The Best Wedding Planners

There are so many elements that go into planning a wedding, so where’s a bride to begin? Well we’ve found three great planners that are full of worksheets, checklists, suggestions and more to help you begin your planning process!

First, The Pink Book is a wonderful wedding guide that comes with a full sized binder, 8 tabs with pockets, wedding advice from experts, and free printable schedules, vendor questionnaires, and helpful planning tools online. The Pink Book ladies are experts when it comes to weddings, so they’ve included everything you need to plan your special day.

Purchase your’s here for $24.95.

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner is another great planning tool for brides-to-be. It’s the perfect go to guide and it’s packed full of worksheets, checklists, calendars, etiquette, and frequently asked questions. The Knot itself is a powerful resource for brides, and this planner is no exception.

Purchase your’s here for $17.99.

This next wedding planner is cute and fun. It’s by Smythson, and while it’s a little more on the pricey end, it’s worth it! It’s got 128 leaves of paper and is bound with a gorgeous fuchsia grained lambskin leather. It has tabs for ‘dress’, ‘invitations’, ‘guests and gifts’, ‘service’, ‘reception’, ‘flowers and other’, ‘going away’ and ‘honeymoon’. You’ll be able to keep up with everything in this planner, plus it’s small enough to throw in your purse and carry around with you while you’re on the go.

Purchase your’s here.

If your a bride-to-be, we hope this post has given you some ideas about great tools to use while planning your wedding. If you know a bride-to-be, any of these planners would make a great engagement gift!

Are you going to use one of these wedding planners? We’d love to hear your feedback.


How Not to be a Bridesmaidzilla

Sometimes it’s hard to be a bridesmaid.  It can be expensive, time consuming and is often a thankless job.  However, being asked to take part in a friend or family members wedding is an honor and therefore should be approached as such.

Here are a rules to ensure being the best bridesmaid a lady can be:

1. Don’t Give Your Opinion…Unless Asked
This rule can be applied to several things but one in particular is the bridesmaids attire (dress, shoes, jewelry)  for the big day. The last thing a bride wants or needs is for a renegade attendant to debate the merrits of wearing wedges vs heels. Smile and keep your opinions to yourself.

2. Know the Golden Rule
Think about how your friend, now the bride, treated you on your big day (or will treat you when your day arrives) and try and hold yourself to the same standard. Chances are that if she was a terrible bridesmaid, you wouldn’t still be close enough to be in her wedding. If your big day is still to come, think of how you would want your friend to act as your bridesmaid and try to meet those expectations.

3. Keep the Stress Off the Bride
As a bridesmaid, you can be asked to do any number of things and there are definitely the brides who expect their wedding to become your full time job. However, assuming your friend and bride is being realistic and her requests are simple (putting invitations in envelopes, attending a dress fitting or a cake tasting) and manageable then please, help a bride out. The bride generally has more on her plate than anyone and assisting in a few small tasks is helpful in keeping the bride stress free which makes for a happier wedding party. The groom, your fellow bridesmaids and every vendor in the state thank you in advance.  

4. Know Your Budget
When your friend or family member asks you to be in her wedding, it’s important to know upfront what demands will be made on your bank account.  It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the bride what her anticipated price range will be on the dress, shoes, jewelry, hair and make-up. However, assuming that this isn’t your role, you may also want to ask the maid or matron of honor to which pre-wedding festivities you will be expected to contribute. If it seems that you won’t be able to afford the price of taking part in the wedding, be upfront and honest with the bride as early as possible.

And last but not least….

5. It’s Not About You
Several of the aforementioned rules hinted at this but here it is:  it’s really not about you. To clarify, that doesn’t mean during the happy couples 14 month long engagement that your life, work and relationships outside of the bride and her wedding cease to exist. It does mean that whether or not you hate teal strapless gowns and marathon karaoke bachelorette parties becomes irrelevant.  Most importantly, the week leading up to the wedding and the day of are really not about you. Give the bride her day and do your best to keep her focus on the happiest day of her life.

And since we were so bossy, here’s some happy pictures:

Beth as her sister Laura’s matron of honor

Raquel with her best friend and maid of honor, Ellie


Beth & Raquel

How To Be a Good Southern Wedding Host

Being a gracious host is a big part of planning a wedding. Though it is your day, the people whom you chose to invite are your guests and should be thought of during the planning and on the day of your wedding.

