Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Getting Organized-The Wedding Bible

I am sure that upon visiting B & N or Borders, you have come across this large binders or books made for brides who are planning their wedding. I was one of them, and now that I think about it, I think its sitting at my mom's collecting dust. I pulled out a few pages from the photographers section to bring to my photography meeting...I never used them. In fact, my organization of contracts and any material I received in regards to my wedding went into a 7 part accordion folder. The contracts and everything are in my closet.
The fact of the matter is this, those made books can be kind of expensive (some of them do give tips and advice). Start budgeting now.

Fast forward to this year and the first wedding I did for Gayle. The day of, she handed me a binder of her own creation, that contained her contracts, contact numbers for the vendors, the marriage license and on the first page, the wedding day schedule. All pages were covered by page protectors and were incredibly organized.

Whether you choose the accordion folder way (which is available in a 13 part as well) or the wedding bible way, it is so important to your sanity that you stay as organized as possible. Every time you visit a vendor to make a payment or just pay a visit, have your organizational tool with you. Keep all of your receipts and most importantly, every change that is made to the contract must be maintained. If you are going back and forth with a vendor, save the email. Its better to have a paper trail than be left with nothing.

If you have a wedding planner doing your Day of Coordination, be sure to try and get the book to them the week of the wedding (if possible during rehearsal, or a few days before). They will in turn connect with all your vendors and ensure what time everyone will be there and that everything is confirmed and should any problems arise the day of, the planner can remedy the situation immediately.

If you are looking to create your own (inexpensive) wedding bible you will need the following:

(1) 2 or 3 inch binder (if you can get one with a slot in the front for a picture of you and the hubby to be which will personalize it.
(1) pack of heavy duty page protectors
(1) pack of dividers

You can check out blank printable worksheets at if you want to maintain a wedding organizer (like the one's they have in B & N).They have different types of worksheets for just about everything bridal and you can choose what you do need and don't need.

Onto this weekend's wedding. Have a wonderful July 4th!!!

Stay Blissful!!
XO Blissful Bride

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Intimate Affair-Gayle & Aakif's Wedding 6.11.10

Two weeks ago, I received an email from a bride inquiring about my day of services. She had seen one of my many ads off Craigslist. Being that it was from Craigslist, I approached with caution, gave her a quote and the corresponding website for her to look over, as she too approached with caution. After getting many leads, following up and getting a "we will call you back", I received a reply back! To my shock and delight, she wanted to meet with me, as her wedding was in two weeks. We made a dinner meeting near my house for that following Tuesday.
Upon my arrival at Applebees, I met Gayle and her fiancee Aakif and we clicked right away. Her wedding was going to be in three acts, but be a small intimate affair. She was incredibly organized and somehow managed to keep her wedding plans together all while, graduating medical school, and being in the process of moving to PA. At the end of the evening, I left with deposit in hand and lo and behold, my first wedding before my first wedding.
Gayle and Aakif met 8 years ago in high school, and unlike most high school sweethearts who grow apart, they grew together throughout college and medical school. I met with them again after their graduation for a final run through, going to each part of the evening. When we reached Conservatory Gardens in Central Park (located at 105th and 5th Avenue), my breath was taken away and although I had seen pictures on the net, the pictures could not do them justice. When then cabbed it downtown to Havana Alma de Cuba in the Village and to Chelsea Pier to where the yacht "Manhattan" would be (unfortunately, it was out for private charter). The wedding Gayle had envisioned was going to be perfect and I was there to ensure nothing less.
For the centerpieces, she wanted something that wasn't going to overwhelm the tables, but something "earthy".
It was an intimate and small affair, but it was just as romantic and fun as a large reception. Both bride and groom were able to give attention to all their guests and still had a wonderful time. They chose the people close to their heart to attend and I think that this serves as a lesson to all brides to be or former brides like myself. It is not the quantity of guests you have at the wedding that makes the wedding special. What makes the wedding special is the love you share between you and your significant other along with those you keep close to your heart (immediate family and closest friends).
If you are in the midst of planning your wedding and find yourself strapped for time and/or funds, consider having an intimate affair. Remember, you can always renew your vows and throw the big party later on. An intimate affair can be just as grand as a large wedding.
I'd like to thank Gayle and Aakif for trusting me to help with their wedding and being my "first". Much happiness to you!
Pictures of their wedding to follow!
A picture of the centerpiece is below.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Countdown to Wedding Day

