Social Media During Wedding Planning :: post do’s + don’ts

you the Queen of Social Media who shares every last detail of your day with all 3,000 of your “closest” Facebook friends at the close of every day? Or maybe your significant other is the one who holds that title in your relationship. When in the midst of wedding planning social media can be a great research tool, can help you document the decisions and wedding day, and can help you communicate with guests. On the flip side of that, it can be very dangerous. You can be bombarded by opinions and “suggestions” that may not be the direction you need, you can give too much information to those not intended, and you may make a few of those “closest” friends feel alienated.

Here are a few things to remember:

{do}
Inform those who are close, especially family, of your engagement before posting it. Your phone will be ringing as soon as your post has the first comment if you didn’t follow the proper chain of communication with family members and close friends of your big news! Once you’ve done your due diligence, flash that ring, or pictures of the actual proposal and start sharing away.

{do}
Put out a call for recommendations and opinions on styles, vendors, locations, etc. You may find your favorite vendors and locations based on word of mouth, but also remember that you may need to take some of the style opinions with a grain of salt. Keep most “calls” on the light and airy side to avoid issues too personal.

{do}
Create a private page that can be an avenue for information with wedding party and guests once you start getting the RSVP’s. You can have your wedding website, accommodations, times, addresses and alternate location information all listed for everyone to reference.

{do}
Get inspiration from friends’ albums and wedding photos on their pages. You may know someone who got married at your venue or had their reception at the same location and by looking at their photos it could help flow your creative juices.

{do}
Ask your guests to tag pictures, use a hashtag, or share in a group so that everyone can see your wedding day captured differently after it passes. It is always fun getting to relive through different views!

{don’t}
Use Facebook (or alternate social media) as an open call for addresses, or as an invitation for guests to the wedding. Your entire friend list will not be invited to the wedding, though some may feel they got snubbed without an invitation. You may have budget or venue restrictions that dictate a small guest list, but you don’t need to feel compelled to tell all. Privately message, make a phone call, email or text those who you are getting addresses from and move forward from there.

{don’t}
Ask your wedding party to be a part of your special day on Facebook. Use some personal, face to face communication, or phone if distance is an issue, to let them know that they are special to you and you are excited to have them be included.

{don’t}
Share too much information, or ask for too much information before discussing it with your significant other. Make the wedding planning something that you do as a couple before including the rest of the cyber community. Make sure you are on the same page before going full steam ahead in one direction and having everyone else on your side.

{don’t}
Direct friends to your wedding registry on social media. It is similar to printing it on your wedding invitation. Your guests will ask you, your parents, other friends, or see it on your shower invitation or wedding website and find the gifts from there. Listing your registry on your own page is like simply saying, “Get me a gift, please.”

Remember in your planning, just make sure you focus on what’s at hand and if you are a person who shares your life on social media, continue to do so, just modify a few wedding related posts to not tip over the edge! If you are not an every-day sharer, don’t feel obligated to change your nature.

xoxo

Jennifer Ann + Andy || may 30, 2015

 

Jennifer Ann and her mom, Jeannie Smith, were women on a mission when it came to wedding planning. The vendor selection process was a breeze, Jennifer Ann and Andy chose a venue that would showcase their day perfectly, and a time line was put together to make sure the planning was taken care of around their busy lives in a manner that fit them well. Then wedding week came about. Everyone in the Brazos Valley is familiar with the rainy, stormy Spring we experienced in 2015. When looking forward to weekends, the forecast could make you cringe. It was no different for the weekend of May 30th and 48 hours prior to the wedding, Jennifer Ann and Andy, along with the support of their families, made the call to change venues. With a swoop of calling guests, vendors, wedding party, and a few small tweaks, all was in place and the family never skipped a beat.

If asked to describe this sweet family, I think the words Southern Grace are most fitting. If you’ve ever met them, you know you are always greeted with open arms and a warm hug, just like a part of the family. And the guests that arrived on the wedding day to celebrate Jennifer Ann and Andy were such a testament to this.

