How to Keep Wedding Jitters from Getting in the Way of Sleep

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The cake, the caterer, the flowers, the seating arrangement – your checklist seems to just keep growing. Unfortunately, the planning can add a significant amount of stress to your wedding jitters. As stress increases, you'll find it's harder to get a full seven to nine hours of sleep. Though stress and sleep deprivation feed off of one another, you can put a stop to the cycle. By incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine while developing healthy sleep habits, you’ll be able to enjoy the special months before your wedding.

Wedding Stress and Sleep Deprivation

Anytime you get less than seven hours of sleep, the portion of your brain that processes emotions goes into overdrive. It becomes highly sensitive to any negative thoughts, emotions, or events.

Normally, the brain's logic and reasoning center keeps your emotions in check. However, when sleep deprived, this part of the brain becomes less active. You’re left with magnified emotions at one of the most stressful times in your life because stress causes you to lose sleep and sleep loss leads to more stress.

While you can’t get rid of all of your stress, you can manage it in healthy ways to reduce its effects. As you work on stress management and develop good sleep habits, your emotions will stay grounded so you don't have any embarrassing bridezilla moments.

Stress Management Techniques

Daily Meditation

Meditation has a powerful mental and physical impact on your body. When done regularly, it can strengthen the connection between the brain's logic and emotional centers, restoring balance to your emotions. It can also help you focus on the present moment so that wedding thoughts don't overwhelm you at bedtime.

Journaling

Sometimes it's the running list of tasks you need to accomplish that keeps you awake and ramps up your stress at night. Take a few minutes before lying in bed to write down what you want to accomplish the next day. It also gives you a place to process your emotions and leave stress on the page. Once you're done, you can close your journal and let your mind relax.

Yoga

Sore, tight muscles often begin with stress. Gentle yoga poses provide a way to relieve tension before bed. It's also been shown to reduce stress-related inflammation, improve moods, and increase energy levels.

Sleep Habits that Help

You need sleep to keep stress under control. Thankfully, sleep responds to changes in habits so your personal behaviors can help you get a few more ZZZs.

1.Keep a Consistent Bedtime

This may sound simple, but it's one of the easiest ways to enhance your sleep. The human brain thrives off of the predictability and will start to release sleep hormones to accommodate your preferred schedule.

2. Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary

The bedroom should only serve two purposes – sleep and sex. Clean up clutter, move out your desk and gym equipment, and try to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. At night, keep it as dark as possible and lower the room temperature to stay comfortable.

3. Stick to a Bedtime Routine

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, a soothing bedtime routine gives you a chance to relieve tension and stress before bed. Try to perform each activity in the routine in the same order and at the same time each day, even weekends.

Conclusion

Your wedding is an exciting event that you should be able to enjoy. As you work to manage stress and get the rest you need, you and your partner will be able to grow closer as you prepare to start your life together.


How to Plan for a Wedding, a Move, and Buying a Home with Minimal Stress

 Photo Credit:  Pexels

Photo Credit: Pexels

When you’re trying to tackle three major life events at once, things can get pretty intense. Dealing with the planning, the expenses, and the execution of a big move and buying a home, and a wedding can make it hard to focus on the tasks you need to complete for each. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to help you minimize stress. Follow these helpful tips to stay on task and stay focused during all this change.


Sort Through Your Stuff     

There’s no doubt that putting together a wedding will keep you pretty busy over the next few months. And when you add buying a home into the mix, you’re going to have more than enough on your plate. However, now is the perfect opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need and decide what goes with you and what you can put into storage. According to Sparefoot, the overall average price of a self-storage unit booked in Seattle over the past 180 days is $121.67, which is a small price to pay to ensure your new home doesn’t become a haven for your college dorm room decor. You can always revisit the need to possess your excess later but now isn’t the time to blindly purge meaningful belonging, but it’s also not the time to make them part of your new life.


Plan Ahead for Your Move   

In addition to sorting your stuff, you can also make plans for your move well ahead of time. This will ensure that small but important tasks such as picking up moving supplies and booking a moving truck won’t slip through the cracks. You can also price out your move so that you can work the expenses into your budget over the coming months. That’s bound to be a big help when you’re already budgeting for a deposit on a home, closing costs, and wedding day expenses. You can get an estimate of rental rates, as well as advice on moving supplies and accessories, by visiting a few moving sites. For example, U-Haul and Budget both have simple websites that can get you started with your moving plans.


Review Your Finances Together

You can do some pre-planning for your move now, but you also need to know how to navigate the homebuying process. First, if you haven’t discussed your finances as a couple, you need to do that ASAP. You should both pull copies of your credit reports and review them for errors. Look for any old accounts or misinformation, and take steps to remove credit issues. Being aware of your credit also means not using too much credit to pay for wedding expenses since opening new lines of credit can impact your loan offers. You should also get a good idea of your joint income and put together a solid budget that will help you cover the costs of your new home, your wedding and any other financial goals you may have as a couple.


Pay Professional to Help

From moving to buying a home to planning your wedding, trying to keep track of all your “to-do’s” is bound to get overwhelming. This is no time to add extra stress for either of you, so it’s worth it to hire professionals to help you stay on track with all of your planning. First, look for an experienced wedding planner to help you plan your celebration. This professional can offer priceless advice when it comes to your celebration and help coordinate with caterers, florists, and other wedding professionals. For your home, make sure you are working with a licensed realtor who can make the homebuying process much easier. Finally, consider hiring professional movers, who can make packing and moving your homegoods much easier, and help you use your time for more pressing tasks.


Getting married is such a major life event, but buying a home and moving are pretty big changes, too. By planning ahead and budgeting for professional help, you can save yourself some stress and enjoy all the excitement of these big life steps as you take them together.


-It’s Your Day Events guest writer, Alice Robertson

Save a little for yourself this weekend....

