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How to Stay Calm the Morning of Your Wedding Day

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It’s here! The day you’ve dreamed about and spent hours planning has finally come! You’re feeling a whirlwind of emotions from excitement to nervousness. There’s a long list of to-dos before you walk down that aisle, and those pesky “what-ifs” are making you anxious. How can you slow it all down so that you can enjoy every minute of your special day? Keep calm, and prepare, prepare, prepare!  Each of the tips below will help you feel nothing but peace and happiness on the morning of your wedding day.

Photo // Tammy Odell Photography

Confirm All the Details a Few Days Prior

Knowing everything will be set and ready to go the day of your wedding will definitely give you some peace of mind. Clarify delivery times for the cake and flowers. Make sure vendors know when to arrive. Talk with your photographer and/or videographer about their plans and when they will need everyone ready. Check with your venue about set up and any additional information. Doing these things prior to the big day will give you the assurance that you and your vendors are all on the same page. It will also prevent confusion and give you time to make any adjustments, if necessary.

Set Out Everything You’ll Need the Day Before

The less running around you do on the morning of your wedding, the better. Grab everything you think you might need to get ready and put it all together in one place. This includes your dress, shoes, accessories, lingerie, garter, and perfume. Include cute, comfy “getting-ready” attire, such as a silky robe, soft PJ’s and slippers. Bring items you might need for hair and makeup touch-ups, like lipstick, powder, mascara, bobby pins, hairspray, and a curling iron. Having a bag of essentials with mints or gum, deodorant, bandaids, safety pins, etc., is always nice to have around as well. If you want to be extra sure you don’t forget anything, start making a checklist a few days before and add things as you think of them. Thinking ahead will be a life-saver!

Go to Bed Early

Yes, you have a lot of jitters the day of, but brides have them the night before too! These jitters can make it harder to fall asleep. Aim to go to bed an hour or two earlier than normal so that you can wake up feeling well-rested, refreshed, and full of energy for your big day!

Enjoy a Slow Morning

The best way to maintain serenity throughout your day is to have a leisurely morning. Wake up with plenty of time to invest in some self-care. Eat a healthy, high-protein breakfast, like a smoothie bowl or some eggs and fruit, while avoiding greasy, fatty foods. You might be too nervous to eat, but even a small snack is better than nothing! Lighting some candles and taking a relaxing bath is another great option. Throw in some bath salts, scatter some flower petals, put on a facemask. play some soothing music and breathe. Meditating is also recommended to calm nerves and establish a mindset of staying present in the moment throughout the day.

Know your Hair and Makeup Timeline

Getting your hair and makeup done, and that of your bridesmaids, is a big part of the day and takes up a good amount of time. To avoid going over the expected time, you must know where you need to be and when you need to be there. Talk with bridesmaids about their hair and makeup preferences several days in advance, and schedule accordingly. Also, make sure to check with your hair and makeup stylists about how to prep beforehand. They may ask you to come with your hair curled, foundation applied, etc. Having this timeline planned out in advance keeps you on track and brushed.

Choose Your Inner Circle Wisely

Who you’re around absolutely affects your mood. Taking this into consideration, invite only those who bring out your best self to be in the room getting ready with you. This could be your mom, grandma, aunt, bridesmaids, etc. Planners, makeup artists, hair stylists and photographers/videographers will be around you as well, so choose professionals that have good energy and that you feel natural around. Check out some of our Houston professionals! Think about putting a note on your door for others to kindly respect your time getting ready, and have a person you trust answer any questions and handle situations.

Create a Calm Environment

While you’re getting ready, you want to feel relaxed and at ease. One way to do this is by filling your room with your favorites scents. Diffuse calming oils, light a special candle, or use a room spray you love. You could also play all your favorite songs, from throwbacks to love songs, or turn on a wedding morning playlist. Singing along allows you to let loose and shake off the jitters. The familiarity of your favorite scents and songs creates a comforting environment you’ll appreciate. Just don’t forget to add the scents and speakers to your checklist!

Schedule in Extra Time

One of the most important things you can do is make a plan with plenty of time. Allow enough time not only to get everything done, but also to relax and enjoy the little moments. This extra time can be used for first looks, reading letters from your fiancé and family members, and hanging out with your girls. Give yourself time for mimosas, dance parties, reminiscing, and giving any bridal party gifts! You’ll be happy you penciled in extra time if appointments run longer than expected as well. Lastly, aim to be ready 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony begins. Spend those last moments savoring the moment and taking some breaths, instead of rushing.

Looking for some more wedding tips? Click here for an etiquette guide on when to send save-the-dates, thank-you cards, and more!

