Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beach Theme

Theme Thursday! With the warm weather growing a bit more consistent, lying on the beach sounds a bit appealing at the moment. So, here's your theme for today!

I am all for elegance, so let's make the sub-theme elegant purple.

This would make a lovely
save the date card and
intro to your theme.

Beautiful invitation,
except use a purple
ribbon and white starfish
(or leave it its
natural color).

Purple organza on the chairs
and altar.

Add a few touches of
extra elegance.

Another added touch.

Use purple decor
instead of white. Maybe
a chandelier or two.

Gorgeous cake! Add
some orchids for your
touch of purple.

Use purple sand with
tiny pearl-like
seashells for your

And Voila!

Take a look at other Beach Theme Ideas that I've come up with on my Pinterest Board.

See you next week!

Lady Autie aka Autra

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Planning Checklist

Here's your Tuesday Tip on a Wednesday again! Yay, wedding season!

Okay! It's time for an overall view of what should be done when in your wedding planning. You may hear this called your timeline or calendar, or even your checklist. For consistency sake, we'll call it your wedding planning checklist.

The checklist gives a list of most things that should be done to plan your wedding day and honeymoon. It's a wonderful guide for those at a loss for what to do and when.

Here are some important tips:
  • Read the entire list before getting started.
  • If the list seems daunting, hire a wedding planner.
  • Trust your vendors!
    • If your vendor wants to do something (i.e. create your music list) at a different time than what's listed on this checklist, default to the vendor's decision. This is merely a guideline.
If you've been following these Tuesday Tips then you've already checked off a couple items! Near the top of the list there's determining your budget, and starting your guest list.

One thing that tends to be planned near the end (i.e. forgotten) is the officiant. With a checklist, you'll be almost certain not to forget any of the most important steps in the planning process. It's also a good visual for your partner to view.

Next week starts the fun stuff!

Lady Autie aka Autra

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Peacock Theme

Theme Thursday, yay! Currently, I'm working with a couple who's theme is Peacock/1920's which is part of the inspiration for today's post. The other part was during my search for a headpiece for my own wedding. I ran across this beautiful headdress.
Now that's a bit audacious for a wedding (or maybe not, depending on the type of wedding), but you can certainly have something similar.
One can go crazy with peacock feathers with how available they are in many different shapes and sizes. In your bouquet, as boutonnieres, in your cake topper, on the cake itself, in your place cards, centerpieces, shoes, invites, and even on toasting glasses! All of this and more you can find on my peacock pinterest board, but for the purposes of this post, I'll gather just a couple of ideas.

First, you want to choose a couple of colors you'd like to focus on. Today I choose teal and gold.
Here's a great invitation to set the tone for the rest of the wedding.
I envision mostly teal with lots of splashes of golf for elegance. Teal table cloth with gold chargers to start and gold chair bows or gold chairs and teal bows.
For the centerpieces, I am a fan of using as few flowers as possible, so a few vases with colored water beads and/or LED lights to color the beads with a few feathers coming out of the top would be lovely. Add some gold and/or teal votive candle holders around the table.
Here's a gorgeous cake that could be transferred to a wedding cake.
Add this sash except exchange the teal for gold, leaving the teal flower and peacock feathers...

And we're done! Let me know what themes you'd like to see me post about in the comments below.

Find more ideas on Eclectic Weddings' Pinterest Board.

Lady Autie aka Autra

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Your First List of Many

It's time for your Tuesday Tip and it's on time this week! This week's tip gives some general guidelines for writing out your guest list.

So, have you finished your budget? Good! It's a large task, but an important one and now you can move along with other things with focus.

Now it's time to gather your guest list. First, make a general list. Start with your immediate family, your close friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. Or just go from most important to least important. Have your partner do the same. Don't worry abut the number just yet.

Once that's done, consider the amount you set aside for your reception. Depending on how extravagant you want to go, your reception could cost anywhere from $25 per person (a very basic reception), to hundreds per person. This includes food, drink, and decor. Keep in mind, I'm a Sacramento Wedding Planner, so this cost is based on Sacramento and surrounding areas. Don't forget to allow room for spouses or significant others, collectively known as +1's. The number of people you invite also affects your stationary budget.