 

Here is what Jennifer Ann shared when we asked for advice for planning brides and her experiences.

q: How long did you plan your wedding?
a: 13 Months

q: What would you call your wedding style?
a: Rustic Elegance

q:What was your inspiration when putting together your wedding design?
a: Keeping my love of flowers a priority in the planning process, the florals really became the focal point of the event. Keeping with neutral tones in the table linens and accent colors enabled the florist to take flowers that were in season/abundant and really capitalize on those colors. The end result was EXACTLY how I pictured it- beautiful flowers with neutral and gold undertones.

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q: What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
a: Dancing the night away with my new husband, our friends, and family!

q: What piece of advice would you give other couples currently planning their wedding?
a: Enjoy the planning process and try not to get too stressed if something doesn’t go as planned. We changed our venue 48 hours before our wedding day due to weather. While we could have gotten stressed, we tried extremely hard to remember what was most important—we were going to be married by the end of the weekend and that was ALL that mattered! Our wedding turned out so much better than I ever imagined!

Additionally, Make a list of what you consider the most important parts of your wedding day- and work to make those particular things the very best! Ashley & Co was great at helping with this. Kelly knew I loved flowers and wanted the reception area to be pretty. Giving her and the florist the ability to take that and run was the best thing we did! 

 

q: Who are your “love role models” and why?
a: Our parents- we both grew up in homes where our parents loved each other and loved Jesus.

q: What does marriage mean to you?
a: It means having a permanent best friend- right?! All jokes aside, marriage is a commitment between two people and God. We both take this commitment very seriously and are so thankful God has allowed us to go through this journey of life together! 

q: Where will you and your spouse be in 50 years and what will you be doing?
a: Living in the mountains and maintaining our active lifestyle while enjoying our family and friends. We love the outdoors and we love people- so we know those will both be parts of our future!

 

Those involved.

{bridal gown} Beautitude || beatitudebridal.com
{bridesmaids attire} Bill Levkoff || www.billlevkoff.com
{men’s attire} Men’s Wearhouse || www.menswearhouse.com
{rings} Montelongo’s || www.montelongos.com
{coordinator} Kelly Nail || Ashley & Co.
{rehearsal dinner} The Veranda || the-veranda.com
{venue} The Equine Complex || (979) 458-9166
{photographer} Ashley Monogue || www.ashleymonogue.com
{caterer} D’Vine Cuisine || www.dvinecuisine.com
{bar} Chartwells
{ceremony music} BCS String Quartet|| www.bcsstringquartet.com
{dj} Downtown Event Services || www.downtowneventservicesllc.com
{lighting} RDM Audio || www.rdmpros.com
{cakes & desserts} Cakes by Blondie || (936) 873-2311
{florist} Postoak Florist || www.postoakflorist.com

Jennifer Ann & Andy, Jeannie & Bob, thanks for letting us share your joy.

xoxo

Jill + Shawn || october 4, 2014

When we initially met with Jill, we were fortunate enough to meet Shawn and Jill’s parents in the same meeting. The family dynamic was so funny and we immediately fell in love with all of them! Shawn seemed to take the “observer” seat and let Jill take control of the design and details, which she was absolutely amazing at. Jill had done so much planning on the back end of getting her ideas toget…

Jennifer Ann (Smith) & Andy Scasta

From start to finish, Kelly with Ashley & Company was more than helpful in making our dream wedding become a reality. We had a vision of what we wanted in terms of décor and style: rustic elegance with neutral and gold tones + beautiful and vibrant florals throughout. Kelly worked hard to make this vision come to life right before our eyes by matching us with the most amazing vendors and serving as my go-to when making all decisions!

Getting married in the spring of 2015 meant for lots and lots of rain. This became a big problem the week of our wedding and we decided to move the wedding—with 48 hours to go! Kelly and the rest of the staff at Ashley & Company completed the venue swap effortlessly. They turned the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ‘56 Equine Complex into a beautiful rustic and elegant wedding venue. It was better than we could’ve ever imagined! Having their guidance in the process was invaluable and something we are so thankful for!

