Monday, March 28, 2016

Wedding Planning Timeline | Three Month Mark

In-between six months, and three months before the wedding, there tends to not be much to do. You got all the big things- the venue, food, photographer/videographer, DJ, wedding planner/day of coordinator, florist, and dress -handled, and at the three month mark it’s time for all the little details! 

1. Start looking at wedding bands for you and your fiancé, and order them so they can be in, and sized in time. 

2. Finalize your guest list, and get your wedding invites ready to be sent out in the next couple of weeks. 

3. Schedule your cake tasting, and order your wedding cake (or another dessert if you’re not doing cake). Side note: it is normal for bakeries to charge for tastings! 

4. Set up the tasting with your venue/caterer and finalize the food, and drink selection. 

5. Book your rehearsal dinner location! The earlier the better with this if you’re getting married in “wedding season”!

6. Start your wedding registry! Go prepared with a list, and give yourself a whole day! ENJOY! This is one of the funnest parts of the planning process!

7. Decide on your hair and makeup artist, and schedule your trials. It’s normal for there to be a charge for this, too!

Check out my other posts in my wedding planning timeline series! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The 5 Thousand Dollar Wedding

Hi Everyone! 

If you’ve been on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon an article entitled “The $5000 wedding”.  I want to start off by saying that I am in no way saying this is impossible, I’m only saying that there are a lot of hidden components to consider! 

My problem with this article is, I think some people don’t actually read the article fully. You might see a beautiful rustic barn, beautiful real flowers covering every foot of the venue, or an enormous 6-tiered wedding cake, you might be a little confused because all those things sometimes cost $5,000 on their own when you start researching!  

What usually isn’t included in the article is that the wedding only included less than 50 people, the couple is using a family barn for free, the brides aunt is a florist so they got the flowers at cost, or the grooms grandmother is a baker and the cake was their wedding gift! 

If you’re looking at ways to save money on floral, try lots of greenery, and baby’s breath! They’re affordable and beautiful! 

To save money on a wedding cake, get some second-hand cake stands, and get some simple round cakes from a local grocery store.  Add some fresh flowers, and you have affordable wedding cakes for around $100!

It is possible to have the wedding of your dreams for $5000, just do your research, and figure out what is most important to you!

xo, Val 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Bridal Fashion

Hi everyone!

Today I am talking all about my wedding day fashion!

We will start with my dress! I know it is a little different and modern, but I think it went perfectly with the feel of our wedding!

When I went to look at wedding dresses for the first time, I definitely knew what type of dress I wanted, but I was open to trying on different styles.  I wanted a natural waist line, sweetheart neckline, and either an aline or ball gown skirt. My dream dress was ‘Sunday Rose’ by Monique Lhuillier, and ‘Dahlia’ by Amsale, but unfortunately there weren’t any bridal shops around me that sold them. I also knew what I didn’t want.  I didn’t want “shiny” fabric, or a lot of beading.  I tried on many different styles, but ended up buying what I thought I was going to buy!! My dress was ‘Wendy’ by Alyne by Rivini and it was absolutely beautiful! I bought it from All Brides Beautiful in Hudson, Ohio. 

There were a couple things about the dress I wasn’t a huge fan of, but luckily Sadie from 'Couture by Sadie' was able to customize my dress during alterations. The dress comes with a sparkly belt-which is beautiful- but it just isn’t my style. So she removed that, and we added a sash that matched the bridesmaid dresses! It also had a modified sweetheart neckline, and I wanted a true sweetheart.  With those little things, I had a custom dress, and it was perfect!! 

red arrow photography
red arrow photography

red arrow photography

red arrow photography 

I originally wasn’t sure if I would ware a veil, but when the bridal consultant put a cathedral length veil on me, there was no turning back! I LOVED the way it looked! Veils can be expensive-the one I tried on was over $200- so luckily my mom was able to make mine for me! It’s just a couple yards of cream tulle, and a hair comb! the whole thing cost about $13 after some deals, and coupons from Jo Ann’s!! While we were there we got the ribbon for my sash, which was only about $5, so I probably saved myself $250 by DIYing those two things!!! 

I know most brides put a lot of thought and money into their shoes, but I did not. They may have been flats from target that were on sale for $12, and $5 flip flops that I changed into for the reception! HAHA!!

My dress was heavy, and very hot underneath all the layers! If you have a big dress as well, you will need 3 people to help you use the restroom!!! My veil got stuck on everything during pictures, and people will step on it! My feet still hurt even though I had on flats all day! 
The unglamorous truth, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing :)

I hope you enjoyed!!

XO Val

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First Look | A Good Wedding Trend?

Hi Everyone!

Today I am talking about the newer trend in weddings, which is the ‘First Look’.  I have already done a blog about ‘First Looks’, but since then, I have had my own first look with my now husband, Darrin. If you don’t know what a ‘First Look’ is, it’s when the couple see’s each other before the ceremony.  It’s usually just the couple, and their photographer. 

As a wedding planner, I have to always be practical with time when it comes to weddings.  If the couple has limited time to do pictures after the ceremony, I usually suggest seeing each other before hand so pictures can be done before the ceremony, and they aren’t rushed.  Some people, however, don’t want to mess with tradition, which I totally respect! 

When it came time to plan my own wedding, I already thought we would do a ‘First Look’, because we couldn’t have our ceremony until 6:00 in the evening, and I didn’t want a long cocktail hour.  Then I had to step back and think about it, and talk to Darrin. I had to forget about the technical side, turn off my wedding planner brain, and think about it as a bride.  Did I want that special moment when he see’s me for the first time as I walk down the isle, and stick to tradition?

