December 2012 Weddings

Advice for the December 2012 ladies... from the Dec. 2011 ladies. :)

I figured I'd start this post up and the ladies who are getting all married and stuff this month can add to it for you guys:)

Elope.

No, I'm kidding. Kind of.

First off, start your DIY stuff NOW. You might feel crazy working on your programs in October, your invitations in July, and your centerpieces in September... but trust me. The last thing you want to be worried about in December is checking off your list. Second- if you're doing any type of decorating where you'll need Christmas decorations, get them in about two weeks. You can hit up Joann's, Target, Michaels, ACMoore.... 70% off, what? :)

Craigslist, efavormart, cardsandpockets.com and Ebay will be your best friends over the next few months. SIGN UP FOR EBATES AND UPROMISE if you're gonna do online shopping. You'll thank me later. Cash back for buying stuff for your wedding? Yes please. Same with the honeymoon. Say you're going to Sandals. Go to Upromise, sign up. Go to the Sandals website through them. You can get (I think) 3% cash back for what you just spent booking that honeymoon. For real. 

 Don't stress. Seriously. The little details- they're only things you'll notice. I was so worried about having a Christmas tree set up for our 'gift table', and the day we set up, I looked at the tree and said, 'eh. Forget it.' So much stuff that we planned on doing,, we totally decided not to last minute, and I'm still crazy happy with how everything turned out.

Don't be afraid to let your style shine through. In about October, I started to get worried about what everyone would think. At the end of the day, being married to your husband (squee!) is the only thing that matters. If that's the outcome of the day, regardless of whatever else happens, your day ended the way it should be. :) The wedding is the important part- the reception is just a party. Put people in a room together, and they'll have fun. Don't try to be something you're not on your wedding day. H and I are more country, fun loving, goofy people. We made sure we incorporated that- if we had a stuffy, overly formal evening, we would have felt uncomfortable, and the fact that after we came back in from getting pictures and saw three tables making smores (from our favors) over the candles lit on the tables... That made my night. :)

Standard stuff- EAT!! Drink something. DO NOT FORGET. When you walk down that aisle, your first inclination is to lock eyes with him. Look around. Look at your guests. You'll be thankful you did. THEN look at him. :) At the rehearsal, make sure your officiant goes over when you're supposed to kiss... :) If it's in the budget, hire a DOC. You'll thank yourself later. They're SOOOO worth the money. (Anyone in the PA/DE/MD area- I have some killer recs for vendors and a DOC) :)

Eat before the ceremony. Not a salad. Eat a piece of pizza. Chow down with your girlies. Wait a bit to pick those girls. You might not be as close to them in 6 months... but it's not really acceptable to kick someone out of your wedding.
 
And lastly. Take some time to spend with your husband after the ceremony. During the reception. Soak it all in, You've spent all this time and money to put this day together. Enjoy it. This is an amazing memory, and you're not gonna want to forget it. Remember the details. And iif you can remember to, write them down the day or two after. In 10 years, you'll look back and be glad you did.

Also, Pinterest is your friend. If you're not on it yet, GO NOW. :)

Good luck, ladies!! <3
Anniversary
TTC since 12/17/11
BFP 02/19/2012
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Re: Advice for the December 2012 ladies... from the Dec. 2011 ladies. :)

