wedding planning

Should you do a first look?  

Photo by:  Heather Waraksa

Photo by: Heather Waraksa

We are big proponents of first looks - Why, you ask?  

Photo by:  Elizabeth Irvin

Photo by: Elizabeth Irvin

  • The first look is a really special and intimate moment where you and your soon-to-be–hubby can spend some quality time together before the chaos ensues.

  • Seeing your love before the ceremony allows for you to enjoy cocktail hour fully and maximize the time you have to take meaningful portraits that you will enjoy for years to come.   

  • It sets the tone for a more relaxed wedding day schedule.  

  • Many couples prefer to share this moment in an intimate setting before stepping in front of the crowd - as can be one of the emotional parts of your day.

  • The first time you walk down the aisle will still feel special to you both, we promise. A first look actually helps get rid of some of those pre-ceremony jitters.

Photo by:  Jeremy Harwell

Wedding Registry - What To Register For And What You Don’t Actually Need

Yes, please!

  • Blender 

From soups, to smoothies, and dips, make sure to register for a one-size-fits all blender that has many functions.

  • Coffee machine

Because first, coffee.

  • Invest in a Dutch oven

It’s one of the most versatile kitchen appliances.

  • Napkins

Register for nice yet machine washable everyday napkins to replace your paper napkins and paper towels you are currently using.

Photo by:  Simply Sarah

Photo by: Simply Sarah

  • Flatware and china that coordinates and works well together from a utilitarian standpoint

There is nothing worse than forks and knives that constantly fall off your coupe china when clearing the table. Give your table settings a test run to make sure they gel together.

Photo by  Marni Rothschild
  • Extra wine glasses

They will break often!

Photo by:  Jeremy Harwell

Photo by: Jeremy Harwell

  • A cordless drill

Probably more useful than most kitchen pieces.

  • Luggage

A registry item you will never regret. Make sure to do extensive research, however, on the best brands available for you and your fiancé.

  • Picture frames

Select some nice picture frames to display your wedding photos in.

  • A carving set

A set of great and effective knives should definitely be on your wedding registry list. Knives are one of those things that you will not want to buy yourself but will use every day.

  • Basic cookware set 

Again, basic kitchen needs are always a yes.

Maybe we don’t need..

  • Skip the fine china

Pick out really unique yet practical china that you will actually use everyday.  We have heard from countless brides (including ourselves) that they wished the had asked for more everyday pieces than fancy china.

Photo by:  Heather Waraksa

Photo by: Heather Waraksa

  • Reconsider the juicer

Most take up a lot of space and are very cumbersome to clean.

  • Don’t get too excited by the fancy panini maker or crepe machine

While they seem fun, you won’t use them enough to warrant space in your cabinets.

  • Specialty glasses

Unless you’re constantly entertaining, how many margarita and specialty beer glasses do you actually need?

Photo by  Heather Waraksa

12 Questions You Should Be Ready For When Hiring a Tenting Company By Tenting Professional, Sarah Copeland

Photo by:  Verdi  

Photo by: Verdi 

1) Is the tent allowed to be installed at the reception site?  

2)Is there a preferred/exclusive vendor list?

3) Do you have a preference on the style of tenting--ie Sailcloth, Frame, Open Air with a Frame? A venue date will help to possibly drive the type of tent as you would not want to install a clear frame tent during the summer months due to the heat factor.

4) How many people do you wish to accommodate and in what configuration?  All seated at tables, partial seating, cocktail party setting?

Photo by:  Verdi  

Photo by: Verdi 

5) What other items would you like to have under the tent? Food tables, bar, cake table, dance floor, stage etc?

6) How much space do you have? What are the dimensions of the tent site?

7) What time of day will your event take place?  Will you need lights and/or heat or AC?

Photo by:  Iris Photography

Photo by: Iris Photography

8) Is there a power source at the site? 

9) Do you wish to enclose any portion of the tent with siding or doors?

10) Will you need accessory tents for caterers prep, band, vendors?

Photo by: Raquel Reis Photography

Photo by: Raquel Reis Photography

11) Will leveled flooring be needed?  

12) On what kind of surface will the tent be placed?  Grass, concrete, asphalt, wood deck?
**This is very important to confirm as this will be the driving force for costs.  Can our team stake the tent into grass for anchoring?  If not we would have to look into alternative anchoring options like water barrels, concrete anchors etc that could drive the costs up and not to mention alter the look of the tent.  

Wedding Websites

We are suckers for anything beautifully designed and think your wedding "theme" should be cohesive throughout your entire event, starting with your wedding website. We always recommend Riley & Grey to our clients, as their templates are user-friendly, stylish and versatile. Here are some of our favorites that could work with any wedding aesthetic: 

Engaged? Now what?

photography by  Simply Sarah Photography  

photography by Simply Sarah Photography 

Congratulations on your engagement! This time is likely very exciting but can also be a bit overwhelming and you may be wondering where do I go from here?

Cue the experts at Desired & Inspired! Below are the recommended first steps compiled by our expert wedding and event planners:

1. Put together a guest list. Determining how many guests will attend your wedding is pertinent, as this will dictate both the venue selection and budget. Instead of allowing each family member an unlimited amount of invites, set parameters so everyone is on the same page. 

2. Your guest list is set, now let's talk budget. This is the not-so-fun but important part of the planning process. What is the maximum you are comfortable spending? Once you have determined this, you can hire the D&I experts to put together a custom budget that breaks down allocations for each vendor. This will then help you to understand which venues you can look at and what you should be spending where. 

3. Before contacting vendors, try to envision what you are looking to achieve on your wedding day and what vibe you want. Do you want a formal sit down dinner with dance sets in between, a giant cocktail party overlooking the water, or an unconventional backdrop that your guests will be impressed by? Make a list of your priorities and only contact venues that fit within your max guest list, budget, and overall aesthetic. Choosing a venue that works with vs. against your design style is the smartest decision you can make during the planning process and will help  stretch your budget further. 

4. Now set up site visits. During these walk throughs, make sure you understand all venue costs that could apply to you, so you can best assess the overall venue costs. 

5. Once the venue has been selected, start to think through the other vendors you want to work with and start with the ones that book up quickly (i.e. photographers, bands, catering). 

6. Once they key vendors have been booked, move onto establishing your design. Don't just scour Pinterest for wedding related inspiration but be sure to look to non-wedding magazines, websites, etc. for more unique and unexpected ideas. 

7. After your design is established, book a florist that gets you. Yes, every florist can work with any design but you will find that certain vendors gel better with your ideas than others. Go with the designer you feel most closely fits your aesthetic, budget, and personal approach to planning. 

8. Save the dates should go out 6-8 months prior to your wedding (and sometimes further in advance if your wedding is destination). Start to think about your design and wording and what stationer can best bring your vision to life. 

9. From here, continue to move through the planning process and book vendors that understand your vision and can work with your budget. 

For more of a custom checklist for your entire planning period, sign up for our newsletter to receive our free wedding checklist. Happy planning!