When planning the biggest party of your life, sometimes it’s hard to know where to allocate your budget. What will be captured best in photos and what will your guests remember the most? You want your guests to have a memorable experience just as you want this to be the best day of your life. So here’s a rundown of what your guests will remember the most!

THE FLOW OF THE DAY
This is so important. From the ceremony starting on time, to transportation to the reception venue and golf carts for those who don’t walk well. Guests will appreciate a well run event and your thoughtfulness to their needs.

THE DETAILS
Guests love gushing over the details from the monogrammed napkins, gorgeous florals showcasing your wedding colors, thoughtful table names and the overall cohesiveness. Branding your event and making it meaningful from beginning to end is what your guests will remember most.

THE HOSPITALITY
It’s about the little things. From having a water and lemonade table for when guests arrive at the ceremony, to having proper seating and appetizers coming out on time during cocktail hour and having a wedding guest favor at their reception seat, there are many ways to give your guests a warm welcome.

THE VENUE
Have you ever heard of the saying location, location, location? The location of your wedding and it’s unique charm, views and decor will go far in your guests memory of your wedding day.

THE MENU
Having a thoughtfully planned menu that is uniquely you as a couple is the way to your guests hearts. Skip the carving station and meet with the chef to plan out a unique and yummy wedding day menu.

THE DRESS
They don’t call it “The Dress” for nothing. Pick a dress that is so-you and will swoon your groom and your guests.

THE PARTY
Select a DJ or band that will play music that is important and meaningful to you as a couple. Make sure they are the type to keep your guests on the dance floor with minimal interruptions.

In 8 wedding trends you’ll see this year, one major trend listed is the rise of intimate and more meaningful weddings. But sometimes it’s hard to find the line to draw when inviting people to your wedding. You’ll find yourself asking ‘do I really have to invite them’? In an effort to help you sort through all your potential attendees, I listed all the questions you’ll want to consider before sending them their invite and a coveted ‘plus one’ slot.


QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

Are they family?

Are they living with or seriously dating a member of your family?

Are they married or engaged to a member of your family?

Have you been friends more than 10 years?

Have you spoken to them in the past year?

Do you see them on a regular basis?

Have you seen them within the last six months?

Are they dating one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen?

Do you like them?

Does your future spouse like them?

Did they help you plan your wedding?

Were they there for you during your bridezilla moments?

Are they a coworker you hang out with outside of work?

Have they always supported your relationship?

Are they always one of the first on the dance floor?

Would you be ok if they end up in the background of your pictures?

Are they fun?

Are they fun intoxicated?

Will it be awkward if you don’t invite them?

Will you care if they get mad they’re not invited?

Were you (or will you) be in their wedding?

Were you (or will you be) invited to their wedding?

Have you told them at any point they’re invited?

CHECK OFF 16+
To state the obvious, yes, you need to invite them. These are the people you can’t imagine getting married without. Visit how to write your wedding invitations to get started!

CHECK OFF 11-15
In short, yes, you should invite them. If you want to avoid uncomfortable situations and drama on your big day (believe me, you do), you should send them an invite.

CHECK OFF 6-10
These can be classified into your ‘B List.’ In the A,B C’s of sending wedding invitations I go into more detail on when you should send these invites out in phases. You don’t have to invite your B List, but if a few weeks after sending out your invitations you receive more regrets than expected, consider sending your B List guests an invite.

CHECK OFF 1-5
You can consider these your ‘C List.’ Unless you receive a lot more regrets than expected from your A and B Lists, and if it’s not going to cause major drama or a big family rift, you can skip these wedding guests. If you aren’t having a massive 300+ person wedding, save your $250 per head plate for someone more meaningful to you as a couple.

SHOP WEDDING INVITATION SUITES
Minted | Etsy | Wedding Paper Divas | Zazzle | Amazon | FineStationery

Being asked to be a bridesmaid for your bestie’s wedding is an incredible honor. You can’t imagine not being there for this bride-to-be, but becoming a bridesmaid is no small task. In who is responsible for what your your wedding day, I breakdown all of the roles of everyone on your big day and being a bridesmaid is an important one. Taking on the role of a bridesmaid is not only a time and financial commitment, it means you have pre-wedding duties, day-of responsibilities and a whole lot of parties to attend! Lucky for you, I’m listing out everything you need to know to fulfill your role as a bridesmaid. And if you want to take your role up a notch, check out how to be a fabulous maid-of-honor.

THE DRESS
Along with the brides requirements for the dress, you are are responsible for purchasing the bridesmaids dress and having it fitted. Also purchasing shoes and accessories to style it.

PRE-WEDDING HELP
This includes everything from being there for her “I said yes to the dress’ moment, helping with DIY projects, hand-writing invitation envelopes, making favors and being there as a support system for her.

PLANNING THE SHOWER
This task is often given to the maid-of-honor or the mother, but can sometimes fall on the plate of a bridesmaid as well. Whether you are helping the maid-of-honor plan the shower or you are doing it yourself, this is an important task. From setting the date, to sending the invites, coming up with a theme, getting a venue, deciding on games, decor, food, a signature cocktail and favors, there is a lot of planning to be done.

PLANNING THE BACHELORETTE PARTY
You will be expected to help all the other bridesmaids with picking a date, location, pitching ideas and chipping in for this fun girls night out. Or in most cases, weekend getaway!

ATTENDING ALL WEDDING EVENTS
If you are the out-of-towner you may not be expected to attend every single every. But if you don’t want to miss a thing, try having the shower and bachelorette party on the same weekend. Other events you are expected to attend include the engagement party, wedding dress shopping, the rehearsal dinner, day-after brunch and obviously the wedding!

