Progressing Through the Wedding Checklist

We’re a family that depends on checklists to organize tasks both large and small so of course, we’ve developed a lengthy checklist in preparation for Sarah and Daniel’s wedding.

Nothing feels better than placing a check next to another task on the list, so when Sarah and I were able to spend last Saturday placing an order for rentals and selecting food for the reception and making decisions about a wedding cake, our pens were busy checking off task after task.

There’s no shortage of “to do’s” remaining, but we’re making progress!


Wedding dress

Set a date
Ceremony location
Reception location
Create wedding website
Engagement photos
Determine color palette and theme
Select members of bridal party
Reserve block of rooms for out of town guests
Make a bridal salon appointment
Select save the dates
Invitations RSVPs thank you cards
Order & mail save the dates
Collect wedding decor items
Begin planning ceremony & reception music
Sign up for gift registries
Finalize guest list & mailing addresses
Order wedding dress accessories
Book wedding day transportation
Reserve hotel room for wedding night
Choose & purchase wedding rings
Select bridesmaid attire & confirm each bridesmaid has ordered dress
Bridal shower list to maid of honor
Research honeymoon destinations
Include directions for ceremony/reception – make sure  to check accuracy
Reserve rental items
Create song PLAY and DO NOT PLAY lists
Select 1st dance & other special dance songs
Select attire for groomsmen
Draft wedding program
Schedule wedding rehearsal w/ officiant & bridal party
Plan decor: escort cards, place cards, centerpieces, linens, & details
     Cocktail Hour
Decide on wedding favors
How do people survive without checklists?
And best of all, Sarah was able to help me find a dress to wear to the wedding…not on the checklist, but what a relief!


Wedding Planning? Evernote to the Rescue

A year ago I downloaded Evernote, the app that promises to help you remember everything, to my computer, iPad, and phone. And while I can’t say that I remembered everything, I stayed organized throughout the wedding planning process.

Evernote allows you to create notebooks and then save notes, pictures, receipts, email, websites, and ideas. I’ve created notebooks for gift ideas, travel, orders, and home inventory; but the wedding notebook’s the one that’s kept me sane.

So how does Evernote organize wedding planning? My Wedding notebook contains:

  • Forwarded emails relating to the wedding
  • Pictures of ideas for flowers, decorations, and wedding dresses
  • Recipes for food and drink
  • Receipts, receipts, receipts…a great way to keep track of expenses as well as phone numbers and addresses of vendors
  • Diagrams and directions for ceremony and reception setup

Ideas clipped and saved in Wedding notebook:

Best of all notes automatically sync between devices so I could access notes anywhere, anytime; and notes can be shared. All the advantages of paper notes and notebooks (which I love) but with added convenience since notes are always available and there’s no worry about losing papers or leaving the notebook at home on the kitchen table.

Planning a wedding or other big project? Evernote to the rescue!

For more ideas on how to use Evernote to plan a wedding check out “8 Ways to Plan a Wedding with Evernote”. Then start planning and start remembering everything.


One WEEK and Counting: What’s a Mother To Do

Try not to panic? The final week brings much excitement but also worry…what have I forgotten to do?

Leave requests approved.

Lists, lists, and more lists written. John’s made lists. Emily’s made lists. I’ve made lists. We’re list makers. Lists of food.  Lists of tools. Lists of cleaning supplies. Lists of vendor contacts. Lists of tasks to be accomplished.  Even lists of clothes to be packed. Counting on these lists to keep us on task.

Timelines prepared.

Supplies packed.

Staging area

Vendors confirmed and confirmations printed.

Emily and Brian will be in town today so we can attend to the final details and complete a couple of projects, but we also plan to make time to watch the big game this evening.

Nervous…sure…only because I want everything to be perfect but also excited for Emily and Brian as we prepare to celebrate their love for one another.

Photo by Mike and Ann Visual Storytellers


Wedding Treasures

Who would have thought preparing for a wedding would turn me into a yard sale fanatic? Since we need over 200 bud vases for Emily’s wedding, we turned to yard sales and thrift stores to meet our needs.

Vases, vases, and more vases…in fact over 150 purchased from yard sales and thrift shops. My parents found many of these vases…after all, my dad is the yard sale master. He taught me a couple of lessons resulting in finding the vases at bargain prices ranging from 10¢ – 50¢. We invested only about $50 and with a half dozen cans of gold spray paint we’re set.

In addition to vases, we picked up several cake stands we’ll use to display desserts. Again, with an investment of less than $20 we’ve collected  five or six gorgeous plates that we’ll add to the ones used at Meghan’s wedding to create an inviting sweets table.

And while searching for vases and cake stands we found plastic storage bins for only $1 each…something I planned to buy to transport items to Apopka for the wedding.

Then I found extension cords. Of course I bought all that I found. You can’t have too many extension cords, especially with the wedding taking place in an atypical venue like an airplane hangar.

The nearly new card table and 4 chairs for only $15 won’t be used for the wedding, but I won’t need to borrow a table and chairs for Christmas this year.

IMG_1102My best find by far was a Cricut machine for the low price of  $30. This personal, electric cutter didn’t appear on any of my lists of items to purchase for the wedding, but it’s going to be a life saver as we make signs. So many wedding treasures!