  • Hi Girls! 
    Okay - although everything above is excellent, I'm going to still add a few and second some that are already there:
    1) Don't stress the little stuff.  There were a lot of things I just "knew" I had to do/have that, day of, I didn't miss one bit. 
    2) Don't understimate the power of a small reception.  At first, we were talking 200 people, but after a lot of conversating and evaluating our options, plus the fact that most of our guest list lived across the country anyway, we ended up with about 60 at our reception and it was PERFECT that size.  I actually got to visit with my guests and I didn't feel like I was totally drowning in a crowd.  Plus, the lower head count meant splurging on food, and our guests got prime rib.
    3) Establish your budget, and pick your top 3 "splurges" now.  Now!  Do not wait any longer to get that kind of stuff done.  For me, my top three were my food, my dress, and our photographer.  Everything else ended up being excellent, too, but I'm glad I spent my bulk on those areas.
    4) Don't stress about a super restrictive day-of/week-of schedule.  I didn't stress over one, and everything was on time or ahead of schedule.  It will fall into place, especially if someone like your DJ or photographer are aware of the tentative timeline.
    5) You probably won't feel like eating on the night of the reception - have them make a doggy bag for you.
    6) Get a Pinterest account.  NOW!
    7) Don't ask your bridesmaids to be bridesmaids yet.  People change a LOT over the course of the year.  If I were you, I'd wait until about June-August.  That's still time for them to get their dresses and help you with stuff, but you'll save yourself a lot of bridesmaid burnout if you wait.
    8) Family drama happens.  You're going to have that one relative that totally insults you, the family member who refuses to come if they can't bring some random guest, or an aunt that takes it upon herself to invite her entire graduating high school class to YOUR wedding.  Be firm.  This is your day.  It happens once.  Don't get bullied by relatives that don't know their place.  Start photocopying Emily Post and handing it out to bratty guests and relatives (kidding!). 
    9) When you're mom decides to tell you how to do things, unless she's footing the entire bill, politely remind her that this is your day, not hers, and though her input is appreciated, you and FI have already made your decision regarding whatever topic she's being inssitent upon. 
    10) Make sure your vendors know that YOU and FI are the absolute authority on anything.  Make sure parents and future in-laws don't go calling up vendors and changing things last minute (no lie, I've seen it happen - another bride's mom decided she didn't like the bouquets, and had the florist change the style of them completely 2 weeks before the wedding - bride didn't know about it until day of!).

    Oh, and start a FB group - most of us check FB much more often than TK, and it was great for us.  We have a "secret group" on FB that we all post in daily.  It's been awesome, and we each have our wedding albums, and it's much more organized than these boards. :)
    Anniversary
  • Oh and one more!
    I was a big supporter of small, local businesses for our wedding.  I didn't use the big name stores (like David's Bridal, or big floral designers or anything).  My ENTIRE wedding was done by small, local vendors and it had a very personal touch to it.  My florist works from her home, my reception was in a 100 year old historic hotel, my gifts to our parents were handmade and bought on Etsy.com, my cake was another woman who works from home, etc.  I didn't buy a single "mass produced" item for the entier wedding.  Even our cake-topper was handmade.  And don't let "handmade" make you think it will look sloppy or less polished - our wedding was a dream come true and using local, smaller vendors saved us some money, as well!
    Anniversary
  • What an amazing thread! Thanks girls! 

    imageUntitled my read shelf:
    Faith (FaithCaitlin)'s book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
  • great thread! I just got engaged last week and we're 95% sure December 2012 is the month. This is really helpful Smile
  • We just had our wedding Monday, so I wanted to hold off and add my advice for you Dec. 2012 girls until after the wedding!

    1) For the girls that want a 12/12/12 wedding PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE prepare yourself for a LOT of "no" RSVPs. Trust me. My wedding was on a weekday and we had less than HALF of what we invited come, even adding some B list people near the end. I would strongly suggest doing a Friday or Saturday wedding and avoiding 12/12/12. If you still have your heart on it, just prepare yourself now. There will be tons of drama and people WILL NOT come. I thought people would get off work for us since it's a wedding and it's important, but they didn't. My husband's own siblings did not even come to the wedding. I had aunts not come. People will amaze you. They will take off work to go to a rock concert or to be lazy at home, so you figure they will for your wedding, but they won't. Never in a million years would I have expected having such a small wedding. I come from a very close knit family and didn't even plan on a B list b/c I invited so far over our max capacity. I cried so much in this past year over the hurt feelings and people not coming to our wedding. I really want to stress this THE MOST to you 12/12/12 girls so you know what you're getting into. I really wish somebody had warned me ahead of time, it would have saved a lot of drama and a lot of heartache.