 Photo by Mary Kahlor

Photo by Mary Kahlor

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...One of them involves heavily gorging yourself with delicious food, the other 3 are about shopping and sales! But they just so happen to be all coming up back to back. We know you may be scrambling, looking at ads, trying to figure out what to buy everyone on your list. But!...Don't forget about yourself. If you (or someone you know) are currently planning a wedding, we have got a wonderful little sale for YOU!

Now through Tuesday 11/27 at 11:59pm, Save 20% OFF all of our packages! Do you have to decide quick and book us by tuesday night? NO! As long as you inquire with us and set up a free consultation in the next few weeks, we will honor the pricing through the end of 2018! 

BONUS: If you do decide to book with us before the sale ends, we will not only give you $25 credit towards anything from our expressions studio, but we will also donate $25 to Northwest Harvest! That is enough to provide a family of three 37 nutritious meals!

All you have to do, is inquire with us and mention our Small Business Saturday Sale! 

Until we meet again, Happy Thanksgiving weekend from our entire team to you and yours!

Seattle Wedding Planners Share Their Top 12 Favorite Local Venues

 Photo by Affinity Photography

Photo by Affinity Photography

Puget Sound wedding venues...there are so many to choose from, yet at the same time not enough. Peak season in the PNW runs June-September. If you don’t book your venue at least a year in advance you may find yourself scrambling to find something that fits your ideal date. There are so many to weed through. How do you know which ones are the best? First, you could narrow it down to ones that fit your ideal vision (that’s a whole ‘nother blog!) and go from there. However, today we’d like to share with you our top 12 favorite venues in the greater Seattle area. All three of our lead planners at It’s Your Day have chosen their top 4 (with a few honorable mentions) and we break it down on why said venues tickle our fancy and have made the cut.


Ashley’s Top 4:

  1. Willows Lodge Woodinville

    Located in Woodinville Wine Country, Willows Lodge has a charm that appeals to all types. It has a PNW lodge feel with lots of wood and a tiny hint of rustic charm. The gardens & grounds are absolutely beautiful, complete with a firepit, lawn games, and pet pigs. The venue is also an actual lodge/hotel complete with a spa, so you and your guests have a place to stay the night(s) of the wedding AND get pampered. The most notable thing about the venue however, is THE FOOD! Willows wedding meals are catered by the Barking Frog restaurant. Mmmm. This is a fabulous venue, and in fact, we will be there showcasing the venue January 27th, 2019 for the 10th annual Weddings in Woodinville.

  2. The Golf Club at Newcastle Newcastle

    Even if you absolutely loathe golf, this venue is worth it for the breathtaking view! Situated up on a hill near Cougar Mountain, the view expands from Downtown Seattle to Bellevue, to the Olympics, Cascades and beyond. You can choose from a few different locations for your ceremony & reception here, but our favorite is the tent on the Prestwick Terrace. Delicious food & incredible service round this venue out as a solid top choice.


  3. Salty’s at Alki West Seattle

    Located in the beautiful Alki area of West Seattle, Salty’s has arguably one of the most amazing views across the water of the Downtown Seattle skyline. Many people don’t know that this amazing restaurant has a full event space located downstairs. Depending  on your guest count, you can utilize one to three of the adjoining rooms to fit up to 240 seated guests. They have two patios, right outside on the water, perfect for ceremonies and/or cocktail hour, and feeling that cool ocean breeze on your skin. On top of all that, the food is incredible. Did I mention this is where I got married!!?? :)

  4. Ballard Bay Club Ballard

    Another beautiful waterview venue, this gem is located in Ballard. This venue has a bit of everything; with 2 rooms to utilize, (seating up to 400) complimented by brick and a warm wood tones, as well as a patio and bit of lawn space for the ceremony or outdoor cocktail hour. Enjoy the palm trees, and the view of the Olympics, giving it that true beachy yet PNW feel. This venue is operated and catered by Jewel Hospitality Group which is a wonderful team of professionals who serve up some amazing food (they have a few other fun venues too).

Ashley’s Honorable Mentions: SODO Park, Hidden Meadows


Christina’s Top 4:

1. Edgewater  Hotel Seattle

This venue is iconic Seattle—we’re talking the hotel where Led Zeppelin crazily trashed their room and the Beatles fished out their hotel window- it’s located right on the water with breathtaking views of the sound. The Edgewater offers an elegant refined feel, and one that has the essence of our great Emerald City all over it. Getting married here provides the convenience of being downtown along the water with easy access to plenty of fun things to explore for out of town guests. The Edgewater hotel also offers room blocks so you and your guests are able to stay up until the mic drop of the last song, and then either go out for the after party or walk down the hall to your comfy room! The venue coordinator Catrina is fabulous, and she along with your wedding coordinator will guide you through all that is the Edgewater, making sure your wedding day is just as you dreamed!

2. The Woodmark Kirkland

This is another waterfront hotel venue combo- it sits on Lake Washington in Kirkland. This hotel has a very refined nautical theme and there are various areas to get married at, all along the well-kept lakefront. There are many highlights about this venue option, from the hotel convenience to the amazing selection in food and service. This venue is less congested than a Seattle venue and offers easy parking for guests, as well as the cute little city of downtown Kirkland in almost walkable distance. There are sweeping stairs for stunning photo ops, and you even get a boat ride after you say your I-do’s! The attention to detail and service that is given to each couple that gets married here is truly genuine. They do require a day-of coordinator and that is to continue the ease of your wedding planning.  Working with your planner and venue coordinator, this venue will bring you a well-rounded beautiful day with high end service from pre-ceremony to your last dance.

