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Wedding Advice

3 Tips for Creating Your Wedding Budget

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One of the most daunting tasks during the wedding process can be budgeting. It’s not as exciting as finding your dress, or as glamorous as designing your centerpieces, but it is an absolute necessity. When Sarah and I set our budget for 2017, I’ll be honest: It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. Being upfront and honest about what you can accomplish with the resources you have is a very important part of any project, especially for us with Grand Occasions. After wrestling with the numbers for what seemed like an entire day, we walked away feeling knowledgeable, accomplished, and ultimately motivated for the next year. So ready or not, here are my 3 tips for getting down to the nitty gritty and creating a wedding budget: 1 – Set up a time to have the conversation. Unless you and your fiance are both SUPER into budgeting, Excel spreadsheets,…

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The 5 Must-Do’s For A Successful Sparkler Exit

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Us “GO Girls” (as we are fondly referred to by some of our favorite vendors) sure have organized our fair share of sparkler exits. I must admit that we get a little persnickety in the execution, because achieving that picture-perfect moment is really not as “organic” as one might expect.   So here’s our very best advice on the subject…The 5 Must-Do’s For A Successful Sparkler Exit:   1. Talk to your photographer.  Your photographer will of course want the day-of events, and the pre-approved shot list, but for a sparkler exit, a simple bullet point on paper is not enough. Take a moment to discuss where in the venue would be best to form the lines of guests, and what he/she recommends as far as how long the line of people should be. Will the get-away car be at the end of this sparkly tunnel? Do you want a kissing picture at…

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3 Secrets to a Flawless Rehearsal

By | Uncategorized, Wedding Advice | One Comment

Way to go. Seriously – you did it! You have planned every last detail of your wedding from your fiancé’s sock pattern to your grand confetti exit, and you accomplished it all with both style and finesse. (Which is not an easy feat!) Now there is only one thing standing between you and your fairy tale wedding…THE REHEARSAL. This is one of the most overlooked parts of the whole planning process, yet one of the most crucial for the whole weekend. The rehearsal is so much more than a simple “You stand here, he stands there” process; it’s the first real chance for old friends in the wedding party to reconnect, new family members to meet, and your last moments to be with your fiancé before he becomes your hubby! So how do you make this “last priority” task a seamless beginning to your wedding weekend? Here are 3 secrets…

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Why Your Family Shouldn’t Be Vendors At Your Wedding

By | Uncategorized, Wedding Advice | 3 Comments

This week I’m going to make a bold statement. I’m going to say something that most people don’t outright tell you. Ready? Your family should not be involved in the wedding. There I said it.   “But Monica, I love my family! My aunt makes wonderful cakes, she’s done it for years! My mom’s co-worker loves to do floral arrangements, and she said it was our gift! My best friend volunteered to be my mistress of ceremonies and she’s so organized!”   Trust me, Sarah and I have heard it all; so let me tell you WHY I don’t think they should be involved.   When you look back on your wedding, what do you want to remember? The first look with your hubby? The ring bearer laughing the whole way down the aisle? How delicious the cake was after waiting to eat all day? The Father Daughter dance and…

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Bride Talk: 4 Tips to Stay Sane From A Current Bride-to-Be

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  WE HAVE A GUEST WRITER ON THE BLOG TODAY! India (one of our fabulous interns) is engaged, is wedding planning, and is here to tell you all about it… FOUR TIPS TO STAY SANE WHILE PLANNING YOUR WEDDING As a soon-to-be “Mrs” (107 days people!), wedding planning is in full force. Maybe I’m speaking too soon when I say this, but the planning isn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. It helps that I have supportive parents and in-laws who are willing to be as involved as I want them to be. Through this process, I have learned a thing or two about staying on top of everything without feeling like I need to poke my eyes out with a dull pencil.   1) Be flexible. I’ve never had a perfect vision of what my wedding day would look like, so suggestions are always welcome. Whenever someone…

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5 Things to Know Before You Say "Yes to the Dress!"

