Thursday, April 14, 2016

'Tis the Night Before My Wedding...a DIY Cautionary Tale

'Tis the night before my wedding, when all through the house
Creatures were stirring, but not even a spouse
200 flowers were all flung around the sink without a care
In hopes that DIY'ed bouquets would soon be there.

The wedding party were all snug in their beds.
While this bride, and her best man were left pounding their heads.
And we assembled 20 bouquets without a gap
But now it's 2 A.M. and no where near time for a nap.

LOL ok, ok, you get the point. So it was the night before my nuptials, which so happened to be nerves were all out of wack, and I had one person keeping me grounded and brother, the man of honor. The day before my wedding was like someone pressed the fast forward button on me. I don't know how my to do list went from 10 things to do to 50 things. In which only half of the things got It's so crazy to think about it now. I didn't get to sleep until 4:30 AM what was suppose to be the night before my wedding, which turned into the morning of my wedding. I basically got 3 hours of sleep. How? Why? What? You may ask? So how does this post help you? I thought I'd tell you my story...not to scare you out of DIY'ing your wedding, but to give you a cautionary tale. A story I hope you can learn from, and not end up like me.

I got it into my head that I was going to DIY most of my wedding decorations. Which actually turned out quite beautiful. Only problem's a pain in the you know what. I really F'ed myself when it came down to the flowers.

In terms of my wedding flowers, I DIY'ed ...

  1. My bridal bouquet, along with 
  2. Five bridesmaids bouquets, 
  3. Four nieces bouquets, 
  4. Three mothers bouquets, 
  5. Eight men boutonnieres, and 
  6. Twelve tables centerpieces. 
  7. Flower girl rose petals
  8. Rose petals to cover and surround the aisle

I shot myself in the foot is what I did in plain words. Two days before the wedding, I spent that day with my man of honor. We picked up all the wedding flowers, thinking we were going to get them done way before the wedding. We pretty much went to the store a hundred times getting things that were forgotten about. Spent a large portion of our time trying to figure out what we were going to do with the flowers to make them look nice. We searched the internet and played around with the flowers. You'd think I would've thought of this before picking, and purchasing these flowers. Nope. Not me. All I knew was that I was putting them all together and tying a ribbon around them. DONE.'s pretty sad that I lacked a feminine touch in this area. My man of honor, stepped up for this part, and thank god for him!

Just to give you an idea, I choose these flowers...

  • 25 white hydrangeas, 
  • 150 light pink roses, 
  • 10 blush peonies, and 
  • 3 bunches of greens called Isreali Ruskus

The reason I decided to have hydrangeas was to basically save a buck. Honestly, they're huge and take up a lot of space. Which makes bouquets and centerpieces look full, and it means I can spend less on other flowers. It was a great choice, BUT (note the BUT) you have to keep them hydrated. Hence their name If you don't keep them hydrated they will inevitably turn in color, separate, and start wilting quickly. They were the biggest pains. What was my total bill for all these flowers? I paid $218.38 for everything. That covered, five bridesmaid bouquets, four nieces bouquets, three mother bouquets, eight boutonnieres, twelve vase centerpieces, rose petals for the flower girl to throw, rose petals that surrounded the aisle and most importantly my bridal bouquet. Still cheap enough, but what a headache.

I'll paint you a little picture. So it's Thanksgiving day, and I'm soaking 25 hydrangeas in my bath tub...trying to steam my dress, and packing my car alone. Since it's Thanksgiving I have family obligations to show for dinner (Thanksgiving is the reason why I had to pick up the flowers earlier than expected. As Friday was my wedding day). As I'm stressing out, I keep receiving text messages "Where are you?", "How much longer?". You'd think! You'd think they would forgo Thanksgiving like I was, to help me with my wedding, and rude. LOL In no way shape or form am I serious (it would've been nice without the added pressure though). To make a long story short, I had my Thanksgiving dinner, forgot about my wedding for a few hours, went late night Black Friday shopping for wedding things, talked to my photographer, and before I knew it I lost track of time. It truly flies bye. I must mention that it takes me an hour to go to my dads house, and another hour and thirty minutes to get back to my brothers house. So BOOM two and a half hours were lost, just like that. I was staying with my brother that night. You know, have a bro's night with laughs and relaxation.

By the time, we got ready to make all the bouquets, and boutonnieres it was late. We stayed up talking, and constructing every bouquet and boutonniere. Sure we had a lot of laughs, but we wished it went by faster. We finished at 4:30 A.M. It was horrific, and rough. I hit the bed, and with all the stress roaming in my mind couldn't sleep. I just remember my alarm sounding on my phone. It felt like a second of sleep. Since I was DIYing my wedding decor, and what not. I had to be at my venue at 8:00 A.M. to set up tables, chairs, and you know EVERYTHING. My wedding was suppose to start at 4:30 P.M. Bahahaha, what a good laugh. Nope that didn't happen. Here's a snap shot of my bouquet, and the centerpieces.