3.  Skansonia Ferry Northlake-Seattle

Yes, another water view venue!! This venue is on a vintage moored Ferry Boat, and is chock-full of Seattle history. Located on North Lake Union; you have the panoramic skyline of Seattle as your backdrop, and meditative sounds of the water lapping at the sides of the boat as the boat traffic quietly passes by and sea planes land in the distance. This venue is pretty special as I got married there in 2011! They have made a lot of upgrades since then. The biggest compliment I received when having my wedding was that the food was amazing-- which it was! The buffet was lavish with plenty to choose from. The dance hall is already lit up with bistro lights, and ready for the party. This venue doesn’t host the same convenience as the hotels do, but is treat for those visiting from out of state, especially if you are having a summer wedding!


4. Treehouse Point Issaquah

We are now venturing out of Seattle, still King County, but somewhere a little bit more PNW, and hearty. Amongst the trees, if you please! Who doesn’t love tree houses? Not what your 10 year old self remembers, but designer treehouse; with plush beds and heaters inside. I can’t describe fully how beautiful these treehouses are, but they are designed by Nelson Treehouses...go take a peek at that website. The first time we did a wedding at this venue I felt totally blown away. There are trails, and a beautiful river that runs behind you. They have Yoga in the pond room which is also where the dancing happens after dinner on your wedding night, and much more. The Treehouses are for you and your guests to stay in, there are  6 Treehouses and the couple should certainly stay in a Treehouse on their wedding night, the rest is for your close family or bridal party. Food is provided by caterers off their preferred vendor list. This is a really dreamy spot to get hitched, and you really feel like you’re somewhere extremely special….because you are, and that is in nature.

Christina’s Honorable Mentions :  Rainier Chapter House, Melrose Market Studios


Sara’s Top 4:

  1. Maplehurst Farm Mount Vernon

Beautifully situated in the heart of the Skagit Valley in Mount Vernon Washington, this venue is my top pick (I love it so much, we got married there!!). It boasts views of Mount Baker, and is a well maintained 6 acre family farm. You can count on ample space for up to 225 guests, including plenty of parking and ceremony space options galore. If you have a smaller guest list, there is a tiny “Secret Garden” situated behind the mansion. Or go big on the main lawn, in the gardens, in the barn or under the impressive treeline that welcomes you to the venue. Get your vendors together & let the festivities begin!


2. Lairmont Manor Bellingham

This venue is pretty unique. Indoor or outdoor space is available for 100 to 250 guest respectively. The Manor is a century old Italian Renaissance-Style estate, with a BEAUTIFUL  garden. I could spend all day in the garden you guys...I wonder if they would let me just sit there a while with a book, and a glass of wine!? Okay, back on track, the landscaping on the grounds is basically enough, so additional ceremony decor is pretty unnecessary. Not to mention the fountains! Meaning, you can focus your time and energy toward making the tent beautiful for your big day. If we had gotten married in the summer, this would’ve been a top choice for us. Winter wedding indoors anyone? The historic town of Fairhaven is close by, and is a place your guests would probably love to tool around for a long weekend. Take pictures by Bellingham Bay during cocktail hour, and dance the night away under the giant oak trees at the Lairmont Manor!


3. Semiahmoo Resort   Blaine

This venue really has it all. Ocean views, city views, tasty food, great staff, and room for all your guests. It is close enough to town, that you can find anything you need, yet far enough out of town to feel like you are on a little vacation. Hey, lets just be honest and call it a wanna-be destination wedding, without the plane ticket! For the win! Your guests can make it a long weekend, come and golf or enjoy time out on the ocean. Nearby, Bellingham has something for everyone. Get married on the beach, the dock or snuggle up under the giant wedding tent, have a kids party during the reception in their mini movie theater, and a killer after party at the bar. Brunch the next day to say farewell to all your favorite people. I’m SOLD.


4. Swan Trail Farms Snohomish

This venue is just waiting for your vision to bring it to life. Get married on the grassy knoll, under the open, yet covered patio area, or under the pergola by the scenic pond. The staff there is friendly and hard working, and your 250 guests will have ample space to party! Go back each year and check out the pumpkin patch & corn maze that is on property and look back fondly on your big day! I say I DO!

Sara’s Honorable Mentions: Seattle Aquarium, Fremont Foundry


There you have it~ Our top 12 PNW area venues (make that 18 including our fabulous honorable mentions)! Check them out. Hopefully this helps in your search for your perfect venue. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, we are always down to chat weddings!


Cheers!

Ashley, Christina & Sara (the lead planners at It’s Your Day Events).


 Photo by Affinity Photography

Photo by Affinity Photography

Getting Married Locally? Here's How to Prep Your Home for the Big Day

You've spent the better part of a year planning, and the big day is almost here. The décor is ready to go, you've checked in with your vendors, and your dress fits like a dream. Everything is perfect for your wedding day … almost. Unless everyone is staying at a hotel throughout the festivities, you'll want to take these steps to get your home ready for the big event, too.

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1. Set Up the Guest Rooms

It's not uncommon to host relatives at your home when getting married locally. Older parents and grandparents appreciate a home-like environment over holing up at a hotel and eating meals out. Ensure your home is comfortable for guests by putting fresh bedding and towels in bedrooms, clearing out closet space for guests to use and decluttering the coat closet so everyone's items can fit. Apartment Therapy suggests a few more things you can do to make houseguests more comfortable and your life easier.

2. Stock the Kitchen

You'll want to eat well the week of your wedding so you feel your best the day of the nuptials, but with the chaos of wedding prep you may not find time to cook. Stock your refrigerator with healthy snacks like cut vegetables and hummus, raw nuts, and fresh fruit. If you'll be hosting guests, ask about dietary restrictions and preferences and shop accordingly. Don't forget to purchase coffee and tea, cocktail supplies and finger snacks for mingling the day your guests arrive (Food52 names the essentials).

