With wedding season hot on our heels and having been a recent bride myself, I’ve been getting some more personal questions from you guys about things I wish I knew, or top tips to make this special day everything you’ve imagined it to be.
Today I’m getting personal with you guys and finally sharing (I’m warning you now, there are lots) of photos from this magical day. Sorry for the sap but magical really is the only way to describe it. Along with the usual food stuff, I’m also going to be sharing some planning tips including everything from how we decided about invitations, decor, to ask or not to ask (often they’re given anyways;)) for opinions, ideas for cocktail hour (hint: For anyone who’s ever spent any amount of time with us, what we chose will come as no surprise) and then of course tips and ideas, including my personal experience with nutrition leading up to and on the day of.
I’m going to be going a little deeper into this in a couple of weeks for a follow up post on my wedding Un-Diet, so stay tuned for that! This doesn’t just apply to weddings, for any of you who have ever felt the pressure to shape up for a big event, this is for you.
After planning our wedding last year (with a ton of help from my Momma and the amazing ladies of Rustic Wedding Sorrento) I have an insane amount of respect for wedding planners.
I really had NO idea how much was involved and how many little details there are that you simply can’t imagine until you’re doing it. Don’t get me wrong, this was such a special time, but there are a few little gems that would have saved me a lot of time and I admit, a bit of stress, getting ready for this epic party!
Getting Started- The Invites. To go online or not to go online…
Everything is online these days and that’s no exception when it comes to wedding invitations. This was something I struggled with a bit, not knowing if it was kosher to send an e-vite for your wedding?! Would Granny and Ma-Ma be upset that they didn’t have an invite for the fridge?
What I learned is that these days, anything flies. We decided to do our Save the Dates as e-vites and then go with good ol’ traditional paper for our actual invites. This was purely out of personal preference. In the end we decided we liked the idea of the paper invites so we decided to do online for one and paper for the other.
After hours of sourcing out tons of different sites I settled on using Paperless Post for the Save the Dates and Minted for our actual invitations. Both had an amazing selection of both free (for e-vites only) and paid designs to choose from. In the end we just went with the design we liked the best for each. We were so happy with them and the process was seamless.
I also ended up ordering a dozen paper copies of the Save the Dates to give to our parents, grandparents and a few other family members we knew would appreciate it 🙂 this worked out perfectly and solved the above dilemma.
Time Saving Tip: Minted had the option to purchase pre-addressed envelopes. This saved SO much time and probably some carpel tunnel sydrome. I would highly recommend the little extra splurge on there.
We also ended up ordering return address labels from Vistaprint. I went with the more budget friendly option here as their simple design was all we needed and they turned out perfectly.
Decor – How to Save a Few Bucks.
Facebook (and I’m sure other place on the interweb) has tons of different swap and shop groups and weddings are no exception. Just search for Wedding Shop and Swap Or Wedding Swap and Buy groups in your local area (if you’re in a small town, it may even be worth joining groups in larger cities for more selection. The brides will often ship!)
I joined a couple- one in Vancouver and one in my hometown of Kamloops. In the end I didn’t end up getting a ton from these groups as our venue ended up having tons of decorations for us to pull from, but I got some great ideas and saw some awesome swaps going on in those groups.
These groups are also a great place to get info or recommendations on vendors like photographers, venues, officiants, you name it. It is a quick and easy way to sift through and get honest opinions from brides that are eager to help! And when the event is over, you can sell anything you don’t feel the need to hold on to and have a little extra for that honeymoon fund!
Don’t ask for Too many opinions!
I learned this the hard way by asking way too many questions when I first started planning (I’ve been known to be a bit indecisive- I’m working on it ;)) . I just wanted everyone to be happy and truly wanted input. But what I ended up quickly realizing is that everyone has a different opinion – from who to invite, what kind of ceremony, wedding party and even your dress! It is amazing how candidly people offer their advice.
I found that it was best to have a few key people to discuss details with and then feel confident making my own decisions and not worrying too much about pleasing everyone (trust me, I know this can be easier said than done). But in the end everyone just wants you to be happy and if you make decisions that feel right to you, everyone will be happy!
Wedding photos and Videography
We ended up going with both. Initially we waffled a bit about the video, but after hearing from a few friends that they were so happy they did a wedding video we decided to go for it. We definitely did not regret the decision. We went with Joy Factory Films and they did an incredible job. For photos, we were lucky enough to have Kathleen Fisher Photography which is where all of the amazing shots in this post came from. Her and her team are so incredibly talented at what they do and just have a way of capturing all of those special moments. If you by chance happen to be having an Okanagan or Interior BC wedding I cannot recommend either of them highly enough!
