Wedding Planning Q&A

Hi friends! I hope you're enjoying this little series this week. I always love reading about people's wedding planning experiences, so I thought you might, too! I asked for any questions you might have about planning a wedding and so today I'm answering them... let's get started!

How did we handle plus-ones at the wedding, for the bridal party and rehearsal dinner?
For us it was simple. If a friend or family member was dating, engaged or married, they could bring a plus one. We didn't have many discrepancies here, as we knew all of our friends SO's so we named them by name on the invitation so there wouldn't be any confusion. It worked out really well!

What'd you do for RSVP's?
This was something I was determined to save money on, so we opted to have our guests RSVP online on our Minted Wedding Website (which I LOVED!) For me personally, if I were to have guests RSVP via mail, I would have enclosed postage for them (just seems like the right thing to do!) so in order to avoid that + more cost of paper goods, we did the online RSVP. I'm SO glad we did this, as not only did it save money but it also made things so easy for me because of the way Minted's website worked. I could literally download the spreadsheet of those who RSVPed Yes in order to give to my planner and make our seating chart. You can read more about it here.
What's the most important info to include on the wedding invitation and what goes on an enclosed card?
We decided to put our full names (I'm traditional like that!), the date, time, venue name (no address on the invite) and "dinner and dancing to follow" so guests knew there was a reception. Then we had an additional card inside the envelope which detailed the address of our venue, directions to follow to get there, and directions on how to RSVP via our wedding website. We had a few elderly folks on our invite list, so we needed to detail this out pretty good for them to know how to RSVP ;) 

What wording did you use on your invitation?
I learned that there are many feelings on this topic. I will just leave it at that! Ours said:
Mr. and Mrs. _____ (bride's parent's names here)
Request the pleasure of your company
At the marriage of their daughter
Michaela Noelle Warner
Joseph McCann Beel
Sunday, the eighteenth of September
Two thousand and sixteen
at four o'clock in the afternoon
Holman Ranch
Carmel Valley, California

dinner and dancing to follow
There are many ways to do this, in fact I'd say most people just say "Together with their families" these days. Since my parents were paying for the wedding and this is the way I'd seen it done on my friend's invites, this is how we did it.
How did we budget? Percentage of budget to what aspects of day?
This is a hard one! We didn't really have a set percentage of the budget planned to go to certain aspects of the day. But what I will do is break down what they turned out to be.
Venue: 23%
Catering: 25%
Alcohol: 5%
Flowers: 10%
Vintage Furniture: 1%
Decor (guest book, signage, spot calligraphy for wedding invites, market lights, linens, candles, lanterns, postage, pillows, blankets, cake topper, bean bags, straws, cocktail napkins, favors): 7%
Photography: 10%
Dress: 2%
Planner: 5%
DJ: 2%
Cake: 1%
Tips: 2%
Lodging: 7%
*I also borrowed a couple friend's and family's decor items and services which brought the cost of a few things down a little. So grateful for that! 
How did you choose a photographer?
I answered that more in yesterday's post, but the biggest things were her style, timeliness, the fact that she shoots with film, how she conducts herself at weddings and events (professionalism) and the fact that I had seen TONS of her work and it was consistent. 

Can you share your wedding timeline? How much time should we allow to get ready?
You can download our wedding timeline here, made by Engaged & Inspired, our planner. Always, ALWAYS add in more time than you think for getting ready as a buffer! Also, ask your photographer how long they'll need for portraits to make sure all pictures have enough time.
Anything we wish we hadn't spent money on?
My mom's going to die over this, but I really would have been just fine with a single layer cake on a pretty cake stand, adorned with flowers. It would have saved probably $250-350! She wanted a 3 layer cake, so that's what we did ;) I mean, it turned out gorgeous but I'm just saying I could have skimped there. I also could have done without the favors, which were jam jars, but they were so cheap ($120 total), that it didn't really matter. The cute floral straws I bought were also so cheap, but they barely got used, so I guess I could have saved on that cost. My parent's were ADAMENT about these bacon wrapped shrimp appetizers. I don't like bacon or shrimp, so those easily could have gone for me, but they're the thing people comment about the most!! ;)

I noticed you wore your hair up and then let it down. Can you cover how you did that and if you had to wear your hair up a certain way? When did you have time to change it?
Yes! I'm so glad I did that. I talked about that here as well and you can download our timeline here to see how that worked, but basically, I wanted my hair two ways in pictures. One way to show off the back of the dress and wanted it down as well, since that's how I feel most comfortable. My hair stylist curled all of my hair before doing my updo. Then when she let it out, she re-curled a couple sections to make sure the curls were even throughout. I don't think it required anything crazy special, but be sure to talk to your stylist about it! We did the hair change during cocktail hour.

What are the most important things to focus on ASAP, right after engagement? 
I know this time can feel really overwhelming! I would say secure the date and the venue. The venue is one of your biggest costs, so getting that solidified helps you see where you stand for the rest of your costs and budget. The day we got engaged, my parent's actually conveniently spent the day in the town we knew we wanted to get married in. When I called to tell them the news my mom said, "I just met with the coordinator at the venue and these are the dates available...!" We decided on one within a week. Then I'd start looking into photographers and videographers since chances are you're going to have a couple in mind you already like and you don't want them to be booked. Next up I'd search for a planner and go dress shopping. Sometimes dresses take a while to come in, so the sooner you go, the more options you have available.
And of course, don't forget to focus on your MARRIAGE! That's what comes out of your wedding day ;) You can read my thoughts on wedding planning here!
Photos: The Poffs 
What are the things that made the biggest difference on the wedding day?
Our wedding day was freaking HOT. I'm just going to say it how it was! I didn't want umbrellas up at the ceremony, but it wasn't an option. Our guests would have straight up melted. So those made a huge difference, along with the little umbrellas I ordered a couple of weeks before the wedding as we were watching the weather reports. Another detail that made a huge difference was our wedding planner. No way it would have been so smooth without her! I also would have been very stressed without her. Finally, our DJ! He was so good and kept the party going, guests flowing, and played the best music. Never a dull moment! From an emotional standpoint, the 10 minutes my new husband and I got to spend together right after the ceremony were SO wonderful. Highly recommend.
What did you splurge and save on?
I think you can see that in the above percentage budget...but venue, catering, flowers and decor! ;) My dress was surprisingly super affordable. Yay! 
I hope this was helpful! Thanks for reading, friends. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to answer around our anniversary this year.
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  1. Posts like these make me want to get married all over again x

    1. Ha! Totally!! I want to redo our wedding day a million times. Just so fun!!!


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