Our Bride Next Door has been busy planning her dream wedding. With her planning timeline halfway done, we wanted to check in on where she’s at and what advice she has so far to newly engaged ladies.
Bride Next Door Wedding Planning White Board
1. What major items have you knocked off your checklist that left you with a “Phewww!” moment?
So far, we have the DJ (DJ Craig G, what whaaaat), the photographer (Rhymes with Sky), I got my dress at Everthine and have decided on the company who will print our invitations and paper goods. It feels so good to have the big things out of the way and the deposits paid but it also feels like those were the easy things. Now its the little details we are focusing on, which take a lot more brain power. And finalizing the guest list haha!
2. Do you have a theme? What vendors are you looking into?
If I had to put our wedding in a box, i’d call it Boho Chic. A mix of Boho Chic and Thrifty haha. I am trying to keep the cost down while still getting the vibe I want. Everyone who knows me know I am all over the place though, so theme has been a real challenge for me. One day I love boho, the next day I’m in Fila and the next I’m glammed out. I need to find a way to create and Alyssa themed wedding. Boho dress, Puma sneakers and my black moonstone choker lol!
We began talking to a florist who I will hire. She has been very helpful because I am not creative and need some ideas!
Bride Next Door Wedding Planning
3. What has you hung up on the guest list? Advice to newly engaged brides?
We have the guest list about 97% complete. I would say our biggest “issue” was the fact that we are having a Kid-Free wedding. We are also not handing out a lot of plus-ones. We realize this will cause a little push back and have experienced a little already. Honestly, there is one thing new brides need to just say over and over-like a mantra- IT IS YOUR DAY! It is no one else day. It is easy to lose sight of that when people have lots of opinions, or get angry about certain decisions you make but remember..it is coming out of your wallet (for us at least) and IT IS YOUR DAY! WOOSAH!
4. Save The Dates? Are you ready to make it “officially official”?
We finally decided on a design! This has been a challenge because I am not artsy and we don’t have a solid theme. We also didn’t want our picture on it. A lot goes into these- I need to have the guest list decided, I need to have an idea about the direction I want the wedding to go in a long time before the actual date. I can’t order ocean themed save the dates and decide to have a rustic themed wedding! It is just a lot. And to me, A big milestone. But design is done! All we need is the completed guest list! Next? Start collecting addresses..
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Happy engagement season! We are so happy to see the smiling faces and shining rings of bride-to-be’s popping up on our social media. We know the feeling! You want to shout your wedding date from the mountain tops! Hold on, you need a date first before sending out any mail! Our last blog gave some pointers and questions to ask yourself when creating your guest list. Once you have your invitee list ready to go, it’s time to get your wedding date on their calendar. You do have a date, right?

Choosing a wedding date seems as simple as choosing a day, but factors such as your venue, budget, and even attendee availability can change when you get married. We start looking at venues right away with our brides. Especially if they have specific requirements, or places in mind, it’s best to tour and ask questions.

What season are you looking to get married?

Are you set on a weekend or can you be flexible?

Will you require any special accommodations of your venue?

save the dates lauren o couple

Your budget will thank you if you’re flexible. Many venues will offer a discount or additional options in their package if you look to book on a date that is not as high demand. Sundays, weekdays, and the off season can offer more bang for your buck because the venues are looking to fill up their calendar. Also consider your guests’ attendance. Many people are invited to several weddings in any given year and could have to pick and choose if the dates are too close together. Don’t be afraid to set your date apart and choose the beautiful, crisp Autumn, or even get married on a Thursday!

Send out your save the dates knowing not everyone can attend. You’ll follow the same etiquette for your invites but have better feedback on the date during the first round. A Save The Date is intended to lock in this detail. But you don’t have to have everything decided when sending them out. They can be less formal than an invitation and very simple with just your name and the wedding date, of course. If you haven’t chosen a theme yet, keep it clean and choose one color you know you’ll be incorporating into your big day as an accent.

bride and invitation

Save the dates have become popular as an announcement, as well as to ensure guests have enough time to pencil in that day and start making any arrangements. Keep in touch with friends and family by creating a wedding website of your current information. Formal invitations will include details such as plus ones, the location, and require an RSVP. Make sure you are maintaining the same etiquette starting with the first piece of mail. Always list all guest names on the envelope to avoid confusion. Loop back to our invitation etiquette blog for some more information on this topic.



Until next time, happy planning!







