Countdown to a Stress-Free Wedding

In honor of the New Year and your own “big to do,” we’ve created a New Year’s Countdown to help keep your wedding stress-free. We’ve come up with ten possible areas of anxiety in your wedding and how you can beat that stress.
Photo Credit: Altmix Photography

10:  Select the Right Vendor Team
Putting together the best vendor team is huge. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your vendors and should surround yourself with people you like, relate to, and enjoy being around. It can be very stressful to discover that you don’t get along with your vendors and that won’t help add any excitement to your planning. Be sure to meet each vendor before you sign a contract with them and if you aren’t feeling comfortable with them don’t hesitate to interview another vendor in that category to get the best fit for your wedding.

9:  Detailed Wedding Website
When it comes to wedding details, everyone wants to know everything. This can get a little overwhelming when the bride and groom and their families are constantly answering their guest’s questions on the wedding logistics. The easiest way to cut down on these questions is to make sure you have a detailed wedding website that your guests can easily access. Be sure to include the date, time, and location of the ceremony as well as directions and special instructions for your guests. This is also a great opportunity for personalization; let your guests know your story as a couple not to mention where you’re registered.

8: Dress
The dress is one of the most important details in many weddings and with that comes lots of opportunities for added stress. There are things you can do from the very beginning to make sure your dress experience is anything but overwhelming. Be sure to start the dress search early to allow time for it to be ordered and fittings. Before you head to the bridal shop decide on a budget and have some ideas of what details you must have in your dream dress. When getting fitted, remember that it might not fit like a glove the first time but this is normal and alterations will easily tailor it perfectly to you.

Photo credit: David Murray Weddings

7: Communicate
Just like in every aspect of life, during your wedding planning process communication is key. Communicate with your vendors, communicate with your wedding party, and most importantly communicate with your fiancé – you are going through this process together after all.  It’s easy to lose track of who knows what information but the more you share with others, the less of a burden will be on you. The more you communicate to your vendors the easier it will be for them to understand your vision and create the wedding of your dreams.

6:  Assign jobs
We understand there’s a lot to do for a wedding and if one person tries to do it all, they can get easily overwhelmed. But the great thing about a wedding is its set up with a built-in support system. There’s family, the wedding party of your closest friends, and of course your fiancé who all want you to have an amazing day and not be stressed throughout the process. Give them jobs ranging from bringing the rings to the ceremony to helping make labels for favors. They’re willing to help so why not assign them tasks that will take some pressure off you.

Photo credit: Jason Braverman

5:  Thank you notes
Writing thank you notes can seem overwhelming when you consider the growing pile of goodies arriving every day from your registry. The best way to handle this is to write each thank you as the gift arrives and here at A Big To Do Event we recommend following this thank you note rule that will help motivate you to get those thank you’s off your to-do list: After unwrapping the gift, you can’t open the box or use the present in any way until its personalized thank you note is in the mail to the sender. This way you can use that new dishware or coffee maker without having the stress of the thank you note weighing down on your shoulders.

4:  Shoes
No wedding day look is complete without the perfect pair of shoes. Gone are the days where you had to have your shoes dyed to match your gown, these days anything goes and the more fabulous, the better. However, even the perfect wedding shoes can end up causing stress on your wedding day because of the one thing as women we’re willing to sacrifice: comfort for fabulousness. To reduce this stress, be sure to give yourself plenty of time before the wedding to break in your shoes. Wear them while you vacuum, wear them to the grocery store, wear them while you watch tv. Just make sure these shoes are not going to be a big pain, literally, come wedding day.
Photo credit: Jenn Schliestett at Photojenik

3:  Coordinator
Handing over the reins on your big day is the best way to ensure you can relax and truly enjoy your wedding. We know that giving up control can be difficult but come wedding day you’re going to want someone else to oversee the setup and an experienced wedding coordinator is your best option. Here at A Big To Do Event we are passionate about making your day perfect. We want you and your guests to be able to rave for years to come about how fun and perfectly “you” the wedding was.

2:  Day-of Checklist
Wedding day is filled with lots of little things to remember. At A Big To Do Event, we love checklists so we give our brides Day-of Checklists to make sure packing for the wedding day is as easy as crossing an item off the list. We’ve shared our checklist with you here to make sure you’re on the way to a stress-free wedding.

1: Be present
The most important thing to remember to make your wedding day stress-free is to really be present. Give over control, take in every moment, have “me” time. This is your day after all and you’re going to want to remember every moment of it. Don’t let the day fly by while you’re caught up in the small stuff, be with your friends, family, and new spouse and enjoy every minute!
Photo Credit: Matt Yung Photography

Happy Planning!

Going to the Chapel… Not without the marriage license!

3 Common Misconceptions About Marriage Licenses in Georgia

**Back by popular demand – here are some answers to questions we get all the time about getting your marriage license in Georgia. Enjoy!**
Common Misconceptions #1: “Blood Tests are required in Georgia.” The real answer is no. As of July 1, 2003 blood tests are no longer required in the state of Georgia.

Common Misconceptions # 2: “You have to register in the county you are getting married in.” If either the bride or groom is a Georgia resident you can get your marriage license in any probate court in Georgia. If neither the bride nor groom is a Georgia resident you do have to get your marriage license in the county you will be married in.

Common Misconceptions # 3: “You can just show up at a probate court and get your license.” Come Prepared. Here’s a quick checklist for things to bring with you: both the bride and groom’s birth certificate, driver’s licenses, passports, and social security cards. Original forms of all of these things are required.

