Tagged: AOC Wedding Series

AOC Wedding Series: DIY

Welcome back to the AOC Wedding series! So far I’ve covered the coveted role of Maid of Honor and the underestimated role of the reader, but what about a role in your friend’s wedding that’s not so easily defined? Maybe your girl is doing something non-traditional. Maybe she’s not having a wedding party, maybe she’s having a destination wedding, or maybe she’s going completely DIY. In today’s modern world (and economy), more and more couples are opting for something outside the box, making your role in their big day equally atypical. In this installment of the AOC Wedding Series, I’ll be sharing my experience of serving as a stylist turned wedding coordinator for one of my girl’s weddings.

My friend had her non-traditional/DIY wedding all mapped out: a bonfire on the beach in lieu of a rehearsal dinner, a ceremony and reception at a friend’s private Hampton’s home, and a Christmas song for their first dance. She knew exactly what she wanted and was ready to take it on all by herself, from baking desserts for the bonfire to visiting a local flower market to compose her own bouquets. Not surprisingly, she had also picked out her dress, but she had casually enlisted me for some styling help in accessorizing herself and selecting dresses for her wedding party. Then, like many other brides who opt for the DIY route, she quickly realized she was in over her head and asked if she could hire me to help her coordinate all the moving parts. The beauty of being a freelancer is the ability to take on random projects like this, so I happily agreed. And that’s how I got a crash course in styling and executing a non-traditional/DIY wedding.


4 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:

Research

When you and your friend are doing it all, there are a lot of components to research in order for all the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Keep in mind factors like price comparing to fit within budget and availability for the desired date and time. Below is a sample list of items to research:

  • Food/Drink for Rehearsal Dinner and Reception
  • Flowers for Wedding Party and Reception
  • Music for Ceremony and Reception
  • Décor for Ceremony and Reception
  • Hair/Makeup for the Bride
  • Rentals for tables, chairs, etc.
  • Permits for parking, etc.

3 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:

Book

Now that you’ve done your research and the bride has made her decisions, it’s time to order, book, and secure all necessary arrangements.


2 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:

Bridal Shower

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Pause with your girl for a much needed moment of laughter and celebration – don’t forget to head to the registry and get a gift!


1 MONTH BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:

Check In

It’s crunch time! Now’s the time to check in with the bride on what details still need to be finalized. It’s also time to follow up on all the orders and appointments you booked a couple months prior to ensure everything is in place for the big day.


MONTH OF THE DIY WEDDING:

DIY Craft Party

Gather anyone and everyone willing to lend a helping hand at crafting and composing all the DIY décor, playlists, accessories, and so on.


WEEK OF THE DIY WEDDING:

Get the Game Plan in Place

Work with the bride to compose a detailed checklist for yourself and anyone else who has offered to help during the wedding festivities. Make multiple copies and organize them in notebooks or clipboards.


DAY BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:

Get Your Game Face On

This is it! The fate of your friend’s wedding is in your hands! Get all the goods to the venue, finalize any last minute DIY projects, and ensure you have all the copies of those checklists. Be sure everything is in place before your enjoy the rehearsal dinner (and don’t enjoy it too much!).


DAY OF THE DIY WEDDING:

Breathe! And Be Decisive

Get up early, and find your Zen. Wear comfortable shoes. It’s going to be a long day. There will be hiccups. Be ready to make quick, last-minute decisions. Make the rounds, checking in and coordinating with everyone else who’s helping out. Enjoy the festivities, but don’t forget the tiny details throughout the night – remember to pass out the tips to the vendors before they head out! The bride has trusted you as her right-hand girl – you got this!

AOC Wedding Series: The Reader

Welcome to the next installment of the AOC Wedding Series! In case you missed it, I’ve already covered the biggest wedding role of all (after the bride of course), the Maid of Honor. Now, I’ll be covering a role I believe to be totally underestimated, the reader! In my experience, when it comes to the actual day of the wedding, the reader is more challenging than the Maid of Honor – yes, I said it! As the reader, you have to battle nerves and emotions while actually speaking in front of the entire wedding party and guests. Do not make light of this key role!

