Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Morning Wed-heads!

I know, I know...I didn't blog last week. Again it seems like I was overwhemingly busy last week. But as always, I am committed to helping you succeed at your DIY wedding, so let's get to work!
So last time, we discussed ways to decrease stress. Check out the July 11th post when you have a chance and review it at any time. Stress will be a constant in your life from now until you head for your honeymoon. So learn ways to stop it in its tracks, or atleast minimalize it. I want you to make mole hills out of mountains! LOL Meaning, having ways to deal with stress will make every issue seem smaller than it actually is.

Studies in the industry show that in general, 50% of all brides stress over money. And about 50% of brides stress over time, because they probably started planning too late or didn't stay organized and the time bandit is knocking at their door to get all of their projects finished. But during the actually planning process, I've come to see that all of my clients come to the table with one extremely large stressor on their shoulders: The RSVPs.

Let me tell you upfront, handling the RSVPs sucks for a DIY Bride! You already had to deal with the craziness of how many people can you afford to invite, how many people you're actually going to invite, and then sending out invitations. If you follow most online checklists like TheKnot.com provides, you will have a 6 week window to deal with the straight foolery of RSVP management. If you do not send out your invitations 6 weeks in advance, then you will have even more stress on your plate! And I wish you luck! LOL

RSVPing is THE most annoying part of planning any event, wedding or otherwise. It is relying on a large number of people to actually do what they're told to do (reply); when they're told to do it (reply date). That almost never happens! People are so busy with their own lives, they will continue pushing your wedding invitation around on their kitchen counter until the absolute last minute. It never dawns on them that they are being totally inconsiderate by not responding in a timely manner.

RSVPs is the single most budget-buster there is when it comes to a wedding. Until you can approximate how many people are going to attend, you will be on pins and needles until they do. You are unable to move forward with the next phases of planning, like table arrangements, favors, and most importantly...advising the reception location how many people they need to seat and order food for. Thus people kill me by not RSVPing on time! If they would just realize that by not replying, they could very well end up without a chair to sit in and no food to eat, it would make everyone's lives a little easier. But people will never get it, unless they've been down their own horrible wedding planning road. So to keep your sanity, here's some good advice:

Create two lists- Addresses and Phone Numbers: When you're sitting down with your parents and in-laws-to-be to create the guest list, make sure you obtain both addresses and phone numbers of everyone on the list. If they do not have the phone numbers handy, ask for it as soon as possible. Or ask for another means of contacting them, such as email or facebook. Obtaining phone numbers in advance will help on the back end when people are late replying. You will be able to call them and either remind them to send back the reply card, or you can get their reply right over the phone.

Assign an early RSVP date: When creating your invitations, whether via professional vendor, online services such as Shutterfly, or with a boxed set from the local crafts store; assign an early RSVP date. The earlier the better when it comes to RSVPing. Give your family and friends enough time to reply, but give them a date that works for you..not them. Keep in mind, all reception locations have a drop dead deadline for your guest count. It could be 7 days before the wedding, it could be 3 days before. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and make that day your RSVP date! Count backwards from your wedding date to the date that the reception hall needs the numbers by, then count backwards again atleast another 7 days. What this gives you is TIME!!!! You will have an extra 7 days before the reception hall needs their numbers, to receive in late replies and you will have time to contact anyone you have not heard from, as that date dangerously approaches.

Follow the six week rule: Mail out your invitations atleast six weeks before your wedding. Preferrably, six weeks before that early RSVP date if possible. Keep in mind, that most people travel in the summer, so for a summer wedding, you can broaden that six weeks to maybe eight weeks; giving people more time to plan their vacation around it, or return home from vacay and get their mail. And always give more time for a destination wedding.

By doing the above items, you will not totally alleviate stress from the RSVPing process, but it will definitely minimize it drastically. And if this is not something you want to deal with, remember, you can always contact a professional. I have handled just the invites and RSVPs for several clients, just because they didn't have the patience for it.

Visit my website at www.mysimpleelegance.com, or email me at info@mysimpleelegance.com if you need help!

Bye for now Wed-heads!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dealing With Stress

Good afternoon Wed-heads!

Yes, I know it's Friday..I'm like five days late with my blog! I'm soo sorry! This week has really gotten away from me. Not even sure why I was busy every second of every day, but I was!  That happens when everything needs your attention, when everyone needs your time, and when every day is filled with many tasks to be done. Thus this week's topic: dealing with the stress.

