Your Venue and You

Posted by Amelia Wright | Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue Columbia SC

You have the ring. You’ve taken the #feyonce #heputaringonit Instagram pic. Your Pinterest is blowing up with all of the DIYs and the mason jars and the twinkle lights. You feel like you’ve got this whole wedding planning thing down because, I mean, your entire wedding has been planned out for, like, ever. You don’t realize what you need at this point, which is a venti pumpkin spice latte with two shots of espresso and big bowl full of reality.

Just because you subscribed to The Knot magazine, bought a wedding planning binder and filled it with colorful and seemingly organized tabs, and printed out a checklist does not mean you are planning. If you have realized that a wedding planner is going to be the best investment of your entire life early on, you are one in a million and 26.2 miles ahead of the game. If you have decided that you are definitely NOT hiring a planner, you are a brave and courageous soul and I wish you strength and peace.

Here’s the thing, planning a wedding is hard; way harder than what Pinterest would have you believe. There are several different main components in the planning process that, if dealt with correctly, could make the entire thing more of a shabang and less of a bang. I could write a short novel on each one of these components. But one of the most crucial decisions is one of the first that you have to make and sets the tone for everything else. It’s the venue.Wedding Planning Columbia

I know you want to figure out the most adorable way to ask your best friend to be your maid of honor. But, seriously, stop. Stop pinning, stop dreaming and figure out your venue. You can’t set a date without knowing your venue is available. You can’t decide seating without knowing if you’re getting married in your parents backyard or in a church. You can’t plan out how many and what flowers you’ll be able to use without knowing how much space you have to fill. You can’t have a wedding without knowing your wedding venue, so stop planning your wedding without knowing your wedding venue.

Thinking about deciding on a venue can be overwhelming at first. There are tons of factors involved that can be difficult to separate and prioritize. However, a few simple steps can help point you in the right direction and lead you down the babies breath lined path to happily ever after.

Step 1: Figure out a general “where”

What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of your wedding day? Outside forest backdrop? Traditional Catholic church? Beach? Courthouse? Vegas?

Whatever it is, use that as your starting point. The goal here, is simply to figure out if you are going the indoor or outdoor route. Once you know that, you’ll put a pin in it, set it aside, and either decide on or rule out another huge piece of the venue puzzle. Here or there.

Step 2: To travel or not to travel

Destination weddings are fun, personal, and reasonably efficient for some. Traveling for your wedding doesn’t have to mean going out of the country, though it could. Decide with your SO if there is a place outside of the states that might be an option. Have you both always wanted to go to Venice [insert any city/country]? Could a Venice honeymoon be in the cards? Do you have the proper documentation or could you easily obtain the proper documentation to travel outside the country? If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, get back in America, Jack.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Round 2. Is there a place in another state that holds sentimental value or that is uniquely beautiful? If you are considering traveling for your wedding keep this in mind: you will have a lot less control. This is not suggested for the procrastinators out there. You will not be there to know things like when the sunsets and what the weather trends are. You will not have the opportunity to build a relationship with your florist or your DJ or your caterer. You will have to keep track of when your wedding party is arriving and plan your rehearsal and bachlor(ette) parties in accordance with attendance. Any d.i.y.s become a lot more challenging when contemplating transporting them or having to complete them the morning of the wedding.

However, traveling for the wedding can be more economical for two main reasons. One, less guests will be able to attend. This means, less favors, less food, less booze… or maybe the same amount of booze. It can also be beneficial to have a destination wedding if you are planning a traveling honeymoon. Going to Scotland for a week long honeymoon? Why not get married there too!?

Step 3: Narrow it down

Now that you have figured out the relative geographical region you would like to get married in, let’s figure out what kind of atmosphere you would like to facilitate. Figure out your style individually and as a couple. Are you super traditional and/or religious? Are you really laid back and casual? In addition to thinking about your style, head all the way back over to question number one. What is the first image you get when you think about your wedding day?

After following these steps, you should probably have a really good idea of where your wedding is going to take place. If not, check out WeddingWire and type in a location. They will show you a list of local suggested venues as well as customer reviews.

Once you have your venue picked out, make sure to talk to the owners of the property to find out if the location is in your price range and when it is available. If all checks out, secure a date and move forward with the planning. Now that you have your venue secured everything else can begin to fall into place.

Setting A Date

Posted by Amelia Wright | The First Steps

Wedding Planning Tips

Many brides mistakenly assume setting a date is the first step in the planning process. Even though it is one of the first, it really should not be THE first. Engaged couples should be thinking  about when and where, generally speaking, they see their wedding in their heads, first. Then take the steps detailed in this post to figure out your ideal venue. Once you have a hazy vision and a solid venue option, it’s time to choose the date.

Deciding on the venue first is essential because it could play a huge role in setting that date. However, if there is definitely a date that trumps any other factors, you are way ahead of the game. For instance, I knew a woman who got engaged in October of 2013 and wanted to get married on 11-12-13. She got a gorgeous off the rack gown and got married in a local church. But if there aren’t any dates that are a must for you, definitely find out what your venue is going to be and when it is available before selecting a date.

The great thing about deciding on your venue first is that in order to so, you need to have envisioned your wedding at least a little. Do you see outside rustic or oceanside casual or banquet hall formal? These kinds of answers can help you choose your date by narrowing down a season. You may be able to narrow down the season by assessing some additional factors, as well, though.

