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Wedding Planning Tag

7 Ways Your Mother-In-Law Shouldn’t Interfere With Your Wedding Planning

03 Feb 2018 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

The wedding planning process can be incredibly stressful–and not necessarily because of the work involved, but because of the personal drama that arises. Everyone–from your groom to your parents to your in-laws–will have an opinion on how things should be. And if you’re a strong-willed bride (we would NEVER say ‘bridezilla’), that doesn’t always bode well. An over-bearing mother-in-law, for example, can be a recipe for disaster. It is YOUR wedding, afterall. Here’s how to know where to draw the line:

1. Go to her son behind your back.If your mother-in-law has a wedding-related request–say, that you invite her tennis partner to the wedding or that she be seated next to you at the reception–she needs to ask you to your face, woman to woman. She should absolutely not go behind your back to your fiance and ask him. That is conniving and only results in your fiance being stuck in the middle with his head on a swivel. It’s a recipe for all sorts of miscommunications. And most of all, it’s a sign that you won’t have the most honest mother-daughter relationship once you’re married. Nip the behavior in the butt by replying to her directly if a question comes through her son. Pick up the phone and call her directly when that happens.

2. Make a big deal out of nothing.Not every issue is worth picking a fight over. You know that, and your mother-in-law should, too. If you disagree about, say, the color of the boutonnieres (but white roses are classic!), she needs to know when to let it go. She can’t stay mad about every little thing you disagree on–in fact, it’s your wedding and your good or bad decisions to make. She should save her bargaining chips for bigger issues, like whether you get married by the family pastor or how many guests you’re having at the rehearsal dinner if she’s hosting.

 

3. Act like it’s her wedding. The problem with parents and in-laws is that they have the tendency to act like your wedding is *their* wedding. They are just so invested, and you should cut them some slack because they are likely just getting sentimental (“but it’s my first child getting married!”). But what you shouldn’t do is let them dictate your wedding.. You don’t have to make any concessions when it comes to your dream wedding, just because they feel so strongly about things like the venue, the church, the theme.

4. Judge how much you spend. Just like your personal finances once you’re married, your wedding budget is none of your mother-in-law’s business. If you want to splurge on $600 wedding shoes, so be it! If you want to have a more lavish wedding than the one she had 30 years ago, that’s perfectly normal and again, none of her business.

5. Ruin your big day. The LAST thing that your mother-in-law should do is actually ruin your big day by saying or doing something that upsets you. If she’s really getting on your last nerve as the wedding date approaches, ask one of your Bridesmaids to serve as a buffer and keep her away from the bridal suite. Ditto for the ceremony and reception–keep a close circle of friends and family between you and the meddling mother-in-law. You’ll have a whole lifetime to figure out how to get along better! But your wedding day isn’t the right time to test those boundaries.

6. Tell you that you look anything but perfect on your big day. This is not the time for her to tell you that you need to lose a little weight or that you’re wearing too much eye makeup. Mother-in-laws–keep your honest opinions to yourselves! Don’t be overly critical. Show support and love for your daughter-in-law by telling her that she looks perfect and that you wish her all the happiness in the world today.

7. Tell your vendors what to do. She can’t expect to have free reign over the vendors, even if she’s chipping in for them. It’s your wedding, your vision. Avoid this from happening by keeping her out of the loop when it comes to communicating with them. 

10 Things To Do Before You Start Planning Your Wedding

14 Sep 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

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It’s day 2 of our New Bride Guide series, and today we’re tackling the very first steps in the planning process. The bridges you need to cross once you get that ring on your finger. This includes announcing your engagement (the right way!), the decisions you need to make regarding size, date, and venue (before you even pick a dress or meet with a vendor), and even the difficult budgeting decisions that need to be made day 1.

The good news is that you got the rock. You got the guy. Congratulations! Now, before you start planning the most perfect, magical wedding day ever, there are a few details (To-do’s! Already!) to take care of first:

Remember: if there are any terms you don’t understand, check out our wedding dictionary.

