Sunday, November 14, 2010

Will you be my bridesmaid/groomsmen?

        Now that you've got a few resources down, you'll want to grab the most essential resources you can have in this journey...bridesmaids and groomsmen. I can say with 100% sincerity that in the end I would've never pulled it off without this crucial group of people! The majority of our wedding party came in from out of town; therefore, they couldn't help with many things until the final few days. However, anything and EVERYTHING they could do, they did. 

The decision of who to include in your bridal party can be a hard one! There will be many people who could "qualify". There are the friends you grew up with, the family members, the family friends, the friends you were once really close to, and the friends you have now. When you're making the final decision, the people you're going to need with you, will be those friends who know you more than you know yourself. Everyone has at least one friend who would knows what you need without you having to say it, a friend who knows the appropriate thing to do to make you laugh when you're becoming neurotic, and will help you see the full picture when you're beyond emotional. These are the people who need to be considered first. REMEMBER, this is not a day for you to make sure everyone knows how much you love him or her and how important he or she is to you. Your wedding is for people to support and celebrate you and where your life's headed. On the topic of feeling obligated to include family members in your bridal part, I'd say their needs to be balance, as you will have them for the rest of your life. Siblings (unless they would absolutely RUIN your wedding) should at least be strongly considered. Whether the relationship is great or estranged, is it worth the damage it could cause to not include them in some way? Think about what they will have missed if the relationship is salvaged later on. Only you know what's worth it to you, but really think about it. Also, keep in mind (unless you have a wedding coordinator) that your wedding party will be the hosts of your wedding, directing your guests, directing transitions etc at lest a few of them will need to be comfortable with being in front of people, speaking up, being assertive, and having a good time. Finally, to make sure you enjoy this experience and it doesn't chew you up and spit you (which it will if you try to do this all on your own), I'd recommend having at least 1-2 bridesmaid locally, if possible. With that said, if your situation is somewhat like mine and the majority of those you'd want with you on that day are widespread; I urge you to let other local friends or family help you out.

On to the fun part... asking your bridal party. 

There is always the conventional call or conversation to ask if your friends would be willing to be a part of your party, but after stumbling across this, I'm now a bit partial to asking in a more personal way.

I saw these great ideas posted by one of the lovely ladies over at

Asking your girls to be your Bridesmaids

These are simple ring boxes filled with fake rings and a note inside that reads, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" I thought this was such an endearing idea!

Asking the guys to be Groomsmen

In the scrolls were enclosed a charge to be with the groom on this important day. Also enclosed with each hand-sealed scroll was a cigar for the gentleman to enjoy! What a great masculine touch!

As I mentioned before, this group of people is going to be crucial assets in this entire process for you. With this in mind, I'd advise including a list summarizing with the duties/expectations for the bridesmaid/groomsmen will entail. While this may sound a bit too pithy, think about it this way...
  • Some of these people may not be aware of what being a member of a bridal party even consists of. Help them. Fill them in. If you leave them in the dark, you can't exactly get upset when they have NO idea what's going on.
  • Some people, simply put, may just not be able to commit to the responsibilities (life happens). Give them a chance to decline or ask questions before finding out too late in the game that they'll just be showing up to party.
  • At times, THEY may have to remind YOU of what they're there for.
  • Bottom-line, as in many situations, it's just nice to walk into it at least somewhat informed of what the expectations would be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First 2 weeks: Take a breath...get some tools to help you build your special day

 (Photo Credit: Janelle Elise Photography YOU MUST CHECK HER OUT!)

So, you're engaged! Congratulations! Get excited!!!

 Week 1:
  • Don't immediately plunge into it all. Toe first...Then foot...etc. What I'd recommend doing this week is simple and could be done while enjoying an afternoon coffee or relaxing for an evening wind down. While you've still got the initial hype of excitement and enthusiasm, just sit down and write a list of anything and everything you'd love for your wedding to look, feel, and be like. Come back to it the next day. Organize it by ceremony and reception and in order of what is most important-things that would be ok to go without.
  • Create yourself an email address to use only for wedding stuff. There are contests, you'll want to contact vendors (who may share your email or continue to send you marketing emails). I.E.*David's Bridal will give your email and sometimes your phone number to other companies they partner with etc*. Some companies give you promos for signing up for their emailings or newsletters. This gives you freedom to join wedding websites, blogs, and whatever else that you will only really need for your wedding but also insures they won't get lost in the scramble. You can use this email to contact general website contact emails about quotes, general information, and non-committal inquiries, once again, without receiving solicitation for years to come.

Week 2:
To be honest, I'm a bit of a stickler for systems and getting things done the most efficient and less stressful way possible. If you're anything like me, or completely struggle to keep things organized, I promise, this will be helpful for you. Make a shopping list for the following supplies:
A three ring binder/notebook (if it comes with the pockets etc that's an added bonus)
-A hole punch if you don't yet have one
-Divider tabs
-Post-it flags (multi-color pack)
-A zipper pouch with holes that can be bound into your notebook
-Colorful pens (optional, to keep the bore-factor down ;)
-Sheet protectors (ones that can be bound)
-stick glue
-scotch tape

Why these random and seemingly adolescent items? Many of the books, magazines, and computer articles you read may only have a few things that you will personally need. I made myself a notebook full of any and everything that would inspire or help me on my wedding, I cut out pictures, magazine articles, printed things I'd found online and cut and pasted them as needed to sift through all the irrelevant information. I had anything from info on all the different birth control methods to articles on how to make your own cupcake tree and the calender for what flowers are in season at any given time throughout the year, neatly organized by divider tabs. I kept all my expense receipts in the zipper pouch. Any coupons I acquired etc. could also be saved there.

Doing this notebook beforehand is a fun crafty project but it also makes it SO easy for your ideas, inspiration, and information to all be portable so you can carry it along on your many wedding expeditions and won't have to try to keep it all in the forefront of your mind. It makes a great keepsake and heirloom for your family or resource to lend to friends, trust'll be a pro when it's all said and done ;)