    2) Start the big things early. This year is going to fly by. I got my dress last January and everbody was making fun of me for it being so early. It took a few months to come in and it came in the WRONG size. Guess what? I had a lot of cushion to get my new size in and not have to think twice about stressing over it. Some other Dec. 2011 girls had their venues change, vendors close, cancellations on contracts, etc. Setting stuff up early gives you a LOT of insurance time to fix these mistakes. If you have to deal with these in November you will be so stressed. It's better to find out sooner, rather than later, and have extra time ahead.

    3) I also agree with Melissa about choosing your big "splurges." I really wanted our venue to have terrific food. I asked everybody in the area if they'd been to events at venues and how the food was. People and reviews are your friends. Research, research, research. My 2nd splurge was our photographer. We did not do video so I wanted a great photographer. Our package had 2 photogs for 6 hours and we ended up with almost 1700 pics of the day. Our last splurge was for a DJ/MC package. My wish was to be on the dance floor all night and have a blast. I had more compliments on our MC and the music than I did on myself. It was an amazing night.

    4) Don't stress the small stuff. We omitted a florist all together. I also didn't do a lot of small details like an aisle runner, any decorations for the ceremony seating, guest check in bags, etc. You will seriously kill yourself with stress if you try to do it all. And like Paprika said, you are the only one who will notice them. I used fake flowers for my bouquet, my MOH bouquet, all the bouts, the corsages, and our cake topper. Everybody loved them and it cost $60 total and I still have a bunch left over. I used clippings from my yard, my parents yard, and my MOH's yard for our centerpieces and to decorate the room with evergreens, pinecones, holly, and berries. We got so many compliments and it was completely FREE. The last week while we were doing DIY projects I decided to not worry about projects I had wanted to do. You need to choose what is WORTH spending your time and stress on, and what isn't.

    5) Always, always remember that the point of the day is the ceremony. You, your husband, and an officiant are the KEY PEOPLE and only necessary ones for the big day. The goal of the day is to form a union for YOUR relationship to start a new life together. Let the other stuff fall by the wayside, not take center stage. Your families will try to make it about them. Your BMs will whine about their dresses. Your GM won't get their tux measurements. Just take it all with a grain of salt and focus on the main point of the day to make sure that goes perfect and the rest will fall into place. Even if it doesn't, the day will still be a sucess b/c you'll be married to your husband.

    6) Start a private Facebook group for the December 2012 girls. You can do a secret group and add each other. Nobody but YOU will be able to see the posts, the photos, or that it even exists. Us 2011 girls did this about 6 months ago and we are as tight as sisters. I would not have made it to my wedding day without my Dec. 2011 girls. They went through the ups and downs with me. The last thing I did right before I walked down the aisle was snap a picture of myself smiling and post it for the girls to see. The photographer even got a picture of me on my iPhone posting the picture for them. I wish they'd all lived closer b/c I honestly would have invited them to our wedding. I even plan on meeting some of them in real life. These girls will be your friends, your shoulders to cry on, your venting partners, a place to ask advice, to shoot ideas back and forth, and your wedding twins. The bond of planning a wedding together and having your biggest day all within days and weeks of each other is truly amazing. Take full advantage of it.

    7) If you order anything online make sure to check for discounts and points like Paprika pointed out. Also google for discount codes, free shipping, etc. Hit up Xmas clearance sales in the next weeks to score stuff. It is NEVER too early. Try Amazon.com for cheaper varieties of things. I got my bustier on Amazon for 50% what David's Bridal charged. I got my veil on Amazon for $38, instead of the $175 I saw in bridal stores. Also Oriental Trading is your friend!! They have really cheap items, sales, and free shipping often. Some of it is on the cheaper side, but that's ok for items you will only use once, or fun stuff to have for kids to play with, etc.

    8) We got married in the Hudson Valley, NY area. If any of you girls are in that area, don't hesitate to let me know. I had an AMAZING reverend, DJ/MC, photographer, venue, cake, and a lot of online shops I would love to pass information along for if anybody is interested. Our day could not have been more perfect. We have gotten SO many compliments about everything, every single person has said it was the best and most fun wedding they've ever been to. (It was an indoor Merry-go-Round)

    I think that's all the wisdom I have for now!! Good luck!
    Visit The Knot!Visit The Knot! Visit The Knot!
  • I'm going to second what some of the other girls said.

