Keep Calm and Plan A Wedding

A documentary of the pre-wedding life, and all things wedding!
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Articles

Ooo la la! The trend for wedding gowns this year seems to be sexy backs!

The Night Before

The night before the wedding was one of the best nights that I will never forget. My bridesmaids came to sleep over at my place so it’s easier for all of us to get done up early next morning. The plan was to relax and get to bed early so we get the most sleep possible.

We spent the evening steaming the dresses, chatting and snacking. My groom came over to hang out with us later in the evening and left at 11pm. There goes sleeping early, haha! I don’t remember what we talked about that night, but we were just sitting by the dinner table in the kitchen, and we must have bursted out in laughter every other minute or something. After he left, the bridesmaids did some final preparations for the “pick-up-the-bride games.” We got my parents in it as well and we just laughed the night away. 

We had so much fun in the company of each other :) It was the best night it could be! It’s nights like that, that makes wedding planning enjoyable - spending time with the people you love.

Honeymoon Photoshoot

The great thing about Pinterest is that you can take the ideas and change them however you want. When I saw destination wedding pictures, I liked the idea of having pictures taken when you are in a far away land. So before we went on our honeymoon, I researched and booked a photographer to take some pictures for us :)

Originally I wanted to get pictures in my reception dress, and Hubs would be in his suit. However due to several logistics and the fact that neither of us fit them anymore (sigh……..), that idea was out. We ended up just wearing semi-formal outfits, like the ones we wore for our engagement photoshoot. I think the photos turned out beautifully! I especially like how some of the pictures have the Auckland cityscape as a backdrop!

I would highly recommend getting a photoshoot booked for your honeymoon trip. It’s heaps of fun and a really good way to get awesome pictures of your travels :) 

Wedding Card Holder

Most wedding guests attending the wedding will very likely be bearing cards (and gifts) because they love you. A card holder is necessary to keep all the cards in one place. Depending on the style of the wedding, the card holder can be simple and chic, or be all jazzed up. In the grander scheme of things, it is nothing to stress over.

For me, I took the opportunity to do something fun and easy. It was nice to have that time to myself and make something pretty :) 

The Morning Of

None of us (bridesmaids and myself) got a good night’s sleep the night before. It’s likely because of the anticipation for the day we waited for so long! All of us woke up before the alarms went off. We were never so awake at 4:50 am before, haha. 

The day started off great. Our videographer, makeup artists, and hair stylists all arrived on time at 6am. I made some coffee to share, and found some food to eat for breakfast. Everything went even better than we had planned. It was calm and quite relaxing. 

With the hair and makeup teams working hard and fast to make everybody look beautiful, 2 and a half hours passed by in just a blink of an eye. Here’s what’s important to do after you’re all done up:

EAT. PEE. HUG.

Even with a breakfast in your tummy before the “getting ready time,” you will get hungry. Before the rest of the festivities begin, prepare your body for what’s to come. Eat. I had Honey Nut Cheerios.

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And after sitting for so long, you will probably want to make a trip to the washroom before you get into your dress. Even if you don’t feel like it, go pee anyways. It is way easier to be able to pee on your own than to require the generous help of your girls to hold your dress up and sing while you go later!

Lastly, while you have a moment, give your parents a hug. The rest of the day would go by so fast that you may not get these precious moments to hold them close, and tell them you love them. I found that it was calming, too, because I felt like their little girl again :)

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What a great morning it was! 

Seating Chart Ideas

The creative ideas for making a seating chart seem endless. Brides can easily create a seating chart that compliments their theme, color, or style of wedding. Creative aspect aside, here are some practical things to consider:

Escort cards - this means making a card for each individual guest, but it will be easier to add in or take out last minute RSVP changes. Escort cards can be displayed on their own, or tagged onto wedding favors (like ours!). 

Seating chart - this means all guests names will be on one display, and would probably be less work than making individual cards. It may be more difficult to add in last minute changes to the guestlist, though, and some guests may forget their table numbers without a physical card at hand.

