Cakes and Veils and Venues- Oh My!

via Canvas and Canopy

Hello beautiful blog friends! Hope everyone's Wednesday is just peachy ; ) I realize we usually do TWW on hump day, but I just wasn't feeling any of the "trends" on my radar this week...even fashion has its lulls, I suppose.

Now that the engagement hooplah is starting to die down a bit, I'm beginning to realize just how much there is to do! I may need to change my blog name to "One Clueless Bride", ha!

I have a small confession to make; as much as I've always dreamed of finding my soulmate and starting a family of my own, I've never really pondered my wedding. I've just never been that girl. I just figured it would take a miracle from God to even find a husband, so never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually be planning my own wedding anytime within the next century.

S is such a dear and he really does want to be fully involved in this planning process, so I know he'll be a huge help. But let's face it, there are certain details that only a woman can handle. I mean, I seriously doubt he'll be as pumped as I am to shop for monogrammed napkins and table decorations : ) Men tend to be indifferent about those types of deets.

Thus far, I have made a BIG HONKIN LIST of what needs to be done. That's where my Type A personality begins when faced with a huge project. To me, whenever life gets stressful, make a list and check it twice thrice.

Other than making said BIG HONKIN LIST, I've managed to choose my shoes. Not actually purchase them, just pick them out. Purchasing them means I've committed to footwear and my tastes could change completely by September  : )

Committing to the man? Easy peasy. Committing to the shoes? Eeesh.

But as of today, I'm loving these beauties by Badgley Mischka:

Badgley Mischka "Oliver" shoe in navy...my "something blue"
 Additionally, we have chosen our photographer. Meet the awesomesauce known as Jeremy Cavness. Check out his website and you'll be inspired to get your "picture made" too : ) We heart him and can't wait to see his genius handiwork. You can see a couple of his shots from former engagement/wedding sessions below:

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

And finally, we've also chosen our colors. We actually did that eons ago...(read: 2 weeks ago). We've chosen steely blue-gray and ebony, with bone white accents.

Altogether now....OOOOOO....AHHHHHHH.

Now what's left:
-Pick a cake
-Start our pre-wedding couple's marriage classes at church and meet with our mentor couple
-Reserve the reception venue
-Book a honeymoon
-Get the bridesmaids dresses chosen (luckily, I do have the actual bridesmaids selected!)
-Get our wedding bands
-Choose our flowers and decor for the church and venue
-Arrange a rehearsal dinner and hotel accomodations for our guests
-Register (now THIS we're pumped about)

...and oh-so-much-more!

Ok, here's where you ladies are going to come into play:

I need help. If you have planned your own wedding, your friend's wedding or your dog's wedding, please send me any advice you have! Single ladies, if you've been planning your future wedding, feel free to send your ideas, too!!

How did you stay organized during the planning process?
What websites or magazines were most helpful?
Did you have a director for the ceremony?
How far in advance did you mail invitations?
Did you do "Save the Dates"?

Please help, y'all!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go divide my BIG HONKIN LIST into several, categorized smaller lists.

It's how I roll.

Be blessed, lovelies-


  1. I have a feeling you will be a perfectly organized bride :) Here are my tips: I made an Excel spreadsheet for EVERYTHING and it made it easy to give all the addresses to our calligrapher-also made the headcount process a piece of cake! A lot of brides love TheKnot, and it can be a great resource. I found it more overwhelming than helpful, but there are some good tips on there if you can handle the overload of wedding photos and info! I never even thought about having a "director" until someone asked who ours was and I (insert blank face here) had no one. You will want someone to do that, tell each BM when to walk etc, etc. We ended up having a family friend who can take charge handle this for us and it made everything go so much smoother! I think we mailed invites 6-8 weeks before the respond by date and we also did save the dates, simply because we had great engagement pictures that I wanted to show off and because we had a lot of out of town guests at our wedding. Some invites went to Hawaii, New York, Florida, California and Michigan. We had all 50 states covered :) Hope this helps you some! Have fun planning!! :)

  2. wow this must be so exciting!! I'm not engaged(Yet!!) but dating same guy for 4 years so I hope he proposes soon! hahah

    You should definitely sign up for TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com..they give you lots of ideas for weddings! Also, Borders/Barnes and Nobles has an entire wedding section! :)

    I cant wait to plan a wedding..seems like so much fun! Good luck and cant wait to hear more!