    1- Hire a DOC!!! I wish it had not been me that was getting the call that my photographer was lost, that our florist had screwed up our order, that we didn't have enough tables or that our DJ was drunk and being cut off. You will want someone else to handle that, you may think that a family member will step up and take care of it for you, but mine were the worst offenders of them all.

    2- There will be family drama. Not everyone will agree with the way you want your wedding. Not everyone will be able to, or want to put the effort into coming. The best thing is to try to just accept/ignore it and move on.

    3- Start finding decor and doing DIY's now. Everyone on the E board blasted me for sending out invites in April, with a June RSVP, but it was one of the best things I did. Working with a solid number for 6 months instead of a few weeks was awesome and saved a lot of over budgeting, and we only had about 3 people change their RSVP- fairly normal with invites with normal RSVPs.

    4- Just have fun, and try to remember the only thing that matters is that at the end of the day you are married to your best friend. Smile
    December 2011 Weddings September Siggy: Shoes
    Vintage shoes I found at an antique store about 10 years ago :)

    CIMG0051

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    sabrina

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  • jl409jl409 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    First of all.... congratulations!! Here are my suggestions:

    1. FLOWERS AND DECOR:  I was sooo glad that I chose a reception venue that had enough beauty that it didn't need much decor (flowers are so expensive and we wanted to spend our money in other areas).  We used the BM bouquets for the centerpieces at the reception, made the additional table centerpieces just like the BM bouquets, and of course, my bouquet was put at the head table. Oh- and votive candles go a long way!! The mothers had nosegays (small bouquets) and we set those on the table with the wedding book/placecards.  The great thing is that you are getting married the month of Christmas and my venue already had lights up and Christmas trees.

    2.  PHOTOGRAPHER.  When the wedding gets closer (say a week before), really think about what pics you absolutely want captured and let the photographer know. You may want to check out some blogs and see what pics you think are really special or cute.  For example, I knew I wanted a cute/sassy pic of me with the groomsmen and a sassy pic with my husband and the BMs.  A few pics I didn't think about but wish I had known beforehand:
       -a closeup of the bridesmaids bouquets
       -a closeup of the boutineers
       -a closeup of the menu on the table (he got pics of the table setting but not any closeups of the menu which I thought was so pretty)
       -closeups of the favors

    3.  I agree to not stress about the little things!!! The most important thing as stated above is the ceremony where you are going to marry your partner for life and the relationships you have with others (your friends and family).  It is not worth ruining a relationship over something little that has to do with the wedding.  Hope I'm making sense.

    4.  I agree with PP about a smaller wedding.  Of course it is up to you on how large you want your wedding to be but we decided on a smallish wedding (68 attended) and we were so happy wtih this!  Like PP, we were able to splurge more on food adn drinks (steak and open bar all night) and we were able to enjoy and take the time to talk to everyone that was there!! 

    5.  If you are on a budget or have an older crowd..... do not feel bad about not having a dj or band.  We decided on a shorter reception and to hire a string quartet.  We asked teh quartet to play a mixture of music.. they played pop songs, classical, songs from musicals.  People complimented us on how elegant our reception was!!  As long as people have food, drinks and some type of background music, I think people are happy. 

    I was not one of the brides you sometimes hear say "I can't wait for this to be over with".  I enjoyed every minute and the reason is because I didn't get overwhelmed or stressed out about the small stuff. 

    GOOD LUCK AND DON'T GET TOO OVER YOUR HEAD IN PROJECTS THAT WILL MAKE YOU WAY STRESSED!!Laughing

  • Oh! I thought of one last thing!!!

    Zoiesmurf had the BEST idea to do her invitations early. I've been envious of her for months to think that far ahead. Our wedding was Dec. 19th and I sent out our invites September 19th, 3 months early. I put our RSVP date as November 12th, and I really regret that.

