Now what? 10 Things To Do After You Say “I Do” | Alabama Wedding Coordinator

February 25

If you’re the type that enjoys planning ahead (like us!), or if you just got married and are fresh back from your honeymoon – this blog post is for you.

Even after the wedding is over and all the coordinating has come and gone, you still have a to-do list that must be done! Here are our top 10 things to do after your wedding:

1. Mail out thank you notes, ASAP! Trust us, just get this out of the way. If you procrastinate, it will never get done. Go get a venti espresso from Starbucks and knock out those notes!

2. Review all your vendors on places like theknot.com or weddingwire.com. Ask each vendor which platform they prefer!

3. Change your name! This low cost service offered by The Knot lets you change everything at once! AMAZING, right? (Click here to check it out + let us know how you like it!)

4. Freeze the top of your wedding cake for your 1st anniversary celebration. This is easy to do, and hopefully you can talk your mom or maid of honor into popping the cake in your freezer while you’re enjoying your honeymoon!

5. Get your gown clean and preserved. This is so important because you spent a lot of money on that beautiful dress and your future daughter might just want to wear it someday!

6. Make a day of it and head out to the mall to do your returns! You’ll most likely get some duplicate gifts, so go ahead and return or exchange them so you can check that off your list.

7. Speak to your accountant and figure out all the fun tax information (Spoiler: it’s not fun, but it must be done!)

8. Go to dinner with your parents. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how busy you’ll be when you get into the groove of a new life! They paid for (or supported!) this wedding, so give them a call and grab a bite to eat.

9. Order all the gorgeous wedding photos and albums your heart desires!

10. Enjoy your first days, weeks and months as newlyweds! You’ll be figuring everything out and it will be a whole new way of life – but you’ll be doing it together. Congrats!

Now that you know what you need to get done, don’t put it off for one more second. Pull out a checklist, and get to work! You’ve got this.

xo,

Taylor

Photo by Terri Smith Photo from Leah & Brian’s wedding

Cold Weather + Floral Paperweights|Shannon Reeves Events

February 23

This cold weather that has taken over Alabama has us wanting to get the biggest mug we can find, fill it to the brim with coffee, and spend hours upon hours perusing our favorite wedding sites. And maybe that’s what we’ve actually done today – just maybe (:

Lucky for you, while we were reading Jen Huang’s blog, we found this article about floral paperweights. She took dried petals from a bridal bouquet and handmade these gorgeous paperweights. Read the article here and see what you think! We may have just found you a DIY project for the days when the -2 degree weather makes you want to stay inside.

We love reading anything and everything about weddings. Have a blog you love to follow? Let us know!

Have a great week! See you again Wednesday.

Bridesmaids Dresses You Can’t Beat | Tuscaloosa Event Planner

February 18

After a bride asks her very best friends, sisters and cousins the very special question of “will you be my bridesmaid?”, the next natural question is “what will the dresses look like?”

And hey, we think that’s a very important question! More than ever, brides are straying from “traditional” bridesmaids dresses – ones we’ve all seen (and have probably worn) – and deciding on dresses with more of an “off the rack” look, and we love that!

Take this beautiful, simple and chic Donna Morgan Kristi dress, for example. It is gorgeous. The colors would pop against your white dress, and would look amazing with the right bouquet.

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We also love this Lilly Pulitzer dress. This color is absolutely breathtaking and the embellishment around the neck is enough to make this dress formal. Lilly Pulitzer has an amazing collection of embellished and lace dresses perfect for your bridesmaids!

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Lace, lace, and more lace. We love this beautiful dress available at BHLDN. This mist grey would be breathtaking with any color scheme! Think of all the gorgeous combinations- blush, light blue, mint. This dress is truly the perfect color!

Shannon Reeves Events Featured: The Birmingham Bride Notebook

February 16

When I learned DC and I would be moving to Alabama back in 2013, I Googled “Alabama weddings” and found The Birmingham Bride Notebook. I poured over these pretty pages for hours and BBN co-founder Stacy Richardson was first on my list of wedding professionals I just had to meet before our moving boxes were even unpacked.

