Save Money with These 5 Wedding Supplies Online

wedding-supplies-online

A lot of your wedding planning does have to happen in person. You have to try on and buy your dress in person (though some people do buy their wedding dresses online), you have to taste and choose a cake and catering in person (unless you have decided to do those things yourself), and you have to pick out your venue by visiting and touring the available spaces near you. Many brides can get caught up in wedding planning and will start to believe that they have to buy everything in person.

That just isn’t true. Buying some of your wedding supplies online can not only save you time, it can save you a lot of money. You won’t have to buy gas in order to drive to a party supply store in order to pick up the supplies you need (which they might not even have in store) and you will usually get a better price when shopping online anyway.

If you are a bride or a groom who is currently in the midst of wedding planning—do not fret. There are plenty of wedding supplies that you can buy easily online.  Here are just five of the things that you can save money on when you buy wedding supplies online.

1.    Cutlery – No matter what size of wedding you are having, cutlery is going to be one of your biggest expenses. Why? Because you need a lot of cutlery. Even if you are setting out individual place settings, people are going to push their spoons onto the ground and drop their forks or set them down and leave them somewhere and need a new one. If you are having a buffet, most people will pick up new cutlery every time they go back for another plate of food. Is this a bad thing? No, but it means that if you are trying to purchase enough real metal cutlery for your wedding, you are going to be facing a serious trial. Plastic cutlery, luckily, can look just as classy as metal utensils, and they are far, far less expensive. You can buy a 48 ct. of black plastic forks on our website for less than five dollars. That means that even if you are inviting two hundred people to your wedding, you can get all the forks you need to serve them food for less than $50. That simply isn’t going to happen when you try to buy real utensils.

2.    Plates and Cups – Don’t think you can find beautiful plastic or paper plates for your wedding? You’re just plain wrong. There are so many different varieties of plastic and paper plates, that finding one that matches the theme of your wedding and your colors is simple. Plates and cups are two of the best things to buy as wedding supplies online. Not only can you get exactly however many you need, you can get them delivered right to your door, which means you don’t have to worry about going to pick them up or the store not having enough of the color or colors that you want to use at your wedding. We even have plate and cup sets that ensure that you get all of the plates and cups you need in the same color, no matter what color that is.

3.    Decorations – Getting enough decorations to fill your space at a low enough price to not break your budget might sound impossible, especially if the only way you have been shopping for wedding decorations is to drive around to different party supply and craft stores. Buying these wedding supplies online is a much, much better way to get exactly what you want, at a discounted price. Whether you need fluffy paper hanging decorations like these or a “Just Married” sign for your car, or any number of other decorations, like confetti, balloons, and even centerpieces, it’s time to stop looking in stores and time to start looking online. Buy your decorations enough ahead of time that you can pick up more if you need to or so that they have time to ship to your home.

4.    Favors – Are you having trouble picking out favors for your guests? Are you planning on having so many guests that buying favors for all of them is going to seriously break your bank account? Why not turn to the internet? You can actually buy favors for your guests in bulk online and have them shipped to your door so you don’t even have to leave home in order to get what you want and what you need. Candles are a great choice, since everyone loves a candle! You can buy them for much less online than what you would pay if you had to buy them in store, and you can actually get them in the quantity that you need!

5.    Flowers – Fresh flowers are nice for a wedding, but especially for a fall or winter wedding, finding the right fresh flowers can be difficult and expensive. A florist may be able to get you want you want, but it will probably be at a high cost and the flowers are not guaranteed to actually be fresh. Instead of going with fresh flowers, why not try faux flowers. These are a great alternative to real flowers, and premade arrangements like this are perfect for fall weddings. They are all far less than you would have to pay for similar arrangements made out of fresh flowers!

