Wedding planning tips + tricks 101. I went into wedding planning without a clue, here is everything that I learned along the way! If you don’t know me already, allow me to introduce myself… My name is Cassidy, and I am the visual content creator here at Living in Yellow! All that really means is that I am the hands behind all the videos, photos, and graphics you see here at LIY! I am also a newly wed so I thought it would be fun idea to put together a post that covers all the wedding planning tips + tricks! My husband [hi Logan!] and I married in early October of 2019 at a beautiful conservatory and then had our reception in a farmers market/industrial barn! I’ll drop a few of our wedding photos below!
With that being said, I reached out to YOU and asked what questions you had and here is what you had to say!
Q: Any ideas for places to purchase bridesmaid dresses other than David’s Bridal?
A: While more traditional bridesmaid dresses are beautiful, and bridal shops a great resource for bridesmaid dresses, I am a big supporter of non-traditional dresses from shops that may not “label” themselves as a bridal store! It was really important to me that my bridesmaids could potentially wear their dresses again, but more importantly felt beautiful + comfortable in them on the wedding day!
Tip #1: When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, trying searching outside of traditional bridal shops
- ASOS [Primarily where I purchased my bridesmaid dresses from. They have so many options with great prices! Trickiest part was figuring out sizing, order in two sizes and return one if you are unsure!]
- H&M [H&M has a small selection of formal gowns, if you keep a close eye out, you can find some good ones!]
- BHLDN [A bit more pricey, but they have such a beautiful take on modern bridesmaid dresses!]
- ASTR the Label [Fun + edgy dresses!]
- WAYF [If you are a lover of florals, pastels and/or feminine style, these are for you!]
- & Other Stories [A sister store of H&M!]
- Lulus [Full of dresses that you can search by color with great prices!]
Here are the lovely women that stood beside me on my big day! I loved having a little bit of symmetry but still mixing it up with patterns, textures and colors! I will include a few of my favorites that I found while looking for my bridesmaids dresses!
Trick #1: If you are looking to save a little on florals, or just want to mix it up, try adding your very own spin on the bridesmaids “bouquets!“
Tambourines have a special meaning to my husband and I, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate them into our wedding! I purchased the tambourines and my florist used some greenery and pampas grass to dress them up a bit! The tambourines were a huge HIT! Our guests loved bringing them out on the dance floor, and they served as a souvenir for my bridesmaids to take home!
Q: What do you give your bridesmaids and groomsmen as gifts? I don’t want to give things they will never use again. Also bridesmaids pic with matching robes yay or nay?
A: We wanted our gifts to our bridesmaids and groomsmen to be practical, useful while still being meaningful! We decided to gift the bridesmaid their dresses, but I had made it a mission to find dresses that were in a range of $50-$70, which is totally doable! For our groomsmen, we gifted them their very own custom bolo tie that they wore for the wedding! It was extremely important to us to not put a financial burden on our bridesmaids + groomsmen. Here are our dapper groomsmen:
A con’d: ALSO, I originally had planned to opt out of the “getting ready” and “matching robe” photos but at the last minute I changed my mind and I am SO glad that I did!
Q: What are some gift ideas for the parents of the bride/groom?
A: I loved this question because we thought long and hard about this! We really wanted to show just how thankful we were to our parents for their help throughout the entire wedding planning process! Finally we landed on the gift of experience—and I am so glad that we did. We gifted both of our parents a weekend stay away and planned wine tasting, brewery tours, bicycling and other activities! I feel like they really appreciated the thoughtfulness of the gift, plus who doesn’t love a mini vacation!
Q: I’d love to know where you went on your honeymoon. Did you narrow it down to a few places? How was your experience?
A: When we started planning the wedding/honeymoon, my husband immediately said that he would love to take the lead on the honeymoon plans! With all of the wedding planning going on, it was such a relief to me to not have to worry about the honeymoon + other travel plans! He said that as he was brainstorming, he would just ask friends, family, and even strangers, where the most interesting place they have been and eventually he started to hear abut Belize! From there, he did a little more research and finally landed on Placencia, Belize! I didn’t really know where we were going or where we were staying until it was all booked, but I kind of loved that element surprise! Placencia was absolutely amazing and we stayed at a boutique hotel called The Ellysian, I highly recommend it if you are looking to travel outside of the country!
Tip #2: Plan your honeymoon the wedding for time to decompress after your big day!
We were so incredibly happy with this decision because it gave us time to be with out guests the day after of wedding and wind down before jumping on a plane!
Q: Any links/ideas for bridal shower and bachelorette dresses?
A: Absolutely! I have you covered! Here are a few of my favorites right now:
Q: How to enjoy the night without having to feel like a host at your wedding?
A: You may know Steph [from the LIY team] well, she was the MVP of our wedding. Out of the kindness of her incredible heart, she offered to be our day-of coordinator [highly suggest a day-of coordinator]! She was in charge of set-up on the day of the wedding at both locations, coordinating vendors, and solving any issues as they may arise. She was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Find yourself a Steph because I could not have done it without her. A few things that I did to ensure that Steph had all the tools and information she needed are:
- Assemble an “emergency kit” [I will list everything in my emergency kit below!]
- Create a vendor contact list: Be sure to include the name of business, point of contact and phone number
- Write up a vendor timeline: Construct a timeline that details when vendors will arrive and what they are in charge of
- Spend a little extra on your DJ/band! This person/people will take on the role of emcee for your night! We absolutely LOVED our DJ and he made sure to keep us on time and on track! We had full trust in him and totally relied on him!
Q: When is it better to buy instead of rent (tablescapes, backdrops, rugs)?
A: Overall, we went pretty minimal for the decor and backdrops because our venue had so much character on it’s own, but here is a list of what we purchased, rented, DIYed, thrifted or borrowed:
- Purchased: Florals/greenery, signs, paper goods, LED candles + large vases
- Rented: Rugs + table runners
- DIYed: Napkins + name cards
- Thrifted: Small vases
- Borrowed: Faux flowers, disco balls, sign stands, altar, table numbers + candle holders
Trick #2: Double your name cards as your take home gift! Our name cards were made out of plantable paper that way guests could take it home and plant it in their garden or landscaping!
Q: Real vs fake flowers? Where is it best to DIY to save money?
A: For our wedding we used about 90% real florals and 10% faux/silk florals! We used faux florals mainly for tablescape filler and on our altar for the ceremony as you you can see here!
Otherwise, we used real florals BUT we opted for dried florals! One thing that really helped us save a little money was reusing the ceremony florals at the reception! I just put someone in charge of transporting them and gave them directions on where to place them!
TIP #3: Reuse ceremony florals/decorations at the reception!
TRICK #3: Use dried florals for your wedding so they never die! You can take them with you and enjoy them in your home or gift them to friends and family!
Q: Where to find non-frumpy mother of the bride/groom dresses? Help!
A: Here is a photo of our lovely parents and what they wore to our wedding! How great do they look? Below you will find a list of my favorite “non-frumpy” mother of the bride/groom dresses! As for the dads out there, we purchased the majority of our fathers’ attire at Express!
TIP #4: Incorporate your furry friend! We LOVED having our pup there with us on our special day!
Headed to wedding this next season? Check out these wedding guest dresses:
And thats all folks! It was so fun answering these questions and giving a glimpse into our wedding planning! Any other wedding planning questions!?! Leave them below!