Well guys, it's my birthday today, and I am officially 25 years old! Kind of freaky, not gonna lie. Now, every year from here on out is just going to feel like another year closer to hitting age 30, which is even freakier. I mean really...when did I become an adult??? Yowza!
Anyway, I'm super happy and beyond excited to be guest posting on The Oceanside Bride today sharing some of my own lessons learned after planning my destination wedding several months ago. So be sure to head on over there and leave me some love!
In my place today, I have the totally awesome, completely lovable and so gosh-darn-friendly Mel from The Oceanside Bride guest posting here on A Paper Proposal! Seriously guys...if you don't know Mel already, you really should. So here's your chance! Because we all know that there's nothing more personal to a girl than her own wedding ;) If you didn't already know, Mel is in the final months of planning her destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and I'm honored that she's taken the time to divulge some of the pretty details she has up her sleeve with us here today! I'm honestly so, so excited for her, and I personally can't WAIT to see how her day turns out! So without further ado...
Hello there! I'm Mel from the wedding blog, The Oceanside Bride and I couldn't be more excited that Sarah has me visiting here as a guest today to reveal some of my own wedding planning details!
I seriously never knew how much time and effort planning a wedding would take. It's hard to not want to do something for your big day every single day of the engagement. I found myself spending endless hours surfing the net for ideas from websites like the Knot and Project Wedding among all the other gazillion wedding blogs out there. But about midway through the planning, I learned to take breaks and loved it! Don't get me wrong, wedding planning is so much FUN but you also don't want to loose your mojo, get frustrated over things that may not be going your way, or bombard your husband-to-be with questions about your cake design and wedding favors every night before bed either. He'll appreciate you more for it. So just promise me you'll take a few nights during the week and a few weekends off from planning and relax. =)
So I'm not exactly sure what percentage I fall into among all woman out there, but put me in the category of girls who did not grow up dreaming of their future wedding. When I got engaged, I really had no idea what my preferred wedding month or season would be, the color of my bridesmaids dresses, my dream venue, wedding theme, etc. I don't classify myself as ultra modern but I am also no where near being super traditional either so the direction I would take was a mystery to me. So I started from a blank canvas in my mind and like to think I will have painted a picture perfect event come August 1, 2011.
Like Sarah, I am a destination bride marrying the man of my dreams in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in the gazebo at Dreams Los Cabos Resort. When Sarah asked me if I'd like to share details of my own wedding which is only 48 days away (eeek!), I was thrilled but wasn't where to start. As I pulled my thoughts together I realized that most of the key elements of my wedding fell into main groups or categories that I thought I could share here. So hopefully those of you like me- a little clueless about planning and/or just need a little direction, consider these categories when dreaming up your own magical day!
And a quick reminder...although the big day is traditionally known to be all about the bride, it actually is just as much about the groom. After all, he is getting married too right??
Colors & Style: I never realized how much the colors and style of attire you choose will influence many of your other wedding details (might be my own "duh" moment). So start with your favorite colors and those of your groom. This is a good place to incorporate your groom's preferences. Together we came up with the color palette of grey, ivory, teal, and pop colors of coral and yellow. And my groom is definitely not the formal tux kind of guy so we decided on a grey suit and tie for him and a simple vest, grey slacks, and rolled up sleeve shirt with no tie for his groomsmen. Originally we searched for grey linen suits but after not having any luck, decided on this. We're actually very excited about it too! We knew we wanted the guys to wear custom converse shoes with touches of our wedding colors. Those in the above photo are the actual shoes we customized with teal lining, touches of grey, and each will have the groomsmen's last name stitched on the heel. Oh! And those are my pretty turquoise shoes I purchased which matches my garter perfectly!
Theme: Some themes are no brainers for couples who share a love or passion about something or literally have a repeating "theme" for their relationship that they just know would speak to their personality as a couple. Others prefer not to even have one. I guess you can say that we "accidentally" ended up with one but really had no intentions of incorporating one at first. We started out with a music inspired mix tape save the date (which again was a nod to my fiance's love for music) but honestly after it was sent out I had no idea where we were going with it or if we would carry it over at all into the rest of the invitation suite or wedding day details. It wasn't until I incorporated the words "Love Mix" and our wedding date into a custom puzzle (guest book alternative) I ordered through Etsy and eventually working with someone else to design our amazing wedding invitation suite did it all start began to evolve. I must say our wedding didn't really start pulling together until just 4 short months away from the big day!
DIY Projects: We're in the age of the DIY bride and I love it! What you do need to remember is although I'm sure if you gave yourself plenty of time, you could do it all, but to save you some sanity don't do it all. From the list of all the DIY projects you want to work on, first determine how much time and effort they will take and plan accordingly. Pick only a few DIY projects to tackle and enlist the help from family or friends if they are bigger projects. You don't want to feel too overwhelmed with commitments. I personally took on about 4 or 5 DIY projects. The simple project of spray painting black frames to silver took no time at all and the DIY custom name hanger I made took a few hours to learn and after 3 attempts, I finally nailed it! I also decided to tackle painting my own cake toppers after eyeing the more professional and expensive ones for months on Etsy. Unfortunately once I splurged on the custom puzzle, they were no longer in my budget. They took a weekend to complete and after plenty of patience I was (mostly) happy with how they came out. The most time intensive project has been hand stitching over 60 fabric flowers (with the help of my amazing mom) for each place setting. That is an ongoing project and hopefully I'll have them completed by the 4th of July weekend.
Etsy: I had to give Etsy it's own category because if I already didn't have a blog like The Oceanside Bride, I would totally create a blog called "The Etsy Bride". Maybe it already exists? I found myself making just about every single one of my purchases from Etsy so it became an instrumental tool in my planning. Some of my purchases included the flower brooch for my dress (picture above), bridesmaids and sister gifts, parents gifts, a custom stamp, custom guest book puzzle, invitation suite and out of town bag tags, striped straws, and more. I love supporting small business owners, especially those who create handcrafted goods and gifts. I don't know what brides did before Etsy existed. I'd be lost without it!
Other Resources: Okay, I'm sure it hasn't taken you long to find the masses of inspiration through websites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Project Wedding. There are tons of bridal resources out there like vendor directories and general discussion forums. I used Best Destination Weddings (http://bestdestinationweddings.com) and Facebook's Wedding Buzz mostly throughout my planning. But another hidden gem that brides don't use as often as I think they could is Twitter. Of course that's how I met Sarah along with many other wedding vendors including my own Wedding Coordinator Jacin from Lovely Little Details (https://lovelylittledetails.com) and Videographer, Steph from Bubblerock Studios (http://bubblerock.co.nz/), various Etsy store owners, and bride-to-be's. It's amazing how much of a support system you can form through your social networking groups and with people you've never even met! Twitter and following several Facebook fan pages, kept me up to date with all the latest inspiration, allowed me to learn of all the great bridal giveaways (which I won a garter and wedding planning guide book) and I was able to share the excitement of planning with other brides and ask for advice from the veterans. And of course you can always find so many inspiring wedding ideas out there from fabulous wedding blogs like A Paper Proposal!
I surprised myself to say the least with many of the details we came up with for our big day and you may surprise yourself, as well. I tried not to solicit the opinions of too many people because I quickly learned more opinions most often only confused me more. So remember your wedding day is about you and your hubby to be and should reflect your personalities and love. Even if you're working on a small budget or planning a wedding in a faraway location, all things are possible when you just put your creative hat on.