1) Announce your engagement to friends and family — the right way. When announcing your engagement, a blast to all your Facebook friends is just not appropriate. We recommend categorizing your friends, families and acquaintances  by level of intimacy, and then announce the news in that order:

First tier: These are the people you should tell first, such as your parents, siblings and closest friends. Make sure they hear it from you, in person,  and not on their newsfeed. If you think there are other people who might want to hear it directly from you, maybe chronically single friends, the person who set you up, or your ex (if you’re still friends), pick up the phone and tell them yourself before they catch wind of the news.

Second tier: There are many people that you only keep in touch with via e-mail or see sporadically at parties. For that group, consider a digital announcement.

Third tier: Eventually you will want to make the engagement official online. When is it to update your Facebook relationship status to “Engaged”? Once you’ve gotten in touch (in person, via phone or e-mail) with all of your friends and extended family, you can update your social media profiles. This may be a week or 2 after the proposal, so be patient.

As for posting a photo of the ring, it’s a personal decision. It is generally accepted that one tasteful photo of the ring is acceptable, as long as you don’t go into specifics such as carat size or anything that may sniff of bragging. Err on the side of modesty.

2) Pick a date and time for your wedding. After asking to see the ring, most people will ask if you’ve set a date. The Knot offers some great pointers for picking a date, which include:

Availability: When planning a wedding, often two venues, both the church or temple and the reception hall, have to be in sync. You may not want a huge gap in time between the ceremony and reception, and this may play into what day you book. Transport between the two venues should also be considered and worked into your budget.

Sentimentality: What if you could get married on anniversary of your first date? The anniversary of your engagement? If you’re a sucker for romance and want a date or month that is special to you and your groom, go for it, under the caveat that you mightbe limiting your options.

Season: If you’ve always wanted an outdoor, tented wedding, you’re looking at a summer wedding. If you like black tie opulence, go for a winter, evening wedding. It’s important to do a little soul searching about what kind of bride you want to be when considering a wedding date.

Budget: June, August, September, and October are the most popular months to get married and will therefore be more expensive. Winter months, such as January, February and March, less so. Consider a Friday evening wedding if you find yourself in a peak wedding month but no available weekend wedding dates. (Instant excuse for a black tie event!). Venues almost always have Friday nights free and they generally charge less for them.

Something else to consider: black out dates. The truth is, some dates just won’t work. Holiday weekends seem like an awesome, obvious choice, but keep in mind that people often plan family vacations during them and travel fares may be higher. There are other wedding dates to avoid, such as the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as well as Thanksgiving weekend.

3) Choose the style of your wedding. Weddings are all about personal style and the event itself should be a reflection of your taste. If you’re a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal, a formal wedding may not seem authentic. There are a handful of other considerations:

Formal: It’s all champagne wishes and caviar dreams! Well, not exactly, but think big gestures, such as a black tie dress code, formal seated dining, top shelf liquor, a big band, a ball gown for the bride and tuxedos for the groomsmen. Consideration: formal weddings often come with a hefty pricetag (although there are always ways to cut costs.)

Informal: You can still get married without the pomp and circumstance of a big, formal wedding.  Informal works well for small weddings, rustic or outdoor locations, couples on a budget (or where the parents aren’t contributing), destination weddings (barefoot on the beach), and are often less expensive than formal ones. Consideration: limit the number of attendants and encourage guests to come as they are (cocktail or casual attire).

Traditional: A traditional wedding reception starts with a spiritual ceremony at a church, temple or other house of God, then proceeds to a receiving line, cocktail hour, introduction of the couple, first dance, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, toasts, seated dinner, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss… phew, you still with me? Consideration: the most traditional of weddings require a planner (there are many parts and people to orchestrate!).

Destination: When members of both families are spread across the country, a destination wedding is a good idea, and can serve as neutral territory. Destination weddings can be held anywhere – the beach, mountains, wine country, foreign country, castle, cruise, the city where you met. Consideration: Match your decor, color scheme and theme to the locale. If you’re having a beach wedding, nautical invitations or a starfish centerpiece is fun.

Civil Ceremony: Just want to elope? All you’ll need is a civil ceremony, which is usually held at city hall or the local justice of the peace. Everyone — even if they are having the biggest bash known to man — has to pick up their marriage license at city hall anyway. Make a day of it.

4) Settle on a budget: It used to be traditional for the bride’s family to pay for the wedding, but it’s becoming more common for both sides to chip in. Talking about money is almost always awkward, and add in laws, a huge event like a wedding, and heightened emotions, and the whole process can feel like a root canal. In fact, dental work may even be preferred.

