Before getting engaged, I did not have a Pinterest or Etsy account.  And initially I thought I could do a lot of DIY projects myself, purchase them from a wedding supply store or rent items from rental companies…It all started when I tried to order my wedding invitations online and I just couldn’t find anything that perfectly represented the vision that I had in an invitation.  I spent way more time than I’d like to admit looking online and in stores!!  If you do want to purchase your invitations online, FineStationery is the exception and a one-shop-stop, see beautiful examples below.  My friends told me to try Pinterest, and my obsession began!!!  In searching my wedding colors, I found the attached photo and I was in LOVE.  When I clicked on it, it lead me to an Etsy link for a cute little shop in Washington where I got in touch with Brittany who was happy to help alter these invitations to my wedding.

I joked that planning this wedding was my second full time job, so my BFF’s Etsy and Pinterest could allow me to still have a life and order anything… ANYTHING I wanted online and have everything customized 🙂  I ordered signs for the back of our reception chairs, a directional sign, a signature cocktail sign, escort cards, our table names, customized paper napkins, my sparkle cake table linen, my wedding favors, a welcome sign, a large white ‘S’ for our guest book…… are you still with me?? 🙂  My fiancé joked “How could we get married without these ‘Just Married’ paper napkins??” Ok……. I went a little overboard, but I would not have been about to accomplish all of this alone!!!  Thanks BFF’s 🙂

Additionally Pinterest provides inspiration to make your wedding unique with your wedding colors, theme and personal style.  It’s so helpful to see your wedding come to life all on one board.  And don’t forget to help Etsy with their reviews after you purchase so they can help other brides as well 🙂  Follow me on Pinterest and happy pinning!!! 🙂

Find Wedding Invitations

I’m guessing you are rocking a new pretty sparkler on your left hand!  And if so, congratulations!!  So now you got the ring, you got the guy, now what?  This is such a celebratory occasion, but before you start to panic and tell everyone that they can come and tell your future brother-in-law that he can photograph the wedding.  Take a breath.  This is the time to enjoy being engaged and share your good news… because once the wedding planning starts, its hard to think about anything else!  Travel, take an art class, learn more about each other, do things that would be hard with the stress of a wedding, or even better, with kids 🙂  Wedding planning can be a bit overwhelming, so when you are ready, here are tips to help with the initial planning.There are really TWO key first steps:

1. When you are ready, the first step is to book the venue.  Do you want to get married locally?  Did you grow up in a different location than you got engaged?  Did your parents get married at a venue in your hometown?  Should you do a destination wedding?

2. Along with selecting a venue you have to come up with your wedding budget.  And unfortunately you will likely go over your initial budget because when you say ‘wedding‘ everyone charges like you are shopping on 5th Avenue in New York City.  To save money by paying whole sale prices rather than retail, see my blog Top 10 Wedding Budget Tips.

Once you have a budget established that will help to narrow some of your venue choices.  Start making appointments with on site wedding coordinators at your favorite venues.  Bring your mom, your closest friends, anyone that has an opinion that really matters to you.  Now that you have a budget, can you invite your Great Aunt Doris that you haven’t seen in years, and give all of your guests including the grooms best man a plus one; even though he doesn’t even have a girlfriend right now?  Or do you want a small wedding with only close family and friends and no plus ones?  The best thing I learned in wedding planning is that there is no ‘right‘ answer, everything can be customized to you and your wonderful family and friends and what you envision for your special day.

Your first task as a future Mrs…. is to talk with your groom about what type of venue is important to you as a couple.  Once you have your venue, their availability will determine your wedding date 🙂  And you’d be surprised, I booked my wedding only 7 months in advance.  I’d love to hear where you are in your planning!

Caitlin and fiance at dinner after getting engaged

WEDDING SIGNS: WHERE THERE’S A SIGN THERE’S A WAY