Oct 28, 2011
Hubby and I were so busy during the reception that we forgot to get a pic together! That's how crazy it was. At least we each got one with a friend.
1. Splurge on an amazing photographer. When you know your budget and are looking for vendors, make sure you book the best photographer you possibly can. Your photos will be what's left after the wedding. (Tip: We were super lucky and found our photographer as up and coming talent on Craigslist so check that out for starters.) It's worth it to cut out minor details in your budget in order to have gorgeous photo documentation of your day.
2. A venue coordinator is NOT the same as a Day of Coordinator (DOC), in most cases. Our venue gave us a coordinator to work with but that coordinator only helped with aspects of the venue details. Best advice I ever got was to hire a DOC. Among so many other things, she did our day of timeline, she set everything up for us on the day of (and there was so much to set up!), coordinated all of our vendors with each other the week of and took all of our stress away. Everything you see in our photos as far as the way things were set up... that was all her. You can be a total control freak (like me) and do all of the planning and making things, but a DOC will take all the pieces you give her and put them together in ways you never thought of.
3. Don't sweat the small stuff. Really. If there's anything I learned for life while wedding planning, it was this. Things are going to go wrong. That's inevitable. There are an incredible amount of pieces to this planning machine so life will happen and it won't always work the way it should. But that's when you pause and take a deep breath. Try to laugh about it and then move on. I still try to follow this advice even after the wedding. It makes life so much better!
4. Don't neglect your fiance. Details are great but please don't lose sight of why you are doing all of this work in the first place. It's to legally unite with your best friend. You will be together forever. Trust me, after the wedding is over, you will forget all about the unfounded dress doubt you had. So make sure you focus on your fiance and that the wedding does not become bigger than the two of you.
5. If you get burnt out or feel overwhelmed, take a break. If this isn't fun anymore, there's a problem. If you need to take a break from planning, DO IT!!! I took a week long hiatus after 8 months of non-stop hardcore planning and it was the best thing I did. I came back refreshed, recharged and all excited about planning again.
6. DIY doesn't always mean cheaper. LOL I ended up having to re-do most of my projects because they didn't turn out right the first time or I would do something to screw it up. More materials, more money spent, more frustration. So think of DIY things as a way to make things the most personal but not always to save money.
VENUE -- 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati, OH
We named the tables after old Vegas casinos. Facts were included about each casino on the table number. This was meaningful to me as I had spent a lot of time in Vegas as a kid.
"Buffet Menu for Karen & Daniel's Fabulous Reception"
I know menu cards are unnecessary for a buffet menu but I love the way menu cards look on top of chargers. And I was really excited about making these menu cards! :)
CAKE by A Spoon Fulla Sugar -- Ridiculous yummy
I drew up the design in Adobe Illustrator and brought it to our bakery. They reproduced it exactly. The sheet music on the 2nd tier is the actual sheet music to "Theme from Love Story" by Frances Lai because we both grew up loving that song.
DIY cake topper, made by Crafty Eddy (email@example.com) and blinged out by me with quite a number of hotfix crystals.
Groom's Cake -- a surprise for DH, made by Cathie Shaffer in Virginia (where we lived at the time). It was a huge donut shaped cake, with rainbow skulls as the confetti on top. It was vanilla cake and filled with Bavarian cream because that's DH's favorite donut flavor.
We bought SOOOOO much candy for this (and still have some left over) but it looked amazing and it was attacked once people realized it was there. We started out with the plan to use all red and black candy but most black candy is gross so we opted to go with Halloween themed candy instead. The candy we used was:
- Halloween Reese's peanut butter cups
- Sour patch kids
- Halloween oreos
- Gummy krabby patties
- Halloween kit kit minis
- Strawberry twizzlers
- Ghost Dots
- Cinnamon jelly hearts
- Halloween sixlets
- Halloween M&M's
- Halloween Hershey's kisses
- Swirly lollipops
- Candy corn
- A tree of dum-dums
- A gingerbread haunted house (not for eating)
"The taste of love is sweet when hearts like ours meet" -- Johnny Cash
VENUE DETAILS -- 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio
Vow cards with vows written by DH and I -- vows in their entirety here
This is a display of all of the comments/advice we received back on our RSVP postcards:
Photo guest book made on Mixbook.com -- I highly recommend them! If you want to see the whole thing in more detail, click here. I put a ridiculous amount of time into each page but it was so much fun for me!
The open dance kickoff song was "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO! Our DJ could not have picked a better song.
DOLLAR DANCE -- "Easy Heaven" (The Commodores VS The Cure Mashup) and "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole
Everybody wanted to dance with us and each other. LOL
Back to open dance...
Lets do "The Time Warp" again!!!
Later, the music kicked into higher gear with our old school favorites like "Born Slippy" by Underworld and "James Brown is Dead" by L.A. Style. Our guests couldn't stay off of the floor!
A toast at the bar!
This next photo is the entire reason I wanted to do a sparkler exit. =)
GRAND ENTRANCE -- "Viva Las Vegas" by Vince Neil of Motley Crue
FIRST DANCE -- "That's Amore" by Dean Martin :)
THE SPEECHES AND CHAMPAGNE TOAST (this was one of our splurges)
CAKE CUTTING -- "Lips Like Sugar 12" Mix" by Echo & The Bunnymen
MOTHER SON DANCE -- "Smile" by Nat King Cole
BOUQUET TOSS -- "Single Ladies" by Beyonce
GARTER REMOVAL -- "Cherry Pie" by Warrant
GARTER TOSS -- "Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy