A Thousand Threads

Category: Our Wedding

6 Simple Rules for Planning a Destination Wedding

jose villa

When I tell people that my wedding is on the other side of the country, the first question they always ask is, “How the !!?# did you plan from here?” And I’m not gonna say it was easy, but here are a few things I did that made the process of planning from afar a whole lot easier…

1 // Get a coordinator. Oh my lord get a coordinator. You don’t have to go all the way, you can just get a day of, but having someone on the ground will make a world of difference. A coordinator can answer questions and provide recommendations for anything from the most kickass band to the place you want to have your dress steamed when you get into town.  Most importantly, just knowing you have that person backing you up will relieve a boatload of stress.

2 // Research, research, research. If you can, use yelp. And scour the vendor guides of your favorite blogs like a crazy person. I’m telling you, I can still rattle off who is and is not included in Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book… and whether they also appear on Green Wedding Shoes and Once Wed.  It’s a sickness.

If you’re going overseas use a reputable guide that you trust, like Frommers or Lonely Planet. We depended on these heavily on these for our honeymoon.

3 // Check out the average wedding cost where you’re headed… is it the highest in the country? The lowest? The truth might not change your mind, but it’s a good thing to know going in.

4 // Use Skype.  There is literally nothing better for planning from out of town.  You can still meet every one of your vendors face to face.

5 // If you can, take one trip there before the wedding. Hopefully you already know enough about the venue so that you don’t need to go early on in planning (if you don’t, I really recommend two trips. Don’t book a venue sight unseen… you never know what little surprises might pop up, and you don’t want to discover them after it’s too late).

On your main trip, try your food, cake, meet with your coordinator and officiant and, if you have time, get your engagement shots taken. Rentals, lights, and little details are easy to book from afar.

6 // Relax. This is a destination wedding, and I imagine that one of the reasons you chose this whole deal is that the place is beautiful… right? So here’s the thing. That beautiful place? It counts as big fat chunk of your decor. You might not be able to carry or ship quite as many little details as you’d like, but even with the most minimal personalization, your location will shine – and I’m pretty sure it will beat a 50′ long crepe paper garland any day of the week.

Trust that your wedding will be beautiful and special and yours.

And if there is any little piece of you that doubts me, watch this.

Photo: Jose Villa

Happy (fried brain) Friday!

jose villa style me pretty shoot

Lately, my brain has taken to spontaneous combustion.  I’ve forgotten the date, the time, what it is I’m even talking about in the middle of a sentence… at this point I think it’s safe to say that wedding brain has taken over.

The thing is that it’s not just a wedding I have to prepare for, it’s also the fact that I’m about to leave… for 3 weeks… right in the middle of a busy political season (to put it lightly) and right in the middle of the holidays…

So, that said, this morning I thought it was Tuesday.

But I suppose my recent bout of forgetfulness just emphasizes how badly I need a night out… and tonight I’m planning to do just that.  My maid of honor has the whole evening planned and I can’t tell you how fantastic it feels to just be along for the ride.  Whatever the stress that comes with these final few weeks I have to say… the one thing I’m feeling more than anything is thankful that I have such amazing people in my life.

Here are a few things I’m loving…

This is pretty on a whole new level — I can’t wait to see the book.

Norman Seef.

These vegan cookies also count as breakfast — I’m sold.

There’s an app for that.

Yes.

For those of you who love doughnuts just as much as I do.

How cute is this Halloween party?

These Halloween cards too.

Our Registry

registry / a thousand threads1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

We’ve tried hard to make it clear that the best gift our friends and family can give us is just to be there for us on our day (since just that will require almost all of them to travel, and we know that’s a lot) but we decided to set up a registry for anyone who might insist.

We’ve been adding to the collection over time, working slowly and throwing in a few things we need and a few that we’d just love to have.  When it turned out a lot of our dishes were cracking, we added some pretty new bowls.  When we ran out of candles, we realized it couldn’t hurt to add a few to the list.  It’s been a really easy way to tackle the big project that a wedding registry can become… and it’s worked out really well for us.  There are so many things to think about it the last few months of wedding planning that I’m thanking my stars we were able to get this one out of the way early and a little at a time.

Details, Details

Backstage Rodarte Fall 2012

One month to go, and we’re down to the details… but let me tell you, there are details to be had!

From menus to table lists to just plain mailing stuff to the west coast (extra work for the destination bride) I’m pretty sure our weekends from here on out are done.*

There are the details on the surface, and the details underneath… and right now my head is reeling trying to keep up with them all.

But really, in the end, aren’t the details half the fun?

And how about this for some (moderately disturbed) motivation?  A little old, but really, if I could be the most organized person on earth I would die happy.**

*Okay actually we made pretty good use of this particular weekend (sorry for the terrible shot of the back of the camera… I mentioned we’ve been busy right?).

**I’d like to dedicate this post to Pinterest and the terribly dated but absolutely fantastic discoveries I make on you nearly every day… clearly we’ve been spending a little too much time together.

Photo: Backstage at Rodarte Fall 2012 Ready to Wear via The Doppelganger

Happy Surprises

adorable creekside engagement photo

1 // Learning that one of my very best friends (who has had a crazy amazing busy year and I am so so proud of her — so I totally understood when she said she wouldn’t be able to make it) just bought a ticket to come to our wedding.

2 // Coming home to fresh seared scallops and cider with rum.