Stress is defined as "a state of mental tension and worry caused by probems in your life, work, etc."  Stress while planning a wedding as a DIY Bride, in addition to dealing with life, work, etc should be defined as "hell on earth!" LOL I mean it truly is! When a bride decides not to hire a professional planner, she assumes all the tasks, responsibilities, and stresses that go along with planning; in addition to her already busy and stressful life. This is why we now have expressions like "Bride-zilla" and "Monster-inlaw"! Because the enormous amount of pressure can cause a bride and other family members to simply...snap!

As a professional, I have always been on the fence about DIY Brides, siting the challenges and accolades it brings having to do it all yourself; so I do not always recommend it. But since I care about my fellow Wed-heads, I am committed to helping you achieve the most beautiful and memorable wedding possible as a DIY Bride. So here are some ways to deal with the stress.

1. Be and Stay Organized. If you've been following my blog, you know that day 1 I suggested pulling out all those magazine pictures and Pinterest ideas, and putting them into a binder divided into each wedding category such as Ceremony, Reception, Flowers, Entertainment etc. So hopefully you followed suit. If not, do not do anything else until you do!  It is imperative to be and stay organized throughout the entire planning process, if you want to avoid or decrease stress. Keep your contracts, contact info, color swatches, and other pertinent info in this binder. And then keep the binder in your work bag or the trunk of your car. You never know when you may need it! Protect this binder with your life if need be! LOL It is your wedding planning bible!  Having everything in one organized place, allows for better preparedness and communication. And that will always alleviate stress.

2. Keep track of important dates/times. Stay on top of venue/vendor meetings by adding the dates to your calendar on your cell phone. We all walk around with our phones attached to our hands nowadays, so why not have important appointments handy at the swipe of your finger. Plug in the meeting date and time, but also add a reminder in for the day before your appointment. By getting a reminder the day before, you have time to get prepared for the meeting, such as writing down any questions you may have, or putting pertinent samples and documents in your binder you may need. Forgetting meetings and documents are a huge cause of stress for brides when you don't have a professional to remind you of these things.

3. Keep a checklist. There are tons of websites, such as The Knot.com, devoted to giving you planning checklists to help keep you on track. Most checklists will advise you when you should accomplish certain tasks during your planning process, such as when you should mail your invitations etc. Find a list that works for you and stick to it. Make sure you mark it off as you go. If you dont, you will end up forgetting something and redoing tasks unnecessarily. Causing you unneeded stress.

4. Stay on budget! No seriously, stay on budget. I can not stress it enough. The biggest stressor most brides have is MONEY! DIY Brides always want what they can't afford, and there's no one willing to break their hearts and tell them no. That's usually a planners job to politely keep them on budget and excited about what they can actually afford. I'm usually the devil sitting on my client's left shoulder screaming in her ear about her budget! LOL But that's my job.  As a DIY Bride, you have to be your own Money Police! LOL Again, if you've been following my blog, keep your budget spreadsheet in your binder and resort to it whenever you get the urge to overspend.  Since money is half the battle when it comes to wedding planning, don't make it a part of the battle. If you stay on budget, I promise you, you will reduce 90% of your stress, guaranteed.

5. Ask for help. Enlist the help of your fiance', your girls, your mother..anyone that will help. You can not do it all, even if you think you can. Balancing home, work, and life in general is a dauntng task in itself. Yes, all women are Wonder Woman! But we don't always have to be. Ask others to help and that frees up your time and energy for other things.

6. Balance the wedding planning. Do not let planning your wedding consume you! It does not have to be your every thought or fill your every waking moment. You surely will snap if its all you think about. Plan some down time around the planning. Maybe only do wedding errands two weekends a month, and the other weekends get out and enjoy yourself. Or schedule meetings only on Saturdays before noon; that way the rest of the day is yours to do nothing or to spend time with your fiance. Either way, plan the wedding, don't let it plan you.

7. Make planning fun and stress free. Finally, do things with your fiance or your girls that makes planning enjoyable. Get a massage or a spa treament before going to your hair/makeup trial. Go out dancing the night before your meeting with the DJ to get song ideas for him to play. Or plan a camping trip or other outing one weekend with the entire wedding party; have fun while getting them all together at once to give them much needed info like hotel info, arrival times etc.

Bottom line, when and if you feel yourself getting stressed by the planning process, because there will be a little stress, take a few days off from it. Forget about it for awhile and clear your head. You will return to the table with a clear mind and a refreshed attitude. And then if that doesn't help...hire a planner! LOL

Next week, we will discuss RSVPing. Its number two on the list of stressors, right after money. But I'll show you ways to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to deal with them.

Until then, Wed-heads, have a great weekend!