8 Ways to Use Discount Wedding Supplies for a Classy Wedding

discount-wedding-supplies

You want to throw a classy wedding. You may think that that precludes you from buying discount wedding supplies, but the opposite is actually true. Especially if you are on a budget, buying discount wedding supplies can be a great way to make your wedding feel and look classy, without having to spend thousands just on the decorations and supplies. Here are eight way you can use discount wedding supplies for a classy wedding:

1.    Paper Napkins – Shouldn’t a classy wedding have cloth napkins? Some will say yes, but the truth is that the right paper napkins can look and feel just as classy as any other type of napkin. Especially if they match the color and style of the rest of your wedding, no one is going to notice that you are using paper napkins, instead of cloth napkins. Finding the right napkins doesn’t have to be difficult. Look for a pattern that complements the theme of the wedding and a color that matches your wedding colors. If you can’t find a color that matches exactly, black and white or gold or silver are always great options.

2.    Plastic Charger Plates – If you are planning a classy wedding, you are probably planning on having real china for your tables. Full place settings for all of your guests can be extremely expensive. A great way to cut down on the cost of these settings and still provide a high-class experience is with plastic charger plates. They are stylish enough to mesh with just about any china choice and provide a great backdrop for that china, but they cost significantly less than normal charger plates. And because they are not the plates that your guests will actually be eating off of, no one will mind.

3.    Latex Balloons – Balloons can be a great way to decorate your venue, especially if you have a large venue with a lot of space to fill. Get latex balloons in your wedding colors, or as close to your wedding colors as you can find and you will love how stylish your venue looks. If you can’t find balloons that match your wedding colors exactly, black balloons are always a great alternative. They look sophisticated, and whether you fill them with air or with helium, they are great for covering walls and filling up high-ceilinged venues.

4.    Confetti – If you want a great way to make your wedding look sophisticated, sparkly confetti on the tables is an excellent option. Because confetti, even sparkly confetti, is so inexpensive, and the task of strewing it across the tables is so easy, this is one of the best ways to really spice up your wedding decorations, without having to spend that much money or put that much effort into the task. You can almost always find lots of different colors of confetti online and in our online party supply store.

5.    Ribbon – If you are looking for an easy way to class just about anything up, ribbon is a great option. It can make floral centerpieces look high class, can be tied around the back of chairs to make them look fancier, and can even be used to tie together utensils on top of your place settings for an interesting and beautiful touch. Choose a color of ribbon that meshes well with your wedding and then use it to adorn anything that needs just a little bit more class. If you choose a wired variety, it can be easily shaped into perfect little bows!

6.    Hanging Decorations – There are a wide variety of hanging decorations available on the market today. Available in a wide variety of colors and in a wide variety of styles, these can be a very inexpensive way to add some beauty and some class to your wedding’s venue. Fluffy paper decorations like these are a great way to make a venue look thoroughly decorated, even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations. There are also hanging lanterns varieties in many different colors that can have the same effect.

7.    High Quality Plastic Products – While there is something very high class about having real glass cups at your wedding, if you want to save money and still create a very fancy vibe, there are high quality plastic cups that you can buy. They have all of the classiness of real glass, without the expense and without the cleanup required to wash all of those glasses. Cups like these, that have a silver rim around the top, look very high-class, but are very inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of buying real glasses for everyone, are a great option. Plastic forks, knives, and spoons can also be a low-cost but high-impact option for any wedding.

8.    Paper Table Runners – One of the biggest obstacles brides and grooms run into is figuring out how to decorate their tables inexpensively. A large wedding will inevitably require a large amount of tables. While you might spring for centerpieces for each table, consider paring down some of the decorations or opting for discount wedding supplies like paper table runners, instead of fabric ones. These can provide the same impact on your guests, at a much lower cost.

You don’t have to spend a fortune in order to plan a classy wedding! Use these tips to find discount wedding supplies that still look and feel classy!