Assem + Brian || august 30, 2014

Destination wedding, Bryan, Texas. We were contacted by Brian about seven weeks prior to their set wedding date. From a coordination perspective, it is always exciting to get to put together any wedding on a shortened deadline! Brian had flown back to the States and decided that there would be no better location than Bryan/College Station, Home of the Aggies (of course, his Alma Mater) to play…

Abigail + Walter || june 28, 2014

Laughter, design, humor, love. These all come to mind when thinking back on the time spent with Abigail, Walter and Deborah (Abigail’s mom) planning their perfect day at Double Creek Crossing in June. The mother-daughter bond that Deborah and Abigail share is absolutely admirable. Design was always important to the two of them, and in true groom fashion, Walter was happy with what made his blushin…

Laura + Donald || june 21, 2014

We first met Laura and her mom (Marcy) during our initial consultation and were immediately drawn in by Laura’s calming personality. She knew what was important to her and had her hit list ready to go when it came to the wedding. We had six months to plan, she was at the beginning of her demanding time of work and knew that time management was at the top of the list while finding vendors that fit her style and budget. Marcy and Donald provided the perfect support to Laura during the planning and as a team they planned their dream day, and on the wedding day the love that Laura and Donald were surrounded by was so prominent!

Ryan Price captured their wedding day perfectly. I love how you can hear their laughter through the pictures. I think I could look through these all day, every day. What a beautiful summer wedding at The Greenbranch.

We asked Laura to share some words of wisdom with us and future brides.

q: What piece of advice would you give other couples currently planning their wedding?
a: Don’t rush to start planning…take your time to feel inspired before you decide on things. Make the major decisions first (dress, venue, photographer, food) and then all the little things will fall into place. And ENJOY the planning process, each moment is special because you’ll only do it once in your life.

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q: What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
a: I don’t think there was one particular moment, but it was all the little moments that I will remember and cherish… and having all our friends and family in one place – I just remember the feeling of being surrounded by so much love.

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q: What would you call your wedding style, and where did you go for inspiration?
a: Country Garden. Lots of Pinterest! Lavender & mint color palette, outdoor/garden/rustic barn settings.

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q: What does marriage mean to you?
a: Having someone to share life’s joys and sorrows with. Always learning from each other and growing together.

Those Involved
{bridal gown} Brickhouse Bridal || www.brickhousebridal.com
{bridesmaids attire} David’s Bridal || www.davidsbridal.com
{men’s attire} Men’s Wearhouse || www.menswearhouse.com
{rings} Ben Bridge || bride || Gordon’s || groom
{coordinator} Kelly Nail || Ashley & Co.
{venue} The Greenbranch || www.thegreenbranch.net
{photographer} Ryan Price || www.ryanpricephoto.com
{caterer} D’Vine Cuisine || www.dvinecuisine.com
{dj} Downtown Event Services || www.downtowneventservicesllc.com
{cake} Cake Junkie || www.cake-junkie.com
{florist} Postoak Florist || http://.weddings.postoakflorist.com
{bar} Luke’s Bartending || www.bcsbartenders.com
{beauty} Celebrity Salon || www.celebrityspa.net
{ceremony music} The Big Apple Trio
{honeymoon} Estes Park, CO

Laura and Donald, thank you for letting us share your day with you. We can’t wait to see how the two of you grow together in your journey of life and continue to spread more love within your family and the world!

xoxo

Steps to take After the Wedding

 

Congratulations, you’re Mr. & Mrs.! You have survived the months of planning, compilation of details, hard work, and incredible celebration with your family, friends, and new spouse. There are just a few more things to tie up the loose ends, make things legal, and get you fully settled into your new life. Read along for some guidance on what to do next and remember, the sooner you get started, the easier this will be.

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{marriage license}
Your marriage license should have been filed by your officiate following the wedding. It can be filed in person or mailed back to the county to be filed and a certified copy will be returned to the address you provided on the license. Once you receive this, hold onto it and keep it out, you will be using it quite often in the first few months to make these changes. Depending on the county, this could take a couple of weeks to process.