With this in mind, consider a maximum number you'd like to invite (be fair to your partner about their number) and put the rest on a "B" list. The "B" list is for those that will receive invites if there's extra room in your budget or if there are enough declines to allow room for more. If you have room in your budget for everyone, lucky you!

Now that you have your list, fill it in with address, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Ask for them if you must. Only for those on the "A" list for now, however. You don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

Armed with your budget and guest count you are ready to start shopping!

Happy Planning!

Lady Autie aka Autra

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Your Wedding Budget

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!... ...But instead on a Wednesday! (haha, Lego Movie reference) Today's topic is about wedding budgets and how to create one.

As mentioned in a previous post, one of the first things you should plan is your budget. This applies to any event, but today's post is about wedding budgets specifically.

So, let's assume you've already had your discussion about where the money is coming from and how much you have to work with. When planning your budget, first decide what is most important to you and your partner. To help with this, here is a general list of everything that goes into a typical wedding budget:

  • Ceremony
    • Officiant
    • Venue
  • Attire
    • Wedding Dress
    • Groom's Attire
    • Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Attire and accessories (they traditionally pay for these, but can be given as gifts instead)
    • Accessories (i.e. hair piece/veil, shoes, necklace, etc.)
  • Beauty
    • Makeup Artist
    • Hair Stylist
    • Salon visit (nails, massage, etc.)
  • Flowers/Decor
    • Ceremony
    • Reception
  • Hotels/Transportation
    • Wedding Night
    • Limo/Classic Car
    • Transport between locations/Transportation to airport afterward
  • Honeymoon
    • Passports
    • New wardrobe
    • Airline tickets
    • Hotels
    • Excursions
  •  Music/Entertainment
    • DJ/Band/Harpist/Guitarist
      • Lighting can be a part of this category if supplied by the DJ
  • Photography/Videography
  • Reception
    • Venue
    • Food
    • Cake/Desserts/Candy Bar
  • Stationary
    • Save the Date
    • Invitations (Calligraphy?)
    • Place Cards
    • Menu Cards
    • Programs
    • Thank You Notes
Using your top 3 areas of importance, distribute your budget accordingly. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Reception will easily take up around 40% of your budget. It's also in direct relation to how many people you invite.
  • Reserve about 4% of your budget for a "Miscellaneous" category. Inevitably you'll find something you hadn't thought to budget for or will find something that goes over your budget a bit, but have discovered it's a MUST HAVE. (i.e. that PERFECT necklace!, or those adorable chargers, or that amazing guitarist.)
  • If an area is low priority and you have a limited budget you may consider asking a friend or family member to help, but before you do just be aware of the issues that may arise. Read my post about receiving help for your wedding to discover these.
  • Second hand and DIY (do it yourself) are great ways to save money, but may require MUCH more time and be sure to do your research and be careful not to spend more money than having it professionally done.
    For example, you may want to create your own invitations, but if you have a full time job, kids, and go to school, you probably won't find the time and will only stress yourself. Or if you do have time, be sure you're not spending more on materials than buying them pre-made.
Have your budget in mind when you meet with each vendor and do your research!

Remember that it's not uncommon to go over your budget, but having one will minimize the blow and ensure you don't completely drown yourself.

Also, a wedding planner can do this tedious part for you. Something else to keep in mind. ;)

You may think you're ready to get started, but hold on there... There's one more step you'll need to accomplish before starting your vendor search. Stay tuned next week to check it out!

Lady Autie aka Autra

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Theme Thursday - With You, May the Fourth Be

Yay, Theme Thursday! For today, we're going to revisit a theme I've created and expanded upon. Since last weekend was the West Sacramento May the Fourth Be With You event, naturally, that'll be the subject of my post today.

First, let's start by looking at my post from last year. Everything I used for this was just too good not to use again. I did change the centerpiece, however. I decided not to focus so much on the jedi vs. dark side theme, but rather provide a little more variety.

R2D2 and C3PO seemed like good subjects, so I went with that. I started with a tall, thin vase, and a short round one. Here was the final result:

Photo Credit: Photo Has Merit
This shows a variety of things you can do for a Star Wars themed event. Here's one of my favorite costumes of the day:
Photo Credit: Thymehadder Photography
I assisted in the coordination for the costume contest (and led the costume parade) for this event and Jayleena, the character she's portraying above, won a couple of awards. The entire event was a lot of fun! Next year it'll be a sci-fi event since the 4th falls on a Monday.

