Unfortunately, this part is what a lot of my clients seem to overlook but I think it is very important and should never be neglected or forgotten about.
Thank You Cards
So just like your wedding invitations, your thank you cards should be well thought out and genuine. If someone took the time to go to your wedding and show you that they love and care about you, the absolute least you can do is let them know how much you appreciate them taking the time to do so!
For thank you cards, I really think very simple and clean is the best choice. You really don’t have to put too much thought into it and doesn’t need to stand out like your invitations should. The fact that you are thinking of your guests and that you took the time to write one out is enough to show someone you care.
That being said, you really should personalize each card in some way. This can be as simple as a handwritten signature with a little message written out. I don’t recommend having your thank you cards with the writing printed on it and every card is the exact same. This shows that you really took the easy way out and did the easiest thing you could. Remember, they took up their entire day to see your special day so the least you can do is write out a little something to show that you appreciate them.
I started to feel a little bit guilty after reading my last post on my friend’s wedding disaster and want to clear it up a little bit. I really hope I didn’t sound like I was talking down to anyone who might not be able to afford a beautiful destination wedding like mine and I cannot stress that enough. I also don’t want to come off like I am super rich or anything like that.
I am a wedding planner, remember? I have been saving up for my special day since I got my first job working in a local grocery store as a bagger Not everyone has the means to go all out for a wedding and not everyone has been thinking about their wedding day for pretty much their entire lives so I really apologize if that last post sounded arrogant in any way.
The Less Conventional the Better!
So keeping that in mind, I have had more and more clients coming to me with less conventional ideas for their wedding and I think they really are starting to take over classic styles of weddings. Which I think is great!
I am seeing more concepts along the lines of the picture above and I am all for it. No one wants to go to a boring wedding and making it unique not only lightens up the mood of the entire wedding, it makes sure to give all of your guests a unique experience that they certainly won’t forget!
So after hearing all about my wedding, you probably can’t help yourself but want to try and do the same thing for your future special day, right? Well, one of my best friends from college wanted to and had her wedding a couple years ago and for a select few of her guests, turned into an absolute nightmare.
This isn’t actually her and she would kill me if she saw this; so we will her Jasmine
If You Can’t Afford it; Don’t Do It
Jasmine was just like every girl and wanted everything to be extravagant. Unfortunately for Jasmine, her husband is what one would refer to as a “starving artist” and is pursuing his dream in music.
I respect free spirited people but being realistic, they don’t make that much money. Well, this was not going to be an issue for Jasmine and she still wanted her dream destination wedding on the beach in Florida. The ceremony was beautiful and the wedding was actually one of the more fun ones that I have been to, but the hotel that they chose to have everyone stay at ended up being a nightmare.
Let me preface this story by saying that this is not the same friend that had the issue with bees from one of my earlier posts and I don’t know what it is about bugs and my friends, but they seem to have a knack for picking the places with the worst of them.
The hotel that we were staying at couldn’t have been more than 50 or 60 bucks a night, on the beach in Florida. Yeah, I think you can do the math on that one. We didn’t think much of it and her reasoning was no one was going to be spending that much time in the rooms anyway so why go crazy? Well, 2 couples from the hotel might argue the not going crazy part because a week later, I got the frantic phone calls that they had found bed bugs. Needless to say, they were freaking out and both immediately called the first company they found at www.pestandtermitepros.com to handle the situation. Neither of the couples had any idea how to kill bed bugs and from the little research they did, it is near impossible. Unfortunately for Jasmine and her guests, checking for termites and bed bugs were obviously not something the hotel they chose practice regularly and it was only right to tell everyone who was at the wedding about the problem to warn them.
Luckily only those 2 couples found them but it is impossible for anyone to think about that wedding and not think about bed bugs. I feel horrible for Jasmine but something like that just goes to show how important it is to plan your wedding within your means. A wedding in the middle of the country with a clean beds would have been the wiser choice
Now that I have covered pretty much all of my wedding and you know to have everyone in the back of your head when you are planning your wedding and food I figured I would do a little overview of my whole wedding and ask myself if there is anything I really wish I would have done differently.
This is going to sound boring and cocky but in all honesty, and considering the fact that I do this for a living, there really isn’t anything I wish I would have done differently about my wedding. We got nothing but honest and positive feedback from people, all praising us about what we did and how everything turned out. The selfie sticks were a huge hit
If I Had to Pick Something
I don’t want to leave this post at that so if I had to pick one thing I would change about my wedding, I guess I would have to say that I would have planned out the actual ceremony a little bit differently. Click this link if you’re not sure exactly what part is the ceremony.
Even though the scenery and resort in the Dominican Republic were absolutely beautiful, the sun really was pounding down on all of our guests and we didn’t have any shade set up where people were sitting.
I know everyone, and particularly the guys, was drenched in sweat and were probably pretty miserable as it was going on but this is why we made sure the actual ceremony was short and sweet
Everything was perfect and this is just me being a stickler and feeling the need to write something.
I’ll talk about a horror story wedding that my friend had next
This one is especially going to be for those of you who choose to have a destination wedding like my husband and I did. Last time I talked a little bit about adding little things to separate your wedding from others and now I want to talk about something that isn’t quite “little” but I see happen far too often.
Keep Everyone in Mind!
A huge part of any wedding and something that should really be thought out is something that a lot of clients of mine tend to not put that much emphasis on which is always very surprising to me. Can you guess what it might be?
I know, right? Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to take the time to really plan out an amazing meal that no one will forget? Surprisingly enough, lots of people and I think this is important to talk about.