Time Saving Tip: We decided to do our photos after the ceremony as we wanted our first time seeing each other to be walking down the aisle. But, we knew we would be eager to hang out with all of our guests, so someone had suggested to me to keep a “must shoot” list. This is a list of shots that you want to make sure you get. This will speed up the photo process (without being too rushed- it is pretty fun getting to pop those bottles of champagne) and you’ll be really happy with the photos. Save photos you like to your Pinterest or phone for easy access.
Cocktail Hour. To Feed or Not to Feed.
I’ve been to weddings that have food for the cocktail hour and others that don’t and all have been great. Since our location wasn’t near any restaurants, pubs, or hotels, we decided to have food. As you know, food is really important to me so I spent a lot of time on this one, wanting to make sure there would be enough, that our guests would be happy and that there would be something for everyone.
We ended up making our own charcuterie boards and also had a popcorn bar with different mix ins. This allowed for gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
For the Charcuterie we had:
- Gluten-free and regular crackers (suggest keeping these on separate trays just to be sure for anyone with Celiac)
- A selection of cheeses (brie, Boursin and a variety of hard cheeses)
- Roasted Almonds
- Fresh Grapes
- Caprese skewers (cherry tomatoes, mini Bocconcini and basil)
- Veggies & Dip
For the Popcorn Bar we included:
- Theatre Popcorn- we got a few massive bags from our local movie theater
- Boom Chickapop Sweet and Salty
- Chicago mix
- Peanut M&Ms
The day before the wedding, my Mom, Dad, sister, Meik (hubby) and I went to the venue and got all the platters prepped. We had a lot of fun putting them together and it was a great way to all spend some time together before all of the craziness began!
The last thing you want to end up doing is crash dieting before your wedding or any other big event.
If you are consistently eating well (this doesn’t mean ALL the time! Have you heard of the 80-20 rule?) and staying active, there is no need to panic last minute and go on some sort of crazy (and unhealthy) restrictive diet!! More than anything I focused on what I was including, not cutting out.
A few key guidelines to keep in mind are
- Fill half of your plate with vegetables first
- Fill one quarter of your plate with protein
- Fill the other quarter with a whole grain or high fiber starch
- Make sure to get some healthy fats in there (EVOO for cooking or a sprinkle of nuts or avocado.)
This combo is the ideal balance to fill you up, energize you, keep your blood sugars stable and keep cravings at bay (the best way to manage cravings is to eat enough!! Not restrict!)
Other non-negotiables for me included:
- Eating regularly throughout the day- I find I feel best when I have 3 meals and 2 snacks. Everyone is a bit different. Find what works best for you!
- Not depriving myself when I wanted a treat
- Meal prep– without this, I simply wasn’t getting the groceries into the house or onto my plate.
I’ll be sharing more about my wedding UN-diet in further detail in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
Day of Nutrition
My appetite was definitely off on the day of. It was a weird mix of calm, excited, anxiously anticipating seeing my soon-to-be hubby. I had been warned about this but for some strange reason didn’t think this would be the case for me. I was not immune. Lol. There’s so much going on and with the nerves affecting your appetite it’s easy to forget to eat, or keep putting it off as the day goes on. Luckily we had stocked up on lots of easy grab and go items like yogurt, berries, nuts and granola for breakfast, and crackers, buns, grilled chicken and veggie platters for lunch.
The ease of having these foods around was my saving grace. The last thing you want to do is end up with a growling stomach interrupting your vows. Aaand, as the champagne gets flowing, it’s nice to have a little extra food in there to give you some stamina.
To wrap this up, here’s a list of 12 of my favorite recipes that were go-tos during this busy time. The best way to be wedding ready is to be eating well on a regular basis in the months leading up so there’s no pressure to feel like you have to diet before your wedding. As tempted as you may be, this will not end well!
Lunch and Dinner
Mediterranean FArro and Green Lentil Grain Bowl
Crispy Black Pepper and Maple Tofu Stir Fry
Stay Tuned for a real look into what I ate in a day leading up to my wedding in Part 2, coming up in a couple of weeks!
Are any of you preparing for a wedding or special event? Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions that I didn’t cover and if you have any great tips of your own, please share with us!
I can’t stop with the photos! Here are a couple more and then that’s it. I promise…
Are you getting ready for a big event? Check out The 3-2-1 Method. This is the same 4 week meal plan I followed to get ready for my big day without feeling deprived! This plan will walk you through how to get all of your weekly meal prep done in just 1 hour for a completely different and delicious 15 minute meal every night of the week! Complete with grocery lists, prep instructions, swap guides to suit your tastes and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, say goodbye to dieting and hello to a new healthy! Check it out here and for the month of June, get 15% off with coupon code: BRIDE15.
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Awesome blog girl! I will keep some of these hot tips in mind for next year. Beautiful pictures
Thanks Jenny!! Can’t wait to how things go as you start planning! xo