3. Streamline Your Housekeeping

In the days leading up to your wedding, your focus should be on the big event, not keeping your house clean with guests. If family is staying with you, delegate chores to ease the burden. If one person washes the bath towels while another loads the dishwasher daily, you can focus on quick and easy tasks like wiping down kitchen and bathroom counters once per day. With people walking in and out constantly, the floors will the hardest to keep clean. You could vacuum daily, or you could spend a little bit on a robotic vacuum cleaner and not worry about it. While some robotic vacuum cleaners are costly, there are some great, affordable options on the market that are worth checking out.

4. Glam Out Your Bed and Bath

From the moment you wake up on your wedding day, you should feel like royalty. If you're staying at home before the wedding, give your sleeping quarters the bridal treatment. Replace your quilt with a fluffy white comforter and pillowcases to match, hang romantic curtains in the windows, and replace surface clutter with bouquets, candles and other charming touches. In the bathroom, clear the counters and lay out your wedding day beauty essentials.

5. Establish a Gift Drop Area

You probably won't touch the mountain of wedding gifts until you're back from the honeymoon. Keep gifts from taking over your house by establishing a drop zone ahead of time. However, you shouldn't hide them in a spare closet — if a gift-giver sees, it could hurt some feelings. Prepare a table or area of your living room where gifts can be arranged nicely until your return.

 

Your home may not be the center of your wedding festivities, but that doesn't mean your guests won't see it. You may be hosting family, getting dressed for the wedding at home, or just running back and forth preparing for the big event. In any case, your home should help set the mood for your nuptials, not be yet another thing to worry about.

 

 

It's Your Day Events Guest Writer: Alice Robertson

Image via Unsplash

Intern Call! Seeking awesome intern for Summer!

Hello and Happy Spring! We are currently in search of an awesome summer intern to work with us Mid-June through Mid-October.

School credit is available if applicable.

Photo by Aubrey Joy

 

The details:

The Intern will be responsible for assisting with weddings and events on weekends. Additional learning opportunities are available, such as blogging and social media contribution. 

The ideal candidate must be polished, self-motivated, loves weddings, enthusiastic, detail oriented and comfortable being on their feet/active most of the day. They must be able to self-manage and work independently. Growth opportunities are available if the candidate is a right fit to join the event planning team as an Assistant Coordinator. This is a Woman, Best Friend, Co-Owned business. All three of our regular employees started as interns.

This is an extremely part-time position with potential to grow. Currently, we are looking for someone to start as an off-season intern, pay is stipend DOE and time commitment. You would be able to work from home on any assigned tasks, such as blogging or vendor research. The time commitment is approx 1-2 hours a week for non-wedding day work. Occasional attendance at staff meetings required, approximately monthly. On weeks we have weddings the time commitment is approx 12 hours. 

Responsibilities: 

- Assist Lead Planner at weddings (this is a multi-hats position and can include everything from placing table numbers to setting up chairs, getting the DJ a plate of food, to floofing the bride's dress before she walks down the aisle)
- Client and vendor communication
- Vendor research & networking
- Submit real weddings and styled shoots for publication
- Assist in planning market events, such as industry open houses

Desired Skills:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Must have own vehicle, cell phone, and laptop.
- Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure with limited time frame
- Detail oriented with exceptional level of accuracy and follow-through
- Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment
- Works well within a team oriented environment
- Flexibility to work from home, some weekend availability required. 
- Ability to prepare written reports and correspondences, and presentations as required
- Agile at prioritizing and managing multiple projects
- Must possess strong communication, time management and collaboration skills; confident, self-starter, independent thinker
{Extra bonus point for candidates with previous event or wedding planning experience!!!}

*You MUST be available 7/14,  7/21, 7/27, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1, 9/15

Compensation:
-Small stipend only of approximately $350 + meals, drinks, parking etc paid for when working. Estimated assistance at 7-8 weddings in the later season.
-Position opportunity to become our lead set-up & take-down coordinator or more.

Please send your cover letter, resume and portfolio {if applicable} by email. Deadline is 7/2. We will contact if you if we would like to schedule an interview. info@itsyourdayevents.com

Planning advice

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It's engagement season and couples are beginning their journey towards the wedding of their dreams. Here are the 10 most commonly made wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid them:

10. Waiting to start your planning.

You get engaged in September, and you want to get married next August, you have almost a whole year to get the planning done s you can take your time, right? Not necessarily. if you're getting married in peak season (May through September), remember so is almost everyone else and you're now competing with other couples for the best local vendors. For instance, in the Seattle market, venues will often book over a year in advance. Once engaged, take a couple weeks to relish and rejoice, but then get started. 

9. Not leaving enough time to order your wedding dress.

Wedding dresses from shops that don't sell off the rack can sometimes take up to 8 months to get your dress in once the order is placed. The average amount of time is 4-6 months, but we recommend you leave yourself plenty of time just in case. We understand you'd like to maybe lose 5 more lbs before trying on dresses but honestly, paying for alterations to make it fit like a glove are much cheaper than paying for a rush order on a gown.

8Not working off a budget.

A typical couple making this mistake will book their venue, caterer, photographer, and then buy a dress and realize they've exhausted their financial resources. To avoid this mistake we recommend you sit down with a professional event coordinator at the beginning of planning and allocate roughly where you will be spending your money. For example, you'll find that if you have a 200 person guest count you may be spending close to half your budget on catering alone! It's Your Day Events can create your dream wedding by focusing on the things most important to you; while keeping you in budget with leveraging our extensive vendor relationships, knowledge, and discounts.

7. Number of invitations to order.

This one happens all too often. You are inviting 1oo guests, so order 100 invitations, right? No! Unless all 100 of your guests are single and live alone, that is way too many. Most likely you'll need about half of that. This is why getting your guest list together early on is so important. You'll want to order enough invitations for each household your are inviting. Pro Tip- Order a few extra to be safe, as well as one for your photographer- they can take pictures of it on your wedding day.  