7 Brilliant DIY Wedding Planning Tips

wedding-planning-tips

DIY wedding planning doesn’t have to be difficult and it can save you a lot of money in the grand scheme of your wedding. Whether you are DIY-ing everything or just some parts of your wedding, here are seven awesome DIY wedding planning tips that are sure to inspire you:

1. Pick an unconventional location.

Picking a location that is off the beaten path can make your wedding a lot easier and a lot cheaper. While getting married in a national park might not be the right option for every bride and groom, those that want a beautiful natural space will revel in the ability to get married in a national park, and usually for free. Most national parks do require permits in order to hold events, but they are almost always free of charge, which makes them a great option for the bride who is both planning the entire ceremony herself and trying to stick to a budget. It’s hard to deny that a beautiful, flowy white dress will look crisp and beautiful against the backdrop of natural greens and browns.

2. Decorate your chairs.

Decorations on your chairs are a great way to round out your venue’s decoration, at a low cost, and without too much work. This is something your bridesmaids can be doing while the bride is getting into her dress. Tying lengths of ribbon around the backs of chairs, as long as those ribbons mirror the wedding colors, will ensure that even the chairs are on theme and they look great. Even just tying a loop around the top of the back of the chair and letting the ends of the ribbon flutter in the breeze can create an ethereal, unreal effect.

3. Make yourself a schedule.

For wedding planners taking the DIY route, you need to make yourself a schedule. Start from your wedding date and work backwards, giving yourself deadlines for the DIY projects you’ve taken on. If you don’t meet that deadline, it’s time to either scratch the project and get professional help or modify the project so that it can be done in time for the wedding. Too many brides and grooms try to take on too much as they are planning their weddings and end up tired and frustrated by the time the wedding day actually arrives. That’s not a good way to start a marriage. Be reasonable about how much time your projects are going to take and then stick to the schedule you’ve made for yourself.

4. Do your own makeup.

This might sound daunting—on the biggest day of your life, but with the abundance of YouTube tutorials and how-tos online, it seems a little silly to pay someone to do your wedding makeup, especially if you don’t want anything fancy or you are trying to save a little money. A makeup artist can run you hundreds of dollars and if you are running late on the day of your wedding, he or she may also charge you extra for making him or her wait. Doing your own makeup doesn’t have to be daunting. Look online for makeup that you like and then try out a couple of different looks before the big day so you can pick one that you can do with confidence on the day of. Alternatively, draft a bridesmaid who is especially skilled with a makeup brush to try out a couple of looks on you and then give her the task of doing your makeup day-of. Make sure to do a picture test of the makeup, too!

5. Make your own invitations.

With the wide variety of printable invitations available online, including custom-made ones you can order from websites like Etsy, why would you bother having custom-designed, printed, and embossed invitations, save the days, or programs made at a stationary story. This is going to be extremely expensive and you may still not actually get what you want at the end of the day. You can have some designed specifically for you and your wedding, and you don’t have to pay the high prices of printing! Many times, the designer or website will even tell you want type of paper to use so you can print the invites out on your own printer. Pick standard-sized invites, so you won’t have to pay extra to mail them!

6. Keep a checklist.

Planning a wedding requires a lot of things to fall into place at the right time. A schedule can be helpful when planning the actual planning and work of your wedding, but a checklist may be the only way to actually encourage yourself to get what you need to do done and to make sure that nothing is falling through the cracks. This is probably going to end up being a long list of things that you need to get done, but carrying around a long checklist that ensures you order your cake on the right date is much better than forgetting to order your cake until three days before.

7. Don’t be afraid to hire help.

Just because you are planning your wedding yourself doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. In fact, there are going to be some tasks that are simply going to be beyond you. If the idea of making enough food to feed 140 people sounds ridiculous, hire a caterer. If you’re not sure how to even begin setting up a sound system, hire a DJ. This wedding may be do-it-yourself, but that doesn’t actually mean you have to be your own flower arranger, decorator, caterer, baker, and DJ.

How to Use Floral Paper Products to Transform Your Party

floral paper products

When I was a child, inexpensive paper products were barely more substantial than a piece of paper and when stacked up next to a barbecue or party spread, they looked “not so classy”. Today, there are far more brands and colors to choose from, and there are a range of paper products that are made to actually hold more than a few potato chips before they collapse in your hand.

