Wedding Wednesday {Our Honeymoon}

Before I jump into it I have two things to mention.

1. I am SO excited to announce that I am now a Bride Blogger on Budget Savvy Bride! You can read my introductory post here, and check back every Tuesday to read my latest post! Those that have followed along for a while know how exciting this is for me as I begin my Wedding Planner adventure, and can tell how obsessed I am with all things wedding!

2. We mailed our Save The Dates yesterday! They are all sealed and delivered and I can’t wait to start hearing that people have received them. I got butterflies putting them into the mailbox!

Now onto the real post! I just realized I never mentioned that we officially have our honeymoon planned. About 2 months ago we put the down payment on our honeymoon and finalized the dates. It was pretty easy for us to decide exactly what we wanted to do, but deciding which itinerary was the hard part. I have mentioned before that we are going to Europe, we were in love when we went to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels last summer which made it really easy for us to decide we wanted to go back.

But where should we go? I wanted Greece and Croatia, Dave wanted Italy. How were we going to be able to afford to make the both of us happy? I hoped a cruise would solve this problem. I started searching for any itinerary starting after July 4th so we would be able to celebrate my favorite holiday in the states, and have at least a week after the wedding to prepare for it. But then I decided it would be easier for someone else to step in and handle this portion.

I called my travel agent and told her the places we both wanted to go just to see if we could both get what we were looking for in one trip, I had a feeling it wouldn’t happen. She was able to find us about 10 options and it was up to us to decide what we wanted. We sat down with all of the itineraries, prices, and time frames and picked a top 3. Then we looked on Trip Advisor for each of the areas and made our final decision.

We will be leaving on July 8th for Rome and coming home from Paris on July 26th. I could not be more excited! We have one amazing itinerary, and I can’t even imagine the sights we will see. We decided to arrive in Rome 2 days before our cruise which gives us the chance to explore the city and relax before our days are filled with soaking in a new country everyday.

On July 11th we will board our cruise to start our sail around the Strait of Messina. During our cruise we will visit other ports in Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro. After 11 amazing days, our cruise will end in Venice where we will spend another two nights touring the city. After all of this we left off on a Thursday, we had the option to go ahead and fly home (which would have still been amazing!) or travel more of Europe for the weekend.

We decided to fly from Venice to Paris and visit my BFF and her husband for the weekend! We are also going to try and go to Disneyland Paris since we didn’t make it last time we were there. We will be flying home early Sunday morning and I am so happy about having all direct flights!

Only 209 more days until this amazing trip, but I am even more excited for what is in 192 days!

Today is bittersweet because I am linking-up with Kristyn for the very last time. This is also very exciting because I will be co-hosting the link-up with Meg from Borrowed Heaven starting next week. Thank you, Kristyn for passing the link-up on to us, we will treat it well!

Be sure to come back next week and join your new hosts, there may even be a giveaway in store!

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Grab the new button for next week!

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Wedding Wednesday {How To Choose A Color Scheme}

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One of the first questions I am asked when people ask me about my wedding is “what are your colors?”. At first this surprised me, but the more I was asked, the more I understood why people were curious. I have known for years what my color scheme would be because they are my favorite colors, but then I realized I needed to be careful with everything else if I went with my original color choices. So things had to change.

Once I started setting up weddings I got a much better idea of how colors work together, and which type of wedding people were having. There are all kinds from casual to classy, beachy to ballroom, and everything in between. Besides from talking with your Fiancé about budget and possible venues, deciding you color scheme should be one of the very first things a newly engaged couple should discuss. The colors are a deciding factor in most things like, theme and location, and can majorly help plan big details along the way. You wouldn’t exactly want a classy black-tie gala styled wedding in a very rustic barn, and you wouldn’t want a bright colored very laid-back wedding in a ball room.

Here are my top tips to choosing your wedding colors:

1. Location is a big part of choosing your color scheme. The area surrounding your wedding will add to the colors you chose, for example, if you are getting married in a vineyard, deep and natural colors will be brought out from the things around you. If you find a location that doesn’t match up with the colors you have chosen, try and stay within the same family but maybe change the hue a bit. You don’t want your decor to be a distraction.

