Tuesday, September 27, 2011

wedding advice - wedding planner.

Thank you for your feedback on my post about Location! I'm excited to be writing about wedding planning and hopefully help people who are in the exciting stage of engagement.

When I first got engaged, there was so much to think about. Everyone and their mother were texting me, calling me, and sending me messages, which was wonderful - but overwhelming. And I had so much to do initially. At the beginning, there was so much to decide that it made my head spin.

My mom suggested getting a wedding planner. At first, I thought this was completely unnecessary. I knew we could do it all on our own. And you know what? We could have. I'm not gonna say that we couldn't have done it without our wedding planner, because that's not true. BUT, as I realized how much stuff my mother and I would have to personally do for the weekend of the wedding, I saw the need for a wedding planner.

Now, I highly recommend it if you have it in your budget. Actually, no, I recommend that you make room for it in your budget. Seriously. I'll tell you why.

  • You can get a wedding planner just for the weekend of the wedding. It's a lot cheaper.
  • Even though we got one just to work the actual weekend, she communicated with us throughout the whole wedding planning process. Although we weren't paying to meet with her and have her go with us to check out vendors, she would email us or talk to us on the phone. SO HELPFUL.
  • A wedding planner isn't there to push her ideas on you. If she's doing that, then she's not doing her job. The goods ones take your ideas and make them even more brilliant. They suggest ways to make your ideas flow together and reflect YOUR personality. They take the time to get to know you. My wedding planner knew that Jordan and I both loved sports so much, so she suggested the sports related food for the cocktail hour. Genius!
  • They have connections! So. many. connections. While I would have researched florists and linens for a long time and visited many different ones to find the best options - my wedding planner offered a couple suggestions that she knew would fit our budget and our style. And sometimes they even get you discounts because they have worked with the vendors so much. It sped up the process and made it so much easier. It's a whole lot better to decide between two florists that you know will be great for you than going through a list on The Knot.
  • They remember and accomplish things the weekend of your wedding that you don't even think of. I mean how many times have you gotten married and had to remember all that stuff? Um, probably never. They do it all the time! They know exactly what to do and when to do it. So many people complimented me on the little details of the wedding, and I was like, oh please, I didn't remember that - it was my wedding planner!
  • I was overwhelmed thinking about the timeline of our wedding and in what order everything would actually happen. Don't think that matters? Think again. If you cut the cake and toss the bouquet at the beginning of the reception, people will be out the door. If you space everything out perfectly, guests will have a nice balance of celebration and all of those little activities that you want in your reception (special dances, dinner, cake, toasts, etc.). We met with the wedding planner and laid out the exact timeline of every detail so it would all flow nicely and optimize our time there. Do you know how comforting that was? After that meeting, I never had to think about the timeline again. I trusted my wedding planner to let vendors know when and where things were happening, and to guide me along during the night. I was at peace knowing that it was all planned.
  • Who's going to tell all your bridesmaids and groomsmen what to do at the rehearsal, in a nice but organized and firm way? Are you? Is your mom? Your mom's friend? A lady from your church? Have they done it before? Do you trust that person? Because it can get tricky, especially if you have a big group like we did. Our wedding planner knew it all and knew how to tell it all. Our rehearsal went smoothly and efficiently. Any question could be answered immediately. I was so thankful she was in charge.
  • This was probably the main reason I was extremely thankful for our wedding planner: I didn't want my mom to have to worry about anything. Yes, it was MY special day, but it was also my mom's special day! She birthed me, she raised me, she prayed for my marriage my whole life. She helped prepare me to be a wife for Jordan. I didn't want her to have to be stressed out at all, to worry about even one tiny detail. I just wanted her to be able to enjoy it and take it all in. Because we got a wedding planner - she was able to. And I'm so grateful.
  • Have you thought about the fact that something can and probably will go wrong your wedding day? I didn't really. And then a bridesmaid FAINTED during the ceremony. While she was standing on one of the top stairs. Next to a flaming candle. It could have been a disaster. Thank God, it wasn't. She was fine, and it didn't mess anything up at all. It was actually quite memorable. And thankfully, my wedding planner and her assistants were there to help the situation. You never know what's going to happen - it's awesome to have some people there for no matter what comes your way!
Honestly, I could keep going on and on about the benefits of a wedding planner, but I think I covered the important ones. I guess what I am trying to say is that IT IS WORTH IT.

