Wedding Questions - Advice - Reviews..OH HELP!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by McKennaL, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Dec 29, 2011

    *Sigh* A new thing in our lives. My (only) daughter is getting married to her LONG-time beau.

    Couldn't be happier. :celebrate: :hugs: :celebrate:

    But...

    BACKGROUND

    Here goes:

    **Bride and Groom living out of state (6-7 hour drive. They'll be home scattered weekends-but it COSTS to travel, therefore its limited) - as well as 90% of the bridal party is spread throughout the country. Yet the wedding is back in their home state- HERE. (On top of which, even *I* MAY be moving away a few months before the wedding and will need to come back here to finish plans and have the wedding).

    **I'm here now (guess who has the bulk of the hosting/the actual grunt work responsibilities? :dizzy: ) the future in-laws are also here but are very ethnic-HUGE communication gap (one doesn't speak English, and one only does somewhat) and therefore - not much help.

    **Mom (me) perfectionist about event planning, daughter (bride) is the "whatever"/"I'll get to it... someday" type (who RAISED this kid?????) which is driving me batty. Groom is the "I want to be involved...but, when asked, not really interested" type. (Ok, you think - "so let them have a "whatever" wedding and be done with it." But being the parent of the bride - the event also reflects on me. Plus, being my ONLY daughter, I want it to be the best party we can put on.)

    **The wedding will be in mid-September - but with a fall theme (the dates farther into the fall were either taken or too late to count on warm enough weather. We will have the very beginnings of color-but not the change we would have wished for). Both wedding and reception at the same location (a beautiful golf club - incredible grounds for pictures surrounded by magnificent estates). The wedding will be outdoors (weather permitting) as well as the cocktail hour. The reception in the clubhouse. Between 100-120 guests - not too large/not too small. The bridal party is growing ( :mad: ) to 4 couples. (In my opinion, the upper-limits on a smaller wedding - but hey, I am not making the decisions.)

    **It was easier planning MY wedding years ago because I was the one planning it for ME, and my father could afford most anything. Now it is me doing A LOT of the planning for someone else (trust me-though I am planning a good portion- this is CLEARLY their wedding. Their tastes. Their day.) and there is a definite smaller budget.

    **After consideration - the dog will NOT be in attendance - even for the short ring bearer walk. She is like an 80+ lb. bull in a china cabinet! She will be boarded.

    ******

    OK... HERE COME THE QUESTIONS

    What can you suggest?...

    Best things that happened at your wedding (moments/etc to suggest) :wub:

    Any experience with preparing for a wedding with all the players spread out throughout the country. Suggestions? :dunno:

    WORST things to watch out for (DJ catastrophies, sweet table mishaps, hidden problems/costs/disasters to look out for??) :banghead:

    *****

    Thank you to all you, former brides, or experienced parents of newlyweds for your suggestions! I have a feeling I will be posting about this a LOT!
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Dec 29, 2011

    A box of props and throw-away cameras...fun pictures that had attitude.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 29, 2011

    For the bridal party, I used a vendor for the dress, shoes, etc that had stores in the locations of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Made it very easy for everyone to get fitted for a dress, etc.

    We used vendors that did a lot of transactions on-line or through email. It made it much easier to contact and work with the vendors.
     
  5. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Oh McKenna, I feel for you!! I'm having a tough enough time planning my OWN wedding in my own state with (almost) everyone local!!! I can only imagine what you're trying to pull off.

    I agree with the above poster about finding a dress shop that people can go to in their own areas but have things in common. I've also had friends that have requested their bridesmaids all wear black dresses, but given free reign as to what the dress actually looked like, so that girls in different areas could get something and know that the color would be correct.

    Actually, your daughter may be better off in some areas since she is out of state. I called many vendors who wanted me to come IN to discuss packages and played it off that they couldn't give basic pricing without lots of specific information from us. When I called them back and pretended that I was out of state, they were MORE than happy to just e-mail or snail mail me their information. So she may benefit from being able to weed out many vendors quickly, and then see only the top few choices when she has limited time in the area.

    I'll keep thinking!!
     
  6. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Dec 29, 2011

    My bridesmaids were spread out so we ordered from J.Crew. I loved the dresses because they could wear them again and they didn't scream "bridesmaid".

    Something we did that really turned out nice was a wedding certificate. It is actually a quaker tradition and there are many people online who make them. It has your vows on it and then everyone who is at the wedding signs it. We have it framed in our apartment and it is a nice memento of a great day.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Spend money on a real photographer. It will be well worth it down the road.

    If there will be kids in attendance, some crafty things will keep them occupied-- but you have to be very careful not to choose anything messy!
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Hire a wedding planner?

    Get most of it done this summer when you are off?

    Delegate - they are adults and should be able to handle much of it themselves.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 29, 2011

    I did a destination location (halfway between my home town and Rockhubby's). The best thing I did was to find an amazing planner. She owned the restaurant, coordinated all the details down to picking the flowers from the grounds to arrange on the tables, and somehow also had time to produce the plays in the theater next door. I only had to find a florist (for the bouquets), cake maker and DJ, and she helped me narrow my selections. You may live in the home town, but nothing will ease your day more than having the bulk of it handled by an expert.

    On those grounds, I also suggest finding an Official Worrier out of yours or your daughters friends. In my case, it was the Best Man's wife and a dear friend of mine. This is someone who will take care of the minor details the day of the wedding, such as keeping the photographer out of the bridal suite until the wedding party is wearing more than underwear (I swore I didn't mind being photographed that way but I'm glad those pics don't exist). Any checks that need to be handed out can also go in the hands of the Official Worrier. The Official Worrier can also make sure a glass of wine or water with a couple of aspirin is in the right hands at the right time, but that's optional.
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Ask them what things are most important to them and budget accordingly. If it is flowers, then spenmd more on that and have a smaller cake where the guests are actually served from a sheet cake in the back.

    www.theknot.com was great forum and has grown huge in the 10 years since I used it.

