Archive for the ‘First Things First’ Category

Happy Engagement Season!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

I am willing to bet that at least some of the people who are reading this are newly engaged and feeling a little bit overwhelmed and unsure of what you need to do first.  Let me guess – you have seen the timelines, the to do lists and budgets that are all over the web, you have looked through all 47 bridal magazines at your local bookstore and are still feeling a bit lost.  Well, you have come to the right place and congratulations!  What an exciting time!

So besides the obvious first step –  calling (614.678.6320) or emailing (emilie {at} emilieduncan {dot} com) me – there are some definite do’s and do not’s when it comes to the first steps.  This is actually a collection of posts I wrote a while back called First Things First:

A is for Attendants
B is for Budget
C is for Contracts
D is for Date
E is for Eating
F is for Formality
G is for Gowns
H is for Hair
I is for Inspiration
J is for Jewelry
K is for Keepsakes
L is for License
M is for Mailing List
N is for NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and MBA
O is for Old
P is for Priorities
Q is for Questions
R is for Relatives
S is for Size
T is for Theme
U is for Unfortunate Monograms
V is for Vendors
W is for Wedding Planner
X is for eXercise
Y is for You
Z is for Zzzzzzzzs

And if you aren’t in the mood to open 26 different pages, you can browse the whole category here: First Things First.

Good luck and congratulations again – I look forward to hearing from you and helping you get started!

First Things First: Z

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Z is for Zzzzzzs (get some sleep already!)

It is SO tempting to stay up just a little longer because there is so much out there!  You could literally spend all hours of the night reading wedding sites, browsing blogs, working on projects and updating your to do list.  Don’t neglect sleep for planning – the to do list and all those great websites will still be there in the morning.

First Things First: Y

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Y is for You (don’t forget who you really are)

It is very easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal in wedding planning (the marriage) and it is very easy to lose sight of yourself in all that planning.  There are so many people involved with so many opinions that sometimes brides and grooms are bullied into choices that really aren’t them.  Keep a clear picture in your mind of what you want and who you are and you’ll be fine.  If something isn’t going to work, doesn’t represent you as a couple or simply doesn’t make you happy, don’t agree to it.

First Things First: X

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

X is for eXercise (yes, it is cheating but I couldn’t think of another appropriate x!)

You have plenty of time to get in shape before the wedding – don’t go crazy at first with an intense workout schedule and burn out before the wedding.  Start a sensible workout routine now and you will be more likely to keep it up and hit your goals by wedding day!

I have actually had brides ask to include a personal trainer as a line item in their wedding budget – they knew they would need someone to keep them accountable and their trainer was just that person.  The trainer even had a little cake at the wedding!

First Things First: W

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

W is for Wedding Planner (hire one!)

Hire one – even if it is just for a little bit of direction in the beginning or wedding month coordination in the end, hire one.  🙂

First Things First: V

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

V is for Vendors (hire the good ones first!)

This one is simple: if you have your heart 100% set on a certain venue, photographer, wedding planner, makeup artist, band or whatever to the point that you would be willing to change your date to work with them, call them as soon as you possibly can.

Obviously, you need to set your budget first (don’t kill your whole budget on one vendor!) and more than likely your date, but if you are 100% certain on a vendor, don’t wait.  Vendor’s schedules book quickly, especially in the winter engagement season so when you know, sign that contract!

First Things First: U

Friday, July 31st, 2009

U is for Unfortunate Mongrams (make sure yours isn’t!)

You have probably seen all kinds of monograms for wedding – frilly letters, intertwined letters, clean and classic letters – the options are endless!  But before you set your heart on using a monogram, make sure your monogram isn’t going to offend anyone – If you name is Kathryn and his is Ken and his last name is Kirkpatrick…probably not going to want to use that particular monogram on your cake.

Remember, bride’s initial is first, then your new last name, then groom’s first name.  Pamela and Samuel Michelson are not going to have the best monogram either (yes, it would be PMS).

Alison and Scott Smith should probably choose something else too.

I could go on but you get the picture – just a quick double check will save you a little disappointment before you have your heart set.

First Things First: T

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

T is for Theme (no, I do not mean doves or hearts or cherubs)

While you can have a very obvious theme, sometimes a theme can be as simple as a color or motif or logo or small detail that you pull all the way through.  I talk to my clients a lot about finding a thread and pulling it all the way through the wedding.

Recently, you read about Rachel and Eric and their science themed wedding.  The invitations and all the paper had science themes to them, the wedding location was science themed and the place cards were test tubes!  We pulled that thread all the way through and since the bride is a science teacher and the groom is a med student – it fit them.

Look for that little thing or shared interest or commonality and run with it.  And by all means, if that is doves or cherubs, knock yourself out!

First Things First: S

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

S is for Size (it does matter!)

There is often a fine balance between how many people you would like to have at your wedding and how many you can actually afford!  Decide on the general size that you would like:

Do you want a huge party with 250+ people that goes all night?  Or would you prefer an intimate, close family and friends celebration?  The average wedding is somewhere around 150-175 but in the end it is up to what you want.

One last thing – under NO circumstances should you book a venue and then invite more people than it can actually hold, hoping that people will RSVP no.  One of my past couples had 7 no responses out of 184 people invited.


99.96% of their guests that said yes.  Don’t count on any certain number saying no and hope that it will all work out – your guests might surprise you and if they do, they deserve to be welcomed in comfort!

First Things First: R

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

R is for Relatives (everyone is getting some new ones!)

If your families – especially your parents – have not met yet, set up a casual dinner for you all to get to know each other a little better!  Not going to lie – it can be nerve wracking the first time everyone meets but you might get lucky and your parents might hit it off!  I have one couple whose parents became best friends after meeting – that was a really fun wedding because they had taken dance lessons together.  Trust me, it was a riot!

On a similar note, if there is something in your future spouse’s family that you don’t know well, ask them out to dinner one on one.  Who knows?  Maybe you will wind up adding to your bridal party!