Hello Darlings!

I can't believe I was able to contain my excitement while I kept this guest post collaboration on the DL (down-low) for all this time. Many of you know that I am a food enthusiast and by that I mean that I think about it all the time and so it is normal and appropriate  that I gravitated towards great food bloggers like "Cake Over Steak" and "Will Frolic For Food".  Besides being extremely talented, they are also engaged and soon to be married. Through twitter "venting" chats about the stress and joys of planning a wedding, we decided to combine their best tips in one post to help all other beautiful brides planning their bash. Today, meet the talented Sara who offered to make this amazing illustration especially for this 2 part series which I am so happy to feature on my blog

Hello! This is Sara from the illustrated food blog Cake Over Steak. In about two months I will be marrying a man that is so perfect for me that I didn't even imagine such a person could exist. (He is also the photographer behind my blog - he makes it prettier for me.) The wedding planning process has been quite a journey for us, so I'm very excited to be sharing some of my lessons that I have learned so far with you! 

♥ As an artist, I can be very sensitive to color, so I felt like I couldn't focus on any of the decoration details for my wedding until we had settled on a color palette. Neither of us were too sure of what we wanted, so we went to the hardware store to browse the paint section. In that setting we were able to hold up colors next to each other and look at slightly different versions very easily. We were still struggling with what direction we wanted to go in, so we ended up getting inspiration from one of those pamphlets that suggests color palettes for various rooms of the house. We fell in love with an image of a bedroom that had mostly white furniture with lots of teal and some gold accents; it felt romantic, serene and classy - it was perfect. We based our color palette off of that image, and grabbed a handful of paint swatches for each color we chose. We used those to help pick out the bridesmaid dresses, save the dates and invitations, linens for our tables, and suits and ties for the groomsmen, I sent a set to my florist, and I kept them in mind while designing my wedding dress. It was helpful to have physical objects in our colors to stash in my purse (I kept a set in there at all times so I would always be prepared) and place directly on top of fabric swatches we were considering, etc. It was a lifesaver!

 Now onto my favorite part of the planning process (other than designing my dress) - cake tasting. We planned all of our cake tastings for the same day, mainly because we were at the location for the weekend, which is 4.5 hours away from where we live, so we had to knock them all out at once. It sounds like a lot of cake (which it was, not that I'm complaining), but it made it very easy for us to compare them and make a decision, so it is something I would recommend if you can set it up that way. Furthermore, I know that some bakeries only offer a specific handful of cakes to choose from, but if you fall in love with a baker that will make whatever kind of cake you want, don't be afraid to pick them even if you didn't absolutely love one of the tester cakes you tried from them. We loved a flavor combination at one bakery, but ended up choosing another baker because we thought her cakes were the best quality overall, and we felt very comfortable with her - she was a "good fit." We just asked her to make a cake with the same flavors as the one we tried from the other bakery. This past weekend we met up with her to taste a sample version of the cake she is making for us, and we could not be happier with our decision. So just remember to keep the whole experience in mind when choosing your vendors. 

♥ And that brings me to the cake topper. If you're not looking for the traditional bride and groom cake topper, don't limit yourself to just searching for "cake topper" when you are browsing Pinterest or Etsy, etc. We found that items with "cake topper" in the description had much higher prices than similar items that were not labeled as a "cake topper." Since we were looking for something like a cute animal cake topper, we started searching for things like "figurine" on various web sites. We even considered DIY-ing something like this. (Initial and word-based cake toppers can also be extremely easy and affordable to DIY.) A couple weeks ago we found some little fabric birds at Michael's that we are really pleased with, and we spent a whopping $12 instead of upwards of $50-$100 for a "cake topper." Don't be afraid to get creative! You could end up with something you love even more because you made it yourself or found it on an internet treasure hunt.

I hope these tips can make your wedding planning go a little more smoothly. 

Tomorrow be sure to read part 2 with tips from food blogger Renee over at Frolic