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Cake over Steak


Guest Post | Wedding Planning Tips From a Real Bride (Part 2)

Hello Darlings!

We are back today for more wedding planning tips from a real, beautiful bride that also happens to be the wonderful food blogger behind Will Frolic For Food. Renee and I actually met through a twitter conversation about wedding planning a few months ago, and I have been following her plans. Learn more about her here. Today she shares with us two of her favorite planning tips combined with problem solving solutions and sound advice. For more on this topic, be sure to check yesterday's post brought to us by lovely Sara, the author of this beautiful illustration and blogger over at Cake over Steak

Renee needs no further introduction since she has been a guest in this blog before. So without further ado, here's what she had to say when asked to share: 

 Don't let Pinterest get you down:

Pinterest is an incredible source of inspiration. In fact, I use it daily as a creative resource for recipe concepts and photography styling. Not to mention all of the personal fulfillment I get from having collections of dreamy photographs of badass chicks adventuring all over the world and wearing soft bohemian clothing

When it comes to weddings, Pinterest is both a saving grace and a black hole. It helped me to develop my wedding color scheme (creamy white, sage and evergreen, with hints of fig and pomegranate pink). I've found all of my DIY ideas through Pinterest. And I use secret boards to share dress and accessory ideas with my bridesmaids and my mom.

But there's a dark side. Pinterest creates unrealistic expectations, to say the least. Within 2 months of planning my wedding I realized that every wedding I had fallen in love with on Pinterest cost at least $30,000. No question. All of those pretty details, the perfect dress, the fancy rustic-barn eco-chic event space: those alone couldn't have cost less than 15K. Not even kidding. Once you start to budget your wedding, you'll realize that those perfect-looking weddings are almost always the work of a professional design team (cost = between $1000 and $13,000). 

I don't know about you, but I don't exactly have that kind of dough laying around! 

The other side of the dark side: Pinterest can suck you in like coins between sofa cushions. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent pinning images of pretty dresses. Too many. Take it from me, there are better uses of your time.

Solution: when you find yourself panicked by the idea that you won't be able to meet the absurdly high expectations of Pinterest weddings, just turn it off. Take a break. Recalibrate. Your wedding will be awesome, even if it's not Pinterest Perfect. And don't let yourself get sucked in by pinning for hours on end! Use that time to work on DIY crafts for your big day or journal your ideas (way more productive!). 

 Reach out to your community for help:

It's been said before, but I'll just go ahead and re-iterate it for you here: LET PEOPLE HELP YOU. It seems like a really responsible thing, to plan your wedding all on your own. But, really, it's not. Is it responsible to drive yourself mad over all of those details? Not to mention the bigger things: finding an event space, booking a band or DJ, hiring a florist, cake-maker, coordinator, and caterer. And those are just the basics. No one will like you better for being Bride B*itch because you're so stressed out. And you won't like you better, too. 

Reach out to friends and family for help. They WANT to help. I can't tell you how surprised I've been at how many people want to be involved -- even new friends.

I'd like to take it one step further: reach out to strangers, to your community. Are you part of a community art project, a volunteer group, a book club? