Getting Started Series: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide!

We are so excited to launch our first e-book, Getting Started: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide

When it comes to taking on wedding to do tasks, we hear “I’m so overwhelmed with so many to do tasks” and  “I don’t know where to even begin” all of the time from planning brides and understand how incredibly stressful and overwhelming planning a wedding can be.

On average, planning a wedding requires a minimum of 500 hours to take on the hundreds of decisions from creating the guest list, selecting vendors, determining the budget, saying yes to the dress, selecting wedding decor and so much more.

Finding assistance in planning can be stressful in itself but is crucial to stay on budget, on schedule, to minimize stress and to know what steps to follow as you plan from engaged to the big day.  Most wedding timeline guides aimed to provide a checklist of steps to fulfill while planning are simply one-page bullet points filled with dozens of to do tasks that do not actually walk through each step of the process.   Wedding planning books often take on detailed topics within a single chapter that simply doesn’t spend the necessary time to truly detail how to take on tough topics.  For the most comprehensive assistance, brides find that hiring a full-service wedding planner on average starts at $2,000 and a simple consultation for assistance averages at $40-$60 an hour, which may be out of budget.   

We are solving this common and stressful problem through our first e-book, Getting Started: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide, to help remove the stress often accompanied with wedding planning so that you can spend more time enjoying your journey! 

Our in-depth 130 page book walks you through each planning task starting with the engagement to the actual wedding day so that you feel like you are sitting down with a wedding planner but for a fraction of the price! As your own personal wedding planners, we walk through over 100 essential steps and expert tips  you must know for every little step along the way. We explain when tasks should get crossed off the calendar, expensive mistakes to avoid, what to consider for each decision, secrets to save, stay organized and cross off tasks like a pro! 

Jump in where you are in the process or start from the beginning for wedding planning that makes sense!  We even share how to easily adjust to meet your planning length so whether you are planning for 6 months or 24 months, our guide works for you!

Click the link below to grab a copy while in stock!

How To Plan Your Wedding With Engaged To The Details

 

Get caught up on past posts by searching our hot topics below!  From planning tips, savvy ways to save, etiquette advice and where to find looks that don’t break the bank, check our our past posts! 

Planning 

Help! I Just Got Engaged And Don’t Know Where To Begin

Sound Like A Pro: Wedding Terms You Need To Know

14 Planning Decisions Every Bride Will Consider

The Most Important Thing To Consider Before Setting Your Wedding Date 

How To Set Aside Time To Plan Your Wedding With Ease

How To Bring Your Wedding To Life

20 Biggest Regrets Every Bride Wants You To Know!

6 Secrets To Strategically Setting Your Wedding Date That Nobody Tells You

How To Choose Your Wedding Party

The Engagement Party: The Who, What, When, Where And Why

How To Get Guests To RSVP

How Can I Get My Fiance Involved In Planning

Budget

Secrets To Trim Hundreds From Your Wedding Budget – Guaranteed!

5 Expensive Mistakes To Avoid That Every Bride Needs To Know!

Who Pays For the Wedding Anyways?

Get The Answer To The #1 Way To Avoid Exceeding Your Wedding Budget

Etiquette

When To Pop The Question To Your Wedding Party

Who Gets A Plus One To My Wedding

When To Send Every Wedding Invitation

Shop The Look

Where Can I Find Budget Friendly Wedding Gowns

Where To Find Budget Friendly Wedding Stationary

Where Can I Find Affordable Bridesmaids Dresses 

Where Can I Find Affordable Decor

To Have & To Hold: Where I Can I Find Budget Friendly Wedding Gowns?

Q. Where can I find budget friendly wedding gowns?

A. We love Allure Bridals  for traditional and modern styles within a range of price points! 

  

 Photography: Lightbox Studio 

From always in style classics to playful trends, Allure Bridals offer a little something for every bride! Their wedding gowns range from tried and true staples for the traditional bride to revamped takes on timeless styles!