While most fancy parties still demand “real” plates and cutlery, there are choices today, especially floral paper products, that put the flimsy white paper products of our childhoods to shame.

Here’s how you can use floral paper products to transform your next party.

Set the Table

There is something particularly classic and alluring about floral paper products, especially today. Florals are very trendy right now, and while they may remind someone of that old couch moldering away in their grandparents’ house, there are quite a few varieties that look fresh and modern. Floral paper products are a great way to both make your table look great and save yourself time during setup and cleanup, as well as money.

Set your table with paper plates and cups—just make sure to use something heavy to hold them down if you’re setting a table outside as even the sturdiest of plates can be flipped up and blown away by a strong breeze. Plastic cutlery in a heavy utensil holder is a great way to hold down your plates and keep the entire place setting looking festive and beautiful.

Stack the Buffet Table

When it comes to decorating a buffet table, most people are at a loss. What can you put on a buffet table that doesn’t just look silly or that clashes with or will get in the way of the food? Floral paper products are an excellent alternative to other decorations, and because they’re functional, they actually do double duty. This is the perfect way to dress up a buffet table for a spring or summer garden party, and all you have to do is take the paper plates out of their wrapping and set them on the table.

If you have matching cups and napkins, stacking these all together can really pull together a buffet table and make it look like it’s really a part of your party. Just like when setting a table outside, if you’re stacking your plates, cups, and napkins on a table that’s outside, you might want to find a way to hold them down. A clean, decorative stone or a set of paper weights can be very useful in this regard.

Use Them as Decorations

If you are looking for a decorating idea that a little out of the box, hold on to your hats. Why not use floral paper products as decorations for your next party. A simple piece of tape on the back of a plate and you can stick it to just about anything. If you get both small and large plates, or plates of different shapes, you can create a unique design on a wall.

This is a great way to cover up a wall you might not be in love with, and to add fast, fun color to any space. It might sound a little silly, but after you get a few plates stuck to the wall, you can transform the space and you’ll love the slightly retro, slightly quirky look of the room once you’ve finished with the plates.

Make Cleanup a Breeze

One of the main reasons party planners choose paper products over china is because of how much simpler cleanup is. If you can just sweep all of your paper plates into the compost bin, it’s so much easier than having to wash every single plate that someone has used during the party. Even a small dinner party can create a lot of dishes if you’re using china. Using floral paper products gives you the same level of sophistication in your table setting, without all of the hassle.

Many people avoid using paper because they believe it is more environmentally friendly to use china. The truth is that either way, whether you have to wash all of the dishes or just throw them away, you’re going to be using resources. If you dispose of your paper products the right way, you can actually prevent wasting water by washing all of those dishes and can also prevent all of those plates, cups, and napkins from just entering a landfill and rotting away. Whether you compost them yourself or simply put them in the paper recycling fin, you’ll find clean up much easier than if you have to wash a hundred dishes.

Goes Perfectly with Any Meal

Watermelon was the biggest enemy of paper products when I was a child—pieces of that watery melon would soak right through a flimsy plate and it would be in shreds in no time (and the dog would get more than his fair share of watermelon as it tumbled off of the plates).

One of the benefits of buying high-quality paper products like the ones in our store is being able to use them to transform just about any party, no matter what kind of food you want to serve, up to and including the dreaded watermelon. With a variety of different plates, cups, and napkins to choose from, it’s easy to find products that will work perfectly for your needs.

Check out our online store for a wide selection of floral paper products.

DIY Wedding vs. a Wedding Planner

diy-wedding

If you’re planning a wedding and have been on Pinterest lately, you might start to fall into the trap of believing that you can plan a DIY wedding. Why not hand-make those personalized little name cards for every guest? Why not set up a photo booth and make your own props for it? Why not?

Because you may end up driving yourself crazy!

Planning a wedding is stressful enough without also forcing yourself to be your own florist, dress designer, decorator, baker, and photographer.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to outsource everything. Doing some of the work yourself is a great way to cut costs—if you don’t go overboard. Here’s a simple guide to helping you decide on a DIY wedding and what should be left to a professional wedding planner.

