Getting Started: *Take a moment to prioritize each element of your inspired wedding in order of importance to you. This will help you to distribute your budget accordingly. *Start an inspired wedding scrapbook filled with magazine clippings that catch your eye to serve as a visual reference for your vendors.
Stationery: *Even a simple sheet of card stock can make a lasting impression if you simply play around with wording, font combinations, and layouts. Also, incorporating a sense of the setting into the text of the invitation adds a nice personal touch (At sunset on the island of Jamaica . . . Under the willow tree . . . This autumn in the family garden . . . ). *Be sure to visit your local post office in advance with a sample of your save the date and invitation to ensure they will be approved to travel through the mail and to see if additional postage is required.
All Dressed Up: *Wedding dress designers often have up to two sample sales a year. Call your local boutique to find out the dates and you may just get to walk down the aisle in your dream gown for a fraction of the price. *Use your wedding shoes as house slippers for a week or two so you can get used to them before the big day. Having a pair of ballet flats with you at your wedding can also come in handy for tired toes.
Blissful Blooms: *If you are trying to save a little money on the cost of flowers, here’s a tip: avoid planning your wedding just before Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. *Personalize your bouquet by wrapping it in a photocopied love letter or note written during your courtship. Attaching a family heirloom is also a great personal touch.
Cocktails: *Bring an intimacy to your cocktail hour by scattering cushions, placing art books from home on coffee tables, and displaying little photo frames housing fun trivia about your relationship . . . how many days you have been together, who said I love you first for example. *Add a twist to your cocktails by adding a skewer of frozen cranberries as a garnish.
Let’s Celebrate: *Include the story of how you met into your ceremony. It allows guests to experience part of your love story. *Spray your favorite room spray about the dining room just before guests enter for a scented welcome. *Offer guests a midnight snack of donut holes and chocolate milk at their good byes. *Ask your music company or musicians to compile a CD for you of all the songs they played at your inspired wedding. It makes a great keepsake.
About The Author: Jo Gartin is the author of Jo Gartin’s Weddings: An Inspiring Guide for the Stylish Bride (January 2006; $22.95US/$30.95CAN; 1-59486-261-3). She founded her event-planning company, Love Luck and Angels, in 2002, after discovering her talents while planning her own inspired wedding. She is a regular contributor to InStyle and InStyle Weddings. Her work has been featured in many magazines, including Self, Lucky, and Women’s Wear Daily. Vogue named her their most-recommended wedding coordinator in 2004. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.