That said, seeing Ann Evans & Michael’s Birmingham Country Club wedding over on those pretty pages today makes this Alabama event coordinator pretty excited. Pop over and take a peek, and explore a little while you’re at it – it’s one of the loveliest resources for Alabama brides there is. (:

xo,
Shannon

10 Budget Saving Tips + Tricks | Birmingham Wedding Planner

February 11

Did you know that the average wedding in 2014 cost around $38,000? That might have you sweating if you just got engaged, huh? I have some good news, friends! There are so many ways to save on your wedding, and we’re here to fill you in.

1. Cut your guest list (and then cut it again, and maybe once more)
2. Look at your calendar, and maybe veer away from Saturdays. You’ll be amazed at how much vendors will discount their prices for Friday or Sunday Wedding. And while you’re looking at the calendar, stay away from peak wedding season (spring + fall).
3. Plan an afternoon wedding- you can save in every aspect with this option!
4. Pick flowers that are in season.
5. Decide where you want to splurge, and where you’ll have to really tighten up your budget. If you’re not crazy about flowers, keep them super simple and splurge on your photographer.
6. Shop sample sales for your wedding dress. You can still wear the designer of your dreams, but at up to 70% off.
7. Have your ceremony + reception at the same venue!
8. Contact local colleges or universities with music departments to see if any students could provide the accompaniment for your ceremony. (PS. The University of Alabama has an outstanding music school, Alabama brides!)
9. Skip a sit-down meal and go for a buffet, or maybe even drinks + appetizers if your wedding is a bit earlier in the day.
10. Get a planner! Wedding professionals truly know what they’re doing and can save you time, and money. Planners know which vendors are going to fit you, and your budget, best.

Have any budget saving tips you want to share with us? Comment below and help out future brides-to-be!

Have a happy Thursday!

Photo by Du Castel Photography from Ann Evans & Michael’s wedding

Don’t Forget the Groom! | Alabama Wedding Planner

February 9

It may sometimes seem like the months during your engagement are a complete blur. As the blushing bride-to-be, you’re constantly going to meetings and tastings and fittings galore! With all the planning going on, you might be leaving your groom out without even knowing it. He may say he wants whatever you want, and while that’s true, try to find ways to get him involved in the planning. This is his wedding, too!

1. Tastings- I can’t think of one man that would pass up FREE food. Have your groom tag along to your (multiple) cake and catering tasting(s) – no bribing necessary!

2. Honeymoon- While this is certainly a decision you can make together, let him take the reigns and choose some options for the two of you to consider. Or even let him surprise you! You really can’t go wrong with a beautiful resort on a tropical island or a hideaway in the mountains, so no worries here.

3. Use his talents- Did he pass all his math classes with flying colors? Let him handle the budget. Does he enjoy music? Have him research the bands (and then have date nights to check them out and pick your favorite!) Is he creative? Have him draft up your save the dates or invitations. Your talented man can really come in handy and take some really important duties off your plate.

And don’t forget to keep dating! It’s so important that you two connect during your engagement before you’re husband + wife, so keep those date nights regular! Remind him you love him and remind yourself this entire event you’re planning for is a celebration of your marriage.

Have an incredible week, and be sure to check back with us on Wednesday!

Photo by Terri Smith Photo from Erin & James’ May wedding

Wedding Favors That Wow | Florida Wedding Coordinator

February 4

You’ve just thrown an amazing party to celebrate your new marriage with all your friends + family. The food is gone, the drinks have all been poured and the band is packing up. You’ve done your extraordinary exit (sparklers? petals? confetti? Your call!) and your guests are saying their final goodbyes.

It’s time for your guests to leave, but not without a little party favor to remind them of the best night ever! We love adding your style and personality to every aspect of your wedding, and these amazing favors are the perfect way to do just that!