Kat and Cait B

Photo by Angie Webb

I also want to acknowledge that my experience as a reader may be somewhat atypical and some of the following advice may not be applicable to all readers. Oftentimes, a reader is a cousin, brother/sister in-law, or someone who was not included in the wedding party that the bride and groom want to involve in the wedding in a special way. In my particular experience as a reader, the bride didn’t have a traditional wedding party, and much of my pre-wedding involvement consisted of duties often designated for bridesmaids. This is a great example of how every wedding is a unique and personal experience for those participating and attending. Now without further ado… the reader!


 

5 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Estimate Expenses, Create a Budget, & Start Saving

  • Here’s a list of some possible expenses you should plan for as the reader:
  1. The Bachelorette Party (see below for a breakdown of potential bachelorette expenses)
  2. Your Dress, Shoes, and Accessories for the Wedding (keep in mind, you may already have something in your closet that will suit the dress code for the big day!)
  3. Bridal Shower (see below for a breakdown of potential bridal shower expenses)
  4. Wedding Gift
  5. Transportation and Accommodations for the Wedding

 

4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Mark Your Calendar for the Bachelorette Weekend

Bachelorette

  • Communicate your schedule to the Maid of Honor so that she can coordinate a day or weekend that works with everyone’s calendar – keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
  • Follow the reimbursement plan and repay the MOH
  • Be clear on the game plan for the weekend, and ask the MOH if you can help contribute to the festivities in any way

P.S. Don’t forget, the bachelorette party may include a lingerie shower!


3 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Begin Dress Shopping or Getting Alterations for Yourself

  • Some brides may want to help you select a dress that will coordinate with the colors and aesthetic of the wedding party, and others may leave it up to you – either way, don’t forget about shoes and accessories
  • If the bride wants to help you select a dress, you may need to get alterations
  • If you’re selecting a dress for yourself, be sure to communicate with the bride about your options

2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Attend a Bridal Shower

  • You may be invited to attend a bridal shower, so head to the registry and get a gift – again, keep in mind this may require a trip to another city

1 MONTH BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Start Practicing Your Reading

  • Don’t put off familiarizing yourself with your reading – you don’t necessarily have to memorize the reading unless the bride specifically asked this of you
  • Address any words or points of inflection you’re stumbling on
  • Practice reading it out loud to a friend, family member, or significant other

DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING:

The Rehearsal

  • Be sure to have a few easy to read copies of your reading printed, packed, and ready for the rehearsal
  • Get clear on the point at which you’ll be reading in the ceremony – make note of what happens or what the officiant will say right before your big moment
  • Know how you will enter and exit

DAY OF THE WEDDING:

Practice + Drink Plenty of Water (and maybe a little champagne) + Breathe!

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Photo by Angie Webb

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Be sure you and your plus one each have a copy of the reading in case of emergency
  • Keep yourself hydrated so that your voice and throat are clear (don’t forget, a little champagne never hurt to calm your nerves)
  • Breathe and speak slowly, deliberately, and confidently
  • Stand up with your girl and try not to cry – you got this!

AOC Wedding Series: The Maid of Honor

6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Estimate Expenses, Create a Budget, & Start Saving

  • Here’s a list of some possible expenses you should plan for as a MOH:
  1. Plane Ticket for Dress Shopping
  2. The Bachelorette Party (see below for a breakdown of potential bachelorette expenses)
  3. Your Dress, Shoes, and Accessories for the Wedding
  4. Bridal Shower (see below for a breakdown of potential bridal shower expenses)
  5. Wedding Gift
  6. Transportation and Accommodations for the Wedding

5 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Accompany the Bride Dress Shopping

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  • Coordinate a weekend to go dress shopping – keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
  • Keep the bride nourished and hydrated throughout the process
  • Take photos of the bride in the dresses from every angle so she can look back and analyze
  • Give honest feedback
  • Bring a simple surprise or souvenir to celebrate when she says YES to the dress

4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Plan the Bachelorette Party

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  • Talk to the bride about her vision for the festivities
  • Communicate with the bridesmaids and bride to coordinate a day or weekend that works with everyone’s schedule – again, keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
  • Determine a budget and reimbursement plan that works for the bridesmaids
  • Research and book reservations for whatever is needed: a venue, hotel or housing accommodations, transportation, restaurants, spa day, etc.
  • Make a game plan for the celebration: think about meals, games, gift bags, decorations, activities, etc.

