A Thousand Threads

Category: Tips and Tricks

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

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things to Remember When Shopping for a Wedding Dress

10 things to remember when shopping for a wedding dress

1) Do your homework.  What brands does your bridal shop carry?  Are there a few specific dresses you just have to try on?  Know before you go, and don’t be afraid to share.

2) Plan ahead.  Start shopping early.  You don’t have to make a decision right away.

3) Bring pictures.  Be specific here.  If there is a dress you want to try on, bring a picture of it.  If it’s just a type or feel that you like, that helps too… but I found in my appointments that the more specific, the better.

3) Bring a camera.  Some bridal shops won’t let you take pictures, but some will.  It never hurts to ask, and pictures of yourself in the dresses can really help you make a decision later on.

4) Know your budget.  And stick to it.  Don’t try that gorgeous Amsale on if it’s over, no matter how much you would like to.

5) Take care when choosing your undergarments.  Seriously, you might find yourself down to your skivvies in front of more than just your bridal consultant.  Some of these rooms are small.

6) Be adventurous.  Try some dresses on that you don’t necessarily love at first glance, especially when you first start your shopping.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

7) You don’t have to limit your entourage, but choose wisely.  I’m not going to lie, I took a big group.  And I couldn’t be happier that I did.  They were all wonderful and supportive and so much fun to celebrate with after the fact.  It was a good experience.  So don’t be afraid to take a few (I took five) along with you… but choose wisely.  Don’t take that friend who always has something snotty to say.  She won’t help your cause.

8) Buy something you love now.  Whether you’re planning a crash diet or not, if you don’t like the way the dress looks now, you might be setting yourself up for disaster.

9) Just buy something you love.  I did have that feeling, but I’m not certain that everyone does.  And it wasn’t as dramatic as you might think.  I didn’t cry.  I did get a little giddy.  I did feel like a million bucks.  And I didn’t want to take it off.

10) Take your time.  No matter what anyone tells you, there is no hurry to decide.  Take your time and don’t be pressured into making a rash decision.

Photo: Jose Villa via Once Wed