6.  Copying a design trend you saw on Pinterest.

Ahh the Pinterest worm hole- it gets us every-time. Pinterest hosts a wealth of images, and beautiful ones at that! However, there are a couple things to watch out for when searching for that wedding inspo.

1. Most of the pictures you see on Pinterest are not new-  the majority are at least 4-6 months old, or even a year +. By the time your wedding rolls around that trend could be completely out or you will have seen it a million more times.  When pinning things you find on Pinterest for your wedding, keep that in mind. Burlap and lace anyone? 

2. A lot of what you see are STAGED weddings (styled shoots). Meaning that the picture perfectness is not truly obtainable without some major planning and coordination-- and this can be limited by budget. 

5.  DIY projects. 

Speaking of Pinterest....Brides will often miscalculate how much time & effort goes into a DIY/Pinterest project and often end up with a fail or unfinished project resulting in stress or even more time and money with last minute trips to the store to purchase something like you originally wanted with an even higher price tag. Make sure you really carve out the time & effort before you start a DIY project. You might find that in the end, purchasing the completed items instead of buying piece-meal materials that add up and eat up your time & money are a better choice from the get-go. 

4. Not asking your vendors the right questions when interviewing them.

Make sure you get to know your vendors a bit before you book them. Besides the obvious questions such as their cancellation policy or asking for references, get to know them a bit and make sure you like them. (Depending on which vendor) you'll be spending your entire wedding day with them. One of the biggest days of your life. Make sure your personalities are a good fit. Just because a friend highly recommends someone, doesn't necessarily mean they are a great fit for you. Of course there is also the old saying "you get what you pay for," which can often be true. Be wary of budget vendors.

3. Not confirming with your vendors the week of the wedding.

You booked most of your vendors 11 months ago and have exchanged a few emails. Don't leave it to guess work for them to know what time they can or can't show up or that they know what the game plan is. Make certain they know what time to be there and what is happening and when, which leads us to #2.

2. Not having a day-of timeline. 

Weddings typically only last 5 or 6 hours. To get the most out of your day, requires a lot of coordination. If you don't provide your vendors a day-of timeline, they may come up with one for themselves but then the DJ, caterer, photographer etc. may all be going off their own timelines that do not match up, which leads to an organized and sometimes stressful day and without utilizing the whole of your venue rental. Making an effective day of timeline seem overwhelming, or you simply just don't want to? See #1 ;)

1. Not hiring a day-of coordinator. 

Day-of coordinators take so much stress off your wedding day so you don't have to worry about a thing besides looking fabulous and getting hitched. Coordinators not only create your day-of timeline and confirm your vendors, but also set up and take down all your decor, get you lined up and down the aisle, answer random vendor questions and help put out any tiny fires that may arise (that you likely will never find out about!)

So there you have it! Make sure to not 'miss' these items! Or better yet, hire a coordinator to ensure it's all covered! Happy Planning

 

Ashley & Christina

It's Your Day Events

Seattle, Washington

Save a little for yourself this weekend....

 Photo by Mary Kahlor

Photo by Mary Kahlor

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...One of them involves heavily gorging yourself with delicious food, the other 3 are about shopping and sales! But they just so happen to be all coming up back to back. We know you may be scrambling, looking at ads, trying to figure out what to buy everyone on your list. But!...Don't forget about yourself. If you (or someone you know) are currently planning a wedding, we have got a wonderful little sale for YOU!

Now through Tuesday 11/27 at 11:59pm, Save 20% OFF all of our packages! Do you have to decide quick and book us by tuesday night? NO! As long as you inquire with us and set up a free consultation in the next few weeks, we will honor the pricing through the end of 2018! 

BONUS: If you do decide to book with us before the sale ends, we will not only give you $25 credit towards anything from our expressions studio, but we will also donate $25 to Northwest Harvest! That is enough to provide a family of three 37 nutritious meals!

All you have to do, is inquire with us and mention our Small Business Saturday Sale! 

Until we meet again, Happy Thanksgiving weekend from our entire team to you and yours!

Real Wedding: Sara & Blair 4/8/17

Sara & Blair had a beautiful intimate wedding in a cherry blossom wonderland, at Maplehurst Farm. In Skagit Valley with the view of Mount Baker, the venue was fitting for Sara and Blair's wedding! Their brewery themed wedding had so many highlights and I'm excited to share these photos with you!


The week before their wedding, we were expecting a huge wind storm but we were blessed with accommodating weather! Despite the hurdles,our awesome team members and vendors worked through because of the rain, and their day still ended up perfect!

Venue Highlight: The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm

Ft. Real Wedding: Missy & Clark - September 24, 2016

The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm is one of our favorite venues! There are two words that comes to my mind when someone mentions the venue Trinity Tree Farm: Classy Serenity.

Trinity Tree Farm is the perfect venue if you're looking for a PNW (Pacific Northwest) vibe with a touch of class. This venue located on a 40 acre hilltop in Issaquah, Washington. We had the greatest pleasure of helping our couples, Missy and Clark, tie knots at this gorgeous venue! 


There are many areas around The Lodge for a good photoshoot opportunity. The lodge is nestled in between Tiger and Squak Mountains filled with Dogulas Firs, Grand Firs, Noble Firs, and Fraser Firs. and there is a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. Missy and Clark looks so peaceful forlicking through the trees!! I can just smell the trees ... :-)


I remember walking into The Lodge while they were still in the middle of construction and to see the end result, this 3,800 square feet of space it really left me breathless! The interior is just filled with light that just bouncing of the new fresh white paint coat walls and it also has vaulted ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can catch a glimpse at the beautiful scenery. 


This venue also includes the bridal suite with built in hair and makeup stations, a private decks and restrooms. This is something that the grooms might enjoy. In their area, there is a poll table, shuffle board, a TV, in the dressing room, so they have some time to relax and drink some beers.


If you have any other questions, feel free to contact The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm. They'd be more than happy to help and answer your questions. Take a tour! Breathe in the fresh pine needles Enjoy the scenery! 