‘Tis The Season

It may be less overwhelming to think about choosing a wedding date by simply choosing a wedding season, initially; I mean, there are only four options, here. For me, it came down to comfort, first, and schedule flexibility, second. I knew winter was out from the get-go because I hibernate every winter. Mid to late spring would have been my first choice, however, we got engaged in very late winter and knew we wanted to get married in less than a year but wouldn’t be able to afford to have the wedding of our dreams in less than four months! We decided to go with summer and pull in as many “spring-y” things as we could.

How To Select The Perfect Wedding Date

Perhaps you are not so concerned with the look and feel of the wedding as much as the cost. June, August, and September are the “wedding months” and will be more expensive in some areas. Though, in some cases it is not advantageous, to select a less desirable wedding date based on cost alone. While some things like venues, flowers, and photographers may charge less in the off-season, it may be difficult to find some more specific things that would be abundant in-season.  You may need to briefly consider things like food, flowers, and formality to think about what may be in or out of season so that you can compare cost cuts and comfort.

What’s Best For The Guest

Once you have selected a season, you are really close to choosing your date! First, look at the four months within your chosen season and, with your SO, think about whether there are any dates that are significant to you as a couple or you individually. I once knew a woman who decided on getting married in the spring time and realized within her spring months was her great grandparents wedding anniversary. She and her husband decided to pay tribute to them and get married on the same day.

However, if there are zero sentimental dates, start talking to close family member and friends to find out what would work best for the most important people in your lives. My husband and I originally planned to get married on July 15th and even cleared it with our parents. However, our usher and really good friend whose mom was our day-of coordinator, would be at summer camp during that weekend. So we changed it to the following weekend but realized he was only going to be coming home that day for another camp! We ended up getting married two weeks after our original date.

No Holidays

If you are still having trouble zooming in on a date within a season, try ruling out some dates. You will, for the most part, want to steer clear of holidays. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a themed holiday wedding. If that is your speed, you probably don’t need to read this article. There are pros and cons to celebrating your marriage close to or on a major holiday. Things like transportation, gas prices, rentals, and flowers could be more expensive depending on the holiday. Plus, think of your guests. Sure, your wedding is important, but will your guests want to spend their holiday celebrating your wedding rather than celebrating the holiday? On the other side of that coin, you may choose a holiday that provides an extended weekend that will be easier for some. But a less risky rule of thumb, is to stay away from holidays.

So if you decided on a summer wedding, but your fiance’s birthday is in June and you don’t want to throw a party any where near the fourth of July, you have already narrowed your date down to August or the end of July.

Honeymoon WishesWedding Planning Help

If you still are uncertain of a date for your wedding, look into honeymoon ideas. Start thinking, again very briefly, about where you may want to spend your honeymoon. Look into availability at hotels and other attractions you may want to visit as well as cost.

Once you have set a date, everything else will begin to fall into place. And while it can seem overwhelming, a simple process of elimination can get you to your goal quicker and get you a little closer to the really fun stuff!



Post Wedding Prep

Posted by Amelia Wright | Post Wedding Planning

Post Wedding Planning Tips

There is so much that goes into planning a wedding well. Whether you hired a planner to help make that process seem smother or you courageously embarked on the journey without outside help, there is a ton that you have to do and think about. Other than the honeymoon, you probably haven’t thought much about after the wedding, though. Big mistake. Here’s what you need to know about how and what to plan, for after the wedding.

The Getaway

Whether you are catching a plane to Rome right after the reception or spending the night in a hotel around the block, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly how you are getting there and exactly when you are leaving your reception.

If you can get someone else to drive you away, do it! Of course, a horse drawn carriage or white stretch limo would be the ideal option. But if your budget doesn’t cover something that extravagant, consider giving your 17 year old nephew a few bucks to drive you. But make sure that whatever means of transportation you use, you secure it and secure it again and then one more time for good measure before the wedding.

Almost as important as knowing how you’re leaving, is knowing when. This is important for many reasons. First, to secure your transportation. Second, to make sure you arrive at your destination on time without having to keep track of time during your reception. And third, to plan your perfect send off. There are so many great environmentally friendly and insanely gorgeous ideas for send offs out there. Sparklers are a personal favorite for night and tossing lavender is a de-scent option for day!

Wedding Sparklers

The Clean Up

It’s probably not a great idea to plan a perfect getaway and forget about everything you’re leaving behind. Parties are messy and require a designated clean up crew. Make sure to figure out who is going to be in charge of cleaning and help them get a crew together. Day of coordinators usually handle this task.

The Day After

The wedding is over, but the festivities don’t have to be. Unless you are skipping town immediately after the reception, consider planning a little shindig the next day. Trending now: host a brunch with your wedding party or even consider extending the invitation to any guests that would like to come. This is especially fun for destination weddings. If your guests are traveling to support you and to be apart of the start of your new life as a married couple, why not give them something extra to be apart of?

The wedding planning process can be long and frustrating and exciting and scary and fun all at once. But as much time that you will inevitably spend on planning out where people are going to sit and how much babies breath to splurge on and how much glitter is too much glitter (no such thing), don’t let post wedding planning slip through the cracks. Kick off the rest of your lives well so that everything flows and you can focus on staring at each other!