DAY-OF
On the big day you will need to help keep the bride calm, help her with her bouquet and dress during the ceremony, possibly give a speech at the reception and yes, hold her dress while she pees!

BRIDESMAIDS SWAG

From your something borrowed and something old, there are lots of family heirlooms to incorporate into your wedding day. But if you are like most brides, you want a keepsake from your day to cherish and share with your loved ones and one day pass on to your offspring. These treasured items hold memories of a sacred moment in time that can’t be replaced. Here are a few items to hold on to long after ‘I do.’

VOW BOOKS
Writing your own vows is becoming an increasingly popular trend. And for good reason. Focusing more attention on your vows and why you are getting married rather than fussing over the bridesmaids dress colors will serve you better in the long run. Next visit 10 Tips on Writing Your Own Vows.

BOUQUET WRAP
You may not want to wear your mother’s or grandmothers wedding dress on your wedding day. But you can still bring a piece this family heirloom with you down the aisle. Try cutting off a sleeve from their dress and using it as a wrap from your bridal bouquet. Chances are a vintage gown has beautiful beads and lace that will look stunning and thoughtful wrapped around your bridal bouquet. The best part? This wrap can be reused by passing down generation after generation.

RECREATING PHOTOS
This is one of my favorite ideas. What better way of passing traditions down than recreating family wedding photos. Pose as your loved ones, have the same expressions as your loved ones, recreate the magic from your parents or grandparents wedding album. There is no greater gift back to your parents.

GUEST BOOK
Guest books have come a long way from just a book full of signatures. Today guest books extend to things couples will use long after ‘I do.’ Think decor items for the home that are meaningful for the couple. From a bench made by the groom, to a hanging anchor, globe or horse shoe. There are many ways to cherish your guests signatures.

When you have a great team of vendors behind you, your vision can come to life. That was the case for this romantic chic barn wedding! From the nude bridesmaids dresses, ivory and greenery bouquets and barnyard setting, this wedding is the came together beautifully with every last detail. If you follow along on my Instagram you know I love sharing bride’s advice with other bride’s. Catch this bride’s vice for all bride-to-be’s below!

 

From the bride..

Mark and I got married on August 6th, 2016 in Colorado. When planning our wedding, we knew wanted an intimate wedding that truly captured us as a couple. The overall vision we had was a romantic chic barn wedding. The Barn At Raccoon Creek in Littleton CO did an amazing job on creating a venue that provided couples with a modern rustic barn retreat that felt intimate and romantic. From the bridal suite with a gorgeous vintage feel and natural light allowing the bride and bridesmaids a comfortable place to doll up and drink mimosas to the manly groomsmen loft with a cowhide rug and fooseball table, it truly made the setting a memorable one for ourselves and our bridal party.

Our ceremony took place outdoors in the courtyard in front of the mountain front range. The rustic wooden arch was dressed with natural blooms, garland, spray roses and dahlias. We have always bonded over the mountains so reading our personal vows to one another overlooking the Rocky Mountains was truly a special moment we shared together.  Our guests kept themselves cool with our personal ivory and gold fans as they listened to the violinist perform songs from the classical Cannon in D to The Lumineers & The Beetles. Our longtime friend of 13 years officiated the ceremony. During cocktail hour, our guests enjoyed lawn games, a bruschetta bar and drinks.

The reception was held in the beautiful statement red barn, the natural wood, rustic bar and romantic lighting set the mood for the night. Milk glass vases held the bridesmaids dahlia bouquets. Each bridal party member had their own personalized gold drink stirrer that consisted of their names and also made for a great favor!  Our sweetheart table had a touch of glam with a rose gold sequence table cloth and a freestanding “Table for Two” sign. We used a natural color scheme of champagne, blush tones, gold and emerald. The tables were accented with silver dollar eucalyptus, garland, dahlias, roses and candles. The bridesmaid wore different shades of neutral consisting of different textures like lace and poly chiffon. I gave them the option of choosing their own style as it fit their personality best which I loved. During our reception, a beautiful rainbow appeared over our cocktail hour. It was a beautiful symbol of our day.

The best piece of advice I can give to future brides is, appreciate each moment, even the unexpected ones. Take the time to breathe everything in. We decided to take a peak at our reception before any guests were allowed in, it was so special. The best moment of our day had to be our first look. It was a moment to appreciate one another by ourselves and it was truly the best moment of my life.

VENUE The Barn at Raccoon Creek | PHOTOGRAPHER Meghan Shaw | PLANNER The Styled Soiree | VIDEOGRAPHER Motion Artisan | INVITATIONS Wedding Paper Divas | THE FLORIST mjm designs | HAIR STYLIST Salon Foushee | MAKEUP ARTIST Megan Cary Artistry | CEREMONY & RECEPTION DECOR Etsy & BHLDN | CAKE DESIGNER Cakeheads | RENTALS Plank & Pearl | ENTERTAINMENT DJ Guy | VIOLINIST Brittany Hensley | BRIDE’S GOWN Willowby Watters | BRIDE’S SHOES Badgley Mischka | BRIDE’S ACCESSORIES BHLDN | GROOM’S ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Joanna August & Weddington Way | BRIDESMAIDS ACCESSORIES LC Lauren Conrad | FLOWER GIRL ATTIRE Macy’s | BRIDAL ROBE BHLDN | BRIDESMAIDS ROBES Etsy