Venue: The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm

Photographer: Tonie Christine Photography

Wedding Planners: It's Your Day Events & Expressions

Band: Blue Wave Band

Flowers: Kendra Nicholas

Cake/ Dessert: Cakes of Paradise Bakery

Catering-  Sunshines All Natural

Hair & Make-up: Urbanista Weddings

 

 

Real Wedding: Ken & Lydia 8/25/16

This wedding was a real challenge: we had to plan a wedding from scratch in three months! We knew we were up for the task! Ken and Lydia are such a sweet couple and we loved working with them. Ken and Lydia had a vision of what their wedding would look like and it was basically a dream come true! Their fairytale themed wedding looked like it came straight out of a movie! 

The wedding took place at the breathtaking Thornewood Castle, a 500-year-old Tudor Gothic historic site known as “the house that love built.” The castle has a huge backyard and a beautiful garden with a fountain. There is something enchanting about this place and it was the perfect location for Ken and Lydia's fairytale themed wedding. A huge thank you to Alex Studio for capturing these beautiful moments!

Who said brides could only have one dress? Lydia had four!

The cake, made by Mike's Amazing Cakes, was four layers tall and had little intricate sugar flower petals and gold detailing. It looked too good to eat! 

Backyard Wedding Bliss

This was one of my favorite weddings we had the pleasure to plan this summer! Truthfully, hanging out with this couple was always a joyous occasion...even though they make me feel so short! Jess and Eric got engaged in Disneyland, surrounded by family. I encourage you to take a look through this wedding album and see that their engagement carried into their wedding without a single misstep. Subtle Disney details come through from the table names to the cake topper, but mostly you see the love, family, and friends. This June wedding was my first rehearsal I worked in a backyard...and in the pouring rain. As you'll see in the photos though, the Wedding Day was flawless. Cheers to you Jess and Eric (Rheya too!), we wish you many years of happiness.

Everybody.... HEAD TO THE BAR!

One thing that I love about weddings is... the BAR (open bars are obviously the best) ;-)  Anyways, the bar is  where the start of your fun night begins. No matter if you get a Mai Tai or if you get a Coke, you will always be on the dance floor giving it all you've got. 

Every wedding that we plan, we love to decorate the bar with lots of greenery, floral arrangements, lights, votives, you name it! Here are some of our favorite bars from real weddings that we've done! 

At our real weddings, the photographers didn't take a picture of the whole set up of the bar but took pictures of some of the intricate parts that completes the bar, for example, chalk board signs, display of drinks, floral arrangements in votives, etc...

Now if you're a pinterest lover like I am, you will see a variety of ways of how you can decorate your wedding bar! Some are sweet and simple, some are elegant and classy, and the really cool ones are very extravagant with a lot of crystals and wine glasses!!! There are so many different ways to decorate your bar at your wedding it's really hard to choose the design!

Check out my favorite pins in my CHEERS album on Pinterest! Enjoy! Comment down below what your favorite drink is and have a drink for me! 

Tips for Shopping for that Perfect Wedding Gown!

Congratulations on your engagement! Now is the time for you to celebrate being a bride. One of the most exciting parts of this time is shopping for your wedding dress. While I know this process may seem a bit daunting, it’s nothing a well informed bride can’t handle. As a part time bridal stylist I’ve picked up a few tips to help you make dress shopping a breeze!

 

The Timeline

Make sure to start shopping early! It can take up to eight months to order a gown, so the sooner the better. There are also always options like off the rack for the more laid back bride. If you’re planning to look at several stores, try to pace out your shopping. I wouldn’t recommend more than two appointments a day. As tempting as it may be to visit every shop in one day, you can only try on so many lovely white dresses before they all blend together. So start early and spread out those appointments.

 

The Entourage

While shopping can be a blast and you may want to bring everyone you love along with you, it’s important to consider whom you ask to help out. Try to pick no more than four people to be your support as you shop. Any more than that and there can be too many opinions. Make sure that everyone you bring with you is someone whose opinions you value. More importantly, make sure they value yours. The people you surround yourself with in an appointment can have a large effect on how it goes.

 

It’s Not Like TV

I love ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ as much as the next girl, but dress shopping in real life is rarely like the show. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on the dress of your dreams. There’s no magic number of dresses; yours could be the first or the thirtieth. Don’t wait for tears to be the signal to say yes. So rarely do brides cry when they find the one.  Instead focus on your initial reaction. This of course will be different for each bride, but it’s often the dress you can’t stop smiling in, or the one you just want to boogie or twirl in, or the dress that you just don’t want to take off because you look and feel so gorgeous in it.

 

 

Your First Appointment

When it comes to your first appointment, try to come in with some ideas of dresses that you could picture wearing. Pinterest can be a great tool for this and being able to show your consultant pictures is extremely helpful. Since it can be hard to tell what you truly love without trying anything on though, make sure to pull some dresses in different shapes to see how they look on your body. You may be surprised by what you find! So often brides will come in with a vision in mind and end up leaving the shop with the dress of their dreams in a completely different style.

I hope that these tips can help make shopping for your dress an easy and memorable experience. Have fun ladies!

-Sarah the intern (and part time bridal consultant!)

Real Wedding: Kristine and Tim

At It's Your Day Events & Expressions, we love nothing more than to travel with you on your journey in binding your love! Ashley and I (Kailin) took a mini road trip up to Oak Harbour and wow was it such a pretty sight to see but it was really hot! Ashley's driver sides window wasn't working but we cooled off with a blended mocha and made the best of it.

Now.. Back to the wedding!!! St. Mary's Church was so beautiful! The Ceremony was beautiful! The bridesmaids and the bride, Kristine were extra beautiful!! Everything just looked so perfect. You'll have to look for yourself. :-) Here are the pictures that were taken during the ceremony and the reception! 