2. Go with the seasons. You will want to stick within a certain hue for each season, if you think about the normal decor that comes out around each time of year you will see the basics for each season. You can also use this trick to add texture to your wedding, think sandy tones for a beach wedding or gold accents for a classical wedding. This was the problem I ran into, I wanted darker shades of purple (Go Ravens!) and green, but I wanted an early summer wedding. In the end I went with lavender and mint because it matched the weather and didn’t seem dreary being outdoors.

3. Look at the color wheel. If you plan on sticking to a single color in different shades you won’t need this step as much, but if you are using two or more colors look at the color wheel when deciding. If your colors are opposites you are in a safe range, these colors typically compliment each other, if they are not touching at all, you may want to tweak something. You could also go the route of monochromatic and choose one color in multiple shades, or analogous and look for colors directly next to each other.

4. Pull in neutrals. A nice way to stick with a single color and still add some definition is to pick a shade that stands out and then pair it with a more neutral color. A great example of this is the currently the most popular wedding color scheme of blush and gold.

5. Go with the vibe. Different moods will allude to certain shades of colors. Think dramatic or relaxed, casual or classy, and then go with what tones you think will match the mood of the wedding you want.

6. Go for a walk. Being surrounded by nature or strolling through an art museum will help you get creative and look at colors you wouldn’t normally picture together. A big bonus would be walking around the areas on your list of venues.

7. Be flexible. You will always want to give a straight answer when people ask what your color scheme is, but don’t let this nail you down to an exact choice. It is nice to have some things a few hues off throughout your wedding, and in the end the linens probably won’t be the exact shade of the bridesmaid dresses anyway but everyone will be having such a fun time at your wedding, it won’t even matter. As long as you are happy, everyone else will be too.

8. Attire. What colors will look good in a Bridesmaid Dress or on the Groomsmen Ties? If you plan on going abstract with your color scheme, find some dresses online and see if you like how they look before you finalize what you want.

As always I am linking up with the lovely Kristyn from Chits and Giggles, and we would love if you joined us!

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Wedding Wednesday {Tips To Pick a Venue}

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I am so very happy that it is already Wednesday, lucky for me the end of today is the end of my official workweek since I am at a conference. I only have a few updates from this past week, but I am looking forward to lots more for next week!

Since last Wedding Wednesday we have changed our minds twice about the Save-The-Date images. We are finally settled and will be ordering them as soon as we are reunited on Thursday. Along with choosing the images and layout, we decided to address them by hand. As much as I love calligraphy, we just can’t afford to spend $400 on it for the Save-The-Dates. I am also hoping to be better at it myself by the time our invitations go out. It’s a shame that even having them printed in so expensive!

Another big thing we have finished is the rental company for tables, linens, etc. I have looked at so many options and to say we finally found a great company is such a relief. I am still deciding on buying or renting drapery for the tent, but I still have some time. I have a perfect vision for everything but not the extra time to sit down with everyone and go over everything.

Since I didn’t have too much to share today, I am hoping this list will help any future brides. When a couple is trying to find their dream venue, it is easy for several things to be overlooked. I put this list together of 15 things any couple should look for, ask or check on the contract. The list could be longer, but to me these are the most important to stick to.

1- If your event is being held outdoors, what is the back-up plan in place at this venue if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Most venues won’t allow you to change areas if it’s raining the day of without an extra added fee, and some won’t have a backup space available. A way to avoid this is to already plan on having a tent either through the venue or an outside source.

2- Are you able to host ceremony and reception at the venue. This may not be a big deal for all brides because of the ceremony being held at a church, garden, etc. but it is nice to know this information moving forward.

3- Is there a noise restriction past a certain hour? If your wedding is in a hotel or outside, there will most likely a 10 or 11pm noise restriction. If you plan on partying all night long (woohoo!) make sure you don’t have a certain time to cut off the jams, or just move the party to a nearby bar.

4- Are there other events (weddings or otherwise) being held the day before, day of, and day after my event. This will give you a chance to think about rehearsal dinner scheduling, set-up day of (for your vendors, not you!), where you will be getting ready, timing of your wedding, and brunch the following day. Even if you don’t plan on having any of these at the venue, it is nice to know what you are working with.

