weddingplanning

To Be Wed - A Bridal Marketplace

We had the opportunity to team up with Sandbox, San Diego's newest event space, as well as other vendors in San Diego for an upcoming bridal show in San Diego. Take a look at some of the vendors and make sure to visit each of their website.

Mike Edwards Photography - https://mikeedwardsphotography.smugmug.com

Plan and Simple - https://www.planandsimpleevents.com

WeCater San Diego - https://www.wecatersd.com

Getting the Most of a Bridal Expo

bridal expo

Wedding expos are great way to sample and meet multiple vendors together in one place. Big bridal expos can be overwhelming but we have some great tips to help you make the most of your bridal expo experience. Its an exciting time, after all, and you should enjoy your time without being overwhelmed. 

  1. Create a wedding email - This will help you keep organized. Give this email to all your wedding vendors and wedding planner that way you have all your information organized together in one place. 
  2. Pre- register for your bridal expo - In some cases, unlikely, but sometimes they can sell out or tickets are cheaper if you buy ahead of time rather than at the door. You will save time at the expo as check in is faster by for pre-sale tickets. Also, this helps vendors be prepared with a headcount of what to expect so they can have enough promotional items, business cards, flyers, ect. 
  3. Limit your squad - I recommend bringing only your fiancé (if fiancé is into wedding planning) or mom or maid of honor. Notice the word OR. Bridal expos can be like ant hills with people scattered everywhere. Its easier to only keep track of one individual besides yourself and you can get more planning done that way. If you go with your bridesmaids and both moms, with a crew of 10 deep, odds are some will get lost and you'll spend a lot of time rallying the troops together rather than experiencing the bridal expo. 
  4. Have a game plan - Know what vendors you are looking for ahead of time. Example: if you venue is booked and they do in house catering then you can scratch some things off the list. Narrow down what vendors you are looking for ahead of time so you can narrow your focus. 
  5. Pre - print labels - Most vendors will host raffles to give away wedding related prizes. Bring labels that have your name, wedding date, phone number and email. This will help you enter each contact quickly and avoid hand cramps. 
  6. Take notes and pictures - You will likely leave the bridal expo with dozens of business cards and may forget which ones you wanted to follow up with. Take pictures of the business cards you want to follow up with along with samples. Or you can write notes on the back of business cards to refresh your memory. 

Facebook Contest

We are giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to one lucky winner to the Ultimate Bridal Extravaganza! This event is Sunday, May 7th. 

This contest is being held on our Facebook page so head over and check it out. Rules are simple. 

1) Like our page

2) Tag two friends 

 

We will be there and winner will be entered into another raffle for a free Video Save the date to add to your wedding website and social media. There will be dozens of other wedding vendors there, free swag bags and lots of other raffles to enter with other wedding vendors. You don't want to miss out on this event!  Good luck! 

Wedding Day Timeline

On your wedding day, you will want to create a timeline and send it to your bridal party, or at least bridesmaids, ahead of time so everyone knows what to expect. Trust me, it will come in handy and this is the best way to ensure you don't run hours late or have rushed hair and make up time. 

Coordinate with your hair stylist and make up artist ahead of time so you know how much time they need on each individual. Then schedule so that you keep the momentum running. For my wedding day, for example, the hair stylist needed 30 minutes per individual and make up needed 45 for each bridesmaid and 1 hour for the bride. Schedule each individual so that each can easily make their "appointment". See my example below for reference. Also note, my bridesmaid 2 decided to her own make up thats why she is missing on the right column. 

*also note* On my example below, please ignore "Vons Run" at 8am or substitute for what is needed on your special day. You can pick up breakfast or drive to the venue. Substitute for what you need. 

Wedding Day Timeline

I had a wedding day coordinator so from 7:30 - 10:30 I left cake cutting and bouquet and garter tossing to my wedding coordinator to pull me when needed so that I could enjoy the reception. You can do without it you have a stellar made of honor or bridesmaid that will keep you on track. Just schedule those as you wish, and inform the DJ, your DJ can assist by announcing when ready. Just ensure someone is available to guide you when needed to you can enjoy every second of your special day. 