It was just such a lovely time with the most lovely couple!!! Congratulations again! 

 

 

Real Wedding: Kari and Dave 2/27/16

If I could only choose one word for our wonderful couple, Kari and Dave, it would have to be candid. Nothing is more beautiful than candidness, and the fun that the both of them have together, makes them the perfect couple in life. 

 

While going through these photos, I couldn't help but notice my smile growing bigger and bigger as I go through each picture. Some pictures made me laugh because the picture captures Kari and Dave's expressions so well, it is like I can hear them saying silly things and laughing right at that moment. You will understand what I mean as you take a look at these photos. Laughter and happiness is contagious!

Here are some of my favorite shots from that awesome day! 

Thanks to Jeff and Amanda Photography! You guys did a phenomenal job! 

How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?

It’s Wedding Season again, which means lots of upcoming meetings with clients for us and other wedding industry professionals, and plenty of help and advice to be given. One question that we get asked very often as wedding planners is, how much should I tip each of my vendors? And even, should I tip this vendor?

This is a great question but can be very complex to answer. Often times we have given our opinion that we have based on what's written in the “etiquette guides” yet tried to balance it out what we have more commonly seen, whilst taking into account what the vendor is charging, what the contract says and checking for any built-in fees.

What you want to do first is check your contracts. Some vendors may already have gratuity built in such as the caterer (usually 15-22%) or the shuttle or limo driver.  Read through carefully to avoid unnecessary double tipping.

The Knot had an interesting note about not needing to tip owners of businesses. “If your photographer owns the studio, there’s no need to tip him. The same goes for bands not booked through an agency and the beauty-shop owner who does your hair.” To us, this seems a bit odd. Most wedding businesses in the Seattle area are run by owner-operators who work hard and wouldn’t mind feeling the love too.

Just remember that tipping is not obligatory; tip those vendors that offer exceptional service. Thank you notes are always a nice added touch! For a breakdown of each vendor, read on:

 

Wedding Planner: Optional

According to the Knot about 50% of couples tip their planner. If you do tip, Real Simple suggests 15% of the fee or a personal gift. With a $4k planning fee that could be a hefty tip of $600. Trust us, that is not required. If you want to do cash, likely closer to 10% or slightly less would work. Speaking frankly, as planners ourselves, we never expect a tip but are always honored when we do receive one. A few times we have gotten gifts from valued clients such as glassy babies or our favorite make-up. It was totally unexpected but we were thrilled and felt appreciated. What really touches us the most are indeed thank you cards or huge hugs and words of thanks. The gratitude is what keeps us going in this business and it is the feeling that leaves us buzzed at the end of a fabulous wedding event.

 

Hair & Make-Up Stylists: Typically Expected

Usually, between 15-20% works best here and maybe a little extra if they went above and beyond or had to deal with your picky mother-in-law, etc. We asked Hannah Bush, owner of Urbanista Weddings Makeup and Hair how often they get tips from clients, she said “We never expect gratuity, but it's always a wonderful surprise when we receive them! About 80% of our clients tip and about 5% give us a little gift. It is usually a bag of snacks and candies.” The best gift she has ever received? Homemade plum jam and Kahlua! She also added that “ I feel that if a Vendor does a great job or goes above and beyond what is expected, monetary gifts are obviously very appreciated, but the best gift is a good review on a popular reviewing site.”

 

Delivery or Set-Up Staff: Typically Expected

This would include people like the cake delivery person, florist set up team, ice sculpture crew, special rental set up team etc. This can depend on the size of the crew but typically $10-20 a person is good. If it is just one person doing a lot of work (like a florist) you can even go bigger, like $50+ (if you want!) You can prepare for the multiple tips by having labeled envelopes ready to hand out. Assign the task of handing out to your planner or Best Man.

 

Ceremony Officiant: Depends (and I’ll explain why!)

If your officiant is tied to a church or synagogue, you would most likely be expected to make a donation to the organization. According to the Knot, “If you're a member you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount.” Often a donation of about $500 (give or take) to the church is expected, with an optional $50-200 to the officiant. However, if you are not affiliated with a church, no donation would be required but the $50-100 tip is still appreciated. If your best friend from childhood, Joe Beaujangles is marrying you, he may be offended if you offer him a tip. When you hire one of your peoples, opt for a personal gift instead.

 

Ceremony Musicians: Optional

If you’ve set up a great team of musicians that helped you pull off that perfect score to your wedding, consider giving them a little monetary reward to thank them for their musical talent. And as stated from The Knot, “However, you probably don't have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play.” The standard is about $15-20 per musician and can be given after the ceremony is over.

 

Wedding Reception Band or DJ: Optional

Music is such a huge part of your reception! If your band or DJ does an amazing job setting the tone (pun intended) of your event, you may want to consider a tip, although it’s not required. DJ Craig Slater of Bugsie Productions reported receiving a tip about 75% of the time. His advice on the subject to couples is “It’s important to know that you are not obligated to give any DJ gratuity.  If you're giving someone a tip to perform on your wedding day any amount of gratuity is appreciated.  Most people ask if they do tip a DJ how much should we tip?  My best answer is it’s completely up to you, on average our tips range from  $50-$100.” DJ Tony Schwartz stated that “ I would say roughly 20-25% of the time I would receive a gratuity or gift from my clients. 50% of the time I receive a thank you card. And 100% of the time, I receive a heartfelt thank you hug at the end of the night. To the brides and grooms reading this, if you opt to generously give, a gift will always be more meaningful than a gratuity every single time.”

