(From a real bride and her wedding planner)
There’s no doubt that planning a wedding is one of the biggest investments you’ll make. It can be time consuming and stressful, and having help can make all the difference. This is one of the most special days of your life — and it should be put in the hands of someone who knows what it takes to run a wedding smoothly.
Here are 10 tips, from one of my brides and myself, for having the destination wedding of your dreams:
1. Hire a wedding planner!
Weddings require so many decisions. It can help to have someone in your corner who takes care of calling vendors, someone you can bounce ideas off of and just all around carry some of the stress of planning a wedding. No one likes a stressed out bride, a good wedding planner can help with that!
2. Plan your wedding like you’re throwing a big party for all your family and friends.
Everyone loves a big party! Yes, it’s your big day, but there’s nothing that says your guests can’t have a blast too. Incorporate those details that are near and dear to you and your future spouse, but don’t make every last detail about only you — add things that would also delight your guests!
3. A stunning venue can save you a lot of $$ on decor!
When the venue is absolutely beautiful, you won’t even notice the decor. Find a few staple pieces to add some flare, but besides that let the location do all the work!
4. Figure out your top three must-haves and stick to them.
Which areas are you not willing to compromise in? For my bride, Ashley, it was photography, music and the open bar (more below). Your top three may be different, just make sure you and your fiance (and anyone else) are on the same page!
5. Everyone loves an open bar.
Speaking of delighting your guests, an open bar is a great way to keep that big party going! If you’re going to opt for straws for those yummy drinks, though, consider using paper. The sea turtles (and all other sea creatures) thank you!
6. Hope for the best, but expect that something may not go as planned.
Weddings are big events with lots of moving parts. I work hard to keep everything moving smoothly, but some things can just be out of our control — Like the weather — don’t worry though, whatever happens will be addressed quickly and efficiently.
7. Keep what matters, toss the rest.
This is your big day. There’s no rule that says you have to incorporate every tradition. If the dollar dance or garter toss isn’t your thing, ditch it! Incorporate what’s truly special to you, your fiance and your family and it’s guaranteed to be a memorable day.
8. Don’t worry, be happy!
Enjoy your day — let me worry about the rest!
9. Make the rounds!
Make sure to thank all those who’ve traveled to be there for your big day, let them know how much it meant to have them there, they’ll love that you took the time to tell them ‘thank you.’
10. Lastly — have a blast!
Okay, this one’s pretty self explanatory. Sure, weddings take a lot of work to put on, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn't be fun. This is ultimately a celebration of the commitment and love between you and your future spouse and it should be treated as such!
Ready to talk about your big day? You can give me all your details here on my contact page. I look forward to getting to know you!
Our whole world is upside down right now. Things are weird. Some of us have been mandated to our homes, others can't find toilet paper or chicken at the grocery stores. And your planning a wedding has turned in to postponing one. You might be scared to think about what your future wedding will look like, who will come and the best way to move forward.
Here are 5 tips on how to postpone your wedding during coronavirus.
Remember I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional but I am a wedding professional and I think these tips and resources can help you during this overwhelming time.
Take a deep breathe
Try to relax. Turn off the news, social media, twitter. All of it. Take a bath. Drink a glass of wine. Go for a walk.
This is a lot easier to say then to do. And I am having a hard time doing it as well but you will be better off if you stop and breathe, meditate on bible scriptures and get out into nature (if your allowed to)
You most likely have family and friends blowing up your phone. They are asking all kinds of questions about what your going to do about your wedding during this pandemic. Send an email out to all your guests (or potential guests) that states you are "aware of the situation and you will me making decisions and sharing them as soon as you can but please give me and significant other some space to decide. "OR Make a statement, like the one below, that you can copy and paste to them as the texts come in
Thank you for your concern about our wedding. We will send an email as soon as we have nailed down details or changes. Please respect our space as we make these difficult decisions.
Hopefully this will deter friends and family from sending you every little city or state update that happens concerning coronavirus. And if it doesn't than turn off your phone for a little while. Protect your sanity and privacy.
It is true that you have been planning this wedding, and/or this reception for awhile (most of you over a year.) And no one would have predicted this coronavirus outbreak would interrupt your wedding plans. But now it has and you and your significant other have some decisions to make. The best thing to do is to be flexible as you move forward. Remember the first suggestion and breathe.
Here are my suggestions on where to start with action part of postponing your wedding. (Keep in mind there are no simple steps but these can help get you started)
1. Pick a new date in late 2020 or 2021 for your wedding (or postponed reception)
2. Read the contracts from your vendors. (look for the act of god clause)
2. Reach out to the venue with your date ( I suggest a phone call) and then the vendors, via email, that you have booked to see if the new date works for them.