Information is Power
It’s important to be as informative as possible when telling your guests about your upcoming nuptials. Save the Date cards, invitations and wedding websites are the best ways to inform your guests as a collective. Websites such as The Knot offer free hosting for wedding websites where you can  provide guests with information on hotels, things to do in your city, driving directions, specific attire concerns and more. If your location is new or particularly obscure, a direction card on how to get there should also be included in your invitations. Most importantly, your invitations should indicate the formality of the ceremony and reception and should be sent out within 6-8 weeks of your wedding date.

Thank You Notes
Today, it’s not uncommon for a couple to have multiple wedding showers prior to getting married. Promptness in sending out thank you notes is greatly appreciated by everyone and it will save you for doing them all at once post-wedding.  Designate one person per shower to write down who gave you what to insure personalized thank you cards and they should be in the mail within 10 days of your shower. Don’t forget, send a thank you note to the people who threw you the shower, even if they don’t give you a gift. As for guests who bring gifts to the ceremony, those thank you cards should be received two weeks after you return from the honeymoon.

Food for Thought
Receptions come in all shapes and sizes these days, particularly when it comes to food. The time of your ceremony generally indicates what type of food will be served- if your reception is at dinner time, it’s time to feed your guests dinner. Afternoon or very late evening receptions, however, have more flexibility. If you decide to serve a full meal, be mindful of your guests. If you’re a die-hard vegan, ask the caterers for a vegan plate for you but otherwise, plan your menu for the masses.  Particularly in the south, most guests won’t understand what a non-dairy dinner entails and will likely leave your reception hungry and confused.

Drinks Are On the House
Imagine if a friend or family member invited you over for a gathering of any kind and then asked that you pay them for your glass of wine. Having a cash bar at a wedding is essentially the same concept. Of course, not everyone wants to or can afford an open bar of every drink imaginable but there are creative options to keep everyone happy. If it’s a conservative reception or a need to cut costs, just serve everyone a glass of champagne for a toast. Another option is to eliminate liquor and simply serve wine and beer; having one white wine, one red wine and your favorite brew is a completely appropriate way to celebrate at your reception without breaking the bank.

Keep these little things in mind and also that, while it’s a day for you and your new spouse, it’s also polite and expected to remember the guests with whom you’ve decided to celebrate this amazing occasion.



How to Be a Good Southern Wedding Guest

In a search for fun and useful blog posts, sometimes outside research is necessary and that is what Beth and I tell ourselves when we buy and read magazines. Allure recently had an article “How to Be a Good Wedding Guest” which got us thinking what our rules would be for southern wedding guest etiquette.

Being a polite wedding guest begins the second your postman drops off the invitation in your mailbox. Make a decision on whether or not you are attending sooner rather than later and definitely before the “please respond by” date on the invitation.

Invitation Information
While you’re promptly filling out the response card, take the time to peruse the information available on the invitation. A big one is what is listed on the envelope: who is the invitation addressed to? If you’re single and there is no “and guest” then sadly, your date will have to stay home. Carpool with a group of friends who are also invited to the wedding. If you’re a family but the invitation is addressed to “Mr & Mrs” then that means that you will be calling a sitter because it’s a kid free wedding.  However, if the invitation says “The Smith Family” then the children are more than welcome. No matter the circumstance, it’s never okay to bring an uninvited guest to a wedding.

Dress for the Occasion

Here’s how important the invitation is: this information is also available on there. When you’re planning your wardrobe for a wedding, take note of a few things: the ceremony time, the ceremony location and the type of invitation. If the ceremony begins at 2 in the afternoon in an outdoor garden, you can skip the gowns and diamonds. However, if it doesn’t start until 7 or 8 in the evening in an elegant hotel, chances are the dress is more formal. If you’re close enough with the bride, groom or someone in the wedding party, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking what attire is required.
And remember, it’s still not okay to wear any shade of white.

Drink in Moderation
All wedding guests over the age of 21 enjoy the open bar available at many weddings. However, a drink during cocktail hour,  toasting to the bride and grooms new happy life or a glass of your favorite spirit is perfectly appropriate, there is certainly a limit on drinks if you want to be a gracious guest. Know your limits and appreciate them- there is no table dancing, drunken toast giving or, worst of all, getting sick at weddings, southern or otherwise.

Following these little guidelines will help ease stress of the bride on her special day and help you to do what you came there to do- Have fun!