5- Is there a space for the bridal party and groomsmen to get ready on site? Are they far enough away from each other that there is no chance for the Groom to see the Bride before she is ready?

6- What is included with the cost of venue? Catering, tenting, chairs, fireworks, etc! When working on your budget it’s easy to know what is going to be a part of each aspect. Having a caterer included in venue has its positives, but also it’s negatives if you plan on hiring someone else or want a certain meal.

7- Are outside vendors allowed? Is there an extra charge for using vendors outside of a venues preferred list?

8- What is the payment schedule? Some venues don’t need final payment until a week before the event, but others want it 3 months before.

9- When will the venue need the final headcount? If the final headcount is lower than the original estimate, will you be charged for the estimate or final number? Some venues will charge you based on the original headcount and it will not change if the final number is lower.

10- Will there be a provided point of contact day of the wedding? Even with a wedding planner this is important. They will be an aid to the planner in many aspects and have experience with the site.

11- Are there alcohol limitations? For example, many parks won’t let you serve alcohol or you need to get a special license for the day of your wedding.

12- Are there set-up fees? If tables, chairs, linens, place settings, etc are provided, is there an extra charge for the venue to set these up?

13- Who is in charge of clean up? Depending on the venue it could be their staff, rental staff or each individual vendor.

14- Is guest parking available? Is it included in the price? Most couples wouldn’t want their guests paying $50 for parking while they attend your wedding, so add this into the contract if you can. If there is no parking, see if there is a recommended shuttle service.

15- Are taxes, fees and gratuities included in the final quote? Don’t let the vendor slip in extra charges once you have signed the contract.

Hopefully this will be able to help some Brides-To-Be’s out there!

I am not hosting my link-up this week because I am co-hosting with Kristyn and some other lovely Wedding Wednesday Bloggers. I have loved following along with Kristyn’s Wedding posts and really enjoy her blog, Chits and Giggles. If you don’t already follow her blog I suggest you check it out!

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Wedding Wednesday {My MOH is The Best}

Yay for hump day! Not a crazy amount of things have been happening in the area of Wedding lately, but this weekend should change that! I am so excited to be dress shopping with all of my Bridesmaids! We are shopping at two different dress stores and getting lunch in between. I can’t wait to hang out with everyone and start continue talking about all things wedding with my favorite girls!

One really fun wedding related thing we did was engagement photos on the beach over the weekend. I know I already mentioned it during my Hopes & Plans link-up on Monday, but we had so much fun! I loved being on the beach as the sun came up over the horizon. It was also great to have an old friend take such great pictures. I can’t wait to share!

Monday marked the 8 month mark to our wedding and my Maid-of-Honor gave us our 3rd installment of the best. gifts. ever. Like I mentioned last week, each month on the 2oth she gives us a basket with a different theme. This months theme was Pairs, inspired by Dave and I. How adorable!

Pictures do not do this incredible gift justice, but here are some anyways!

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Is my sister awesome of what?

I am thinking about starting my own Wedding Wednesday link-up to do along with the one’s I normally participate in, look for that next week!

Can’t wait to be back next week with pictures from dress shopping!

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Wedding Wednesday {Updates}

Not much has happened since last weeks post, so I only have a few updates. I will throw in a few more engagement photos though! We’re down to 247 days, almost 8 months! Each month my sister gives us a basket to countdown the months until our wedding with a different theme. The first one was general wedding things like a bridal magazine, mr & mrs. wine glasses and a photo album, the second one was travel themed and included luggage tags, travelers kit full of things for both of us, and headphones. I am so blessed to have such an amazing Maid-of-Honor, and even though she doesn’t need to go so above and beyond, I can’t wait to see what we get on the 20th!

First and for most under my “Whats Happened” from this past week…Vivian from VivianStoneXO got married! I couldn’t be more excited for her and her new husband and I can’t wait to see more pictures from the big day!

This week I was able to breakdown a really good amount of things into specific to-do lists. I am really happy to have this done and even though it will be a work in progress for the next 8 months, I love having something to work off of. We also sent out the contract for our day-of wedding planner and scheduled a meeting with a potential videographer!

