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10 Reasons Why You Need A Wedding Email

Wedding Tip: Create a wedding email address – a separate email address for you and your fiancé. 

If you and your fiancé don’t already have a combined or shared email address, you should. Here are 10 reasons why a combined wedding email can help to stay organized and make your life easier! Because there are friends and family from both sides [you and your fiancé(e)], you want to create an easy way to keep everything as one. 

1. Having a combined email address makes it super easy to collect addresses from and for your guests. Whether you’re sending out emails or messages to collect addresses or using the methods in my blog about collecting addresses (which you can read about here), keeping all your “answers” using one email will help you to start your wedding planning experience off right. 

2. Sending out invites or save the dates. No matter if you’re sending invites via “snail mail” or email, having a combined email that guests can respond to their invite using email can be helpful. It will also help chase down those who have not responded to your invite. 

3. Registry. Typically, if not always, when you sign up for a registry, you’ll be required to give an email address. This way you both know that which registries you have signed up for. If you sign up with this email address, you both can access the account to add more to it or adjust what’s already added. You can read about my registry suggestion here!

4. Emailing your bridal party and wedding vendors. Planning a wedding is a lot of work and includes sending out tons of information (usually in email format). I have developed a full line of email templates to help you save time figuring out not only how to word things but what to include in emails to your wedding party and your wedding vendors. If you haven’t already, you can check out the templates here. Join our wedding Facebook shopping group for a chance to win our templates and get your free wedding timeline checklist just by signing up to our email list (where we send out exclusive offers). 

5. Sign-ups. When planning your wedding you may find you sign-up for quite a few things: email lists, free downloads, vendor lists, etc. Having a specific wedding email will help you keep all of these downloads and emails organized without clogging up your work or personal email. Plus, you and your partner will have access to everything. 

6. Updates. As you’ve probably witnessed in the last few months (unfortunately), life is unexpected. Through wedding planning you may need to update your guests on information. Whether it’s a small change, general information, or a cancellation, it’s important to inform all of your guests in a quick and easy way. This will help you keep your email lists organized so you have access to everyone’s email addresses in one place.

7. Gifts! This is different than just having registry using a shared because having a shared email (regardless of if you’re registered anywhere) is helpful when you’re asking for cash, gift cards, or other monetary based gifts. Having a shared email will help you both know when your guests gift you something (registry or not) and help you keep track of everything. You can start a Venmo or Paypal or even your Cander account. 

8. Guests. You might find that when planning your wedding you may get questions from guests (or even RSVPs that didn’t come how they were supposed to). It’s important to keep all of this organized! You also don’t want guests’ questions “clogging” up (in a nice way) your other email addresses especially if your other emails are full of spam or promotional material like mine are. This also gives you and your partner the ability to read and respond to all guests emails.

9. Wedding purchases. Staying on budget is super important when planning your wedding. Having a joint email can help you and your spouse stay on track. Not only tracking how much you have spent and what you have purchased, but also when purchases will be delivered. Having a joint email allows you both to look up helpful and important information without having to ask each other. 

10. So what about after the wedding? Don’t delete your shared email address after the wedding day. You can use this email address for more than just wedding planning. After the wedding you can use your email address for joint purchases, accounts, bills, and so much more. My husband and I use our for all of that plus things that relate to our new home that we are building (which you can learn more about on my personal Instagram page here). It’s seriously coming in handy! 

If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding tips, tricks, and ideas, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Is the Coronavirus Affecting Your Wedding?!

If you’re in any bridal groups on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a ton of brides talking about the coronavirus affecting their wedding day. From guest cancellations to venue cancellations! You’ve worked SO hard to plan your dream day and now it feels like it’s all falling apart. It’s obvious that the Coronavirus has truly disturbed the wedding industry as a whole. And no matter if you’re having your wedding in your home state or somewhere abroad, there is a lot to think about when dealing with this outbreak.

First of all, it’s going to be okay. I know that might be hard to believe right now but it will. Take a deep breath and let’s chat about what you CAN do. 

