The Well Organized Wedding

As of July 10, I will have been married for eight years. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Quite a bit has changed in wedding trends since then, but the basics remain the same. In the spirit of wedding season, I wanted to share a few tips that I think will make your entire wedding experience run more smoothly.

1) Cut out unnecessary extras.

The wedding industrial complex is so real. Weddings are high stakes events: you only get one and you want it to be perfect. This makes you extra vulnerable to the marketing of products you don’t need. Companies know this, and they prey on your emotions.

I am here to tell you that there are three things you should not skimp on for your wedding. Get these three on point and yours will be a party everyone remembers for decades to come:

Food. Booze. Music.

And there’s no need to complicate it, all of those things just have to be high quality and plentiful. If you feed people delicious food, provide tasty options for drinkers, and have music that makes people jump out of their chairs to dance, no one will care about anything else.

Look, no favors! All photos by the incomparable  Timothy Teague .

Look, no favors! All photos by the incomparable Timothy Teague.

We cut unnecessary extras, and we had a gorgeous wedding with zero regrets. For example: favors. Think about the last wedding you went to. Do you remember the favors? Did you keep yours (or if it was edible, did you eat it)? If you skip favors, you’ll save hundreds of dollars and a couple giant trash bags going into a landfill somewhere - not to mention the time and effort of putting them together.

No monogram, no problem! (Cake by  Robyn Loves Cake , it appears she has moved to Orlando so check her out, Florida brides! The cake was SO good.)

No monogram, no problem! (Cake by Robyn Loves Cake, it appears she has moved to Orlando so check her out, Florida brides! The cake was SO good.)

We never even considered having specialty champagne flutes and cake cutting utensils. Cake cutting takes about five minutes, and the pictures are just as beautiful without an engraved monogram. Plus, if you do drink champagne at home, it’s far more practical to have a full set of glasses on hand that go in the dishwasher so that you can pour bubbly for all your guests and clean up easily after they leave!

This one's framed in my living room. Dress and veil by  Peter Langner  via  Marina Morrison , suit by  Ralph Lauren , tie by  Thomas Pink .

This one's framed in my living room. Dress and veil by Peter Langner via Marina Morrison, suit by Ralph Lauren, tie by Thomas Pink.

We also didn’t take engagement pictures. My sister snapped a few pics of us so that we had something to put on our website, but that was it. Our rationale was this: we knew we would get beautiful photos from our wedding, and exactly how many photos of yourself displayed in your own home do you really need? I think it’s lovelyto have one or two framed wedding photos, but I much prefer being surrounded by pictures of my family and friends than glamour shots of myself!

2) Hire a day-of coordinator, or, if you can swing it, a full-on wedding planner.

When I got engaged, I strongly suggested (well, more like insisted) that we hire a wedding planner. To say that my parents, who had very generously offered to foot the bill, were not wild about this idea was an understatement. They have thrown many parties before - what could possibly be so hard? Plus, why waste the money?

It did, in fact, rain on our wedding day! My planner had the staff (enthusiastically assisted by my dad) out there cleaning off the dance floor plus a backup plan in place, and it became a funny story to tell instead of a disaster.

It did, in fact, rain on our wedding day! My planner had the staff (enthusiastically assisted by my dad) out there cleaning off the dance floor plus a backup plan in place, and it became a funny story to tell instead of a disaster.

Fast forward to the day after my wedding, and my parents are the biggest evangelists of wedding planners that you will find. Weddings, even if they are small and simple, have a lot of moving parts, and if you want to truly be present and enjoy your day, you don’t want to be the one dealing with them. 

I talk a lot about organizing being a way to buy yourself quality time with the people you love. On no day is that more true than your wedding day! And this is also a place, much like organizing, where you want to look to your friends and family for referrals, and be aware that you get what you pay for!

3) Someone is gonna get weird. Be prepared.

Again, a wedding is high stakes. Everything from the amount of money spent to the numbers of people involved to the fact that this is (ideally, anyway) a one-time only event conspires to spike everyone’s stress. So it makes sense that someone you’ve always been able to count on to behave a certain way suddenly veers off in a totally unexpected direction.

Classic suspects for this kind of behavior are brides themselves, moms, and wedding party members, but sometimes it’s a special guest star like a groom, dad, or random aunt. You won’t be able to predict who your weirdo is, but once they surface, you’ll realize this is happening to you!

It doesn’t matter who it is, or what they’re doing that’s so inexplicably off kilter - what matters is that you understand that this person’s unusual behavior is probably coming from a good place and will pass once the wedding is over. If you can, be patient, listen, and try to figure out compromises.

Engagement is a joyful time, but there’s also a lot of pressure involved. If you’re getting married soon, I wish you low stress, helpful friends and family, and the wedding of your dreams!


Weekly Peek

I recently hosted a bridal shower for a very dear friend of mine.  She was one of my college roommates and is marrying the younger brother of one of my husband's college buddies (I may or may not have set them up...), so as you might imagine we're pretty excited for their wedding!  So I thought I'd share the vendors I used to pull off a pretty, breezy get-together to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of my very favorite people in the world.

The Place

The bride requested a simple shower: brunch, mimosas, NO GAMES. My kind of party! We selected Presidio Social Club in San Francisco for a couple of reasons. Most important: their brunch is delicious! Other bonuses: there is parking so we could load up my car with the bride's loot after the event, they have a long table in the middle of the restaurant perfect for a party, they don't charge a minimum for reserving said table, and the event staff were pleasant and very easy to work with.

The Flowers

My go-to flower shop is Bloomers.  I'm not exactly a flower buff so I never have very specific direction to give them, but they always produce beautiful arrangements. For this bridal brunch, I just said "bridal shower, blush and ivory, low," and voila! Plus, Bloomers is just around the corner so I can stop in when I'm out and about in the neighborhood.  

The Paper

I used Minted* for my Christmas cards for the first time this past year, and the site has become my go-to for paper.  There are so many options, all created by talented independent designers, and (unlike many other sites, cough - TinyPrints - cough) every piece is highly customizable.  Plus, once you find an invitation you like, chances are good the same designer has created menus, place cards, and other items to coordinate!

Photo courtesy of Jade Chocolates

Photo courtesy of Jade Chocolates

The Favors

I believe that favors, if provided at all, should be simple and consumable.  The bride is not generally a sweets person, but she does indulge in dark chocolate from time to time.  Jade Chocolates was a new discovery to me (I found them on Yelp!) but I will definitely go back.  They use incredible high quality ingredients to create a wide range of unique Asian-inspired flavors.  We picked Lychee Rose Green Tea and Lilikoi (passion fruit) for a fun and delicious little favor that did NOT get left behind.

The Presents

While a bridal shower usually focuses on kitchen, bed, and bath items, this bride and groom live in a small apartment and are not looking to fill it with more stuff.  Instead, we decided on a wine or "stock the cellar" theme.  Every guest brought a bottle (or a few!) and I provided gold paint pens so they could write messages on the bottles.  Now, whenever the couple opens a bottle from their stash, they'll be reminded of the friends and family who joined to celebrate their marriage.

When it comes to events, I always think the most successful ones keep the details simple and let the occasion shine through.  Based on all the chatting, seat switching, and devouring of tasty brunch that went on at this bridal shower, I think it's safe to say it was a success!

K, I am so happy for you and A, I can hardly stand it!  


*This post contains referral links, which will earn me cash back or shopping credit on the linked sites.  I was not asked by any of these companies to advertise their products or services.