My Best Wedding Day Advice

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Yesterday I met a friend for coffee who is weeks away from marrying the love of her life and having the wedding she has always dreamed of.

She asked me if I had any advice to give. I laughed and asked, “Other than the archives on the blog?” (You know I love sharing advice!) After a few moments considering the best advice for a bride at the end of the wedding planning process and quickly approaching the day she says I do, this is what came to mind.

Be present.

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As simple as that may sound, showing up as a wholly present person is a challenge. Many women spend countless hours of their lives growing up thinking about this day. According to the statistics, most of us spend fourteen months planning a wedding (which is entirely too long if you ask me). Combine a lifetime of daydreaming about the wedding day with a year or so of intense planning, and that can set you up for a serious case of perfectionism and even possible Bridezilla-like fits to make sure it lives up to your vision.

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5 Lessons I Learned While Wedding Planning

photo by friend Joey Bastelli, minutes after our engagement.

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now welcome to Purgatory.

Ok, engagement isn’t that bad… for some people. Honestly, I was one of those brides who was generally a stressed out hot mess while planning. I don’t understand the (very few) women who are completely calm about the whole process and knock out the entire wedding plan to the last detail in just a few months. I love to throw a great party, but I’m also a complete perfectionist. I warn you now – this is a recipe for insanity. I found the planning process fun at first, but I was over it within a few months. So please, take my advice looking back on engagement from a year later, and hopefully you will be more successful than I was!

Continue reading 5 Lessons I Learned While Wedding Planning

Creative Wedding Invitations on a Budget

In honor of my dear friend and bride-to-be (whom I call “Bechles,” which is the combination of her last name, Bech, with the adorable freckles on her face) prepping her amazing DIY wedding invitations this evening for her July 9th wedding, I thought I would give you the scoop on wedding invites.

Honestly, when I first started planning, I initially didn’t care all that much about invitations. Now, trust me, I do care about design and drool over elegant letterpress stationary, but I knew that was not something on which I was willing to blow a huge portion of my wedding budget. At the start, I figured my Photoshop-wiz little brother and I would throw together something custom and awesome and have it printed locally somewhere for cheap. But unfortunately I completely forget how long these kind of DIY projects take, and by the time I began to think about invite designs, I should have already ordered them, since almost all of our guests were traveling in from out of town.

Luckily, I had heard some buzz about Wedding Paper Divas, and had been impressed by their designs. I liked that things were customizable and that I was able to have access to a real designer who would work with me to make sure they came out just right. After much deliberation, I settled on the “Radiant Ranunculus” design, and had them express shipped to the house. I was pleased overall with the results. They weren’t the most amazing, luxe quality invites ever, but they fit the bill well enough. I did end up spending more than I had hoped, mostly because I think I drastically underestimated the cost of ink and cardstock not printed from my own computer. But to help budget-conscious customers, another plus about WPD is that they often have sales running, and you can sign up for a “Deal of the Day” item every Thursday.

In fact, I like this company so much, that lately I have been ordering all my birthday and special occasion cards through their sister company, Tiny Prints. I also ordered my wedding thank you notes through them for a total of .83 cents each just last night! Here’s a tip when considering thank you notes: WPD may have more “wedding-ish” options for thank you notes, but the prices were definitely higher. Going with a simpler design that was a 2-sided flat card through Tiny Prints ended up costing much less. When I start sending them out to people, I’ll post a picture of them. I’m happy with how they turned out (digitally at least)! And yes, I know it’s May, and we’ve been married almost 4 months I’m just now sending out thank yous. Wedding etiquette says I have a year! Give me a break!

Do you have any brilliant and budget-friendly wedding invite or stationary ideas?