Three Things We Can Learn from Meghan and Harry

The time leading up to your wedding day should be the happiest time of your life. The stress of planning, however, can easily put a damper on the romance of your big day. Don’t let it get to the point where you spend more time with your to-do list than your fiancé — take a page out of the newly-official Royal Couple’s book in order to enjoy every moment leading up to your day.

Okay, so you may not *officially* be becoming a princess, but you should totally still feel like one. And when was the last time the Duchess of Cambridge was stressed out? I mean, they all get a butler, right?

Photo By Paul Grover/The Telegraph

  1. Don’t Worry about Anyone Else

There won’t be any topping of William and Kate’s 2011 nuptials, nor should there be. Harry and Meghan’s wedding will be unique to their relationship, just as you and your future hubby’s own wedding should be. Even with the massive pressure Harry and Meghan will be facing to keep all of the Royal Family traditions, there’s no doubt there will still be a few special, personal touches added to the day – possibly as quirky as a banana flavored wedding cake, Prince Harry’s personal favorite flavor! And don’t feel pressured to match the extravagance or size of a someone else’s wedding, either. Try to keep it intimate – not only will a smaller guest list save you money, but you also won’t feel like you only got to spend a split second of your reception with each of your 350 guests.

wedding planning tips

  1. Sacrifices Will Be Inevitable

The soon-to-be princess can also teach us to never lose sight of the bigger picture. Yes, your wedding day will be the best day of your lives, but you’re also beginning a lifelong commitment to marriage. By accepting Harry’s proposal, not only has Meghan decided to give up her career, but she’s also agreed to live a life forever in the public eye. Now, some might say it’s a no-brainer to trade off some privacy in order to marry into the Royal Family. But being in the constant public eye is NOT easy, and Meghan’s status is going to be elevated beyond just that of a celebrity. Harry’s public message from 2016 pleading with the media to give them space goes to show exactly the type of challenges the soon-to-be newlyweds will continue to face for the rest of their lives. What’s this mean for you? Yes, centerpieces are important. But not as important as committing to move for the other when that job promotion takes you to the opposite coast, or realizing that yeahhh, he really is allergic to dogs and your future pet scene may involve aquariums instead.

meghan marble prince harry

Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

  1. Don’t Let Family Drama Stress You Out

If anyone tells you they don’t have family drama, they are lying (even if they are royalty!). Samantha Markle has been very vocal about her newly engaged half-sister’s relationship with their family, and certainly hasn’t sugarcoated it. Even more, William and Kate’s newest addition could easily make its first public appearance on May 19th and steal quite a bit of attention from the bride and groom – sometimes it just happens that way. And just like any wedding, there will also be much scrutiny (and probably even some bickering) in regard to the guest list and seating arrangements. So, keep in mind that even with a seemingly unlimited budget and resources like Meghan and Harry have, there’s still no avoiding family stress and drama for your big day.

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Wedding Planning: Let’s Get Down to Business

Way down the road into your happily ever after, you and your spouse will both look back at your wedding and reminisce – and not just about the big day, but also about all of the big moments leading up to it. So why not get this year started off with a bang of productivity in order to reduce last minute stress and allow yourself to enjoy every second?

Nail Down the Weekend-Of Logistics

You’ve already made major headway into planning – dress? Check. Honeymoon? Booked. Obviously, you tackled the fun stuff first. But now is the time to discuss the general flow of the day with your hubby-to-be. For example, deciding whether or not you’d like to do a first look or not may seriously impact the day’s timeline, and could mean you need fewer (or more!) hours for the limo rental and photographer. Will you have a lot of out of town guests? If so, keep in mind that for some venues, securing a block of hotel rooms nearby can be surprisingly difficult, so make sure to get on top of that pronto.

Start a Journal (if you haven’t already!)

