Your Wedding Vows

Wedding

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what’s a more romantic topic to discuss than wedding vows? (Honestly one of the bride’s favorite planning moments, and the groom’s least favorite!)
One could argue that vows are THE MOST important part of your wedding ceremony. After all, this will be the part of the day where you promise to be together forever. Vows can be a little nerve-wracking though, especially with all of the day-of commotion, so it’s important to plan ahead and be confident about the route you select to take.

There are a few ways you can go. No way is the right way, but make sure you choose something that you’re both comfortable with.

  • You could go traditional all of the way. Tried and true—nothing too fancy but still very sentimental.
  • Find a more modern/unique version. It can be one that is true to who you are as a couple.
  • Write your own and read them yourself out loud to each other. Make sure it’s not last minute, though!
  • Write your own and have the officiant read it during the ceremony (just give it to them ahead of time).
  • Find real vows published online by other couples that you can use. Don’t act like they are your own, though!
  • Speak from the heart and in the moment. This can be a little bit harder because you’ll have no idea how you’re going to feel and could be very nervous, but it could be a beautiful and inspired moment.

My husband and I opted to find a more modern and unique version that we found online. It was important to me to have some traditional elements, but to still have a little bit of fun with it. We both KNEW that we didn’t even want to ATTEMPT to do our own because of emotions, and while I know that would have been more special, I think it would have been a lot more pressure on us. This way, we just had to speak after the pastor did, and we both still stuttered!

Here is what we both said:

“I take you to be my best friend, My faithful partner and my true
love. I promise to encourage you and inspire you and to love you truly
through good times and bad. I will forever be there to laugh with you,
to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally
through all of our adventures in life together.”

I loved our vows and the sentiment shared on that day was so special. 

Whatever way you go, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and come back to what you know: how beautiful your relationship is and the joy that you’ll have together on this special day.

Brides, what are you planning? Wives, would you have changed anything about your vow selections?

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Creating a Wedding Timeline

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One of the most chaotic parts of wedding planning is often where to get started and how to get all of the important tasks done prior to the big day. After all, most of us aren’t official party planners at our day job!

What’s crucial will be the order in which you do things, and a timeline is key. Here are some of my favorite timelines to help you create a game plan leading up to the big day.

Dear LC Timeline via Pinterest (featured above, click for the full image)

MODWedding Article via Pinterest

From BettyLuPaperie shared via Pinterest

The Knot 12 Month Checklist

With these timelines, do keep in mind that most begin 9-12 months ahead of time so you’ll likely need to alter it to meet your wedding date. I also recommend referencing multiple timelines online, because some will mention minor details that others will miss (but could be very important!)

Happy planning. I hope these help! Are there wedding timelines that I missed? Let me know!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Five Tips to Become an Organized Bride

Stressed woman holding a long to-do list

When it came to planning my wedding, I knew that my natural instincts would come in handy. I am detail-oriented and am called the “process queen” by people I work with…because how can you stay organized and on track with ANYTHING without a process in place?! But what if you aren’t this way, or you instinctively are, but you just have too much going on to keep the planning on track.

More and more brides these days are planning their own weddings, without having a wedding planner on call for all of the details. Some have more of a hybrid approach, where they hire wedding support consultants for a specific area (like decor) or running the day-of events. Either way, it’s going to be crucial to stay on track with all of your tasks!

Here are my tips based on what helped me:

  • As hard as it might be, try not to get overwhelmed! You can not do all things at once so make sure to prioritize. The crucial components (like date and venue) should all be planned first, and the type of candle placed in the church or your first dance song can be selected a little later.
  • Use technology to your advantage. Keeping a notebook can be tough because you’ll probably do your wedding planning throughout your day and in different locations. If you use your phone to stay on track, you’ll always have it with you at a moments notice. If you prefer an in-app experience, The Knot has a great checklist that you can use on your phone. I used the “notepad” section on my phone for hot items because it was more customized to me, and then had a longer to-do list saved on my computer.
  • Organize your tasks by category so you can keep things straight. For example, have a category on your list related to your wedding dress. Note your dates for dress shopping, alteration 1 and alteration 2. Or have a category for your catering so tasks include things like finding a vendor, food tasting, and then menu planning. Also make sure to note any important vendor meetings (especially close to the big day) so you don’t forget anything.
  • Have an accountability partner that can keep you on track (and preferably not your future spouse, but that’s another topic to talk about another day.) A member of your bridal party is a great option because they’ll be involved and invested. Ask these individuals to help you keep things straight by either delegating tasks or working together on large items. Bridesmaids can be GREAT at reminding you to do things, especially as you get closer to the big day, but you need to make sure they’re aware of what you need help with. (And ask nicely!)
  • Celebrate when you cross things off of your list! There will be so much going on around you and a lot of pressure on both the bride and groom to get things done on time. Don’t be so focused that you miss the small moments and milestones along the way. After all, all of these decisions are going to eventually lead into the biggest day of your life! (No pressure!)