Allure offers multiple gown lines, including their budget friendly yet head turning Romance Line, Allure Women line for curvaceous brides and  Allure Couture for runway worthy style. Their beautifully crafted gown fabrics range from delicate lace, beaded embroidery and even ruffled column trains that command attention.  

Be sure to factor in time to receive your order in time for your first gown fitting. When placing orders, the estimated standard delivery time for bridals gowns are 12-20 weeks and for bridesmaids is 8-12 weeks. 

ADDED BONUS:

Continue crossing wedding attire off your list as they also carry tuxes, bridesmaids gowns and even wedding accessories such as veils and sashes!

                                                          

AVERAGE PRICE:

                                                                                Allure Women: $600 – $2,400
                                                                                Allure Modest: $700 – $1,700

                                                                                Allure Romance:  $800 – $1,300
                                                                                Allure Bridals:  $1,000 – $2,500
                                                                                Allure Couture: $1,500 – $4,000

  

                                                                                  Photography: Mango Studio

                                                                  

STYLE NUMBERS WE LOVE:

From fit for a princess ballroom gowns to glamorous mermaid gowns, check out a few of our favorite style numbers:

BALLROOM GOWN STYLES:

STYLE NUMBER 9413

STYLE NUMBER 9418

STYLE NUMBER 3001

STYLE NUMBER 2961

STYLE NUMBER 9408

 

MERMAID GOWN STYLES:

STYLE NUMBER 9403

STYLE NUMBER C362

STYLE NUMBER 3008

STYLE NUMBER 9421

Wediquette Q & A: How To Get Guests To RSVP

 

Q. Help! How do I get my guests to send in their RSVP invites?

A. One of the biggest planning hurdles our brides experience during our Wediquette Wednesday feature is collecting guest RSVP confirmations. Consider the following tips to solve this common concern!

If you HAVEN’T sent your invitations, follow these steps:

  • Make It Easy To RSVP: Make sure that the methods to RSVP are clear and specific on the invitation. Avoid confusion by making each step clear so that guests know exactly how to provide their RSVP confirmations or declines. Instead of stating RSVP, write out “Please respond by (specific date)”. This helps ensure guests that are not familiar with RSVP understand that there is a response required to their invitation.
  • Confirm Contact Information: Make sure that the contact information that you have for your guests is the most update to date information, and also their preferred. They may ask that you send to a specific address, or follow up at a specific phone number or email address. This will be incredibly important if you need to contact for follow up on their RSVP. Be sure to clarify if any apartment numbers are needed as well.
  • Clarify Importance Of Timely RSVP: Ensure that confirmation is crucial by providing a reason for their timely RSVP. Note specific reasons, such as RSVP requests are required for catering confirmations, to emphasize the importance of receive confirmations. This may help guests understand that their response is crucial to the decisions of your day.
  • Set Your RSVP Date Before You Need It: Buy time by scheduling your RSVP date sooner than you need it. While most caterers need a final head count at least 1-2 weeks before the big day, the last thing you want is to spend the final stretch of your planning journey chasing RSVP reply’s.  We recommend that you set your RSVP date 3-4 weeks before the big day. This means that you will have to send your invitations out in time to allow guests to receive and reply. Be sure to have invitations in the mail at least 8 weeks before the big day, setting RSVP requests 2-3 weeks before the big day. Aim to set 3 weeks before to allow time to track any late reply’s. For destination weddings, allow even more time to RSVP. Ask guests to confirm 2 months before the big day and mail invitations out 4-5 months before the big day.
      
  • Allow Multiple Ways To RSVP: Make it easy for guests to RSVP. Note if they can provide their confirmation by mail, email, phone or even text. Be sure to make all methods clear to ensure that guests have no problem with confirming. If you allow confirmations by email, set up an email account strictly for RSVP’s so that they are not overlooked.
  • Make RSVP Cards Ready To Go: Supply guests with pre-stamped RSVP cards so that guests only have to select their accept or decline. Fill in the names of invited guests, the return address and provide adequate postage to save time for guests so that they only have to drop in the mail after checking off their reply.
  • Stay Organized: Have a system to keep track of your RSVP’s.  We recommend that you mark each RSVP with a number that corresponds to the invited guest. Note the number assigned so that if your RSVP card comes back without a name, you can match it to the number! Check out these invisible marking pens for under $5 to discretely mark each card! Be sure to also keep track of each RSVP on a spreadsheet, noting if they are a decline or confirmation. Note how the guest confirmed as well, such as by card, phone or email.
  • Bring It Up!: Feel free to mention to invited guests before the RSVP date that you hope to have them and how they can provide their reply. Reach out by phone or note when you speak to provide an additional mention of your RSVP needs. 
 