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You’ve been picturing yourself in that perfect white gown ever since the first time you saw that fairy tale princess walk down her petal-dusted aisle. You’ve pinned 47,384 dresses on your secret Pinterest board, folded the corners of countless bridal magazines, and watched one too many episodes of that “Say Yes to the Dress” show (that makes us all way too emotional). Now…it’s your turn! Here are 5 things you need to know before you embark on that journey into the enchanted forest of bridal gowns and begin your “Happily Ever After.” 1) Make an appointment. You may not think that this is important, but we made this our number one point for a reason. Bridal salons appreciate the head’s up so they have the capability of pairing you with a consultant while you shop. Some salons even ask details about your wedding and style so that they can pair…

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4 Moments from "The Wedding Planner" that Actually Happen at Weddings

By | Just Because, Uncategorized, Wedding Advice | 2 Comments

  “So you’re like a real life J-Lo, right?!” Proudly we respond with, “Actually…YES!”   It’s one of those things you always wonder about. Is it really like that? Is being a wedding planner really as glamorous as it sounds? Do you really meet the love of your life while trying to save your precious Gucci shoes? Is it really better to just eat the brown M&M’s? And for the love of all things, how does her hair always look so darn perfect?!  We’ve always been inspired by Miss Lopez and her amazing ability to make wedding planning look effortless. What a woman! (We totally have a little mini “wedding-planner-crush” on her style, grace, and pizzazz!) So we wanted to dish. Here are 4 moments in “The Wedding Planner” that actually happen in weddings. 1 – “You are exquisite. You’re timeless. And you have the love of a man named…

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Three Ways to Simplify Your Wedding

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You’re engaged. You’ve finally met that special someone that you can’t live without. Now starts the implementation of all the ideas you’ve had since you were nine! The big white dress with the sparkle embroidered bodice, the gold rimmed chargers with navy blue napkins, the luscious green garden topped with a gorgeous floral archway. It’s all there….in your head at least. You start bouncing ideas off friends and family members, email some potential venues, look at some color schemes for real; and then, without warning, it starts to become cloudy. Your once clear vision becomes a foyer for everyone to place their ideas at your feet and suddenly you can’t find yours anymore! So let’s get back to the basics; to what YOU want. Here are 3 SIMPLE ways to bring back your day, the way you want it: simple. 1 – Stop asking for everyone’s input. I get it,…

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Do I Need A Day-of Coordinator?

By | Uncategorized, Wedding Advice | 4 Comments

We get asked this question all the time. I mean, what do we do, anyway, right? Here’s a brief glimpse of what our job looks like…   A month before your wedding date, when everything in your head gets cloudy, your mom’s anxiety becomes profoundly tangible, and your fiance has suggested for 378th time that you should just throw in the towel and elope already…we are here. We swoop in (capes and all) to start bringing all that chaos into order. We’ll get all your vendor info, your processional order, your crazy random details, and create your entire weekend itinerary.   From there, we will confirm times and places with all your vendors, family members, and bridal party. We make sure everyone is on the same literal page before wedding weekend begins.   On your big day, we run the show. We make sure everything is in place, we direct…

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Destination: Wedding

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     When it comes to planning your special wedding fiesta, party size matters. The length of your guest list will dictate to which category a large portion of your wedding budget will be applied, and this category is “venue.” If you’re already thinking of a small gathering for a small budget, but think a destination wedding is out of the question, think again. Thanks to women from all over the world compiling their inside tips and tricks, there are loads of resources available that aid in planning glamorous weddings for an affordable price, even for weddings across the sea. So if you’ve ever once wished for sand between your pedicured toes or a foreign breeze billowing your delicate veil, then put ‘Destination Wedding’ back in your dream bucket and listen up. There are actually some extremely affordable, want-to-cry-gorgeous venues out there ideal for a small number of invites and…

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