Planning Your Special Day: The Easy Way

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Hey everyone, hope your 2019 is off to a great start! As you know, we love weddings; so much so we’ve made a profession out of them :) And as much as we enjoy a great wedding and seeing two people who love each other get out there and tie the knot, one thing that fails to surprise us is how unprepared many couples are for planning out their big day. It’s a real bummer to see this suck the fun out of such a momentous occasion.

*cue superhero music* But that’s where we come in! Our objective here today is to provide an outline for you to follow so that you can avoid the pitfalls of exactly what we’ve seen so many couples run into.

So--here we go, some quick pointers to ease the process leading up to your special celebration:

  • Enjoy the process and don’t forget to have fun—dream it big, then plan out the concrete details: the food, the decor, the music, etc.

  • Build a good team around you -- people who you trust and can be confident in their decision making and ability to follow through with responsibilities.

  • Make a solid, realistic and dependable financial plan/budget.

  • Choose dates and venues that will make you and your partner both happy and represent the feeling you want to achieve for your special event.

  • Find inspiration! I can’t express how important it is to step away from the nuts and bolts of the hard party planning.

  • Make a guest list and send out invites.

  • Open up wedding registries at your favorite places and start a website for the wedding. Include fun components like a countdown to the big date...also incorporate functional tools like a wedding event calendar...maybe even an interactive trivia game testing your guests in their knowledge of you and your partner!

  • Plan lead up events...rehearsals, dinners, etc.

  • Get a group of your best dressed friends together, order a pizza or a bunch of thai and plan out out the best wedding outfits ever.

  • Schedule honeymoon ;)

  • Get Marriage License.

  • Hire us (Our Wedding Story) to capture your wedding story in full glory.

  • Remember to have fun and enjoy your wedding :)

Annnnd there it is! This may seem like a lot right now but trust us--follow this guide and it’s certain to ease the process and relax the tension around the preparation and execution for your big day. Reach out and let us know if you have any questions!

How to have a romantic mini-moon

Photo by Austin Marshall. Try a mini-moon vacation closer to home and explore the USA. 

After all the planning and work in the lead up to your wedding and the excitement of the day itself, a honeymoon gives couples a welcome escape, a chance to spend quality romantic time together as you set out on your journey into married life. If you are planning a honeymoon, but either can't take a fortnight off work or don't have the budget left, you should consider a mini-moon vacation break. 

After wedding costs such as the venue, entertainment, food & drink and your rings, a honeymoon can be a big expense. Saving up for a longer honeymoon might just not be practical as you are paying for these expenses along the way. At the same time, finding a dream destination at an affordable price, booking the flights and sorting out transfers all takes time. In the run up to your wedding, your schedule can be pretty full!

A mini honeymoon or 'mini moon' vacation can be just as glamorous, indulgent and romantic as a traditional long honeymoon. Choose the right destination, and even close to home you can find fantastic places to enjoy time together. Getting a mini moon right is about finding a gorgeous place to stay, somewhere with a few romantic activities in the area which is not too far from home. You don't want to spend too long travelling and use up all your time flying.

So settle in for a few days romance, relaxation and fun with our guide to mini moon's.

Take the pressure off

Those weeks building up to your wedding day can often become some of the most intense and busy of your life. A bride or groom to be will often have a spreadsheet or long 'to-do' list of tasks to tackle in their wedding planning. It can feel like you are very much under pressure to get everything done. Planning and paying for a honeymoon on top of this can add more stress. So why pile more on yourself? Take a mini moon instead to cut costs and take the pressure off yourself. This way you can enjoy the planning after the wedding. 

Go somewhere special closer to home

A mini moon doesn't have to mean compromising on either the romance or luxury of your honeymoon. Staying closer to home, whether in the same state or a different part of the US doesn't mean giving up on gorgeous destinations either. Do you have special memories of visiting or staying somewhere in the USA together? Perhaps it's where you first met or where you got engaged. By choosing to take a mini moon in the USA, you could stay somewhere which is meaningful to your relationship together. A place where you can relive wonderful memories as a couple as you start your married life together. If that special place is abroad, but a relatively short-haul flight you could still head out there too. This can equally apply to a romantic getaway before the wedding as to a mini moon. 

If you do choose to have a longer full-blown honeymoon later, you are giving yourself the chance to save up for a blow-out trip with the budget of a lifetime. You'll also feel that you haven't missed out on taking romantic time straight after your wedding to spend together. Having a mini moon straight away and saving the blow-out vacation for a little later also lets you put any wedding gift money towards the costs of your honeymoon without you having to pay out deposits when cash can be tight.

Make it a surprise

What bride-to-be doesn't like to be whisked off her feet and be taken somewhere special by surprise? When you're travelling long-haul you need to find your partners passport. You might need to organize visas, which can require passports and even visits to an embassy! With a more local mini moon, all you need to do is book the time off, choose a destination and surprise your partner with a wonderful, romantic getaway when you really need one. 

Don't just stop by surprising your new partner with an unexpected post-wedding vacation. You can make your mini moon more romantic and special by organizing surprise activities. Think of something you love to do together as a couple or even take a walk on the wild side. Plan that activity you both always dreamed of doing. That mini moon needn't feel cheap or like you are missing. in fact it could even be much more luxurious than a longer vacation.  

Keep that newlywed feeling for longer... and give yourself something else to look forward to. 