    You will be chasing people down for WEEKS about RSVPs. My mom and I were still frantically getting answers only about 10 days before the wedding to give to our venue. It is best to give yourself AT LEAST 2 solid months before the wedding for your RSVP date.

    This also will give you time to have a final number to save money on guessing. As I pointed out above, we had less than half of our first invite list RSVP and show up. I did not expect as many "no" RSVPs and guessed way over. Because of this, I ended up buying a lot more favors (we had 2 favors), more votives for the centerpieces, and printed way too many programs. I could have saved myself at least $100, if not more if I had a final number sooner.

    Because of the last minute, we also had to wait until the week of the wedding to know the table numbers, make the cards for those, and assemble the final number of the favors. Had I known these a few weeks ahead of time it wouldn't have been a last minute scramble.

    Give yourself a few months/weeks breathing room. You will REALLY thank yourself. The last month is a whirlwind already-- you don't want to add to it by having RSVP drama and adding last minute crafts and DIY projects.
    Visit The Knot!Visit The Knot! Visit The Knot!
  • HOWDY fellow December BRIDES!!!! Congratulations on the beginning of what will be an amazing, fun, hectic, stressful, emotional yet so darn fantastic time of your life :) I'm going to "warn" you readers first that I refuse to follow TK rules when it comes to "snarkiness" and a lot of the abbreviations. After being on FB with my fabulous new girl friends, I don't remember most of them anyway... Let the fun begin::

    1) Remember: You said YES for a reason. Please,please,please make this a team effort as much as possible. I'm not saying you have to AGREE on everything, but it is extremely important to make your FI feel as though they are contributing in some way. Even if it's only something as simple as letting FI choose how the cake will be decorated, or what your favors are going to be -- because when you look at the big picture of your wedding day, you'll remember the little planning moments you had while drinking a glass of wine, sitting by the fire -- or in the summer time when you sat on the beach and watched the waves roll in. YES, FI will probably piss you off and YES you might even think to yourself later on down the road "why did I even say YES in the first place". So, right here -- right now -- write yourself a little note reminding yourself of how you met FI, where, your first kiss, when you started to grow in love with FI -- and then in those times of fear and doubt -- you can look back and think "Oh, DUH self!" hehe.

    2) BUDGET - It is so difficult to come up with a real budget -- especially with the ridiculous "calculating" tool they have on here. I think it automatically has like $750 for a photographer (you will get $750 worth if that's what you end up doing). My only advice for this is: Figure out THREE things that are most important that you will absolutely NOT settle on. Then, determine how much you want to pay out of your own pocket (yes, that includes the credit cards you will have to pay off once the wedding is over). And finally, once parents, friends, or other family "promise" to contribute X amount of dollars -- only plan on using about HALF of that - just to be safe. There were a couple of us Dec '11 girls that ended up getting some difficult and even devastating news that prevented certain people that made promises to make due on them. However, the plus side to NOT counting on it, is that once you get closer to the big day, maybe they WILL pull through and you can get that open bar you thought you couldn't afford, or that "perfect gift" for your MOH, or anything really. Penny pinch as much as possible without settling too much.

    3) Good things come to those who WAIT - and I think the best things to WAIT on is: a) choosing the bridal party and b) registering for gifts. Girls - you know how we can be sometimes. You certainly know (probably from personal experience) how much drama and BS we're full of - so just "chillax" and enjoy being engaged, pick your date, venue, etc... THEN the beautiful ladies to stand and represent your friendship and love. Also, I just called my BM's, but some of the other girls sent them really nice handmade cards to ask -- which I think is an awesome idea! Secondly - DH thought it would be so nice to get the registering "out of the way" and we started in February. Before summer was over, more than 75% of our list was discontinued. Even when we registered in late September, some of the things were clearanced or discontinued. (at KHOL'S.) If you've never been to BB&B, I highly recommend starting there. They first take you into a room to look over things in a magazine, then they give you a tour of the entire store and explain why some brands are better than other and what is the best quality -- and then half of the stuff they register it for you! You tell them what brand of kitchen gadgets you want, they register for EVERY SINGLE ONE for you!!!