    Oh and that photographer..gorgeous!! absolutely love the one of the girl in the Target shopping cart haha too cute

    xoxoxo Happy Wedding!

  3. OK first i love love the peep toe shoes! Great choice! Second I love the colors that you picked!

    I recently got married last April and planned my own wedding. I bought a wedding organizer book that had pockets to keep important papers and ideas in and had checklists to help keep you organized. I also found The Knot very helpful. www.theknot.com. I used their checklists and it really helped.

    I didn't have a director for the ceremony and thats one thing i would definitely recommend. We did Save the Date magnets and everyone loved them. We had to know a month before the wedding the final head count so we sent our invitations out in January giving people a month to return them and then it gave me a month to contact people who didnt RSVP to see if they were coming or not before we had to give our final count.

    Good luck and as long as you do things little by little you will be fine!

  4. Oh my gosh, I just KNOW your wedding is going to be amazing and you are going to be one stunning bride!!!!!!!

  5. LOVE Jeremy Cavness! His photos are absolutely beautiful.

  6. We just got engaged on Nov 20 of 2010. Dec 11 we went to book a venue we were loving at that time. Well they were BOOKED In OCT 2011. I was so upset. So Ive found out book EARLY as possible. We ended up setting our date on a sunday.. it was cheaper.. and you are suppose to send out save the dates as soon as you figure out your date. So we are sending those out this week!

    Goodluck planning!



  7. Best(and most practical) piece of advice I can give as a recent, Type A bride is to create an email address ONLY for your wedding purposes! (ex: ours was theferriwedding@gmail.com) Whenever we gave contact information to vendors, bridal shows, etc. we just gave them that address - this way, your personal or work inbox isn't cluttered with tons of wedding stuff, and your fiance can check it too so that you don't constantly have to email ideas and photos of things you like to him. We even had our guest list and budget spreadsheet saved as a Google doc so that we could both see it and make changes to it, even when we were at work and not together. Once I picked all of my vendors, I deleted all the junk and organized the inbox into folders for ceremony, reception, food, photographer, etc....

    I was in law school when planning my wedding, and this saved me so much headache and searching for emails. Plus, I didn't have to worry that I would send a pic of my veil to a judge, instead of my bridesmaids, on my contact list by accident :) I'm sure you'll get lots of advice in the coming months, but this one thing saved me so much headache and kept my sanity!

  8. Also, this post really made me smile :) My wedding shoes were the very first thing I bought - $400 shoes for $30 on clearance. I swear they called my name from the shelf.

  9. Casey- The idea for the email addy was probably the best advice I've gotten thus far! Thanks so much!

  10. Oh my goodness!! I am getting married April 30th of this year and I have a new nightmare every night about something...the wrong flowers, the lack of groomsmen attire...just name it!

    I'm currently in the planning phase...well, reducing the budget phase, and I wish I would not have sent "Save-the-dates" now!! The easiest...and almost only way to trim the budget is to cut the guest list! HOWEVER, I can't cut someone who got a "save-the-date." We have invited 400 people (100 are immediate family) but yes...no cutting now!

    They were very cute postcards and I love that I will have one forever!!

    All that said...spend some time on your guest list! I am very personable and so I tended to invite work people, social people, college people, mom's people...and so on!!

    Good Luck!! Oh, two very fun things I'm looking forward too...my fiance has planned our honeymoon as a secret (tropical we agreed) AND he is ordering the grooms cake as a surprise for me...I'm not sure what it will be! I think I am looking forward to these two things more than anything at this point!