If you HAVE sent your invites and are struggling to get guests to send in their RSVP invites:

  • Send Reminders: Don’t hesitate to send reminders to guests that have missed the RSVP date. Reach out to any guests that you have not received responses from to see if their card is in the mail. Attempt to receive by phone or ask if they could send by a specific date. Make sure to note why their response is important and that you hope to have them on the big day!  Allow a few days to check back with guests that you leave messages with or that did not follow through with RSVP extensions. If possible, rear in your fiance, family or maid of honor to also contact the guest for their response.

Wediquette Q & A: When To Pop The Question To Your Wedding Party

 

Q. When to should we invite our wedding party members?

A. Be sure to allow plenty of time to invite your wedding party members to take part in your day. This will allow them time to save for wedding related expenses and to free up their schedules for wedding related activities.

We recommend that you invite your wedding party 8-10 months before the big day. For destination weddings, ask as soon as venue is booked. This will allow time for wedding party members to block their schedule, save and secure any documents if needed, such as passports.

You will also need to ensure you know how many members you can afford to invite before extending an invitation as well.  While wedding party covers own expenses, such as attire and travel if coming from out of town, the couple will provide flowers, transportation to and from reception and ceremony, and gifts. Be sure to determine your wedding party budget before extending invitations.

While it’s important to ask in a timely manner, make sure to only pop the question when confident in your wedding party member selections.  Visit our blog post, How To Choose Your Wedding Party, for more on selecting wedding party members! 

 

Wediquette Q & A : When To Send Each & Every Wedding Invitation!

Q. When should I send out my wedding invitations?

A. It’s important to know when you should send out all of your wedding invitations to ensure that guests have more than enough time to accept their invitation or provide their regrets. Consider these recommendations for each wedding invitation sent during your planning journey:

  • The Engagement Party:

Guests to your engagement party should be guests that are guaranteed invites to your wedding. We recommend that you wait to send engagement party invites once your wedding budget has been created to ensure that an engagement party is in budget. Host your engagement party within 3-4 months of your big day. To ensure that invitations arrive to guests in time, send out no later than 4 weeks before the engagement party. This means that your budget should be complete 1-2 months after the big day.

  • Save The Dates:

Save the dates are crucial to ensure guests have set aside your wedding date in advance. They are especially important if having a destination wedding or wedding around a holiday. For domestic weddings, send save the dates 6-8 months before the wedding day. For destination weddings, send 8-10 months before the wedding.

 

  • The Bridal Shower:

Your bridal shower invites should also receive wedding invitations. Bridal shower attendees do not have to be every female invited to your wedding. Invitees are typically the brides closest family and friends. Close female family and friends of the groom are optional.  We recommend that bridal shower invitations are sent 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding.  

  • Thank You Cards: 

Thank you cards should be sent to all guests that attend your wedding, guests that provide a gift and even those that lend a hand.  Gifts may be received throughout your journey, so make a point to send thank you notes no later than 3 months from receiving the gift if possible or before the wedding date. For gifts received during the engagement party or bridal shower, send a thank you note 2-3 weeks after the event. Send thank you cards for all wedding attendees no later than 3 months after the big day. All guests that attend the wedding should receive a thank you card, even if they did not supply a gift. For those that lent a hand during your planning journey or even on the big day, send a thank you card no later than 3 months after the wedding. For gifts received after the wedding, send thank you cards within 2-3 weeks after the big day.