If your wedding is in a country that has a travel ban, you’re probably already doing what you can to reorganize your wedding day: either moving the wedding to another destination or cancelling it altogether. If you’re still not sure what to do, here’s some tips and things to keep in mind!

Stay informed and inform others: If your wedding is not in a country or area that has been infected and you don’t want to cancel it, stay up to date with all your vendors – especially your venue. Some areas will have bans on large gatherings. If this is the case, contact your guests to confirm who is planning to come to the wedding. Some may not be able to attend anymore anyways. To stay up-to-date with the latest information, check out the World Health Organization’s website here.

Postpone or Cancel: If you’re in an area that has been infected or you’re not comfortable hosting your wedding, reach out to all your vendors to confirm that you can postpone your wedding day without losing your deposit. Most vendors should be understanding of the circumstances! With that said, if one of your wedding vendors chooses to cancel due to the coronavirus, you should also be understanding of their situation! If you’re going to lose your deposit or have limited time to cancel without losing your deposit, don’t rush into cancelling. Figure out when the latest time you can cancel is (without losing your deposit or more) and decide then. Look for alternative backups and talk to your vendors about all cases so you can be prepared. Another thing to keep in mind is that your wedding vendors have been depending on that money for up to or more than a year. Even if they decide to refund you, give them time if they need it. This situation is devestating for you and your vendors. 

Some information about your deposit/payments/refunds: The most accurate information regarding your exact situation can usually be found directly in the contract that you signed with each of your wedding vendors. You may read things like “non-refundable retainer” and “acts of God”. Legally, your vendor that uses the termonaligy “non-refundable retainer” (or something similar) can keep the retainer you paid them when you hired them. This is because they held that date and time just for you/your wedding. However, if your vendor cancels on you, you might and should be able to receive all of the money you paid to them (since it wasn’t your choice to cancel). Now, this gets a bit tricky when the government forces a shut down. Some vendors may want or need (remember, they have bills and families too) to keep your retainer. Some vendors may allow you to change or postpone your wedding date without paying a new retainer/deposit – and some, will not allow that! It all depends on the vendor. This is no time to be shaming or threatening your vendors. It’s easy for people to only think about their own situation but please remember that although this is heartwrenching for you, they are struggling as well. They have already put several hours into your wedding day (emailing you, meeting you, phone calls with you, creating timelines with/for you, designing everything that they have given you – welcome packets, gifts, etc). They deserve to be paid for the time they already put into your wedding day. And vendors, think about how much time, energy, and love couples have put into this one day (that they have liking been planning for a year or more). Remember to be reasonable, kind, and understanding with your couples. 

Still having your wedding? Don’t forget to put lots of extra hand sanitizers out for your guests. Even give each person their own mini bottle. Be aware that although you’re still having the wedding, it’s likely that some of your guests may cancel. Be prepared for a smaller guest count and discuss with your caterer and venue ahead of time. If you still need to do some shopping for your wedding day, try to shop local. Many suppliers may be shipping in from China and shipping could be delayed! It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, much like any other situation, keep your guests informed! Let them know that the wedding is still on! This will give your guests the opportunity to plan or re-plan if they need to.

If you or your guests plan to wear masks, please make sure you’re using the masks correctly. Here is more information on when and how to use a mask properly. 

Whether you’re traveling for, postponing, cancelling, or not changing your wedding day plans, make sure you review all of your contracts and insurance plans!

If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding day and it’s scheduled for later in the year, keep planning but add that extra layer of protection by opting in for insurance and adding important notes to your contracts.

If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding tips, tricks, and ideas, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3 

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Pros & Cons of a Seating Chart

You may be surprised to hear that growing up, I always heard that the seating chart was one of the most difficult and tedious parts about wedding planning. Did anyone else get that impression as well? For me, the seating chart was actually really easy! Maybe it was because our wedding was only 80 people and consisted mostly of family and close friends. But, nonetheless, there are still some things to think about when planning out your seating chart. Do you want your guests to know everyone at their table? Or encourage them to meet new people by putting them at a mixed table (some people they know and some they don’t know)? Do you want to decide their seat placements or just what table they’re seated at? 