  11. Delegate!! Especially in the end when you are super- stressed.

    We were flexible on our date so that we could have the venue we wanted (the most beautiful church in Dallas)

  12. I agree with Amber. Delegate. Have a good friend or family member who knows the ins and outs of what you want and need done the day of so that they can take care of it and you don't have to instruct everyone on what to do. That day fly's by. I would also say to just have fun with it. Planning a wedding is a blast. Many things will pop up that isn't on that list of yours. Remember that things you think are soooo important probably aren't. Family and friends the day of is what matters most. We did not do save the dates. It was 6 months from venue date to wedding date. We used internet website and e mail etc to get the word out especially for those out of towners. Do things in advance so you don't have to worry later. I didn't look at a single bridal mag. All internet for sources. LOVE the shoes!!

  13. Your photographer is amazing... and your colors are amazing! LOVE THEM!!!! Can't wait to see how your wedding comes together!!! :)

  14. Wow! You are really getting things done! I actually did a save the date and sent my invitations 2 months in advance. I also did everything myself, but it was easy with the reception and ceremony at the same venue. I would recommend printing a check list and going through one that a time. I had an amazing printer that I used for all the little extras and ended up painting all the urns for my flowers myself! Kori xoxo

  15. What websites or magazines were most helpful? - I actually found blogs the most helpful in terms of real ideas that worked for normal people. All of my wedding posts are archived here - http://www.thestrengthoffaith.com/search/label/Wedding). And Young House Love did a fantastic recap of their wedding here - http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/

    Did you have a director for the ceremony? - Yes! I actually asked a friend of mine to do it. It was just helpful to have someone at the church ahead of time, making sure ties were straight, flowers were pinned and the soloist could rehearse with the organist. She was also wonderful because she did little things like open and shut the sanctuary doors after the family and bridesmaids so I could have my big moment when the doors flew open and I was standing there (and then straightened my train as I walked down the isle). It was nice to have someone I knew so well, too.

    How far in advance did you mail invitations? - I think we mailed ours four or five months ahead of time, but that was because most people were traveling in from out of state. I've heard three months is typical.

    Did you do "Save the Dates"? - No but I wanted to! I always thought the picture "save the dates" were fun.

    I managed to stay organized by keeping everything in a big binder and putting dividers in (trapper keeper style), labeling them "travel", "flowers", "tuxes", "reception set-up", etc. etc. Actually, I still have the binder because I can't bear the thought of getting rid of it! OH! And I did polls on my blog - real vs. fake flowers, candy buffet vs. chocolate fountain, etc. There were certain things that I was so indecisive about that it was fun to get other people's opinions.

  16. So - I am planning my wedding as we speak, so I am right there with you! :) Here's the biggest things I have learned so far -

    1. WeddingWire.com - go there. Sign up. So worth it. Amazing checklist, amazing budget tool, amazing guest list tool, amazing. Do it. You can even be my friend on there! LOL

    2. Do as much as far in advance as possible. You'd rather be stressed far away from the wedding than worrying about the details a month before.

    3. Ask questions! Wedding planning is chaos - so don't be afraid to ask! I am more than happy to help in any way I can... ask anyone who has been married before! LOL They are all going to give you their opinions of the best ways to do things, and that can get annoying, but they can also give you amazing pieces of advice.

    4. WEDDING BLOGS!! My favorite is Style Me Pretty. They're great for inspiration and to get an idea of what vibe you want your wedding to send out.

    5. GREAT shoes. Mine are Badgley too. EEK.

    6. Enjoy it! :)

  17. I'm definitely THAT girl... the one you said you weren't.

    I'm not even engaged but have an account with TheKnot.com (I know, I know... I am crazy... it's nothing I've never heard/felt before!) which has been great... It has EVERYTHING you could need.

    StyleMePretty.com is a fun site for ideas, especially if any of your details will be handmade...

    But for favors, ideas, pricing, etc. check out either of those two sites!