Some tips:

Be clear on what you and your fiance want: Before you start hitting up the family, map out what you and your fiance could afford on your own. That way, if neither side can offer you anything, you still have a an outline of a day you both like and can afford. Anything else will be an upgrade.

Know how much weddings cost in your area: Large metropolitan areas, such as New York City, will be more expensive than the suburbs. A little web research, as well as a few phone calls to vendors, can answer a lot of questions for you. Be sure to also check out our advice for easy ways to cut corners on everything for your wedding.

Attitude check: no one owes you a wedding. Other friends’ parents may have paid for their big days, but yours may not be able to. Keep expectations in check. Sit down and start by telling them that you do not want to assume that they are planning to pay for your wedding, but you need to know if they can so that you can create a budget. Your fiance should have a similar conversation with his family. These talks should happen separately. If either side is willing to contribute, be sure to involve them as much as you can. It’s their money you’re spending, after all.

Use an online budgeting tool — and stick with it: There are lots of budget calculators online and you should definitely use one. It will keep your spending in check. The temptation will always be to spend more or invite a few more people. Remember that your wedding is the first day of your new life together, so there’s no need to blow your life savings on one day where there are many more days ahead.

5) Estimate, roughly, the size of your guest list: Budget will most likely dictate the size of your guest list. A little arithmetic will tell you how many people you can invite. If you have $20,000 to spend on the reception, and the venue charges $100 a head, you can invite up to 200 people. Create lists of people you must invite, such as family members and very close friends, and find a cut off for everyone else. Easy ways to make cuts are people you haven’t spoken to in over a year, eliminating co-workers, second cousins, etc. Be sure to consult our list of people you should never invite to your wedding.

For more guest list tips, check out our list of 10 common guest list questions, which were answered by an actual etiquette expert. If invited guests start giving you trouble, we decoded the 10 most annoying wedding guests, and how to deal with them.

6) Determine the size of your bridal party and who will be in it: You may have a lot of friends, but they don’t all have to be in your wedding party. Most people would actually prefer to just be a guest. It’s even become trendy to not have a bridal party at all, shy of brothers or sisters who serve as best men or maids of honor. The more people you have in your wedding party the more complications will arise, so keep things simple. If you decide to include close friends as well as family members, read up on how to keep your Bridesmaids happy.

7) Decide whether you need a planner: It may seem like a luxury to hire someone to plan your wedding, but in the long run they can be worth every penny. If nothing else, consider hiring one for the big day to organize vendors and other details while you get ready. Destination weddings almost always require a local wedding planner, since they know local vendors and customs. Wedding planners have other bonuses, such as getting you deals you wouldn’t get otherwise. Check out our guide to what your wedding planner should be doing for you.

8) Narrow your venue options down to 3.  There are a lot of factors when it comes to choosing the venue. The bottom line will come down to how much you get for your money. Unexpected deal breakers can include whether you can or have to bring in your own food, and if there are approved food vendors. Bringing your own liquor can be less expensive, so be sure to ask about corkage fees. Be clear about the payment schedule before you sign anything.

There are, of course, places where you should never get married.

9) Research vendors: Referrals are some of the best preliminary research you can do. Ask your recently married friends who they used and start your research there. Pay attention to reviews on Facebook or Yelp. If there are more than a handful of bad reviews, keep looking. And yes, legitimate vendors will be completely covered in the web and social media space. Pick up a few local wedding magazines as well for more ideas.

Stay organized and download a list of vendors you’ll need to contact. Know what to ask them, too. Don’t forget to book an officiant — you can’t get married without one. We have a great cheat sheet for picking the right officiant.

10) Ask family members (in laws, parents and groom) for a preliminary guest list/guest size: If someone else is picking up the tab for your wedding, you may have to play a few of their reindeer games when it comes to the guest list.  If you start to wonder why you father’s dentist’s daughter is on the list, it’s time to tactfully pull a Will & Kate. When they didn’t recognize many of the names on the guest list that Buckingham Palace put together, they made the point that they wanted control. Chelsea Clinton and her husband did the same thing. The offending inviters will understand. Eventually.

