Thursday, October 5, 2017

Top Wedding Planning Tips


Two-and-a-half years ago, Mr. Handsome and I planned a DIY wedding in just three months. It was a whirlwind, but we loved having a short engagement. I wrote several posts about our wedding soon after it happened, but I have since received requests to share more. Here are my top wedding planning tips:

Research and make a budget
Start by brainstorming ideas, looking things up online, and talking with folks who have had experience planning weddings. Write up some rough ideas, and then get together with your fiancé and anyone else who will be involved in the finances, and make a budget.

When we planned our wedding, we cut costs by DIY-ing everything but the side dishes. That allowed us to pull off an event for nearly 300 guests (we invited more than 400) at a small fraction of the amount considered to be the national average cost of a wedding.

Be kind to your wedding party
I can't tell you how many stories I have heard from disgruntled bridesmaids and groomsmen who
have been asked to purchase exorbitantly priced outfits. While it's important to choose wedding party attire that you and your fiancé love, selecting $400 bridesmaid dresses isn't always a considerate decision. One of my friends had to bow out of a wedding because she couldn't afford the dress she was told to buy.

Our wedding was shabby-chic. The girls wore matching knee-length gowns from Dress Barn ($35 each) with jewelry that we provided. The guys wore their own black suits (no suit coats), along with matching dress shirts and ties that we gave them as gifts.

Don't be afraid to ask for help
Planning a wedding is no easy task. If well-meaning friends and family offer to help, take them up on it, and if they don't offer, don't be afraid to ask. Choose one person as a wedding coordinator (either a professional or someone close to you who has the talent of gently telling people what to do) and fill her in on all the details. That way, when the big day comes around and you're busy having your hair and makeup done, your coordinator can take care of the last minute details.

Add special touches that you will remember for a lifetime
All too often, brides and grooms are so caught up in the details that make a wedding seem picture perfect from the outside, that they forget to add personal touches that they will remember for years to come. We were blessed to have lots of family and friends help with planning and setup, and we were happy to let them give opinions and suggestions. That being said, there were a few things that Mr.
Handsome and I weren't willing to compromise on.

Mr. Handsome plays guitar, and ever since we started dating, I had been dreaming about him playing the song "Come Thou Fount" on guitar as I walked down the aisle. We received many opinions from people who thought we should add additional instruments to make it more interesting, but I'm so glad I didn't allow them to change my mind. Walking down to him as he performed a fingerstyle version of "Come Thou Fount" that he had composed is one of my favorite memories from our wedding day. Mr. Handsome also wrote a song for me that he played during the ceremony. Not wanting anyone to talk him out of it, the only person he told ahead of time was the guy running the sound system.

Relax, and enjoy the moment
"The goal of a wedding is to join two people in marriage. Everything else is just icing on the cake." This piece of advice was very helpful to me, and it applies to both the planning process and the actual wedding day. You can't control the small hiccups that are bound to happen, but you can determine whether you let them change your mood.

Our wedding reception was outdoors on a hot and humid day, so we had written on the invitation that guests could bring casual clothes to change into. Well, we failed to mention that the wedding party should stay in their dress clothes at least until dinner began. You can imagine what was going through my mind as our party was being introduced in front of everyone, and one of the groomsmen walked out in shorts and a t-shirt! But I quickly composed myself and refused to let it bother me. Had I flipped out, it could have negatively impacted the tone of the whole reception. We chose to laugh it off, and it's now a memory that we enjoy teasing the groomsman about.

15 comments:

  1. Alicia Mae10/05/2017

    I'm not in a relationship, so I won't be planning a wedding any time soon, but these are great tips to remember for the future!

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    1. Anonymous10/07/2017

      Neither do I see myself getting married in a wedding like this, since my marriage while it lasted was common law. Reading this blog one can see the real taboo of that. But I think these tips might apply to life in general. If I apply them.

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    2. Anonymous10/07/2017

      Why would love of any kind be taboo? There's enough hate in the world. Find love however and wherever you can.

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  2. Shela G10/05/2017

    I totally agree with you about being kind to the bridal party. All my bridesmaids wore different dresses.I wanted them to like and feel good in the dresses. Now I did give them the color I wanted and asked that it not be long. One of my bridesmaids wore a dress she had from another wedding that was the exact color I had picked. My youngest bridesmaid who was 16 at time borrowed a dress that worked. I know that some Brides want everything to be uniform I can understand that. The different dresses is what worked for us. I also agree with you on knowing the things that are important to you as a couple and do want to compromise on. For me that was using daisies as a theme and main flower in the bouquets it was my way of honoring my mother that would not be there having passed away when I was young. For my husband he wanted to wash my feet as part the ceremony as a sign of being a servant leader. There were those that tried to talk him out of doing that but he stood his ground and I am glad he did it is a memory that that I hold dear. I also wanted to have a really good photographer since pictures are my thing and I love to scrapbook. My husbands family helped decorate the church we used a lot of stuff that the church already had. We did not have an expensive wedding but was the wedding of my dreams.

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    1. That sounds like a lovely wedding, Shela. We went to a wedding this weekend where the couple washed each other's feet, and it was beautiful. Love that your husband did that for you. How many years have you been married?

      Ellie

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    2. Shela G10/09/2017

      We have been married 8 and a half years. The years have gone so fast sometimes it feels like the wedding was just yesterday.

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    3. How great! I'm sure I'll blink and we will have been married 8.5 years. Time passes very quickly.

      Ellie

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  3. Anonymous10/06/2017

    Good advice! I recently started reading your blog, although I've been reading the duggars blog for a long time. I really enjoy reading your blog. I love reading about frugal living, homekeeping, and cooking. I'm a fairly young mom and always appreciate tips or new ideas :)

    Also, I think it's great you are writing a book about your grandmother. My grandmother had an incredibly interesting journey, and I wish I would have asked enough questions to write her story down, but the thought never crossed my mind to be honest!

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    1. Glad to have you as a reader! How many kiddos do you have?

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous10/12/2017

      I have three kids- one girl and two boys!

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  4. Anonymous10/06/2017

    What did you do for your dress?

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    1. Anonymous10/07/2017

      http://www.nashvillewife.com/2015/09/my-vintage-wedding-dress.html?m=1

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    2. Anonymous10/08/2017

      Not everyone has access to a good used wedding dress.

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  5. Anonymous10/08/2017

    Such a cute wedding, and great advice! I like how the bridesmaids dresses matched.

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