    Congrats && Happy planning!!!!

  18. Those shoes are dreamy!


  19. I truly enjoy reading your blog and can't wait to see wedding details come together. I am in the process of planning my wedding, Hot Springs, AR.

    I have excel spreadsheets with all my information and an adorable folder I got while registering that has all my paperwork, like contracts.

    I LOVE stylemepretty.com for inspiration and hardly picked up a magazine. I actually write for a Wedding & Party directory so I find inspiration everyday

    No director, I'm mailing mine out in March, I've read that you should 6 weeks in advance and I did do std since my wedding is out of town for quite a few guests.

    I have pink Badgley Mischka shoes :)

  20. I love your shoes! The photographer is amazing, good choice!

    We got married two year ago and I was just like you- I never thought about my wedding because I really didn't think I would find a guy to marry (I dated jerks in college and met my husband when I was least expecting it). I decided to plan everything myself because I wanted to enjoy every aspect of the experience- I just made sure that I kept more of a focus on our marriage and not the wedding, that kept me from going crazy.

    My friends and I had a "wedding notebook" that was passed around our group that was a life saver for me. It had dividers with space to store information for every aspect of the wedding. When ever I went to meet with a vendor I could just grab the notebook and go- it had everything I needed. I also kept a speadsheet of the guest list (we were trying to keep it under 100 but once we actually typed out the list we realized the venue we wanted for the reception wouldn't fit our guest so that's something to consider).

    I used real simple magazine's wedding edition and the knot as resources, they were both wonderful. I bought a few bridal mags but found the real simple to be the most useful by far.

    We didn't do save the dates. Honestly, there were quite a few things that we didn't do-groom's cake, garter toss/ flower toss, save the dates, programs for the reception....we only did the things that we really cared about and left out all of the other stuff to avoid getting stressed out. We wanted out wedding to be short and the reception to be more like a party than a typical wedding reception. Good luck and have a blast!!

  21. I have never planned a wedding (YET!) but my best friend is getting married this spring. When I found out she was engaged I bought her a wedding book from Borders. It has tabs in it, pockets, calendars, and gives her an outline of what needs to be done by when. She loves it! I would suggest every bride to be gets one to help stay organized and have everything down in one place. Also, www.theknot.com is a really good website to help you stay organized and give you ideas. Happy planning!!!

  22. Definitely excel spread sheets help! I had one for the guest list, rehearsal dinner, and showers. It also helped with writing thank you notes afterwards. To keep track of all of our vendors my mom and I made identical notebooks. A "director" is a must. We just had a friend do it who was not in the actual ceremony. She had a list of who was going where and kept everybody on time. Our invites went out about 8 weeks in advance because the caterer needed a pretty accurate head count 2 weeks before the wedding date. We also made some cute but inexpensive save the dates on Snapfish using our engagement pictures.

  23. I have been married for 15 years and I've forgotten most of the details of our wedding. One thing that sticks out in my mind is how SECURE and LOVED I felt that day. Mom said I looked at him like he was my prince charming through the entire wedding/reception. He was then, and continues to be now. Don't sweat all the details, they won't matter later anyway. Now I'm asking myself, did we even have monogramed napkins????? I seriously don't know.

  24. ahhh!!! i don't have any advice (yet!) but i'm so happy for you! and please keep every.single.thing. documented so i can just copy everything you do! i kid, but seriously. haha xo love

  25. I was never "that" girl either :) I had my colors picked out far in advance but that was about it!

    The Knot was helpful for budgeting and guest lists for me. The site is a little overwhelming, but those particular tools worked well. In addition to using The Knot, I bought an expandable folder and had sections for each part of the wedding (Photographer, Hairstyles, Honeymoon, etc.); I was able to keep track of "inspiration pages", contracts, etc. There are many ways to stay organized, but that method worked for me. I love Southern Weddings (http://www.swsmag.net/) and Style Me Pretty (http://www.stylemepretty.com/) and Elizabeth Anne Designs (http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/) for wedding inspiration :)

    I wholeheartedly recommend hiring a day-of-coordinator if possible; it takes a lot of stress out of your wedding day if you don't have to be the one directing people and taking care of last-minute details! I also do recommend sending out save-the-dates (there are so many cute options). People's calendars fill up really fast!