1. Personalized koozies- This is fairly popular favor simply because it can be used during your reception, and for years after! Bonus points if you have a witty quote that really personalizes the koozie. We love these!

2. Matchboxes- Shannon received this as a wedding favor a few months ago, and is still using it today! She was raving about it because of how useful and cute it is. This is a perfectly practical favor that your guests will be able to use for many months + remember your big day! [Found here and here]

3. Mini champagne bottles- If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know we’re big fans of bubbly beverages! Add a personalized label to this mini and your guests will be swooning.

4. S’mores kit- I can tell you right now, every guest will snatch up one of these favors. From the kiddies to your nana + papa, who doesn’t love a good smores?! A smores kit tied up with personalized ribbon = perfect DIY favor. [Found here and DIY here]

5. Coffee beans- Ok, this might be my favorite idea yet. In our caffeinated driven society, your guests will absolutely use this party favor- and will be so thankful for it! Wrapped in burlap or boxed up with a bow, this unique wedding favor is simply fantastic. [Found here or DIY here]

Everyone loves a little takeaway, but don’t feel obligated to send guests away with anything! You’ve just provided a night to remember with great food and awesome entertainment, so talk it over with your hubby-to-be and see where/if that fits in your budget. Favors are fun but definitely aren’t mandatory!

Check back Monday for some more fun tips + tricks!

xo,
Taylor

Photo by Spindle Photography from Kelly and Ryan’s Lake Martin, Alabama wedding

Playlists for your Big Day | Alabama Weddings

February 2

Believe it or not, music will be one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. As soon as you begin getting ready, your playlist begins. There will be music playing as your guests are seated, as you walk down the aisle, as you celebrate at your reception and even as you and your new hubby part your guests for the night. It’s important to have a playlist set out for each part of your big day. Music is calming, it’s fun and it’s celebratory!

We’ve helped you start two of your most important playlists and have come up with a few options for some monumental moments like your processional and your first dance-

Morning- This sets the mood for the rest of your day! You need a mix of upbeat + some romance to prepare yourself for all the emotions that are sure to come.
1. Going to the Chapel – The Dixie Cups
2. Dancing Queen – ABBA
3. You and I – Ingrid Michaelson
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
5. Love Story – Taylor Swift
6. Marry You – Bruno Mars
7. Crazy in Love – Beyoncé + Jay Z
8. Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra
9. Everything – Michael Buble
10. Marry Me – Train

Reception- These songs are sure to get all your guests on the dance floor! This is the time for fun, upbeat music that will really get the party + celebration started.
1. Shout – The Isley Brothers
2. P.Y.T – Michael Jackson
3. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
4. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
5. It Takes Two – Rob Base
6. We found Love – Rihanna
7. Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
8. Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
9. Happy – Pharrell Williams
10. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

Processional- We’ve broken up this section into two parts. Classic + modern. The first 5 are the perfectly beautiful classic songs that your mama probably walked down the aisle to. The last 5 are songs that are untraditional and unexpected- they are sure to stand out and will be so special to you for years to come.
1. Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel
2. Air on the G String – Johann Sebastian Bach
3. Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) – Richard Wagner
4. Air – George Frideric Handel
5. Andante- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

6. Beloved – Kari Jobe
7. Lion’s Mane – Iron & Wine
8. Everlasting Love – The Love Affair
9. Always and Forever – Luther Van Dross
10. God Gave Me You – Dave Barnes

First Dance- This song is hands down the most important one of the day! It is the first song you’ll dance to with your new husband. You should absolutely pick a song you both love and maybe even one that’s been your “song” while you were dating. Whatever song you chose, make sure you and your husband will be excited to share it together.
1. All of Me – John Legend
2. At Last – Etta James
3. You and I – Michael Buble
4. I Have and I Always Will – Dave Barnes
5. You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
6. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
7. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
8. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers
9. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
10. The Luckiest – Ben Folds

What was/is going to be your first dance song? What songs do you love to hear at receptions? We would love to hear from you!