3. Be patient. Give these wedding vendors a few days to respond.
4. Keep a spreadsheet of vendors that approve the new date, and the ones that can't. (Here is a free spreadsheet if you need it)
5. Make note if the vendor offers refunds (for those that can't make the new date.)
6. Ask for recommendations of other vendors. If a vendor can't fulfill your new wedding/reception date than ask them if they know someone who possibly could.
7. Reach out to your friends, family and guests to let them know of your change in plans and where/when they can find details. (put details on wedding website)
8. Amend your contracts with your vendors and pay them. Hopefully the vendors will be sending out amended contracts but if not ask for them.
9. Pay your vendor balances. These small business owners are going through a lot and need your support as much as you need theirs. #wereinthistogether. #pandemicwedding
10. Resort to taking a deep breath and know that there is space to mourn your first wedding plans.
As you reach out to vendors you have booked, remember that everyone is in the same boat. Most vendors are small business owners and don't have a whole staff of people to help them get through the emails and phone calls. Be patient because they are likely to respond slower than they would have if their was not the coronavirus/covid-19 pandemic.
It may seem like they are taking forever to respond but give them four or five days. Then reach out to them via phone call. Try to DM them on social media (if you see they are present/posting). But don't spam them. Be kind. Be patient.
If you are getting down to the wire of needing a response and they haven't done so you may have to cut your losses. I know that stinks! Maybe they are in a really desperate spot and can't get back to you. Try to give them the benefit-of-the-doubt
Whether you have to postpone all of the wedding or just the reception, have fun. Be reminded of why wanted to get married. Find a funny movie to watch, play Watch Your Mouth, have a sexy quarantine time. Be creative and do things together you don't usually get to do. Add something fun to the reception to keep it light and remind yourself why postponing the wedding will make for a great story.
One thing my couples have found helpful is being reminded of the journey of wedding planning. Although this has not been part of the wedding planning journey it is now. And now you get to journey through the planning of a "postponed coronavirus wedding." Oh! My! LOL!
Here are some additional ideas to dealing with wedding planning or wedding postponing during coronavirus.
A Practical Wedding
How to plan a wedding during coronavirus
I am a Texas based wedding planner that focus's on small, intimate weddings and elopements. Helping my couples create a meaningful wedding day experience for them and their guests takes time and lots of chatting on the phone. My couples use me as guide to help them navigate their way through the wedding planning journey and execute unique designs that are true to the couple. "Bigger is better" is often Texas's motto but you can still have all your favorite traditions with your small circle of favorite people without all the things that suck at a bigger wedding. Contact me to learn more.
As a Texas wedding planner I’m passionate about the great state of Texas and making sure your wedding is what you’ve always dreamed. I love old traditions and new customs and I especially enjoy when they can both come together on your special day.
With that said, there are a few traditions that I wish would just go away. These three Texas wedding traditions top my list:
I’ve found that the day goes a little smoother —and the bride and groom are more satisfied with the outcome— when the cost is spread out between the couple and their families.
You may prefer adding a honeymoon fund to your registry so guests can contribute easily. If you still love the idea of collecting some cash but want to ditch that dollar dance, here are a few of my favorite alternatives:
If you want to incorporate a wedding money tree into your big day, make sure it’s not the focus as guests won’t want to feel pressured to give money, especially when they’ve likely already purchased a gift. Destination weddings (one of my favorite kinds to plan) are a great place to incorporate the money tree because transporting a lot of gifts home may be difficult and you can choose to have guests just give cash in lieu of gifts.
Remember, this is your day, and there’s nothing that says you have to incorporate this tradition at all if you don’t want to. Keep it true to who who are!
3.One word: barns. Is there a rule that says to have a Texas wedding it must be in a barn?
Don’t get me wrong, barns are beautiful, especially if they are a reflection of you and your hubby-to-be, but they shouldn't be the holy grail of Texas wedding tradition.
Texas boasts so many beautiful venues (like this Lucky Arrow Resort venue with yurts) and places to get married, and the options for finding something that suits your style are limitless. I can help with this! Ask me about some of my favorite spots and let's find the location of your dreams.
As your Texas wedding expert, and an enthusiast for adventure, I’m going to make sure your wedding is beautifully fun and unique, while still incorporating those tried-and-true traditions that you love.
Photos by Map + Compass Photography
New Years Inspired Elopement
Inspired by New Years celebrations and a black and white photo that makes me smile (see below) brought this elopement styled shoot at Ivy Hall in San Antonio Texas together. I wanted to inspire a story of a spontaneous elopement between two fast lovers who find themselves getting married on New Years Eve. Keeping with the simple black and white color scheme while allowing the holiday that just past to bring a bit of red pop in color. My hopes is to remind us of old Hollywood black and white movies with the dramatic girl and the smoldering guy.