    4) Go potty BEFORE putting your wedding "clothes" on (this includes the poofy thingy that goes underneath the dress. If you do have to potty afterwards, "face the wall". haha

    5) If you love Christmas, this is the perfect wedding month for you! Most places are already decorated with lights and what-not. We did not have anything "Christmasy" at our wedding b/c our original venue told us they were closing for renovations four months before our wedding -- it was an old, historic hotel and the lobby was absolutely gorgeous!! Choosing a place with lights and/or even candles will save you $$$!

    6) Don't wait until six weeks before the wedding to mail the invites. I strongly suggest sending out invites at least two months in advance. You wouldn't believe how many of us were still waiting for parents to give us addresses, or the post office to actually DELIVER the invites. Uff da! FYI people are REALLY bad about RSVPing these days. If they don't send yours back in the mail by the "deadline", do NOT hesitate to call, email and/or text every single person on your list that you have yet to hear from. Sure, some people may think that is improper etiquette, but how rude is it for people NOT to RSVP in the first place?? I had about 20% of my guests "confirm or deny" their presence this way. If you don't want to do it yourself, make a list in Excel - alphabatize it and give the list to your BM's. Let them do the dirty work for you :)

    7) At the end of the day, your goal is to get married. So, it doesn't matter if your florist tries to be the wedding coordinator and "command" your family around -- it doesn't matter if one of your groomsmen's cell phone goes off just after "dearly beloved" -- it doesn't matter if your brother is insulted for including the mother of your niece in your family photos -- it doesn't matter if your father-in-law is higher than a kite -- and it certainly doesn't matter if you get cake frosting up your nose (from your husband) just after making the first cut.... all that matters is who you're going home with... your HUSBAND!!! (and yes, all of this happened on our wedding day. You don't want to even get me started on the things that went wrong BEFORE the wedding day. Ugh)

    8) FB FB FB!!! My fabulous new girl friends absolutely made my wedding almost 100% stress free! They all knew exactly what kind of emotions I was feeling, just how crazy FMIL and FFIL's can get, how stupid BM's can be, how silly you feel after the dumbest fight you've ever had with FI in your entire relationship... it felt so good to just be ME without being judged or ridiculed for anything. My December girls are like family. We've only had the FB group for about six months, but I have no clue what I would have done without those girls to lift me up and keep me going. PLUS - it's so nice to vent about NON-wedding things... like the stupid girl at work that just won't stop saying, "Like, you know, whatever" (hypethetical... didn't happen to ME personally).

    9) Make a checklist for EVERYTHING!!! What pictures you want "posed" on your wedding day (list names for your photographer to shout out). Make a list of stuff to PACK to take to the hotel and/or venue BEFORE the rehearsal. We had one suitcase full of "after wedding" stuff that could stay in our hotel room and one that we took to the venue at the rehearsal. The one thing we forgot... OUR MARRIAGE LICENSE! aaah! (Thankfully, DH remembered and brought it to the wedding -- left it in the car and then we forgot to sign it. lol)

    9) Pray. Eat. Drink. Then get married!!

    Thanks for letting me share. <3 Mrs. Texas!
  • Congratulations to all of your girls who are now engaged!!  I'm not going to repeat everything that has already been posted from the other December 2011 brides.  We are all really close and have experienced a lot together.  Like they mentioned above, we are all a part of a secret FB group.  It was been amazing.  We have shared everything from our wedding dresses, family drama, centerpieces, invitations, and things not wedding related.  The support is amazing.  The fun part is "watching" our weddings come together.  Each have been so different and yet so beautiful, so I highly recommend the FB page.  My only other advice is to make your wedding personal to you and your fiance.  You will probably change your mind a million times within the next year, but enjoy as much as you can because it goes by so fast...especially the wedding day!!  Congrats again, ladies!!