Also, for the entire day, well from 2:30pm on, I did not have a watch or my phone. I was VERY reliant on my coordinate to guide me in sticking to the schedule, but the fact that I had a schedule to stick to made the day a breeze. Again, any bridesmaid can help you stay on track if you have your day planned. 

I hope you find my example of the wedding day timeline helpful. Happy planning!

- Delisa 

Creating your wedding website

Wedding websites are very useful and are a great way to get your guests excited about your special day. Its difficult to get all your wedding information in the invitation and adding extra inserts to include in your wedding invitation can really push your invitation budget to its limit. So whomever created the concept of a wedding website is genius. Simply direct your guests to visit your wedding website in your invitations and Bam! you just saved money on your invitation budget. 

Need help on what all should be included in your wedding website? I've got you covered! 

Home Page - You home page can start with a picture of the happy couple, names and wedding date. You should also include a brief love story of how you fell in love and / or how he proposed. People love a great love story or proposal story and its a great way for your guests to get to know your story better. Want to be a little more exciting?! You can add a video love story or video save the date to the home page. Your viewers will be more inclined to spend more time on your website and its a lot of fun!  

*side note* we are running a contest where you can win a FREE video save the date to add to your wedding website or social media. Find details on our Instagram or see the prior blog post*

Photos - Most couples are having an engagement photo shoots. This is a great place to post your engagements photos or photos of you and your fiancé throughout your relationship. Love is a great look after all, flaunt it!

Wedding Details - Go into detail on what to expect the day of wedding. List your ceremony and reception addresses and times. Pictures of each venue are great to add so guests can visualize what to expect. If your ceremony and reception venues are the same or different, say so. And if different locations, it may helpful to list a map on how to get from one place to the other or if a shuttle service will be offered. The more details the better. 

Wedding Party - Its nice to show some love to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are an important part of your life after all and are helping in making your big day special. Show them some love and give them their own page in your website. Its nice to include a picture of them so your guests can get to know them prior and include a small bio of your relationship and what makes it so special. 

Gift Registry - List the stores where you are registered here and include links to the website so your guests can shop for you with ease. 

Travel Accommodations - Most anticipate out of town guests. Its nice to list the closest airport. Also, you should find a few hotels that will work with you for group rates. List 2-4 hotels that are offering group rates on the website and how they can book to receive your discounted rate. Its helpful to list directions or transportation options for getting from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the wedding. Include links to the hotels so your guests can easily explore their options. 

Things to Do - Some out of town guests may want to make a vacation out of their travels to your wedding its nice to do a little research for them. List popular tourist attractions and you can make it a little personal and list your favorite restaurants or things to do. 

*OPTIONAL* RSVP - Some couples are doing away with paper RSVPs and having their guests RSVP directly on the website. If you are participating in this new tradition, be sure to list a tab where your guests can do so. 

You can add other fun pages in and customize away but these are the core things you'll want to include and you are ready to go. If you have fun ideas or pages that you included in your website, feel free to give your advise in the comments below! 

- Delisa 

Eating on your wedding day

If your wedding day is soon approaching, you've probably received a lot of advice from others regarding eating, or not being able to eat, on your wedding day. During dinner, your guests are thrilled for you and admiring every aspect of your wedding. Your guests view this as their first opportunity, and potentially only one, to thank you, congratulate you or compliment you and how nice your wedding is. This can easily turn into your entire dinner portion of the reception being used to greet guests, and not the intended plan of eating dinner. Wave good-bye to dinner.

I have a few tips that can allow you for time to eat and still get to greet all your wedding guests during the dinner portion. Your eating may be rushed but at least you will get a few moments to eat and enjoy the meal you've been planning and looking forward to for months. This mainly works with seated dinner but I can see it easily being used for buffet style as well. 

You MUST coordinate ahead of time with your caterer and photographer. Fill them in on your game plan ahead of time so all ducks are in a row. You want your caterer to know the plan and the photographer prepared that dinner time is go time. 