Not only did I decide to DIY my wedding, I foolishly decided to DIY my hair and makeup. This is something I regret. Although, I did a great job curling my hair, and doing my makeup...I wish I would've invested in this. I didn't think of how I would look for my wedding photos I'll have for the rest of my life. BUT OH WELL.

What did you learn?
  1. If you are DIYing, do it in a timely fashion. 
  2. The flowers are so hard to DIY too early. I would say to make your wedding bouquets the day before, you know in the morning. Put them in vases, put them in your refrigerator, or a very cool place. 
  3. Have help! I had six bridesmaid (all my sisters, and one sister in law)...why was my man of honor, and I the ones stuck doing this job alone? Pick your bridesmaids carefully. They need to be there for you the whole way through. That's just the way my cookie crumbled. Learn.
  4. Don't get too distracted from your wedding. I lost track of time, and got so distracted. 
  5. PLAN accordingly. If you think you have time...YOU DON'T. Add like two more hours than you thought to every DIY project. 
  6. Try not to have a wedding so close to a major holiday...if you can avoid it. 
  7. Just breathe. Just try and have a good attitude. 
  8. Appreciate those who are there for you no matter what. 

Wedding planning, is a fun and wonderful journey. Have fun with it. If you decide to do a last minute wedding like I did...may the force be with you. In the end you'll survive. Women take wedding planning so seriously because we feel this pressure to make our first day as husband and wife...and both families coming together perfect. Our wedding reflects on us brides more than the groom. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming, it's fun. I hope you learned a little lesson from my story.

  • Would I DIY my wedding flowers again? Absolutely! Without a doubt, I would plan better, but I would DIY the wedding flowers. It will save you so much money in the end. You just have no idea how much a florist will up-charge you! 
  • Find a wholesale flower location. This will probably be located in the Downtown, city areas. Mine was located in Downtown Orlando. Google these places, and stop by to check them out. Don't be afraid to get out there. That's exactly what I did. 
  • If you can't find a wholesale florist...wholesale clubs work too! Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, etc. These places always have nice flowers. Talk to the manager, ask to check the list of flowers they'll be getting around the time of your wedding. If you have to stop in one of these clubs to get flowers the day before...DO IT. I actually did this with a friend for her wedding...ON her Wedding day! lol  
  • Negotiate! Don't be afraid to wheel and deal! These florist are looking to get rid of flowers, because I'm sorry but we all know flowers can only last so long. My trick is to mention CASH! 
  • I always love to just talk to whoever I'm negotiating with. Get to know them, ask them questions. I let them think they are teaching me something, people love that. The prices start to go down when you mention referrals! Oh hell yeah they do! Business is number one. 
  • Once you have flowers, you need vases or some type of flower holder right?? Get your bridal butt to the Dollar Store. Just do it. Don't whine about it. They have nice vases. The vases I used were bought from the Dollar store! BOOM! Michael's had the same exact vase for $3.99. COME ON! I am not the one. I also found AB crystals there.  
  • Let's talk ribbon...I did go to Michaels for this. Use a coupon people. There's not a day I go to Michaels that I don't see a 40% off coupon right on their website. Pull it up on your phone. 
  • You'll also need floral tape. Get it, and use the 40% off coupon again.
  • Figure out how you want your flowers to look. There just flowers at the end of the day anyways. People were killing themselves trying to take the whole centerpiece at the end of my wedding guys! No there just flowers no matter how you splice it. They will die in a few days. Keep your flowers simple. 
  • Go to this website... 100 Candles and get some remote controlled submersible tea lights! Just buy the remote tea lights. It's so easy. Turn them on manually before the wedding. Then shut them off with the remote until your ready to use them for the reception. Have your coordinator or whoever turn them on. Its that simple. They will last your entire reception and more. They add so much to your centerpiece and they're still cheap. Guests were literally trying to walk away with my centerpieces. lol 
  • Get creative but keep it as simple as possible. You can do it! 
I had so much fun planning my wedding (cough cough). It's an experience I'm glad is over, but I loved spending time with my people. Not only do I get to see my people often, but we can talk about ME the whole time...AMAZING I loved planning my wedding, but most of all I loved watching my guests mouths drop when they found out I DIY'ed, what they thought I bought. The amazement on their face was priceless. I wish all my brides reading this all the best of luck, You can do it! It takes time, patience, and might not be able to sleep the night before your wedding, but it's all worth it :) Any questions? Just shoot me a comment. I'll gladly answer. 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The 10 Important Wedding Songs...