You know what I did the day of my wedding? I woke up at a good hour. Spent some time with my Savior. Ate some breakfast and sat on the couch watching SportsCenter with my dad. Wrote my last letter to Jordan in the journal I gave him. Showered and put on my getting ready outfit. Got my bag that was already prepared with anything I would need, and headed over to The Grand Marquise Ballroom to get ready for my big day. 

I enjoyed time with my bridesmaids as they got dressed and ready. I ate a Chickfila sandwich that my maid of honor Maggie brought me. I danced to the music that was playing in the background. I sat there happily as Margo did my hair and makeup (I'll post about that later!). I was on a cloud. I worried about nothing.

Everyone kept commenting about how I was the most calm bride they have ever seen. Seriously so many people said that. And it was true - I was calm and completely at peace with everything. Why was that? Because everything had already been done. There was nothing to worry about. Every detail was covered. And a lot of that was due to our awesome wedding planner who was running around doing all the stuff that I didn't have to do and my mom didn't have to do. If not for any other reason, get a wedding planner to have that sense of calm and peace that I was able to experience on my wedding day. It was fabulous.

And who was our amazing wedding planner?? Why, the beautiful Shawn Schindler at Your Special Day Weddings and Special Events! She was SPECTACULAR! And so were her assistants. Everything I just described - she did. She did it all, and I am so thankful. She made our wedding day so much easier and enjoyable. I am sooo glad we used her. Check out her website (I'm in the photos!) and you will see the amazing weddings she has pulled together. I highly, HIGHLY recommend her. Here is her blog where she talks about all of the activities they are involved in. 

Shawn helping Chris get his studly look together.

Shawn's assistant helping Kyle with his boutonniere.

There she is making sure the guys know exactly what to do!

Shawn's assistants are behind me getting ready to "fluff out" my dress so it'd look perfect walking down the aisle. And it did :)

If you have any questions about wedding planners and how you can find out more information, or if you just have a random comment or question about anything involving wedding planning, please don't hesitate to ask me! You can comment on here or send me an email at ashley@christianwifelife.com.

Again, you will be able to access these Wedding Advice posts from the top menu bar. :)


  1. Shawn is the best in the state as far as I'm concerned. I've had to opportunity to assist her with a couple of weddings and they were phenomenal. I also babysat for her while I was in high school. Not only is she herself an extraordinary professional, her entire staff is. She truly cares about what she does and that sets her apart from the rest. She and her sister also threw my baby shower and it was amazing. I would not recommend anyone other than Shawn for ANY special event, especially a wedding!

    Cecily Agner

  2. First of all, thank you for your sweet words about my grandpa. I'm excited to start reading your blog! This series is so fun :)

    Now onto the fun wedding stuff! We were married within 4 months of getting engaged (I know! We are total rebels, Haha) and I really didn't think about using a wedding planner until it was pretty late in the game. Add to that we got married on 7.7.07 and it wasn't possible to get someone at that point. Everything was planned and I actually worked at the flower shop that did my flowers so I knew I had some great help already, but in the end I had one of my aunts make sure everything was right. She is a teacher and very detail oriented so I trusted her and all was perfect :). If I could rewind and do it all again, hiring someone would be the only change I would make. So, great advice on wedding planners!!

  3. Thanks so much for your comments and stopping by my blog! Your newest follower, I'd love if you followed me back!! Can't wait to get to know you!!!

  4. I think being a wedding planner would be SOO fun!! I just posted about being an event planner today (which I think you read!) and I think it's smart to use someone else to help you organize your big day and help it run smoothly, as long as you both don't clash with each other. That's important.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yours is so cute and I'm a new follower :)

  5. you are so wise!! this is such great insight- thanks for taking the time to share! discovered your blog through my friend Meg over at 'and today was a fairytale' and was super surprised that you and I both live in Raleigh, were born into Red Sox nation (im from Boston) and love the Hurricanes and MOST importantly, LOVE Jesus :) blessings to you, sweet girl!!

  6. My dream job was always to be a wedding planner!!! Very interesting post!

  7. Shawn was my wedding planner too! She and my mom went to high school together and she is wonderful!

    I'm a newlywed and am doing a wedding advice series on my blog too - its fun to see other Christian women in the Triangle doing the same thing!




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