Where To Start With Wedding Playlists

I recently asked my Instagram community for blog topic requests and received this one from COVID-bride and friend, Kristin! She wanted to hear about wedding songs so here are my playlist tips. (If there are any tasks to try and tackle for your 2021 wedding during a holiday season amidst a pandemic, this is a good one!)

Don’t get overwhelmed, start with a template. Open an excel document and create three columns titles on the top row: EVENT, SONG ARTIST, SONG TITLE. Event would be things like ‘ceremony’ or ‘first dance’ and the song details don’t have to be exact, but put down what you know (even if names are spelled wrong or titles are incomplete because you can clean it up later.) You don’t need to fill this all out yet, but it will be a good template to refer to. This will also allow you to filter and sort so that you can get a quick glance of any artists repeated too many times or missing items like the exit song at the ceremony.

If you’re working with a professional who will be taking care of your music, ask them what they need along with any due dates since there will be varying levels of support. If anything, they will need some guidance and requests for specific points of the wedding, like the first/family dance song requests. You could also give them directional genre guidance, like ‘No Country’, ‘Make it family friendly’, or ‘We love artists like _____________’ or ‘Like oldies that are upbeat.’

Put down the first songs that come to mind. Once you have your template crafted, just start typing. You and your fiancé likely have songs that are important to your relationship so fill those out first. Then think about songs that you both really enjoy. You know, the songs that you turn up the volume on when you’re in the car together or is connected to a special memory. To begin to add length to the playlist, start to think about weddings you’ve been with music vibes that you enjoyed and try to emulate that. While this is your day, do consider your guest preferences. To meet diverse needs, you will likely have things on your list that aren’t personal all-time favorites but that your guests will enjoy.

When you need inspiration, do some research. You will get stuck. Here are some ways to get inspired:

  • Scroll through your own music library as well as other playlists. Music platforms like Apple Music, Pandora or Spotify have a variety of playlists that have already been created. Type in things like Wedding Playlist or Party Vibes. These playlists will help point you in the right direction and make you think of songs that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Google and YouTube will be your friend, along with any of your go-to wedding planning sites (like Brides or The Knot) that you have bookmarked. When you search, try using specific search terms, like ‘Unique Acoustic Wedding Songs’ or ‘Modern First Dance Songs’ or even ‘Wedding Playlists That Aren’t Cheesy’.
  • Pinterest is one of my faves because there are TONS of entire playlists that are featured (using some of the same search terms from above). Check out the board I created with curated playlists from others.
  • Have you attended a wedding where you loved the music or are you close with a bride that just went through the planning process? Check with the couple to see if they have a copy of their playlist to give you some ideas. If you have a wedding planner or friend in the music/DJ industry, they may be able to help, too.

Don’t expect to finish it in one sitting and editing will be your friend. Keep it in mind as you hear songs on the radio or make new memories with your spouse. While this can be an intimidating exercise, music should be FUN. This is going to set the tone of the entire timeline of your event so spend some time settling in to making these decisions. When you have your playlist close to complete, play some of the songs on your list to make sure they still feel right.

If you have some extra time, don’t underestimate the joy that a ‘Morning of’ playlist will bring to you. Press PLAY when you’re getting ready with your girls and have music in the background that will put you in the right mood. You don’t have to be overly selective here, and this would be where a pre-made one on YouTube or Spotify would be suitable. Too much? Ask your MOH to be in charge of this task.

Remember that more is better. I got confused about how many should be on the list. While the number will vary based on length of your event, more is better and not all songs have to be ones that you absolutely love because there will be a lot going on that day. Most weddings have a solid 1 or 2 hours of ‘dance time’ but there will be moments where music can be played but won’t be the focal point (like when you greet your guests at each reception table). I used a DJ at a destination wedding so didn’t have to be overly prescriptive but still provided a list of 60 songs. Not all were played but many were. When our special song collections came on, they made me smile, and some of the wildcards selected by the DJ to match the energy were the best.

Lastly, if you’re able to, SAVE your wedding playlist document and then create a physical playlist on your music devices. You can play it once you’re married to remind you of your special day.

Kristin, I hope this helps! I am excited that you were able to have a micro-wedding to become a new Mrs. and know that you’re looking forward to your future wedding celebration.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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5 Mistakes Brides Make When Losing Weight For Their Wedding

7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMI recently got connected with bride to be, Corinne, and was quickly struck by her passion. I thought she had an interesting story and that she’d be able to share some helpful tips with you on a very popular topic: getting in shape for your wedding day—even in the midst of a global pandemic! (Tip #3 is key!)

