The Big Day: Planning away.

By November 30, 2012Uncategorized

We’ve been using the Wedding Wire checklist to stay on top of wedding planning. It’s worked marvelously and is very helpful. I’m a planner at heart and I like to stay on top of things, so I’m working one month ahead on all of the checklist items. We’re heading into December so I’ve been focusing on January and February items. (The month of May checklist assumes you have all of May to complete the to-do’s, but we only have 11ish days, which is another reason I’m working ahead.)

Here is what Wedding Wire tells me we need to complete in January and February.

Emily Snuffer

We have finally moved into the fun phase of wedding planning. Honeymoon! Accessory shopping! Invite designing! The first few months were not nearly as fun. No one tells you that the first months of wedding planning are not-so-fun things like hotel blocks, chair rentals, tablecloth rentals, venue visits and vendor selections. It’s not nearly as glamorous as I thought as a pre-engaged person.

There’s a lot of stuff on our Jan/Feb checklist but I want to focus on a few for this post.

HONEYMOON

Aaron and I only have two requirements for our honeymoon: 1.) It must be a lay-like-a-sloth beach vacation and 2.) It must be outside the continental U.S. Aaron has only ever been to Canada and has yet to experience international travel. I have been to Mexico a few times for a beach vacation so I’ve had the “all-inclusive” experience, but I want him to have that too. He would die. Since we’re not picky, we want to grab a last minute Living Social or Groupon deal for the honeymoon. Whatever the deal is for, we’re up for it. It will be an adventure and our passports are ready. The checklist wants us to buy in January, but if we’re going the Living Social route we wouldn’t be purchasing until April.

INVITES

We are still recovering from our save the dates (it seems like it was just yesterday!), but invitation season is upon us. We’ll be in the thick of invite creating right after the holidays. We aren’t doing anything crazy (our budget is less than $400, including postage) like mailers or boxes, but it will certainly be our spin on things. I see lots of trimming and screenprinting in our future. We are doing this piece all ourselves.

REHEARSAL DINNER

We have been talking this with Aaron’s parents and we want to take a super casual approach to the rehearsal dinner. It will be impossible for me to stop crafting and get dressed up and sit down to dinner, so why plan it that way? There’s also another reason driving this super casual approach. Our venue only allows us access to the reception area for decorating at NOON on our wedding day. This is crazy for the amount of decorating we are planning (not a lot, but still), especially considering the entire bridal party will be getting ready at that time. Our sneaky plan is to host the rehearsal dinner in a smaller area of the reception hall the night before. The building manager has allowed us to begin decorating during the rehearsal dinner (because we’ve paid for the space at that time), so that when Noon rolls around the following day all we (and by we, I’m relying on family) have to do is set the tables. This part of the process gives me hives. I will not see the finished decorations until we step foot into the place along with everyone else on our wedding day.

DIY

Wedding Wire does not include any of the necessary crafting required for a wedding. That is a separate list (of almost 55 items) that I have on my computer. I thought about copying and pasting it here but it’s hard to look at without getting overwhelmed. Most of it is small stuff like “_____ this way” signs. We have tackled it little by little. We pick a weekend and knock out a section. I want all DIYing done by the end of April and we’re timing out our “craft sessions” to work that way. I know you married folk out there are laughing at our naivety. I’m sure there will be crying and glue guns hours away from the big day. Oy.

PLANNER OR NO PLANNER

There seems to be a tremendous amount of pressure to hire a planner and at the very least, a “day-of planner.” On the internet, you will see countless stories with the theme of, “Best money we ever spent!” Right now we are in the no-camp of wedding planners. I can’t help but want the extra help with coordination, but I want to save the money even more. No matter how painful, we feel we can do this with the help of family and friends. I have aunts who are master crafter and planners and I feel like they will be a huge help. Aaron’s mom created flowers for his sister’s wedding and they were absolutely beautiful. We are DIY people and we have DIY in our blood.Β The “no-planner” thing goes against every piece of advice in any wedding book you’ll read, but it’s what feels right for us. (This may change in the weeks leading up to the wedding, when it feels we’re heading towards the planning cliff of despair.)