 

  • The Wedding Invitation:

After creating your guest list, begin collecting guest addresses and contact information. Be sure to obtain contact information, such as phone and email, in case you need to personally contact for late RSVP confirmations or declines. For domestic weddings, send invitations 6-8 weeks before the big day. For destination weddings, send out invitations at least 3 months before the big day to give guests plenty of time.

  • The Bachelorette & Bachelor Party:

Bachelorette and bachelor party invites should also be invited to the wedding. Invites can be close friends of the bride for the bachelorette party and of the groom for the bachelor party.  If the groom has sisters, they should be invited as well.  The same goes for if the bride has brothers.  Bachelorette and bachelor parties are typically held a few days before the big day or even a few weeks before. Invitations should be sent at least 1 month in advance. 

  • The Rehearsal Dinner:

The rehearsal dinner is attended by the wedding party, close family to the bride and groom, the wedding planner, officiant and out of town guests. The rehearsal dinner is usually held the night before the wedding. We recommend that you send invitations 5-6 weeks before the rehearsal dinner.

Wediquette Q & A: How Can I Get My Fiance Involved In Wedding Planning?

 

Q. How do I get my fiance involved in wedding planning?

A.  Your fiance may be eager to assist, have his own ideas for the day that he is excited to incorporate, or would like to lend a hand in planning but simply isn’t sure where his assistance is needed. Consider the following ways to get your finance involved in the planning journey:

  • The Wedding Website: If he is tech savvy, have him work on the wedding website.
  • The Wedding Budget: If he has strong budgeting skills, ask him to create your wedding budget and how resources will be saved towards the big day.
  • Creating A Signature Drink: If he’s a mixologist or familiar with types of liquors, have him create a potential signature drink recipe.
  • Negotiating With Vendors: If he is comfortable negotiating with vendors, have him accompany all vendor contract signing meetings to consider areas to ask for possible add-ons or discounts.
  • The Guest List: If he is super organized, ask that he help keep track of the guest list RSVP confirms and declines.
  • The Vows: If your fiance has a way with words, ask that he write his own vows. 
  • Do It Yourself Projects: If he is crafty, ask that he lend a hand with do it yourself projects.
  • The Menu: Ask your fiance to join in on menu and cake tasting appointments, especially if he’s a foodie!
  • The Day of Timeline: If your fiance is timely and organized, ask for his assistance and input in creating your day of timeline. This will also help in suggesting groomsmen to delegate tasks to, or that may need schedule reminders if they are notorious for running late.
  • Attire and Theme: Ask for his opinion on wedding day attire, especially for the groomsmen and even ring bearers. Ask for his opinion on style, colors and special touches. Have him also share his ideas on the wedding theme, especially if he’s got a great eye or is creative to consider personal touches!
  • Creating Itineraries For Out Of Town Guests: Ask your fiance to list potential places to go to keep out of town guests busy, as well as creating their full wedding weekend itinerary. 
  • The Seating Chart: Have your fiance provide input towards the seating chart. He can suggest guests that he thinks should be seated together for the perfect table!
  • Input On Rules: Consult with your fiance when it comes to important rules, such as if you will have an adults only wedding and if coworkers will be invited.
  • Setting The Wedding Date: Work with your fiance to consider potential wedding dates and times of year to host your day. Ask for his input on preferred seasons, as he may envision a specific time of year for the day.

 

 

For more tasks to take on during the planning journey, grab a copy of the ultimate wedding planning guide! Visit our shop for more on our 130 page e-book! 

 

Wediquette Q & A: Who Gets A Plus One To My Wedding?

 

Q. Who gets a plus one to my wedding?

A. The plus one debate can be a bit controversial and tricky. Some brides will stand by all guests should get a plus one while others will set rules allowing only married or engaged guests receiving.  The traditional, expected rule to follow is to invite the spouse or fiance of all invited guests. Traditionally, you may also invite guests that live with their significant others or are in long term relationships. 