“I know I am new here so let me introduce myself. I am Corinne, a Registered Dietitian, Virtual Nutrition Coach and fellow COVID Bride. I have been with my fiance for almost 10 years, we got engaged the day before Thanksgiving 2018 (he proposed to me with our house, but I’ll save that story for later). We were supposed to get married on March 28, 2020 except COVID-19 and the stay at home order happened the week before our date so we postponed until August 7, 2020, then finally postponed for the last time to March 6, 2021. (I swear if it doesn’t happen this time, we are eloping – does anyone else feel this way?!)

COVID-19 Bride to Be, Corinne GilardiAnywho, I help brides, just like, you slim down and feel confident for their wedding day and everyday after without dieting. Bride, I hear you talking to yourself saying, “what do you mean without dieting?! How do brides lose weight then?” I am here to tell you that you never have to diet again to reach and maintain your weight loss goals. 

Now to the good stuff. Here are the 5 mistakes I see brides, just like you, make when slimming down for your wedding day.

  1. You start working on your weight loss goals too late. I recommend to my bridal clients to start working on their wedding day weight loss goals at least 6-12 months before their wedding date. By starting this early, it makes sure that you actually reach your weight loss goals before your wedding dress alterations have to happen, which is usually 1-3 months before your wedding date. 
  2. You follow some strict fad diet or pay for meal replacement shakes because you think it will make it easy to lose weight. Those diets are really restrictive and low calorie, which is why you might see weight loss, but then you’ll plateau and not know what to try next. You will have low energy, increased stress and might start feeling hangry because you are not fueling your body. My brides all learn how to nourish their bodies with all foods for optimal energy (no hangryness allowed).
  3. You only work on eating less and exercising more. Those diets and meal plans you are doing do not focus on other areas of health, stress, sleep and mindset. If you continue to disregard all areas of health you will never learn to love yourself once you reach that number you’ve been wanting on the scale. You might think it’s the number you’re after but really it’s the feeling you are looking for. By not doing the internal work you are setting yourself up to fail.
  4. You try losing weight on your own and you give up. A recent graduate of my coaching program told me that she had hit an all time low before working with me. She was lost and confused because she tried every diet out there and nothing worked for her. She was about to give up on it all and continue to hate how she looked with little to no confidence in herself. Then she joined my program, gained the guidance that gave her a plan that was specific to her, support and accountability to keep pushing through the challenging days and she was able to completely transform her life. She is now buying smaller size clothes, has more confidence than she has ever had and is living a life she is obsessed with. I want this for you bride! You deserve this kind of life and feels!
  5. You are too prideful and feel guilty that you do not know how to lose weight on your own so you do not hire a coach. There is no shame or guilt in not knowing everything. It is impossible to be an expert in every area of your life. It is okay to ask for help when help is needed. If you’ve been considering hiring a coach to help you slim down for your wedding day or if you haven’t thought about it but are interested in learning more, this is your sign. Hire the coach. You will not regret it.

Bride, I want you to feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, empowered, ready to take the next step in your relationship, filled with joy and feeling good in your skin on your wedding day. You deserve nothing less.

If you want more information about how you can reach your wedding day goals follow me on Instagram @corinnegilardi or join my free Facebook community “Bride Tribe Weight Loss with Corinne” to learn more and be supported on your journey.”

Thanks, Corinne! I know that my readers will love this blog as much as I did. And congrats (in advance) on your big day…I am crossing my fingers until next March for you! 

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Weddings Amidst A Global Pandemic

I’m back after a much-needed break for a few months. A lot has changed during this time, including the beginning of a global pandemic! As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, and continues to change, every single industry in unique ways. The wedding industry tops the list. It’s heartbreaking, knowing that couples who have planned their big day for years have had to make abrupt changes to their vision just so they could still get married. While others have made the hard choice to reschedule or cancel altogether. In a way, it’s simplified weddings and forced couples to focus on what matters: the two of them, vows, and those absolutely closest to them. It’s no longer about whether or not your third cousin needs to be invited or if the DJ can amp up a party.

I know, however, that simple doesn’t mean easy. I’ve seen a lot of creative ideas thus far and am looking forward to seeing how more couples navigate this time.

