Sanity Saving Tips for Planning your Wedding


Congratulations, you’re getting married! Seconds after anyone sees your ring or hears the news, the very next questions are all about the wedding. Suddenly everything from the guest list to how the ceremony should proceed is on your plate, and what seems like a million decisions big and small are demanding your attention. How can you not feel overwhelmed?

First off – take a few moments to just enjoy being a happy engaged couple, and don’t let “The Wedding” take over your life. It’s easy to let that happen, but the wedding is part ceremony, and part celebration, of your life together.

Before we get to bullet points, a few overall suggestions:

  • Set aside blocks of time for wedding planning. Don’t try to do “a little here, a little there,” because it will quickly overtake your every waking moment and leave you feeling scattered. Sit down together, and come up with a few basics to get started:
  • Prioritize what you both want for your wedding, sorted by “Must Have,” “Really Want,” and “Would Be Nice.” Hold on to this list, and then:
  • Set a Budget – Nobody ever likes this word, but it helps so much in prioritizing what is important for your wedding, and your life, and in being able to say “no” when it’s not something you really need.
  • Work on your guest list – this is a big factor in the expense of your wedding, from chairs to tables, place settings and catering, and even determining the size of your venue. Oakleaf Cottage, for example, has a max capacity of 125, while others may accommodate upwards of 300 guests.
  • Hire a Planner. No joke. It’s the best money ever spent. Your planner will be your best friend as you pull together the details of your wedding. Having an experienced planner by your side, someone who has all the connections and existing relationships with the right vendors for you is going to help you SO MUCH.

“Part of what I love about helping pull all the pieces together is watching the couple’s stress level dissipate over the course of our meetings together,” says Khloe Jackson of Wildflower Wedding Planning. “There are SO many decisions that need to be made and my clients have told me they feel a sense of ease knowing they have a professional opinion to consider when making all those decisions.”

One more note on a Planner – talk to a few, and decide who you “click” best with. After all, you’re going to be pretty close throughout the duration of your engagement.

  • Next up: create a new email address just for wedding planning. We have a few couples doing this, and it makes so much sense! All of your emails are then easily searchable, and you won’t be distracted by wedding emails in your personal (or work) inbox.

Keep it simple! It’s so easy to get elaborate, with the table setting, the extras, the décor… Pinterest is a massive overflowing fountain of ideas, but even the ideas can get overwhelming before too long.  There is an elegance to simplicity, in focusing on the bigger details, in not having to pack or store gobs of décor ahead of your big day.

Don’t forget, Dave and I are happy to help! Whether you want advice on the decor, or an outside opinion, or need help narrowing down the best vendor for you, know that we really enjoy doing whatever we can to make your day (and the days leading up to it) a breeze.

Photo Credit: Amber Phinisee Photography

Conner + Austin Wedding

So, so excited to share with you a few shots from Conner & Austin’s wedding the first weekend of October! The weather was just perfect — warm while the sun was up, then gradually cooling as the sun settled behind Sand Mountain.

Photography: Kelsey Dawn Photo

Florals: Melia Worley

Chairs: Something Vintage

 

 

Why You Need a Day of Wedding Coordinator

Back in January, Dave and I had an idea that it would be nice to do more of an “introduction” to the vendors on our preferred vendor list so our engaged couples could get a better sense of who these folks are and why they are on our list.

For this initial Wedding Blog post, we’re talking to Jessica, of Jessica Ann Wedding Co.   Jessica is a Day of Wedding Coordinator (DOC) who moved to the Chattanooga area in 2015 and bravely but excitedly stepped out into this new world that is the South.


You started offering DOC services in California, where you used to live. Can you tell us what drew you into the wedding industry?

Let me just first say that you and Dave have done an absolutely beautiful job of transforming this little piece of earth into a place that feels like a kaleidoscope of magic and etherealness.

My husband and I had a four-month engagement and there was nothing I didn’t have planned out to a tee! Then I realized someone had to take my hard work and incredibly detailed timeline and make it happen. I sure couldn’t do it and neither did I want to! And I definitely didn’t want anyone involved in or at our wedding to take on the tedious job. Hiring a DOC was one of the BEST decision I made for our day. I worried about nothing and my day ran beautifully. Ever since then, I’ve found myself drawn into the wedding industry, specifically the role of a DOC. I first hand know how vitally important they are and I love the process.

What exactly does a DOC do?

I guess the real question is, what don’t they do? Haha. The interesting thing is, DOC are not just day of, we are a month-long BFF to our brides!  We coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything that you have spent months planning runs exactly how you envisioned. From the arrival times of the florist, limo pick up and drop offs to packing all your gifts and goodies at the end of the night, the day-of coordinator will have it all taken care of.

JB-00009_blog post.jpg

Is a DOC generally for smaller weddings, or are they even more needed for big weddings and working side-by-side with an Event Planner?

A DOC is for any size wedding. I’ve worked weddings with a total of 45 people including the bridal party! The amount of people isn’t really what determines the necessity of a DOC or not, it’s how you want to remember your wedding! The value of having one is invaluable.

Some venues have an “event planner” whose role is to ensure the logistics of items the venue provides are in place. For instance, tables, chairs, benches, and other specialty items they may offer. They don’t necessarily run your day, they run the venue leaving the importance of a DOC even greater!

