Let’s talk WEDDINGS! Wedding planning can be the most wonderful yet stressful time in a bride’s life!
After my New Years Eve wedding experience
as a "Bride-to-Be,"
I became inspired to share our
New Years Eve Extravaganza
Our Wedding Objective?!
To Throw a party No One Would Forget!
So, What Better Way To Start A New Marriage?
RING in The New Year As Man & Wife!
New Years Eve Extravaganza
Let's face it, New Years Eve is a great holiday! It was always a special time for Jacob & I, however, as we go through life, NYE is full of questions like, "What should we do this year?" "Do we really want to overpay for that party?" "Do we really want to drive, fly, travel for something "Fun" to do this year?"
The funny part about this is we realized by crafting our wedding around this New Years Eve, the wedding planning process naturally brought a fun spark & shine around the celebration of it all! Our guests were thrilled to have a "build" in party & event to attend!
Naturally, being the bride, I wanted to throw the party of our lifetime! However, planning a wedding around the Holiday time can be stressful. Therefore, I wanted to find ways to keep my happiness up & anxiety down.
Here are my Tips & Tricks I used while planning our New Years Eve Wedding!
Pick the Venue:
This was 1st priority! When thinking of venues you will want to consider amount of time allotted for your celebration & Holidays pricing. Prices can be higher during the holidays. (Including staffing, flights for guests, hotel bookings etc). My main objectives: 1. Party until midnight & 2. Keep pricing down. How did I do this? I strategized my venue pick! Honestly, I didn't pick an overpriced venue or the most "chic," location I picked the venue who accommodated my needs & worked with me. My locations were limited due to lack of venues (and availability). Therefore, I chose to do it at our local country club Saticoy Country Club! Not the most glamorous venue, however, they were VERY accommodating to our needs (great staff, custom Mexican food menu, allowance of outside vendors, and of course the ability to party until midnight!!)
Say Yes To The Dress:
This was second priority! My advice, find the dress that reflects you AND you future MR (or MRS.) AND a fun party dress! I was the bride who said “Yes to the Dress” and then quickly had a panic attack because I knew it wasn’t, in fact the dress... whoops! I felt pressured into it. And I challenge you to avoid that pressure. Trust me, there are plenty of dresses in the sea! If you are near the San Diego area, I highly recommend (M Bride in La Jolla) where I was able to make the decision without outside influences. Although I did purchase both dresses, Michelle the shop keeper suggested I donate the first one to “The Bridal Garden, NYC). BEST decision I had ever made. I used the dress as a tax write-off and made most of my money back! (Selling online did not work for me)
The Wedding Planner:
Yes. I did hire someone to help me! I needed it, and after a wonderful referral from a dear friend, I reached out to Holly (Paper Heart events) and knew after one phone call I was in good hands. Not only did she coordinated our wedding day, but she also helped with numerous vendor suggestions (Floral, DJ, transportation, procession and lay out thoughts, color scheme, etc). She was a GOD send! However, I did my homework. I knew after speaking to her once on the phone (and researching her portfolio) she was going to be well worth the money. And yes, she set up ALL of our crazy New Year’s Décor & Personal touches, & packed up for us at the end of the night!!!
Pinterest (in small doses)
I did some research on Pinterest for inspiration on color schemes, décor ideas, and wedding tips. However, after a while I found myself overwhelmed. So, I made the decision to limit my Pinterest activity after a month or two.
Etsy & Amazon!
I am a HUGE fan of Etsy and Amazon! Most of my bridal party gifts, parents of the bride & groom, thank you gifts, etc, wedding décor (napkins, personal cups, out of town guest bags, etc) came from these two places. Why!? Well, they are cost effective, have reliable shipping, & offered fun additions to our night, I like supporting small “at home businesses” and personalized touches. And believe it or not, many of the Etsy vendors are also on Amazon. I was diligent when ordering from them & also ordered (pretty far) in advance due to holiday ordering time. (HINT: some vendors are quicker than others.) (I also did research on where they were located and skimmed reviews to make sure they were credible) (TORI'S NEW YEARS EVE AMAZON LIST)
Plan AHEAD & Stay ORGANIZED:
On that note, The BIGGEST thing I can suggest is PLAN AHEAD. With the help from our planner, I was able to narrow down the things I needed to order vs the things I could wait on. I ordered things like napkins, cups, New Year’s Eve Décor, extra candles, etc way ahead of time. I designed our place setting cards ahead of time & had them printed way before wedding week. Although we hired a planner, I am extremely type A, and kept on top (of most things) and tried to touch base with photographer, videographer, transportation etc as we went.