Have a happy Monday!

Photo by Spindle Photography from Kelly and Ryan’s Lake Martin, Alabama wedding

4 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid | Shannon Reeves Events

January 28

You just got engaged. You are overjoyed at the sight of your man placing a perfectly-cut diamond on your ring finger. Now, where to go from here? A lot of brides can get overwhelmed with the thought of planning a wedding and unfortunately, end up making mistakes along the way. We’re all about helping brides-to-be, so here are four wedding mistakes we want to help you avoid:

1. Overbooking yourself- Cake tastings, dress fittings, florist meetings, bridesmaids shopping, engagement pictures, registry making, parties to attend. You have a lot to do! Pace yourself. Even if you have a shorter engagement, you don’t need to figure it out all in one week! Save yourself the immense amount of stress and schedule your meetings, tastings and shopping galore to fit YOUR life, not the other way around.

2. Not creating a budget- Everything that goes into a wedding adds up fairly quickly. Make sure you sit down with everyone involved in the funding of your wedding and try to map out where you’re going to splurge and where you’re going to save. Don’t wait until after you’ve already picked out your dress, venue and band, just go ahead and get it out of the way before any planning happens just to make sure everyone is on the same page! It may seem like a pain now, but you’ll be thankful you have a guideline in the long run.

3. Skimping on a photographer- Aside from your actual marriage, photos from your wedding are the most important pieces you’ll have after your Big Day. You want to have a photographer who is experienced and a true professional. This is one part of your budget that shouldn’t be compromised. The food will be great, but it’ll be gone before you know it. The flowers will be beautiful, but they won’t make it past the honeymoon. Trust us, you will be so thankful to have those precious, perfect pictures for years to come. It will be worth every penny.

4. Not hiring a planner- Now, here me out. Obviously, SRE would love to plan your wedding. But even if you decide to not work with us, we urge you to get a planner. You don’t want to be the one trying to figure out where the band is or telling your florist where to set up. Let a coordinator handle that – it is 100% worthy of being added into your budget. Even if you get a month-of coordinator, it is imperative that you have someone making this huge day run smoothly.

Your wedding is going to be great no matter what because you’re marrying the man of your dreams! It just helps when you can avoid some of the silly mistakes along the way. Let us help you, friends! This is YOUR day and you need someone to take on all the slip-ups so you can sit in the make-up chair and be the pretty bride!

Photo from Erin & James’ Tallahassee wedding by Terri Smith Photo

2015 Wedding Trends | Tuscaloosa Wedding Planner

January 26

Recently, the writers at Wedding Wire released their top 2015 wedding trends- and of course, we love them and we want to share our favorite ones with you, along with some of our own!

Green looks good on 2015. Greenery incorporated in all aspects of a wedding ceremony and reception is going to be the new burlap + mason jars. We love how it looks earthy and elegant at the same time- think of your new initials wrapped in a beautiful greenery that compliments your bridal bouquet, so beautiful!

We love café lights. We love string lights. We love candles. We love any kind of light that adds a touch of romance to your venue. So, it’s only fitting that one of the top trends for 2015 would be vintage marquee lights! Whether it’s “Mr. & Mrs.” or your wedding date, it’ll stand out to your guests and will make for great pictures!

Another trend for the new year is ditching the huge cake, and going for a much simpler sweet treat! From a small cake just for you and your groom to cut or personalized cupcakes or even pies, this trend lets you use your creativity! We love thinking outside of the book and incorporating your personality into every aspect of your big day.

We are seeing a rise of local touches in our sweet, southern weddings – and we think it’s going to be huge in 2015! From Steel City Pops carts to local artists painting your gorgeous ceremony right at your reception, bringing in the staples of your community is fun and unique!

When all is said and done, you truly don’t need to keep up on all the “hottest” trends, just stay true to who you are and your wedding will be a night to remember!

Photo by Spindle Photography from Kelly and Ryan’s Lake Martin, Alabama wedding