I know I’m hooked. Today’s plans include a trip to Apopka for some final wedding planning, but we’ll be hitting yard sales and thrift stores on the way.

I’ve caught the yard sale bug while planning a wedding!

What’s a Mother To Do: One Month and Counting

Today Emily and I are spending the full day together for the final fitting (fittings) of her wedding gown. The two of us meet Tami in the morning and after making adjustments, Tami will send us on our way awaiting her call to return so Emily can try on the dress again…more pins, more adjustments…and then we’ll leave Tami to her work again. We’ll repeat throughout the day until the dress is complete.

In between our visits with Tami, Emily and I will look for garage sales, pick up wedding items in the craft stores, make lists, lists, and more lists, and shop for shoes for me to wear to the wedding. Since we’ve been told this final dress making process may take ten or more hours, we’ll have lots of time to take care of items on our to do list, but at the end of the day, the dress will be complete and Emily will be taking it back to Orlando.

The last couple of weeks we’ve been busy taking trips to the wedding venue at the Apopka Airport, placing calls to vendors confirming details, making items to add a personal touch, and tracking RSVPs. It will be nice to spend the day together putting the finishing touches on plans for “the best day ever”.

Who knows? We might even be able to sneak a movie in if we have a little down time.

It’s hard to believe the wedding is only a month away!

DIY Wedding Projects


Yesterday someone on Twitter was giving tips on how to plan a wedding in only 5 weeks. I couldn’t decide if that was the best idea ever or the worst idea ever.

Planning a wedding requires a lot of work and the thought of squeezing everything into a 5 week period seems overwhelming, but on the other hand to only worry about wedding details for 5 weeks sounds pretty good. And that’s where we are…five weeks from the wedding day.

RSVPs are arriving, the final dress fitting is scheduled for next weekend, drink recipes are being tested, and DIY projects are underway. Spray paint, plywood, hinges, foam board, x-acto knives, and tassels will fill our time during the next five weeks. Lots of projects to make the day special.

Can’t wait to see how everything comes together!


Hammock House

Since we need to be in close proximity to the wedding venue where Emily and Brian will be getting married in Apopka, we decided it would be a good idea to rent a house in the vicinity.

This turned out to be a little more difficult than I expected, because while there are an abundance of houses for rent in Orange and Seminole counties, most are too far south, catering to the Disney tourists.

I found several small houses, but we hoped to find something large enough to host the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening.

I’ve returned to the listings on VRBO and Dwellalble, two vacation home sites on numerous occasions over the past four months. As luck would have it, I checked VRBO the weekend Hammock House first appeared. Hammock House looked perfect to meet our needs…a three bedroom, three bath house in Sorrento about 20 minutes from Apopka. A house large enough to easily handle a group of twenty of more for the rehearsal dinner, and best of all, it’s located on ten acres on the Wekiva  River within the Rock Springs Reserve Run, a Florida State Park.hammockhouse5

I called and booked it immediately!

We drove to Hammock House to get a look for ourselves and to plan how to best use the location to meet our needs during the wedding weekend. A stone fireplace in the living room should be perfect for an evening in November. A room with a pool table will entertain guests. A wrap around deck provides plenty of seating, and there are even two canoes if we have a little time after the wedding on Sunday.

It feels good to have a home away from home to take care of all the wedding details during the weekend of the wedding, and if all goes well, Hammock House looks like a place we’d enjoy for a relaxing getaway in the future.hammockhouse4

What’s a Mother To Do: Two Months and Counting

I’ve been pretty cool, calm, and collected until the calendar turned to September. Two months! Eight weeks! We’ll be putting in a lot of hours making final wedding preparations.

Last Saturday Emily enjoyed a day with her sisters and friends celebrating with a Bachelorette Party.

More celebration on Sunday with a party for Emily and Brian.


Invitations are in the process of being addressed and should be in the mail later this week and we’re working on items for the event decor…a busy, special time!

What’s a Mother To Do: 3 months & counting

Technically last Saturday was the three months to go point so we’ve been busy. The invitations are at the printer. The proof will be ready Monday and the order should be completed by the end of the month. The guest list has been finalized, stamps ordered, and envelopes can be addressed during the next three weeks.

Decisions have been made regarding rentals. Music is still in the process of being selected. DIY projects abound…while I’m working on some at home, Emily’s working on others. It will be important to spend time crafting every week to complete the details to make the day special.

Emily and I are talking cake and dessert…a great job since taste testing is required.

I’d like to share pictures and more details, but I’m not at liberty to do so since guests should not know what to expect when they arrive.

The pace is picking up. It’s going to be a busy three months!

What’s a Mother To Do: 4 Months and Counting

We’ve made significant progress during the past four weeks regarding planning. Besides talking on the phone and sharing information on Pinterest, Emily and I met twice to finalize some of the arrangements.

This most important items completed:

  1. Catering contracts signed.
  2. Designs to florist.
  3. Purchased my dress…a big relief!

In addition, DIY design projects have been started, and we’ve visited rental companies and other vendors. Our next big projects:

  1. Make decisions regarding wedding cake and/or other desserts.
  2. Finalize invitations and take to printer.
  3. Create song playlist.
  4. Draft wedding program.
  5. Plan wedding rehearsal.

We’re back on schedule with another time to meet scheduled for August. I’m getting anxious to see how everything comes together.