Darrin said that he wanted to do a first look as well, which helped my decision a lot! I LOVED the special moment we had with just our photographers. You don’t get a lot of time alone together during your wedding day, so having that special moment was priceless for us. Time totally got away from me the day of the wedding, so I’m not sure what time we started pictures, but I’m pretty sure we had almost  three hours to do pictures of just the two of us, the whole bridal party, and family pictures. It worked out PERFECTLY! 

Here are some of the pictures from our first look! We wrote letters to each other before hand, which I LOVED!! It was absolutely perfect, and I am beyond thrilled that we opted to do a ‘First Look’.

He’s saying “did you see her?!” SO CUTE!

XO, Val 

photo’s taken by the amazing Red Arrow Photography!

Monday, July 13, 2015


Hi everyone!!

It has been a CRAZY couple of months for me because I got married!! My wedding was on June 20, 2015, and it was the most perfect day I could have imagined! Yes, marrying my husband was the best part, but as a wedding planner, you know the other details mattered to me as well! ;)

For our venue, we wanted something very industrial and modern, but also somewhere we could have both the ceremony, and reception. I had no idea that The Akron Art Museum did weddings, but I am beyond thrilled that they do! It was the most perfect venue we could have imagined! I brought my husband there, and he took one look at it and we both knew there was no where else we wanted to say “i do”, and dance the night away. 

I’m going to be doing a post on each of my amazing vendors very soon!! I am extremely lucky to work with so many amazing people in the wedding industry, so picking vendors for my wedding was easy!

I am beyond thrilled that my dream photography team was available for my wedding day! I actually think I would have picked another day if they weren’t! I’ve had the honor of working with Meghan Meeker of Red Arrow Photography on many weddings in the past few years! Not only is she and her husband Scott amazing photographers, they are also our friends! It was so incredible to have them be our photographers.  

Our pictures turned out even more beautiful than I thought possible! Here are a few of my favorites!

We were allowed to pictures in the exhibits! LOVE this one!

Hope you enjoyed reliving my wedding day with me!! I will be posting more very soon! :)

XO, Val 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wedding Planning Timeline | Six Month Mark

When you’re at the six month mark of your wedding planning, there are a few things you want to make sure are checked off your list!

  • Send out save the dates! At the six month mark is exactly when you should be sending out your save the dates! It gives people enough time to ask off from work, make travel arrangements, and change any plans if necessary.  Sending them out any earlier, people might misplace them, or completely forget they received it because it came too soon.  Sending it out any later and it might as well be the actual wedding invitation!
  • Order your bridesmaid dresses! Bridal shops usually need six months to guarantee the dress will come in on time.  
  • Make sure you have important documents! This is a little random, but check to make sure you know where your social security card is.  You’re going to be needing that when it comes time to get your marriage license and when, or if, you change your name.  So if it turns out you lost it, give yourself plenty of time to get it replaced.  Also, of you don’t have a passport, now is the time to get one if you’re traveling out of the country for your honeymoon. 
  • Now is a great time to book your honeymoon! Do you research, go over how much you have to spend on it, and talk to a travel agent.  If you’re getting married in the summer, talking about tropical beaches in the middle of the winter will help boost your spirits!! ;)
  • Decide on the color theme of your house: If you don’t already have a home together, now is the time to decide on the feel of your new home together.  You need to know what colors you want, so you know what to register for in the next couple months.  
  • Decide on a hotel: You’re going to want to have a block of rooms at a hotel close to the where you’re having your wedding.  Start researching local hotels, and see how well they can accommodate you, and your guests.  Find one that has a pretty reasonable price.  Also see if they have a shuttle to get guests to and from the wedding.  Ask if they can do “welcome bags” for your guests, and if it will be an extra cost.  

I hope this was helpful! Like always, feel free to comment below with any other advice! 

XO, Val

winter wedding

OKA white bouquet
$42 -

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tips For Engagement Pictures.

Hi everyone! Today I’m talking about engagement pictures!! 

Engagement pictures are a fun way to capture the excitement of being engaged! They might be the first professional pictures of the two of you, and they will be great to use for your ‘Save the Dates’, and maybe displayed at your wedding! They will also be an amazing keepsake!

One of my favorites pictures from my engagement session!

Here are a few tips I have learned from other couples, wedding photographers, and though my own experience. 
  • First off, I highly recommend getting engagement pictures taken with your wedding photographer! It might seem unnecessary to some of you, but they are a GREAT idea! They get you and your fiancé comfortable with your photographer, and it also gets you used to posing together, and helps you and your photographer find the best angles for you.
  • If you're going to have your makeup done for your wedding, try scheduling your trial on the day of your engagement pictures! Why waste that beautiful (and expensive) face of makeup sitting at home when you could get some serious use out of it! If you're not used to wearing much makeup, it might look like too much, but wait until you see the pictures!  You always add a little extra so you don't look washed out in pictures.
I’m a huge ‘Friends’ fan! 
  • Dress comfortable and appropriate for the season.  By comfortable I don't mean sweatpants and a T-shirt, I mean your favorite pair of jeans that look great on you, and that adorable top you paid too much for that you were saving for a special occasion! Wearing a floral print strapless dress for your fall engagement picture will look a little off. Try sticking to your normal fall wardrobe.  Also, don't make your fiancé wear something he's not a fan of just because you think it's what he should wear.  Let him also feel comfortable in his outfit- as long as the colors don't clash!
I hope this was helpful! If you have any other tips, feel free to leave them down below!!

XO, Val