25 Wedding Tips and Vendor Recommendations
Wedding Vendors We Loved and Recommend
Venue – The Barn at Kennedy Farm
- We loved our venue for so many reasons! They had a wedding coordinator designated to our big day, and she was so helpful and well organized. If you are local to the indy area and considering a barn wedding, go visit The Barn at Kennedy Farm!
Photographer – Jenifer D. Imagery
- I loved the look and feel of the photos I got! Jen was so great about meeting as needed to prepare for the wedding day and she has a fun personality so it is very easy to take photos with her. She is very reasonably priced too!
- I loved the loose flowers I ordered from Union Street Flowers, however my bouquet was less full than what I had explained to them – it looked different from the photo I showed for my ideal bridal bouquet. Other than the bouquet (which I was able to fix by just adding eucalyptus to get the fullness I wanted), the loose flowers were amazing and looked great on the cake and tables and also mixed in well with the bridesmaids bouquets we made!
- I was AMAZED by how great wholeblossoms.com did on my eucalyptus order! I took a chance because they were cheap and thankfully they arrived on my doorstep looking great! They were full and beautiful bunches of eucalyptus that we used for the bouquets, tables, and signs. My recommendation is to buy more eucalyptus than you think you need – we wished we had more that day, but it really wasn’t a big deal because we had so much white wax flower to fill in areas that we were less generous with eucalyptus.
DJ – Duo DJ Entertainment (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Our DJ was great, he always made announcements when necessary and kept the music playing all evening without any pauses unless for good reason. Also he did a great job of keeping things on track with our timeline!
Hair – Christina Taylor
- I cannot say enough amazing things about this girl! She is so talented at doing hair and has a vision for what you are wanting! If you are looking for a hair stylist for any reason and are local to the indy area, book her now! She is reasonably priced and so great to work with.
Makeup Artist – Olivia McClure
- My makeup on my wedding day made me feel so pretty! She did a great job at making my makeup look natural and still very bridal!!
Wedding Dress – The Wedding Studio (Carmel, IN)
- I loved my dress so much! The people I talked to prior to the wedding thought my dress was way more than I paid for it. The Wedding Studio has reasonably priced dresses that look very elegant and beautiful. They will help you find great dresses within your budget. The woman who helped me was so nice and even told me to look on Amazon or Etsy for my veil after I mentioned I had a tight budget. It was clear they were not trying to be pushy or sell me on anything I didn’t want or need. They also referred us to our seamstress (Yong’s Alterations) who did a great job on my dress!
Bride’s Rings – Diamonds Direct
- I love my rings from Diamonds Direct and they had such great sales people to work with! Also they clean and seal my ring (filling in any scratches) anytime I go in to the store! They gave us the best deal we could find too. Highly recommend!
Grooms Ring – JC Penney’s
- If you are looking for a wedding band that is very reasonably priced and want a decent selection to choose from, JC Penney’s could be the place to buy! We were amazed to find one Drew loved so much and felt comfortable wearing (some rings can be very uncomfortable – especially for men that have never worn a ring in their life lol).
8 Wedding Day Tips
- Have food catered for the wedding DAY. This may sound silly at first, but think about you and all your bridal party and close family being at the venue getting ready most of the day with out substantial food. Note this also – the groomsmen will likely eat a lot! We had Subway cater 6in sandwiches for everyone and then we packed pretzels, cookies and some other snacks to keep everyone from being hungry throughout the very busy day.
- Bride – take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. Soak it up. Look around and remember the day. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help from people. If things need to get done, it isn’t typically the bride that should handle these details. You have planned and planned and now it is time to invite others in to help you execute your plans. TIP: designate two people who will be there the morning of you big day to know all the things you want done so that they can be the one(s) to answer a lot of the questions. Meet with the designated people the week of the wedding to make sure they are caught up on all the things you have planned and need done that day. Don’t give them more than they can manage though, and remember you probably want to enjoy time with them. If you have lots or requests maybe fill in 3-4 people so things get done quicker and you have more time to relax and enjoy each other.
- Eat food and drink water during the day! Everyone told me this and I’m sure I said something like “do you know how much I like to eat? Obviously I won’t not eat food throughout the day!” But around 3am at the hotel that night I got a migraine and we ended up ordering $30 room service because we were so hungry!! DON’T FORGET TO EAT AND DRINK WATER! During our big day I had a Subway sandwich towards the end of our first look (around 2pm) because I started feeling so hungry and then later at dinner I ate a helping of green beans, half a dinner roll and a bite of Mac n cheese (lol typical no protein for me). I also had more champagne that day than water (2 glasses of champagne actually, ha that tells you how little water I drank).