© Bourbon & Lace Studios
© Bourbon & Lace Studios

Here are some general pros of a seating chart (where guests are told which seat to sit in at their designated table):

  1. No one has to worry about trying to find a seat.
  2. If you’re serving a plated dinner, it will be easy for staff members to deliver meals to the correct people! It helps with the organization, having the correct number of seats, knowing where meals go, ordering for those with dietary restrictions, and more. This is an extremely important positive of having a seating chart!
  3. Groups and/or families will always be able to sit together – rather than a family of four getting to the reception only to find that there is only one chair available at four different tables.
  4. Without a seating chart, guests may move chairs and try to fit more than the allotted number of guests per table. This can be chaotic and confusing! 
  5. You get to choose where people sit in relation to you. That means your immediate family is guaranteed to sit close to your head table. 
  6. You can use your guests seating marker/placeholders as favors! Two-in-ones are the best for saving money!
  7. You’ll know exactly which guests didn’t show up and which guests didn’t take a favor.
  8. It’s a fun way to further incorporate your wedding theme! We had a travel themed wedding (if you haven’t seen the blog about our wedding, you can check it out here). We did a map seating chart and custom luggage tags for placeholders which everyone loved! For our New Zealand reception though, we had no seating chart and no placeholders (the favors were placed in a luggage container on a table) as it was a more casual wedding. We also had an open buffet! You can check out the blog about our New Zealand reception here.

Some of the links in this blog are commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission when you use these links. It doesn’t cost you anything and I cannot see who purchases what.

Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy!
Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy!
Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy!
Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy! Use code MTW40 for 40% off until January 18th, 2020.
Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy!
Click the image to see this seating chart on Etsy!

 You can find tons of amazing seating chart templates on Etsy here! And if you’re looking for seating place cards, you can find some here. You can also out Amazon for some incredible options! Below is an example of what we did for our seating chart and placeholders at the tables.

Images by Susannah Lynn Photography

Click on this image to see this sign on Etsy!

Here are some cons of having a seating chart:

  1. It can take a lot of time and effort.
  2. You need to design and pay for something to notify the guests of where to sit (you’ll actually need two forms of this – one as they walk in to tell them which table to sit at and one at their specified seat).
  3. People may be placed at a table they don’t want to be at or with guests they don’t want to sit with.
  4. Guests may feel like you purposefully placed them somewhere specific (if you’re numbering your tables, guests may think that the later table numbers or further away tables are the less favored guests/seats/tables).
© Bourbon & Lace Studios
© Bourbon & Lace Studios

All in all, there is no “right” way to do it and it completely depends on the look, feel, and food option that you are going for! If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding tips, tricks, and ideas, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Top Honeymoon Destinations For 2020

Choosing a honeymoon destination is difficult! There are so many amazing options around the world. Whether you’re looking to relax on a tropical island, backpack through a foreign country, or stay close to home, we want to help! I ran a poll in a wedding group about the top honeymoon locations and here’s what the consensus was! You can look out for separate blog posts about each of these places (I will edit this blog later to add the links)! No matter where you’re going, I highly recommending looking into Get Your Guide! If you haven’t heard about them already, check out our honeymoon blog where I explain how we used them to help us find activities! 

  1. Hawaii (you can check out our personal experience honeymooning in Hawaii here) – A perfect destination for those that don’t want to or can’t leave the US but still want a tropical honeymoon! 
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2. New Zealand – This is actually really cool that this is such a popular destination for honeymooners because I actually live in New Zealand! If you’re willing to travel the distance, it’s 100% worth it. If you like nature, natural hot springs, and wine, New Zealand is the honeymoon destination for you!

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3. Paris – Definitely a classic! A romantic, must-see city in Europe which is perfect for those that love French culture!

