May 2018

May 28, 2018

I don’t mean wait until your 32 before you get married because of some heavily researched fact about brain development and maturity. I mean, yes, you are super excited about your wedding and getting married and just getting to it. However, you need time to plan.

If you got engaged during Christmas break, and the venue or the photographer you love is available this coming year but only on April 18th, just pass dude. That’s not enough time to plan a party for 300 of your closest friends, with more flowers than you can count and enough libations to keep everyone moderately inebriated, plated meals and a lot of pretty papers.

It’s not enough time.

It will be better for everyone if you can just wait a moment and have more time. More time to be excited, to be engaged, to prepare and to plan. How much time will you need? It depends on the following key factors.

GUEST COUNT

The larger the guest count, the more variables you have to account for, to an extent. If you elope, you can absolutely take that April 18th date that your favorite photographer is available for. But if you have more than 100 guests, you need to be conscious of their lives as well. Selecting a date with only four months in advance might not be enough notice for your guests who literally just found out that your marriage was a sure thing.

WEDDING PARTY SIZE

How many gals and guys are you wanting to stand by your side? Will they have to book flights or take time off of work? Same as with your guests, four months might be too short of notice to drop everything and become your bridesmaid. Think about how likely it is that your maid of honor will focus on your pre-wedding stress and not her own.

NUMBER OF DETAILS

A simple wedding, one with fewer vendors involved, less decor to set up and minimal elements to be designed can be executed in a much shorter time frame. But usually once you really get started planning, once you dive headfirst into the Pinterest rabbit hole, more things get added to your to-do list and not less.

If you are opting for an all-inclusive venue (a small destination wedding or a local venue that does everything for you), then ignore my advice and send out those invites! Otherwise, keep reading.

SEASON

If you want to get married in a season that doesn’t (predictably) include lots and lots of rain or snow, then you should wait to get married. Typically those wedding dates with the least ideal forecasts will be left open the longest and if you are too busy rushing to pick a date and book a venue you might have just set yourself up for disappointment. An outdoor wedding just isn’t the same in the middle of monsoon season.

AVAILABILITY

Without the flexibility of waiting to get married the vendors, you really want to be a part of your wedding won’t be available and you will end up with vendors you don’t really want. That can spell disaster pretty quickly, you might tend to be hypercritical since you didn’t get your first picks. If you wait to get married, you can inquire with your must-have vendors and select a wedding date based on their availability, guaranteeing that you’ll get what you want.

I know you’re excited, I know you’re impatient, but I hope, for the sake of your wedding success, you wait to get married.

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Josey

May 21, 2018

Menu tastings are usually just for your reception dinner, appetizers during cocktail hour and maybe even dessert. The next step on your menu-train will likely be late night snacks. But don’t forget to back up that caboose and think about your whole day, especially the part before your ceremony.

BREAKFAST

Arguably the most important meal of the day, undeniably important when it comes to your getting ready sanity. If you are a coffee person, pour a cup, but also opt for bagels, donuts or fruit. Easy eating items that aren’t crazy messy and don’t aggravate your morning breath.

While you’re all getting hair and makeup done snag bites in between laughing jovially with your best buds. Are you a groom, or not getting hair and makeup done? Head to a diner or cafe and splurge with an omelette breakfast. Keep it light because no one wants to be bloated on their wedding day.

LUNCH

Either before you take pictures (first look and bridal party) or right after them, by this time, you will want something hearty. Skip the pretzels and veggie tray and opt for a real lunch. My favorite option? Croissant sandwiches with pasta salad. Include a case of LaCroix, and I am so there.

SNACKS

There will inevitably be some downtime before your ceremony and it’s always smart to tote breakfast and lunch leftovers to whichever room you are hiding in during guest arrival. They will get eaten. Don’t forget to have water, posing for pictures is a dehydrating activity.

Pro tip: Gift your wedding party personalized water bottles. In the AM they can be filled with a morning beverage, then have your day of coordinator wash and rinse them during pictures and fill them with ice water for your down time pre-ceremony. Did I mention hydration is important?

COCKTAIL HOUR

Appetizers will be provided for your guests, but if you and your bridal party are not going to be present during cocktail hour, be sure to have a small tray or plate set aside specifically for your consumption. Believe it or not, everyone gets hungry at different times. You don’t want your wedding to turn into a Snickers commercial.

DINNER

Plated, buffet or stations, your dinner will be highly anticipated by your wedding guests. Don’t let them down. Plan for something delicious and don’t forget, the newly married couple eats first. So, if you don’t dive in, everyone else has to politely fidget with their navy napkin and ask if there is more bread in the basket while waiting for you to pick up a fork.

DESSERT

Cut the cake and serve the sweets! Desserts should be available shortly after dinner so as not to disrupt your dance schedule. Imagine the flow when you have your first dances first and then ask guests to move back over to the cake table for cutting and then move back to the dance floor, which is now empty, for dancing. Personally, I like the option where dessert happens before first dances.

LATE NIGHT SNACK

If you’re planning to dance the night away with your loving group of sweaty wedding guests, think about offering something salty for those who join you. The only thing on their mind? Enjoying free libations while gyrating on the dance floor until the sun comes up, keep their energy up by offering some non-liquid calories.

Mix it up and infuse your personality into your food choices. Most importantly, be sensitive to food allergies and preferences. Nothing makes a family of five leave a wedding sooner than not having kid-approved options like mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. Your caterer will ask about these anomalies so do a little research (ask your moms) and keep those kiddos fed and full.