- Set aside time to get in the word, journal and pray! Leave at least a half an hour before you start your day or this won’t end up being a part of your day! Also I had amazing women there that day who offered to pray over me before the ceremony – if no one thinks of it, I would recommend just asking for a group prayer to ease your nerves and bring Christ into that special moment and your day in general!
- Go to bed early the night before! This is a tip for the night before that will help you on your wedding day. You will be so thankful for feeling well rested. I went to bed at 4am on the night before the wedding because I over booked my evening after the rehearsal dinner with tasks that needed to be done before the wedding day. For example, I set that time aside for making the bridesmaids bouquets and bagging the guest favors – not realizing it would take as long as it did.
- Give your bridesmaids and groomsmen bags for the wedding day along with their gifts. Make sure to kindly tell the bridal party to use the bags for keeping their personal belongings kept together and from cluttering the getting-ready rooms – Your photographer will thank you and your photos of getting ready will look less cluttered!
- Distribute Jobs Evenly. If you have things that need done on the wedding day, try to distribute the jobs evenly so that you aren’t putting too much on one person! My mother-in-law, matron of honor, and mother were all rockstars during the day, and looking back I feel like they may not have been able to relax enough during the day and be as present as I would have liked for them to have been. Make sure you don’t put too much work on family or bridal party so you can enjoy being with them that day!
- Have your DJ make announcements and directions during the reception! Our DJ was great, they always made announcements when necessary. For example, it is good to have your DJ tell your guests when their table can get their food (table numbers are helpful for doing dinner buffet style), or for your guests to know to take their seats for speeches or other occasions, and also to announce the reception will be ending and for guests to know what the exit plan is for the bride and groom (we did a sparkler send off). Side-note: if you do a sparkler send off, have the DJ announce where the sparklers are, how to light them, how to put them out, and (maybe most importantly) to be mindful of not burning the bride and groom as they walk through the tunnel of the fire burning sparklers! I almost got burnt on the way out!
8 Wedding Planning Tips
- Buy a 2-3” binder and keep all your papers, receipts, inspiration, check list, calendar with important dates/times, a budget sheet, and more. This will keep you well organized and makes for a good keep sake.
- Create a budget so you know how much you have to spend and how you can allocate it to get the things you want. Prepare to compromise occasionally if you have a tight budget – for example, we ordered our flowers individually and put the bridesmaid bouquets together on our own to save money for other things we wanted for our day.
- Create a very detailed rehearsal night and wedding day timeline. All of your vendors will want a timeline of the big day and it is best to type a very detailed one that you can have prints of when you meet with vendors. Emailing it to everyone who needs a timeline is also not a bad idea – the bridal party should all know the day-of-drill.
- Use Zola for your registry! They are honestly the best. If you use my code you will receive $50 in Zola credit to use towards your registry. Zola provides you with great resources like: a detailed wedding planning checklist, ability to add gifts to your registry from anywhere online, a gift tracker to track what guests have gifted you, rsvp resources that are user friendly and help easily keep track of your guest attendance, and so much more!
- Plan to pay all vendors before the wedding day. This will save you and your family stress on the big day, and the vendors will not feel obligated to uncomfortably remind you to finalize a payment. The best time to make all final payments is probably the week of the wedding or the rehearsal day.
- Make a detailed photo sheet through Word or Powerpoint that has all your favorite ideas for wedding decor. This will include all the inspirations you have gather from Pinterest, Instagram, magazines and more. Make sure to include photos for your coordinator and family to know how you want the alter, isle, dining tables, dessert table, desserts, card and gift table decor, signs, seating chart, and anything else you want to decorate with flowers/greenery or other decor items. Also if you want to be extra prepared, have a small list of the most wanted photos you told your photographer about in your meeting with them. This will be sure to keep photos on track and keep you from being worried that some were missed or that your memory failed to remind you to mention a specific shot you wanted.
- Make a wedding day packing list with everything listed on it that you need to bring to the venue. Check it and check it again so that you don’t have to send someone back for things and create more stress for yourself during day.
- Make a seating chart on a print of the reception floor plan. Ask coordinator/reception venue owner for a floor chart pdf if they have one. If not draw one to the best of your ability and sketch out where your tables will be (don’t forget the wedding party in this). Then go in and fill out all the seats with names and where you want people to sit! Write clearly because this is primarily for anyone setting up tables on the wedding day and for place cards if you are having place cards. Also number the tables on the chart you make and have table number cards made so guests can easily find their table.
Photography by Jenifer D. Imagery