Should I DIY for my Wedding?

I am in the THICK of wedding planning. Holy cow, I knew it would be work but these last 2 months have been crazy. If you’re every attending a wedding for the love, please send it in on time and correctly mark food choices if needed! Thats my advice!

So I have been trying to DIY some wedding items just because Im a perfectionist sometimes, I want to save money, and I like creating, of course. So I’d thought I’d share with you my check list of whether or not I should create something:

  1. First and most important question: Do I have time?? My advice would be for DIYing is creating things that you can make months out that won’t needed to be changed last minute. For example signs, props, card boxes. Things along those lines. I would advise against seating charts or escort cards because those are subject to change a lot last minute. If one person cancels last minute it could change your whole seating chart.

  2. Can a lot go wrong?? Some of the items we wanted to make or course there were hiccups. Things weren’t the size we expected or we needed more paint. Lots of trips to Michaels. If this project can go from 0 to 100 real quick on problems, either plan very in-depth or scrap it all together. There will be other things that are more pressing and have problems that you will have to tend to.

  3. Will this look nice enough?? Sometimes I start a project and then I finish and Im like hmm that didn’t turn out quite as nice as I expected. If this is a main focal point, do you trust yourself enough to do an amazing job? Harsh but you’d rather know the answer before you start rather than after.

  4. Would it be cheaper to pay someone to do this?? Sometimes I see a project and Im like Oh easy! But then I realize all the supplies I had to buy and time it will take and I realize it’s just not worth it. Paying someone else or buying off etsy would be way easier.

  5. Is it worth it?? Is this something you really want to create and on your wedding day say thank you I made that! Or is it something people may not even notice? Sometimes I feel like we take on so much DIYing where it would be less time and energy to just purchase it. Trust me you’re going to be pulled in a lot of directions, don’t add more onto your plate if you’re not really excited about it.

When I started wedding planning I was going to DIY all this stuff. And my mom thought I was crazy. One thing I for sure took off my list was escort cards because it’s last minute and will reflect food choices as well. But I have created some really cool stuff! I’d be happy to make a post on how I did it all after the wedding and I have proper photos! Let me know if you’d like that!

I hope this helps with your decision on should I DIY or not for your wedding! If you’ve already had your wedding I’d love to see what you DIYed!

Wedding Tips & Tools!

Oh, the joys of wedding planning! Henry and I have had a longer engagement due to when our venue was available, which has been a blessing and a curse at the same time! All this waiting lets you second guess every decision but it also allows you to do your research.

With this whole wedding planning, I have found some tools or helpful hints that I wanted to share with you whether you're in the process, or it's your turn soon.

I'm sure other brides could help chime in on this post and help us all out! 

1 - The Knot: Of course this site has a lot of different things that you could need.  Help with guest list, so many advice blogs, websites and a budget.  My favorite thing I use them for is the budget.  First, you set your budget and it automatically fills in the rest.  You can add your vendors and the price.  I think this is the best tool for the budget.  There is also the wedding wire but I found The Knot to be more accurate. 
2 - Zola: When you go to register some of the stores will have to tell you based on your guest how many gifts you should have in different price breakouts.  For example 10 in $50 and under 20 in $100 range and 20 $100 +.  ( I totally made that up please don't listen to that!) But its really helpful to make sure that you have enough for showers and the wedding.  And since I'm cheap I keep putting way too much in the $50 and under so it helps to keep me in check.
3 - Crate & Barrel: Speaking of registry Crate & Barrel does this really awesome thing where they host events before the store even opens and its just for engaged couples creating their registry.  When we went the employees were so helpful.  They didn't bother you but they also help us with setting a table and really visualizing this.  I liked how hands-off they were because you didn't feel pressured but they were ready to jump in and were so informative. 
4 - Your Vendors: If you have any questions or are thinking about certain ideas, ask your vendors! They are the pros and can help you with making your vision come alive as seamlessly as possible! 
5 - Wedding planner 101: My friend and day of planner Heidi of 44th & Luxe Events has a great blog on her website that is filled with tips.  I love these Wednesday post because I save them and use the tips for when it applies to something I'm working on.
6. Tip Tuesday: A wedding photographer in my creative group Amanda Donaho Photography has a great Instagram story where on Tuesday she shares a tip and really explains it.  I feel like sometimes people give you tips but they don't explain why so sometimes the advice seems useless.  one of my favorite tips recently is about placing some tape at the altar so that you are centered for photos! I've made a mental note and will for sure use that! Here's her Instagram.
7. Addressing Save The Dates: So we used Minted for our save the dates and there are awesome calligraphers out there don't get me wrong.  But I liked the Minted for a more modern look and if you got a 5x7 save the date they addressed the envelopes for you!! This was such a time/money saver.  And it made the envelopes look so nice and professional!