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Josey

May 14, 2018

Are you looking for the short version of wedding planning? While you want your wedding to be unique, and infused with your personality, you don’t want to spend hours and weeks and months emailing strangers back and forth, reading millions of reviews and second-guessing every forward progress step you make.

I’m a big fan of making your engagement less stressful, here are three types of vendors who, when booked, will make booking the remaining much much easier.

WEDDING PLANNER

You saw this one coming right? Hiring a planner, like Sixpence Events & Planning, means hiring experience. You tell your planner what kind of wedding you want, and they recommend the best people to get you there. They’ve got an extensive list of vendors, who they know and have worked with. An invaluable tool.

VENUE

All venues will have a preferred vendor list, a group of reliable vendors who know the venue well, who always show up and provide quality service to their couples. More than that, venues like Glenhaven Events are all-inclusive. Meaning included with the venue is catering, decor, floral, photography, videography, pretty much everything you need to get married.

While initially you might be shocked with the sticker price, consider the average cost of a wedding and then exhale. Being able to book an all-inclusive venue is a huge money saver, and an enormous time saver. Instead of emailing eight people about your wedding, you chat with one.

WEDDING COLLECTIVE

Bellagala is one such collective that combines eight wedding services into one powerhouse company, allowing couples to bundle their wedding services. Photography, DJ, Floral, Videography and Uplighting, even a wedding planner. They often run specials for their services, what could be easier?

Just remember finding wedding vendors doesn’t need to be stressful. Ask married friends and ask already booked vendors for their recommendations. Take a deep breath and go get ‘em tiger.

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Josey

May 7, 2018

It’s a big fear of couples: stand up to say your vows and you look out and your cousin is texting away on snap fizzle or double tapping on instapicture, or whatever. WTF dude? You seriously can’t take the time to focus on us committing our lives to one another?!

Instead of being super paranoid that people won’t pay attention, and instead of being super bitchy and throwing shade left and right at your loved ones, keep your wedding guests engaged during the ceremony by implementing these simple and easy tips.

  1. Hire live musicians.
    Setting the stage for entertainment, live musicians keep people engaged. Your guests will become enamored with deciphering which hit song is playing in instrumental form or they’ll let themselves be reminded of their own wedding nuptials. #swoon
  2. Provide finger twiddling material: programs.
    Instead of resorting to their phones, give guests something to read and engage with that has to do with you and your wedding. If you’re getting married on a historically hot day, make those programs double as fans, extra points if you include personal information like your love story or the significance of a ceremony in the programs.
  3. Don’t keep them waiting - start on time.
    Need I go on? Hiring a wedding planner or a day of coordinator can really be invaluable for this tip. Without someone in charge, someone with experience, your ceremony won’t run smoothly and it likely won’t start on time.
  4. Avoid having a ceremony that drags on...and on...and on.
    Winging it just isn’t going to cut it for your ceremony. Have an outline, print out the readings and tell your officiant how long you are expecting the ceremony to take. Have a rehearsal the day before so your wedding party knows what’s going on as well.
  5. Opt for an officiant who is engaging and a good public speaker.
    I’m not picking on officiants, I’ve just seen so many really, really good ones. Ones that crack jokes and make the ceremony about the couple. Ones that protect the sanctity of the ceremony and encourage wedding guests to take their role seriously. Love and support and a few laughs are a great way to keep people engaged during your ceremony.
  6. Have pretty ceremony decor.
    Make the view worth looking at for your guests. I opted to get married in a valley with a pretty mountain peak as part of the backdrop. If there aren’t any breathtaking geographical features at your ceremony site, think about incorporating decor like an arbor, draping, or a chuppah.
May 4, 2018

I get it. You want your wedding day dollars to stretch as far as humanly possible. But then you want them to stretch even farther. Much farther. The best way to do this is to elope, or invite fewer people, but if you’ve opted for the ask-for-a-discount route, then here are a few tips to follow when asking for wedding day discounts.

1. Don’t just clip coupons.
Seriously, if you are just picking vendors based on price, you might end up disappointed with their quality of service. Instead of immediately asking if a vendor offers discounts, try seeing if the services they provide are the things you need and want.

Does the person who is going to be present at your wedding seem like a person you want present at your best day ever? Before you just dive in and price shop, think about what is important to the two of you. What things do you want to spend your money on in the first place?

2. Cut back on services instead.
If you’re looking to spend less, look at the a la carte prices and cut the items you don’t need or want. Ask the vendor for their advice, since certain things, like a microphone for your ceremony, probably are vital. Think about the weddings you’ve attended and the things you didn’t notice, didn’t appreciate, or didn’t want for your own big day.

3. Tell the truth.
Tell your wedding vendor how much you’ve budgeted and ask them if they can provide what you need for that price point The answer might be no and it’s best to respect that answer. Again, if you are finding that the pros you want are over your price point, a great place to free up some money begins with cutting down your guest count.

4. Bundle.
There are vendors who offer discounts when you book multiple services like DJ, photo booth, videography, or catering, alcohol, and cake. Bundling will reduce the cost of the individual services, a smart move if you already know you want to book those vendors and if you like the product they put out. Be sure to read the vendors reviews for any red flags on bad bundles.

Wherever you’re looking to cut costs it’s vital that you stay focused on the bottom line. You are getting married to your best friend ever. How lucky. How lovely.

Of course, starting the wedding planning process with determining your wedding wants and setting a budget can really help when making your money matter more. Check out this free quick course, Ready, Set, Wed! to do just that, determine your wedding wants and set a wedding budget.

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Josey

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