{name change}
This is something that offers many possibilities these days. A woman can keep her maiden name, hyphenate, take her maiden name as her middle name, drop her maiden name altogether, or just add her new married name to the last of her existing names. If you are changing your name, you will need to visit the social security office and DMV. Also remember any other form of ID that you have such as a passport, bank account, credit card, cell phone, etc., and start notifying those administrators of the change.

{say your thanks}
Be as prompt as you can with your thank you cards for all gifts you have received, which include showers before the wedding and gifts received at the wedding. Above those thank you notes, if you had anyone who went above and beyond during your wedding time that you feel needs a little extra pat on the back, send them a note. It might be a parent, an extra helpful bridal party or extended family member, or a wedding vendor who just made the day that much better. Let them know you noticed.

{cohabitating}
If you are a more modern couple, you may have lived together before this point, so this may not be as big of a step as it once was. But if you are moving in together for the first time, remember to communicate and start learning each other’s habits and patterns because you both may be moving into the other’s space. This is when you get to start setting up your house, apartment, duplex, etc. how you want it. You get to decorate and blend your styles using the fantastic gifts from your wedding registry and a little of what each of you had before the wedding. (Which can be a good and bad thing!) Again, patience is good in this situation and decorating together can teach you a lot about personalities.

{finances}
This was probably a conversation before the wedding, but it may not be a bad idea to revisit the finances. Talk about bank accounts and if you will keep everything separate or will combine, existing loans, salaries, monthly bills, general spending and budgets. This will keep you on track and in the clear with your spending.

{your gown}
Once the wedding is complete your wedding gown will need to be cleaned and you may want it preserved. Or, you may decide you want to donate or sell it. Each person is different and has a different expectation for their gown after the wedding. Decide exactly what you want done with yours after and start making those plans. If you decide to get it preserved talk to the bridal consultant that helped you with the purchase of your gown to get a direction that they trust.

{pictures & videos}
Before the wedding your photo and video vendors may have spoken to you a bit about what they need from you. For example, the videographer may need you to give them five songs to fill in for your highlight video. The photographer may need you to choose 80 images once they have processed everything so that they can begin working on your album layout. Be aware of what those vendors need and know that the sooner you get what they need to them the sooner you will have your product to share with others.

{legal, formal & little pieces}
This is where insurance, naming beneficiaries, writing wills, changing email names, business cards, name plates a work, changing your status with your accountant and all the little things come in. Look into insurance with your spouse and decide which policy fits best for needs and complete that paperwork. Once you have made the decision on your name change notify your supervisor at your job to have your new name listed on all that it should be.

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Outdoor Weddings {Brazos Valley Wedding Planning}

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Let’s face it, you’re either the personality type who can handle an outdoor wedding ceremony and/or reception or you’re not. Yes, it is gorgeous. You have the purity of the natural beauty as your setting and you get to build on that when considering your wedding décor. But you also have mother nature as your guest of honor, who may or may not be in a cooperative mood.

If you are a bride who has always dreamed of an outdoor ceremony or reception and you know that you will not be satisfied until you find that perfect location, even if it is equipped with a questionable back up plan, by all means go outside! You have a 50/50 chance that you will get that perfect day that you have envisioned, and along the way, you will create and execute plans for “just in case”.

We have been very lucky the last few weeks to have been blessed with many inches of rain, mostly on Saturdays. That, of course, has made for some scrambling to put Plan B into place, quick drying of chairs as the rain stops 15 minutes before the outdoor ceremonies and a few nervous brides around the Brazos Valley. It has not, however, stopped anyone from getting married, having the most beautiful wedding of their dreams, and getting to celebrate and dance the night away with friends and family.

Most people think that rain is the main issue when planning an outdoor reception, but realistically it is a very small portion of what you will have to deal with when your big day comes. When planning an outdoor ceremony and/or reception, keep these things in mind to help you be prepared for what is to come.