Invitations

It’s one of the first things that a bride and groom will choose together and can be a serious hit to a wedding budget, if you want to get the nice paper and a little embossing done. This can make doing the invitations yourself very attractive—but unless you’ve got an ounce of graphic design skill, they might turn out looking hokey or generic. So, should you DIY your invitations?

You should DIY your invitations if:

  • You know enough about graphic design or even just font design to make something you will be proud to send out to your guests
  • You find a template online, either a free one (Microsoft Office actually has a number of attractive free templates available) or a cheap one (again, purchased from Office or from a website like Etsy), that makes it easy to just fill in your information, print them out, and send them off
  • You have a high quality printer that won’t fail after printing half of your invites
  • You have the time to make or find a template for your invitations

If you don’t have the time, the skill, or the ability, it might be better to pay the price for professional templates and printing from your local or online stationary store.

Flowers

Flowers is another area of wedding planning that the industrious bride and groom might try to DIY. Flowers from a florist can be prohibitively expensive, and doing your own arrangements, centerpieces, and even bouquet can seriously cut down your costs, especially if you have a local flower market with reasonable prices. However, because flowers die so quickly, all arrangements, bouquets, and centerpieces will have to be made within one or two days of the wedding, which are going to be the busiest days of your engagement, even if you don’t decide to DIY this part of your wedding.

You should DIY your flowers if:

  • You have a local flower market with reasonable prices
  • You know exactly what you want your bouquet and centerpieces to look like
  • The arrangements you want are not available at any florist in your area (for example, you want wildflowers instead of lilies or roses)
  • You have time in those last couple of days to devote to this task

Time is really going to be your deciding factor here. If you do not have the time to put together your flowers, you may end up without any flowers at all. However, if you have a very clear vision of what you want and know that you can put the centerpieces and bouquets together quickly, handling the flowers yourself can be a great way to save a little money on your wedding.

Photography

With the proliferation of smartphones, just about everyone has an excellent camera in their pocket. High quality cameras are also more accessible than ever and there’s bound to be at least one person in your wedding party that has DSLR that takes great photos. This can make nixing a wedding photographer an attractive prospect.

However, asking one of your guests to play photographer usually means one of two things. Either they spend their entire time taking pictures and do not actually get to celebrate with you, or they spend their entire time celebrating and you don’t get any pictures. It’s also important to mention that having a great camera doesn’t make someone a great photographer.

You should DIY photography if:

  • You have a guest who is both a great photographer (and has the right gear) and is willing to give their photography services as a wedding present
  • You do not want a traditional photographer and would prefer to ask all of your guests to become your wedding photographers (perhaps even creating an Instagram hashtag so you can find and download all of your pictures), even if some of your guests are slow about sending you the snaps they took

A photographer can be a big expense, but unless you’re perfectly fine with enlisting one of your guests or having your wedding documented just on Instagram, it might be an expense you should be willing to pay.

China

China and flatware are another major expense for most couples. Some will try to go with plastic plates and utensils, but the wrong items can make a wedding feel more like a barbecue than a celebration of your love for one another. If you can find high quality plastic party supplies, however, like the ones sold at our party supply store, you should be able to find plates, cups, flatware, and even fancy napkins that can all just be thrown away at the end of the night. Instead of buying fancy china, you should DIY your place settings if:

You can find high quality plastic party supplies that you actually like and which won’t make your wedding look trashy.

Don’t let Pinterest lead you astray—you’re a bright, capable person, but that doesn’t mean you should try to DIY your entire wedding.

Decorating Ideas for Brides on a Budget

Brides on a Budget

There’s nothing wrong with being one of the brides on a budget when you plan your wedding. Having an unlimited budget is not a fantasy many brides and grooms get to live, especially if they are hoping to put a down payment on a house or make other necessary purchases after the wedding and honeymoon are over. Even just saving a little bit of money on the wedding can mean a little bit of extra cash for planning the honeymoon!