3 // … not to mention a clean house and an empty basket of laundry.  That guy, he knows just what to do to tug at my heart.

4 // A sweet gift for Austin from his soon-to-be step-gramma.

5 // Realizing that after months (maybe years) of work with no change at all, I’m running just a little bit faster.

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks, with tons of work and the wedding right around the corner, but in the end… it’s always the good stuff that comes out on top.

Photo: Cassidy Carson via Snippet & Ink

Two Months Out

a thousand threads / vintage post / calligraphy by neither snow

Two months. I’m not even sure what to say about two months. I can barely believe it, but this time we have left will be gone in the blink of an eye!

The past week has been full of little accomplishments and final touches: We picked out our rings and mailed our final invites, and now I think I can officially say that we we’re down to the details!

Here’s what our checklist is looking like, two months out…

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Wedding Budgets, They Triple

coffee talk: wedding budgets

Throughout this wedding planning process, I’ve spoken a lot about budgetary stress.

Of all the stress that accompanies the planning of a wedding (a ton) this is the thing that has hit me the hardest. I can try to rationalize it a million different ways, but the reality is that we are getting ourselves into a hefty chunk of debt, for a day… and something about that is deeply hard for me to swallow.

I often talk about my student loan debt (because it kind of blows my mind) and when I do I always express my regret that someone did not take me aside and explain — truly explain — what I was doing when I signed over the next 30 years of my life at just 21.

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Labor Day Lists

good advice

I have always been, and will always be, a list maker.

It’s compulsive.

My little notes app on my iPhone is full of them… with duplicates and additions in my Things organizer and my task list in gmail (as I write this I am ever more aware of the need to consolidate).

But with this wedding upcoming, I fear lists may be taking over my life… just a little.

It’s August. This is supposed to be my time to catch up… but no such luck.

It’s like they’re waiting for me around every corner, ready to pounce… with a million little unchecked items.

And they are ever. expanding.

So my goal for the rest of this month is to keep up with my lists. Not eliminate, just keep up… because that, my friend, is a whole task of its own.

I’m looking to check a few big ticket items off by Labor Day, and I’m looking to be satisfied when I do… because sometimes, you just can’t shoot for it all… you have to be able to find happiness in enough.

In fact, maybe I should try to find happiness in enough a little more often.

How about you? Do you keep lists?  And how do you keep it all in line if you don’t?

Image: Advice that bears repeating, via Paper Life Love

Shouldn’t the groom get to look good too?

Brooklyn Tailors

There is nothing quite so wonderful as a man in a well-tailored suit… and, in my opinion, nothing quite so unfortunate as a groom in a suit that doesn’t fit.

This is one place where I’m always a little confused when it comes to weddings. Why, when I am encouraged by the media to spend upwards of $10,000 on a dress (I didn’t… I promise) is my guy encouraged to run on down to the nearest rental shop for whatever he can find? (naturally I’ll eat my words if you’re the kind of bride who also has chosen to rent your dress — which is totally possible these days)

I believe that my groom should have the opportunity to feel just as fantastic as I do on our day.

After all, it is our day. As bride-centric as the industry may be, I would hate to think that the day is just meant to be mine.

Brooklyn TailorsBrooklyn Tailors

So, when Mark came to me to say that he’d really love it if he could have a suit from Brooklyn Tailors, I was totally on board.

And actually, I was also really excited.

Not only did my guy want a nice suit… he had some seriously fantastic taste.

Brooklyn Tailors

Brooklyn Tailors is the most awesome little shop in Williamsburg, building beautiful suits for an unbelievably reasonable price… and their owner, Daniel (who owns the shop in partnership with his wife, Brenna) is just as wonderful as his work. He even took the time to give us a long list of his favorite restaurants, complete with a full description (a man after our own hearts) when we asked where we should go.

We’ve been ticking them off slowly with each visit.

Brooklyn TailorsBrooklyn Tailors

And I swear to you — every single time Mark comes out of a fitting, he’s glowing.

I’ve only been allowed to go along once, since Mark is keeping his look a secret — just like mine — but I know how great the fittings are going just by taking one look at his face.

I hope I look that happy when I try on my dress!

No… most of the time, while Mark is being fitted, you can find me just down the street, happily rocking a $35 mani/pedi (a unicorn that runs happy and free in New York and LA… but can’t be found — to save my life!! — in the DC area).

But that’s another story altogether.

Wedding Invitation Wording that Doesn’t Suck

forest inspired wedding invitations

It took us forEVER to decide on the wording for our wedding invitations.  It’s not that we were all that indecisive, really, but the thing is, unless you’re planning to go completely traditional, or are a master wordsmith, there aren’t a whole lot of alternatives out there.

In fact, I felt a little overloaded by options that sound suspiciously like a nursery rhyme.

I’m telling you, it’s no fun at all.

So… let’s just say I spent a few (million) hours scouring the web for something a little less traditional that also didn’t suck, and after all of that time invested, I thought I should share a few of my favorites (many of which come from this amazing list here… a treasure trove of unconventional alternatives, it is).

Of course, all of the options listed below can be mixed, matched, and adjusted as you like. Take a little from here, a little from there, until you have the perfect combination.

And if you’re looking to include a really great quote, don’t forget about our very own Quiet Sundays.

(oh, and scroll all the way to the bottom of the post if you want to see the wording we eventually settled on)

What do you think? Would you go with something super unconventional, or do you prefer more traditional wording?

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