Being a wedding planner in Texas, I see lots of barns, burlap and baby’s breath. I’m not sure when rustic is going to go out of Texas style but so far it’s still here. And I wanted to keep this inspiration elopement far from that. Designing the bouquet and boutonniere, I kept it simple and seasonal, as would be in a quick elopement.
Anyway, Anna Kay Photography and I joined up for this little pop up styled shoot at Ivy Hall. Anna and I became quick friends after she found me on Insta and asked me to pair up with her for a Big Bend Texas styled shoot.
I choose a high low dress from Olivia Grace Bridal in order to give the bride that old Hollywood glamorous look. Along with the bling hair clips to keep the elopement look simple. If the dress would have been too heavy the shoot would have lost that quick elopement feel.
Mugshot Photo Booth joined in for the fun with their vintage luggage printer case and free standing camera. Using New Years Eve booth props for the bride and groom to goof around with was natural and entertaining as these love birds who were still newly weds themselves (only being married a year or so) and kept the giggles coming.
Charcuterie boards full of color and depth were catered by Tim the Girl. Sage and wine cheeses added bright fun colors to the table as the couple enjoyed a toast and some bites under one of Ivy Halls big backdrop trees.
And speaking of the San Antonio wedding venue
Ivy Hall Wedding Venue
My biggest inspiration was Ivy Hall itself. As it sits south of downtown San Antonio with all the bustle and lights of the city. The venue is a well established garden and although you can’t see all of it’s gems in January (January is such a good month to get married outdoors in Texas. She never even shivered in that strapless dress) it’s still a magical spot with the city and tower of America’s in the background.
Ivy Hall is a few acres of lush tropical foliage and greenery. With a modern styled, small indoor area that an holds 80 comfortably for dinner, Ivy Hall is ideal for smaller intimate weddings. But the outdoor space is what people fall in love with. Four hundred people is far from intimate but if that is what your guest count is than Ivy Hall can accommodate, with the adjoining restaurant (The Good Kind). As a bonus, there is a neon Ivy Hall sign along with the famous “make tacos not war” neon that rises above one of the greenery walls.
This venue needs little design work as God and the gardener are the ones who have made it naturally beautiful. With so many different backdrops to a ceremony couples really have there choice of trees, cactus or greenery.
Ivy Hall offers events and weddings with full in house catering from Tim the Girl as well as in house bartending and basic rentals.
From a planners perspective having less vendors is a breeze and for the couple this means savings. Also, the design work is easier to keep cohesive, especially at a naturally beautiful venue like Ivy Hall.
Weddings of 100 start at $10,000 and include tables, chairs, food and some other amenities but that is just a base rate.
Take a peak at how Anna Kay captured this inspiration shoot and keep your eye out for the Tower of America’s in the background.
Planning your intimate Ivy Hall wedding
Does planning an intimate wedding or elopement at Ivy Hall near downtown San Antonio sound like you? Contact me today to set up a time to check out the venue together. Or if you are interested in help finding a different venue I am open to that as well.
And if you are curious what Ivy Hall looks like in spring time than check out this intimate wedding ceremony in April.
Texas is the epitome of adventure. Where else can you find sandy beaches, rocky mountains, desert plains and swamplands all wrapped up in one giant (awesome) package? That’s why I am so passionate about Texas adventure weddings. Regardless of the type of adventure you’re seeking, Texas probably has it.
There are many reasons why couples choose both Texas and adventure as the theme of their wedding, but these are the top three.
1.Texas reflects who you are.
Texas is modern and urban, but also rugged, vast and rich in so much history. Many people choose Texas for their wedding because it reflects who they are. Whether you’re a native to the Lone Star State, just moved out here (hello booming economy!) or have visited family here for years - there’s something about Texas that just speaks to you, and you want that incorporated into your big day.
2.You’re more about experience than tradition.
Sure, tradition has its place in your big day, but I bet you’re here because you want the experience (and the wedding) of a lifetime. Am I right? Sometimes a small, intimate wedding that checks all the boxes in the ‘experience’ department (like Harmon wedding here) is better than a huge wedding where you barely get to say ‘thank you’ to each guest! Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch all those beloved traditions, like walking down the aisle with dad, but maybe we can say “adios!” to the cheesy dollar dance?
3.You want your guests to remember it too.
This is your big day, but shouldn’t your guests enjoy it too? It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Instead of a koozie or a bottle opener, say ‘thank you’ to guests for attending with ziplining, paddle boating or horseback riding. An intimate wedding that’s geared around an awesome experience will be memorable for you and your spouse (and a cool vacation for your guests - but better because they get to watch you marry the love of your life!)
If all of this sounds like you, let’s get together and figure out how to make your adventurous Texas wedding dreams a reality!