We also got this stamp made for our return address, which also helped but I will say I had trouble with the ink drying. 

For the timeline, I used The Knot but I really found it not helpful.  for example, we got engaged in April and our wedding is in this coming November.  The Knot told us to get engaged in August, umm well that already happened that why I'm here! Some of the vendors I wanted I booked right away because I knew I wanted them.  If I follow The Knot I wouldn't have booked them for months and they could have been taken.

So I believe if you have something in mind GO FOR IT! And The Knot can help with other things.

THE HONEYMOON - YAY! So Henry and I haven't had much practice planning vacations we have always done really quick trips so planning a vacation from scratch is a little overwhelming for us and one thing that really helped was going to AAA and talking to a travel agent.  They had a lot of helpful information and helped steer us in the right direction.  Also if we book with them they will help save us a lot of money! 

I hope some of these were helpful, I of course browser on Pinterest a lot and read a lot of blogs.  The closer I get to the date the more information Im sure I will have to share! 

Wedding Dress Experience

Hi, Friends if you are new to the site or don't follow me on Instagram you may not know that I am currently wedding planning and getting married November 2018! I wanted to share my story with you about getting my wedding dress and some advice I think I have to share because the process wasn't easy by any means to me but it was worth it I will say that! 

To give a little bit of background, my family is scattered throughout the country and its just Henry and me in Cincinnati (which has a very well known bridal district).  So in order to have my mom with me, my sisters and some bridesmaids while I go dress shopping I had to plan far in advance so that plane tickets could be purchased.  My mom and I picked two weekends in January just in case I didn't find something the first so that way we could keep shopping.  

Also, I've heard of 3 friends now that have purchased dresses and then a few months later changed their mind, so I thought even if I did find MY dress the first weekend I still wanted time to think about it. 

My mom made SEVEN appointments the first weekend since we were short on time.  It was A LOT but its sort of the cards we were dealt with, and I didn't find the dress in all those shops.  I did however very much narrow down what I was looking for there just wasn't a lot of it. 

I was extremely discouraged, I felt like I kept saying I liked things I didn't to make everyone happy, I had rude sales ladies that made comments, ultimately making me tear up at one point.  Guys, dress shopping is exhausting.  I felt so discouraged and so I went to Instagram to share my story.  I was met with great response and a follower gave me the advice to take my time, maybe even go by myself so I didn't have outside pressure. She told me she didn't cry when she tried on her dress but she didn't want to take it off. 

I felt so much better, and there was one dress I had in mind I wanted to try on that I didn't and because my mom was coming back, I tried it on without her.  Because if I didn't like that one we were going to head to a different city.  I took a good friend with me, one that would be honest, but listen and respect my opinion.  And I feel so lucky that I tried it on and loved it!  It was different than what I went in thinking I wanted, but yet very me.  I looked at myself and heard the words "I don't want to take this off" and I teared up.  Seriously if I hadn't gotten this advice from Rosemary, I may have never found my dress because I felt confident in my choice.  Even though dress shopping wasn't how I imagined, my mom and sisters weren't there, it was really the only dress I wanted to try on but her words made me feel so relieved. 

The second weekend my mom came out, unfortunately, the others couldn't join but I got my mom's approval and some happy tears. The weekends weren't what I expected AT ALL, I think Say Yes to the Dress tricks us.  You think you are supposed to have 10 people go with you fall in love with the first dress because it is just perfect and cry immediately.  That's not everyone story and that's okay, as long as you look at the dress, feel beautiful and don't want to take it off,  I think you're golden! 

So here are some of my words of wisdom:

1. Go in with an Idea - I think this helps to narrow things down and not be too overwhelming.  With that said try on different shapes, sometimes you never know whats going to look amazing on you!

