digitalized.
3. Guest List + Address Management. For Chase and I, one of the most exciting and useful element about Riley and Grey is the number of valuable tools for Guest Management. Not only do they allow you to input all of your guests names, but they also include space for guest addresses and emails. When creating your guest list, you can then specify which of your special company you'd like to be included in your specific Wedding Events like the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. You could even use this tool for showers and other parties that come before the weekend of the wedding! By using these features, you're ensuring your VIPs are always in the know and have every bit of information needed leading up to your big day!
4. Travel + Accommodations. I can say with certainty and from experience that none of the other websites I tested were as user friendly in this category as Riley and Grey. With Riley and Grey, you can help out those guests you've invited from out of town by providing them with detailed information on hotels, flights and driving directions. I'm particularly excited about this function since Chase and I have numerous guests coming in from all over the country.
These aren't the only four reasons you need a wedding website when planning your own wedding. And these certainly aren't the only four reasons you need Riley and Grey. I could praise them all day on how wonderful I think their services are but you'll never understand the extent of it until you see it for yourself. Because I believe in the site wholeheartedly, I am sharing a link (below) for you to join me in this wedding website journey! When you use the link I've provided, you will be given a month of FREE goodness!!!!
"Spend those last weeks at the spa instead of playing concierge to your guests. And yes, that's totally possible. Here's how..." https://www.rileygrey.com/i/KcrZlQ
And if you're still not convinced, at least do yourself the favor of clicking through the website and have a look at everything else not mentioned here that you may find value in.
"If you fail to plan, plan to fail."
So, what's the best way to ensure your wedding doesn't feel like a disaster? You know now what I am convinced is the answer to this question. Organization and preparation. I'll close by asking you this: Why wouldn't you avert chaos and stress on your wedding day if you have the tools and resources needed? Of course, organization and planning accounts for roughly 92% of your mood on the day of your wedding, but the other 8% is up to you. ;) Staying organized during the most exciting and undoubtedly chaotic time of your life will help you, your friends, your family, and VIPs have a more enjoyable time surrounding the days of saying your "I-do's!" All of this is just to say, I wish you all of the joy and happiness on the day you marry your best friend. And if I could help, even just one person, put in place something that works in allowing peaceful vibes on their wedding day, then I've done what I wanted to do. I hope you're able to put these tips and ideas into place when it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams. If you're an organizer or planner by nature like myself and you have more tips you'd like to share, please do by leaving a comment below! Thanks so much for reading and if you know someone planning their wedding, please share the post with them as it may help them in some way and sharing is caring! ;)
I'm a writing nerd. I've been a writing nerd since my early years of high school when I began writing as a form of self expression or for the sake of remembrance. Basically, i'm the equivalent of a book nerd except when book nerds were at home on a Friday night reading, I was at home writing. During my final two years of high school, I became a writer, editor and photographer for the school newspaper. What I will always remember about this experience was an editorial column I was given the opportunity to write each month with the freedom to speak directly from my heart. I had no recollection of reading emotional pieces in the paper and wasn't sure how others would feel about it, but I went for it anyway. Those two years of high school helped prepare me for the emotional things I write and share now. Even still, I get butterflies right before publicizing anything that's near and dear to my heart. And let me tell ya, if it's not near and dear to me, why am I writing it? I adore writing to share the stories of my clients and the love they found, and that will remain. For this blogging subdivision, it's my goal to write daily about my own wedding planning process (cause there's always SOMETHING going on!), my ideas and frustrations in photography, and document the ins and outs of everyday life so that one day when i'm an old G, I can look back and read all the wonderful things I did in my late 20's.
347 Days Until We Say "I do"
With just under a year left until Chase and I's wedding, it's starting to feel a bit more real. We got engaged on New Years Eve of 2015 and are planning to say our I-do's in May of 2017. Last week we crossed the, "THANK GOD WE'RE UNDER A YEAR!" mark which gave me some sort of validation to my planning. My younger sister is getting married later this year in November, so we picked a date that was further out in order to give some separation between the two events. And while it is helpful financially to have lots of time in between, there are days that I feel more impatient than others and I wish that the day was here already. I'm sure many bride-to-be's feel that way.
What's Important To Me Right Now?
Obviously I understand that when all is said and done, what truly matters is the relationship between Chase and I. I value, honor and cherish our bond and know that that's the reason for our celebration of love.
I am a wedding photographer who is also an HSP so I am acutely attuned to details and have a deep sense of appreciation for colors, textures and such. These things do matter to me and I want them to create an atmosphere that allows the evening to evoke some sort of feeeeeeling. You would think that since I've been photographing weddings for years now, I would have it all figured out.
I had a wedding board on Pinterest that got deleted the moment I began planning my real wedding, not my fantasy wedding. Yeah girl, there is a difference! It was crazy and weird. I looked at the board as if a foreign stranger was prematurely planning our special day and had no understanding of who Chase or I was. I wonder if this happens with other people.
Since I was a kid, I've loved all colors. Specifically bright and bold and I used to say my favorite color was the rainbow. Colors excite specific emotions and apparently this makes sense for me because I have ALL THE FEELS, ALL THE TIME. I've learned to draw inspiration from our venue in the color picking processes and this has narrowed the choices down a bit. Good lord, I never knew I could be so indecisive about something so aesthetic. I've used the online quizzes which are supposed to help you magically know what colors you should use and every time i've done one, I look like a confused puppy when reading the results. There must be at least one person in the world who has taken this quiz, reviewed her results and settled immediately with those colors. How wonderful that must be.
My sister and I joke that I'll make up my mind about the color of my bridesmaids dresses the week before the wedding. Hopefully not. I mean, if I'm still debating this for much longer, someone just make the decision for me. Please. Just no green. Or ... nevermind.
What I have read that is helpful for indecisiveness is to set a specific date that you want to make your decision by. Once you've made your decision, you don't revisit it or allow yourself to question the choice you made. This sounds golden to me and is something I can do. So here is my date I am setting for myself to decide by: June 30. #Lordbewithme
It is not an artists job to please anyone, but to bravely do the work that they are most compelled to do. It's the public's job to bravely seek out and appreciate the work that resonates with them. -Steve Peters, musician
I hope you enjoyed the first blog in this new series I'm calling Sincerely Your Photographer! I have lots of helpful content coming soon with tips and advice so be sure you are following on Facebook and Instagram to get the newest posts delivered to your feeds! Did you like this post? Do you have a topic you want to suggest? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! As always, thank you for spending your time here!!!