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Wedding Tips

DIY Wedding Ideas & Tips

May 7, 2013

Design Your Own Apothecary Jars

Design Your Own Apothecary Jars

Whether you’re a bride planning for your upcoming nuptials, or are just like one of us hopeful girls who is constantly adding to their dream wedding Pinterest board, you may have noticed a trend:  do it yourself wedding ideas. From wedding favors packaged in mason jars to DIY centerpieces made of easy to find materials, there are tons of ways to make your own decorations or favors and save a couple bucks when planning the big day.

Before you commit to a huge project, take a moment to assess your situation. Often, brides are eager to dive headfirst and bring out the craft glue, only to find out that the task is much more difficult than they thought. Lisa, a wedding expert who runs her blog A Bride on a Budget gave us some insight:

“I think DIY wedding favors are a great idea — as long as the bride and groom are crafty. A lot of what people see on Pinterest are actually items made from professionals but tagged as DIY. Not every pin is made by every bride. I think Pinterest gives brides a false hope about what they can and cannot DIY. So, with that being said, if the couple (or their family or bridal party) is crafty, by all means, make as much as you can.”

Keep that in mind when browsing wedding ideas on the web. If you’ve pinned a number of DIY wedding ideas on Pinterest, our best advice is to look further into the pins and see what’s actually required to make them, or if they’re even handmade products at all. Luckily, the great thing about many of the DIY wedding projects found online is that you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to create them. Trust me, I myself am not crafty and even I think I could handle some of the projects I’ve stumbled upon on Pinterest. You’ll be surprised that a little extra research, time, and elbow grease can go a long way.

Our office manager Kristi is living proof: she recently sent out her save the dates–DIY save the dates, may I add. She found a collection of old postcards her grandfather sent his wife while away in the war, and after designing the layout, her and her fiance printed up their save the dates on the back of the postcards. Not only were they gorgeous and vintage, but they had a personal touch. All they paid for was paper, ink, and stamps–and the time to design and assemble them. Kristi says that overall supply costs to make the save the dates was probably only $60, not to mention that the two had an enjoyable time creating them together.

Lisa also proves that cutting costs elsewhere and making some of your own wedding supplies will definitely save you money. “My mom made a wishing well for my cousin’s September bridal shower and everyone thereafter will use it,” she said. So not only will it be used again in the future, but she saved on a whopping $200 on a rental fee.

DIY Save the Dates

DIY Save the Dates

I think a great idea is to sit down and begin writing a list of all the little things and extras in your wedding that end up costing money. Exclude some of the big ticket items you can’t avoid buying, like your venue, obviously, possibly your menu/any food, or a DJ. Focus on the small stuff, like save the dates, and welcome bags for your guests, if you’re doing that sort of thing. Ask yourself some of these questions:

How much time do you have, or are you willing to dedicate to creating favors or decorations?
Do you have the skills and capability required to create the item(s)?
What is the difference (price and quality) between your DIY wedding idea and a store bought alternative?
Do the math: will the time spent crafting really be worth it? Consider supply costs, and how much an hour of your time costs too.

You’re not the only bride who’s looking for ways to cut down on some wedding expenses. Many of our Facebook brides mentioned that they would be making the following themselves:

DIY Wedding Decorations
DIY Wedding Invitations
DIY Wedding Centerpieces
DIY Wedding Favors

Do it yourself wedding favors are one of the most popular items that brides choose to make themselves, next to invitations and decorations, because even though they’re such important wedding essentials, they can really add up and break the bank. Need a little inspiration? Check out our articles for more DIY Wedding Favor Ideas and Tips for Your DIY Favors. You might also want to check out The Benefits of DIY Wedding Favors.

Best of luck!

Kelsey

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What’s Your Wedding Nightmare?

Feb 8, 2013

The Groom Takes The Plunge Wedding Cake Topper

When I think of planning a wedding, my mind is immediately flooded with nothing but thoughts of the good stuff: an epic proposal, falling in love with the perfect wedding dress, tasting a variety of delicious cakes, and having an awesome time drinking and dancing with my closest friends and family at the reception. However, I have never been married or even engaged, but I imagine when the time actually comes I will (hopefully not) be overcome with more worry and stress than excitement and anticipation, only because I would be scared of all the things that could go wrong!