Do you have other tips that brides can keep in mind? Chime in with a comment!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Pinterest Tips to Use Before Wedding Dress Shopping

bridal dress on a hanger

To keep with the topic of Pinterest (one of my favorite wedding planning tools), let’s transition to a specific content category: wedding dresses.

I found my wedding dress on Pinterest. No joke!

I (like many of you) dreamed about my wedding dress well before he asked the big question. For years, I watched the tv show “Say Yes to the Dress” and I even cut out a few of my favorite dresses from bridal magazines. But what I ended up walking down the aisle in, ended up being completely different than my initial vision (in the best way possible.)

I spent hours looking at dresses online. I started with many of the big retailer websites so I could see what was available, but then I looked to Pinterest for more inspiration. This helped me get a better idea of budget, styles available, and material choices, but it also showed me how much was available. It can be quite daunting, but I was able to take a step back and just look at my research as inspiration. (Try not to get SO set on a specific dress or style because you never know how they will look!)

I started a wedding board specific to wedding dresses and started pinning away. I invited my sister/Maid of Honor so she could comment on the dresses. (One of her most hysterical comments was “Say no to peplum!” but that’s a story for another day.)

By the end of my pinning, I had almost 40 dresses and bridal veil styles selected. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would be an invaluable tool when I actually went wedding dress shopping. My dad and I went on Valentine’s Day together to look for my dream dress at David’s Bridal. I walked in with my iPad and when the consultant asked what I had in mind, I pulled up my Pinterest board. Here was why this was SO helpful:

  1. It’s HARD to describe exactly what you envision, especially if you don’t know all of the technical dress terms of cut and style. This visual story telling will help set up the consultant for success and will decrease chances for miscommunication.
  2. It’s likely that you will fall in love with multiple styles (at least in theory) and it’s helpful for the consultant to see your variety in taste and how far you’re willing to push your own bounderies.
  3. Don’t forget to pin some dresses from the actual store’s website, so it’s easier to find exact styles. If you can’t find the store options on Pinterest, save the images from their website and pin them yourself.
  4. It’s important to let the consultant know that you are open, and not too set on anything you have pinned. The last thing you want them to feel like is that you’ve pinned (get it?) them into a corner with no room to exhaust their own expertise.
  5. Don’t question the consultant too much or act like you know it all. I recommend asking them to pull a “wild card” for you, because you never know!

What was interesting was that the dress I selected was LITERALLY the last dress that I pinned. It was a designer gown (a little over my budget, of course) that I randomly found through some random navigation online (you know how you go, I don’t know how I ended up on this person’s board, but I like it.)

Oh, and did I mention that it was blush colored? I had never even considered color before then, but this guided my discussion with the consultant so I was able to lead with “I’m open to color.” I ended up selecting that exact blush dress, and married the man of my dreams in it. Thanks Pinterest, David’s Bridal, and Vera Wang! Happy pinning and happy dress shopping…I hope you now see how the two can go hand in hand!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How to Effectively Use Pinterest for Wedding Planning

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I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon soon after the platform was created. The collections of images made sense to me, but I never used it as a traditional social medium (commenting, making friends etc.) After I created a few simple boards, I found that I just liked looking at all of the images. I would choose a specific category like fitness or quotes and just scroll. The variation of images and inspiration was always a nice break in the day to get my mind off of work, home, etc.

Confession time: When my then-boyfriend and I started getting serious and I knew he was “the one”, I created a PRIVATE wedding board. Just for myself! It was fun for me to start to envision what the special day would look like. (I didn’t tell him, of course, because he might have gotten freaked out!)

Pinterest is HUGE in the wedding industry and you hear things at weddings like “This is totally a Pinterest wedding!” (as a compliment.) So for you new brides, here are my tips on how to get the most out of Pinterest when planning your wedding.