A lot of clients I get just want to do the two options of having either steak or fish and then they call it a day and leave it to the catering company. While this is usually a pretty safe route to take, a lot of people don’t take into consideration that there might be vegetarians or even vegans at their wedding and you don’t want them to feel left out.
What We Did
Luckily for my husband and I, Dreams Resort was very accommodating and we decided to go with a buffet style instead of the classic 2 options that the majority of people have. This allowed us to have the steak, the fish, AND the veggies for all of our vegetarian friends.
Think about every one of your guests and them taking the time to come to your wedding when you are planning; especially the food!
Alright so remember the friend I had before who had to call for a little bee problem she had and had to call these guys before her wedding?
Well, while it is obvious to take care of any problems like bees potentially stinging your guests during your ceremony, little touches can make or break a wedding and I thought I’d share a few that I thought really helped make our wedding special.
Think out of the Box
If you read any of my earlier posts on my wedding, you remember that my husband and I left out selfie stick on every table and encouraged people to go crazy with them. It has always been a common thing to leave disposable cameras on the tables of weddings but that is kind of getting to the point of being outdated and a selfie stick is something fun that we obviously let our guests take home which can go a long way.
You wouldn’t believe how many people took the time to let us know how great of an idea these selfie sticks were and how much fun they had with them. We saw kids as young as 7 and adults as old as 70 with these selfie sticks just having the time of their lives with them and it was something that we haven’t seen done before.
There’s obviously more I could talk about that I’ll get into next time
So the ceremony is over, and my husband and I are officially husband and wife. This is where the real fun begins.
Everything I Wanted
As you may have picked up by now from my older posts, the weather was perfect and we had no issues whatsoever. We held dinner immediately following the ceremony and it was right on the beach of the Dreams Resort.
This is my actual wedding, that is me on the right of course This was obviously taken later in the evening after dinner so just imagine this with the sun glaring and the breeze blowing. It was the absolute perfect day.
To the Fun
We had a dance floor that you can see in the middle and of course offered a completely open bar with anything you could want.
Let’s be real here, everyone who comes to a wedding is excited about the open bar and we didn’t try and act like we didn’t know this. Another little thing we added was putting a selfie stick on every table and encouraged people to take as many pictures as they could. I really usually hate those stupid things and I hate when I see people in public wandering around holding the thing out getting in everyone’s way. But they sure are fun
Needless to say we had hours of fun and laughter looking through the hundreds of pictures that were documented throughout the night. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my wedding.
So after the ceremony comes everyone’s favorite part of any wedding.
Like the ceremony, where you decide to hold your reception is one of the most important and critical things that you can do for your wedding. You need to pick a place where you know people are going to have the times of their life, but still maintain that elegant and classy look. That was what my husband and I, and what I encourage for each of our clients, kept in mind when deciding.
We were lucky enough to have an absolutely beautiful beach to host our reception and I don’t think anyone could disagree that it was perfect. You don’t want the venue for your reception to look like it could hold a frat party, but you want people to have a good time.
Our reception was perfect because it was on the beach and once we knew weather wasn’t going to be a factor, we had nothing to worry about. If you hold your reception indoors you have less of a risk of things that could ruin a wedding, like rain but you also have a lot more options for decorations and things like that.
A friend of mine was talking to me about having a wedding outside and told me that at her wedding, there were bees all over the place and almost ruined her wedding. She had to call a pest service just a few days before her special day and come clear everything out.
Luckily, we weren’t on the phone with her company where we were at, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare that could have been
I really try to encourage my clients to think long and hard about where they want their wedding to be. There is a lot of factors to consider and if everything doesn’t go 100% according to plan, the whole wedding day could be potentially ruined.
I briefly touched on the risks in having an outdoor wedding venue and that my husband and I decided to take our chances and had an absolute dream wedding in The Dominican Republic and couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting.
The resort was called Dreams and everything about it was perfect. It was an all inclusive so you never had to leave the place at all and all foods and drinks were including in the package. We had an extremely large pool area with a swim up bar and a separate entire beach area, filled with enough lounge chairs for everyone and anyone.
The actual ceremony and where we read our vows was the only thing that felt a little guilty about having to put people through. It was held in the middle of the resort basically and completely open with zero shade from the sun. Although it wasn’t raining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was around 93 degrees however and for all the guys (especially the ones actually in the wedding) this made the short (roughly 10-15 minutes) ceremony excruciatingly hot and uncomfortable.
We kept the ceremony short specifically for this reason and neither my husband or I are religious at all so we didn’t have much to cover other than a coupe short vows and the “I Dos!”
If you caught my post yesterday about picking out a venue for your wedding (don’t worry you can still read it here!, I figured I would start talking about my actual wedding so maybe you can get a better idea of my personal preferences when it comes to weddings.
My Dream Place
So my husband and I knew we wanted to have a destination wedding and had it narrowed down to a few pretty quickly and slowly but surely decided on The Dominican Republic for our dream day. We held it at an all resort hotel and actually kept our invitation list relatively low.
I have mixed feelings about holding your wedding where plane tickets are required to get there. In a way, a part of me feels almost guilty doing so because let’s face it, most people aren’t exactly thrilled to be going to a wedding at all let alone having to pay for plane tickets and a hotel.
The other side of me won in our decision obviously and the thing that I kept telling myself is that this is our special day and I want it to be absolutely perfect. We held a separate reception at home where we invited a lot more people so they still got to support us if they liked and it worked out perfectly for us.
The actual wedding though, was the greatest day of my life. I will save more of the actual day tomorrow though so don’t miss it!