I am so happy with the way things are moving along, and I can’t wait to keep checking things off! I am also excited for our Save-The-Date photos this weekend!

Did you have a videographer? What was the most important thing you looked for when choosing one?

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This one was all Dave :p

This one was all Dave :p

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Our Engagement Fiesta

Our Engagement party was on Saturday and it was a great way to cheer us up some after the news from Friday. The party started at 2pm, and we had our rehearsal dinner tasting around 11am which meant our minds were focused on other things and we were forced to be happy in between the sadness of finding out the news about our dear friend.

Before I get into the party deets, here is a mini update on Wedding Progress so far:

  • I had to reschedule Bridesmaid dress shopping since we will be saying goodbye to our amazing friend this weekend. Please continue to keep us and his family in your prayers.
  • We have the photo shoot for our Save-The-Dates schedule or October 18th, so hope for nice weather!
  • I think I forgot to mention that we asked my little brother to be our Ring Bearer. Thinking of a way to ask him was actually really difficult. In the end we bought two wrestling action figures and I put a small banner in between them that said “be our ring bearer?”, he said yes 🙂
  • We also asked my dear friend, Lauren, to be our Program Attendant. We aren’t going to have ushers, so Lauren will be greeting everyone, telling them they may sit anywhere, and handing out our programs. Thanks, Lauren!
  • Dave met with the venue on Friday and took pictures of everything so we can start planning out every detail. I am so excited to be actually planning for an actual place at this point!
  • My parents and Dave also met with the caterer on friday evening while I was in a car for 12 hours driving from Chicago. They all agreed that the food was amazing, and we have decided to go with a buffet vs family style dining.

So now the exciting part…the Engagement Party! Our Bridesmaid, Kaity did a wonderful job planning and hosting our party. Everything was covered in Fiesta decorations, bright colors and margaritas, there was also a sombrero full of Guacamole, so that was awesome. The weather was also incredibly perfect, 81 on a late September day? I’ll take it!

We spent the day with our friends and family celebrating what is yet to come for Dave and I and it was great to have some of the wedding party get to know each other. We were also able to start talking about future parties before our wedding. The best way to show you all of the fun moments is through pictures so without further ado, here’s to many more celebrations, days with friends, DIY dates and a wedding that is just 263 days away!

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Wedding Wednesday {Good News is Great News}

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I have been dying to post about this, but I was able to hold off until good ol’ Wedding Wednesday! First of all, thank you for all of the kind words when I posted about my stresses two weeks ago. It is so nice to know other people are out there helping to support you through difficult times while planning a wedding, or otherwise. Today, I have some wonderful news…

WE GOT OUR VENUE!!!!

As most of you know this has been a huge speed bump since our engagement, we both knew 100% when and where we wanted to start our life as Husband and Wife and it was so upsetting to find out it most likely was not going to work out. I was so incredibly surprised when my dear friend messaged me on our last day in Jamaica to ask if there was anyway I had a few minutes to chat because he had great news. We knew this could only be about our venue because he knows the owner and has been trying to help us since day one. He has been working so hard to get everything together for us, and I really can’t thank him enough.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get his message until late that evening and with the time change there was no way we would have the time. Then last Thursday we had a busy travel day (no cell service or wifi while we were in transit to the airport), and I was not able to get in touch until around 6pm when we landed in Miami. The news started off not so great with details about laws and new zoning problems, etc. but then we got the great news- we are able to surpass all of that and have our wedding! I won’t go into details, because frankly I don’t even understand. All I know is we get to have our dream venue!

Dave will be going to meet with the owner on Friday night, and then he is meeting our potential caterer with my parents (of course I will be in Chicago until 1am Saturday). Once that is settled, we can finally start working on others things, and I can really map out where everything will go. I could not be more excited!

Also- we have two more exciting things coming up for our wedding: our engagement party (this weekend!) and Bridesmaids dress shopping (October 4th). I can’t wait to see some of our friends and family this weekend, and celebrate how sweet it is to be marrying my best friend.

I am so sad to say that this week we say goodbye to Mary as she has her final Wedding Wednesday post today. Thank you so much for hosting this link-up for so long!

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