The average US engagement is 16 months long (or in my case 15 months).  My fiance and I are getting married August 15th, 2014 and together we have already lived through a wedding planning hurdles.  My goal in the next 4 months  is to help you with some of your wedding planning perils. Okay, its not that dramatic but it is definitely not on cruise control either.

Yikes! That reminds me, I need to seriously get on that diet train asap! “I’ll start on Monday” has worn out its welcome long ago. There are going to be ups and downs and if I can pass along the knowledge of planning my own wedding, then I have done my job.  Here is a list of the good, the bad, the “I don’t want to but have to,” and personal  tid-bits that will hopefully help smooth out the process and get you thinking of things you might not have thought about.

Also since I am still 4 months out,  this will be a living document.  It will change and update as we go through the wedding planning motions.  I will be posting updates featuring some amazing companies that have helped make my wedding planning process much easier and make our day memorable and unique. So stay tuned for all the good stuff to come.

Don’t forget to print out the L&L condensed master wedding checklist and add it to your wedding binder (point #2 below)

Checklist button

Time Before the Wedding: 12-16 Months

*Tip:  Parking can be an issue, so make sure you ask if there is guest parking. If not, ask about additional parking options*

*Budget tip:  Venues can be more flexible with timing and fees can be much cheaper if you have a weekday wedding (& most of the time this will include Fridays)

Time Before the Wedding: 9-12 Months

Tip: If you are not hiring a wedding coordinator for the day of your wedding, make sure you have a friend that knows what you both want. The bride and groom should not be bothered with every little question. This person can act as a go-between and decision maker for issues that may arise.

Time Before the Wedding: 6-9 Months


Time Before the Wedding: 4-6 Months

Time Before the Wedding: 2-4 Months

Time Before the Wedding: 5-8 Weeks

*Tip* Keep in mind, some guests will run fashionably late. A good idea is to state on your invitations, “the ceremony starts a X pm, please arrive 15 minutes early to allow time for parking/seating/etc.”

Time Before the Wedding: 3-4 Weeks

Time Before the Wedding: 1-2 Weeks

Tip: Make sure whoever is in charge of gifts has scotch tape on hand in order to tape envelopes to gifts. You will thank me later!

Day Before Wedding

Wedding Day

After the Wedding

After the Honeymoon


A close friend gave me a great tip – do not leave everything to the last minute.  If you can book it, rent it, or pay for it, then do so now and don’t wait until the last minute.  As I said above, this is a living document that will change as my fiance and I experience the wedding planning process.

What tips and tricks do you have  for wedding planning?  Leave a comment below!




Violin: Laura Murray
Bridal Party:  Katelyn James Photography
Colors:  Aubrey Joy Photography
Rings on Pears: Ashley and Brandon Photography
Barn: White Haute Photography
Cake: Catie Coyle Photography
Favor: Onelove Photography
Flowers: Marisan Photography 
Car: Aubrey Joy Photography

This DIY wedding encompasses all things pretty. Tastefully done and not over done, this bride knows how to put an elegant backyard wedding together.  She used beautiful white hydrangeas (my fav), light pink roses, touches of crystals and pearls and check out that stunning floral arrangement on the chandelier over the dance floor. It’s to die for!

Southern Hometown Backyard Wedding ~ Photographer Remarks

“Laura and Stuart’s wedding was held in the backyard of a family member in Laura’s teeny tiny historical hometown of Bath, NC, the oldest town in North Carolina. The town is Charming! Situated on the Pamlico river and having a population of about 250 people!  Knowing how much was curated by family and friends, truly added to the southern hometown charm of this Bath, North Carolina wedding. From Laura’s GORGEOUS locks, to her homemade bouquets, this wedding was a joy to photograph!”

getting ready

This lovely bride decided to wear a keepsake garter.  This is where you wear two garters, one to throw and one to keep.

Wedding bouquetalter

“Laura and Stuart’s wedding was one of the most beautiful DIY weddings I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. They ordered their flowers wholesale and all the flower arrangements and decorations were put together by family and friends. The food at the reception was even made by family!”

bouquet bouquets program boxbridal party bridesmaids flower down aisleceremony wedding signschandelier guest bookCokecakefirst dance
exit in style



Photographer:  Melissa Stallings Photography
Dress Store: Ava Formals

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