Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and are ready to jump start 2018 with determination and perseverance! 2017 ended with a bang for me because I GOT ENGAGED! It was completely unexpected and a total surprise to me that I loved every minute of. I am a very difficult person to surprise, so the fact that my entire family was in on it and managed to keep it a secret was amazing.
My fiance proposed in the cutest way. It was our anniversary and we always get something small for each other and do a gift exchange. I had given him his gift and he said he left his in the car. With no rush to get it, we were going to go out to dinner and then I’d receive my gift later that night. As I’m getting my coat on, I was chatting with my mom and sister in the living room and didn’t notice he had slipped out to go to the car. He came inside with my gift and said he wanted me to open it before we left. He seemed so proud of his gift and was beaming. I opened it to find a Build-A-Bear inside holding a rose and with a t-shirt on that said Happy Anniversary. We had been in the mall on Black Friday and almost made a Build-A-Bear together so I thought it was a thoughtful gift. When I squeezed it, it said “I Love You Kelly Rose...” and just as I was about to thank him, the bear spoke again and said, “Will You Marry Me?” Before I could say anything, my fiance was down on one knee with a ring. I actually thought it was a joke at first because he used to tease me and get down on one knee and look me in the eyes and proceed to tie his shoe and walk away. But after I saw the ring, I knew this was the real deal. I was so in shock at what was happening that I didn’t even realize my entire family was in the living room recording and taking pictures. It was certainly a memorable night for both of us.
Now begins the fun part of planning the wedding!
I’d love for you to follow me on this exciting journey as I plan our dream wedding, Stylish Saver style. It’s certainly possible to have an elegant wedding on a small budget and I’m going to share my real-time tips and experiences as they happen! Sign up to receive my weekly updates right to your inbox.
Okay, you’re engaged. Now what?
1. Create a Wedding Hashtag
The first thing my fiance and I did was to come up with our own hashtag. No rhyme or reason as to why that was first. We were just out to eat and it clicked for us. You ready for it…..#MeetTheFaulkners. There are a lot of free wedding hashtag generators on the web if you’re struggling to come up with one on your own like eWedding.com. If you’re willing to pay for someone to come up with a completely unique and creative hashtag, I suggest checking out Mister Write. This company comes up with custom hashtags, speeches, vows, and even proposals.
2. Purchase a Wedding Planner
I am a very structured and organized person, so naturally I needed a planner to help me plan an event of this caliber. I did my research and found planners like the C.R. Gibon Planner from Target and Kate Spade NY Bridal Collection Wedding Planner which were under $50. But if I’m going to try to cut costs with my wedding, I opted for a more affordable option with a touch of DIY.
I purchased a downloadable wedding planner from PineappleDesignCo on Etsy for only $9 and a 3-ring binder for $4 at Target. If you make a mistake on one of your pages or run out of room, you can print another one without having to get a whole new planner. If you want to be really organized, add dividers to separate each section.
3. Create an E-mail just for Wedding Information
To keep any e-mails pertaining to my wedding and vendors separate, I created a new gmail address. This way I don’t have to worry about sifting through my personal e-mail or worry about overlooking an important response. It did take a few tries to get an e-mail that wasn’t taken. I went for something easy — faulknerwedding — and added our wedding date — 414. If every address you try is take, I suggest adding your wedding date (with or without year.)
4. Sign up for FREE Wedding Help and Websites
There are so many websites out there that offer free wedding checklists, planning advice, vendor information, and DIY ideas. My top three sites for any bride to sign up for include:
The Knot is my go-to site for a custom wedding website. I created one for my finance and I which is 100% customizable and very easy to navigate. As the details of your wedding come together, you can add them to the website such as the date, venue, transportation, the story of how you met, photos, your registry, and more. You can view a sample of my website here — https://www.theknot.com/us/kellyanddean.
You can also create your wedding vision by browsing through different themes, colors, and decor and taking style quizzes to point you in the right direction.
Wedding Wire has the same features as The Knot, but I prefer this site for their vendor recommendations and Inspiration posts. They have a great list of vendors with reviews from couples who have used them to help select the perfect venue, dress, entertainment, and more. I especially love their Inspiration tab which is like a mini Pinterest of photos from weddings of the site’s users. It was helpful for me with narrowing down the general concepts I liked including color, flowers, and venue style.
NJ Wedding is perfect for New Jersey Brides like myself. This site allows you to enter information about yourself and your fiance, any wedding details you have already planned, what types of services you’re looking for, or just the basics if you have not planned a thing yet. The site then forwards your information to vendors in the area that fit your requirements and they contact you to schedule appointments, tours, and to provide more information. It takes all the research out of the planning process which I found very helpful.
5. Create a Custom Card to Give to Vendors
This has been a big hit with vendors I’ve given it to. It’s essentially a business card with your wedding and contact information on it. Think about it, vendors talk to dozens of couples and collect even more e-mails and phone numbers and are usually the ones handing you their business card. Save yourself the time of filling out your information and an aching hand by giving vendors your card. It will definitely impress them and make you stand out!
Here’s the card I made for my fiance and I.
Love this idea? Contact me for help designing your card! $10 per design – firstname.lastname@example.org
My wedding plans are just beginning and every week I’ll be sharing my updates and budget-friendly finds! Stay tuned for more stylish savings!