With every decision comes ten more nitty-gritty details too. Feel like you’re forgetting everything? Find a small journal or notepad you can carry around in your purse for the next few months. That way, when you’re out for drinks with a girlfriend and the perfect phrase for your bachelorette t-shirts strikes, you can jot it down. You can also keep important dates and vendor phone numbers all in one place without having to dig four months back into your email’s inbox. Check out this Kate Spade bride2be notebook – it’s absolutely adorable, and you won’t believe how cheap it is!

Figure Out Your Money Sitch Now

Do chardonnay and a calculator go together? They do now. Grab both, and set aside a few hours to really wrap your head around all of your wedding expenses. Getting on top of your finances early is so important. For example, knowing that you’re going to have to pay both the photographer’s deposit AND the balance of your dress in the same week could save you lots of stress when it comes down to crunch time. This Wedding Cost Estimator can be a really helpful tool – and eye-opening if you’re still in the early stages of planning.

Of course, weddings are insanely expensive (especially if you and the fiancé are paying for most of it yourselves), but make sure you can stomach the amount you’re charging on your credit card. Otherwise, maybe consider rolling back a few add-ons. Meaning, do you really need the “ultra-deluxe lighting package” from the DJ when your venue is already stunning on its own? Also, vendors that let you order samples before shelling out any major cash are a huge plus. You can order a variety of free samples of Save the Dates and Invitations from Exclusively Weddings here.

Checklists, Calendars and More Checklists

Now, we don’t want to steal the spotlight from your big day, but chances are that you probably have *at least* one or two other weddings this year to attend besides your own. That’s a few weekends that you can kiss goodbye to using for planning your own wedding, especially if you’re involved in throwing the bridal shower or attending the bachelorette too. Did your wedding just get once month closer in terms of planning? Don’t freak out! You’re going to accomplish SO much during the next few weeks, remember?

Our tips:

  • As long as you set mini-milestones for each month, you’ll totally be fine and motivated to keep making progress
  • Post a calendar just for wedding planning on your fridge as a visual reminder you’ll see every day in order to stay on top or your tasks
  • Don’t leave anything you can do ahead of time for the 30 days leading up to your wedding. Stuffing welcome bags for hotel guests? Addressing envelopes for invitations? Who cares if the wedding is still eight months away, get that stuff done now! That way, when your dress finally comes in and you need (surprise!) three extra fittings and more alterations than you expected (hey, just being realistic here), you’ll be glad to have all of the easy minutiae done with way ahead of time

Still feeling overwhelmed? Get our free wedding countdown planner checklist here to help keep you on track.

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30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 4

In the fourth post of our money-saving series, 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, I will share ideas on cost savings by having your wedding during a time when a meal is not normally served, choosing a simply-styled dress dress and adding pizazz with a statement necklace and rather than serving champagne, have guests toast with what they are already drinking.

Tip 10. Choose a time for your wedding when a meal is not usually served. When you have your wedding during a typical meal time your guests will expect to be served a full-course meal. But if you choose a Read more . . .

How to Create the Perfect Wedding Reception Table Décor

Reception Ideas ThumbnailYour wedding reception is likely going to be the highlight of your wedding day. The ceremony is over and probably some of the stress is now gone and you and your guests are ready to party!

Planning your wedding reception is very much like planning a party . . . probably the most important party you’ll ever plan. Most of us want our guests to say “Wow” when they enter the reception venue and see the dinner tables decorated to show that you have thought of everything and that you obviously care about your guests.

Exclusively Weddings’ team recently did a photo shoot of a reception table to give brides some ideas on how various elements come together to create a welcoming and inviting table. The elements include candles, place card holders, flutes and favors.

(Click the images below for full-size versions.)

Candlelight is always a welcomed addition to a table setting. Here, our designers used our Damask Vellum Shades to create decorative lighting.

Damask Vellum Shades for Wedding Candles

Our Baroque picture frame, which comes in a choice of black or white, works perfectly for use as a place card holder, table card holder or as a favor. Black Baroque Frame and White Baroque Frame.

