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Imperfect Wedding Planning Is Normal!

A perfect wedding planning experience is definitely not normal. You’re not alone if you feel like pulling your hair out…

This Wedding Wire blog repost addresses this!  This blog creates awareness of some of the things that undoubtedly go wrong along the way, and how to adjust your expectations.  Don’t worry, also included is great advice to calm your nerves during an intensely stressful time!

1. Differences of Opinions

Planning a wedding is an emotional process that usually involves an abundance of opinions from yourself, your fiancé, and your friends and family. There’s bound to be a difference of opinion on some topics that come up during the planning process.

While this can be frustrating, it should be expected. It’s important to prepare yourself for these differences and to think through how you will handle these conversations, whether they’re with your fiancé, your parents, in-laws, or wedding party. It can certainly be uncomfortable navigating these waters, but it’s important to hear everyone out and let everyone know their thoughts and support is important to you during this process.

2. Vendor Issues

A lot of wedding planning relies on choosing vendors and working with them to create your perfect day. What you may not realize, however, is that working seamlessly with your vendors is not a guarantee. In fact, just the process of getting in touch with vendors that you’re interested in can be tricky. You’d be surprised how many vendors can be hard to nail down or communicate with. You also may end up disappointed by the availability or pricing of some vendors on your wish list. But don’t be discouraged—the process may just take longer and require more research than you originally anticipated.

On the flip side, make yourself available when your vendors contact you. If they are having trouble getting in touch with you, that can also put a real strain on things! You get what you pay for so make sure to research reputable vendors with abundant reviews who won’t cause you additional anxiety.

3. Heightened Emotions

As mentioned above, planning a wedding encompasses a wide range of emotions throughout the entirety of the process. While (hopefully) the majority of these emotions will be happy ones, there will of course be some low moments. It’s completely normal to end up in little fights and disagreements with your fiancé, to end up frustrated, or to find yourself overwhelmed throughout this process. Do not react in the moment, as hard as that may be. Know your limits and indulge yourself in these emotional moments. Ask for help when  needed and remember your day is going to be beautiful and one of the best days of your life. Sometimes the little things become big things for no reason – it’s just wedding nerves!

4. The Planning Timeline

Many brides think that everything about planning a wedding runs on a specific schedule, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a general guideline and timeline, but everyone has a different experience. While you may expect your cake tasting to occur at a certain time or you may hope to get your invitations stamped and mailed by a certain date, things rarely go exactly according to plan. This could be due to hiccups in your own schedule or vendors running behind. Don’t let this get the best of you; remember that everything will work out and you’re the only one that will know if things don’t run exactly aligned with the timeline you set.

5. The Budget

Everyone goes into a wedding with an idea of what their budget is for the event as a whole. However, things rarely cost exactly what you expect them to. While some aspects of your wedding may come in under budget, others may be more expensive than you anticipated. There will also be unexpected expenses that arise associated with your festivities. Be prepared to be a little bit flexible on your budget or have contingency plans in place, allowing for sacrifices that might need to be made in order to account for these unforeseen expenses.

6. Your Groom’s Opinions

Many brides find that while they thought their groom wouldn’t have strong opinions about certain things pertaining to the wedding day, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Be prepared to hear out your groom’s opinions and stances on all things wedding planning. It’s a big day for him, too, so you want to be sensitive to letting him have a seat at the planning table.

This is especially true when it comes to his attire. It is a day for him to show his best self and style so be sure to search out a vendor (like Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!) that will offer him over 60 different suit and tuxedo options, help style everyone, match the color pallet, and take good care of him and his party.

 

One of our grooms and his men, toasting the big day after choosing their attire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Last-Minute Chaos

Even if you’re the most proactive bride out there, there’s bound to be last-minute chaos in the days leading up to your event. Something will go wrong or you’ll end up frantic over some kind of detail, especially things like final fitting schedules, deliveries, even the weather. Again, this is normal and pretty much unavoidable.

Go into the week of your wedding expecting minor hiccups and going by the mantra that you’re not going to let anything ruin your big moment.