4. Las Vegas – If you’ve never, it’s somewhere you have to see in your lifetime. If you like live shows, all you can eat buffets, and dancing the night away, Vegas is the place for you!

5. Bahamas – Beautiful blue waters, all-inclusive resorts, and island life! If relaxation and beach life sounds like how you want to spend your honeymoon, the Bahamas are a great place! I can’t wait to go more into what they have to offer and what you can expect.

6. Key West – If you’re a US resident and don’t want to or can’t leave the US for your honeymoon but you still want that tropical island feel, Key West is a great choice for your honeymoon! Situated off of Florida, it’s the perfect US destination for those looking for a shorter stay or closer destination!

7. Ireland – I can’t wait to write about Ireland! I went to Ireland just before I met my husband and it’s still one of my favorite places in the world! If you’re looking for adventure, greenery, and culture in a place where you don’t need to learn another language and you’ll meet some of the most genuine people in the world, Ireland is the place for you!

Numbers 8+ were all tied! Some other popular honeymoon destinations included Thailand, Aruba, Mexico, Montego Bay (Jamaica), Greece, and Hong Kong!

Some of the links below are commissioned or referral links. It doesn’t cost you anything to use them (you can actually save by using them)!

 A personal note: When I traveled Europe, before I met my husband, I used Booking.com to find pretty much every place I ever stayed at! This was before Airbnb. I loved that I could earn free nights, see reviews, etc. There are so many options for places to stay so depending on what you’re going for and where you’re staying, both Airbnb and Booking are great options! You can even use the links provided to receive money off your first stay!

Are you honeymooning somewhere else and want to know what to do, what to see, and where to stay? Where should I blog about next? Let me know in the comments/form below or on my Facebook page! If you’ve already planned your honeymoon, we’d love to hear about it! You could even be featured on our blog! Just fill out this form with information, tips, tricks, do’s, and don’ts! 

If this blog helped you get some honeymoon inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding inspiration, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3 

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Wedding Nails Inspiration

Hi brides! I am super excited to share this blog about wedding nail inspiration. I love seeing inspiration threads on Facebook because it helps to see what real brides are doing. For the same reason, I also love to do inspiration blog posts! It’s an easy way to show you several different options from brides around the world! As a current bride myself, I couldn’t even decide what I wanted to do – why is it such a hard decision?! I ended up just going with French tip because you can’t go wrong with French tip right? Take a look at these and let me know on Facebook which is your favorite! You can find this blog shared onto my page at Mary Taylor Weddings.

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brittany_at_attentiontobeauty
brittany_at_attentiontobeauty
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zibanailsnz
zibanailsnz

Thanks to all of the amazing brides and photographers for providing these incredible inspiration images!

If this blog helps you to get some inspiration, don’t forget to like me on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds. And after you’ve decided what you’re going to go with, I would love to see! Feel free to comment a photograph of your wedding nails on this blog post that is shared onto my Facebook page and into my group! Your nail image will help other brides to make their decisions as well <3 It’s all about helping one another! I cannot wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Wedding Sign Inspiration & How To’s

Nowadays there seems to be a sign for everything – from welcome signs to unplugged wedding signs to bar signs! There are several ways to make and create wedding signs and do it on the cheap. You can use vinyl cut outs, paint, markers, or even just simply print and frame signs. First let’s look at some inspiration from other brides so you can get some ideas on what signs you could make and what look you may be going for:

This blog contains commissioned links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn a small commission for purchases made through the links provided. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything! 

Now that you’ve seen some inspiration, let’s discuss how you can create these looks!

First and foremost, one of the best ways to save money (and time) is by making your own vinyl cut outs using a Cricut machine. This machine is not only good for making signs but also for customizing anything (shirts, cups, etc) which can then save you money on gifts and more. If you want to check out the Cricut machine you can do so here.

