Feeling inspired by pretty French blues after our trip…
We’re headed off soon on another #sistertrip and wanted to share some of our favorite travel advice. If we’re being completely honest, for one of us the planning is almost as fun as the traveling (so maybe it’s no surprise we got into the wedding planning business).
If Google knows anything about us it's how much we love to organize.
We really like using Google Drive for everything - if there’s anything we need to organize together (parties, menus, vacations and definitely everything for weddings) it’s the easiest way to keep it all in one place. Mostly we use the spreadsheets for vacations and have a series of tabs:
Calendar: this gets filled out with important activities/travel times (planes, trains, reservations etc.) and then sometimes suggestions for things we might want to do (especially things that only happen at certain days/times)
Activities: list of anything we come across that we might be interested in and can easily peruse during the trip if we’re looking for something to do (organized by location if there are several)
Transportation & Accommodation: helps keep track of reservation codes, dates/times, addresses and contact information
Packing: this tab gets copied for every trip, no matter how big or small, and then modified, that way it already has all the basics listed. It's basically the compromise between packing 2 weeks in advance (which you do mentally) and packing the night before (which you can then do with ease)!
Even more organizing with Google, but make it maps.
In addition to all those documents, Google My Maps is another really helpful tool, not to be confused with regular Google Maps. It has a lot of features that make it really easy to save places you want to visit. We first got the idea from Katie and she has some great blog posts on travel.
Custom city maps: each place you visit can have its own map
Create custom icons: you can create categories for the places you save like important addresses, sites, food, activities, shopping
Save directions between places on your map: this is especially important if you need to…
Work offline: the maps can be saved and used without data if you’re traveling internationally (shout-out to T-Mobile though, which has a pretty great international plan)
Sharing: this is great if you’re going with someone else and want to both edit/access the maps. Plus if you have a friend going later who wants advice, you can easily make a copy to share with them too!
And if there’s anything we like more than organizing, it’s getting a good deal on flights.
Sometimes it’s the thrill of getting a good deal (love thrift shopping and sale hunting), but sometimes it’s knowing you now have extra money to spend on a fancy dinner :) There are a lot of websites out there to help and we’d love to hear what tools you use! Here are two of our favorites:
Scott’s Cheap Flights (either the free or paid versions) has been great and we have definitely been alerted to price drops that let us get good deals. There are a few of these services out there and they really do work.
We promise this post is not sponsored by Google, but we do really like Google Flights and would give them the award for “best functionality” for searching flight prices. In addition to being intuitive, it also lets you easily see how modifying your dates/trip length would change the price. You can also set up alerts for price changes, which is helpful if you have something specific in mind.
We hope you found this post helpful - we like to visit other places and have come up with lots of ways we think make the process fun and maybe a little easier since it can sometimes be overwhelming. Let us know what you think! We have other ideas for travel posts so we might be back with more…
In Part I Amanda talked about vendors that are still around from her wedding that she loved (it was actually a bit of a traumatizing experience to realize how many don’t exist, it’s only been 10 years! We’re not that old, right?!). Today’s blog post is about the details she is still glad they chose and maybe a few things she wishes they had done differently…
I wanted to start by saying, the big take home message for anyone planning a wedding should be: you’re planning a wedding for this moment in time, so choose what feels like you right now. The friends you have, the food you love, the place that makes you happy. Inevitably your tastes might change with time and you’ll make new best friends, but that’s all ok! Plan something that feels like you as a couple and it will be the right wedding for you. If you read one of our earliest blog posts you know about the best wedding planning advice we received, it really made it easier for us to envision a day that would be ‘us’.
I’m sure it would look different if we were planning it today, but I think the core of it would be the same. Here are 3 of my favorite choices we made and 1 thing I would change if I were planning it today!
Just a bit of drama
There were some things we knew we wanted right away and decided we just weren’t going to compromise on. For Ben, a good DJ was at the top of the list. I wanted a long train and a long veil (and a really nice friend who helped get us this shot). Can you believe the 🙌 emoji didn’t exist back when this photo was taken? It’s basically how I feel about it.
DIY the things you enjoy
Real talk: Ben was in another state while we were engaged and my job had pretty regular hours and not a lot of stress, so I had a lot of time on my hands.
I designed and made all the paper products for our wedding: tri-fold invites (very popular at the time), programs, menus, candy boxes, table numbers… and I still love how they turned out. I also enjoy paper crafts in general, so this was very fitting for me. If there’s something you like to make/do/perform/whatever, add things where it makes sense for you.
Do a little dance
I’m really glad we took dance lessons. I might also be glad that there isn’t any video footage of our first dance so that it can live on perfectly in my mind, but I’m pretty sure (and Isabelle promised me…) that it went well. We didn’t want to do a cheesy or over the top dance, we just wanted to be able to do a simple ballroom dance so we could enjoy it and not feel nervous swaying back and forth for 4 minutes (which is totally ok to do, but, see above, we like just a touch of drama). Bonus: we also learned how to properly dip, which made for lots of great photos.
My only regret…
First of all, looking at this photo, somehow we hadn’t figured out that we need to be on the other side of each other because, bangs. Moving on.
There are a few small things I would probably do differently. I loved my dress! But maybe I would choose a different style now. Loved the flowers! But maybe would go for a wildflower aesthetic. But actually, one thing I really like that become more popular since we got married is the variety in bridesmaid dresses. It just never crossed my mind because it was so standard for everyone to wear the same thing. And even when the trend started, the goal was still to have the colors match. Now I would totally embrace a spectrum of color or maybe even a pattern! But definitely let them pick dresses they liked (or maybe even already owned).
We hope you enjoyed this look back with us and maybe if you’re in the middle of the planning process yourself, feel a little encouraged that it will all be ok :)
It’s pretty crazy to think about, but Amanda and Ben got married 10 years ago! Their anniversary is August 8 so we thought it would be fun to look back at the vendors they chose (Part I) and how things might look different if they planned it now (Part II). Turning it over to Amanda…
Of course there will always be things you might do differently, that just happens as your tastes evolve (we were also so young!), but overall we loved (and still do) everything about our wedding. We put a lot of thought into it and there was plenty that I DIY’d myself to add personal elements. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the vendors, especially that now I’m one myself and see it in a new light. Everyone was great and it’s fun to see what they are up to now. I don’t have them all here because some just aren’t around anymore (crushing to do research for this post and find many have closed, but it has been 10 years after all…) and some are things we did ourselves (my friend’s mom was a retired florist and was sweet enough to do it at cost). Here are some that I still love and would book tomorrow if I needed!
It’s a bit of a long story, but Kyle did my hair when he was at a different salon. I followed another hair artist to Noah Salon and after a few years Kyle joined their team! I’m so glad looking at our photos that I look like me. Sometimes I think I could have gone more dramatic or fancy, but in the end, this hair held all.day.long. and actually feels exactly right, even a decade later.
One other thing I want to highlight that isn’t exactly a wedding vendor, but worth mentioning: I had a sentimental vintage bracelet (it was costume jewelry so a regular jeweler wouldn’t work with it) that I wanted to wear, but was too big. Rhinestone Rosie was amazing - she made it smaller and created matching earrings out of the extra pieces for me! It was perfect.
Stay tuned for Part II where I’ll talk about all the details I loved and a few things I might have done differently…
Some pretty wedding inspiration and trends we love right now…
Click each image for the source and more wedding inspiration!