When it comes time for the seating chart, most of your budget will already be assigned. Since this is one of the last steps in the wedding planning process, you might be tired, crazy, stressed out, and over it!
I wanted something that was organized, pretty, but easy!!
When it comes to your wedding day, it is important to have a schedule or timeline to follow. This way, all of your vendors, bridal party, Dj, coordinator, etc. all know when to do what! It sounds obvious, but trust me not everybody does this. Also, once you form your timeline it can be hard to stick to it! Your running late on hair and makeup, dinner runs long, you get stuck talking to your moms childhood friend? Expect the unexpected! Create a time line with a 30 minute cushion to account for drama! LOL
Make sure to be mindful of your guests when planning the timeline.
Things to avoid:
•Having a super late dinner
•Having a really long cocktail hour.. I mean it’s called cocktail HOUR for a reason… 1.5 hours is okay, but any longer and guests might get cranky!
•Not serving appetizers at your cocktail hour
•Lagging on the good stuff- bouquet toss, cake cutting, dancing!!! Get the party started, that way your guests don’t leave!
Tips for your Timeline:
•Meet with your DJ before hand. Make sure they know times to play entry songs, first dance, cake cutting, etc. If you don’t make an announcement, many guests end up missing it!
•Designate somebody to announce tables to eat.. this often goes wrong and really prolongs dinner.
•Start the toasts while people are finishing up with dinner. That way you don’t waste any time!
•Find a way to get people out on the dance floor-wether it’s watching the first dance or taking a group photo on the dance floor- transition into a fun dancing song! That way people don’t waste time getting up from their tables after dinner to dance… they’re already on the dance floor!
•Start your hair/makeup extra early.. it always takes longer than expected.
•Arrange transportation beforehand. Even if it’s just deciding who will ride in what cars, it makes for a smoother transition to the wedding venue.
Here is a list of all the things I included on my timeline. You’ll have to add in your own time frames based on the start time of your wedding.
Arrival time for bridal party
-Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Vendors to arrive/Decor set up
Pictures before ceremony
Ceremony start time
Order of family entering
Order of wedding party entering
Songs for wedding party down the aisle
Song for bride
Song to exit ceremony
Photos – Dj to announce who to stay for photos and where to go
Dj announce guests to be seated for dinner
Grand entrance- which song to be played
Dinner time- Dj to announce tables to eat
Father daughter dance
Mother son dance
Add all vendors contact info on the bottom of the list, that way if anybody has questions throughout the day they know who to contact.
Print these out/email to everyone! You can not have enough!
Pick one person to keep you accountable for time throughout the wedding, whether it’s the maid of honor or wedding coordinator.
That’s AL you need to know about the Wedding Day Timeline!
When I was planning my wedding I didn’t use a planner book. I wrote notes on post it’s, old napkins, in my cell phone, anywhere I could… it was such a mess. BRIDES, learn from my mistakes. It would be so much easier if you had one place to write down all your notes, budget, vendors, guest list, and keep all the information in one place.
So, I found this planner on Amazon by Caledonia Design Co. and they were kind enough to send me some wedding planners to review for you guys!
This planner is super easy to get, it’s available on Amazon and ships free with Amazon prime. Link here!
Reasons to Buy:
It’s so cute! It comes in different colors and has cute quotes written throughout.
It is super practical! It starts the planning process at 12 month and goes all the way till the day of the wedding! Each month has a list of items to keep you on track with your planning timeline.
It’s affordable for the quality! It’s only $35, and like I said.. free shipping!
What it Includes:
12 Month Planning Overview
12 Month planning list
10 Month planning list
8 Month planning list
6 Month planning list
4 Month planning list
2 Month planning list
4 Weeks to Go
2 Weeks to Go
Final Week Timeline
Day of Timeline Template
Tons of space for notes
Pockets for receipts
It basically has everything you need to stay organized and help you along the way!
Who should buy this:
Friends and family of the bride
Bridal Shower Gift
Engagement party gift
They also sell yearly planners, they’re a something for everyone!
I love this planner, it’s such a sweet and cute company! Link Here!
This planner has my stamp of approvAL.
That’s AL you need to know about wedding planners.
The average cost for a wedding in the U.S. in 2019 is 38,700, according to Wedding Wire… YIKES!
I mean, I get it.. everybody wants a beautiful wedding but there are ways to have a dream wedding and stay on budget.
So… let’s cut costs?
Here are 3 simple tips to help you save over $1,000!
1. Skip the Champagne Toast!
For a wedding of 150 people you would need to get 36 bottles of Champagne. Depending on the price of the champagne you chose, it will be at least $200!
On top of that.. depending on your venue, they could charge corking fees, pouring fees or flute rentals!
Most people prefer to drink their own cocktails anyways, that way they don’t mix alcohol.