Baroque Wedding Place Card Holder and Photo Frame

And for your edible favors, Two-Piece Favor Boxes offer so much versatility. You can dress them up in a multitude of ways. They are perfect for holding candy or other goodies. A lot of brides mix and match them by buying two different colors and using the top of one and the bottom of another to create a custom look.

Two-Piece Wedding Favor Box


Personalized Ribbon
is an accent that never fails to make an impression! It can be personalized so that the name and date will appear on the streamer ends of the ribbon or it can be “continuous” and appear from one end of the ribbon to the other. In the bow below, the names and date look best when they appear on the ribbon streamers. The Organza Bag (available in 17 colors) is filled with our Premium Sugared Almonds.

Personalized Ribbon


One of my favorit
e items is this pair of Crystal Wrapped Flutes. An artist in Oregon designed the crystal wrap using the highest quality Austrian crystals just for EW.  She hand applies the crystal decoration on the flutes as well as a complementary knife and server set. They can be used solely for your first toast together or you can also include them for your head table guests/wedding party as an exceptional keepsake of the day. The flutes and Serving Set come in 8 crystal-color combinations and of course they can be used for many years to come to celebrate anniversaries in grand style. Oh, and they can be personalized, too!
Austrian Crystal Flutes

Voilà … the completed reception table! All of the elements have come together to create a welcoming and dazzling tablescape for your wedding guests. Our design team chose to create a black-and-white-themed table; however, it would be easy to add a third color and still keep the basic design. Red, pink, purple, lime, yellow, orange, turquoise, and royal blue are just some of the colors that look great with black and white. The Printed Menu wrapped in Ribbon (available in 23 colors) adds the final finishing touch. A flower arrangement that is of minimum height assures that the guests can see each other easily to talk and laugh and enjoy the festivities!
Reception Ideas - Exclusively Weddings

 

Milk and Cookies for Your Wedding Reception

Milk and CookiesYour wedding reception guests have been treated to a fabulous evening. The food and drinks were perfection. Now it is almost time for everyone to go home and they need a special treat before departing. So, what do you give them …. How about Milk and Cookies!

Milk and cookies are “on trend” for weddings and are perfect for the more casual weddings that are so popular. But don’t rule this treat out for more formal affairs! Milk and cookies can be an elegant wedding reception food when the milk is served in stemware or in shooter-sized glasses. And when on a silver platter served by gloved waiters, this yummy snack is taken to a new level!

The perfect comfort food, milk and cookies will send your guests on their way home with a feeling of well being and maybe they will even have sweet dreams about the beautiful bride, the handsome groom and the lovely wedding they attended!
Cookies and Milk

Milk and Cookies 2

Milk and Cookies 3

See our Wedding Reception Food and Drink Pinterest board for lots more photos.

Instructions for adding sprinkles as shown in the photo above:
From
Mixing Bowl Kids
“Using two plates, place a few tablespoons of agave nectar or honey on one and coloured sprinkles on the other. Dip the rim of the glass into the honey, allowing the excess to drip off before dipping the rim into the sprinkles. Leave the glasses upside down and allow the sprinkles to adhere before turning the cups right side up (or the sprinkles will run down the side of the glass). Make your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe and shape some of the dough into small balls, approximately 1″ in size. Place a lollipop stick in the middle of the dough ball and press down to ensure the stick is covered by dough on all sides. Bake as per your cookie recipe. Fill the glasses with milk and rest a cookie garnish on the rim of the glass.”

Photo Credits: Audrey Magazine, Belle the Magazine, Snapari, A Thoughtful Place, Style Me Pretty, A Bloom Affair, One Charming Party

How to Make Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

Click to enlargeTissue paper Pom-Poms add a festive flair to a wedding and reception. They are very easy to make and at a cost of under $5, you will get a lot of bang for your buck.

If you want to make decorative pom-poms, I’ve put together detailed instructions for you below.

I have found that they turn out looking great, even if you don’t do a perfect job of folding, cutting, etc.