Over the years I've come up with posts about first dance songs. I was absolutely obsessed with what song my new husband and I would dance too. Not really realizing that I needed to focus on the rest of the weddings music as well. I found myself on my own blog searching for songs for walking down the aisle, my bridesmaids walk down the aisle, the father daughter dance, the mother son dance, the songs we must have at our reception, etc. That would be the very important ten songs. I'm being a little general, because not everyone uses all ten, or they have even more songs. Whatever be the case, I was so mad at myself for not being somewhat prepared. For a last minute wedding, it's so hard to do everything in such a short amount of time. My problem was that music is such a huge part of the wedding. I wanted to set the mood for my wedding, while keeping to my style of music. It was really hard. I was searching for songs any chance I had for over two weeks.

            No one told me finding music for my ceremony and reception was going to be so tedious. Not to mention I had to get songs approved by my future husband...and sometimes if I'm being honest with you was great and others a complete mess. LOL yes my lovely are just as difficult as women.

            Anyways, I'll do a break down of the music I had at my wedding to hopefully give you some ideas. My DJ helped me out with playing slow classical music during times the guest were waiting. So I was lucky I didn't have to find that type of music. The only thing I would tell you is to emphasize to your DJ to not have the music blaring loudly during these times. My DJ was right on when it came to the volume of the music. I was lucky to have a friend refer him to me.

Here are the 10 songs ... and the songs I used

Ceremony Processional

1. Mothers, Nieces, and Bridesmaid walking down the aisle song
Once Upon a Dream Instrumental

            I really love this song from Sleeping Beauty, and if you know me I'm a huge Disney fan. I have the words of this song glittered up on my filing cabinet. So once I found this I felt like it was perfect for my families walk down the aisle. 

2. My Father, and I walk down the aisle song. 
Falling Slowly by Once (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

          I must highly recommend any bride to play this song during their walk down the aisle. I had my guests in tears...not to mention the bridal party. It's just a beautiful song, and it's been a favorite song of mine for years. The walk down the aisle is the most important song in my opinion. It sets the mood for your union, and for your guests who are witnessing it. I was really big on not doing a traditional ceremony, and since I had a backyard wedding, this song went perfect. I had guests telling me that this song was so perfect, and so beautiful. We've all heard that traditional bridal march...which in my opinion is kind of boring, and just not me. If you want a romantic song, and nontraditional song, give this song a listen. 

         We didn't have any music playing in the backyard of our I do's. I choose not to play music, because my voice is just a tiny one. When I speak loudly it's not natural and it's strained. So I didn't want to yell my vows so the guests could hear. Not to mention, I wanted the moment to be intimate and have all the guests focusing their positive energy towards us. 

3. Recessional....After the I do's...I walked hand in hand with my new husband to this song...
Ho Hey by the Lumineers

Backyard wedding...Happy song...a little country, and a little hipster in it. My husband and I both loved this song, so why not? 

Reception songs...

4. Bridal party, and Bride and Groom Entrance song...
Black Betty by Ram Jam

This is a classic song why not! Yes I honestly played this song as my bridal party were introduced, and then Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez. I wanted to have fun! We're not an uptight bunch. My bridal party had so much fun with it, and so did we. It was a great day song to get the party started.

5. First Dance Song.
After All by Peter Cetera and Cher

There was a lot of thought that came with picking our first dance song. My groom was surprisingly helpful when it came to choosing this song. We both agreed this would be our song, mainly because it's so fitting to our relationship.

6. Father, Daughter Dance
Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

Yes, this song is a wedding cliche but my father dedicated this song to all his girls. I started this song from 2:49 minutes, because I knew my dad and I both didn't want to dance the entire song. I had to find the perfect place to start this song, and I had some tears in there. It's an emotional song. It's really hard not to shed some tears while dancing with your dad to this song. Be prepared. 

7. Mother, Son Song
The Man You've Become 

My mother in law, and fiance choose this song. They started the song at 2:14, and ended it at 2:50. It was a beautiful song. Their dance was very sweet too.

8. The Bouquet Toss
Single Ladies by Beyonce

This song was suggested by my DJ, and it's very fun!

9. The Garter Toss
Can't Get Enough of Your Love Baby by Barry White

I love this song... and honestly the guys had fun with it. 

10. Cake Cutting
Marry You by Bruno Mars

I didn't assign a song for this part, but I wish I had. This would probably be my pick.

That would be the general list of songs every wedding needs. It was such a hard job, so what I've decided to do is come up with a short cut for all my readers. Yes...I will be making lists (probably short ones lol) for every important song for your wedding. Give me some time though because that's a hard job. Keep in mind, I have a love for new...unique songs. Not to mention my love for Indie rock. So bare with me, I'll get it done. Keep your eyes out for it. Well readers, I hope you enjoyed the musical glimpse into my wedding, as well as some ideas for your own wedding. Until next time :)