Pallet signs are probably the cheapest signs you can make. They’re large and can hold a lot of information as well as most likely being free on the side of the road. For a pallet sign all you need is a pallet and vinyl cut outs (make them yourself with the Cricut or get some on Etsy) or paint to write in what you’d like. The pallet sign is great to make a timeline of wedding day events for your guests! You can also use the pallet to make a timeline of your relationship.

Another way to make a wedding sign is by using a plain piece of wood, Plexiglass, mirror or even a chalkboard which you can buy online and then buy or make your own vinyl cut outs (again, Cricut, Etsy, or Amazon. You can even find tons of great ideas on AliExpress). You could also paint directly on the wood, Plexiglass, or Chalkboard. If you’re in search of any of these items to buy online, join my Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds and let me know what you’re looking for! 

Here are some good options for DIY paint (click on the image to bring you to Amazon to purchase/read more):

Amazon
Amazon
Amazon

The most simple way to make DIY signs though is by printing out a pre-existing template (which can be found for super cheap on Etsy – link to wedding sign templates on Etsy). Then, you can frame the print out to make a sign! Here are some that I made and we used at our wedding too! You could also make your own signs using Word, Adobe, or Canva.

Etsy Printable Template

If you’re not much of a DIY purchase, you can also just buy your signs already made. Here are some examples (click the image to shop the look)!

Etsy
Etsy
Etsy
Etsy
AliExpress
AliExpress
Amazon

If this blog helped you to get some inspiration, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds. Comment on my post in either the group and/or the page with more wedding sign inspiration and your favorite wedding signs you’ve seen in the blog.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Engagement Photos: Questions Answered & Inspiration

This blog contains commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission for purchases made through the links provided. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything!

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Let the fun begin! One of the first things you might want to do is get your engagement photographs taken. Here’s a guide on a few suggestions!

As a current bride and photographer myself, I highly recommend getting your engagement photographs taken. If you have your eye on a specific photographer for your wedding, now is your time to try them out or finally invest in their photography for your special day. Lots of photographers offer engagement sessions as part of their packages in order to get to know their brides and grooms better. If it’s an option, take them up on it! It’s a great excuse to dress up, get updated professional images, and get to know your photographer (their photography and editing style, their personality, and their posing/guiding). 

“Do I really need to get engagement photos? What’s the point?” I actually see this in a lot of posts on Facebook. People want to know if they really HAVE to do them. Often times photographers include free engagement sessions in their packages so why not?! This helps you and your photographer to get to know each other better. It helps you to feel comfortable around them and get a better idea of how they run their business. If you have to pay to add on engagement photos, I’d say it’s still a good idea. We used our engagement pictures as decoration at our venue, gave our parents copies for their home (thanks Shutterfly – we got prints and super cute magnets), and used them in our own home. You could also use them for save the dates and invites! 

“When do I book my engagement photos?” This is a mix between personal preference and when your save the dates and invites are going out. If you’re not sure about when these go out, check out the blogs linked in the corresponding words above (click save the dates to see the blog about save the dates and invites to see the blog about invites). Engagement photos are great to personalize your save the dates and invitations. We didn’t use our for our save the dates or invites and I really do regret it. Learn from my mistakes! 

“Where should I have my engagement photos taken?” You should have your engagement photos taken somewhere that means something to you, describes your personalities, or fits your wedding vibes. These are photographs you’re going to have on display in your home and in albums for the rest of your lives. They’re also photographs you might use around your wedding venue, on invites, and on your wedding website so you want to make sure they fit the look you’re going for. You may also want to choose somewhere that has versatilely so you can move around and look like you’ve changed locations. This allows you have to several backgrounds to choose from when selecting which photographs you’re going to use. 