8. RSVP Issues

Every couple experiences the dreaded invitation RSVP issues, finding that guests aren’t prompt or on time in letting you know whether they’ll attend the event. To counter that, some guests will ask to come (after replying no) at the last minute while other guests will be unexpectedly unable to make it. Remember that the guest list will even itself out and try to go with the flow of these (sometimes annoying) delays in communication or last-minute adds.

Remember to number your rsvp cards to correspond to the guest list in case a guest forgets to put his/her name on the reply card… that way you can look up the number and see who it is!

Even with things going differently than you probably expected, planning your wedding should still be an exciting and exhilarating process. You’ll remember this time for the rest of your life and it’ll be over before you know it, so soak up every moment—even when things turn out differently than you envisioned.

We always love Wedding Wire’s blogs and insights and the opportunity to add our input. Let us know if we can help you in planning your day. As a highly respected bridal and tuxedo store in Bucks County and partnering with some of the best vendors in the business, we can help not only dress you and your wedding party, but assist you with top notch vendors to help lessen your stress and make your planning much easier!

Your Wedding Invitations 2018

Congratulations, you’re engaged!  Now who’s getting an invitation to share your big day?

How is it worded, when does it go out, what goes along with it? So many colors, papers, designs, fonts, what’s a bride-to-be to do?

She reads this blog! Featuring our good friend Lori Norcross from Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio.

Lori’s grandfather was a printer over 100 years ago and she admits, “Ink and paper are in my blood.”  A master in her field with thousands of invitations designed over her 35 years, Lori is a professional we are proud to know and feature.

She sits on the board of directors for the Graphic Arts Association, and you may  run across her at one of the many bridal shows where she presents throughout Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore.  Lori loves what she does and that makes her a joy to work with!

Let’s jump right into it. Take it away Lori:

Lori Norcross, Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio

 

The real impression of your wedding day comes from your invitation set.  Uniquely you, it should bring a smile to your face every time you see it, from the first view and for many years after.

You want to capture the emotion with your theme, design, and colors and you will get great advice and ideas from a professional wedding stationer.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and every bride is different.  We tweak a few things and when we see that smile, we know that’s her design!

A few things to keep in mind to begin:

  • Save the Dates:  These are sent 9-12 months before the wedding, mainly if your guests will need to make accommodations (multiple day event, destination requiring advanced planning, etc.)  You can use a photo from your engagement session, or they can be designed as part of the theme of your wedding.
  • The Invitation:  These are sent 8-10 weeks before the wedding and includes the information of who is getting married, where, and what time. If the wedding and reception are at the same location, then all you need to say is “Reception immediately following the ceremony” which  can be added to the bottom of the invitation.
    • If you are getting married in one place and the reception is at another location, you will need a reception card stating the place and time. Receptions do not necessarily need to be right after the wedding, it can start hours later. This gives the entire wedding party time to have photos done without missing any of the celebration.
    • Reply card & envelope or postcard – very important!  This is a card that is returned to you stating whether or not the invited guest will be attending and who they are.  It is also used for meal selection (if a choice is offered). You may also add a line for any food allergies that your guest might have and/or add something fun, such as “What song will get you on the dance floor?”
      • Helpful hint on the reply card:  Place a small number on the back of the card to match your list of attendees, so that if anyone fails to put their name on the card front, you will easily find their name with the corresponding number on your list. Saves time in the long run and makes it easy to find out who they are.
      • Transportation/directions/reservations card:  Any additional information you might want the guests to know, such as a shuttle between the church/hotel and the reception, if parking is available and where, and directions, if hotels have rooms blocked for guests, etc.

For the design, the ideas are endless.  Think about your wedding first – is it formal or casual?  Is it on the beach or in a cathedral?  Is it a summertime outdoor event or a snowy winter wonderland?

Also consider any special interests you and your fiancee share.  For instance, are you Game of Thrones fans?  Do you share a symbolic tattoo?  A quote?  Design your invitations around it!

 

Many couples forgo those traditional or “expected” invitations and make their wedding day as unique as their relationship.  We couldn’t agree more!  Your wedding day is all about your new beginning together and writing the next chapter of your story.

 

Speaking of writing, let’s talk a little about the wording of them:

  • If you do not wish for children to attend, a simple “adults only” will suffice.
  • Dress code – if you have a specific dress code, state it clearly.  For instance, guests are confused about “Black Tie Optional”.  If you want them to wear a tux (or casual, themed, etc.) say it.
  • Blended families are the norm now, and there are a number of ways to simply state the invitation without causing hurt feelings. Ask your stationer for the simplest way to address your particular situation.