 The wedding invitations have been mailed out, the RSVPs have begun coming back, you are keeping track of them and beginning your seating chart, you have your final dress fitting and....what else? What day is it?
Go ahead let out a scream because its less than 2 months before the big day.
Believe it or not, the last two months before the wedding will be the quickest two months of your life and yes you are bound to forget some things, but not everything, (let's face it, despite the dress, the cake and the ceremony, a wedding is not complete without....drumroll the marraige license!) So if you have the license congrats, but make sure its in a place you will remember it. If you have not, now is the time to get it, go online and see if you can begin filling it out online or check your states requirements and if you need a bloodtest to go along with the form.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, I have attached a checklist of those final two months that will go by in the blink of an eye.

1-2 Months Before The Wedding

____ Schedule your first bridal gown fitting.

____ Schedule the final fitting as well for the formal bridal portrait.

____ If you wish, finalize on ceremony readings & poems.

____ Design your entire wedding programs.

____ Finalize the ceremony procedure with the officiant.

____ Arrange a "Bridesmaid luncheon" and other pre-wedding parties for your guests.

____ Write your vows; remind the groom to do so as well.

____ Set the appointment with wedding photographer for formal bridal portrait.

____ Look up for blood test and marriage license requirements in your state.

____ Discuss & finalize details with the wedding coordinator

3-4 Weeks Before The Wedding

____ Get the marriage license (no earlier than 30 days before the wedding).

____ Arrange for your name change.

____ Send out rehearsal dinner invitations to the guests.

____ Schedule an appointment with your stylist & discuss your hair, makeup, & overall look.

____ Confirm hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests.

1-2 Weeks Before The Wedding

____ Personally call guests who haven't responded to the invitations.

____ Make the payments to all wedding services.

____ Schedule your final wedding gown fitting.

____ Pick up wedding dress and make sure all accessories are together.

____ Reconfirm all wedding plans; ceremony, reception site, florist, photographer, DJ, baker, honeymoon.

____ Give caterer & reception site the final head count.

____ Provide wedding party and out-of-town guests with itinerary and maps.

____ Prepare "wedding emergency kit" with needle, thread, safety pins, tape, mirror, etc.

____ Give someone at home numbers of the honeymoon locations, credit card numbers etc.

____ Prepare place cards.

____ Prepare wedding favors for transportation.

____ Prepare "wedding box" for ceremony accessories.

____ Prepare "reception box" for reception accessories.

____ Finalize the seating chart for reception.

____ Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates and times.

____ Confirm arrival times for all wedding party.

____ Pack for wedding night and honeymoon.

Day Before The Wedding

____ Go through the wedding checklist timeline to see if you haven't left anything out.

____ Choose who is responsible for various wedding payments; make envelopes.

____ Make & hand out assignment lists to ensure everyone knows their tasks.

____ Hand out the ceremony, reception, & favor boxes to appropriate individuals.

____ Give rings to the best man.

____ Arrange your wedding dress and all accessories during the day.

____ Get a manicure, pedicure, & a massage therapy.

____ Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and your wedding party.

____ Ask your fiance to check flight arrangements for the honeymoon.

____ Have the phone numbers of all wedding vendors ready.

____ Go to bed early; you need a good night's sleep.

The Wedding Day
____ Relax ; have a healthy breakfast; drink plenty of fluids.

____ Take a relaxing lavender bath.

____ Wear a button-down shirt while your hairdresser & makeup artists work on you.

____ Remember to take your wedding license along.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed and even though you have utilized all your girls, consider getting day of services from a wedding coordinator. The great thing about having a wedding coordinator step in around this time is that she is a neutral front that will do your checks and balances for you. In other words, make sure that everything is done. A coordinator for the day of (which is pretty much a month before) can start from $350 and up. Yes its another expense, but a well worth expense if it means that you don't have to deal with everything while you are trying to have a good time. A wedding coordinator will take on any obstacle thrown her/his way and make sure it runs as smooth as possible.

Stay blissful!
The Blissful Bride