 

Wedding Photographer & Videographer: Optional

Photographers Stefan & Audrey (owners of their self-titled photography business) stated that they receive a gratuity or gift every 15 or so weddings, so not too often. They went on to say “Thank you cards/notes are more than enough though and we receive those fairly often! Cue the cheese. But honestly, friendship. We've met some awesome people and some authentic friendships have come from it.” Photographer Courtney Bowlden also mentioned thank you cards or words of thanks were greatly appreciated and that getting tips weren’t too common, maybe once or twice a year, and when asked what the best gift she has received, she replied  “I got a cute scarf from a bride and it was totally unexpected. I was so blown away by her thoughtfulness.” So there you have it, a lovely gift or thanks is preferred at a minimum, but if you would like to tip, $50-$200 each is the standard.

 

Transportation: Expected

This one is fairly straightforward. This is often built into your contract so check there first. If it is not, the usual 15-20% tip is expected. Just like taking a taxi! When to tip? At the end of the night or after the last ride. If you have shuttles or buses running you can give it to the Bus Captain to split among drivers or if it's a simple getaway car, you can give this duty to the Best Man or the Groom can do it upon exiting the car as a final option.

 

Wedding Reception Staff/Catering: Required/Expected

Okay, here it is, the big one. First of all, a service fee is almost always built into the contract, so again, check there first. If you are unsure what the service fee covers, feel free to ask your catering manager. If there happens to not be a service fee or gratuity built into your contract then plan to tip about 15-20% of the food and beverage labor fee, NOT the cost of the actual food and drink. This confuses some couples as you may be used to looking at your food and beverage total like going to a restaurant. But no, you aren’t expected to tip $3-4 k extra on that $20k total catering bill. Seattle company City Catering has an 18% gratuity line on their contract however it has a note stating “An 18% gratuity line has been included with this proposal for budgeting purposes. Gratuities for our servers are left to your discretion.” For giving out gratuity, you are more than welcome to break the amount out for each staff member (again look at the contract to see how many staff is expected), but the easiest way to do it is to give an envelope to the Banquet Manager and specify it is to be split among the staff. Feel free of course to include a note of thanks inside and an indication of a certain amount going to the Banquet Caption or Bartender etc. with the rest being split among the waitstaff.

 

So there you have it! That is our guide to tipping your wedding vendors. Just do what feels right to you, and remember, a big THANK YOU goes a long way!

Bride and Bridesmaids To Be!

You can't get married without your ladies by your side! 

Men come and go but friends are forever.... even when you already find the man of your dreams, you're girls have to be there to be by your side to support and most importantly: TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU! 

NOW, this is the store that I swear by. I love everything about Francesca's Boutique: their great quality product, the atmosphere of every boutique I go in, and the employees are always so cheerful and loving! They have very unique clothing, jewelry, and my favorite, the miscellaneous accessories!! And when I found out about all these wedding goodies that they have, I just had to make a post about it! You never know what you will find on that little table. Here are some fun little goodies for you, a soon to be bride, or for your brides maids! 

JUST SAY YES, BRIDESMAIDS! 

I just think this is so adorable! If your man already popped the question and you said yes, it's your turn to pop the question to your bridesmaid. The brides maid proposal doesn't have to be out of this world. A small little gesture for your ladies would do the trick. Sweet and simple! These earring would make a perfect gift and its something that your bridesmaid will most likely use and its so sweet and simple that it'll match with everything that they wear! 

 Francesca's Boutique in Alderwood Mall! 

Francesca's Boutique in Alderwood Mall! 

 

YOU'RE A BOMBSHELL BRIDE!

This little cute scrumptious bath bomb smells so good and it makes your skin glow! If you think LUSH only sells awesome bath bombs, think again! Drop this baby in your bathtub, get your new hubby, pop some champagne, and relax ALL night long! 

There are so many other cute little things at Francesca that are wedding related. If you're still stumped on gifts for the bride or brides maids. Come check it out at Francesca's Boutique. You will fall in LOVE just like I did! Here just some of the other bachelorette/bride products that I love! 

Enjoy online shopping till you're dropping! :) 


Real Wedding: Wendi & Mo 7.18.15 Lord Hill Farms, Snohomish, WA

We met Wendi & Mo way back in February 2014, back when Top Pot Donuts in Bothell was still “Lady Latte”. Over a cup of coffee, we got to know this amazing couple. We loved hearing the story of how they first started dating. They worked together, and one day Mo got up the courage to ask Wendi out, by asking “so, do you eat?” She replied “of course I eat!” and from there Mo proceeded to properly ask her out to dinner and the rest is history.

We loved working with Wendi and Mo on their July 2015 wedding as their vision brought us a new, exciting challenge. They both wanted to have their cultures represented and with Wendi being from Hawaii with Japanese heritage and Mo being from The Gambia, we knew amazing bright colors would come into play. Mo got his groomsmen these unique cuff links in the shape of Gambia. These were way too cute. All of the groomsmen loved them! 

They had already chosen Lord Hill Farms as their venue, so we went to work booking them some amazing vendors (see below)! We of course were most excited when it came time to plan the design. We created them a custom color palette of a beautiful fuschia, persimmon, turquoise, sage, sunshine and a dash of gold for fun.

This wedding is a true representation of what it means to include the couple's personality, background and love story. The table runners are handmade fabric from the Gambia! There were also a few custom art pieces flown in from Hawaii and plenty of orchids to represent. The bride's dress was a beautiful design made from Kimono fabric. We took polaroid photos of guests in fun props and hung them from a string of clothespins (which had a significant inside joke type meaning to them).  Even the table numbers represented favorite places and things of this wonderful couple!

It was one of the hottest days of the year and although a groomsmen may have been stung by a bee during the ceremony, it turned out to be a truly amazing day. There is only a lifetime of happiness ahead for Wendi & Mo!

VENDORS

Venue & Catering: Lord Hill Farms

Wedding Planner: It’s Your Day Events & Expressions

Mini Cheesecakes: The Confectional

Photography: Courtney Bowlden

Videography: Bogle Productions

Flowers: Fena Flowers

DJ: Bugsie Productions