Non Floral Wedding Bouquets

Non Floral Wedding Bouquets

Bridal bouquets are one of the few elements that are a part of almost every wedding regardless of the size of the budget.  Considering that most bridal bouquets start at $150 and many cost around $250 – this is one area where you might want to look for alternatives without giving up style.

You may not necessarily be looking to save money (who are you?) – you just don’t want to include real flowers. The great thing is that many of these can be done in advance – anything to reduce stress is a good thing.

And how many brides save their bouquets after their weddings – why not make something you can enjoy leading up to your day – can you say motivation?

There are a number of ways you can do this and I’ve gathered images of some interesting and very beautiful alternatives to real flowers.

These bouquets are actually made of coffee filters – amazing right?

coffee filter bouquet

Image Source: Wedding Chicks

This next bouquet is made entirely of felt flowers. Even if you don’t like the fall colour palette, don’t worry – you can use any colour combination!

felt bouquet etsy com

Image Source: Etsy.com

You can even create gorgeous bouquets using paper. This stunning arrangement incorporates branches which adds an element of “realness” to the look.

paper flower bouquet via style me pretty and kim le photography

Image Source: Style Me Pretty and Kim Le Photography

Here’s some other great options.

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Image Source: Cotton Bouquet | Yarn Bouquet | Wheat Bouquet | Fabric Bouquet | Pinecone Bouquet | Wheat and Pod Bouquet |Paper Bouquet

Bouquet-Alternate

Even whimsical flags bunched together can set a mood of things to come and still look great.

flag bouquet via buzzfeed

Here’s one more example of how yarn in the form of pom poms can be used to create a spectacular visual statement.

felt pom pom bouquet the knot

Image Source: the knot

The benefit to using non-floral arrangements is that they can be created in advance without any last minute stress. You are only limited by your imagination!

Hope you liked these ideas!

Lori x

The BEST Wedding Planning Book You Can Find

The BEST Wedding Planning Book You Can Find

The BEST wedding planning book on the market, isn’t a book at all! Here’s all you need to know about planning your wedding like a pro and staying organized during the entire journey!

So, what does it take to be super organized during the wedding planning process? 

Before you run to the nearest bookstore to buy one of the many gorgeous “Wedding Planners” on the market, consider this:  most professional wedding planners use simple 2”-3” binders to stay on track for each and every wedding they plan.  The primary reason for this is that a binder can be customized to suit every wedding while keeping everything you need at your fingertips.  Sometimes thicker binders or multiple binders are required, but binders do the trick every single time.

Almost every wedding planning book consists of heavy cardboard cover and rings that often fail when loaded down with lots of paper. It’s so much easier to create your own. And most people find that they don’t actually need or use the majority of the pages they come with.

Here’s everything you need to know to create your very own wedding planning book.

I personally like white binders with protective plastic covers and spines so I can add my own graphics specific to my clients’ vision.  You can make this as fancy or simple as you like.  You can opt for a binder with a zipper but most of what you need can be contained easily within a simple white binder.

Wedding Planning White Binder

Now there are some additional items that you will need to make this as effective as possible.  They include:

  • A zippered pouch to hold pens, a small notebook, highlighters, paperclips and any other office supply you may require
  • Plastic sheet protectors (to hold contracts, inspirational pages from magazines, brochures, receipts, etc). Try to find the ones that close so you don’t lose anything.
  • Binder tabs (I personally like the 10 tab system)
  • Business card sleeve (to hold all of your business cards for possible venues, vendors – make sure you edit this once you have made your final selections)
  • Coloured sticky tabs (to further subdivide categories – in particular your vendor and venue categories)

 

Wedding Planning Book

In addition Accordion file for 3-dimensional inspiration pieces like fabric, paper, buttons, stickers (whatever it is that grabs your attention)

From there, I divide my binder as follows:

Business Card Sleeve

Hard copy of a calendar you can write on

Wedding Planning Binder with Monthly Calendar

Tabbed Sections Including:

  1. Contacts (the most often used section)\
  2. Activity Log (where I simply record by hand every piece of communication that has taken place during the wedding planning process)
  3. Budget (most recent updated budget to keep you on track as you plan)
  4. Master Timeline:  Checklist, Timeline(s),
  5. Venues:  Contracts, Menus, Communication, Invoices, Receipts, etc
  6. Vendors:  Contracts, Invoices, Receipts, Communication, etc.
  7. Design Details:  Photos in plastic sleeves, Paint chips,
  8. Copy of the Guest List:  includes RSVP’s, food choices, gifts, etc
  9. Additional Category as you prefer (Rehearsal Dinner, etc)
  10. Additional Category as you prefer

When it comes to your vendor section, use your sticky tabs.  Break these down further with your tabs to identify the individual vendors such as bakery, DJ, rental companies, florist, photographer, videographer and so on.

Hopefully this will help you get organized.  Stay on top of this and file, file, file.

There is nothing worse than looking for something you can’t easily find – and nothing better than being able to put your hands on something you do need, in a matter of seconds!

Here’s to happy planning!

~ Lori

Wedding Parties

Wedding Parties

Not all wedding parties are created equal!