Before you begin, you’ll need the following supplies:

1.  Sharp scissors to trim the ends of the pom-pom
2.  Cable ties, pipe cleaners,  floral wire or monofilament fishing line to secure the center of your “accordion stack”.
3.  Monofilament fishing line if you are going to hang your pom-pom
Cable ties, floral wire, and monofilament fishing line can be purchased online at places like Amazon or at a craft store.

Start with tissue paper approximately 20″ x 30″. The package
used in the instructions has 10 sheets and it makes a nice, full pom-pom.
It is from Exclusively Weddings, item #107-1710.
Start with a package of tissue paper

There are two ways to approach this project. One way is to open the stack all the way and start folding at the shorter side. Or the other choice is to leave one fold in the stack of tissues (as shown below) and start folding at the folded side, which is the approach shown here. Tissue size is approximately 20 x 30

Starting at the folded side, fold the tissue in an accordion fold with each fold about one-and a half to 2 inches wide. The photo below is of a finished accordion stack.
Start folding in accordion folds about 1-2 inches wide

The next step is to secure the folded tissue in the center of the accordion stack. Use a pipe cleaner, floral wire. monofilament fishing line or a cable tie. A cable tie was used below. If you are going to hang your pom-pom, go ahead now and attach the monofilament line to whatever you used to secure the center. Monofilament fishing line works well because it is somewhat invisible. Just tie the length you want to the cable tie. If you want to hang your pom-poms with something decorative, you can use ribbon.
Put a cable tie around the folded tissue

After securing the tissue, trim each end, with scissors, in to a rounded shape or pointed shape, as shown below. Then start separating the first piece of tissue and pulling it away from the folded portion and continue doing this with all the pieces. The next three photos below show this step in process.
Start separating and adjusting each piece of tissue.
Adjusting in process

After all pieces have been pulled out, you can now adjust and fluff the pieces to get it “perfect”.

Voilà!  The finished Pom-Pom!Completed Pom Pom

In this photo the pom-pom on the right was made following these instructions. The one on the left was made with the tissue paper opened out entirely. The one on the right is a little bit smaller and is shaped a ittle more like a flower.
Pom-Poms

See our blog post for lots of pictures and info about pom-poms and our Wedding Lanterns and Pom-Poms Pinterest Board, as well.

In case you want to print out the instructions, here are the instructions in an abbreviated format. 

How to make tissue paper pom-poms

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in our Comments section. I’ll be glad to help you!

EW - blog product2

Pom-Poms for Festive Wedding Décor

If you want to add an instant festive air and lots of pizzazz to your wedding ceremony and reception, do it with pom-poms! Pom-Poms are a simple DIY project made from tissue paper and they are very easy and inexpensive to make.

There are many ways that pom-poms can be added to a wedding décor. The photos below will give you some inspiration, as well as our Wedding Lanterns and Pom-Poms Pinterest Board.

Pom-Poms make inexpensive and colorful aisle markers.Poms on the Aisle

Pom-Poms and lanterns add a riot of color to the ceiling.Poms and lanterns decorate ceiling

Poms decorate tent ceiling

Pom-Poms easily showcase your signature color. There is no question that green is the color of the day!
Colorful poms

Any space can become more festive with the addition of pom-poms.
Poms can decorate any space

A lovely outdoor setting is enhanced with cascading pom-poms.
Cascading pom-poms

Pom-pom garlands with twinkling lights add lots of ambience.
Pom-Pom garland 2

A small pom-pom adds style and color to a table setting.
Pom-pom decorates table setting

The “getaway car” can be decorated with pom-poms, too!
Poms-on-getaway-car


How to Make Pom-Poms:
Instructions for making pom-poms can be found on our blog post.
Tissue paper for making poms is available at Exclusively Weddings.

Credits:
Jenny Cookies, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Southern Weddings,
Nola West, Craftgossip.com, idocrafts.com