    Make a timeline (or use www.theknot.com ) for when things have to be done so that you are all on the same page with that stuff.

    I want to a wedding this past September and they had adorable programs that were fans, the top part was cardstock with the information and it was attached to a thin wood handle and had a bow on it.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Have you visited http://www.theknot.com ? It has lots of wedding planning tips and tricks.

    Don't discount the in-laws. Even if they don't speak much English, they can still help. Ask them to pick something they'd like to be in charge of (flowers, music, location, etc.) or assign them something. They'll most likely be happy to be included.

    Definitely pick a dress/suit shop with multiple locations around the country so that all the members of the wedding party can get what they need without having to travel. David's Bridal perhaps?

    Look into places that offer wedding packages. If you can knock out the decorations, table settings, catering, and reception site in one blow, it'll make your life easier.
     
  12. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Dec 29, 2011

    I also suggest spending money for a wedding planner. I was the bride that your daughter sounds like, and my mom had a huge part in planning the wedding. We were not meant to do this together and things were said that shouldn't be. It is three months later and honestly, our relationship is not the same at all.

    I don't think this will happen to you but a wedding planner (even one that is hired 3 months from the wedding) takes a lot of the worrying away
     
  13. kme93

    kme93 Companion

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    Dec 29, 2011

    I got married a few years ago and my sister in law just got married. Here are some of the things I liked or wished I had known.

    - It is totally worth the splurge for the professional photographer. It was important to me to get a photographer that would let me have a digital copy of the pictures. Otherwise, you have to contact the photographer any time you want an extra print and order it through them.

    - I had programs made, my sister in law did not. They're not worth it.

    - Make sure you and the bride/groom spend time relaxing/having fun during the reception. As the bride you are constantly being shuffled around. I never got to eat a piece of wedding cake (besides what we fed each other).

    - My sister in law and I both used an ipod at our wedding. One of our friends was the "announcer/ipod controller" and we used a friend's speaker system. It was great because we got to pick all of the songs we wanted and didn't have to worry about a DJ doing something weird.
     
  14. Izzy Teach

    Izzy Teach Rookie

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    Dec 29, 2011

    Hire a wedding planner. One of my friends did this, and it was very helpful. We were all spread out in different cities at different universities. The planner did most all of the work, and she knew to ask about things that no one considered. She was also familiar with all the locations.
     
  15. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Dec 30, 2011

    Best advice... Destination wedding (cruises are great!). Much easier to plan when you are long distance. A friend of mine just did this. If you could make the event, great... If not, we will invite you to the "party reception" later. It was beautiful. Everyone that came were the ones that really needed to be there. No drama... the package is planned for you. You pick the price/plan. You enjoy your family friends. The "after party" was a simple barbeque with games, a pool, easy going, laid back, no fuss, and pretty inexpensive. Think about it. I hope when the time comes we can talk my daughter into a destination wedding!!!!!
     
  16. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Dec 30, 2011

    I LOVED our guest book. We ordered a Polaroid type camera and had our guestbook person take pictures of each guest as they came in. She then asked them to write a little note under the picture. TOTALLY cute way to see everyone's faces after the wedding and a little bit more fun than your traditional "name and where ya from?" (and my students love my Polaroid camera, they're just fascinated with it).
    I don't know what your daughter is into BUT I picked the designer for my dresses and then let my bridesmaids pick whatever style they wanted in the colors I wanted. This made it totally easy because then there wasn't any fighting over the style of dress and they were responsible for finding a designer in their area that could help them out (I only had one from out of state and she lived in a big city).
     
  17. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2011

    I was also going to suggest The Knot. There are local boards where other brides can make suggestions on vendors or post their reviews after the wedding.

    In the age of digital cameras, I don't think the disposables are really necessary now. We did have them at ours and most of the photos didn't turn out so it was a waste of money. A lot of our friends had pics posted for us on Facebook within a few days and we just saved them from there.

    We had an engagement shoot done as part of our photography package and made a photo book on Snapfish that we used as our guestbook. I like it because it's an album with our engagement photos with our guests' well-wishes around them.

    Our venue had its own DJ, limo, cake baker, chapel, etc. They took care of all that and it was a lot easier. The only outside vendors I needed were the photographer, florist, dress shop, and hair stylist. We made our own centerpieces which cut down on the flower budget, too, plus it was fun.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Dec 30, 2011

    Try to not put your wedding the same weekend as a major holiday if you have several guests coming in from out of town. A friend of ours is getting married a holiday weekend and hotels are expensive and difficult to find. Also, most of the venues she wanted were booked for other parties, so she's having not the wedding she wanted, and it has to be on a Friday afternoon and rushed so that another party can move in.
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I will never regret my Vegas wedding, but I know that's not for everyone. I do think you need to sit down with your daughter and decide what her (and your) priorities are.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    one of the best things I did was told each bridesmaid the color I wanted, the length of the dress, and allowed each bridesmaid have the dress they wanted. They felt better about the dress, and they were able to deal with it from different parts of the state.

    I also suggest wearing the shoes before the wedding. I didn't and had blisters on my honeymoon.


    The last two wedding I went to where later in the evening with dinner and dancing. But I have also been to some with just cocktails and dessert afterwards, cheaper and easier to plan.
     

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