Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Planning Update and Engagement Gift Ideas for Friends

I am so excited to be back with my second edition of Wedding Wednesday! If you missed the first one, it can be read here. We covered a lot in it from when and where we will be getting married to quite a few of our vendors and today's post will be somewhat similar since I've discovered that most of the initial planning involves researching and eventually hiring vendors to make up your team for the day-of. I think after this one, the next couple of Wedding Wednesday posts will get to be focused on more specific topics that I think y'all are going to love to see! 

Here's the laundry list of what I've been focused on the past few weeks! 

 The Band: From the beginning I've thought of the band as a priority since at the end of the night I'd love to have as many people on the dance floor enjoying themselves as want to be! Hunter is very musically inclined despite no formal lessons and can whistle any tune, has a much better singing voice than me, and even decided to teach himself how to play a keyboard during covid and was somewhat successful. All that being said, I knew the band was a high priority on his list too! My favorite bands at weddings I've been to are the ones in decked out in matching outfits that seem to be having a great time with coordinated dance moves and lots of energy. We found that in a band that my wedding planner has seen and worked with quite a few times called Musical Fantasy. They are based out of Mobile which is convenient and checked all of our boxes with a song list that appeals to a variety of age groups! I am so excited to see them in person and also excited to pass the baton of deciding a first dance song to Hunter. 

Asking My Bridesmaids: I'm thrilled to say that I finally accomplished this task. While a text or note is completely sufficient, gift giving is my love language and I had been stashing away some items that I wanted to give my best friends when asking them to be involved in our wedding. Assembling the boxes didn't take too long, but I say finally accomplished this task because writing each of them notes and shipping the boxes for friends that weren't local took me longer than it should have. I'll be sharing all of the details of what I chose to include and how I put these together in my next Wedding Wednesday post!

The Guest List/Address Collection: A less glamorous task, but a necessary one! I know a lot of people say this is one of the hardest parts and while it's definitely not easy I am fortunate that my parents made this pretty easy. My mom is SO organized and she and I were able to put together she and my dad's list and mine together in the span of an hour when I was last in Fairhope. It did make it easier that she had the full names and addresses of many of the people that would be invited from when my brother got married a few years ago, but we were very much on the same page when it came to most of who would be invited. The church where we will be getting married only holds about 180 people which was important for us to keep in mind although the reception venue could accommodate closer to 300. Our max number of people in attendance would be around 200 since we will have our bridal party standing with us. We're obviously not taking all of those invites, so after we finalized our list, I had Hunter work on which friends he wanted to include in his list and then had a number to pass along to his family to fill with all the remaining spots! 

For address collection, I know people do this a variety of different ways. When talking to recent brides and my planner I decided to stray away from postable and instead reach out directly to my friends to ask for the information I needed. My friends were quick to respond, so for the time being it feels like that worked well but we shall see how that goes when I get Hunter to start asking his friends for their details! I think because our guest list isn't huge and we know what prefix to use since everyone being invited are people we know well this worked, but for a much larger guest list portable or a google form may work best. I should also note that because we are not doing a seated dinner, I don't necessarily have to know guest's guest's full names which makes this easier too. In case you need a template, these are the messages I sent:

For An Individual Guest (this also works for an invite that includes the guest you're inviting and a plus one whose full name you may not need to know):

Hi! Would you mind passing along your full name and mailing address when you have a chance?

For A Couple:

Hi! Would you mind passing along both yours and XXX (the person you're texting's significant other's name) full names and your mailing address when you have a chance?

Ta-da. Nothing fancy and it got the job done!

Custom Crest: Another fun task that was on my list. I will definitely be sharing more about this process as well (will likely do an entire post on this process and save the dates), but I am obsessed with the first proof I've seen of our custom crest. We will be using this on our save the date instead of a photo of us and then plan to incorporate it on our wedding day through huggers/koozies, napkins, etc! We're working with my friend Eliza of Paper Eliza and she is so talented, well priced, and FAST. I sent her a photo of Winnie Monday morning and saw a proof of Winnie on the crest in less than 24 hours! I'd recommend her to anyone and you'll even see one of her paper products in the round up of engagement gift ideas below. She does more than just wedding paper if you're looking for stationery, and I adore getting to work with her. 

What I'm Currently Working On/What's Next:

Save the Date Wording // Finalizing Guest List // Hair & Makeup // Bridesmaid Dresses

The above tasks feel a bit more like chores than some of the other things I've been working on, but next week I have an in person meeting with our planner, the reception venue, and our florist so I'm feeling motivated to get some of these tasks squared away ahead of that since I suspect I'll walk away from that with some added to-dos. I also suspect that means there will be some more fun and picture filled Wedding Wednesday posts to share in the weeks to come! I can't wait for next week's post that I'm working on for y'all with how I asked my bridesmaids. I had so much fun putting together a box of things I've been collecting for them and the girls seemed to love them. As always, feel free to leave any specific topic requests for this series either in the comments here or on my instagram!

For our end of post round-up this week I wanted to focus on engagement gift ideas for friends. While a text and your support are gift enough we felt like our friends went above and beyond to make us feel celebrated with tokens of their excitement. From flowers to champagne to a ring cleaner and dish and even a surprise supper club celebration complete with a framed photo from our engagement we felt spoiled! I can't wait to return the favor as friends get engaged and went ahead and put together an idea list of what to get a friend who just got engaged. Links to all of the items can be found beneath the image! 



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