MONEY & VENDORS

Dealing with (some!) vendors is not fun. I’m dealing with a vendor right now who is so desperate for my business they have left voicemails on my work phone (I did not give them that number) and Aaron’s phone. They have called me from a blocked number. This is absolutely insane and unnerving. Weddings are cash cows for these people and some (Not all! Some have been lovely!) can be outright annoying and deceitful. Read every contract. I almost signed a contract the other day that stated the full amount of the rental was due, even if I cancelled the rental in accordance with their cancellation policy.

THE ACTUAL PLANNING

My work day at my full-time job is packed. I don’t have the extra time to call vendors nor do I think it is appropriate to follow up with vendors while at work. Many vendors hold the same hours I do, which makes weekends and evenings not an option. Email is OK but most take a bit to respond (which I understand). It has been immeasurably helpful to take a day off from work and get a large chunk of calling/emailing during that time.

With all of this said, it’s incredibly fun. If you’re Type A, you will love wedding planning. But the best part? Aaron and I rarely get to work on projects together these days (we used to work together at our old job) and it’s been so fun to do this together. Some of it tense (“I need to save HOW MUCH!?”) but it’s mostly really fun to create together and let our skills shine.

Is there anything you’d like to me to write about in regards to wedding planning? Anything you’re wanting to know? I’m an open book.

xo, emily

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Shellie says:

    Just my two cents on a day-of planner….

    We had a dirt cheap wedding with only 60 guests. I had a good friend act as day-of coordinator and it really helped, but wasn’t perfect. I still got interrupted a couple times and had to leave my wedded bliss to go get paperwork and payments, and I wish I had better planned to have her do more. She was no expert and we had a few hiccups during the day that kinda killed the mood and flow. I was a HardCore keep-it-cheap budgeter, but having someone who knows how to manange the day and keep things flowing and take care of any and all questions that arise really would have been amazing. Hopefully you can get an aunt to take on that role and save the moola-just make sure all the vendors know who to go to with concerns and not to bother you!

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Ugh. That does not sound fun. Here’s the best part though – no matter what happens we all end up married by the end of the day! That thought will help keep me sane these next few months I am sure.

  • Gabbi says:

    You are a super organized and put together person {from what I can tell via the Internet haha}, and honestly I do not think you will need a “day of” planner or anything like that. I didn’t spend money on a planner and I don’t regret it for one single second.

    I’m so excited for you guys that things are coming together and you are moving onto more fun phases of the planning. Me and hubby went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon…we did an all-inclusive at a Sandals resort and we loved it. We just chilled out by the pool and ocean and sipped cocktails and got tan. In friggin’ heaven hahaha.

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Your honeymoon sounds like it was absolutely glorious and relaxing. That is exactly what I want. I have never been to St. Lucia but I have heard so many great things!!

  • Oh wedding planning… I dont envy you at all! But you’ll get it all done and everything will be great! πŸ™‚

    We had a day-of coordinator and I was SO happy we made that decision! I asked a girl that I lived with in the dorms who was a member of my college’s Wedding Planning Society (yep, we had one of those) to be our coordinator for free. She was close to graduating and needed the experience plus we were sort of friends so she agreed. We were supposed to have our wedding outside, but it poured down rain with tornado warnings (perfect sunshine the day before and the day after, go figure) so we had to have the wedding at the reception site. She took care of overseeing all of the decorations, making sure our cake arrived, setting up my room to get prepared, all of it. The only thing I had to do when I arrived was walk the bridal party through our new set-up since the location was totally different. During the reception she made everything flow and made sure all of our gifts and food and paperwork was in our car (we went home and waited a month for the honeymoon.) She was awesome! And took a bunch of stress off me.

    Sorry that was really long…

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Wow! It would be awesome to have that go-to person for all of those reasons you describe. I love hearing stuff like this. It certainly helps sway the argument, especially as we get closer and things become more stressful. πŸ™‚

  • The first few months of wedding planning are so stressful so I’m glad you’re getting to the fun stuff! πŸ™‚

    To save money, I DIY’ed our invitations and most of the items, like menus, programs for the church, signs, and table #s. It was so much time/work but totally worth it! We also decided not to have a wedding planner, and sure, there was some stress involved (mostly because of that freak blizzard that happened on the big day) but our friends and family all jumped in when we needed help… like planning an impromptu dinner on Saturday because the venue lost power. Our venue had a great manager and he made sure everything ran smoothly, so that made a big difference, too!

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      I love reading your wedding planning posts Kristen! You seemed so calm and SO organized! My hero! I will be DIYing a lot of stuff too and you give me hope.

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