Whether you’re on a very strict budget or are just trying to free up some money for other important purchases that go along with being married, here are a few ideas to help you create a beautiful, classy wedding venue, without breaking the bank:

Christmas Lights

Even if you are not getting married near Christmas, decorating with white twinkle lights is a great way to add a touch of elegance and romance to your venue. Best of all, they’re very inexpensive. You can buy a set of high quality, durable white lights for around $8 at our party supply store. They add necessary light to your space and can be used in a variety of different ways for a variety of different effects.

When my brother got married, they wanted to hold their reception in the gym at our church. It was free, so it was a great bargain—but it was also an ugly gym in a church that was built in the 1970s. We draped strings of white lights from wall to wall, tacking them to the ceiling to create a canopy of lights; it really made the place feel special.

Another idea that could add some whimsy and charm to the space would be to make centerpieces out of the Christmas lights, by stuffing an entire string into a Mason jar. You could also hang these from trees for an outdoor reception in the spring or summer.

Make Food a Decoration

Food might not always be decorative, but it can be, with the right plates and platters. Instead of just sticking the food out in whatever pan it was cooked in, invest in a few nice serving dishes and then arrange the food on the buffet tables. You probably won’t have to add any other accents to the table.

When it comes to plates and cups, you can get a range of “fancy” plastic plates and cups that will not only look beautiful stacked or lined up next to the food and drink, but will also make cleanup a breeze at the end of the night.

Utilize Candles

Candles are a great way to make a space look special and you can buy sets of candles extremely cheaply, so putting two or three on each table will not put a big dent in your decorating budget. If you can find some inexpensive votive holders, you can add another dash of whimsy to each table.

And don’t just put candles on the tables! Put them on the serving table, on the drink table, and on the favor table! Because small votive candles don’t really putt off that much heat, you can easily light up a room with them, without overheating your guests. Just make sure that if children are invited to your event, that the candles are out of their reach. Alternatively, look for flameless, real wax candles that give the appearance of a lighted candle, without the dangerous flame.

Cover Everything with Fabric

If you don’t love the texture of the walls at your venue, you can always try to break up or cover the color or texture with long drapes of fabric. Tablecloths can make even the most mundane plastic tables look fancy and expensive, even if the tablecloth itself isn’t that fancy or expensive. You can buy table cloths in any color from every party supply store, and cheap fabric from your favorite local fabric store.

Using fabric will make your venue feel warmer and more intimate, no matter how large it is. If you picked a venue because of its price and not because of its décor or aesthetic, don’t be afraid to cover up the features or wall colors you don’t like them.

Don’t Forget Flowers

Flowers are customary at every wedding, and they can also be one of the biggest expenses. Instead of trying to find a florist to make all of your centerpieces and other flower displays, invest a little bit of time in making your own. A beautiful, but easy to make flower display can be crafted just out of a Styrofoam ball and some silk flowers that, again, can be purchased from any party supply store. Just clip the stems and stick the stems into the Styrofoam ball. These can then be hung from trees or set on tables.

Dress Up Rented Chairs

If you’ve rented chairs for your wedding or reception or are using the venue’s chairs, but you aren’t crazy about how they look, any chair can be easily dressed up with some tulle or ribbon. Tying ribbon or tulle around the seat or around the back can transform even the most mundane chairs into something unique and beautiful.

This is always a good way to make generic chairs look like they are supposed to be a part of your wedding, especially if you use ribbon, fabric, or tulle that matches your wedding colors. In order to get all the chairs decorated, you might need a little extra help, but just enlist your bridesmaids or your family to cut ribbon and affix it to the chairs.