I’m not trying to freak any brides to be out – even with mishaps, of course it will be the happiest day of your life! I decided to ask our readers what their biggest wedding day nightmare is. Not only did we get a lot of feedback from women AND guys voicing their concerns for the big day, but a few horror stories from previous brides to be too!

Many said they were worried that a close friend or family member wouldn’t be able to make it to the wedding. Mary E. from NC lives 5 hours away from her family. “It scares me to think that [my parents] might have some uncontrollable reason why they cannot be there. It would break my heart!” Kymberleigh M. can relate to her, but her main concern is that any tardiness will affect her entire wedding. “My daughter and fiance are coming from 2.5 hours away, so right now my biggest fear is that they are going to be late and we will miss our time we have booked! If you are a minute late they boot you,” she says. Heather W. from TN and Tracy W. are both uneasy when it comes to a family member’s health. “My biggest fear is that my grandmother won’t be there. Her health isn’t like it use to be,” Heather said. Tracy shared a similar worry. “My dad had back surgery. My biggest fear is that he will not be able to walk me down the aisle.”

Jessica L. fears wedding crashers, and does Sam C. “My biggest nightmare is that people will bring dates or children even though they are not invited,” Sam says. But many were actually scared of quite the opposite! Stephanie G. from CA and Stefanie L. agree that their biggest nightmare is that no one will show up or have any fun. Courtney E. from MA also stresses over the same matter and says, “My biggest fear for my wedding day is that I will get to my reception and see everyone and at that moment I’ll realize I forgot to invite someone that should really be there…I would feel awful if I was to leave someone important to us out!”

For others like Tara L. from IN, Craig A., Melissa W. and Tracie B., drama among guests would be their biggest peeve, whether it’s caused by an immediate family member, in-law or a drunken groomsman. Other concerns were bad weather, getting sick, a member of the bridal party dropping out, and fear of being left at the altar! Many brides also claimed their dress is the main priority and a wedding nightmare would involve any issues like bad alterations, spilled drinks, rips or not being able to fit into it at all. Our top two most original wedding nightmares involve ruined wedding photos: Adam E. from KY said he fears birds will ruin pictures outside the church by giving their little bit of “good luck” (if you catch his drift), and Jessica C. from PA said her cry baby nature may get the best of her when it comes to reading the wedding vows, therefore ruining the pictures too.

One of our fans literally had a wedding nightmare! “My photographer didn’t show, then in the same dream my groom decided to marry one of our guests. And he asked for MY ring so he could give it to her. It was horrible,” said Katy M. Another fan, Kim J. from MI gave us a laugh when she said her biggest fear is, “all eyes on me as a silent tear rolls down my face and I trip over my dress, smashing the bouquet and laughing!”

But Michelle L. is proof that even with the inevitable blunders, you’ll pull through and enjoy every minute of your special day. She says, “My biggest worry was the chance of rain and if I should have a tent for our outdoor ceremony. So glad I didn’t! It would’ve ruined the scenery. It rained, snowed, and was sunny the 2 days prior but I’m glad I chanced it. It sprinkled a bit but it happened at the perfect time in our ceremony which made it memorable and very meaningful since my spouse & I both have a deceased parent – sort of a sign from them. I also had to hire an outside caterer at the last minute, but it was worth every extra penny! The overall worst part was hiring a very expensive and well known wedding planner who did NOTHING…My Newcastle, CA reception was perfect. ”

There are some things that are beyond your control, like mother nature and your immune system. So don’t sweat the small stuff!

I’d like to congratulate our winner, Heather Warner from Tennessee! Congratulations, Heather, you’ve won our Photo Wedding Cake Topper! Please contact us directly at info@littlethingsfavors.com to claim your prize!

Have a great weekend!

~ Kelsey

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How Involved Should Your Groom be in the Wedding Planning?

Feb 1, 2013

It used to be that the responsibility of planning the wedding fell solely to the bride. Today we often see the groom come out of the woodwork and lend a hand in the wedding planning, and we’re not just talking about tagging along to check out venues and taste cake. Some grooms are so involved that they an opinion on every aspect, from the font style on the place cards down to every last flower petal of the bouquet. We wanted to know how brides feel about sharing the spotlight with their fiance before the big day. Just how engaged is the hubby-to-be in the planning? Do most brides want their guy more involved in the decision making process, or should he just stay out of the way?

Most brides would probably agree that they want their beau to at least have an interest and make an attempt to participate, but when it comes down to it, they have the last word.

