{More Tips for Your Big Day!}

Looking for innovative solutions for your wedding day?  Silly question, right?  Well  I LOVE these ideas originally posted by Fried Green Design ! These are great ways to save money AND get people involved…and honestly, people love to be involved, so take advantage of it!  Think having people get their own drinks is tacky?  No way!  Make your event feel more casual and personal by having a self-serve beverage table.  Don’t want to ask your bridesmaids to do too much? Nonsense!  They are there because they love you and want to be there for you, so ask them to take on some of those unassigned wedding day tasks.  See what other ideas Fried Green Design has!

Fried Green Design

If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know I love a good wedding. I love the details, the sparkles, the happiness, the fancy shoes. Though wedding season in New Orleans never really takes a break (some of the best weddings in our city are winter weddings!), wedding season is ramping up in the frostier parts of the country and I’m working with some amazing brides and grooms this spring who are throwing truly unique parties to celebrate their love! I can’t wait to see how they all turn out.

I wanted to share with you an updated list of things to think about to make your big day even more special and memorable for you and your guests. Last summer, I shared with you a few Tips for the Modern Wedding that I think are still super relevant. I wanted to expand on that list, so keep reading…

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{What Inspires You? Create Your Own Inspiration Board}

Once upon a time, you actually had buy a $10 bridal magazine to get your wedding inspiration.  It would be huge, thick, and full of ads.  It would also contain pages and pages of gowns you could never afford with the closest vendor being two states away.  And the rings…my word…they would be gorgeous and huge and out of most people’s price range.  You might get some ideas for a color palette or places you wanted to go for a honeymoon, but they really didn’t help you figure out too many details and specifics for your wedding.

Fast forward a decade or two, and now inspiration is at your fingertips.  You can find the ever-changing wedding styles, what’s hot and what’s not for any given season, and tips for everything from invitations to gift registry to decorating your salt and pepper shakers.  Thanks to google, pinterest, and the thousands of wedding blogs on the web, you can search while on your lunch break or  in between work meetings.  So now your problem becomes having inspiration overload and figuring out which of the thousands of ideas you want to implement for your wedding.

That’s where inspiration boards come in.  Any bride-to-be has seen them.  They are on all the wedding blogs and photography sites.  They are perfectly laid out diagrams with dresses, bouquets, smiling brides and grooms, wedding favors and gorgeous tablescapes.  A lot of them look straight out of a chic wedding magazine.  They look professional and hard to do.  The good news is you easily can create an inspiration board tailor-made just for your big day.  And you can fill the board with things that are realistic for you, your budget, and your abilities.

Here’s how you can create your own inspiration board.

Let me be up front about the following.  I am not a photoshop genius or graphic artist by any stretch.  I don’t even actually know how to use photoshop…or really any photo editing software.  I fake it til I make it, and there’s no shame in my game.  So this post is more for those individuals that are not savvy with photo or publishing software.  My tool of choice is Powerpoint.  Most people have it on their laptops or desktops, it’s easy to use, and it offers a little more layout flexibility than Word.

With that said…here goes.

The first step to creating an inspiration board is deciding what kind of inspiration board you want to put together.  Do you want to put together pics showing your bridal party coordination?  Wedding decorations?  Photo ideas?  Or a combination.  Here are a few suggestions for your first inspiration board.  Start simple and start with the things that are probably the most prevalent on your mind – how do I want the wedding party to look and how do I want my venue to look?

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So once you figure out what kind of board you want to create, start surfing the web to find pictures that fit your board.  Save them to your computer or copy and paste them into a blank document or Powerpoint presentation.

Next, open a blank Powerpoint presentation and pick a background for your board (if you want a background.  It certainly is not required).

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Insert a white rectangle within your background so that it appears to be a framed white shape.

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Insert a title for your board.  I’m going to keep it simple, and just call it “Wedding Inspiration Board”.

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Now just start inserting your pictures.  Don’t worry about placement yet.  Just get your pictures onto your presentation.  You can move them around later.