Use our cheat sheet to consider plus ones by considering 3 categories:

Guaranteed Plus Ones, Preferred Plus Ones and If Our Budget Allows Plus One’s

Guaranteed Plus One Invite:

These are guests that traditionally and per etiquette  are guaranteed to receive plus ones:

  • Married Guests: Married guests should always receive a plus one for their spouse. Inviting kids is optional, especially based on their age and if you prefer to have an adults only wedding.
  • Engaged Guests: Engaged guests should always receive a plus one invitation for their soon to be spouse.

Preferred Plus One Guests: 

These are the guests that receive plus ones to the couples discretion and based on budget. These guests should receive top priority for plus ones if your budget allows:

  • Wedding Party Members: Wedding party members should get first dibs to receiving a plus one if your budget allows. For married and engaged wedding party members, their spouses and fiances should always receive an invitation.
  • Immediate Family: Immediate family should receive first dibs on plus ones along with the wedding party. Immediate family, such as siblings, aunts, uncles and first cousins should receive plus ones if your budget allows.
  • Guests In Long Term Relationships/Live With Significant Other: Guests in long term relationships or that live with their significant other should receive a plus one invite if your budget allows. Typically, these are guests where the name of the significant other comes to mind when considering who they would be likely to invite.
  • Destination Weddings: Your guests may not like the idea of traveling alone. Attempt to extend a plus one to all guests for destination weddings if your budget allows.

If Our Budget Allows Plus One:

Once you have factored in plus ones for guaranteed and preferred plus ones, begin to consider the following guests:

  • Single Guests: Single guests can be tricky as they may not feel comfortable attending alone or have a date they would like to accompany. If your budget allows, always extend an invite to single guests as their relatonship status may change during your planning journey and they simply may prefer to attend with someone else. If your budget does not allow, keep a consistent rule where all single guests either receive a plus one or do not receive a plus one. If an exception is made for one single guest, make the same extension for all single guests.
  • Guests Dating or In New Relationships: Considering plus ones for guests that are dating can be tricky and feel like a guessing game. Play it safe by simply reaching out to all single, non-married guests to inquire if they would have a plus one invite.  If they do not have a specific name in mind, extend a plus one if your budget allows. If they have a name in mind, extend a plus one based on consistent rules. For instance, you may set a rule that only guests in relationships can invite a plus one and not guests that will simply only invite a guest. To avoid the stress of attempting to determine where someones relationship status will be by the time of your big day, set a clear rule such as all guests receive a plus one regardless of relationship status or only guaranteed/preferred guests.  

General Rules:

  • Always remain consistent: If one wedding party member gets a plus one to invite a friend, allow all wedding party members to have a plus one. If one immediate family member is provided a plus one, extend to all. Ensure that instead of exceptions, that you provide consistent rules.
  • Even if you haven’t met spouse or fiance, they should still be considered a plus on to your invited guests.

 

Ready to take on planning like a pro? Grab a copy of our 130 page ebook today to walk through over 100 steps of the planning journey from just engaged to heading down the aisle! Click the image below for more!

 

 

Getting Started Series – Recap

We’ve made it through our first of many wedding planning series! Whoohoo! 

Our first series, “Getting Started” took on everything you need to know once you are engaged. From wedding terms you need to know to secret tips to consider before setting your wedding date, we hope that you feel equipped to take on your wedding planning tasks like a pro!

The good news is that we are just getting started! Our next series will take on the all important topic of the budget.

In the meantime, take a look back at our full Getting Started Series and share below future topics that you would like to see in the comments! 

14 Planning Decisions Every Bride Will Consider

Sound Like A Pro: Wedding Terms You Need To Know

The Most Important Thing To Consider Before Setting Your Wedding Date 

How To Set Aside Time To Plan Your Wedding With Ease

How To Bring Your Wedding To Life

How To Choose Your Wedding Party

Secrets To Trim Hundreds From Your Wedding Budget – Guaranteed!

20 Biggest Regrets Every Bride Wants You To Know!

5 Expensive Mistakes To Avoid That Every Bride Needs To Know!

Who Pays For the Wedding Anyways?