Our office manager Kristi, who is engaged and has her wedding date set for September 21st, shared some insight.

“Steve and I definitely took the planning on as a team, and that’s the way I like it. I think most women probably want to have full control, but there are many who want their guy to be a little involved when he’s just not into it. I got lucky – we make great decisions together.”

She’s definitely right that there are many “men’s men” who would rather leave everything up to their bride. For others, like Melissa W., it’s the exact opposite. “My guy is too involved,” she says. “I wish he would step back and just let me take control.” She thinks that if they could see eye to eye when it comes to their ideas that she would be more gung-ho about him helping out.

Others agree that it’s best for the groom to back down completely and let the bride run the show. “My future son in law is being smart and giving my daughter full reign,” said Jane C. of NM. But that doesn’t mean a guy can’t share some of his opinions! “He offers input, then steps back and lets her choose,” she added.

At the end of the day, the groom should back the bride and respect her final decisions…even if he doesn’t like them. No sulking allowed:  the bride may have the power to make the final calls, but he should still be ready to assist when she needs him, like Tracy W.‘s fiance who also let her take the reigns. “He’s very willing to help with whatever I need and make phone calls, attend appointments, etc.”

If there’s one thing the two of you can decide on together, it’s your wedding favors! We have SO many beautiful, new wedding favors and new wedding accessories available.

Have a great weekend! ~ Kelsey

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Wedding Songs: What Will You Dance to at Your Reception?

Dec 27, 2012

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you know that the DJ often plays those well known silly dance songs that almost everyone knows the moves to:  the Chicken Dance, Macarena, the Electric Slide, and more modernly, the Cotton Eye Joe or the Cha Cha Slide.

Well, with two upcoming weddings in our Little Things office, a debate got started a couple weeks ago on whether or not our brides-to-be will play these “traditional” funny songs at their reception. Are these dances outdated? Too ridiculous for some couple’s personalities? Or truly classics that should be upheld?

Our brides in the office say no, those won’t be played at their weddings! (Though one groom-to-be argued that he wanted them played). Then we decided to ask our Facebook fans what they thought of the silly steps.

Based on the responses, only a few claimed that they won’t be playing any such songs. “It’s just not what we want for our wedding,” said Brigid M. from NY.

Others, like Kasey D. from FL said, “Why not? There’s no reason you can’t be silly and have fun at your own wedding! If no one wants to join in, oh well – it’s their loss.” Tiffani D. from IL agreed that songs such as these get more people out on the dance floor, as well as Cassy C. from IN who said guests at her wedding loved them, and it got the kids involved too!

Others were specific about which songs they would be playing:  Rebecca P. from NJ, as well as others like Lauren B. also from NJ, Rachel D. from MA, and Hannah R. from FL all vetoed the Chicken Dance but not the Electric Slide. There were many other Facebook fans who even threw in some others we forgot–or didn’t even know of–like the Hokey Pokey, the Wobble, the Cupid Shuffle and the Hora, where guests will lift the newly wedded couple in the air to dance to the song in proud Jewish tradition.

The winner of this contest is Amy Gyure! Amy was one of the many who agreed that these songs are classic and said every wedding she’s attended has played them. Congratulations Amy – you’ve won a pair of our Bride Ballet Shoes with Embroidered Gift Pouch from Cathy’s Concepts! Please send us an email to info@littlethingsfavors.com to claim your prize – and let us know what size you will need!

Though some think these kinds of songs are not appropriate for their wedding, there will still be tons of other music played – including your wedding song for the first dance! We wanted to know what was or will be our Facebook fans’ wedding songs, and we got a ton of responses on this one! There was such a variety, but a couple of songs showed up more than once:

“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

“God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton

“God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascall Flatts

“Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square

“From This Moment On” by Shania Twain

“I’ll Be” – Marion S. from TN will play The Goo Goo Dolls version, and Anthony G. from NY played Edward McCain’s.

Linda J. from NZ didn’t have a song to dance to, but instead used “The Prayer” by Gosh Grobin and Celine Dion in place of the wedding march. Leissa B. from NJ won’t be having a first dance either: “our wedding will be very non-traditional,” she said.