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Once you get all of your pictures onto your presentation, start arranging and cropping.  Lay them out however you want.  You can layer them or just put them side by side.  Whatever works for you.  The design board is almost like pretty scratch paper.  It’s where you brainstorm your thoughts…neatly.  Your design board becomes a great way to see color ideas and style concepts come together.  Once you see things in one place, it gives you a sense of what may or may not work well together.  Better to make that decision from your computer, than go from store to store, spend a ton of money, waste time assembling ideas, and then realize you don’t like something.  It’s a lot easier to decide you don’t like teal and coral from your computer screen, than to have 6 girls go out and buy a dress and shoes, and realize you hate it on wedding day.  Play around with ideas.  Create more than one board if you can’t make decisions.  And have fun with it!

This is what I came up with for a teal and coral color scheme.  Now work your magic!  Have fun with it, and then make your decision.

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{Managing Wedding Stress}

stressed bride 2Budgets, venues, bridal party, and menus.

Anyone that has been involved in a wedding knows from experience or has seen first-hand how stressful it all can be. For the bride, the stress doesn’t begin on the wedding day, but can start long before the walk down the aisle. It is huge, it is overwhelming, and believe it or not, it is (somewhat) manageable.

  • Stop and breathe: Being in a tizzy gets you nowhere. Stop, breathe, and get your mind right. It will all be ok, but being frenzied and panicked only leads to bad decisions, hysteria, and possibly offending somebody that you really need to have by your side through all of this. Most actions and decisions don’t need to be made in the heat of the moment. It is ok to calm down, take a breather, and make decisions with a clear head. It is much easier to make the right decision from the beginning than to spend time clearing up something you’ve already said or done. That’s how you end up with a caterer that swears you told him the wedding was Sunday instead of Saturday. EEEEK!!!
  • Stay focused: It is so easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed when it comes to planning a wedding. Input is limitless, and ideas are everywhere. If you know that your colors are pink and grey, don’t let yourself fall in love with a peacock green bridesmaid dress that does not come in pink nor grey.
  • Make a list: When you have a ton of things on your mind, the best way to stay on task is to make a list of what you need to do. Personally, I do way better when I get my thoughts down on paper. Or in a spreadsheet. Or in Evernote. Don’t add the stress of trying to remember everything that’s floating around in your head. Write it down, categorize it, prioritize it, and decide how to act upon it. If it isn’t worth writing down, it isn’t worth remembering and causing stress.
  • Identify key dates: Yes, you need to book the caterer. But maybe it doesn’t HAVE to be done this week or even this month. Knowing when things need to get done will help stop you from thinking about them nonstop.
  • Set realistic goals:  Weddings cost money and take time to execute. Having chandeliers hanging from the sky for an outdoor rustic chic wedding may not be practical. But maybe strings of white lights are.
  • Set a realistic budget: Yes, everybody would love to have a wedding comparable to Will and Kate’s. But most people are working with a budget that has limits. You probably can’t hire the planner for the stars, or have Beyonce headline the reception. Have a realistic idea of what your budget and timeframes are, and set goals accordingly. A three-course meal may not be realistic for every bride. Once you realize it, move on and look for options that work for you.
  • Allow times for wedding planning hiatus: Take breaks from planning. It’s ok to go a week or two and not think about your wedding. Breaks are needed for your own sanity. Trust me. Take a break, do something fun, and jump back in when your head is clear.
  • Remember what the point is: The point is to get married and to share your big day with those you love. Everything else is secondary, if that.
  • Look into the future: At some point, this will all be over and you will be able to reflect upon the madness that was wedding planning. It will be a distant albeit fond memory and you will have moved on to honeymoon bliss.  Remember that there is life beyond the wedding.  When you find yourself bogged down in picking out tablecloths or silverware, think about the wedding afterlife and ask yourself how important the current decision is with that in mind.  Nobody will remember if your fork was sterling silver or even disposable silver.  Mentally thinking beyond the wedding will help you keep things in perspective.