2. Stop trying on a dress you don't like - The sales people just wanted to put me on anything, even if I said I didn't like.  They just wanted to make a sale and I feel like I left frustrated and wasted time.

3. Pick the right people to come - I brought my mom, her friend, and one of my friends.  They got my vision, and knew me and what not only fit me best in my body but in personality.  And they were happy for me when I was happy.

4. There's a lot of emotion that surrounds your dress - I didn't get how much emotion, good and bad, would be surrounding this weekend, its okay to take breaks and think about things. Don't let people push you into something either.

5. Take your time - Like I said a lot of people I know picked a second dress, so even if you find the one there's no harm in waiting a few days before making the decision.

6. HAVE FUN! This is supposed to one of the most magical times ever, don't let anyone get you down and have hope you will find the one.  When in doubt always accept the free champagne! 

I hope this helps you and you keep this in mind when it's your special day!

Wedding Update

I can't believe its been 6 months since we got engaged, and only 13 months until we get married! Thats crazy! Well I wanted to give you guys an update on how it is going.  I may have gone a little crazy the first week when we got married and book a lot of things but I have to say I did take the summer off.  My oldest sister got married Labor Day, so I wanted to make sure that all the focus was on her, but now that were are almost a year out I need to get some stuff done!

Now Im going to keep a few things a secret so that when I get married its a surprised but I'll share some things! 

I booked our venue as soon as we got engaged because its in high demand but its a fun brewery here in town pretty well known in Cincinnati. I loved it for the rustic brick look it had, all while meaning something special to us. 

Florist - Check out Katie Bloom's cause this girl is AMAZING! Im obsessed with her work and I can't wait for her to do our wedding. 

Photographer - David is the bomb, Henry got him for our engagement and I love that he captured that special moment! He's so good at what he does and really helps to make us feel comfortable! We are getting our official engagement photos done soon and it will be do fun! 

Videographer- At first I was totally against the idea but now Im sorta obsessed.  To be able to relive that day or share it with people that couldnt be there will be awesome.  But I also viewed it as our first family video.  I can't wait to be able to relive that day that meant so much, and we spent so much time on.  I also can't wait to show our kids it someday. Thats what really got me.  Check out our guy Mat, Im obsessed with his work.

So what Im currently working on is, our caterers, hotel blocks, officiant and either a band/dj!

If you guys have any advice send it my way! One of the best advice I've gotten so far is to pick something seperately thats important to you and together something thats important and go over budget on that if you need to.  To me it was the florist, for Henry it was the photographer and to us it was the venue. Even though they were pricey, they were important to us and I dont think I will regret giving them extra and trimming on some other stuff. 

Engagement Expert: Honey Designs

Hi everyone, I hope you're having a great week! I recently met up with my friend Chelsea of Honey Designs and it was so much fun! Chelsea creates custom engagement rings and bands! She helps your future fiancé even set up the whole proposal and everything! 

I recently went to one of her Saturday Style Sessions and it was so much fun! Even though I'm already engaged I can see how this would be so helpful for future brides.  One of the things I found most helpful about the whole process is actually trying on some rings to see what I liked, what I didn't and how everything fit. Here's what one of these sessions looked like:

  • Enjoy mimosas, coffee, or tea and morning snacks
  • Play around with ring samples
  • Learn about the design process and diamond education

You leave with some custom designs, an individual second appointment, and a gift card to Alba Organic Beauty for a manicure!

These are held once a month on a Saturday morning from 9-11 am in a small group setting, all for $30! 

These are some of the photos from when I went! Taken by Anastasia Gentry.

It was awesome to hear all about Chelsea's knowledge, I wish I would have known going into getting a ring.  She helps you understand, knows all the answers and isn't pushy! She can help design the engagement ring of your dreams. 

She also helps with your significant others proposal and here's what she offers with that: 

  • One-of-a-Kind Custom Design Ring
  • Personalized Style Session
  • Custom Ring Box
  • Mini Photo Session Package
  • GIA Graduate Gemologist Appraisal Documents
  • 1st Year Ring Insurance Coverage
  • Proposal Coaching
  • Engagement Ring Reveal Party

Click through to read these stories and check out more! 

So go check out Chelsea, and tell her I sent you on her Instagram! If you are thinking about getting engaged I HIGHLY recommend reaching out to Chelsea! She can also help with band design or even just an upgrade!