Being a small venue, we’ve had a lot of potential brides wanting to appoint a friend or relative to be in charge of coordinating details during the day. While I can see this may make sense for a really small wedding of 30 people, at what point do you think a DOC is needed?

I think that’s a really great question! While it seems like a great idea, the fact is that your friend or family member wants to enjoy the wedding just like everyone else. The reality on any wedding day, without a leader, someone who knows the ins-and-outs of your day, has the increased potential to be chaotic and stressful. A DOC has worked with you and beside you and your vendors and knows all the details of your day. They are with you from morning until vendor departure and you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re enjoying themselves because their job is to ensure you, your family, and guests are!

What is something that relates to your role as a DOC that you wish brides knew?

Details and time. I am very, very detailed. My timeline begins when your feet hit the ground come wedding morning until they’re tucked into your getaway for send off. Nothing is left unknown or untimed. I’m involved with not just you but your vendors. Everyone is on the same page, with the same info, and the same timeline.

JB-00023_blog

What is a misconception you find brides often have on their wedding day?

A major misconception that happens more often then not is brides and bridal party thinking the photographer is the coordinator. I’ve seen it before as a guest at weddings and it can lead to confusion, frustration, and delays. Be warned, they aren’t and it’s best to have that knowledge before going into your day.

What’s your favorite thing about being a DOC?

My favorite thing about being a DOC is seeing the bride first thing on her wedding day. No dress, no makeup, usually in comfy’s and she’s beyond giddy her big day has finally arrived! She’s not stressed about anything because she knows I’m there. So I’m giddy right along with her, I end up jumping up and down.

What was the most innovative thing you saw at a wedding that really impressed you?

One of the sweetest things I thought to be unique and special was a couple who did a ‘warming of the rings.’ Basically, the couple had their guests pass their wedding bands around during the ceremony asking them to silently give a special blessing or wish for their marriage. It was quite a special moment!

I also had a Jewish/Christian wedding that very much impressed me. Not only were the Jewish wedding traditions very involved and interactive, but the details implemented around them were really beautiful. I’m also proud to say I’ve learned the correct names and pronunciations of four major Jewish wedding traditions!

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

I have several ways in which you can reach me!

By email: jessicaann.weddingco@gmail.com

Phone 707.849.4654

Instagram: @jessicaann.weddingco

Facebook: Jessica Ann Day of Wedding Coordinator

You can also check out my website at www.jessicaannwedding.com to see my list of services, weddings I’ve done, and more about who I am!

Our next wedding post will be about our favorite caterers: Foodworks! Photo credit for the above images goes to Austin & Rose Photography

 

 

Revealing the Barn

Well, kinda revealing. It’s not finished — but considering where we started a few months back, the transformation is coming along well.

barn exterior angle

oakleaf cottage barn exterior

We had a deadline that we never expected would be tight, but with all the rain this spring it took for-ev-ah to get dirt and rock up here. Also, due to our location, a lot of work has to be done by hand. Mostly by two people. Myself, and Dave. I’ve got some pretty cool muscles going after slinging a pickaxe so often. Who needs a gym, when you are remodeling a barn on the side of a mountain?

barn deck oakleaf cottage

Our deck is complete, save we will be changing out the farm-fence look to tension wire in the very near future. It’s 16×50, and feels outright amazing – like you are in the treetops. After we stain it in a couple of months we can add pots and some minor furnishings out here for our Cottage guests to relax on while watching the sunset. We’ll be leaving lots of room for morning yoga, which some recent guests found the deck to be perfect for.

barn interior daytime

Inside, we are still working as well. The floor will get poured SOON, and we have some really cool details that will go into that. After that, we can install the lighting on the posts (and down the center), and we will be using reclaimed brick on the posts to give the barn a different, but solid, look.

first event

Our first event, a rehearsal dinner, went super well. Everyone loved it, and we loved watching how guests spilled out to explore the property and trails, some assisting newly walking kiddos who held on to their parent’s fingers — both for balance and to pull Mommy and Daddy everywhere. We were completely exhausted, but even through that were thrilled to see how people interacted in the space. It’s just as we dreamed.

bar area

We literally pulled our temporary bar together using the original lower stall doors about 2 hours before the event started. We were sooooo down to the wire. We’re happy it looks halfway decent, but looking forward to installing the original design with bar sinks and an undercabinet fridge. It will have a floating/locking island that can be used too, for greater versatility of space. But it dresses up nice.

barn at oakleaf cottage

Early this week, we had a small group of people come through to have a look at our little construction project, so we set out a little wine and cheese. I loooove pulling greenery straight from the outdoors in decorating a space.

tired dog barn party

Our tripod dog, Cookie, was completely worn out from playing host/official greeter and spent the majority of two hours right about here.

Work continues out here — this week, Dave has been installing the beams and details on the ceilings on the sides of the barn. It has a steel structure, which is nice and sturdy but not terribly pretty. From here, it’s all cosmetics.

new beams

We can’t wait to see what neat events will be in store for this place over the years, and have a number of great seminars and nature-related events in the works. Watch our events page or follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out!

extra

xoxo-

Cris & Dave