Congratulations to Amanda Nelson from Lakeport, California! Her first dance was to “This Big” by Scotty McCreery, and she even had a last dance to Brad Paisley’s “Then”. You’ve won a $50 gift certificate to www.LittleThingsFavors.com or www.LittleThingsBaby.com. Please send us an email to info@littlethingsfavors.com to claim your prize!

We’d like to thank all of our Facebook fans for sharing their opinions and songs – and giving our brides-to-be here in the office some ideas!

- Kelsey

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The Key To A Happy Marriage Is …

Dec 11, 2012

The Key To A Happy Marriage

There is no advice or secret tip to make a marriage successful.  Marriage is a series of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, laughter and tears (hopefully more laughter than tears), joy and sorrow.  Marriage is a process, one you have to work at – you must learn to compromise, learn from each other, continue to love each other and find time for romance.  But there is no real “key” to making it 100% secure.  If there was there would be no divorce! But we can learn from those who have long and happy marriages what the “key” was for them – and maybe incorporate these tidbits of advice into our own lives.

We asked our readers, our Facebook Fans and our Twitter Followers for their “Key” piece of advice and this is what they said:

Some of our readers feel that the sanctity of a marriage guided by God is the most important aspect. Jamie B., from NC says: “Constant communication, trust and God’s Grace!!” is the key for her.  Pamela W. from CA concurs, “The key is having God at the center of the marriage and submitting to Him first and foremost.”

A few of our readers acknowledge that being understanding no matter the situation, big or small, is the key to a successful marriage. Fiolina L. feels couples should have “patience, LOTS of it.” Jennifer K., from NY agrees that “not sweating the small stuff” is the secret for her. Newlywed Anthony G., from NY knows that “Understanding one another as well as accepting each other as a FRIEND.” is the most important aspect to any relationship. While understanding is important, it goes hand in hand with what Ginger A. and Brandy M. readers from Texas, tell us. It is a combination of “trust, patience and communication”.  Brandy goes on that, “it turns out, there’s lots a keys! Ima need a key chain of some sort!” – and we at Little Things agree, the “key” to a happy marriage may be a little of everything!

Also on top of our list of “keys” was the theme of romance, “respect and love”, according to our Facebook fan Izzabelle C., and Rosalynn G. from NY affirms this sentiment.  Rosalynn thinks that all couples should, “Keep doing and saying things that will give your spouse a sense of importance.”  While Pattie C., from FL wrapped this theme up nicely by stating couples should, “Kiss each other goodnight, every night !!!”

Humor, it turns out,  is just as important as all the other keys above.  Nicole M. from NY made us laugh when she told us her secret is, “Working opposite shifts!” While Kathy W. also from NY made us smile with her comment, “Let your hubby play softball on Sundays and he’ll do your bidding all week long!” So that’s the secret ingredient we were missing all along! Thanks, Kathy!

And finally, we think the “key” that every man should know to keep their wife happy is a tip from Dan. C from NY, “Never, NEVER, answer the question, ‘Does this make me look fat?’ Fake a seizure if you have to , but get out of the room. Then, 30 seconds later, wander back in the room as if you didn’t hear the question and say, ‘Wow, is that new?’ It looks great on you!” Repeat as often as possible.”

If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not incorporate it into your wedding day?  Ask your guests to write down their “keys” to a happy marriage on little cards or sheets of paper and keep them safe in a guest book, a reception card holder, photo album or even frame them in a photo collage to hang in your new home so you will always have their “keys” of wisdom with you throughout your happy marriage.  And don’t forget to share your key’s with them, a perfect complimentary wedding favor for this wedding theme is our bestselling, Antique Key Bottle Opener shown here:

Bronze Finish Antique Style Key Bottle Opener Favors in Gift Box

Bronze Finish Antique Style Key Bottle Opener Favors in Gift Box

Haven’t weighed in on the conversation yet?  Join by commenting below, what do you think is the “key” to a happy and successful marriage?

Wedding Planning Step 3: Selecting Your Wedding Venue

Nov 13, 2012

Michael Anthony's, Jersey City, NJ

Michael Anthony’s, Jersey City, NJ

Hello my fellow brides-to-be! So you’ve celebrated your engagement with your family and friends – what’s next? Selecting for the perfect venue for your special day! Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first and most important steps in the wedding planning process. Steve and I have chosen the Michael Anthony’s, located in the Newport section of Jersey City. Located right near the Hudson River, our venue offers stunning views of the New York City skyline (and even a glimpse of my favorite building in NYC, the Chrysler building!) There is also a perfect view of the new One World Trade Center building that is still under construction, but always lit up in bright, beautiful lights. The restaurant itself has a modern touch, with exposed brick walls and large windows. Steve and I decided early on that we wanted a wedding venue that was out of the ordinary, but also reflected our personal style. Before you begin your search, there are several important factors you should consider.

