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I’m type-A. Best cocktails chicago Little “Mrs.” organized. Best cocktails So when my now-husband Matt and I got engaged, I didn’t even consider hiring a wedding planner. Easy cocktails for a crowd I reasoned with myself that I could plan the whole thing while working full time, moving into a new house and juggling myriad other tasks involved in joining two families.

And while it turned out to be a beautiful day, taking advantage of professional help would have helped me enjoy the planning process a little more. Easy cocktails with vodka For example, should I have been double-checking the transportation arrangements on the way to my rehearsal dinner? Probably not. Top cocktails with vodka Did I need to be coordinating florals in between business calls? Well, no.

The dress was the first thing on my mind when we started planning.


Best cocktails made with vodka And the first place that came to mind was Ava Laurenne Bride in downtown Fredericksburg, which I knew offered top-notch quality and service. Top cocktails for women I went in initially with friends about a month after getting engaged “just to look.” The dresses I liked were all sheath dresses with full lace and a sweetheart neckline. Good cocktails with vodka But consultant Marina Bonanno pulled out an A-line, full silk dress with lace details. Classic 101 radio I was hesitant about even trying it on, but when she finally convinced me, I knew: This was the dress for me. Classic 101 burgers & shakes Lesson learned: Trust the bridal shop. Classic 101 burgers & shakes belmont ca They’ve seen hundreds of brides and know what will look good on you. Classic 101 burgers Owner Wendy Rivera came with me to each fitting and coached me through the emotional ups and downs of wedding planning, as well.

One of the best purchases I made was a $30 binder made by The Knot from Barnes & Noble. Classic 101 burgers menu The guide has step-by-step instructions about planning weddings, from getting quotes to budgeting and attire checklists.

If you’re going to plan yourself, organization is key. Best cocktails for a crowd I also had some great help from my friend Kim Moody of Kim Moody Design, based out of Blackstone. Easy holiday cocktails for a crowd Kim sent me magazines and vendor recommendations. Easy summer cocktails for a crowd Her knowledge of wedding planning was so helpful in making final choices. Best cocktails in san francisco Lesson learned: Accept a little help.

Foode in downtown Fredericksburg has always been one of our favorite places. Simple cocktails with gin We went on one of our first dates there and when we went out to celebrate our engagement, Foode was the place to go. Simple cocktails to make at home So when it came to catering, it had to be Foode. Best summer cocktails for a crowd And working with owners Joy and Beth was a wonderful experience. Great cocktails with vodka They took on the vision for our wedding with such gusto and made the experience so easy that contrary to what most brides say, I got to sit down and eat dinner at my own wedding and the food was fabulous. Classic 1920 cars They also whole-heartedly took on the task of creating a pie bar for dessert.

Brittany Claud of Richmond-based Brittany Claud Photography was also a no-brainer. Classic 1920s cocktails She shot a friend’s wedding and I knew if I ever got married, she would be the person I called. Top 10 cocktails for women Claud worked with us, picking locations that were special to us for our engagement shoot: Chatham Manor, Riverby Books and Kybecca. Cheap cocktails for a crowd And on the wedding day, she did an excellent job capturing all of the most important memories. Classic radio flyer wagon Lesson learned: Have a vision and stick to it.

For paper goods, I did a search on Etsy for personalized invitations and fell in love with Indianapolis-based Chicks N Hens. Classic radio fm Owner Liz designed custom portraits of us for the invitations and programs featuring my wedding flowers. Classic radio shows I had them printed at Creative Color in downtown Fredericksburg, which offered personal and quick service.

Another great find in downtown Fredericksburg was Fredericksburg Jeweler on Caroline Street. Classic radio repair Its owner worked with us to create the perfect rings. Classic radio I wanted something simple to wear with my vintage engagement ring and Matt wanted a lightweight ring with subtle detail.

The venue sort of fell into our laps. Classic radio commercials After deciding we should get married in Richmond, half way for both our families and with an airport for travelers, we looked for a historic property with gardens that could accommodate our guest list. Easy cocktails to make at home Tuckahoe Plantation was ahead of the pack in terms of price, amenities and natural beauty.

Classic Party Rentals of Virginia worked with us to create a rain plan, a cold-weather plan and an open-air plan. Easy cocktails with malibu rum Luckily our wedding date, Oct. Classic bathroom 29, turned out to be sunny and 75 degrees. Classic bathroom vanity But flexibility on behalf of the rental company helped us have the peace of mind to have an outdoor wedding.

We also found The Lighting Professors, an event lighting company based in Richmond, based on a recommendation from Tuckahoe Plantation. Classic bathroom tile The lighting design, personalized for our day, added that special something that took the event over the top.

Our DJ, Manny Green, was also found through a glowing recommendation, this time from our officiant. Classic bathroom designs pictures He took the time to get to know us and our taste in music to create the perfect playlist and was an expert at getting the crowd involved, even teaching “The Electric Slide” during the reception.

I also took on the task of creating decorations for the wedding, which saved money but cost me time. Best craft cocktails in chicago In this age of Pinterest, any project you want to do is explained and available. Best place for cocktails in san francisco I hand-painted chalkboards, made table numbers and printed out and framed old family photos, among other projects. Classic radio fm kenya Hand-made items made our wedding that much more personal and special. Classic radio fm uk We even went out and purchased 200 of our favorite jams from Clyde Howard’s Farm at the local farmers market as an authentic touch for party favors.

Another thing you can do on your own is enter contests. Classic radio fm online I entered roughly 20 Instagram giveaways and one paid off: 75 free boxes of chocolate from Gearharts Fine Chocolates in Charlottesville. Old 1920 cars The boxes were a special extra touch for our guests.

The best advice I can give you for the day of the wedding is to hire a day-of planner and relax. Best cocktails with gin Luckily, our venue had a great day-of planner and she took over every last-minute detail. Easy cocktails with gin That allowed me to get my nails done in peace at Holy Chic in downtown Fredericksburg the night before. Classic radio club of boston It also afforded me time to myself on the day of the wedding, which I spent taking in art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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