Another way to control the size of the guest list is to consider the size of the venue. A room that seats 100 can’t hold 200, so blame the laws of physics when you have to make a case for cutting your mother’s tennis buddies.

34 Last-Minute Wedding Planning Tips You Can’t Forget

30 Jun 2016 Posted by trubridal in Evening Dresses, Wedding Ideas

The big day is fast approaching! What is the countdown to? Two weeks? Two days? Two hours? It’s go time, baby!

You want everything to run as smoothly as possible. Feel like you might be forgetting something? No worries. We’ve got you covered.

34 Last-Minute Wedding Planning Tips:

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Gorgeous Photos by Whim Photography

One to Two Weeks Out:

In no particular order…

1. Confirm your arrangements with vendors. You have those contracts taken care of, but it doesn’t hurt to double check the details. Verify date, places, times, setup, take-down, etc. Make sure your venue’s closing time corresponds with your vendors’.

2. Finalize the payments. The last thing you want to worry about on your big day is the bills that you have to pay. Take care of this ahead of time so you don’t have to carry the checkbook around. Odds are it doesn’t accessorize well with your dress anyway.

3. On the topic of money… Create tip envelopes. Having these organized beforehand will make it easy to pay out the DJ, catering staff, etc. without having to dig through your purse for cash. This is a great job for a personal attendant.

4. The marriage license! In some states you can walk in and get your license, in others you have to make an appointment. Do you know what yours is? And do you know how many days in advance you can get it/how long it’s valid without signatures? Find out what documents you need and when you can get them before your nuptials.

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5. Having a signature drink? A cucumber-lemonade chiller, you say? Yum! Get that recipe written down (probably multiple times.) Have note cards ready for your bartenders so you don’t need to rack your brain for the concoction or go on a treasure hunt for the ingredients.

6. You and your soon-to-be-mister definitely have those songs you love and those songs you hate. Sit down together, pull up YouTube, and craft a “Do/Do Not Play” list for your DJ. Send this over early so that they can get a playlist queued up and ready to go for your night of dancing.

7. Time to chat with your photographer now, too! By giving them a list of must-have pics, you can enjoy the night knowing they got shots of relatives, friends, and snapped plenty of reception candids.

8. Craft a morning of itinerary. Having a schedule for you and your attendants will make you feel less like a chicken with its head cut off. Know what you want done and by what time, and it should be smooth sailing. (Always pencil in a few extra minutes for safe measure.)

9. Review your printed materials. Wouldn’t it be awful if it came time to walk down the aisle and you saw that your name was spelled wrong on the program? I’d cry (dramatic, but probably true). Save yourself the fear and check your table numbers, place cards, menus, and programs as soon as you get them, just in case you need to rush-order a new batch.

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10. Line up gifts for loved ones. This might be something that slips off your radar, but it is such a thoughtful touch. I attended a destination wedding earlier this summer and the bride hand-delivered little goodie bags to each room with all sorts of treats and beach necessities. It was so sweet! It doesn’t have to be something huge, but the intention behind it goes a long way. Let your guests know you’re thankful for them!

11. Arrange transportation home for your bridal party. You want your guys and gals to enjoy themselves throughout the night. Give them the leisure of knowing that they can have a few drinks, relax, boogie down, and still get back to the hotel or their homes safe and sound.

12. Plan meals! You need to eat breakfast and get at least one snack in before the ceremony. Depending on how many mouths you plan to feed, call ahead and order some grub for the gang. Depending on what you order, you may be able to complete this task the day before as well.

13. Do a little outfit run-through with your entire wedding party. Make sure everything is the color and size it should be. This may be challenging if your party is spread out, but a quick phone call, picture, or FaceTime session will give you some peace of mind. Don’t forget to ask about accessories if you gave them free reign!

14. Your ‘maids and men aren’t the only ones who should do an outfit check. It doesn’t hurt to slip on your gown(maybe with a little help from one of the girls) just to make sure things look right. Also, try on your accessories with the dress to verify that everything is as perfect as you pictured. Suggest this little pre-check to your man as well.

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15. Make sure a Bridesmaid knows how to bustle your dress, then practice! They can be really tricky, so I recommend bringing her along to the final fitting for a lesson.

16. Make sure your hair, makeup, nails, etc. are scheduled with plenty of time. Hopefully these appointments have been made, but call and confirm times and dates a week out just to be sure.

