Sometimes people come into your life at exactly the right time, and you don't even know why yet. I met Karen, (OMG check out her blog), last year and we instantly hit it off! I had so much fun prepping her wedding hair with balayage and extensions, chatting details along the way. I was always always blown away by how organized she was. Never stressed, aside from the little week-of weather frustrations. (It rained on her wedding day, but don't fret, her hair still looked fab!) I was SO excited for her wedding day, and while getting her ready that morning wasn't even the least bit resentful that I was missing the Nationals play the Giants in the playoffs. This job is my big leagues, and her wedding was so special to me.
When I got engaged I started asking her all kinds of questions and she kept me organized from week ONE. I'm still grateful she helped prep me for the money/parents/planning convos that are undeniably always awkward at first.
After about a month of Karen just helping me as a great friend, I asked her if she would take me on as her first bride, first client and first wedding to actually plan and be responsible for. She's always thought about starting a wedding biz on the side and this was a great opportunity for us both. She was almost as excited as me, and took me on as a client. Talk about a role reversal!
I'm so thankful that so far, planning has been a breeze. Karen has kept me on track and at ease the entire time, and I can't recommend her enough. I feel like she's been in the business for years.
We have some seriously juicy planning posts planned for y'all so stay tuned! But for today, here's some advice for the newly engaged from the freshly married!
PS Happy Birthday KAREN!
Karen Puder // Bubbles in Bucktown
“If I could turn back time. If I could find a way.” Ok… enough Cher for today. Actually, for the year. But seriously, ladies, getting engaged is the best thing ever! I want to do it all over again (with my husband John, of course). It marks the beginning of such an incredible whirlwind of emotions, endless parties, diligent planning, multiple cake tastings (if you play your cards right), and so much more. Before I got engaged, I thought, “How hard can it be? It’s just one day. I got this!” And then, I dove in headfirst. And it’s a lot to take in. But it is honestly the best time of your life. So embrace it. It flies by.
So everyone will tell you the normal things – “The day goes by so fast, so make sure to take it all in.” “You can’t please everyone.” “Eat your dinner!” And all of that is true. But here are a few things I learned through my engagement that made it all a little bit easier.
- Start organized and stay organized. If this isn’t your thing, that’s ok. Own that, and ask for help. Ask a friend, hire a planner, utilize online tools, or read planning books. Excel will become your BFF. Your Pinterest board categories will start to look like an OCD playground. Checklists will become an extension of your arm (as will a nice glass of cabernet). Bottom line: stay on track and you’ll keep your stress levels in-check. Hold yourself to timelines and goals, and you will coast into the week leading up to your wedding. Do not leave decor shopping, DIY projects, and gift buying until the month before the wedding. Reserve that time for what has to wait – final RSVP outreach, seating chart, escort cards, and more cabernet.
- Be kind and gracious to your vendors. When you are initially reaching out to them, take an extra two minutes to write a well thought-out and heartfelt email. Compliment their work and let them know why you are interested in working with them. It makes such a difference! When you start a relationship off on a sweet, positive note, it will pay off in dividends. When you decide to book a vendor, continue with this sentiment. Kindness does not have to be taken for weakness – hold your ground on what you really want, but do it with grace and respect. Hire people that you feel really understand your vision and who you can see yourself having fun working with. If you do that, you will not have to micromanage them throughout the process (because who has time for that?!). Also, if the unthinkable happens and a vendor falls through mid-engagement, you have those nice emails (that you have archived in your “wedding vendors” email folder ☺) that will be more willing to help you out in a pinch since you were oh-so-loveable to start!
- Stay true to you – both of you. This doesn’t mean you have to have over-the-top, intimate touches littered through your wedding. It doesn’t mean you have to DIY from floor to ceiling. It just means you should spend time with your fiancé and create an event that feels like the two of you at your core. Are you not the type to stand on a chair in public and proclaim your love for one another? Then don’t feel the pressure to write intimate vows and read them out loud in front of 200 people. Keep it between the two of you and write each other private letters. Are you not that into an extravagant six-tier cake that breaks the bank? Skip it and have donuts. For example: I love cheese. I love it so much that I think my blood type is cheddar positive. So I had the crazy idea of making our escort card table a giant cheese display--and everyone loved it! Who wouldn’t want to find their seat while nibbling on a cube of smoked gouda?! John and I also have the same taste in music. So instead of playing all of the typical wedding songs, we danced until we couldn’t stand to all of our favorite hip-hop tracks, and it was SUCH a blast! (Sorry, Grandma!)
- And fire up the cliché horn… but remember why you are doing all of this. Let me preface it with this: I am a big “details” girl. I love the perfect pairing of fonts, elegant folds in napkins, ribbons tied straightly on programs, and a subtle color scheme that even Martha Stewart would applaud. But when you can’t decide between ivory or blush napkins, or when your cheeks are soaked in tears because your budget is becoming glaringly slim, or maybe you just can’t get Uncle Bill to respond with his RSVP… take a deep breath and look at your fiancé. It’s not about all that stuff. It is about you marrying the man you are head-over-heels in love with. Like, love-more-than-a-glass-of-sparkling-rosé-with-a-side-of-fries love. The moments I cherish the most from our engagement were still coated in salt water, but the tears were flowing for a different reason. It was because I was picturing standing at the altar with my soon-to-be-husband. The tears were there when I was daydreaming about looking out at all of our friends and family and reflecting on the fact that they were there just for us. And they came pouring out when I pictured myself dancing with my dad to a song he had thought about for years. Those are the moments I hold dearest from our engagement, and imagine this, they are the moments that I remember most from our wedding day as well. And now I'm crying again!
Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience and cherish it the whole way!
INSTA // @bubblesinbucktown