First, and most importantly, you must decide on your wedding budget.  Will you and your fiancé be footing the bill? Will you receive help from your parents in any way? Once you have determined how much you are able to spend, you will be able to search for venues that will fit your budget.

Next, you should determine how many guests you plan to invite. This will help you narrow down the venues that will be able to accommodate the size of your wedding. You may also want to consider the fact that many venues have guest minimums for certain days. For example, Saturday is the most desirable day to have a wedding, and will require a higher minimum of guests. Fridays and Sundays will usually have a lower minimum guest requirement, as the availability will be greater for these days.

Now that the budget and amount of guests have been decided, you and your fiancé can discuss what you both envision for your special day. Do you plan on having a religious ceremony? Or are you looking for a venue that can also accommodate your ceremony? Also, do you have any particular theme in mind? Some of the most popular wedding venues/themes right now are the rustic wedding (think vintage-style barn or farm), a summertime beach wedding, a modern-style wedding (in a loft or re-purposed warehouse), and the always popular destination wedding. Ballrooms and banquet facilities are also excellent options, and can be found in any location. These venues can be blank slates that you can decorate and enhance. And don’t forget about up-lighting!  Something so simple can make all the difference in the overall look of your wedding venue.

Once you have found some wedding venues that suit your style, you can start visiting them to get a first-hand look of what they have to offer – and be sure to bring your camera! I must admit when Steve and I began visiting wedding venues, we were a little discouraged at first. I felt like we would never find a venue that would fit all of our needs, because each one had its pros and cons. The first venue we visited, a modern loft space, had an odd layout, and would not be able to comfortably accommodate the amount of guests we planned to invite. The second venue we visited was a beautiful re-purposed warehouse, but it did not have ample parking for our guests. You may come across similar bumps in the road, but don’t give up hope!

Here are a few questions to keep in mind once you have chosen that perfect wedding venue:

-Do you have to choose an outside caterer, or do they provide on-site catering services?

-Would you have to supply your own alcohol, or do they offer packages that include this?

-Do they have any wedding decorations (centerpieces, etc.) that you would be able to use for your reception? If so, is there any additional set-up fee if you choose to use them?

-Do they provide linens and chairs or if you will have to rent these from an outside vendor?

-Would you be able to hold your rehearsal at the venue prior to your wedding day (if you choose to have your ceremony/reception at the same location)?

-Are there any restrictions with the space (for example: no confetti, etc.)

-Is there a cake cutting fee? (some venues will add on an additional fee per person for cutting and serving your wedding cake)

-Is there a contingency plan? (should there be inclement weather, and your ceremony was to take place outside)

Do you have any other helpful tips to offer our fellow brides-to-be who are still searching for their perfect wedding venue? I’d love to hear them!

And if you’re still planning, or just beginning to plan your wedding, be sure to check out our wedding planning tips

All the best,

Kristi

Wedding Planning Step 2: Your Preliminary Guest List

Oct 24, 2012

My fiancé Steve and I

My fiancé Steve and I

Hello my fellow brides-to-be! I am so excited to say that Steve and I have started to plan our wedding day! After getting engaged in the summer of 2010 (right outside of the Little Things office), my fiancé and I have set our wedding date for September 21, 2013, and we found ourselves asking, “Where do we begin?” Thanks to Erica’s extremely helpful ‘Wedding Checklist’, we now have a step-by-step guide to keep us on track. We have recently chosen our wedding venue, Michael Anthony’s in Jersey City, so now we are on to the next step – planning the guest list!

There are a few questions that you and your fiancé should ask each other before making your guest list. For example, do you envision an intimate gathering with close family and friends, or a huge bash? Steve and I do not have particularly large families, and we are both on the same page about the type of wedding we would like to have – a gathering of our close family and friends.  With that being decided, we will be inviting close to 100 guests to our wedding. After you and your fiancé have decided on an approximate number of guests, you can start to discuss how the two of you will break up the guest list. Which one of you has the larger family? Which has more friends to invite?  Once you have discussed these important factors, you will be able to see which one of you may need a little more space on the guest list.