6 Secrets To Strategically Setting Your Wedding Date That Nobody Tells You

Get The Answer To The #1 Way To Avoid Exceeding Your Wedding Budget

The #1 Way To Avoid Exceeding Your Wedding Day Budget

The Engagement Party: The Who, What, When, Where And Why

Help! I Just Got Engaged And Don’t Know Where To Begin

To close out our series, enjoy a special 20% coupon code on our 130 page e-book, Getting Started: The Ultimate Planning Guide! Use coupon code thanks20 at checkout to enjoy 20% off your order! Click the link to shop now.

Getting Started Series: Help! I just got engaged and don’t know where to begin!

During our Wediquette Wednesday Q&A feature, we are always asked where to begin planning after getting engaged. With hundreds of decisions to make during the planning journey, we understand how overwhelming it can be to know where to begin.  

Check out our roundup of the 13 things that every bride should consider after getting engaged below!

  • Consider your wedding vision

We recommend that you make this your first step after getting engaged so that you spend time imagining your wedding vision, free from outside influence. This will be an amazing way to infuse personalized touches to your day that truly speak to you! Be sure to discuss with your fiancé to share ideas.

  • Consider your wedding budget

Your budget will not only determine how much you can afford for your dream day, but also your engagement length. If on a budget, stretching out your engagement will allow additional time to save up funds for your big day! 

  • Consider possible wedding dates

We recommend that consider not only wedding dates but your ideal wedding seasons. Imagine the time of year that you would like your day to take place, such as you if you ideally would love your wedding to take place during the summer or if you would prefer a winter wedding. Considering the season will not only help make decisions towards your wedding theme, but will also come in handy as you contact venues. You may find more availability if you are open to dates in a given season, opposed to one particular date.

  • Consider the wedding city

Decide if you will stay local or even have a destination wedding. If  your finance is from a different location, spend time comparing costs between locations to help narrow down the best fit for your budget!

 

  • Consider your wedding guest list

Decide if you plan to keep things intimate with a small wedding, or expect to have a larger wedding. Be sure to consider a ballpark number of guests, such as keeping your guest list under 100 guests or between 220-250 guests.

  • Consider the wedding venue

Consider the best style wedding venue for your day. Compare the pros and cons of venue space types, such as the amenities and cost to host your day in various venue types. You may decide that a banquet hall is the best fit or that a beach wedding is the perfect fit. 

  • Consider your wedding party members

Consider the wedding party members, from the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers and even ushers.  A good rule of thumb is to have at least one wedding party member on each side for every 50 guests. 

  • Consider wedding activities

Your wedding activities include the bridal shower, bachelorette party and engagement party. After getting engaged, consider if you will have an engagement party. We recommend that you host your engagement party within 3 months of your proposal. 

  • Consider your vendors

It’s never too early to begin researching vendors! In fact, we recommend that you begin right away! Many vendors, especially those that are popular and in demand, book months, even a year or more in advance. Begin researching vendors early so that you have plenty of time to research, interview and compare.

  • Consider the gown

Saying yes to the dress may take time, or you may find your dream gown on the first try! The first step is to consider your gown budget, then begin to save inspiration images of gown styles that speak to you. Try to find brides with similar body types to note gown styles that accentuate and flatter!

  • Consider the honeymoon

Decide if a honeymoon will fit into your wedding budget. You may have to dish out funds for honeymoon expenses, such as booking flights and even excursions, while also making purchases towards your wedding. We recommend that you consider if you can afford both wedding expenses and a honeymoon. The good news is that many couples are opting to have their honeymoon a few months after the big day, and even their 1 year anniversary, to allow time to save!   

  • Consider wedding decor

Once you have locked in your venue space, begin to save decor inspiration images for your ceremony and reception.  We recommend that you wait until you book your venue space so that your decor fits your venue space.

  • Consider the little details

There are countless little details to consider, from creating the menu to selecting flower girl baskets, that can feel never ending! We recommend that you avoid trying to take on all the little details alone. After getting engaged, consider who can lend a hand to avoid the stress of trying to do it all!

 

For over 100 more tips that every bride must know while planning their big day, get your copy of our e-book today by clicking the link below!