Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding Tip Wednesday: Wedding Planners

Thank you so much for all the kind words on my engagement! I could not be more excited about marrying Mr. 3 and starting a different chapter of our lives. Mr. 3 is truly one of the "good guys" and I feel very lucky to have him in my life.

The excitement still hasn't ended for me, but I feel a eensy bit calmer, enough to get in planning mode. That said, the wedding countdown has begun. Mr. 3 would like to get married next week, but I'm hoping for next summer. We currently are running around trying to figure out the who, what, where, when for the affair. Despite writing this blog and reading/researching so many other wonderful blogs out there, I've always looked at these things more as "pretty pictures" and "cute ideas." It dawned on me (and slightly overwhelmed me) that I will now have to make decisions, including big financial decisions. That's a little scary for me and I'm hoping that I make all the right ones (well, right for me).

I'm about to get hyper organized out of necessity. I'm generally an already organized person, but I refrain from alphabetizing my spices or ironing my sheets. Not that I judge or anything if you do. In addition to planning our wedding, I've also just been assigned a project with a six month turnaround time at my 9 to 5 (projects usually run 9 months or longer in my office)...and I'm in charge. Our wedding will also be outside of the DC area, which means I'll be planning from afar and spending lots of time in the car. Yikes! I've decided that as much as I love electronics for things like guest addresses, I really need to write things down...like with pen and paper, not an ipad. So, I ran over to Barnes and Noble after work yesterday to begin my wedding research and find something that I was certain would be like the Holy Grail of wedding planners.

I started with the magazine section and I came across a GREAT magazine from the U.K. on flowers. I've decided it's easier to bring in magazine pictures to show vendors than try to print them out online. So, I shelled out the $10.99 for Wedding Flowers magazine. Not the most creative of titles, but the inside is what counts! The magazine is FILLED with great arrangements (bouquet, centerpiece, corsage, etc.). There is also a guide to the language of flowers (who new that yellow roses conveyed jealousy?) and a seasonal guide to flowers with pictures. Although, I'll be honest, I was completely sold on this magazine after I saw that they had documented the royal wedding flowers (I <3 you K. Middles for your church trees and elegant style!).

The second magazine I picked up was Brides. I chose it because I literally thought "Hey! That's me!" Also, the $5.99 price tag made it more affordable than another $11 magazine. I should have saved my money. The magazine is filled with wedding dress and honeymoon ads. Normally wouldn't have problem with the ads, but the wedding dresses looked like bad white prom dresses. The bridesmaid ads were even worse. The honeymoon information was tempting, but I'm not even close to planning that part of the events.

Finally, I headed over to the wedding planning section and started searching. I looked through many planners and found that none of them had the 100% solution I was hoping to find. Spiral bound notebooks mean that you can't hole punch magazine pictures or handouts. Heavy planners will probably throw my back out or at the very least give me an unflattering Quasi Modo hunch. There were also many planners that were bogged down with every last piece of wedding advice and knowledge...which since I have Briana, I'm pretty sure I don't need. I also came across planners that had built in folders and even an accordion file folder attached, but they added a lot of bulk to carry around. Finally, I came upon the Martha Stewart wedding planner. For $30, I can get a 3 ring binder (yay! hole punching), in a reasonable size/weight (I so dislike a hunch), and with a limited, but useful amount of wedding advice (so poor Briana can have a break). The best part about this wedding planner is that there are clear plastic pouches in the back for holding receipts, samples, and possibly my sanity. There is also another clear plastic sleeve for storing business cards (think like the ones you used to hold your baseball cards). Now, I'm not one to spend $30 if I can find it cheaper someplace else (especially since my mom wants us to have identical ones for maximum organization). So, after a quick google search I found that you can get the planners on Amazon for $19.77.

I'm excited to get started on the planning and just hoping I don't get too overwhelmed. I'll keep you posted as I go along. However, now that I have a planner picked out (my first wedding purchase!), I'm suddenly overwhelmed with the need to alphabetize my spices and iron my sheets...