Now on to the next step– putting together a guest list! The first people you will add would of course be your immediate families. I would start out with listing your parents, grandparents, siblings and their spouses, etc. After you have listed your closest family members, you should then list your Bridal Party (+ guests) if any of your Bridal Party members are single.  A great resource to use to get started is our guest list worksheet which you can download and print.

Once these guests are listed, you and your fiancé should begin to add extended family members, co-workers, mutual friends, and college/school friends to your guest list. If you are approaching or have exceeded your approximate number of invited guests, you and your fiancé must discuss where you may be able to make some cuts to the list.

Cutting down your wedding guest list is no easy task, but in order to stay within your budget, you may need to make a few adjustments. First, I would go over the list with your fiancé, and assign each person the letter A or B. The A’s are the definite invites, and will include your immediate family and closest friends. The B’s are for the remaining guests on your list. You and your fiancé can begin to cut down the B’s by asking yourselves a few questions:  Are you close to this person? When is the last time you saw them? Would you truly be upset if they were not there to celebrate your wedding day? Once you have answered these questions for each of the B’s, you and your fiancé should be able to make some substantial cuts to your guest list.

There are several other ways to cut your final guest list. You can start by omitting high school/college friends that you do not really keep in touch with, and will probably never see again. Also, are you both working in large offices/companies? If so, don’t feel obligated to invite everyone in the office! You can eliminate all of your co-workers and business associates from your guest list, or keep it simple by inviting just your immediate supervisor(s).

Finally, don’t beat yourself up about not being able to invite everyone to your wedding. Of course in a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to cut back on any aspect of your special day – but sometimes that is just not possible (unless you’re Kim Kardashian!) No matter what, your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life, and your friends and family will be there to share it with you!

Stay tuned for next week’s installment on our wedding planning process – choosing your perfect venue!

All the best,

Kristi

Wedding Planning Checklist – Your Wedding Planning Guide

Oct 19, 2012

Are you planning a wedding?  Here at Little Things Favors, we are always “planning” a wedding.  Right now our Office Manager, Kristi, is engaged with her wedding scheduled for September 21, 2013 – so she is just in the process of starting her planning.  Our former assistant was just married this past May, and I am always daydreaming of what my perfect wedding would be like if I was to get married again!  We live, eat and breathe weddings around here.  Over coffee this morning we were just talking about non-traditional centerpieces and unique offbeat photo shoot locations. (Look for a blog on that next week!)

So when it comes to planning, we know brides have a lot of work ahead of them!  It’s a stressful but fun filled time – and it is one that every bride-to-be should enjoy without turning into a bridezilla.  However, with so many tasks your to-do-list may feel a bit overwhelming.  Where do you start?  What do you do?  What’s the first thing to plan?  How do you plan a wedding? What do you ask vendors?

With all this bridal information thrown at you, you may feel an information overload!  Don’t worry!  I’ve got you covered.  The wedding planning process is quite simple – all you need is a wedding binder and a wedding planning checklist to keep you in focus of your tasks.  “Ugh, a wedding binder?”, You may say.  (I know I said the exact same thing when someone recommended it to me).  You may not want a binder, you may choose to use color coded folders, a notebook, a journal, and online site – even an excel spreadsheet.

Use whatever method you like to use to organize your wedding – but you need this for two reasons:

  1. A place to keep your inspiration ideas.  When you visit a florist, for instance – you need to show them what you had in mind.  A binder or folder for each vendor will keep all of your ideas, photos, clippings and inspiration in one place.  Prefer to do it online?  Open a Pinterest account – but I would still encourage you to print up copies of the inspiration photos to give to your vendors so they know what you want.  They probably won’t go on your Pinterest account – but they will look at samples you physically provide.
  2. A place to keep your contracts & receipts. If you’re anything like me, you misplace receipts, contracts and slips.  A folder or binder keeps all the important documents you need in one handy place.  You truly do need something to hold your contracts – they are binding legal documents and if something God forbid should happen that affects your vendors, the only recourse you will have is to know your contracts and have copies on hand.

Now for the next steps ….

wedding planning

The budget is the very next thing you need to work on.  Ask your parents how much (if any) they can contribute or if there are certain areas of the wedding they would like to help out with.  Decide how much you and your fiancé can afford without breaking the bank.  Half that number, and that’s your ballpark figure for your reception and catering.  Once you know your budget you can ballpark out how many guests you can invite and how much per head you can spend on food.  After you have these figures you are ready to scout out reception locations.