Arrangement - guests’ names could be arranged by alphabetical order according to their first or last names, or, they could be arranged by table number. As a wedding guest, I find that seating charts or escort cards in alphabetical order are much easier to use. While it may be nice to see who I am seated with if it is arranged by table number, it means I will have to look through several or all tables to find my own seat.

By extension on a very closely related note, please please please make sure you have all your RSVPs in! It would be very awkward to have guests walk through the reception doors and not find their name on the seating chart or escort cards. 

DIY: Boutonnieres for Wedding Helpers

For my wedding helpers, I wanted them to have boutonnieres that would last the day. Many fresh flower boutonnieres will be wilty in the middle of the whole celebration, or they would lose shape because the helpers have been moving around and helping out. Fresh flower boutonnieres also cost $8-12 per piece.

While I was looking for centerpiece ideas, I came across this cool blog entry. But instead of using them as centerpieces (because they would be too bold and crazy for us, haha), I thought I’d give it a try and see if they would look good as small flowers too. It was convenient because the templates were letter sized! 

After making a trial on scrap paper, I was so happy with it that I immediately went out to buy purple cardstock ($4.99), one green sheet for the leaves ($0.89), and some medium sized safety pins ($4.99). I already had some green wire and floral tape in my crafts box. It took me about 5-6 hours to make all 20 of the boutonnieres. This was one of the more enjoyable things I got to do for the wedding because it was simple and it involved no drama. And they just looked so good!!! Here’s them, as modelled by my MCs.

The total cost for 20 paper boutonnieres came to $7.99 (30% off entire purchase coupon from Michaels). Fresh flower boutonnieres are at least $8-12 for one piece, which means my total savings come to a whopping $152-228! How awesome is that! :)

The “Think Ahead” List

Things definitely went crazy the week before the big day. My stress levels shot up really high really quickly, especially with family in town and family dinners, and with a school year-end concert to prep for. Here, I’m sharing with you some of the things I’ve left til the last minute to do (and wish I didn’t!), or things I wish I would have done differently. Hopefully this will be of help to Brides-To-Be!

Clean your house
If your house is the location where you, your bridesmaids, and the Mother of the Bride will get hair and makeup done, it is ideal if your house is clutter free. For me, I did not commit to cleaning my house until the last week. Obviously the priority is to clean up the spaces that are going to be photographed, but it was still a lot of work! I would suggest starting to de-clutter 3 or 4 weeks before the wedding so you can slowly work on one room at a time. At my wedding I needed 3 areas: kitchen for hair and makeup, room for putting on wedding dress, and living room for tea-ceremony. 

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Give 4 months for alterations for your dress, and bring at least 1 person to the fittings to make sure everything looks right
I had my first fitting 3 months to the wedding, but I went alone. At my second fitting, I brought my maid of honor, and she brought up some issues with the dress at the back that I was not able to see before on my own. At my final fitting, there were still issues with the dress that they still had to fix! In the end they had actually not fixed the jewel applique at the back. To be safe, start 4 months prior, and bring somebody to be your second pair of eyes!

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Have your RSVP date 2 months before the wedding
Our RSVP date was 1 month before the wedding, and it left us with very little time to go after guests who haven’t RSVP-ed, to finalize the seating plan and seating chart, and to get the final numbers to the venue and caterers. This is especially important if your seating chart is DIY. Give yourself (and your helpers) more time so there’s less stress at the end.

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Try to keep family members off the helpers list
You can always make new friends, but you’re stuck with family forever. Haha - just kidding! In all seriousness, wedding planning is inevitably stressful. Instead of trying to respect the elderly’s opinions and trying not to tip off the delicate family dynamic while planning the wedding of your dreams, you’ll find it easier to work with professionals who would listen to you and do exactly what you want. The only exception would be if your family member is a professional. Otherwise, trust me on this: paying a professional is more worth it than having to deal with the drama and stress!