Celebrate the Bride-To-Be with these Virtual Bachelorette Party Ideas

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Virtual bachelorette parties are definitely unlike any party we’ve been to before, but we’re so loving them! While going virtual is not exactly ideal, these virtual bachelorette party ideas are guaranteed to make the bride-to-be in your life still feel loved and celebrated no matter how far apart you may be. Online doesn’t have to be boring – and you definitely don’t all have to be in one place to have fun. For the maid of honor who may be struggling on how to altar your plans to fit into quarantine, read below for all the inspiration you could need!

virtual bachelorette party ideas

Photo // Tammy Odell Photography

1. Send Out Invitations

What’s a party without the invitations? Whether you’re wanting to go down the traditional path of physical invitations or the more modern of evites, sending out invitations is an important first step when planning a virtual bachelorette party! Put a little extra attention into the planning of your invitations, and make sure it is more than a simple calendar invite. You want your bride-to-be to feel super special and celebrated in all the details! Include all the brides closest friends when sending out invites – even those who did not make it into the bridal party, but who the bride still wants to have there. Some things to consider including on the invitation are: the date and time the party will commence, the platform it will happen on plus a link to join, the theme (read below!), and what to expect the party to be like!

2. Choose a Theme

The theme of her bachelorette party is oh-so-important in showing the bride how much you love and care for her! Choosing the theme to be about something she loves is key to having a great time, whether you’re together or apart. This theme can go along with everything you do for the day! Movie-lover? Have a movie night and costume party. Loves a good spa day and mani-pedi? Throw an at-home spa day. Was her party supposed to be at the beach? Have a pool party and at-home happy hour. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to picking-and-choosing a theme!

3. Send Gifts to go with the Theme

No bachelorette party is complete without sending out cute party gifts to all the guests! Whatever your chosen theme may be, stick with it in everything – including the gifts you send. This can be cute bridal party shirts for everyone to wear on the day, personalized champagne glasses to drink out of, pool floaties to lounge in, house slippers and nail polish or a sentimental gift that connects them back to the bride in a special way. Make sure these are sent out and arrive to their destination before the party date!

4. Get Dressed Up!

You finally have an occasion to get out of your pajamas and put on makeup for – yay! While you can’t go anywhere, make yourself and the bride-to-be feel special by getting ready and dressed up for the party. Especially if the party has a theme, encourage all guests to get in on the action. It’s the little things that go a long way!

5. Order Your Fave Foods To-Go

Whether you’re throwing a brunch, lunch or dinner party, choosing the same restaurant (if possible) for everyone to order their own food from brings a cohesive element to the party that you would have had in-person! Make sure the restaurant is a favorite of the bride and a special detail that will add to the party atmosphere (because who doesn’t love some great party food?). Delivering DIY meal kits also doubles as a great party activity and a meal to eat along the way. Besides the main course, delivering cute personalized donuts, cupcakes or candy for dessert is always a great way to end any meal (sorry skinny jeans)!

6. Choose a Fun Activity for the Day

Host a Movie Night + Costume Party

Hosting a movie night is a great way for the bride to sit and (virtually) relax with all her closest friends! To make things more fun and interesting, have all the guests dress up as characters of the movie you will be watching!

Have a Cocktail Hour

Brunch parties are always a great opportunity to sit and sip on a mimosa with all your gal pals! Turn cocktail hour into a party game by having guests make their own drinks and presenting them to the party – the most creative wins! Guests can even swap recipes at the end of the night!

Create an At-Home Spa

This idea is perfect for the bride-to-be who loves to be pampered! Deliver to your guests nail polish, candles, slippers, face masks or anything else to complete the ultimate at-home spa day.

Host a Group Workout or Yoga Class

Helping the bride get wedding-body ready and having a sweat session doubles to create the ultimate virtual bachelorette party idea! There are SO many virtual opportunities for this idea lately, and it’s a simple way to get all guests moving during quarantine!

Get Creative: Have a Virtual Sip and Paint or Flower/Succulent Arrangement Class!

Bring a little creativity to the party by hosting a virtual sip and paint, or flower arrangement class! Collect all the needed supplies to send out to guests before the day (this is so so essential). Once the day arrives, have an artsy guest member lead the party or find an outside teacher to lead it for everyone!

At-Home Glamping

Have guests turn their living room into the ultimate camp out (glamping style, of course)! This can be done by building a blanket fort, setting up a tent, turning on a virtual campfire and making microwave s’mores!

Soak Up The Sun

With it being summer time, guests can relax and soak up the sun outdoors! While not everyone may have access to a pool, a good lawn chair and a bathing suit is all you need!

7. End with Stories and Well-Wishes for the Bride

Finish off the party by reminiscing on all the wonderful times you have had with the bride. Share your funniest stories, best memories and sentimental moments that show the bride why you love and care so much about her. Close everything out by wishing the bride well in her future marriage!