And what about pricing?  Most brides have a wedding budget and like anything else, the pricing of invitations varies considerably.  If you truly want a stress-free wedding, you hire professionals.  Your invitations are no different.  From consultations to drafts to tweaks to the perfect set!   You can have wax seals, ribbons and bows, textures and colors, metallics and gems, lace, there is nothing off limits and the inspiration is everywhere!

Tap into your bride vibe, talk it over with Lori, and let her design something incredible!

Lori Norcross can be reached at Cortineo Creative / The Wedding Studio 215-348-1100, or visit her website www.cortineocreative.com.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store located in Warrington, Bucks County, PA.  We are proud to partner with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.

 

A Disney Fairy Tale Wedding

Your Happiest Day on Earth At the Happiest Place on Earth

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons

I cannot think of a better team to emulate than the Wedding Consultants at Walt Disney World.

“At Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons we have couples who come to us from around the globe because they know that we are committed to delivering the wedding of their dreams.”

That statement made by the Disney Wedding Consultant we met with last week at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons in Lake Buena Vista, Florida really resonated with us because of how committed we are at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo on delivering great service.

It was a real privilege to meet with one of their Wedding Consultants, part of a group that plans and manages over one thousand weddings every year.

We were given two hours of time answering questions, touring the incredibly beautiful Wedding Pavilion.  We learned how having your wedding with them is not only a great choice, but easy to plan. Like everything else in Disney, it is all about the guest experience and no details are left to chance.

Upon entering “Franck’s Bridal Studio” next to Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, that Disney enchanting feeling was everywhere with bright sunlight shining through beautiful stained glass windows, towering cakes with sparkling toppers, bright and elaborate flower arrangements, gorgeous photo albums, and smiling faces.

It is here that guests come to do a face-to-face planning session and although we weren’t there to plan a wedding, already they exceeded expectations I didn’t even realize I had.  I can only imagine how a bride feels walking in those doors.  Princess-like comes to mind…

We were delighted by the friendliness and excitement of the consultants, and amazed at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion itself.  It offers a lovely bridal suite and separate comfortable groomsmen room, perfect for spending a few minutes calming those bridal nerves, but when those doors opened – just WOW.

It was referred to as the “crown jewel” and it surely was.  A long and mesmerizing aisle leads to a wall of windows overlooking the lake to a direct view of Cinderella’s Castle. It truly was the stuff of little girls’ dreams come true with a happily ever after.

It was suggested to begin your planning on their website.  It allows for basic planning on the numerous options they have, from simple vow renewals to full-on galas.

For example, plan an intimate ceremony for two guests, or invite 200 to the Contemporary Ballroom, or gather 1,000 of your family and closest friends at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort.  Theme parks are available as well for an even more personalized and memorable day.

Once you have an idea of particulars, you will be contacted to dig into the planning and that’s where these professionals jump right into action, helping you put together your perfectly magical wedding!

Want to get married on the deep blue sea? They have a group who will help you plan your event on the Disney Cruise Line!  California dreaming? They will take care of arranging the details at the Disneyland Resort in California. It’s Disney. It’s what they do.

It is suggested to begin your planning approximately 16 months prior to your preferred wedding date with a selection of your top three times and locations.  Remember, they do over a thousand weddings every year… booking early is definitely recommended to get your top choice.

Our couple, Vicki and Steve, are planning their April wedding through Disney Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.  We asked for their experience so far and in Vicki’s own words:

“Certain details of our wedding were absolutely a no-brainer, such as Disney’s Wedding Pavilion and Cinderella’s Carriage, and we ultimately chose the Grand Floridian Ballroom for our reception for roughly 75 guests. We visited Franck’s Bridal Studio for our tasting. This was so much fun and our planner made sure everything was perfect. If we could make this decision again, we would have decided on a Disney Wedding much quicker instead of spending hours touring local venues. I can honestly say that a Disney Wedding is 100% easy to plan because the Wedding Consultants take care of everything imaginable.  I have yet to stress about any aspect of our wedding!”  Here are Vicki and Steve in front of Franck’s Bridal Studio in December, 2016 for their tasting!