In this day and age, some couples choose to have differing numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen, small wedding parties or massively large ones; mismatched outfits all around and in some cases Groomswomen or Men of Honour. All of these just add to the interesting mix that makes up a very personal and customized wedding.

Scroll through these photos of wedding parties that embrace it all.  And while you’re at it check out how these clever photographers managed to make it all work!

Large Wedding Parties

Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty

Remember that it’s okay to follow your heart but keep in mind that there will be a few challenges as you navigate the waters.

You’ll need to consider how you want to match up your attendants IF you choose to have them walk down the aisle together.

You might have the men stand with the groom and have the women walk alone. Maybe you pair two women with one man or vice versa.

You may have to look at non-traditional head table seating arrangements or just break tradition.

Mismatched Wedding Parties

Photo Credit: .tumblr.com

Wedding Parties with a Groomswoman

Photo Source: Offbeat Bride

Your attire choices could end up being a lot of fun if you choose gender role reversal, just keep the colours the same and add some fun accessories to tie it all together.

Wedding Parties with Groomswomen

Photo Source: The Parish House

Mismatched Wedding Parties

Photo Source : Pinterest

Large Wedding Parties

Photo Source: SLR Lounge

Spend some time talking to your photographer mapping out shot possibilities for your wedding party in advance, so you aren’t scrambling on the day – this could save you a lot of time you could be spending with your guests!

Large Wedding Parties

Large Wedding Parties

Photo Source: Lauren C Photography

Whatever you choose to do – there are numerous ways to accommodate your choices and I’ve you’ve enjoyed the photos I’ve chosen to inspire you!

5 Insider Strategies That Can Save You Thousands on Your Wedding

5 Insider Strategies That Can Save You Thousands on Your Wedding

Have you ever watched a show about people using coupons to save massive amounts of money on their groceries or household items? Maybe you’ve heard stories where some people pay a fraction of the price for an airline ticket compared to someone else on the exact same flight.

What if I told you that you too could use a few simple strategies to save money on YOUR wedding, so you’re paying less than the next couple?  It’s true!

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about trying to pull off a 150 person wedding for $5,000 but I am going to show you how you can save thousands of dollars off of the price of an average wedding, just by being strategic in your decision making. Here are a few tips you can easily use to stretch YOUR wedding budget.

Tip #1 – Set Your Priorities before Pulling Out Your Chequebook

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The number one mistake most couples make is that they are flying by the seat of their pants without a detailed wedding plan. I get it. If this is your first time planning any event, let alone your wedding, the overwhelming task of even knowing where to begin or what to do is plenty to think about on its own.

So here is my sage advice to everyone – you don’t have to know everything – but you DO have to get clear on what’s important to the two of you BEFORE you fall victim to the pressures of society, family, friends and the media.

I like to compare planning a wedding to building a house because it’s an analogy most people understand. We know that building a house requires a lot of steps and takes time to complete.

We know that blueprints, the foundation and mechanical components (think heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical) are all necessities, but they sure aren’t sexy.

But try doing them out of order and see what happens! Not only is it going to cost more to get what you want in the end – it’s going to be a whole lot more stressful as well.

Believe it or not, your wedding is the same. You need to do that groundwork first or risk higher costs and more stress.  Decide what’s on your “must have” list. Discuss your “nice-to-haves” and your “absolutely nots”. Write down everything and discuss it together. Talk about what kind of wedding day you want to create. Talk about who you should invite and how much money you have to spend. Explore some outrageous components that capture the essence of your coupledom (is that even a word?).  Take the time to remember the things you love most about each other and the quirky things only you and your close friends would understand.  Armed with all of these thoughts, create your own wedding day blueprint that will help you navigate all of the decision you will make during the course of your wedding planning.

Do this one thing and I promise that you’ll not only save money and stress, but you’ll be one of the elite few who end up having the wedding they’ve always wanted, without having to break the bank.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else”. Lawrence J. Peter.

Tip #2 – Compare Apples to Apples When Choosing Your Venue

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Not all venues are able to provide the same items or services as each other so it’s important that you look at all of the inclusions before signing on the dotted line.

Here are some examples for you: some venues have their own tables and chairs, others don’t. Some venues have nice chairs that you don’t have to do a thing to – others not so much. Some venues offer you basic linens while others don’t carry any at all. Some food prices include service staff while some charge additionally per staff member. Some venues charge you for every single thing you use and some provide items as part of their base packages.

The reality is that there are many, many factors that should be considered when selecting your venue and the first place to begin is to identify a list of things you are looking for and then write them out in a checklist format that you take with you to every venue viewing.

This way when you try to remember all of the details of the places you have looked at, you will be able to compare the venues more easily on not only price, but service offerings.

Do this little thing and you’ll feel confident that you have made the best choice for you, without dealing with unexpected surprises and hidden costs.

Tip #3 – Look in Unusual Places to Find Untapped Talent

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There are some amazing ways to find untapped talent in your local area that will ultimately save you a lot of money in the end.

The first thing I want you to know is that a qualified professional is worth their weight in gold, so do your due diligence and pay what you can to get someone who is going to show up and deliver as promised.