Now that you’re all set to throw a virtual bachelorette party, get our tips for hosting a virtual wedding shower!

When-to-Send Etiquette Guide for Everything from Save-the-Dates to Thank-You Notes

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Calligraphy, save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you notes. If any of these wedding elements or the etiquette surrounding when and how they are supposed to be handled confuses you, we are here to make it crystal clear! The Tulsa-based, two-woman calligraphy team Laurel & Marie answer all in this when-to-send etiquette guide you’ll definitely want to bookmark for later. Read on for a Q&A that will clear up any confusion you might have!

invitation etiquette

Photo // Wendy Bobarkin Photography

At what point in the planning process should a couple begin working on their invitation design?

This is a moving target that will be different for each couple! A few questions to consider:

Are you going for a custom or a semi-custom design? Fully custom designs can take up to 3 months to develop, as there’s lots of back-and-forth with your designer as you nail down the designs, paper choices and printing methods. Semi-custom designs are much quicker to see proofs (usually 1-2 weeks) because you’re not starting from scratch — you’re choosing a previously-created design and having the wording and colors tweaked to fit your event.

Are you choosing a specialty printing method or hand-calligraphed envelopes? Digital printing has a turnaround time of just a few days, whereas letterpress, foil printing and calligraphy will all add 2+ weeks to your timeline. (Don’t forget to factor in shipping time, too!)

How far in advance do you want to send your invitations? We recommend about 8 weeks before the big day for most weddings. If you haven’t sent save-the-dates or are having a destination wedding, you might tack on an extra 2-4 weeks to make sure everyone has time to make travel plans.

Add all of these considerations together, and you’ll see that it’s prudent to start working on your invitation design anywhere between 3 to 12 months before your wedding! Consider booking your stationer even further in advance (especially for custom design and/or calligraphy), as we limit the number of clients we can accommodate each month.

When should save-the-dates be sent out?

If you’re having a large wedding or a destination wedding, we recommend sending save-the-dates 9-12 months in advance so guests can ask for time off work and book accommodations if needed. For smaller weddings, six months should be plenty!

When should wedding invitations be sent out?

We recommend about 8 weeks before the big day for most weddings. If you haven’t sent save-the-dates or are having a destination wedding, you may need to tack on an extra 2-4 weeks to make sure everyone has time to make travel plans. It’s tempting to send invitations out 3 or more months in advance, but remember, you don’t want guests to lose your invitation, forget to RSVP or lose track of hotel/registry/directional information before they need it!

How far before the wedding should the RSVP date be?

Start by asking your venue and caterer when they need final numbers! Most will say 3-4 weeks before the wedding. Don’t forget to tack on at least an extra week to track down stragglers — you’d be surprised at how many people forget to RSVP! If you’re ordering day-of stationery items (escort cards, seating charts, etc.) that will be affected by your guest list, be sure to communicate the RSVP date to your stationer/calligrapher as well.

After how long post-wedding should thank you notes be mailed?

Many people insist that you have an entire year to send thank-you notes, but come on! Miss Manners requests that you write them immediately. Emily Post will give you up to three months. We think it’s the perfect post-honeymoon activity to settle into married life. Hop to it! Pro-tip: order your blank thank-you notes, envelopes and postage stamps before the big day so that you already have them on hand after the wedding ready to go.

Any other deadlines couples should be aware of in regards to their invitations?

If you have your heart set on hand-lettered or calligraphed envelopes, inquire with your calligrapher as soon as possible (even if you don’t have all of your wedding details nailed down yet). Most calligraphers take on a very limited number of projects each month, and envelopes for a large guest list can take several weeks to complete by hand. We’re happy to hold space for you in our calendar, even if you’re not ready to commit to a certain ink color or calligraphy style just yet.

Thank you to the Laurel & Marie team for answering these need-to-know questions about wedding calligraphy and invitation etiquette! To connect with this vendor directly, visit their vendor profile here. Cheers!

This #Potterhead Couple’s Engagement Photos Are Magic

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We love the way this couple incorporated their love for Harry Potter into their enchanting engagement photos! Expertly captured by Laura Eddy Photography at the beautiful Turner Falls, this magical shoot is filled with waterfall backdrops, scenic forest walks, and so much love! Emily and Trevor met in a college acting class they took together in 2012, but it would be a few years before they bonded over their love for the magical book series and leviosa’d their relationship to the next level. They will be married at Sparrow Beginnings in May of the following year with a ceremony and reception to be planned by Bethany Faber Events. Emily is thinking “French country meets luxe” in terms of theme, and she plans for a palette of French blue, blush, champagne and eucalyptus green. She is most excited that they will be married “in the round” at the venue, where they will be up on a circular stage altar and guests’ seats will surround the couple instead of just in front of them. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together! Read on to hear Emily’s adorable story about how Trevor proposed. Cheers to Emily and Trevor!

