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 Photo by Rachel May

It’s hard to believe we’re in the homestretch of our wedding planning, with only 8 days to go until we say “I do!” It’s been a whirlwind six months, and we’re excited to celebrate with all our family and friends soon! I know how quickly things can turn from fun to frazzled without a proper plan in place, and if I’ve learned anything during our engagement season, it’s preparation is key.

We’re making progress on the last lingering things on our list, and a large part of that has been working on timelines for the morning of the big day! After talking with our friends at Plum Pretty Sugar , I was inspired to share seven tips I’ve incorporated into my planning, and I hope you find them helpful!

Photo by Robyn Van Dyke

Write it down. I’m taking a few moments to write out my excitement, my hopes and dreams for our marriage, and how much I value him. Since we’re forgoing a first look in favor of seeing each other at the altar, we’re hoping to exchange letters to one another.

Choose your room carefully. My bridesmaids and I will be getting ready at a local Airbnb, and we intentionally chose a space with abundant natural light to get ready in. If possible, choose a room with neutral colors, and try to keep things neat and tidy throughout the morning. If details are important to you, have everything you’d like photographed laid out and waiting for your photographer—a full invitation set, my mother-in-law’s veil, etc.

Choose attire for your bridesmaids. If you’ve been in the Southern Weddings family, you know we’re all big fans of Plum Pretty Sugar pajamas and robes! Plum Pretty Sugar was kind enough to gift our team pajamas for our Cultivate Team Summit, and we worse them for our slumber parties all week long. I loved them so much I ordered pajamas for my bridesmaids (I love how they offer Getting Ready sets for their pajamas, robes, and rompers!). I’m thrilled it’s a gift that will not only be beautiful in our photos, but they’ll enjoy for years to come!

Photo by Taylor Rae

Create a playlist. Leading up to our engagement, Logan created a secret Spotify playlist for us to enjoy after getting engaged. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite playlists because it brings up such sweet memories! I’ve already started building my wedding morning playlist on Spotify, and I have a speaker on my packing list. I know the playlist will bring back great memories in the months following our wedding day.

Give your phone to someone else. If you follow our sister brand, you know “phone down, eyes up” has been one of my goals for the year. I’m especially excited to pass my phone off to my sister or Matron of Honor on the morning of the wedding so I can fully soak up time celebrating with my family and loved ones without the urge to reply to text messages or scroll through social media.

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch! My appetite is the first thing to go when I get anxious, but the last thing I want is my stomach rumbling during the ceremony! We have a plan for breakfast, lunch, plenty of snacks, and a few mimosas for the wedding morning so no one goes hungry!

Have a plan. This is arguably the most important tip! I’ve been in my fair share of wedding parties to know the wedding morning can fly by, and I want to make sure we have plenty of time for hair and makeup without feeling rushed! Your wedding day is perhaps the one day you don’t want to be fashionably late :)

Newlyweds and bride-to-be’s, I’d love to hear from you! What would you add to this list? Is there something you did the morning of your wedding that you loved or would change? Leave a comment, and let me know!

This post is brought to you by Plum Pretty Sugar–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar NST Pictures – Artistic Wedding Videos reply

    These tips are perfect for brides! Thank you!

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Happy Thursday, belles!

You know we love to celebrate love around here, so we had to pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day! We’re celebrating with a HUGE sale in our shop! Take up to 50% off all our favorite items, including our Vows booklets, wedding journal, and, drumroll please, the Joyful Wedding Planner!

Head to our shop to snag the best gifts for brides and newlyweds (and yourself) around!

Written with love by Catherine
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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    If you’re anything like me, you’ve had a secret wedding Pinterest board for longer than you’ve had a beau, but if you joined my last post, you know how important it is to prioritize your wedding budget before pinning another wedding bouquet (though they are lovely!).

    Today, I’m excited to be sharing what our top two priorities have been during wedding planning, and a few ways we’re saving money with another vendor!

    Our Wedding Venue

    We took the advice of many wise friends and didn’t start dreaming about details or vendors until we secured our venue (and date!). Logan and I are both from North Carolina, but currently live in Atlanta, so we had quite a few location options we could have considered.

    We knew early on where we wanted to get married, however. In fact, Logan casually told me before we were engaged that he knew where we were getting married. Talk about sending a girl into a tailspin! Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville, GA was a place of refuge for us a year ago after very busy work seasons (the launch of Southern Weddings’ Volume 9 and PowerSheets), and we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and attention we experienced from their entire staff, particularly Luci and Ed, the innkeepers.

    When they replied with only one available date between March and October, we were giddy. Albeit eager and excited, we wanted to do research before signing the dotted line to make sure it was a good investment. We took Emily’s advice and compared apples to apples. While Glen-Ella’s initial venue fee was higher than some other quotes we received, we soon realized it was by far the better deal because it included all tables, chairs, dishes, flatware, stemware, and linens.