Fees for marriage licenses range from $50 to $100. Make sure you call the probate court you are planning to go to well in advance to determine the specific requirements for that county. In Georgia if a couple completes a premarital education program the marriage license fee will be waved. Check out the Georgia probate court website for more information on requirements for premarital education and other information.

Probate Courts in Georgia:
Clayton County:
21 South McDonough St.
Jonesboro, GA

Cherokee County:
90 North St. Suite 340
Canton, GA

Clarke County:
325 E. Washington St.
Athens, GA
Cobb County:
32 Waddel St., Bldg D, Probate Court
Marietta, GA
Coweta County:
22 East Broad St.
Newnan, GA
Dekalb County:
556 North McDonough St., Rm G1B
Decatur, GA
Douglas County:
8700 Hospital Dr.
Douglasville, GA
Fayette County:
One Center Ave.
Fayetteville, GA
Forsyth County:
112 West Maple St., Suite 101
Cumming, GA
Fulton County:
136 Pryor St., Suite C230
Atlanta, GA
Gwinnett County:
75 Langley Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA
Hall County:
225 Green St.
Gainesville, GA
Henry County:
99 Sims St.
McDonough, GA
Newton County:
1132 Usher St., Room 107
Covington, GA
Rockdale County:
922 Court St., Room 107
Conyers, GA
Oconee County:
23 N. Main St
Watkinsville, GA

Questions To Ask Your Wedding Florist

Flowers, can be one of the most vital parts of an event. Flowers can turn an ordinarily boring space, into a beautiful vivacious venue. But who can turn your dreams into a reality? And how do you make sure they’re going to give you what you want? I’ve seen the mistakes people make when dealing with a florist. To help, here is a fool-proof list of what to ask your florist!

Common Misconceptions About Wedding Planners

Do you need a Wedding Planner?

Common Misconceptions about Hiring a Wedding Planner:

We’ve all heard that is Time = Money! Let’s face it, we all live fast paced lives but still need to make every dollar count. It only seems reasonable when planning one of your most important events in life, you should be ever so efficient. I am here to address a couple of misconceptions about what it means to hire a wedding planner. I asked several close friends of mine who have been recently engaged over the holidays if they would hire a wedding planner and what their thoughts on the idea of it were. I am addressing any misconceptions they may have had below.

Misconception #1:
Wedding Planners are Expensive

With the economy the way it is, making money is important, but using time wisely is important too. The time that needs to be put into planning a wedding is easily 30+ hours (and that is only allocating 2 hours per vendor plus some time for follow ups). There are some websites that say it can be 400 to 500+ hours of planning. Not counting the tons of time you are online searching for ideas and inspiration, along with coordinating your theme and colors with every aspect. The first thought to consider is if you are willing to make every decision without any professional opinions working in your best interest. A wedding planner is available for an endless amount of services. The average starting price of a wedding planner is affordable for any budget. The time you will save, and the pricing that can be negotiated with an experienced planner is well worth the small investment fee.

The purpose of hiring a wedding planner is to bring ease to your life. We all know that weddings are wonderful events to attend, but it takes effort for them to go smoothly. Think about all of the moving parts that make a wedding memorable: the food is delicious, the dances are danced flawlessly, the toasts were tear-jerking, and the cake is gorgeous. These things don’t just happen. A wedding planner makes sure all of the pieces of the puzzle are ready to be viewed and will be remembered in the best light. So what if the caterer is late? As a bride, do you want to be fielding phone calls from the caterer trying to get directions to your reception venue? That’s what a wedding planner is for. You should be able to feel like a guest, and have every chance to take in each special moment the day will bring.

Misconception #2:
Part of being engaged is planning, so if I hire a Wedding Planner, she will take all of the planning out of my hands and I won’t get to make any decisions.

If you want the wedding planner to do that for you, then sure, it is possible. A wedding planner would rather have as much input as possible from a bride. It is all about being a team, for one end goal: getting you down the aisle and for you to experience the best night of your life. For the bride who wants to do everything on her own, but does not want any hassle on the day of or be forced to ask family members to help out, then a planner can be hired for the day of.

Misconception #3:
My venue has a “wedding coordinator” on staff. That’s all I need.

I have heard from many brides-to-be that they are seeking venues that have on-site coordinators. It seems like a great thing, especially if included in the “total package,” but be careful. Is the on-sire coordinator really working for your best interest? Some may actually be, but their job is making sure the lights are turned on in their venue, that vendors load in the right order, and that nothing gets broken at their property. Their job isn’t really to line up speakers for toasts, make sure the DJ is playing the right song, the cake is placed centered on a table, or the guests are outside for the departure of the bride and groom. This is where a wedding planner can be beneficial. A wedding planner is your advocate.

Misconception #4:
I’m having a small wedding so I don’t need a Wedding Planner.

No matter how large your guest list or how elaborate in detail it is, every wedding has the same number of moving parts. Every bride wants their wedding to appear flawless. If you are having a small wedding because of a small budget, for instance under $5,000, then you really do not need to hire a wedding planner. A small guest list still needs the careful attention to all aspects. The allure of having a small wedding is to have an intimate feel and be able to interact with each and every guest. This is the same for destination weddings. It’s all about soaking in every moment, and not having to worry about or be interrupted by a phone call for directions from a vendor.

Bottom Line: By hiring a professional, you get what you pay for. You should not have to feel stress for your big day. When looking for the right fit, you want someone who has the experience and the right connections, along with someone who you could see as a best friend. You have to be comfortable with someone, and know that the planner has your best interest in mind.