The Wedding Series II: {Plan/Organize}

Inspiration Board #377 - In the Garden (from Snippet&Ink

Inspiration Board #377 – In the Garden (from Snippet&Ink

After a few weeks (fine, months!) of daily research, I realized we had to start getting off Pinterest/Snippet&Ink/Green Wedding Shoes and actually start making decisions.

Organizing a wedding on your own (i.e. without delegating to a professional event planner) can be tricky that way. If you’re not careful, time runs out on you.

In our case, we weren’t having a long engagement. The risk was there for us to let time go by without having sorted things out.

However, I couldn’t see why anyone would need more than two or three months to put everything together! I started having an overdose of these after a month or so of daily exposure!

Inspiration Board #390 - Unofficially Summer (from Snippet&Ink)

Inspiration Board #390 – Unofficially Summer (from Snippet&Ink)

We started making decisions in June for an early September wedding and, for us, that was more than enough.

Let me just stress that  by the time we started making decisions, we had already been through the research and budgeting part of the whole thing. And this we started in February…

So, by June we had a better picture of what kind of celebration we wanted, what our needs were and the main points to focus on. We also had researched time-frames for completing different tasks (e.g., how long before the wedding date do we need to book the reception venue?).

With these clear ideas in mind, it was easier for us to find the people (i.e. vendors) who could provide us with the services that we wanted.

At first we searched for our vendors within the traditional options – sea-front hotels/country estates for the venue, wedding-cake-only shop, renown florist, etc.

We were a bit ignorant and didn’t know anything about the “wedding tax” or how rigid the industry is.

But we soon realized those places were not flexible in the options they were providing us. The word ‘traditional’ doesn’t come by chance there. The concept of having “our wedding” was foreign to them. It was either their way or no way. The “pre-packed wedding” I came to call it.

Fortunately, our minds were set and we were not going to take what we did not want/need. It was time to think out of the box and find the people who understood our requirements and offered the services we wanted.

Take our cake, for instance.

One day, after visiting the restaurant we ended up having our reception in (The Coach House), we popped into the chocolate shop across the street to discuss our thoughts about it. We ordered some cake to help us think and after the first bite we knew that was the cake we wanted for our wedding. It was just so good!

So we asked whether they took orders for wedding cakes and the guy there was super nice and told us about their main shop where we could go to place an order. We were also thrilled to find out that they personalized the service, so we could actually have the simple cake we wanted.

We went home and had a look around the website. Their cakes’ designs looked definitely NOT our style but we were, again, reassured that there was a “bespoke” service so off we went to get our cake.

Once we said we wanted a wedding cake for about 50 people the guy there provided us with one option: this horrible thing. We told him that, actually, we were looking for their personalized service but he kept telling us that was all he could offer us. Not sure what went through his mind. Maybe we were not his type of clients or something but we found that truly rude and never went back.

We were quite sad at first because we really liked that cake and still wondered whether we could just order a couple of cakes from their other place. But the guy had just been so rude we decided we really didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Besides, all we wanted was someone who would bake us a delicious cake above anything else.

After a little bit more research we found Sada and Flutterby Bakery. She truly understood our presentation requirements and worked with us to create our vision of our wedding cakes. And I say ‘cakes‘ because we couldn’t decided between two of her delicious creations and she told us we didn’t have to pick just one! The top was lemon sponge with white chocolate and passionfruit ganache, and the bottom was dark chocolate fudge cake with dark chocolate ganache buttercream.

Our wedding cake (wood doll cake toppers from Knottingwood on Etsy)

Our wedding cake (wood doll cake toppers from Knottingwood on Etsy)

{Internet, friends/family and DIY}

We took full advantage of the internet to plan and organize our wedding.

We used facebook to ask friends whether they knew a good photographer who would also be cool with our requirements. Someone did!

We used skype to work with my cousin Marina on the design for our save-the-dates and invitations and then either e-invited people through gmail or used Moo to print some out (for those without internet).

Our paper invitations and save-the-dates (from Moo); Envelopes and ribbon from random stationary store and fabric shop.

Our paper invitations, save-the-date cards and stickers (from Moo); Envelopes and ribbon from random stationary store and fabric shop.

We built a wedding blog with wordpress where we put all the information about location and schedule, but also where we asked our guests about songs they wanted to be featured and food/drinks they wanted to have. For this last one we built an online survey that they completed (ah, all those years conducting online surveys served us well after all!).

As for DIY, I did get a bit carried away there. I honestly would not recommend it unless you are entirely aware of how long something will take.

I picked out from someone on Pinterest the brilliant idea of having place cards doubling as individual menus.

In our case, it made total sense because the Coach House had allowed us to pick three starters, three mains and three desserts for our guests to have a range of options.

Because they made their choices a month or so before the day, I thought  it would be nice to have it there on the day, just so they knew what was coming.

Nice right?! Trouble was, it took me longer than I had thought. I was still cutting and gluing away the day before the wedding!

Menu with place card

Menu with place card

Bottom line? Take on only what you are 100% sure is achievable. Don’t do it just because DIYing is trending or you think you’re saving money. If it’s going to stress you out, it’s not worth it.

Staying true to our needs turned out to work well for us because the people who were willing to listen to us were also the people who didn’t charge us more because the word “wedding” was pronounced.

Organizing such a party involves a lot of planning and a lot of decision-making but it will all be easier when you are able to find the businesses that are your perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to look for them even if that means going with the unusual option.

On the next post I’ll tell you all about my dress adventures.

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Thanks for reading!

One thought on “The Wedding Series II: {Plan/Organize}

  1. Pingback: A(n) (un)Conventional Wedding | Fashion pas

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