Photos // Laura Eddy Photography

From the bride: “Trevor proposed at the ice skating rink where we first hung out. It has always been a special place for us because we started out as friends before we became a couple, and the ice skating rink was where we really became close friends.”

Newly engaged yourself? We have ALL the wedding planning intel. Browse the very best of Oklahoma wedding vendors here, or check out real wedding inspiration here. Happy scrolling!

How to Plan and Host the Best Virtual Wedding Shower

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Wedding showers don’t have to be thrown in person – and in fact, can be just as fun online! While this might not be the most conventional, we think virtual wedding showers can still be special and make the to-be-weds feel just as celebrated and loved. Look on the plus side: friends and family in different states or friends who can’t leave the house? Going virtual solves all these problems and allows everyone to be there no matter what! While in-person activities have been postponed to later dates, these online planning tips for having the best virtual wedding shower now will be just as great in the meantime! Happy (virtual) planning!

virtual wedding shower

Photo // Susan Alyse Photography

Tip 1: Send out invitations

Sending out invitations can be done either virtually or physically! Keeping the tradition of sending physical invitations is a great way to help the couple have a sense of “normalcy” in a time where their plans have been turned upside-down. Either way you choose, finding a local invitation designer to make the prettiest invitations is a great way to share all the information about the shower! Some things to consider including on the invitations: date and time, the platform on which the shower will happen and a link to join in the meeting, an explanation of how the shower will commence, a way to RSVP and any details about gifts, gift registries or attire!

Tip 2: Have a party theme

Who doesn’t love attending a party with a cute and fun theme? It is so easy to still make this happen for the couple! Having everyone wear the same color (preferably the couple’s wedding colors or favorite color in general) will bring a cohesive element to everything. Other ideas could be having a “Taco Tuesday” theme, a cocktail hour or sending out a virtual background for everyone to have when they call into the shower!

Tip 3: Decorate the shower space – and encourage all guests to, too!

When planning and sending out invitations, consider sending all guests some small pieces of decor for them to decorate the space they will be virtually calling in from! Another option is surprising the couple by full-on decorating their virtual space like you would have for their shower if it were happening normally. This is a great way to still make the couple feel special and celebrated in a small and easy way!

Tip 4: Deliver the same food and drinks to everyone

Keep the theme alive and well for the couple with everyone eating the same food! You can do this for any theme and almost any type of cuisine you want to have. Throwing a brunch shower? Have festive donuts, muffins or other breakfast food delivered to guests for you all to eat together virtually! For a “Taco Tuesday” theme, deliver a DIY taco bar for all guests to do together as an activity and to eat together (two in one – score!). Many of our local caterers and bakeries are offering this option right now – go check them out! Or send them the intended menu to nab their own apps and sweets.

Tip 5: Play shower games

Playing shower games is fun, easy and a great way for all guests to be involved with the couple! Some ideas for games could be couple’s trivia, where guests are asked a question about the couple and hold up an object when they know the answer. Another is the classic newlywed game, where guests ask the couple questions such as, “Who said I love you first,” and the couple raises the shoe of the person the answer is. A “walk down memory lane” game is also a sweet and sentimental game guests can play. Ask everyone to find one thing in their home that reminds them of the couple, then ask guests to share why they picked that item! If a game has a winner, make sure to keep track of who won each to send them a prize!

Tip 6: Open gifts

Finally, the couple can still open gifts they receive from their guests! Include on the invitation where you would like gifts to be sent and the date sent by, in order for them to arrive in time for the shower. The couple can open them on camera for all guests to watch and enjoy! If a guest has not sent in their present, give them the option to open it on the couple’s behalf virtually or send it in at a later date!

Tip 7: Have a social hour for guests to chat

Once all the formal shower festivities are over, let your guests stay on the call and chat! This helps the party feel more like a social event and like what you would do in-person. Guests from close and afar can reminisce and have a personal connection, even from far away! This is also a great way to gradually end the shower, instead of cutting it off as soon as the events are all over!

Optional: Throw a half in-person, half online shower!

This wedding shower idea is for the couple that has close family and friends that live locally! Set up a cute lounge area in the front yard for the couple to sit at while guests drive by and drop off gifts. Make sure there is a designated person on-site to go up to cars to grab the gifts and to sanitize them as they come in (safety first!). Once all expected guests have dropped off their gifts, head inside to start the virtual shower! This is the part for those family and friends that aren’t local but still want to celebrate. Go about planning the virtual shower with the tips mentioned above, and the couple is sure to have the best day EVER!

The COVID-19 pandemic truly sticks, but we can still celebrate! Check out our other resources for #coronabrides here.