Game plan: You advise the caterer that you wish to be served first. It is encouraged for bride and groom to receive the salad and meal at the same time for best use of time. Be prepared to eat fast. The plan is to eat your meal while your guests are eating salads. You want to finish up as your guests are starting on the main course. Then, you go around to each and every table and greet your guests and take a picture with each table. This way, if someone interrupts you as your eat, you can politely say, "Thank you for coming and saying hello. We are coming around to each table in just a bit to take a picture and say hi. We just want to finish eating quickly so we can come by and say hello. We will talk to you in a bit when we come to your table, okay?". Your guest will feel better knowing they have promised time and picture awaiting so they will leave quickly. And there you have it. Guaranteed eating your meal, and bonus, a guaranteed picture with every single guest at your wedding. You can physically move around to each table and take a picture with each table or stay center on the dance floor and have each table come to you. Your guests will appreciate the gesture and your stomach will be pleased as well. 

Hopefully this foodie's advice can assist another foodie with enjoying their meal on their wedding day. Stay tuned for more wedding planning tips and advice to come. 

Also, be sure to check us out on Instagram @Rollingshutterimagery and on twitter @RSImagery. 

Until next time....  hope everyone enjoys the holiday. Happy Presidents Day! 

- Delisa 

How to stay organized when planning a wedding

Planning a wedding, or any large event for that matter, can be daunting. There are so many little details to consider, and it can be difficult to keep track of what is booked and what else is needed. Wedding planners can save your life, but they can be pricey. In planning any wedding, the key is to stay organized. 

So, if you are a bride, or are planning a wedding, my personal recommendation on the very first step is start with buying a wedding planner book. Trust me, this is an extremely wise investment and it will really assist you and hold your hand along all the stages of wedding planning. Sure, you can find a variety of free resources on the internet to assist you with staying organized, but believe me, it is going to be nice in the future to have everything in one location. This includes price quotes, invoices, receipts and information are all in one trusty place. The key here is to invest. There will be other ways you can cut corners to conserve your budget along the way but a wedding planner book is essential. Plus they are not terribly pricey. 

You can definitely buy a book online if you would like but before I found the winning wedding planner book that I like, I took a trip to a book store. There should be a wedding planning section and you can pick up each book and review (somewhat) how it is organized. Some are packaged or sealed shut but you can do your best to peak inside and get a feel for the structure of a book. 

My recommendations on the structure of a book is to get once with a three ring binder that you can add pages to later with a hold punch. Other recommended features include: 

Tabs, though not necessary, I highly recommend as they can save you time and heartache when you are tired of flipping through your book in the middle of the night trying to find the section you are looking for. Tabs make it easy to flip between sections and are a nice tool for staying organized. 

Folders or card stock pages with pockets are essential so that you can add receipts or smaller pages to the pockets in each section. For example: say you want to save the receipt for alterations for a dress, you should put your receipt in the folder pocket of the  dress section of your planner. Why save the receipt? Example: Lets say you just paid for alterations and leave the dress with your seamstress. Weeks later you come back to pick up the dress and you forget if you paid before or if payment is due now. Thank goodness you saved that receipt in the pocket of the dress section of your wedding planner book! Now you know exactly how much was paid and if any balance is due. With all the wedding details to consider, things like this are easily forgotten. 

A three ring binder pencil pouch is extremely handy. You don't necessarily need to purchase a book that comes with one as this can easily be added. Any office supply store will sell these and they are inexpensive. I found the pencil pouch a good place to hold your special wedding stamps. You will buy stamps for save the dates, invitations, return RSVP envelopes, thank you cards and possibly showers or rehearsal dinner. Keeping stamps together with your new best friend (your wedding planning book, of course) is a great way to not waste money on lost stamps. 

Last recommended feature is a business card holder page. Though this is recommended, this feature that can be done without. You can easily store your business cards in your pencil pouch or the correlating folders throughout each section of your book. It just nice to have them all in view on one page. 

As far as the contents go, each book may be organized differently, but you will want to find sections for budget, venue, invitations, dress, food (including cake), flowers, music, photo and video, rentals and making it official for your state. Extra pages for notes are nice and you can always add more pages with your three ring binder book.

Now that you know what to look for in a wedding planner book, happy hunting! Check back in for more wedding planning tips to come. 

- Delisa