    A bonus for us? Glen-Ella’s restaurant is award-winning, and by booking them as our venue, we get to take advantage of their catering! Not only is the food delicious, but that’s one fewer vendor for us to find and manage!

    Photo by Cariad Photography

    Our Photographer

    I was surprisingly calm during Logan’s proposal, not shedding a single tear! However, when we received a yes from my dream wedding photographer, I bawled my eyes out (and still do tear up when recounting this story to others)!

    When Emily and Lisa returned from an editorial shoot for Volume 9, Lisa Kirk looked me in the eye and said, “I know this sounds strange and you aren’t getting married anytime soon, but I think Davy Whitener will shoot your wedding.” I giggled, shrugged it off, but was captivated when the photos for A Storied Love came in.

    After spending time in Laurel, MS with Davy and his entire family for our Home Town Celebration editorial for our tenth anniversary issue, I knew I wanted Davy to be our wedding photographer. His demeanor throughout the entire day was nothing but joyful and hospitable, and I couldn’t think of anyone who better embodied our hope for our big day.

    Photo by Davy Whitener from A Storied Love

    Our Florist

    While my Pinterest board was full of beautiful bouquets, I knew early on our flowers were an area where we would be able to save money. Our florist–Bella Flora Designs–has been phenomenal to work with. Not only has she given us options, but never once have we been pressured to spend more money than we have allocated.

    Here are a few ways we’re saving in our floral budget:

    • We’ve hired a florist who has worked extensively at Glen-Ella Springs Inn. Susan and Renee’s familiarity with the space gives them an understanding of how to best invest our floral budget. Not only are they familiar with the space, they are local to the area, which means we’re saving on travel fees. Be sure to ask your venue for preferred vendors!
    • We’re flexible about the specifics. I’ve communicated my favorite flowers and color preference, but I trust their expertise in finding the most economical blooms for our bouquets and centerpieces. I’ve found that I’m actually excited about seeing what they create on the day-of!
    • Our bridesmaids are carrying smaller bouquets, and they will be repurposed for the buffet tables after the ceremony. We’re using a mixture of florals and candles for our centerpieces.
    • My three-year-old niece is our flower girl, and we’ve decided to forgo traditional flower girl petals, knowing it’d be a bit of a toss up if she’d actually throw them :)

    While we’re certainly saving in our floral budget, I’m confident our flowers are going to be beautiful because I’ve seen Susan and Renee’s work and it matches my personal aesthetic!

    I’d love to hear from you! Where did you find your wedding vendors? What made you choose them? I’d love to hear any personal stories!

    Need some help prioritizing and planning your big day or want to stock up on gifts for friends? You’re in luck! Shop our Valentine’s Day sale in the Southern Weddings Shop! Our prompted wedding journal, all copies of Southern Weddings magazines, and my beloved Joyful Wedding Planner are up to 50% off!

    Written with love by Jess Metcalf
    9 Comments
    1. avatar Lisa reply

      I am still quite proud of that prediction, but most of all, I just can’t wait to see the way Davy captures you and Logan!!! Counting down the days!

      • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

        I might have thought you were silly at the time, but boy am I grateful that you were right! Xx!

    2. avatar Stephanie Shaul reply

      Jess, I’m getting more and more excited for you, and I love hearing about yours and Logan’s wedding plans!! Our venue was really the only one we looked at and wanted, and it also had just one date open in almost a year-long span. Hence the six month engagement for us, too! But I truly am SO, so, so glad our engagement was six months (and I have a feeling you will be, too!), and I wouldn’t change that timing for the world. I can’t believe your wedding is coming up so soon – April weddings are the best!! xoxox

      • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

        Yes! I think about you and your encouragement often when thinking about our timeframe! Yay for April weddings!

    3. avatar Janna Toruno reply

      We knew what we were looking for and were open to a semi destination wedding, we actually found our dream venue from a Facebook ad! Daughter’s Barn in Folkston, Ga! Our photographer I found from Instagram and fell in love with their work! Southern Studios from Jacksonville, FL! Turns out they were old friends of my fiance’s family!

      • avatar Janna Toruno reply

        My mom is a retired florist, but I’m going with more of greenery on the tables with white pumpkins added in the mix. My niece is going to be carrying a cotton boll kissing ball.

      • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

        I love hearing all about your day, Janna! What a fun connection with your photographer!

    4. avatar Tegan reply

      We picked our venue because it’s beautiful, associated with an incredible restaurant, and allows us to have an intimate ‘backyard’ wedding vibe while accommodating our larger guest list.
      My fiancé was on board with it from day one, but what honestly sold him on the venue was the fact that his college football team’s coach got married at the same venue!

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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