Small Things You Might Neglect When Wedding Planning

Wedding centerpieces

There are a lot of facets of planning a wedding. Because there are so many different moving parts and because so many other people are involved (the bride or groom, your parents, his/her parents, a wedding planner, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.), it’s easy for small details to slip through the cracks or get lost in the shuffle. In thirty years you probably won’t remember the little things you forgot on your wedding day, but you still want to make your big day as perfect as possible. If you’re afraid you might be missing some of the small, but important details, don’t worry! Here are some of the things that brides and grooms most often forget to do:

Bring Your Marriage License to the Venue

You’d be surprised how often this happens—a bride and groom arrive at the venue and they’ve forgotten to bring their license. Many people get their marriage license weeks or even months before the wedding itself, and that document can easily be forgotten, despite being extremely important.

Some people even forget to get the marriage license until the day before the wedding—and in some states, it’s impossible to get a license at such short notice, as blood tests are required (to make sure you’re not somehow siblings and just weren’t aware of it). Make getting your license one of your top priorities, very early in the wedding planning process and then put it somewhere you won’t forget to bring it on the big day (like with the wedding dress).

Food for the People Working Your Wedding

If you have servers, wedding planners, photographers, and other staff working your wedding and reception, make sure that you’ve planned enough food and drink to keep those people happy. Many of these people, like your photographer, will be working all day, especially if you’ve asked them to come and take pictures of your getting ready or check in with you before the ceremony begins. Many couples forget that these people need to be fed and that having a few extra bottles of water on hand is important. Many caterers will supply food for the staff at a reduced cost.

Wedding Favors

Most brides and grooms don’t intentionally forget favors. With so many resources for making your own favors, it’s easy to get swept away by the choices and just never select something to send home with your guests as a “thank you” for attending your wedding. This means that you might be left without any kind of favor, even if you originally meant to give one. When it comes to favor, pick something that reflects the spirit of your wedding—and don’t get too caught up in making something special and handmade for each person who attends. That can lead to you sitting at your kitchen table for days and days, just making favors.

A Guestbook

One of the biggest things couples forget these days is a guestbook. It’s one of the smallest gestures, and also one of the easiest to forget. It’s also the best way to remember everyone who attended your wedding and to make sure that you send out thank-you notes after the wedding.

Your guestbook doesn’t just have to be a blank book people can sign their names in, it could be anything from a quilt, complete with fabric pens so your guests can leave you a personalized message right on the quilt, to a scrap book accompanied by a photo booth so guests can take a picture and leave it with a message in your scrap book. If you prefer something more classic, a blank book with plenty of pens so your guests can sign their name and leave their well wishes is always a good idea—as long as you remember to pick one up.

Cake Knife

What happens when you’ve rolled the cake out and then you realize that you forgot to get a special cake knife for the occasion? You have to use one of the generic knives provided by the caterer—or else, what my brother used: a pocket knife. In short, don’t forget this detail. If you want to make sure you have something to cut your cake with, go out and buy a special set or order or rent one online. If you buy your own set, every time you use that knife to cut cake or slice bread, you’ll be reminded of your wedding day—but you have to remember to get one to the venue first.

Chargers for Phones of All Kinds

This isn’t just for you and the bridal party, but for everyone who attends, and is especially important if you have opted to play music off of an mp3 player, instead of hiring a DJ. You want to be able to charge those devices so you can keep in touch and keep the tunes going, even in the fourth hour of the reception. Having a fully-charged cellphone might be the last thing on your mind on your wedding day, but what if your phone is dead and you’re stuck in traffic on the way to the church? Having a phone charger will ensure the groom doesn’t think you’ve run out on him.

Online Reviews and Thank You Notes

After the wedding and honeymoon are over, most couple hurry into their married lives and neglect to thank all of the vendors that made their wedding possible. Go online and leave a review of the caterers, wedding planners, party supply stores, and any other companies that help you make your special day special. You can even send thank you notes to those that really went the extra mile to make sure you had what you needed.

Winter Weddings: Hire a Wedding Planner or Go It Alone?

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While summer is the most popular time of the year to get married, getting married during the winter is a unique and beautiful experience—but it can also be trying. Unlike the summer, when your guests, parents, and friends are more likely to be able to take a little time off to help you get the wedding together, most people are busy at work right up until and definitely after the holiday season. This can make it difficult to plan a wedding with just the two of you. When it comes to winter weddings, is it better to hire a wedding planner or to plan it without one? Here are the pros and cons of each choice.

