Monday, January 25, 2010

ELD:: Guest Blogger!

Lauren from Every Last Detail has written a fabulous post for us. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do! It's so chock full of inspiration and fantastic advice. Some brides while planning their wedding realize their true passion for planning, and Lauren is one of those incredible women! She wrote a post for us which I'll call: I Wish I Knew As A Bride.

So without futher ado, let me introduce Lauren....

When Melissa asked me to be a guest blogger, I was so honored and excited! Of course I would do anything to help her out, especially when she's about to pop out a baby! I've learned a lot from Melissa in the past few months, and I often find myself wishing she had been my wedding planner 7 months ago. Therefore, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about when she asked me!

I've had few friends get engaged recently, and I found myself giving them a great deal of advice. I then realized that it was basically what I didn't know as a bride that I wish I had known. I learned all of this goodness by reading blogs, working in the wedding industry, and basically just educating myself. However, as a new bride, the first thought usually isn't to educate yourself…it's to grab the newest wedding magazine and start flipping through it, marking the pages of things you like. That's not a problem at all…revel in your engagement! You have to know what you like and what you want!

Throughout my wedding planning, there was more than one occasion when I caught myself thinking, "I wish I had some sort of warning or preparation so I could've known about this!" One of the reasons I started blogging was to help brides and educated them so they wouldn't have to think that same thought.

1. BLOGS! I had no clue about what wedding blogs were, how to find them, or the plethora of information they had! Photographers' blogs, inspiration blogs, and planners' blogs (such as this one) are SUCH great resources! I found SO many great ideas and inspiration on blogs…if I had found blogs earlier in my wedding planning my wedding would have been so much better! So you're on a great start by reading a blog!

2. Weddings are expensive. Just know that and be prepared. There are ways to have a great wedding without "breaking the bank", but definitely know the running price for services. Do your homework. I was in shock when I found out what the price of an average photography package was. And so were my parents. But that was because we had no idea about what photography (and everything else wedding related) entailed. When we met with other photographers and saw the similar pricing, things started to make a bit more sense. Bottom line- do your homework. It's okay to shop around, but know WHAT you're shopping for and the quality of the product/service.

3. You can plan your own wedding AND have a wedding planner! I thought that I wouldn't be able to put my own touch on my wedding if I had a planner. Then I realized that it was incredibly beneficial to have someone who knew the industry, knew vendors, and would be able to handle everything on the day of. You're still planning your own wedding. A wedding planner just helps you implement the plans! If ANYTHING, a day-of coordinator will be some of the best money you spend, because you will be able to avoid so much stress on your wedding day!

4. You aren't limited to only using vendors that are local. I didn't know this, so I only looked at vendors that were in the town that I was getting married in. Little did I know, most vendors are willing to travel! Of course it depends on how far they are traveling, but there is always a way. If there is a vendor that you want to work with who doesn't work exclusively in your town, you can most likely still work with them! It never hurts to ask!

5. Custom paper goods. Having custom invitations made is the best thing ever. You can get invitations exactly how you want them, to match your theme, style, or color scheme, for the same price (if not better) as the ones out of the big giant books. AND they look ten times better, are totally custom, and no one else will have ever received the same invitation previously (which has happened in a few occasions to my parents). There are SO MANY cool ways to have invitations made! Why wouldn't someone have custom invites made?

I learned about most of these things a little too late in my wedding planning process, which is why I felt the need to share them with you all. Of course there are more things that I wish I had known, but these are the major tidbits of information that I thought were crucial to share! My wedding was awesome, but I think it would have been even better if I had known about these things sooner!

I hope some of these tips can help you have the best wedding imaginable! Does anyone have any tidbits that you've learned along the way that you would like to add? Please do!

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