Wedding Planning Checklist!

Wedding Planning Checklist!

So you're engaged, you’ve got the man of your dreams and a beautiful sparkling ring that you can’t stop raving about! With all the excitement you may be out trying on dresses, looking at venues and thinking of all the things you need to get done and it can easily get overwhelming. We have some great tips to get you at the right starting point so you can stay organized and timely with all the details of your dream wedding!

First and foremost you and your fiancé should figure out a budget. With a realistic budget set in place you can then move forward with what type of wedding you both want. Weddings can get pricy and sticking to a budget will help avoid unnecessary headaches in the future.

When setting a date choose one that works best for both you and your fiancé as well as loved ones. Discuss with one another of how many guest you’ll have so you can choose an appropriate venue. From there you can figure out what type of setting you want for your ceremony and reception that will still leave enough in your budget for everything else. Once you have that part done you can start on all the details, from catering, flowers, decor, and music for your venue depending on what is included with the location you’ve chosen. The fabulous venue in the pictures is the Red Cliff Ranch. With meadows surrounded by red cliffs, aspen groves, and waterfalls you are sure to get an elegant mountain destination wedding!

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Finding the dress is just as important! A woman wants a dress that makes her feel and look amazing. Give yourself time to shop around so when you do find that dress to die for you’ll have time for any alterations and accessories to make your bridal gown complete. The team at Alta Moda Bridal is experts at finding the perfect dress for the bride to be. With bride Ashley (lower left) she is absolutely glowing in her A-Line beaded lace gown by Augusta Jones. (Photo by Alixann Loosle Photography.) Bride Daynia (lower right) looks gorgeous in her fashionable modest dress by Monique Lhullier. (Photography by Brooke Brakken.)

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blog quote Now that you have the date and venue locked in you should start thinking about the invitation. Your invitation is a key element for relaying needed information to your guests. With all the time you place into planning your wedding you want your guests to be able to plan accordingly so they can join you in the celebrations. Especially if you need a head count and depend on a RSVP reply. The invitation process takes time and can sometimes be overlooked as far as what goes into them. You should start the design process four to six months in advanced and send them two months prior your wedding date. Your invitation should reflect who you are and the theme of your wedding giving your guest idea of what’s to come. Depending on your budget the invitation can be as simple or elaborate as you want. With so many options to chose from, narrow down what your wants and needs are for the occasion.

Things to think about:
• Do you need a separate announcement?
• Should you send a Save the Date?
• How detailed do you want the invitation to be vs. guiding guests to a website for the details?
• Do you need a separate ceremony card?
• Do you need directions and accommodation cards?
• Will an RSVP be needed?
• What type of thank you cards do you prefer?

Here at Ann Elizabeth we take pride in having helped numerous brides create custom invitations that fit their budget and needs.

Janellen Peterkin’s chose a patterned paper, which gives her invitation a soft romantic feel. We used multiple layers on both the outer monogram and inside details giving it a rich look that accented the pinks. Then topped it off with an icing wrap for the envelope making this invitation pure elegance!

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There are so many details that go into planning a wedding that hiring an event designer/planner can really help. Consider cutting some of the budget elsewhere so that you can hire a professional to guide you through the process if at all possible.

Taking the time to do your research can really pay off in the end. Magazines and websites like Utah Bride and Groom, Salt Lake/Park City Bride and Groom, Utah Valley Bride are some of our local magazines and are a great sources for information.

If you are looking for a great checklist you can download the Martha Stewart checklist.  It is well put together with complete breakdowns of all the details you’ll need to stay organized.

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Bridal Shower Etiquette

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Bridal Shower Etiquette - “Who should host the party?”
Traditionally, the maid or matron of honor hosts the party. In some cases family members, bride’s maids or close girl friends will do the hosting so make sure the communication is there. Never let the bride host her own party!

“What should be included on a bridal shower invitation?”

  • Bride's full name (and sometimes Groom's)
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • RSVP name and number
  • Date to RSVP by
  • Short description of any food details
  • Registry

“What time frame is proper etiquette for hosting a bridal shower?”
Most would say anywhere from a two month to two weeks before the wedding. When mailing invitations you will need to do it no less than a month prior to the bridal shower so guests have time to respond to the RSVP.