Stay tuned, this is the beginning of the wedding planning process and we’re going to continue to blog in this series, every step of the process to help you along the way.

For this step we encourage you to print up our handy wedding planning checklists - these are 10 different printable PDF checklists that you can use to help plan your wedding.

Also be sure to print up our wedding vendor checklists - with questions for each of your vendors these are useful to have when you interview your wedding vendors.

And stay tuned – we have seating chart templates coming soon that you can download and use to help plan your reception seating.

Have a great weekend wedding planning!

- Erica & Team Little Things

Wedding Planning Checklists

Oct 7, 2012

If your just starting your journey into the world of wedding planning, you may have tons of questions and not know where to begin.  If you’ve already started your guest list, have a general idea of how many people will attend and know the date you want to get married – the next step is to start interviewing your reception and ceremony locations before you start booking your vendors.

This process can be quite overwhelming – so much so that many brides become a “bitch” to their friends, family and even fiancé - or as affectionately known in the wedding industry, they become a “bridezilla”.  You can be in control and be the Boss without being bitchy, by knowing in advance exactly what you want, what you can afford and most of all, knowing the right questions to ask your vendors.

Don’t waste your time or your vendor’s time by booking an appointment and arriving without knowing what to ask or what you are looking for.  Approach every vendor with a plan in mind.  Your time is as valuable as there’s and a well prepared bride is a pleasure to work with.  Don’t be afraid to go to them with visuals of what you are looking for and an open mind to see what they have creatively designed.  And while you’re happily dreaming of your perfect wedding you may forget to ask some important questions, so show that not only you are the Bride but the Boss too, by being well prepared and printing out our 10 Wedding Vendor Checklists - consisting of vendor specific questions every bride should print out and take with them when wedding planning.

Outdoor Beach & Summer Wedding Tips

Apr 2, 2012

Summer is one of the most popular times for weddings.  Whether the ceremony is on the beach or the reception is outdoors, there are a lot of factors that go unnoticed by guests and couples during outdoor beach or summer weddings.  Have no fear – we are here to help!  Here’s a list of summer and beach wedding tips you’ll want to check out if you’re exchanging nuptials or attending a wedding in the warmer months.

1.  Consider your shoes!  Ladies, this is especially for you:  stiletto heels are not for the sand or grass!

2.  Wear sunscreen!  Or, give your guests personalized sunscreen as their wedding favors!

3.  Wedding fans will be cherished by some guests, especially during an outdoor ceremony where there’s no breeze.  Kill two birds with one stone by purchasing wedding program fans.

4.  If you think the sun is going to be beating down on your guests, consider paper parasols to keep them in the shade.

5.  Dress accordingly.  Thick suits and long, flowy dresses are definitely a no-no in the warm weather, especially if you’ll be dancing the night away!

6.  Avoid chocolate or candy wedding favors or desserts which are likely to melt in the heat.

7.  Consider using a sand ceremony set rather than candles for the unity ceremony, which may not stay lit.

8.  Lay off the alcohol, or serve wine only. Drinking too much will dehydrate you – and obviously will be more effective in the heat.

9.  Always have a backup plan for your reception and ceremony.  Mother Nature may decide to not cooperate that day.

10.  Food – especially sugar and sweets – will attract bugs, so keep everything covered when possible.  This will also help any debris from blowing into your food.  Make sure all garbage is cleaned up immediately and put out of the way.

11.  Talk to your band or DJ about microphones during the ceremony if it’s outside.  The wind or sound of the ocean can easily drown out the vows!

12.  If the party will continue into the evening, light citronella candles to keep away those pesky mosquitoes.  And if you have an outdoor tent up, see if you can hang netting around it.

13.  If the sun’s out, make sure your guests are facing away from it.  The sun should be behind them so it’s not in their eyes!

14.  Choose your hairstyle carefully, or talk to your stylist about what styles will hold up in the wind.

15.  Plan carefully.  Since summer holds holidays like Memorial, Labor and Independence Day, try to avoid choosing a date around them where guests may have vacation plans, therefore being unable to attend.

Be sure to check out all of our beach wedding favors to commemorate your special day!

<3 Kelsey

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