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{Back Up Plan} – If it rains, what is your back up plan? That might be a tent, it might be another building on the property, it might be the same location as the reception with guests sitting at the tables, but you will need to have a plan in mind so that you can go to it if necessary. If it is a tent, find out what you need to do to get that reserved and what your final deadline is to reserve. If it needs to be a frame tent or pole tent. Decide on sides and flooring, and what you will do if there is a break from the tent to another building that guests will be in as well. If the back up plan is another building on property, can that building hold the ceremony and reception? Will you have to do a flip or can you have both set up in different locations? If your guests will sit at their tables during the ceremony make sure there is an aisle for you to make it down and that everyone is able to make it in out of the rain in some fashion.

{Wind} – Often the wind can be just as bad, if not worse than the rain! Keep the wind in mind when you are designing your table-scapes. Keep your centerpieces heavy enough to not be effected by large gusts and minimize what other pieces you have. Napkins may need to be weighted down by silverware, plates, chargers, or folded in a creative way to keep them in place. LED candles will be your best friend with the wind! Don’t try real candles, you will fight all night long. Table clips might be a consideration for your linens to make sure they don’t blow off the tables. You can also prop the chairs up against them to keep them in place.

{Bugs} – Most locations keep a very close watch on bugs year round to make sure they don’t have too many gnats or mosquitos as unwelcome guests during a reception, but it is always a good idea to bring some additional back up. Spray, candles, or clips can be good options, and you can ask the venue what methods they use and if they see any issues with bugs in the evenings. If there has been a large rain or there is a pond (which will provide a beautiful backdrop) you could have some extra “friends”. Keep in mind if you have your cakes, food or bar being set outside that the bugs will probably be drawn to these areas too due to the tempting sugar and alluring lights!

{Heat or Cold} – Let’s face it, this is Texas, so we can swing 50 degrees in a day at the drop of a hat. Keep heat and cold in mind and know what options you have with fans and/or heaters to be provided by the venue or rented by you and placed to make your guests (and yourself) comfortable. Large fans are great to circulate air for the heat, but “swamp coolers” are another good addition when it is extreme. Think about water or alternative beverages during the ceremony and options for shade if it is during the daylight.

Let me share with you three precious couples who made sure their days were covered in back up plans.

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Audrey & Glen were married in March at Astin Mansion in Bryan. They had a lovely spring wedding planned with an outdoor ceremony and reception. On the rehearsal day we had nice “springtime” weather with temperatures near 75 degrees. On the wedding day the temperature dropped to near 45 degrees and we had winds of 30 MPH. Plans changed. The ceremony was held outside with heaters to warm the guests and the once planned outdoor seating for the reception was moved indoors. The indoor seating gave Audrey and Glen a great opportunity to spend quality time with each guest at their tables while finishing dinner and was a nice intimate setting.

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Heather & Dustin were married in early October in a church and went to Royalty Pecan Farms for their reception immediately following. It was a beautiful, sunny day, but there was a little bit of a breeze when setting the reception! The guests tables and dance floor were all set in a tent and to keep the linens and napkins on the tables pieces were strategically placed and used as anchors. Heather kept in mind that wind can often be a factor at outdoor receptions when planning her centerpieces and made Plan A and B for everything that would be on the table tops.

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Lauren & Brant were married at Pebble Creek Country Club in a ceremony overlooking the golf course in August. An evening ceremony was planned, which seemed like a safe plan, until it was the hottest summer on the books. Five minutes before the wedding party was to walk down the aisle it was still well over 100 degrees. The ceremony was abbreviated and the guests were quickly ushered into the air conditioning to enjoy nice cold beverages and appetizers. The wedding party, bride and groom finished pictures like rock stars!

Come rain or shine, wind or storm, the show will go on. So, if you are a bride who has dreamed of that day being outdoors, keep these things in mind and keep and open mind. If you think it is too much for you handle on your wedding day, maybe battling Mother Nature is not your thing. Either way, your day will be perfect for you. Each wedding should.

xoxo

Ashlyn & Curt

  • October 1, 2012
  • Venue: Double Creek Crossing
  • Photographer & Candied Apples: Thomas Ross Photography
  • Floral: Postoak Florist
  • Cakes: Cinderella’s Stories
  • Ceremony Music: Brazos Valley String Quartet
  • Reception Music: Livewire Productions
  • Lighting: RDM
  • Caterer: Mallet Brothers

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