    Oh yeah, just to be fore-warned...weddings bring the best and worst out in people.  You are going to find out over the next year who your true friends are and which family members truly support you.  You will be amazed at how people in your life change during this process.  Some may upset you, some may hurt you, but hopefully most will grow closer to you and your FI.  Good luck!
    BFP 9/3/98, EDD 5/4/99, DS born 5/7/99

    9/12/11 2.5lb uterine fibroid removed

    12/10/11 married the love of my life.
    12/2011 started TTC

    12/2012 DX Non-IR PCOS

    <font color ="CC0022">~~Missing my 3 angels~~</font>



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    [url=http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3b1dd4]My Ovulation Chart[/url]
  • Thank you so much December 11 brides - such good advice from everyone.

    The "face the wall" comment made me laugh out loud, but it makes a lot of sense!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Congratulations Ladies!  What an exciting time this is for you all =).  Everyone pretty much covered everything so I'll probably just be reemphasizing a few things!
    1.)  It took me a while to learn this but you really can't please everyone.  I tried so hard in the beginning to please my family, my in-laws, my friends etc. that I forgot what was most important about our wedding day, marrying my best friend.  On the same note, like mentioned above weddings can bring out the worst and best in a lot of people.  I was shocked by some individuals behaviors and attitudes throughout the planning process but you just need to take it with a grain of salt and not worry about it.  Its truly not worth it in the end!
    2.)  It is so important to set your budget before hand.  This was huge for my husband and I.  We're both students and had very little income to work with, but saving and planning how we wanted to spend the money made the financial part of the process so much better and a lot less stressful.
    3.)  DIY projects.  I did a few projects for reception decorations and I definitely procrastinated way too much and found myself stressing out during finals week (2 weeks before the wedding) to try to get everything done.  Make sure to start these projects early, there will be plenty of things to do the few weeks before and working on DIY projects is not something you want to worry about!
    4.)  Enjoy every minute of your wedding day =).  Take everything in.  After everyone arrived at the reception hall my husband and I went to the back of the room just to look around and soak it all in.  We both were in awe by the amount of people that had come to share in our special day with us.   We felt so blessed, it was such an amazing feeling.  Also my husband and I made it a point to not get separated during the reception. We have heard so many stories of couples getting separated and searching for one another the whole night. We wanted to be together so we could share every minute of that experience with each other.
    5.)  If you are able to definitely hire a videographer for your wedding.  We were unable to afford one but one of our family members surprised us by taping the ceremony and most of the reception for us.  At the reception he taped the special dances, cake cutting, garter & bouquet toss etc.  He also spent most of the night by the bar taping messages from our guests! He gave it to us at Christmas and it was the best gift we received. It was great to relive those moments and listen to all the wonderful and hilarious things people said in their messages to us.
    6.)  My last little bit of advice would be for any of you ladies that are also going to school.  I heard so many discouraging words about planning a wedding while going to grad school.  People thought I was absolutely crazy.  And at times the words and comments had me really stressed out and worried that I wouldn't be able to plan a successful wedding and still do well in school.  But I promise you it is totally possible. =)  I survived school with little problems and our wedding was more amazing than I could have ever imagined! 
    Good luck girls!  Enjoy this next year, it'll be here before you know it! =)
    December 2011 siggy challenge- favorite pic of Me and FI
    image
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Congrats to you ladies!!! Here is my advice: 

    1. Get your big stuff done early. I also got my dress in January (we hadn't even actually set a date in stone) but was the best thing, because it was on sale (more than 1/2 off!!) and I had time to gradually loose a little weight and have it altered. 

    2. Talk to your family/friends about people they may know that can do things for you (i.e. photographer, caterer, musicians, etc.) My aunt catered our wedding (that is her career), an old co-worker I used to work with at a photography studio took our pictures for more than 1/4 of the original price, a family friend is a professional wedding harpist and played the harp during our ceremony. Contact these people yourself - don't let FMIL say she knows someone and will contact them, because it won't happen and you will need a back up. 

    3. Do as someone else above posted and create the Facebook secret group - it will save your stress and  you will have somewhere to vent where other brides are experiencing the same thing. 