2. Skip the Wedding Cake!
The average wedding cake cost is $500.
I’m not joking. If you say the word “wedding” to a bakery the price automatically triples.
My advice is to do a small cutting cake for photos and skip the big traditional cake…Because who really eats it anyways? Most people get so busy dancing (…and drinking) that they forget to eat the cake!
*Extra tip…tell the bakery your getting an anniversary cake, then they won’t upcharge you 😉
Have some form of treats other than the cake, such as a candy bar, s’mores, or cake pops! Have fun with it and get something that iou and your fiancé both really love! We had a donut truck.. and it was still cheaper than cake! Trust me, your guests will be happy to skip this tradition.
3. Wedding Favors
Depending on what kind you get, the average price is $2 per favor. So again, for a wedding of 150 guests, you would be looking at $300 minimum!
SO, you could skip them all together. OR, you can wrap up cookies, candies or a fun dessert as a take home gift! THEN you will kill two birds with one stone, dessert and a wedding favor!
When it comes to wedding day, one thing is for sure… it will be chaos. It is important to stay as organized as possible so you don’t find yourself stressing out over things that can be avoided. I have created a planning list of MUST DO wedding day items and coordinating tips that you might forget to remember!
When it came to my wedding, I had a wedding day coordinator through my venue which was a tremendous help! They were the best and made sure everything went smooth.
If you DO have a wedding coordinator, they should be prepared with these helpful tips. But it is always helpful to go over go over these things together before your wedding day. Not all wedding planners are as savy as Jennifer Lopez. (Favorite movie!)
If you DON’T have a wedding coordinator.. don’t stress. Just make sure to have a plan in place and people who are willing to help you on wedding day.
Here are my “Must Do’s” before “I Do’s”:
Wedding Set Up: Assign a friend or family member to be in charge of setting up décor, tables, sign in are, etc. I recommend taking pictures of how you want things to be set up, that way they have a clear vision of what you want.
Vendor Contact List: including phone numbers, emails, and times they are supposed to arrive at the venue. Give this list to somebody who will be at the venue helping with set up. That way if they have questions they aren’t bothering you to find answers.
Wedding Day Timeline: Be very detailed. Include times for arrival of vendors, arrival of bridal party, ceremony time, songs to be played at certain moments, reception outline, etc. *Print it out give it to everybody!!
Vows and Speeches: Print them out and give copies to the officiant. Email a copy to yourself in case copies can’t be found on wedding day!
Marriage License: Assign two witnesses, officiant and a meeting place after ceremony to sign marriage certificate.
Rings… don’t forget them. Don’t laugh.. It happens. You won’t be wearing your wedding bands going into wedding day so it easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. Keep them in a ring box and give them to the best man or somebody responsible to hold until ceremony time.
Family Items: Assign somebody to be in charge of important family items. I had my grandmothers wedding gloves I wanted incorporated in my ceremony. After the ceremony my coordinator took them and put them in a box to be packed up so they wouldn’t be lost. You don’t want special items going missing on wedding day!
Wedding Gifts: Assign somebody to be in charge of putting cards, presents, guest book away after cocktail hour. That way no gifts go missing.. and it’s one less thing to clean up after the wedding.
If you are having a Dollar Dance, don’t forget to bring a bag! I got a satin white bag on Amazon. Then assign somebody to put the bag away right after the dance.
Photo List: Create a list of family photos you want taken by your photographer… you don’t want any family members to be forgotten. **Make sure to have DJ announce who will need to stick around after ceremony for pictures.
Bouquet: Order a toss bouquet from your florist. That way you won’t have to toss your pretty bouquet.
Garter: Don’t forget to wear your garter, or put it on before the garter toss.
Tips: Create tip envelopes for vendors before wedding day. I kept them in my Husbands suit jacket and handed them out at the end of the night.
Clean Up: Assign a group to stick around and help with clean up. Create a list of all the items you need to take from venue. ***Do a mental run through of your wedding day and think of anything you might need help with. Assign all these tasks to whoever is willing to help. You’ll be surprised about all the people willing to help when you need them!
The day of your wedding will be a total blur! Staying as organized as possible will make it so you can enjoy every minute of your special day without feeling stressed and frazzled! I always thought making a wedding day emergency kit was pointless and I probably wouldn’t need it…wrong! There were so many things we were looking for in the bridal suite that we just didn’t remember to bring. I kept all of my wedding day items in a tote bag that way I wouldn’t forget where they were in all of the chaos of wedding day!
I used this cute “Bride” bag that my bridesmaids got me! I put all my day-of essentials in here that way I didn’t forget anything! Link here !