  26. I just got done planning a wedding and my husband and I paid for most of it. Heres some advice:

    Don't make your guest list too early and dont ask for addresses from those that you aren't sure about yet. There will be a few friendships that might change between now and then depending on how many you can invite.

    Don't be afraid to ask for a cheaper price. We never took the first price offered to us (even if they say they don't negotiate -- they do!).

    Indulge in the things you REALLY want and then skimp in other places. Like Save the Dates -- they aren't necessary and the most important people to you all will already know your wedding date. Now a days just passing around her wedding website prepares people with hotel information and wedding date/times.

    To answer your questions:
    How did you stay organized during the planning process? I used a spreadsheet and made a to do list for myself (I can send it to you if you want)
    What websites or magazines were most helpful? My best resources were other brides in the area and looking through local magazines/blogs.
    Did you have a director for the ceremony? Yes, I used a "day of coordinator" because you seem like me... you can plan the stuff on your own. You don't need to hire someone to set meetings for you, etc. This is a big cost saver!
    How far in advance did you mail invitations? 8 weeks. Most people say 6-8 but I say 8 especially if your wedding is around a Holiday or a busy time of year.
    Did you do "Save the Dates"? Nope :)

    I hope this helps!!! I've helped a lot of my friends plan weddings before so I love to share my advice and stories! :)

  27. I love your colors! I love that he helped and you said "we picked our colors" instead of just the Bride and how sometimes bride's get carried away into thinking it is THEIR DAY, and not THE COUPLE'S DAY. I dig it!

    I'm having a GIVEAWAY right now.. check it out.


  28. Girl you are going to do great. You seem so organized. I always love the old fashioned planner books. They help keep things tidy :) Cant wait to hear all the details!

  29. I stumbled upon your blog! Being to 30+ weddings in the past 6 years including my own, I feel like a pro. For my wedding, I had a binder that I used the dividers with pockets. Each section was for a different aspect of the wedding (florist, cake, reception venue, etc). I know you mentioned September, but if it is this Sept, then I wouldn't bother sending out Save the Dates. I would just send out the invites 10-12 weeks before the wedding, so people can make arrangements if necessary. The people who "must be" there will know of the date already, so they are fine. If the officiant of your ceremony (priest, judge, pastor) has done a lot of weddings. They will know what to do for your ceremony. At the rehearsal, they will get everyone in order, with timings. At the reception, your photographer and DJ will guide your wedding as well at the maitre d will help tremendously! Good luck!

  30. We can't wait to read all about you planning your wedding! Neither one of us are dating anyone let alone getting engaged, but reading your blog reminds us how much life can change day after day and year after year! Keep it coming!

  31. Oh how I love those shoes, sweet girl! They would look absolutely beautiful for your wedding. But I know what you mean- the shoes would be hard to commit to! It's almost as if you need a pair for the ceremony and the reception, just because there are so many gorgeous options that one just isn't enough! And I adore the colors you guys have chosen and the photographer is perfection! xoxo, Annemarie

  32. Looove the blue peep toe pumps as your "Something Blue" - I did the same! http://kerryandscott.blogspot.com/2010/06/adorable-peep-toes.html Just make sure you break in whatever shoes you'll be wearing and scuff up the bottom with sandpaper so you don't slip! I also brought a pair of blue Havaianas to change into for dancing.

    We did magnet save the dates that I've seen are still on several people's refrigerators, months after our wedding. http://kerryandscott.blogspot.com/2010/02/save-dates.html I had someone design them on etsy.com and then had them printed on magnets at overnightprints.com pretty inexpensively. I put a sticker on the back with the hotel block info so our guests could make reservations.