Also, our own beautiful and super-fun bride Amanda Rainear and her handsome groom Jamie were just married at Walt Disney World on December 2nd.  About her wedding in Disney, Amanda said:

“There is no wedding venue anywhere in the world that compares to Walt Disney World.  Honestly, there isn’t even a comparison to make. Disney World really is the most magical place on earth.  They have blended their guest-focused culture with the hyper-emotional nature of weddings and the experience is second to none. On my wedding day, I truly felt like a princess in my dress from Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and I even had a few children ask if I was a Disney character!  As a lifelong Disney fan, there is nothing that will ever top that.”

With so many perfect places for photos, one of their favorites was Disney’s Boardwalk.

We wish to thank the professionals from Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons for their time and hospitality. We will always remember our visit, along with being “committed to the wedding of your dreams.”  When you go, you will feel the magic!

When you come to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, you will feel our magic, too!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store in Warrington, PA, catering to brides and grooms in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia.  www.DariannaBridal.com

 

Wedding vs. Venue Coordinator

Contributing today is Galina Nemstov Wohl of Deserve Your Time, LLC.  We met her through the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and found her professionalism and aura just wonderful.   Galina is a professional Certified Wedding Planner/Wedding Coordinator and also offers  Special Occasion Planning and Concierge services.  She has been a popular spotlight vendor at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and we will be proud to have her in the store again this year.

In this blog, she reveals the differences you will find between a Wedding Coordinator and a Venue Coordinator – and there are some very important differences.  Don’t find out too late that what you thought was covered by one actually isn’t!  Read on to see which one you need at your wedding.

by Galina Nemstov Wohl

Wedding coordinator and venue coordinator, the two names sound very similar, but they differ in their responsibilities to the bride and groom.

Many brides mistakenly think that if their selected wedding venue offers an in-house coordinator, they wouldn’t need the services of a wedding planner at all, but there is a good chance that the bride could end up stressed out and facing a disaster on her wedding day, when the venue coordinator will not “perform” the duties of a wedding planner.

Unfortunately it is often assumed that the venue coordinator is going to help set up all your décor, manage and coordinate all third party vendors and generally oversee everything that needs to be done in order for your special day to run smoothly.

Do not be fooled when a venue coordinator will say to you, “I will take care of everything on the day of your wedding, making sure the day will run smoothly.”

Although the venue coordinator will offer her/his assistance with emergencies if you need it, that is totally a different thing from taking responsibility for running the entire wedding. To clear up the confusion between the duties of a wedding planner and a venue coordinator, here is a short checklist to help you remember what you can expect in most cases:

Wedding Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They will make sure all the vendors get to the venue on time
*They will communicate with the vendors in case there is an issue
*They will help to set up décor, flowers, candles to bring the bride’s vision to life
*They will stay at the venue until the end of your wedding
*They will run the wedding day according to the timeline that you or the wedding planner help you create

Venue Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They are responsible for the venue
*They will protect the interests of the venue
*They will make sure all the vendors have liability insurance
*They will ensure the food and drinks are served in the timely manner
*They will ensure basic set up of tables and chairs as it states in your contract

Now that we have some clarity on the difference between the wedding coordinator and the venue coordinator, you can avoid quite a bit of frustration and unmet expectations.   A wedding planner/coordinator can save you time, money and offer wedding planning services to make sure your special day is stress-free.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation! 267-968-1210.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo in Warrington is proud to feature guest bloggers whom we know and trust.  Galina and Deserve Your Time, LLC offers multiple (and very affordable!) packages to fit your needs and to ensure the best day of your life really is!

Here’s to Cocktail Hour

cocktailhour1
Gracie Giedgowd and her partner, Marielise, enjoying cocktail hour at Osteria via Stato in Chicago. Photo by Andrew Barkulus Photography.

 

There’s no requirement that you include a cocktail hour at your wedding, but it’s definitely a great way for your guests to settle in and get into the party mood. They can grab a drink and a few snacks, and mingle with other guests while you are having some more photos taken.

Here are some great ideas for planning a cocktail hour your guests won’t forget.

Continue reading "Here’s to Cocktail Hour"