Pros of Hiring a Wedding Planner for a Winter Wedding

• Friends and family aren’t the same as a wedding planner. Even if your sister has been the maid of honor at three other weddings before yours, she might not have the same training and relationships with local venues and vendors that a wedding planner does. A wedding planner has the ability to help you reel in your ideas to a manageable zone and has the knowledge and expertise to pull of your vision. Plus, there’s usually not going to be any personality conflicts that can sometimes crop up when you enlist family members to do big tasks.

• Wedding planners know all the details. Even if your winter wedding is your second, third, or fourth wedding, chances are you still haven’t planned as many weddings as your local wedding planner. She’s got a checklist a mile long that ensures that all your bases are covered.

• A wedding planner is a willing ear. Most people become wedding planners because they love planning weddings—otherwise it would quickly become tedious and the tedium would show in the weddings that they plan. This means that unlike your mother, best friends, and even spouse-to-be, they will never get tired of talking about your wedding. No matter how excited your friends and family members are for you, they’ll never be as excited as you are, which may leave you with no one to talk to about your upcoming nuptials. A wedding planner can fill that gap.

• Wedding planners know which vendors can be trusted. If you’re a bit of a control freak—and most brides and grooms are—you already feel a little wary about turning over the food, decorations, and set-up to people that you do not know. What if they don’t come through? Your wedding planner likely has great relationships with the best vendors in the area.

Cons of Hiring a Wedding Planner for a Winter Wedding

• Wedding planners are expensive. There’s really no way around this. Planning a wedding, as you’ve likely already come to realize, is time consuming, and that individual has to be compensated for her time. This can take a serious chunk of your budget, leaving less money for wedding decorations, food, and venue than you had originally allocated.

• It’s difficult to fully communicate your vision. One of the perils of hiring a wedding planner is that they do not know you very well and they only have a short window to understand what you want in your wedding before the ball has to get rolling. If you can’t perfectly articulate what you want, you might end up with food, flower arrangements, and wedding decorations that you aren’t in love with.

• Wedding planners often specialize in certain types of weddings. If your wedding is not “fairytale” themed, you might have difficulty finding someone in your area to help plan your wedding. One of the reasons some planners are so successful is because they have found their niche, the kind of wedding they plan very well, and do not stray from it.

Pros of Not Hiring a Wedding Planner

• You have complete control. Just because you want to have control over your wedding does not mean you are a control freak or a Bridezilla. If you know exactly what you want, or at least how to figure out exactly what you want, then a wedding planner may be a superfluous cost.

• More budget for other things. Like we said above, hiring a wedding planner is hugely expensive. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for a wedding, a wedding planner should be the first thing you cut from your list. Winter weddings have less competition than summer weddings, so you might not even need their expertise in finding a venue or vendors to work with.

• Small weddings simply do not need that much planning. Logistics is a big part of a wedding planner’s job. If you are only planning on thirty attendees to your wedding, there is no reason to hire a wedding planner for such a small crowd.

• The internet has plenty of resources. Not only can you research vendors and venues online, there are also lots of websites that offer not just wedding decorations, but lists to help you coordinate your big day, stay on schedule, and make your day as perfect as possible.

Cons of Not Hiring a Wedding Planner

• If you are planning a large wedding, the logistics may be too much to tackle. If there are hundreds of—or even just one hundred—people that are invited to your wedding, you may have difficulty making sure that you have enough food, chairs, and drinks for everyone in attendance. A wedding planner knows exactly what large weddings need.

• You have to start from scratch. This can be scary, even if you have a year to plan your wedding. Where do you even start? A wedding planner who has been in the business knows where to start, how to schedule a wedding so that your venue and vendors are all in order, and so that you are as calm as possible as you walk down the aisle.

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We hope this gives you something to think about.  Good luck with your planning!