  • Don’t be afraid to create multiple boards by category (i.e. wedding dress options and décor.)
  • Be selective on what you might want private and what you choose to make public. Having a private board made me feel more comfortable, and I was able to truly pin multiple things without feeling like a crazy person! It almost felt like a personal notebook or planning folder.
  • Invite your bridal party to your boards! This can really help them see your vision and it becomes a shared activity so they can pin things, too. This is also a great way to get bridesmaids involved who don’t live in the same area as you. (And bridesmaids, do your own private boards for things like bachelorette party and the bridal shower.)
  • Start by reviewing the pre-set wedding related category, and then try some different search terms. I found more things in “boho wedding ideas” and “shabby chic wedding” than anything else…and those weren’t even my wedding themes!
  • Pinterest is a great source for color inspiration! You can search for color palettes and see how real brides have put these into action, and you might even find some unique color combinations that you would have never selected yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to save pins to click through to links. I think some people forget that most images are tied to a link (especially wedding ones) so it’s a great way to quickly find new blogs or product pages. I found some great wedding favor ideas and day-of tips that I could look through when I had time.
  • Be open! When I was planning my wedding, I would spend one day a week during my lunch break sitting in my car and looking at boards on my iPad. I would just scroll, pin, and research, and many things popped out as inspiration that I wouldn’t technically search for.
  • Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to use every piece of inspiration or that you need to replicate what some call “a Pinterest wedding.” Feel free to use it as a visual guide to work with your wedding planner (if you have one) and any wedding vendors (like photographers or even wedding stylist/dress shopping.) It’s almost like a vision board, where you know it won’t get it all to look exactly that way, but it can help you start to envision what your big day will be like.

Pinterest is just one modern wedding day tool and can add a lot of fun to your wedding research process. Make it a side activity to do in your down time, and enjoy!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Selecting a Wedding Date

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When we started making wedding plans, one important question kept coming up. When will it be? It was confusing for us to figure it out and it took some time to select the perfect date. There are a few things to take into account when deciding this:

First, narrow down the calendar. Is there a season that feels best? One that means something to you as a couple? Maybe you met on a beach during spring break or while on a walk in the park with leaves falling around you. Or maybe you dreamed of a winter white wedding and that happens to be a less stressful work season when you can take off. This is a great place to start.

You could also select a special day if you already have one that you cherish. Either the date of when you met, or an anniversary, or the day that your parents or grandparents were married.

If you are still floundering…there’s another less romantic topic related to saving the date: price. A lot of venues decrease prices for weekday weddings, or wedding resort packages might be more appealing during the lull of travel season. Think about this, if it’s peak travel season and everyone is off doing fun things, it will likely be more expensive.

And last but not least…just look at a calendar and choose something! We chose a day with no prior significance…it just happened to fall on a weekend during the time of year that we wanted, and it sounded good. No matter what, this will be YOUR day of love forever! Don’t put too much pressure on it. Having a date is extremely helpful because it will allow you to plan and have a schedule to work against.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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5 Things I’d Tell My Newly-Engaged Self

pictogram marriage proposal happy brideEntering into 2017 tonight might mean some new shiny accessories for some of you ladies. How romantic!

Before my (now husband) proposed, I would dream about my future proposal. How would it happen? When would it happen? Would it be simple, or grand, maybe something in the middle? Would I be the center of attention? Would I be surprised, or know it was around the corner? And oh my gosh, will my nails look nice enough for a close up?

What I was most excited about was to wear a ring on THAT finger…one that said “he loves me” and “he wants me to be his.” I also (more importantly) dreamed of being his wife. It was something I wanted for a long long time. It was something we talked about. I knew it would happen eventually, and I wanted it more than anything I’d ever had before.

He proposed, and I said yes…of course! It was just the two of us at my house after a nice evening out. It wasn’t on the family trip a week prior, like I thought it would be, so I was surprised. He cried (even though he wouldn’t fess up to this) and he asked me to be his wife. I will never forget this moment for the rest of my life.

Looking back, what I’d tell myself prior to the proposal is this:

1. It might not happen the way you “want” it, but it will be special and a memory that will be held sacred for the both of you.

2. Whether or not you get real-time Instagram-worthy pictures, you will have your ring for the rest of your life. This will be your very own Kodak memory to look at every single day.

3. This moment isn’t about this very moment. It’s a collection of every moment that led to this one, and that will be overwhelming and beautiful.

4. Think about who you want to tell and in what order. There is nothing worse than missing an important person and they then find out on Facebook with the rest of the world. It’s ok to keep this moment yours for just a little bit, and might be worth not running to social media.

5. Don’t think about wedding planning yet. You will have people put pressure on you and literally will ask if you’ve “saved the date” the day after he’s down on one knee. Take some time to enjoy being engaged because this season will only happen once.

No matter how or when it happens, it will be an extremely important question that will allow you to enter into a special season of life and love. Shout your answer from the rooftops and jump in with two feet.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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I Do, Me Too: A Wedding Destination

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Last year I encountered the most magical day of my life thus far: my wedding day. Unlike my friends who have gotten married, the passion insider me for weddings hadn’t died down once I said “I do.” As a happily (kind of) newlywed, I can honestly say that I am still OBSESSED with all things weddings.

Enter in this blog. I’ll be posting weekly about an array of wedding topics. I’ll share some of my personal stories as a destination wedding bride, a collection of my blissful tips collected along the way, and some aspects of wedding planning that you might not have already thought of.

Whether you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, dreaming of a proposal, or just another girl who loves weddings…welcome!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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