“What do I wear to my engagement photos? I need some inspiration!” This is a great question and something that I see a lot! I always recommend bringing at least two outfits for you and your partner. For men, it’s easy to switch out their shirt or button up to make a whole new outfit. Women, this is where you come in! I recommend bringing one casual outfit (think either jeans and a nice shirt or a sundress) and one fancier outfit (a long dress or something similar). I wore a short, tight white dress with a wrap around skirt over it so that I could easily convert my outfit. Robbie (my now husband) wore jeans with a t-shirt and, overtop, a button up. That made it really simple for him to change from casual to “fancy”. Switching outfits also helps to give you options when selecting photographs to use. With change of backgrounds and change of clothes, it’ll look like you’ve actually done two photoshoots (for the price of one)! Here’s our photos by Susannah Lynn Photography:

Here are some good Amazon engagement clothes options that other brides recommended (they come in different colors/patterns):

Images from their corresponding listings.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for more wedding shopping and inspiration. You can find us at Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds!

If you have any more questions about engagement pictures, please feel free to let me know in the comments on the Facebook post where I originally posted this blog or message me! If you had a unique or interesting engagement story or engagement photos taken or just loved your photographer, feel free to tag them and thank them on the post. You can even submit images and your story below for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Signing off, Mary Taylor <3

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My Bachelorette Party

I am so excited to finally be writing and sharing this blog post! I have dreamt about it for a long time now. Every bachelorette party is different (which makes it that much more fun). Some include weekend long vacations with tons of friends, getting drunk and staying out until 5am, relaxing at the beach, boudoir photoshoots, or even strippers in a hotel room. Mine was exactly what I could have hoped for – the perfect mix of fancy and laid back, lots of good food, unlimited mimosas, and quality time with a small amount of friends! My sister (MOH) did an amazing job making it happen!

We started our morning by all meeting at the train station where we took a train to downtown San Diego. My sister surprised us all with matching sunglasses and had even set a “dress code” for everyone (black and red). We sipped mimosas (I mean, just orange juice 😉 ) and played games as we peered through the windows at the gorgeous ocean view. If you haven’t taken the train along the coast of California, you have to! It’s absolutely stunning! It looks like you’re floating on water!

One of the games we played was a game where each person had a clothespin with a photograph of myself and my fiancé (well, now husband), Robbie (one picture on each side). A few days before the bachelorette party, my sister emailed us both a list of questions which we then answered separately (and privately – we weren’t allowed to know what the other person’s answer was). 

Our answers couldn’t say names or he/she. Some of the questions included (there were 10 total):

  1. Where/when was our best vacation?
  2. My number one love language is…
  3. How many kids are we having?
  4. Who wears the pants in the relationship?
  5. We just had an argument – it was probably about…

On the train, my sister read out a question and one of our answers. Then, the girls had to hold up the picture of who they thought she read the answer of. After she announced who said it, she read the other person’s answer. It was incredible how similar our answers were! It was super funny and a perfect game for my bachelorette party! 

Once we arrived at our stop, we took a walk to where we would be catching our boat for the brunch cruise!

We took a photo outside of the boat which my dear friend Kayla ended up buying for me! How cute is that?! Here’s the picture below:

Once we boarded the boat we noticed two other bride-to-be’s! Later in the trip I ended up meeting one of them and handing out dare cards to other passengers on the boat. On the top deck of the boat, there was a live musician who was singing custom songs based on requested. My sister went up to tell him I was getting married and he sang a song about “Mary is getting married!” It was absolutely hilarious! I danced in the center of a massive group of people! 

After our brunch cruise we stopped at a rooftop bar for a drink before heading back onto the train. I was given a list of dares and I got to allocate one to each girl at the party and the rest were for me. We didn’t quite make it through the list but we did do some of them including me getting a picture with this random guy (who ended up being a magician and freaking blew our minds)!!! There were a couple of amazing tricks (well, all of them were amazing but two in particular that stood out). I am probably not telling these in the best way but he had me write my name on a card at the beginning of his act and throughout the time kept showing it to me, picking it out of the deck, etc. By the end of the act the same card I wrote on was INSIDE of a lemon that he cut open. We didn’t see any holes or cut marks in the lemon though. My favorite one was when he had me and my bridesmaid, Michelle, hold hands to symbolize our lifelong friendship. I can’t remember if he drew (with his finger) an x on the outside of our hands or we did but when we opened our hands I had an x drawn with sharpie on the inside of my hand! I never felt anyone or anything touching there the entire time.