AL the things you will need in your bag:
Benadryl (I woke up with hives the day of my wedding so this is necessary)
Advil (In case you get a headache)
Pepto Bismol Tablets (In case you get a tummy ache from all the stress)
Airborne Chews (In case you wake up feeling under the weather )
** All of these things happened to me so it’s better to be prepared!
Lipstick to reapply
Chapstick (If you put this on a stuck zipper it will help it zip up smoothly!)
Curling iron (Some of my bridesmaids needed a touch up)
Bobby pins (To help pin your veil)
** Tip: Keep a small clutch at your head table or sweetheart table with powder, lip stick, gloss, mirror, tissues, q-tips etc. That way your not running around to reapply your lipstick! You can even have your coordinator or bridesmaids set it there for you before the ceremony!
Steamer (So important! For bridesmaids robes, dresses, suits!)
Scissors (To cut off tags, snags off dresses, everything!)
Extra Earring backs (Mine broke while getting ready)
For the Bridal Room:
Snacks (Don’t forget to eat)
Water (Stay hydrated)
For your Photos:
Pretty Hanger For your dress
*My photographers were amazing and had all this stuff for me, but just in case they don’t you will want these cute detail pictures.
Undergarments (Don’t laugh some of us forgot!)
Garter (Don’t forget to put it on before the garter toss)
Most importantly… sandals for the dance floor! This is a must!
Fun tip: Make a DIY emergency kit for a bridal shower or engagement party to take some stress off of the Bride-to-Be!
There is something so traditional and pretty about a wedding veil. I know that Veils are not for everybody, and that’s great too! But for me it gave my Bridal look that little extra “something” I was hoping for.
With that being said… there are so many types of Veils it will make your head spin!
I chose a cathedral veil, with one tier! This was a little longer than the train of my dress and made the dress seem a little more dramatic.
Veils can be SO expensive! In my case some veils were costing more than my dress.. yikes! Since I am a “budgety” bride who just wanted a simple veil I searched reviews online to find a cheap but quality veil. I ordered it online here for $16! What a steal! This veil turned out to be great.. the tule was very soft and simple. BE careful when ordering online from discount sites, because not all items are hidden gems. But this veil has my stamp of approvAL!
Make sure your veil comes with a clip so it can easily attach in your hair. (Many veils online just come loose with no clip.)
You can get the veil hemmed to match up perfectly with your dress OR in my case if your a very short bride! I got my veil hemmed for 10$ that way it matched the dress and I didn’t trip while coming down the aisle 🙂
If you have a dress with a lot going on, less is more in terms of a veil.
On the flip side, grabbing a fancy veil can help add some pop to a simple dress!
Let’s face it… these girls deserve to be spoiled. They plan your bridal shower, throw you a raging bachelorette party, they hold your dress when you pee.. they deserve the world! Plus they put up with your finest BRIDEZILLA moments. So what to get them?
I love pajamas so I opted for a comfy silk PJ set for the girls rather than the traditional bridal robes. That way they can wear them after the wedding too and it’s a little more practical. AND the night before the wedding we had a huge slumber party! I found the cutest Bridesmaid Satin set at Victoria Secret here. They were 30$ which is not that much for nice jammies from Victoria Secret… plus they were super cute! Tip when buying bridal PJs: buy a size up! That way they are extra comy and nobody feels uncomfortable if they don’t fit quite right!
Along with the Pj’s I got my Bridesmaids cute slippers from Etsy here. 5$ what a steal! It gave the outfits a little extra cuteness..plus when traveling between bridal suit, hotel, air b & b, etc. it was really nice to not worry about wearing shoes!
Now to the most important part… bridesmaid jewelry! If you are really on a budget I would stick to this. It makes the pictures in your dresses really pop and makes all your girls look uniform! I found pearl bracelets on Etsy here which tied into the pearls on my dress. Just a little something for all the girls to wear that makes them feel appreciated.
Finally, I wrapped all the Bridesmaid gifts in a cute little tote bag with there names on it. That way they could carry all of their things to the venue and it kept us all organized! Etsy here. Bonus.. they can use it after the wedding as an overnight bag or grocery bag!
Tips from the Bride:
The rehearsal dinner is a great time to give your gifts to the bridal party!
Order all online items from Etsy early! You don’t want to be struggling to get your gifts together days before your wedding!
If moms, aunts, grandmas are going to be getting ready with you or photographed before the wedding, get them some PJs too! It makes them feel included in the party and makes the pictures look extra cute! (I got my mom and mother-in-law a pink robe so they were a little different from the Bridesmaids.)
Bring a steamer! Bridal robes/pj’s always seem to be wrinkly!
If you don’t have the budget to get gifts for the girls, a homemade DIY gift would work great. (For my Bridesmaid proposal baskets I got candles from the dollar store and printed out a bridesmaid sticker label and they turned out sooo cute.)
A simple thank you note goes a long way! These girls have done it all for you so show them some love.