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[/one-half-first][one-half]When choosing a theme for the wedding shower, select one that reflects the personality and interests of the bride. Here are some examples we’ve done for our bridal shower invitations from top to bottom.

Jennifer Vigor-Kalm’s goldfish bridal shower invitation was themed after brides name Melissa Fisher and grooms Jon Goldman. She also had a menu themed after the bridal invitation for the restaurant where the bridal shower was held with choices of what entrees they could choose from!

Hailey Kandell’s sushi themed invitation for Sara Little makes a bold yet chic announcement. This invitation has it all! With a full color two-sided pocket that holds the RSVP reply card and envelope. Even the envelopes are tastefully printed from the flower design on the main envelope to the reply envelope with chopsticks. Not only is this theme colorful and youthful, it’s the very essence of femininity.

Julian McKeon's Fiesta theme relayed a relaxed get together with a southwestern buffet lunch.

Ann Jager’s invitation for Alyson Garff was a traditional themed invite focused on incorporating her wedding colors keeping a flow throughout her invitation suite.

Kimberlee Sirstins' invitation is a great example where multiple family members come together to host the bridal shower. The details of layers and clean lines make for a beautiful classy invitation![/one-half][one-half-first]Hailey Kandell’s invitation for Sarah Klothorr indicates a more formal dinner party with her details for cocktail attire. The invitation itself is gorgeous down to the last detail. With the layering on an elegant wrap and champagne ribbon, it really captures the mood for the occasion.

Rachel Francis' invites for Kate Feinstein is a fun and more modern invitation with an additional teaser of the upcoming Bachelorette party. Fun side note: Rachel has gone from bridesmaid to one of our current brides!

With a few good guidelines you can create the perfect bridal shower for your bride to be![/one-half-first][one-half]bridal shower 3[/one-half]bridal shower 5


Save the Date Part 2: Destinations Weddings

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Save the Date Part 2: Destination Weddings

If you're planning a destination wedding here are some do’s and don’ts to help you prepare. Traditionally a destination wedding is focused on a smaller group of close family and friends therefore sending a save the date is a MUST! Especially if you are planning to wed over a holiday where guest will need to plan accordingly. Etiquette time frames for sending out your save the date on a destination wedding should be six months to a year depending on location. When planning make sure you have the date, venue and URL locked in before sending them out. This gives your guest an idea of what to start planning for as far as travel goes. When creating your save the date card you can use elements of design from your wedding theme which can be carried throughout your invitation suite giving your guest a fun teaser of what's to come.

[one-half-first]save the date 2save the date 3[/one-half-first][one-half]What key details should be conveyed to guests on a save the date?

A save the date should have the date, destination, invitation to follow and a URL. Keep it simple by the way of wording and have fun with the design to get guest excited about the big day.

What details should not be on a save the date?
Do not give too much detail on a save the date card. For example: ceremony details and activities that will be going on during the occasion. You don't want the save the date to be confused with the invitation.

Why is it so important to have a URL?
With a URL you can provide contact information for travel agents/services and hotels so guests can handle their own travel and lodging. It also can be a place of information about your destination and activities so guest can pack appropriately. You can remind guests of passport, visa and other legal requirements and safety concerns if traveling to a foreign country. The URL can be so convenient for continuous updates and important information throughout the months to come.[/one-half]blog quote 2

If you have a whole weekend planned you can say “Save the Weekend”. With a weekend full of activities and events you will need an itinerary with details that your guests can take with them so things stay organized. Your itinerary should be incorporated into your invitation and again this is where you can get really creative and use your destination for inspiration.

With helpful do’s and don’ts you can create a well organized destination wedding that you and your guest will have memories to enjoy for a lifetime!

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Congratulations to Charity Lund, April’s Bride of the Month!