After our train ride home, we hung out at the pool until that night when we went out on the 101 for some dancing and drinks! We decided that after our individual bachelor/bachelorette parties that we would combine everyone for the evening! It worked out perfectly and was such a blast. Even our families got to join us at the pool to celebrate!

A HUGE thank you to my incredible sister Cristina who made this bachelorette SO special! I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Thank you to everyone else who helped and attended as well <3 It would have been completely different without all your guys’ help, planning, and presence!

I love how bachelorette parties are whatever you want them to be. Every bachelorette party is unique in it’s own way! If your bridesmaids and maid of honor planned you an amazing bachelorette party, I want to hear about it! Go comment on my Facebook post (the one that shares the link to this blog) and tag whoever helped you pull off your epic bachelorette party! You can even submit your story below for a chance to be featured on the blog! I cannot wait to see what you share with us! Don’t forget to join myself and over 600 other brides in our shopping and inspiration wedding group on Facebook. Click here to see what we are all about. And if you’re wondering where I got my super cute “Mrs. Burke” hat and my gorgeous white and gold sash, go check out Wedding Apparel NZ. I will put links to both items in the group <3 You can also check out the blog I wrote about them here.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline (W/ Examples)

Let’s talk about timelines. Argh. The dreaded timeline. As a current bride myself, trust me, I get it. I feel the same way! This is probably the least appealing part of the wedding. It’s the part that everything else relies on. Where do you begin? What do you include? And who needs what?

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

I put off the idea of a timeline because it stressed me out. But when my venue and my photographer reached out to give me a sample timeline, I knew it was time to start considering it. My photographer asked when my HMUA would show up and my venue asked when we would arrive for photos. Everything kind of flows off of each other so even starting was difficult. I gave my start time to my photographer and worked off of her recommendations. I knew what I wanted captured so that was the easy part. As a wedding photographer myself, I can give a good idea of a basic timeline but when it’s your own timeline, it’s a bit different. 

 

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

On Facebook I always see brides asking for sample timelines but I find that hard to go off of when most people’s wedding days start and end at different times. Below I have included our timeline just in case you’re someone who is interested in taking a look. But first, let’s look at a general timeline. Whether you’re doing a first look or not, only a few things will change but timing will be relatively similar in the grand scheme of things. I’ve put a general amount of time for each “activity” so that no matter when things take place, you can easily adjust these timelines to suit you. 

Getting ready (before photographer arrives):

Photographer arrives: about 30 minutes before you’re done with HMU – this is when the photographer captures your detail shots and then a handful of staged images of you getting your HMU done. 

Getting ready images: 30-40 minutes

Leave time to drive to venue: depends of course but we did 20 minutes (should have left a little extra room)

First look and a handful of couple photos: 15 minutes

Family/wedding party photos: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Bride and groom images: 30 minutes

Rest/refresh before ceremony: 30 minutes

Ceremony: 30 minutes

Couple photos/extra photos: 30-45 mins

Reception (time varies)

If you’re not doing a first look, just move the photo time to after the ceremony. Still arrive at your venue 30 minutes prior to your ceremony if you need to “hide away” before guests arrive. 

Order of reception events (sample):

Grand entrance

First dance

Cake cutting (I highly recommend cutting your cake before dinner is served! Trust me on this one!!)

Dinner

Speeches 

Cake served during speeches

Dances (father/daughter, mother/son, etc)

Garter/bouquet toss, games, etc. 

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

Our timeline – like I said at the start this was my biggest worry! I even worried all night the night before our wedding thinking about how I didn’t want it to run late. I was told so many times that Weddings always run late and I didn’t want that to be ours. And to my surprise (and our coordinators and photographers), our timeline was so well planned out that we actually had extra time before the ceremony so we could get some of our couple photos done (and that was even with the guys arriving 20+ minutes late)!