You can never over communicate! There were so many emails, meetings, & instances where I thought I was VERY clear about something, and then the reply "Oh I didn't know that," from the vendor. Don't assume you said it, verify verify verify.
Flare Up Your Bridesmaids!
New Years Eve is all about glitz, glamour, and fun! Your girls should reflect the fun of your event! I picked a rose gold, sparkly AF dress for my girls to rock! They were glitzing all night! Although you can't please everyone I tried to find a dress that was fun, flattering, and put out "Glam" vibes. I searched high and low for dresses (this was one of the hardest tasks for me as a bride and finally settled on a cost effective dress on Shein.com. (I don't believe they carry this dress any longer, however here is a great similar version!)
Plan for A,B,C for Weather
We were married in Southern California. Therefore, snow was (most likely) not an issue. However, rain, cold, overcast day, fires, Santa Ana winds etc. were all factors. Although it did not rain, (and we lucked out with great weather), we had plans! If it were to rain, move the ceremony indoors etc. I also provided inexpensive blankets under $4 (purchased from IKEA) for guests at our 30 minute ceremony (BIG HIT!)
Timelines for Bridal Party & Families:
2 weeks before the wedding I created timelines for our bridal party, their guests (yes, they all got a plus one) & families. I mailed them out (snail mail, hard copy) so everyone could be on roughly the same page! We had several factors including two separate areas for Bride & Groom ready locations, transportation we wanted to coordinate, a timely first look, and transportation to the venue. My makeup & hair team also created a timeline for me which I also sent to the girls! All hair & makeup was well organized and well executed with the timelines. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!
Really Like Your Photographer! (and or Videographer)
This is the ONE Person (or 2) that will be with you ALL DAY! Someone fun & spirited yet able to stay organized & lead your day! This is the one person who really should understand the flow of your day, your Wedding expectations, & VIBE with you and your Husband well. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED our Photographer (And Videographers)! They were "in it" with us! Our photographer truly lead the day (bride, groom, grooms people, family, etc) and she also worked well with other vendors!
Recruited Help From Bridesmaids (within reason):
As someone who likes to host parties, I was VERY adamant about people NOT working on the day of the wedding. However, a few things I certainly needed help with. Putting together invitations, rhine-stoning name cards, putting together guest boxes (the day before the wedding), organizing décor in boxes (& labeling the bins for our planner), etc. However, I tried to make this all somewhat fun. I usually included dinner & drinks for the bribe. And if some of the girls couldn't make it, oh well! It's life! I focused on the moment and appreciated the moments I did have.
Rent the Modern Tux
When planning for the Groom and Groomsmen, I cringed thinking of a rental company. However, I discovered "The Black Tux" a modernized way to rent tuxes and we could NOT be more pleased! Jacob and I went into one of their Flagship stores (Santa Monica, CA), tried on a few variations and sizes, created an online profile for the guys and they ordered directly from the site (inputting sizes, payment, and mailing addresses). SUPER easy process, sharp looking suits, cost effective, free sizing exchanges within 48hrs, and 3 day return in the FedEx Box! Yes Please!
Picked Vendors Carefully:
With the help of Social Media, Personal Referrals, & Wedding Corrdinator, I was able to find Trusted Vendors who not only provided great services, but also SHOWED UP!
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff:
I took time & energy to enjoy every moment. Remember, You are marrying the man (or woman) of your dreams! So, who cares if the flowers aren't perfect, the wrong chairs are delivered, Makeup & Hair run late, someone forgets your garter, etc. Some things are bound to go wrong. Just focus on the real reason behind the BIG day!
Cheers to you as a bride & of course your groom! Enjoy your wedding (every moment of it). I know this is said over and over, but the whole event will fly by so quickly. Embrace moments, take time to soak it in, and live it up!!
Tori Meskin BSN RNC-NIC. Nurse. Blogger. Podcaster. Tori has been a clinician since 2012, works in acute care/inpatient NICU & Pediatric settings in southern California. She is a blogger, podcaster, NICU & Pediatric Critical Care RN, Sponsored Capella University MSN student, a Barco Uniforms Ambassador & Brave beginnings Ambassador. She has obtained her National NICU Nurse Certification (RNC-NIC) & has previously worked as a travel nurse, pursuing bedside experiences in several NICU settings. Follow her as she shares her NICU journey married life & juggles work, school, content creation, & brings you top notch Tips & Tricks along the way. Find her at www.tipsfromtori.com or firstname.lastname@example.org