I just heard that Style Me Pretty is ceasing its website/blog.
It has been in operation for 12 years, which means that it came on the scene two years after I DO Wedding Consulting opened!! I went back to look at any mentions of I DO Wedding Consulting before the SMP site is closed permanently at the end of this month.
I saw that I had submitted two articles that were published… one (Destination Wedding Tips) in 2008 and one (Wedding Planning in a Week from I DO Wedding Consulting) in 2011, so I thought I would post both here with thanks to Style Me Pretty for giving me a start in being published! Since then, I started the I DO Wedding Consulting blog that you are now reading, and I authored a book called I DO: A Wedding Planner Tells Tales. AND… I have a new manuscript with an editor now, so stay tuned for more!
In the meantime, here are the early posts from Style Me Pretty:
Destination Wedding Tips
February 5, 2008
By: Abby Larson
Lynda Barness, owner of I Do Wedding Consultingin Philadelphia, has written this great tip sheet on planning a destination wedding…I wanted to share her top tips with you guys because I know that there are quite a few of you planning destination weddings!
A destination wedding… whether it is in the mountains, on the beach, or just anywhere that is a bit far from home… can be both exciting and challenging. Here are ten tips to make a destination wedding stress-free:
- Put everything in writing. You will want to make sure that everyone is literally on the same page, and documenting what you are expecting is one way to make sure this happens. This is particularly important if you are dealing with a venue that is in a place where English is not the only language. You want to be sure that your messages have been conveyed and understood. And, if possible, know some rudimentary words if you are in a place with a foreign language. (This really helps!)
- Check all room reservations and their locations. Does a child have to have a room near a parent’s? Are there adjoining rooms? Will the hotel deliver welcome bags to guests, and is there a charge for this service?
- Know your guests’ limitations. What about access for those with physical disabilities? Remember that foreign countries may not have the same requirements for ramps and other means of assistance that you may find in the US. Let the venue know of your guests’ needs, in room assignments, transportation, and any other situation.
- Know exactly where to find a doctor, where the doctor’s office is located, what the hours are, and what the costs and means of payment may be. You do not want to wait until there is a mishap to figure this out. Investigate ahead of time!
- Carry as much as possible with you if you are traveling by air. You will not want to pay mailing or import costs, for example, on gift bags for hotel guests. Check with the airline ahead of time if you have questions. And this includes traveling with a wedding gown.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you need a golf cart to help you get around at a resort or need help from the hotel staff to assist in decorating tables, just ask. You may be surprised at the willingness of others to assist.
- Make sure you have a back-up plan for rain. And for everything else! Think about “what if.”
- Take a moment to think about climate conditions. If you are going to a warm climate, remember that you may also be in (very cold) air conditioning, and plan accordingly. Think about sun screen, bottled water, and a sweater. And if you are going to a cold climate, think about layers. Conditions vary, and you want to be prepared without overloading suitcases.
- Carry an emergency kit. Have your hotel/resort’s phone number on your speed dial or at least in your address book. Hire a wedding coordinator at home and, if possible, bring that coordinator to the wedding. If possible, bring your own team of wedding consultants, photographers, and videographers. All of these may be available at your hotel/resort, but you will find that the coordination will be smoother if you have your own team in place.
- Do whatever you can to have a non-stop flight or at least one where you don’t have to change planes, gates, or terminals. It is not fun to miss a connection due to weather (think about the groom’s children ending up in Detroit instead of Cancun) or the airlines (think about sitting on the tarmac in Atlanta because there is no gate available to de-plane, and thus missing the connecting flight home).
Wedding Planning in a Week from I DO Wedding Consulting
November 2, 2011
By: Mallory Recor
Ever wonder how some people are able to cram all the important wedding planning into a short amount of time, limiting any stress involved with the process and walking down the isle to their love in record time? All whilst getting everything done? Without going crazy? Yeah. Me too. Some of us were those little boys and girls who started ripping out photos from magazines back in the day before blogging was even a word (guilty). But even for those prepared brides and grooms to be, wedding planning can easily span months, even years, when all you want to do is pledge your love – in the prettiest way possible. Which is why, when Lynda from I DO Wedding Consultingtold us her daughter was getting married, in London, and she had a week to plan, we didn’t just let her stop there. I begged her to give us all a little advice on how the heck she got the planning done so quickly. And here is what she had to say:
I was visiting my younger daughter in England when her boyfriend proposed. What a joy to share this time with them! They told me that they wanted a small, elegant wedding… in London, where they live… in seven weeks. So, here was the planner’s challenge! And yes, it can be done.
These are my favorite dozen tips for planning a quick destination wedding with a week to do the planning.
- As always, start with your guest list. Make “rules” (no kids, only first cousins) and agree to stick to them. You won’t have time to visit more venues if your guest list suddenly mushrooms.
- Know that you aren’t going to investigate every venue, band and florist in the universe. Ask for recommendations from locals and go from there. We kept with the “Rule of Three” and interviewed no more than three wedding professionals in any category.
- Know your vision. And stick with it. Go online to help your search, and call your first three venue choices to see if your date is available. Then visit only three – and make your choice.
- Have a computer with you as often as possible, and stay in touch with the venue and all of your wedding professionals. Ask all of your questions now.
- Decide what you want. Abundant flowers? Simple centerpieces? Bring photographs to the florist, who is probably very visual and will understand what you want from the pictures.
- After you have the venue, secure an officiant. Make sure you ask what the local laws are as well as any religious requirements.
- The minute you have the place and the officiant, start with wedding invitations. And ask about local customs. In London, we discovered that the name of the groom’s parents shouldn’t be listed on the invitation unless they are helping to give the wedding, the letters RSVP appear on the bottom corner of even the most formal invitations even if there is a separate RSVP card, the RSVP card should have some sort of check-off spot rather than just a blank card, AND the first names of the guests should be hand-calligraphied at the top of the invitation. In addition, no return address is used on the envelopes! Remember not to put stamps on an RSVP envelope if the invitation is going to another country.
- The “Rule of Three” works with music too. Meet with no more than three bands/DJs/entertainment companies. The goal is to find a sound you like… And quickly.Venues and other wedding professionals will have recommended lists of vendors. Ask if these groups pay to be on the list. And if you start seeing the same name on several lists, you can figure that they are well-known and reliable. Even if a vendor is paying to be on a list, a venue can’t afford to have someone who doesn’t perform well.
- Call a bakery or two and make an appointment to have a cake tasting, not just a chat. Either bring in photos of cake designs you like or be prepared to choose one that the bakery shows you.
- Block rooms for guests. The “Rule of Three” applies again here. Remember to find hotels in different price ranges. Guests will already be spending a lot of money to get to the wedding. And if you are a member of a club in your home city that has reciprocal privileges in the city of the wedding, you may find some treasures. We found a terrific hotel in London, right around the corner from the wedding venue, this way.
- Wedding dress shopping… The “Rule of Three” applies here too! But as with other dresses, you sometimes can’t tell how a dress looks on a hangar. Go to no more than three shops, but try on lots of dresses at each.
- If you will be providing welcome bags for your guests, go to the tourist area in the city. I went to the souvenir shops in Piccadilly Circus and got everything… the bags themselves, London umbrellas, Kate and William pens, and the like.
What is most important at this wedding, and at every other, is the people. The room will be filled with guests who truly love the bride and groom and who mean so much to the couple. All of the other details will fall into place.