P.S. Don’t forget the bachelorette party can be a great time for a lingerie shower too!


3 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Begin Dress Shopping or Getting Alterations for Yourself

  • Some brides may select a dress for you, and others may select a color and allow you to select a style – either way, don’t forget about shoes and accessories
  • If the bride selects a dress for you, you may need to get alterations
  • If you’re selecting a dress for yourself, be sure to communicate with the bride and other bridesmaids about your options

2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Host or Attend a Bridal Shower

Bodine Feather Wedding Shower

  • You may decide to host or co-host a bridal shower or you may just be asked to attend a bridal shower – and again, keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
  • If you’re hosting, be sure to coordinate a date and guest list with the bride and plan for a venue, food, drink, decorations, games, etc.
  • If you’re attending, head to the registry and get a gift

1 MONTH BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Help the Bride with the Details

Evan Tables

Photos by Angie Webb

  • This step may vary depending on the your location and the location of the bride and the wedding, but be sure to offer to help with any of the wedding details – you could easily communicate over email or video call to help the bride finalize things like floral arrangements, centerpieces, or her accessories for the big day

MONTH OF THE WEDDING:

Provide Emotional Support & Encouragement for the Bride

  • Plain and simple, check in regularly and ask: How are you doing, and what can I help with? Don’t forget that the bride is one of your best friends. After the wedding talk, remember to catch up about work or chat about your favorite reality TV show

WEEK OF THE WEDDING:

Write Your Toast for the Reception

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Photo by Angie Webb

  • Don’t put off your toast for the reception – lock this thing down and get it in your head so you can speak through the nerves and tears on the big day

DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING:

Be there for the Bride

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Photo by Angie Webb

  • Get your nails done, enjoy the rehearsal dinner, and get a good night’s sleep

DAY OF THE WEDDING:

Breathe! Take Care of the Bride & Any Hiccups that Arise

Bodine Feather Wedding Collage

Photos by Angie Webb

  • Keep the bride nourished and hydrated
  • Do something nurturing, restorative, and relaxing like a yoga class or massage if time permits
  • Accompany the bride to hair and makeup
  • Check in with the wedding planner, florist, caterer, etc. and be sure everything is going smoothly
  • If you can, field and address any hiccups before the bride finds out
  • Assist the bride in getting out of her clothes and into her dress
  • Be sure the bride looks her best in the photographs
  • Stand up with your girl and try not to cry
  • Head to the reception, toast the happy couple, and dance

 

If you’re a future Maid of Honor, download my Maid of Honor Checklist to help you prepare for your BFF’s big day!

AOC Wedding Series

Wedding season happens every spring, but the time to start preparing is now! I may not be quite like Jane from 27 Dresses, but I’ve been in my fair share of weddings and am ready to share the wealth of information I’ve learned so that you can make the most of your friend’s wedding celebration. This month, I’m finally launching the AOC Wedding Series!

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Photo by Angie Webb

How many save the dates have you already received for 2016? Which of your girlfriends has or may ask you to be part of her big day? Whether you’re going to be a Maid of Honor, a Bridesmaid, a Reader, or a role that falls in the “other” category, I’ve been there and done that! I’m going to help you tackle all of your wedding duties over the next several months. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be ready to stand up and celebrate with your friend throughout all the festivities.

If you’re starting to panic about being part your best friend’s wedding, just take a step back and breathe! I’m going address each step of the process, including the top stressors of being in a wedding like budgeting for the big day. We’re about six months out from the peak of wedding season. Don’t worry, we’ve got time, and we’re going to do this together!

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Photo by Angie Webb

So, if you’re already fretting about your friend’s spring wedding, you’re in the right place. My first AOC Wedding Series post is going to address the biggest role of all (after the bride of course): the Maid of Honor. If you’ve been granted this esteemed (and somewhat intimidating) task, you will not want to miss the first installment of the AOC Wedding series. Calling all my future Maid of Honors – we got this! Stay tuned to AOC Blog – the next post in the AOC Wedding Series is for you!