Why you should take a break from wedding planning during the holidays

Wedding planning can be relentless and sometimes you just need a break from all of the checklists and logistics talk. The holidays are a time of rest and relaxation and it's important to recharge and let your mind take a break from all of the planning. Why is this so important? 

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1. Most of your wedding vendors will be on break themselves. The wedding industry tends to shut down between Christmas and New Years, so there is no point in burning the midnight oil if your wedding planning team will not be responsive. 

2. Take advantage of time spent with family where the wedding isn't the topic of conversation. As much as you enjoy dreaming up the florals, menu, and photos together, it's important to spend quality time together celebrating the season. 

3. Take advantage of the holiday sales! Are you still in need of bridesmaid gifts, a guest book, or bridal shoes? If so, the holidays are a great time to capitalize on sales and check certain purchases off your to-do list. 

4. Start dreaming up your honeymoon! Use this time to fantasize about how you will unwind after your wedding where your only to-do list includes beach time, long siestas, and yummy cocktails. 

Photography by  Liz Brown

Photography by Liz Brown

Photography by  Liz Brown

Photography by Liz Brown

Engagement Photos- to do or not to do?

Many of our clients opt out of engagement photos because they fear they are too cheesy but before you make your decision, consider the following benefits to getting behind the camera with your main squeeze prior to the wedding day...

1. Engagement Photos allow you an opportunity to get comfortable with your photographer and behind the camera. Most people don't like being photographed and, therefore, don't appear natural. A quick engagement session will let you practice loosening up and getting used to having your photographer directing you. 

2. Learn what angles you are most comfortable with. It sounds vain but we all know we have a favorite side! 

3. Get to know your photographer. After an hour or so with your photographer, you will know who they are and how they can help you get the best possible photos on your wedding day. 

4. Learn what light you like best. Did you decide to shoot in the middle of the day and wish the lighting was softer? A trial run through will ensure your wedding photos are taken at the most ideal time of day for your style. 

5. Because you don't want your only professional photos as a couple to be from your wedding day. 

 

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: 

Entertaining 101

Photography by  Heather Waraksa

Photography by Heather Waraksa

The holidays are approaching and for some of you, this means hosting your nearest and dearest at your home. Below are our fool-proof tips to keeping the stress at bay while still wowing your guests. 

1. The more preparation beforehand=less stress for you once your guests arrive. Choose a menu that you can cook the night before or stick in the oven for several hours before your gathering begins. One pot and crock pot meals are ideal for large family gatherings, so you can place the finishing touches together in the kitchen but not be chained to the stove during your whole party. 

2. Don't overthink the decor. Sometimes simple is best. Pick up some simple greenery from your local Trader Joes, throw in some taper candles, votives, and unique flatware and china. You don't need to put together professional floral arrangements to make a big impact.

Photography by Heather Waraksa 

Photography by Heather Waraksa 

3. Create an warm and cozy ambiance by curating a playlist (or just play Pandora) that sets the tone for the evening. While you don't want the music to overpower anything, your guests will appreciate casual tunes playing throughout the day.

4. Lay out your serving pieces several days prior to ensure every dish is accounted for. The last thing you want to do is scramble for a bowl and serving spoon for the mashed potatoes that are ready to be served. 

Photography by  Heather Waraksa

Photography by Heather Waraksa

5. Pre mix cocktails. Make it easier for yourself and instead of playing bartender, serve your guests festive drinks that were pre-made in a pitcher, so they can serve themselves and keep the festivities going.

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!