Stay tuned for next week's Theme Thursday! Leave a comment below with your requests.

Until next time...

Lady Autie aka Autra

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wedding Help

It's time for another Tuesday Tip! This week's tip is about those who are offering their help for free (or cheap).
"Please let me make your bouquet..."

As soon as everyone catches a whisper of your engagement (yes, even if you try to keep it secret, the word will still spread) the calls, emails, text and Facebook messages will pour in. Of course, most of these will be of congratulations (but we hope they ALL will, right?), but some will also be an offer of help in one way or another. Your sister wants to do the planning, your mother wants to be your florist, and your uncle offers his sound system up for your use. Hey, there's nothing like getting free or cheap stuff for your wedding, right? Especially considering the expense! However, before you accept their offers, consider a few things:

  1. Are they a professional?

We all have a hard time saying 'no' to our family and friends. This includes when they are making decisions for your wedding that may not necessarily be for the best or even what you want. A professional has a special interest in making you happy and specializes in what they do. Would you ask a friend to install your roof if they weren't already a professional?

  1. Will there be a contract?

You both want to be on the same page. Signing a contract with the details of what they will be providing for you help to ensure that your pink wedding cake with fresh white flowers on top doesn't arrive an hour late as white cupcakes with fondant pink flowers.

  1. Is there money involved?

Unfortunately, money talks. If your college friend with a nice camera with aspirations of becoming a photographer receives an offer for a paid gig the same day as your wedding, the chances are high that your wedding is going to get the boot.

  1. Are they experienced?

This can actually substitute for #1. It is entirely reasonable to want your best friend to craft your wedding attire for you because you love the many things she's (or he's) made in the past. Just make sure everyone is on the same page and that there's proper compensation/motivation.

All of this can still apply when you have a small budget, too. There's a wide range of vendors in the industry and many will work with your budget. Just remember to consider all of the above when choosing to hire a friend or family member.

Stay tuned for next week's tip about wedding budgets!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Theme

Welcome to Theme Thursday! Every Thursday I will be posting about a theme that I've been inspired by or a themed wedding/event that I'm currently working on. Today's theme is an attempt at reminding nature that IT'S NOT SUMMER YET!

This theme was inspired by the beautiful and colorful butterfly decor I saw in a grocery store near the beginning of Spring.

Spring is my favorite season, so why not make a themed event of it? My absolute favorite part about it are the gorgeous, blooming flowers. I can't help but take photos. There's such a huge variety of color, too!
Credit: Eclectic Photography aka Me!
Let's start with the invitation. Because that's the first guests may see of your event theme, right? This one isn't mine, but I'd LOVE to create a sunflower shaped invitation! Sunflowers are my favorite (they were in my wedding bouquet)!

 Photo credit: Mospens Studio
Photo credit: Mospens Studio

Around Easter is the only time that I, not only, tolerate pastel colors, I actually enjoy them. This has also given me some inspiration.
Credit: Pinterest
So, I began to think. If I were to put a centerpiece together for a Spring/Easter themed event, how would I do it? Using my inspirations above and good old Pinterest, here's what I came up with.
Credit: Pinterest
I love the vase full of eggs, but I wouldn't use real eggs since it can get messy, not to mention smelly, and can be a lot of work in the long run if you're doing multiple centerpieces. I'd buy plastic eggs and fill them to make them heavy or buy some that are already a good weight. And I would use tulips instead though tulips can be temperamental. Because I'm not a florist, I tend to lean more toward centerpieces that don't use flowers at all. In that case, I'd use small white manzanita branches with lots of butterflies in them. Ones like these:
Credit: Pinterest
These are the ones with the clips in the back, making it easy to clip onto anything. The image above is also a great favor idea. It's a small bag filled with candy, tied off with small ribbon and a butterfly clipped to the top. Tulle circles would be pretty instead of the clear bag, too. The butterflies on the branches would look sort of like this:

Photo credit:
For the guest of honor, a headpiece like in the following photo would be a gorgeous tie-in to the butterflies.
Photo Credit: Farrell Photography Credit: Eclectic Weddings
I hope to be able to put these ideas into action one day! If you'd like more inspiration, take a look at Eclectic Weddings' Pinterest Board. Until next time... ^.^/

Lady Autie aka The Eclectic Sacramento Wedding Planner, Autra