    For organization, I had an accordian file with dividers labeled for each decision I needed to make, i.e. "Wedding Dress" "Bridesmaid dresses" "Hair" "Flowers" "Cake" etc, and I'd rip pages out of wedding magazines during the early planning phases to use as "inspirations" - did the same with bookmarking websites online in a seperate Favorites folder. I subscribed to Brides Magazine, Bridal Guide, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Well Wed, a local upstate New York magazine that had the most dreamy pictures. I couldn't deal with theknot.com, it was too overwhelming and just gave me wedding anxiety :)

    Having someone on point as the director / day of coordinator / Go-To Girl is so important - the vendors can go to him/her with any questions that day i.e. do you have the cell number for the band, should we extend cocktail hour another 15 minutes, when do you want to cut the cake, etc and let you enjoy the day.

    Enjoy!! Remember, the wedding is just one day but the marriage is forever.

  33. My best advice is to take it all in cause once its over its over and you won't be able to go back to the moment. Also don't sweat the small stuff.....the whole day is about you getting married and whether the florist does something not exactly how you wanted or someone forgets to RSVP, at the end of the day you will be husband and wife no matter what the flower girl and ring bearer do! Its about you and your new life as a couple. I too got a wedding planning book that had sections and folders to keep up with receipts, vendor info, ect and I found it to be very helpful. I also had a binder with the clear covers and anytime I saw something I loved or even liked the concept I tore it out of the magazine or made a copy from a book and put in my binder. That way I didn't forget the idea. I may not have used everything I had in there but at least I had it as a reference. Every time I attended a wedding I kept the programs or invitations so I could at least look back on things that I liked or wanted to use.

    This will be the most exciting time of your life. My hubby could of cared less about the cake flavors or the party favors or what flowers to use. He said as long as we got married at the end of all the planning he would be happy with whatever. Just keep that in mind and have fun with it cause to me it's a once in a lifetime thing! Best of luck and I LOVE your blog!!!!!!

  34. Your post just took me back 3 years ago.. and boy was I stressed.. My advice-- take a deep breathe and enjoy this time :)
    We sent out save the date magnets that turned out wonderfully!!! We were married in the fall- the magnet was a calendar with our date circled. It listed our first and middle names, the wedding date, and it stated invitation to follow. Good Luck!!!!

  35. It sounds like you've already got a lot figured out in such a short time so that's a good sign!!!

  36. You have gotten a lot of awesome advice so far! I second the suggestion to create a wedding planning e-mail address so that it all goes there...I didn't and get SO much junk e-mail. It sucks! Also, I would suggest not giving out your phone number unless you want to be called at all hours by wedding vendors looking for your business. I'd only give it out to vendors you book. :)

    I keep two wedding planning binders: one for inspiration and one for info/contracts. The second I used these print-outs which are lifesavers! http://www.russellandhazel.com/content/wedding-templates

    I know wedding websites sometimes get a bad rap but I have had a great experience with www.projectwedding.com. The girls there have had some beautiful weddings that are amazing inspiration, and the forums are always good for reading questions that every bride eventually has. :)

    Have fun!! Isn't it so exciting?!

  37. SO exciting!! Those wedding shots are amazing and I'm not engaged yet but when I am I will be heading back to this post for advice! ;)

  38. Congratulations! I am getting married this August and have loved all these tips. :)

    I agreed with having a separate wedding email--that way I am not looking at it all day and my fiance can access it, too.

    Also, I use Google Docs and it has been wonderful. I keep a spreadsheet with all my ideas and vendor contacts, and have a tab for each category. I also scan any vendor contracts and save them in Google Docs so that I access them anywhere. Plus, I have the documents shared with my fiance in case he needs to add any information.

    I have found Wedding Wire to be super helpful, and my favorite wedding blogs are Style Me Pretty, Junebug Weddings, and Elizabeth Anne Designs. Good luck with your planning!


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