  1. Video streaming services allow for couples to bring their big day live to their loved ones. Consideration: Be thoughtful with the platform that you choose since some require logins that your guests may not have.
  2. Drive-by weddings are the new drive-by birthday parties. Allow guests to drive by when you and your spouse exist the ceremony space. The most creative guests might decorate their cars with balloons or throw rose petals out of the window. Consideration: This will work for some locations and/or sizes of guest lists. If you plan to be married in a tight urban or residential area then it may not work.
  3. If your wedding is further out (6+ months), don’t make any hasty changes. While it’s important to research specific policies to postpone or cancel, things will continue to change. If you move too quickly to make changes then you might need to adapt yet again at a later date. Consideration: Reach out to all of your vendors to find out what their cancellation policies are and specific time frames to keep in mind. Set a reminder on your calendar so you know when these dates are coming up.
  4. Even if you host a small event, you will still need to remain cautious and that might require some additional creativity. Keep an eye on your local news and pay attention to guidelines like these from the CDC on how to safely host an event. Consideration: Try to be flexible with your wedding vision. While having wedding rows that are 6-feet apart or signs on extra hand-sanitizer at the food stations weren’t likely what you first envisioned, it could be worth it if it still allows you to have an in-person event during the age of the coronavirus.
  5. You may have found that wedding planning was already getting really complicated and becoming much bigger than you had hoped. This could be your way of making your day just about you two and the love that you share. Elopement-like weddings are at an all-time high and could be done in exotic or beautiful places within driving distance. As long as you have someone to marry you and an epic photographer, this could end up being something really special. Consideration: Before you go this route, both you and your spouse-to-be need to make a list of the people who you believe HAVE to be at your wedding. This could change whether or not it’s feasible something this small. If it’s important for you to be married, you could also do something super-small now and then re-do your I do’s when things settle down.

I’m sorry for the bride and groom’s who have to quickly change their wedding logistics but have been encouraged by the resilience and openness displayed by many engaged couples during this time. Make the best of it and just know that these will make for great stories in the future! I mean, who else can say that they were married during a global pandemic?

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How to Mentally Prepare for Marriage

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I recently posted about the things that I didn’t realize about marriage once I got the ring. There is so much that you don’t know when entering this new season of your life, and that’s part of the fun. If you’re serious with your boyfriend, newly engaged, or newly married, here are some tips to help set you up for success. With anything in life, success is likely going to be a result of your attitude and commitment. Here is how you can mentally prepare to be a lifelong spouse:

Remember that future decisions will need to go from an I to a We. You are now part of a two-piece puzzle and it’s crucial that you keep in mind the other piece. While it might not change specific outcomes, at least you are in it together.

While you are both part of a two-for-one, don’t lose sight of your individual self worth or independence. Becoming a “wife” or a “husband” will be a new label in your identity, but it is not all that you are. Continue with your own self-care and choose to spend time doing the things that feed your soul.

Marriage is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself with your expectations, how you adapt to living with one another, and what the rest of your lives together will look like. You have time to get to know each other and create norms that you’re both comfortable with.

As my sister/Matron of Honor shared in her wedding toast: “Always remember that you’re on the same team.” There will be times that it feels like the world is against you. No matter what, know that you’re backed into a corner with your spouse. They aren’t the ones that are on a different team, they are on your team. Try to show that to one another in your words and actions.

The engagement season is a unique time in your relationship where you can look forward and plan your life together. Once that life begins, do everything you can to ENJOY and be PRESENT. You have chosen one another and that’s the best part.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Planning a wedding? Is it all worth it?

When I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, I kept asking myself “Is it all worth it?”, and I hear other brides ask the same thing, too.
Is it worth it to spend hours contemplating between two shades of one color, when they look the same to most other people? Is it worth it to invest in a dress that you will likely only wear once? Is it worth it to pay for food and drink for 100+ people? Is it worth it to put so much time into the DIY elements that might only be recognized by a few guests? (And the list goes on…)
Here’s the deal. Second guessing (everything) will be part of the planning process. But the answer is “yes” as long as it truly meets this criteria:

    You aren’t just doing something a certain way because ‘that’s how everyone else does it’ or ‘Grandma would be more comfortable if it’s more formal…’ Instead, you’re making decisions that are true to who you are to make YOUR day special.
    You aren’t over-extending yourselves either mentally, physically, or financially just to put up a front for your guests. You don’t throw a wedding party to please people or make them think something you’re not, you throw a wedding party to celebrate a forever-union. Honestly, the wedding invitation that comes in a velvet monogrammed box just might not be worth it, unless you’re going that route because it MEANS something to you and your future spouse.
    You aren’t making spinning your wheels and spending unnecessary energy on the drama. If there’s one way that you can actually enjoy the planning process a little more, it’s to not get wrapped up in the things that will not bring value to your big day. Like really, who cares if your mom’s friend from high school is mad they didn’t get invited. And who cares if Aunt Ruth thinks it’s inappropriate to have someone give you lingerie at your bridal shower. Dust it off, because that’s NOT worth it, and you’ll need that space in your mind and heart to focus on what is. (This isn’t meant to sound harsh, but these are the details that are not worth it because they won’t matter after your big day.)

Be intentional and challenge why you are making each decision throughout the planning process. Because then once you make those decisions, you can rest assured that your big day will represent who you are and turn out exactly they way it’s supposed to. I promise you, it’s worth it.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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