10am: Guys and girls arrive at getting ready locations

10:30am: HMUA arrives (she did my mom and my hair and make up) – finished by 1pm

12:30-1pm: Photographer arrives and photographs details

1pm-1:40pm: Hair/makeup images, getting ready outfits/images, getting into dress, putting on jewelry

1:40-1:50pm: First look with my dad

2-2:20pm: Drive to ceremony location

2:30pm: First look

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm : Group photos 

4:00 – 4:30 pm: Bride & groom images

4:30 pm: Done with photographs and go to rest at the reception location

4:30 – 5:00 pm: Guests are arriving

4:50 pm: Wedding party will head down to ceremony location

5:00 pm – 5:30pm: Ceremony

5:30pm-6:15pm: Group photos/sunset photos

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Cocktail hour

6:30pm: Grand entrance and right into our first dance

6:40pm: Welcome speech & prayer

6:45pm: Dinner service begins (plated meal)

7:15-7:30pm: Speeches (ours ran WAY over so I suggest putting in more time for each person to speak)

7:30pm: Cake cutting and served

7:40-7:50pm: Dances

10:30pm: Reception ends

 

If this blog helped you to plan your timeline or gave you any new ideas, let me know in the comments on Facebook and don’t forget to share this blog on Facebook and tag your friends <3 You can also join myself and other brides in our group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds and like us on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

© silhouettes.ro | https://www.facebook.com/silhouettes.ro

Deciding Between a DJ & DIY Music

I feel like this topic didn’t used to be as much of an option as it is now. We are so lucky to have so many amazing music options at our finger tips. Now more than ever, we can DIY our music (and save tons of money doing it)! But is it worth it?!

I’ll be honest this was a topic that my fiancé and I struggled with as well! The only reason we ended up hiring a DJ was because a family friend of ours offered to pay for our DJ as a wedding gift. Of course we wanted a DJ from the start but we couldn’t justify the cost. Now that we have a DJ, I am so glad we have him and his team! We have struggled to even come up with a handful of songs that we want played let alone 5.5 hours worth of music. Organizing a wedding is hard enough without having to figure out who is going to announce speeches, provide speakers and mics, and more.

© silhouettes.ro | https://www.facebook.com/silhouettes.ro

Pros of a DJ:

  • You don’t have to worry about having an emcee!
  • You don’t have to worry about picking all your music (I am having a hard enough time deciding on 15 songs I want played let alone enough for 5.5 hours)
  • Saves you time! Imagine how much time you have to spend sorting, downloading, saving, etc. music
  • You don’t need to buy or rent your own equipment (lighting, speakers, microphone)
  • They help your day run smoothly by making announcements and helping the execution of your wedding day
  • They help to keep the crowd excited and involved
  • Peace of mind!

Cons of DJ:

  • They can be expensive
  • If you don’t choose the right one, they may play music that you don’t like or they may be pushy for guests to get up and dance
  • If guests don’t dance, it could feel like a waste of money

© silhouettes.ro | https://www.facebook.com/silhouettes.ro

Pros of Spotify/DIY Music:

  • It’s free or cheap (tip: sign up for a free 30-day trial of premium for your wedding day so you don’t have to pay for it and you won’t have ads playing in between songs)
  • You get to choose all of your music
  • You can give someone the honor of being your emcee

Cons of Spotify/DIY Music: 

  • You have to have someone at your wedding be your emcee and manage all your music
  • You have to spend a lot of time choosing all music
  • You need to make sure you have enough music to keep guests entertained for the length of the event
  • Your emcee may not be professional and could therefore make things awkward, run late, or become unorganized (not Spotify’s program but an issue with not having a professional and present DJ to help)
  • You’ll need to purchase or rent lighting, speakers, and microphones and have someone set them all up ahead of time

 

I hope this helped you to better understand which way you’re leaning towards in terms of music for your wedding day. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings and join us for shopping fun and deals at Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3