It's a strange thing to say but after all the bustle in the run up to your wedding and the relaxing fun on the honeymoon vacation, couples can often find that they come back down to earth with a bump as they easy back into everyday life. For some, it can be difficult to let go of all the planning they have been doing for the past few months. By taking a shorter mini moon first and then coming back to plan a longer honeymoon after the wedding, you get to enjoy that newly-wedded bliss longer. When you do come around to taking that big honeymoon, it will bring back all these memories and feelings from your wedding day. After settling into your new life together and getting into a routine, it can be a lovely treat to enjoy a vacation together, indulging in pampering, romance and special treatment. 

At Our Wedding Story, we can help you tell your wedding story through beautiful, high quality images and video. Contact us today to book your wedding or engagement photography shoot.



DIY Wedding Ideas

At our wedding story we are creative fols. So we love it when brides and grooms choose to bring their unique creative touches to a wedding through DIY weddings. We have worked with brides and grooms who have chosen to let their individuality shine through by creating everything from their own stationary, to decorations or wedding cakes. It's also been great to see brides and grooms express themselves by choosing DIY outfits and styling as well as brides who have chosen to fix their own makeup on the big day.

A DIY wedding isn't just a great way to involve friends and family or to introduce your own personality into a day which can sweep you up in a sea of tradition; it is also a great way to save money without compromising what will be one of the most magical days of your life! 

DIY wedding Decorations

Wedding decorations can be a huge expense. The average wedding in the US costs $26,645, with as much as $3000 being spent between decorations, favours and invitations. Making just some of this yourself could end up saving you hundreds of dollars.

The easiest DIY wedding ideas are home-made decorations. They can be as simple or as elaborate as your imagination can concoct as you can make. There's so many different ideas and guides to making DIY wedding decorations online. Browsing places such as Pintrest is a great way to start getting ideas  of what you could make and what decorations would fit with your wedding theme.

Whether you make your own bunting, collect jars and candles or get creative with centerpieces like mason jars with fairy lights inside, the possibilities are endless. Rustic weddings lend themselves to DIY touches as you can often make your own versions of decorations available to buy at a fraction of the retail price. but don't think they are limited to rustic weddings. Even the most formal wedding can benefit from a simple yet elegant centrepiece such as these floating fruit bowls. 

Adding touches such as old suitcases, photo frames in your colour palette or other objects around the room can accent and highlight your theme for very little cost or effort. A few metallic sparkles and feathers can give the impression of 1920's opulence. Decorating the venue with friends and family can be a great way to get people involved in your wedding day. 

DIY Wedding cake

Baking your own wedding cake is not for the feint of heart and you will need a degree of skill in baking and cake decoration to really do this justice. If you are going to bake your own cake, it will need to be done the day before your wedding so you’ll need to make sure you have a clear day. Allow plenty of time to both bake and decorate your cake. 

If you are using ingredients such as fresh cream, fresh icing or cake decorations like edible flowers, you will need to also give yourself time on the wedding day itself. Such decorations are usually time sensetive and need to be applied on the morning of your wedding.

The biggest recommendation with DIY wedding cakes is to do your research and practice baking a mini version of the cake before hand. This is another great way to involve a select group of friends or family by inviting them around for cake and coffee to sample your trial version. With a wedding cake costing around $750, it is another way to save cash too.

There are lots of styles and designs of wedding cake and you are only really limited by your imagination and baking experience. A popular style of DIY wedding cake is the naked wedding cake which is quick and simple to bake. It also doesn't take too much time to assemble on the day but packs a real wow factor. The great thing is these touches can fit in with themes from rustic to formal and everything in between.

DIY wedding hair and makeup

Every bride wants to look radiant on her wedding day as she’ll be the centre of attention. Whilst it can be great having a professional fixing your hair and makeup, especially if you’re nervous on the day, lots of women have a very definite idea of how they want to look on their wedding day. Fixing your own makeup and styling your hair allows you to really highlight your creativity, individuality and style.

YouTube is full of great tutorials and walk through's on different makeup looks by professional makeup artists who can help you choose the right look for your face structure, skin tone and overall look. The best bit about doing your own makeup is that you get to keep all those great products after the wedding and recreate toned down versions of the look after.

Fixing your own makeup and hair is great because no one knows your features better than you do and you could also save hundreds of dollars to put towards that dream honeymoon!

Groom, how to choose a sharp outfit for your wedding

A groom's choice of outfit should be as personal, creative and reflective of their personality and individual style as a bride's wedding dress. Whilst many grooms will pop along to a tailor’s choosing an off-the-peg suit or outfit for their wedding day, it doesn’t always show that personality that makes them who they are.

Grooms can try by visiting different tailors, clothing retailers and vintage shops to see what styles really suit them, that they feel is reflective of them and which fits in with the overall wedding theme. Different fabrics, cuts and styles will be better suited to different groom’s natural style, body shape and personality. Choose a basic suite which you can then build on and accessorize with accents and touches which fit your theme.

Once you have chosen your basic suit you can accent this with touches such as a contrasting waistcoat, tie and pocket square and cufflinks.

For some groom’s with less formal, rustic or alternative weddings, a suit might just not fit in. If your bride is dressing down and you are having a much more relaxed wedding day, think about an outfit which fits in with this theme.

DIY creative touches for your wedding leave you with lots of wonderful memories from the period leading up to your wedding as you prepare decorations or stationary. Making things yourself also means you often get to keep all those decorations after, meaning you can adapt and decorate your new life together with them.

When your evenings and weekends are full of wedding day planning, crafting things with friends, family and your future spouse is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those you love, creating things together.

Contact Our Wedding Story today to discuss how we can capture the magic of your wedding day.