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April 2013: Charity Lund! This month we are excited to feature a bride that we didn't get the chance to highlight a year ago. Charity and Ian’s wedding was such a beautifully stylized event that we wanted to take this month to feature them and show off their gorgeous event, photography and engraved invitations. Charity was gracious enough to share her unique and stylish wedding photos with us. We love how Charity pulled together all of the details to create a dramatic effect. We hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

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Interviewer: We know it’s been a while since your wedding and now that your big day is all through, how has married life been?
Ian: It’s been a challenge having to tolerate someone in between sporting events on the television.
Charity: I love getting to spend life with the best friend I could ever have. When I think about what I want to do on a Friday night, nothing sounds better than being with my hubs. Anything is always that much better with him.
Interviewer: I absolutely love how your invitations turned out. We chose you as the Bride of the Month because we wanted to feature one of our favorite past invitations and couples. Tell me about the process you went through in dreaming up your invitations. I want to hear where you got your inspiration from, how you decided what your invitations would look like, etc.
Charity: For Valentine’s Day, Ian took us to Japan and we spent 10 days together and then I stayed there for an extra three months. Japan celebrates the season of blooming cherry blossoms, which are everywhere, and tie the US and Japan together. Japan gave them as a gift to the US, so it reminds us of our first time travelling together. The colors on the invite were our wedding colors champagne and cornflower blue. The rest we left up to Ann. It’s great to have someone who will interpret a rough idea and turn it into a great invitation.[/one-half-first][one-half]charity picture 2charity picture 3[/one-half]Interviewer: What is your favorite part of your invitations?
Charity: The engraving is great. It’s a technique that is rarely used, but it’s such a beautifully subtle element.
Interviewer: What feature of your invitations have the most people complimented you on?
Charity: No feature in particular, just how nicely they turned out. We got a lot of compliments like “This is the nicest invitation I’ve ever seen.” But, those people probably haven’t been through Ann’s studio, since most of the invitations she creates are that ‘nice.’ Overall, I think the combination of it all. The unique length of the envelopes, the layers and separate pieces coming together like a puzzle. The way it all fit together with the beautiful complimentary colors, font, and artwork probably made one big statement.

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Interviewer: Has anything surprised you about your invitations? Like how your guests responded to them?
Charity: We really just appreciated that everyone loved them so much. They were so well received and it was everything we’d hoped for in something that would announce our unity.
Interviewer: Have you taken any elements from your invitation to use throughout your wedding decor?
Charity: Our invitations were a direct reflection of our wedding. The whimsy of the metallic paper was incorporated into our menus and directional signs. The font had a royal feel to it that went well with the mansion, and cherry blossoms were engraved in the engagement ring. The champagne color was chosen from the wedding dress, and cornflower blue is Ian’s favorite color, both were our wedding colors.
Interviewer: Do you feel that your invitations set the tone for your event? If so, in what way?
Charity: It definitely complimented the wedding that we wanted to have. If the wedding was a short story of our life together, the invitations were the teaser to the wedding.
Interviewer: What advice would you give to brides who are looking to gather inspiration for their wedding invitations?
Charity: Be sentimental. Use experiences you’ve had together to inspire you. Your wedding should be a short story about your life together. Your invitations should be the headline.

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Interviewer: Is there a lesson you learned through your creative process in dreaming up your invitations you’d like to share?
Charity: It takes two. Ian was more involved than I expected he would be, and they turned out more beautiful than I imagined they would.
Interviewer: How was your experience with Ann Elizabeth?
Charity: I didn’t expect so much patience. She gave us so many great options that I felt like she really cared that we loved them and had our best interest in mind.
Interviewer: Is there anything we could have done to make your experience with us better? (Please don’t be shy! We are always looking to improve our clients’ experience with us.)
Charity and Ian: I’m good. Me too!
Interviewer: It was a pleasure working with you both in creating your invitation and letting us share in your wedding!

Wedding Dress & Veil: YSA Makino (Italian Designer) from Mon Amie Bridal Salon
Shoes: Cole Haan Nike Air Pumps (heels w/Nike Air)
Flowers: Trifecta Floral
Hair & Makeup: Janae Mechling Johnson Image Studio
Invitations: Ann Elizabeth
Bridals: Location- Wheeler Farm John Paul Photography
Wedding: Photography: AMB Photography
Venue: McCune Mansion
Wedding Planner: Andi Saxton
Cake: Grace Harvell The Graceful Baker