    4. Include your fiance in on your ideas. Let him pick things out too. It's not only your wedding, but his as well. My husband had ALOT of say in what we ate, cake colors, music, decor, etc. He loved it just as much as I did. You have to compromise to make your marriage work, so why not start now? 

    5. Don't stress about the little details - no one but you will notice them. We decided against a DJ during our reception, and just burnt music to CD's to have played on my FIL sound system. I was actually stressed about if people would dance or not, but when the music came on, after we did our F/D dance and First dance, the only people who danced were the little kids. No one cared. Everyone enjoyed talking with each other and mingling, that no one noticed there wasn't much dancing. 

    6. On the day of, RELAX. Don't be stressed. My MIL called me crying about wanting to pin/be there during our first look - somehow I kept my cool and called my husband and explained the situation. We got it sorted out so she was there to pin the bout on him and have a pic taken, and then was to leave so we could do our first look. There was quite a few things that could've stressed me out the day of, but I was remarkably calm. Nothing is worth fighting with IL's or your family later on. 

    Be prepared to say "Whatever... it doesn't matter" and also be prepared for the stress. Don't let it get to you. Enjoy the day marrying your husband and know that on that day, that's all that matters!! 

    Good luck to you ladies! 
    Oh! I got married in Orlando, FL so if anyone wants advice on venues, caterers, musicians, etc. let me know!! 
    image A sadly neglected Bio
  • Hey girls!  I got married on December 2nd and am so glad I picked December.  Everyone else gave great advice, so I will just emphasize some things that I would have done again.

    1. First look.  At first I was very skeptical about this and wanted to be traditional, but boy am I glad I went with it.  That moment where you first see your soon to be husband is so overwhelming and emotional.  I was so glad I was able to hug him and talk to him, if we waited for the ceremony I wouldn't have been able to do that.

    2. Do what you want and don't worry about what other think.  This is your wedding, do what you want and don't worry about upsetting other people.  We chose not to invite kids (except those in the wedding) and yeah we made a few people mad, but this is our wedding.

    3. Get the big projects done early!!  I was so glad that I tackled the big projects early.  Had I waited I don't think I would have gotten all of those small personalized details finished.

    4. Get a GREAT DJ.  Our DJ made our reception.  I was on that dance floor from the first song to the last and everyone was dancing (even my dad!!).  It was incredible.

    5. Lastly, my favorite thing was our hot cocoa bar.  Everyone loved the wintery feel of having hot cocoa and all the toppings to go with it.  

    Just remember no matter what, have fun!!  The day/night will go so fast, but make sure to soak it all in, mingle with your guests, and have a blast with your HUSBAND! :)
    Anniversary
  • Thanks guys for all your advice! I know it has helped me ton!!!
  • Thanks for all the advice! Any Dec 2012 girls want to do the facebook group thing? I know I hardly check the knot so facebook may be easier!
  • Rachel, I'm up for the facebook group.  Though, now I check the knot just as much as I check facebook! Haha =) 

    Thanks December brides!  
  • Stellar advice. If anyone can include me in the super secret facebook group I'd appreciate it. I can message someone, or find me! facebook.com/prnewman16
  • I absolutely adore the advice you ladies so lovingly gave to us! I'd love to be in the Facebook group if someone's created it. If not, let me know and I'll do it! You can find me on FB here: https://www.facebook.com/marycholmes. Hope to talk to some more of you ladies!

    Also - thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy having started working and planning already for my wedding! It's so nice to hear someone (besides my mom who is majorly excited) say that! My fiance and I are long distance right now and it's great having more people I can talk to and share my excitement with.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm not on facebook.  :(  Keep me posted if anything fabulous comes of it!
  • I'll keep my quick :)

    1.  People kept telling me to do what we wanted and not worry about the guests.  They failed to mentioned WHY they say that.  The guest only mess up all your plans anyways, so just do it YOUR WAY!

    2.  I knew it was going to go quick...NO CLUE it was going to be THAT quick!

    3.  Evening wedding?  At least try to sleep in or something.  Mine was at 7:30...I stressed out ALLLLLL day.  Try to find stuff to keep you busy to relax if it is an evening wedding.
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