1: Photo: Ryon Lockhart Photography
2: Stationary: Avant Garde Design Photo: Rachel Girouard Photography
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Ah, the guest list. The decisions of planning a wedding are contingent on the number of people being invited. Each factor, from the venue to the linens, is determined based on this figure. How much space do you need? How much food will be served? How many chairs will you request? Creating a guest list, however, can be no easy task.

laurenocouple banquet table

First, know your limit. What comes first, the venue or the guest list? You can choose the venue before tallying up friends and family, but keep in mind that will narrow your options. On the flip side, it will also give you a set number to work with, which could help narrowing down a large guest list easier. You’ll also have a better idea of a budget per person. Start by deciding either of these first. Ask yourself:

Do I want my venue to determine how many people I can invite?

Do I already have an idea of how many people I want to invite?

Do I already have a dream venue in mind and want to lock it in no matter what capacity it holds?

lauren o couple

Think big. Keep in mind not everyone will be able to attend. Start with immediate family and work out. Don’t be afraid to include friends and relatives who may not be able to attend. You can always trim the guest list later on, but forgetting someone important will leave you feeling stressed.

Then, trim. When it comes down to finalizing the guest list, you should already know your max number, budget, and all the other details that could factor into the final head count. Don’t invite your college acquaintances, exes, or the girls from yoga. You will be talking to your guests, taking photos, and mingling all evening. Our best advice is to be ready to have a 5 year in the future guest list.

Will this person still be in my life 5 years from now?

Will I want this person in my wedding album?

Then, consider what is fair. The guest list should be about equal as far as your and your fiancé‘s total number of invitees to have a balanced attendance. Also keep in mind plus ones when factoring who you’re inviting and who they will want to bring.

lauren o couple wedding portraits

The guest list can seem tough, but by asking yourself a couple of questions can simplify the process. Choosing a venue will give you a guest cap. You can then create a list of everyone you could possibly want to invite, then go back and reduce that number based on the 5 year rule and your budget. Make sure you are not overextending your budget to include acquaintances! You will be looking back on your photos for years to come and want to recognize every face!


Until next time, happy planning!







Photos: Melani Lust Photography
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We could not be more excited to share a recap of our Wifey For Life Workshop on June 4th. We met so many amazing ladies ready to learn and create! These brides left with a load of swag and new skills to apply to their own upcoming weddings. That’s what Wifey For Life is all about! Shaina Lee Photography revealed all the images she captured and we just stopped in awe for a moment reflecting on the positive energy and smiles in the room. With a couple road bumps along the way and our professional planning team ready for any challenge, the event was pulled off without a hitch. We even have some behind the scenes video clips to share with you! Enjoy!

Wifey For Life Workshop

Special thanks to Candi’s Floral Creations, Silver Oak Mystic, Shaina Lee Photography, EZ-Occasions, and Ivy’s Simply Homemade, our sponsors for the event. Shout out to everyone else who contributed, attended, helped out, and just kept us going with moral support!


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Weddings are just one big party, and no celebration would be complete without some favors and fun to keep guests entertained! Create your own photo perfect moments and precious memories but having customized trinkets to play with during your reception. The best part of these gifts: they definitely do not have to break the bank! Take a trip down memory road with some inexpensive party favors to liven up the evening. This is also a great opportunity to add an inscription of your date and name!

Lauren O Couple Wedding FavorsDo the Macarena, shake a tailfeather, or electric slide all night? Whichever dance you want to get down to during your wedding reception who will do it better: band or DJ? WeDo the Macarena, shake a tailfeather, or electric slide all night? Whichever dance you want to get down to during your wedding reception who will do it better: band or DJ? WeDo the Macarena, shake a tailfeather, or electric slide all night? Whichever dance you want to get down to during your wedding reception who will do it better: band or DJ? WeDo the Macarena, shake a tailfeather, or electric slide all night? Whichever dance you want to get down to during your wedding reception who will do it better: band or DJ? WeLauren O Events Wedding Favors


Keep it simple! Our Lauren O Couple Emily & John chose a couple of nostalgic items from their childhoods they knew everyone would love! Their wedding featured some temporary tattoos, glow sticks with their wedding information printed, and sparklers to light up the night! Wedding favors are a budget friendly way to flourish your celebration with souvenirs and memories your guests will have a blast with. We recommend purchasing any wedding favors in bulk so there are plenty to go around and some extras so take home for yourselves!


Until next time, happy planning!







Photos: Ryon Lockhart Photography

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