17. Schedule some alone time or girl time—no wedding agenda allowed. Give yourself a day to read a book, lay at the beach, lie in your bed, grab happy hour with the girls, whatever relaxing activities you have in mind. This will be good for your sanity.

18. Grooms: If you plan on getting your haircut, do not wait until 24-hours before. We all know that haircuts don’t always turn out like the pictures in magazines. Get this done with a week or so to spare, so you don’t look fresh out of the barber chair.

19. Sometimes shoes hurt. Practice walking in yours.

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20. Are you saying your own vows? Start writing AND practicing. Weddings are emotional events (for me at least.) With practice and preparation, you will have an easier time saying exactly what’s on your mind.

The same goes for any speeches. It is customary that the couple says a quick thank you to the guests at some point in the reception. Have an idea of what you want to say ahead of time, so you don’t accidentally choke on your words.

It’s also important to check in with your fiancé about these things. You don’t have to read each other your vows ahead of time (although this may help with nerves), but make sure they carry a similar tone. Are you going for sweet and sentimental or light-hearted and a little humorous? Get a vibe and be on the same page.

21. Practice your kiss! Seems odd doesn’t it? But you’re about to kiss in front of a lot of people, including parents, grandparents, and now in-laws. Enough said.

22. Following tradition? Don’t forget to have your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” ready for your big day.

23. Delegate tasks to your VIP’s. This might be challenging for you if you are a DIY kind of girl, but it is in your best interest to pass some tasks along. Ask people to help ahead of time, and you’ll save everyone involved from a headache.

24. Leaving for your honeymoon shortly after the reception? Pack now! Even if you have a day or two in between your flight and the ceremony, this tip will allow you to get a jump on thank-you cards, spend more time with family while they’re in-town, or even just rest your feet a bit after all that reception dancing.

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The Day Before:

25. Don’t tote your overnight bags around on matrimony morning. Drop your bags off the night before or ask a friend/family member to bring them the morning of. Same goes for any supplies you want at the reception. Drop them off early and save yourself the hassle.

26. Do you have pets? Make sure they’ll be taken care of while you’re tying the knot!

27. Gown transportation: How is your gown getting to the site? Who is going to bring it? See if you can bring it a day early so you can get it out of the bag and breathing for tomorrow.

28. Get the limo/party bus driver’s number and share it with the bridal party. Likewise, give your driver the maid of honor and best man’s numbers (or possibly a list of the entire party.) Supply printed directions as well. Taking these extra precautions should get you to the right places on time—assuming you keep to the schedule as well.

29. Designate gift caretakers. Whether it be a Bridesmaid, groomsman, personal attendant, or just another good friend, ask nicely to have someone pick up your presents. Lots of guests are sending gifts straight to the couple’s home now, but for the few that do make their way to the reception, have someone ready to load them up for you at the end of the night.

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30. Find a responsible friend and put them in charge of legal documents. You’ll be all over the place throughout the day, and things tend to have a way of going missing in chaos.

31. Prep your “Big Day Emergency Kit.” By putting one of these together you’re saving yourself from the scary “what if’s” of wedding prep. Odds are you won’t need everything in it, but extra preparation can’t hurt.

32. Are you and your fiancé writing each other sweet notes to read as you get ready? You totally should. It’s precious. Opinion aside—this is not something you want to leave until the last minute. Sure, you don’t need days to write a note, but give yourself a reasonable amount of time to write something from the heart that your soon-to-be Mr. or Mrs. can cherish forever.

33. Plan a moment for just the two of you amidst the chaos and excitement of the big day. You will be constantly surrounded—seriously, I mean it—even when you go to the bathroom… So setting aside time, even just a few minutes, to be with your husband away from family, friends, and photographers, may be good for you both.

34. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I do not function well on just a few Z’s. You will absolutely have adrenaline kicking in, but it is important feel well-rested. And who wants bags under their eyes in pictures they have to look at forever, am I right? Start winding down early the night before, so you can calm your body and mind enough to get some good sleep on your last unmarried night.

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You’re finally ready for the big day!

There you have it. You are ready to tie the knot! Breathe easy and enjoy the time leading up to the event. Soak in every second of the day itself. Happy happily ever after, my friends!

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