But, if you are like most other couples, you’re going to have to make choices about where you splurge and where you save.

Here are 3 quick tips on how you save money on your vendors (Yes, 3 tips in one … bonus!)

  1. Check out professional associations. They cost money, so those who sign up for them are generally pretty serious about their craft. Don’t be afraid to call the association to ask for recommendations for someone who is looking to build up their portfolios – for example, a photographer or videographer.
  2. Wedding and Bridal shows list their exhibitors online. Take your time to look at the exhibitor listing. Make note of those that interest you and call them. Find out if they are planning on offering a special show price or incentive as many vendors do just that.
  3. Watch local blogs for both weddings and corporate events. You’ll find vendors listed for style shoots or real weddings and these can be a great source of information as well as an indication of their own artistic style.

Tip #4 – Use Rewards Points to Pay for Your Honeymoon

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One of my favourite strategies involves using rewards points to get free stuff.  In many cases, you’ll be buying items anyway, so why not maximize your rewards bonuses in the process?

While every country has different rewards systems, it’s a really good idea to really look into the ones that are available to you – whether it’s through a credit card provider, rebate program or other options.

Let me give you a real life example: I use points for two return airfares to Mexico twice a year.  How? By being mindful of where I am spending my money.

If I am going to buy gas, I go to the service station that offers points. If I need to do car repairs – ditto. I look for special offers from the rewards company to see if I am going to be purchasing items in the near future where special bonus points are being given. I get points on my office supplies, banking and the biggest expense of all, my groceries!

I’ve taken the time to educate myself on how I can accumulate points quickly and while I am pretty good at it, I know there’s always room for improvement. The bottom line for me is that I prefer knowing that every time I make a spending decision, I’m working towards my next trip without paying a single cent more than the next person.

Just remember, many of the rewards points available will get you hotel rooms, car rentals, airfares or other goods and services that may just be the ticket to your honeymoon – literally!

Tip #5 – Be Strategic When Using Décor

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Décor is what most people get really excited about, after all what’s not to love. I am first and foremost a creative person with a real passion for event design, so I know the good, the bad and the downright ugly of making décor mistakes.

Here’s what you should consider before buying all the pretty stuff that’s calling your name, especially if you are actually trying to maintain a budget. Trust me, it’s just too easy to spend way more than you need to.

Every wedding will have a different set-up and format, so I want you to concentrate your décor budget on the big impact items ONLY in the places your guests will be spending the most time.

For example, if you are having a 3 course, served sit-down dinner with speeches, your guests are going to be spending at least a few hours at their tables so make it visually enticing, but don’t forget the head table backdrop either.

If you are having a cocktail reception, wow your guests with an extravagant entrance, a beautiful bar area or fabulous seating.

Perhaps a buffet is more your style – put time and effort into making it a stunning showpiece for maximum impact.

Décor sets the mood, supports your vision and delights your guests, but more is definitely not always best. Using it strategically helps you focus your guests exactly where you want them to look while saving money in the process.

Do You Want Even More Tips on Saving Money?

Then grab this FREE Guide: DON’T BE FOOLED! 5 Common Wedding Myths (that may be costing you a small fortune).

Just click this link!

Sign Up for Free Guide (2)

And as always, make sure you check in often on my Facebook page for my latest updates and great wedding tips!

Happy Planning!

xo Lori

Create Your Wedding Guestlist With Google!

Create Your Wedding Guestlist With Google!

WHY GOOGLE MIGHT JUST BECOME YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND (AND IT’S NOT WHAT YOU MIGHT THINK)

We all know Google is the bee’s knees when it comes to finding information quickly and easily but its use goes far beyond a simple search for some obscure detail.  When it comes to wedding planning – Google (Gmail specifically)  is actually one of the best FREE tools out there.

Here Are My Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Jump On The Google Bandwagon.

  1. If you haven’t set up an email account strictly for wedding related communication – it’s time to do that now. Gmail is the one I’m recommending (hang in there, I’ll explain)
  2. Gmail is like many other email providers out there, so take advantage of setting it up with a few sharable calendars (think wedding party / you and the LOYL / bridesmaids / family)
  3. Use ‘The ULTIMATE Wedding Planning Checklist to enter critical milestones /important dates into the appropriate calendars (no excuses for your bridesmaids to miss the stuffing of the invites – set multiple alerts!)
  4. Set up appointments and take advantage of the Google Map component so everyone knows exactly where they’re going (even better –sync it to the Google GPS app and it will populate the destination for you)
  5. Google Drive, while a little clunky, can be accessed from any device anywhere in the world (yes! to cloud computing) and will store all of your important documents
  6. Google isn’t going anywhere which means its tools will just get better and better over time
  7. My absolute favourite? Click on the link below to watch a short video. Hint – can you say OMG – guest list made easy? You won’t want to miss this, I promise.

This video is the easiest way for me to demonstrate my Top 7 reasons to love Google. Just click on this link.

GMAIL Image for Blog Post

When you’re finished watching, I want you to do 2 Things.

Thing 1: If you like the information, please share this.

Thing 2: Comment below to let me know what you think.

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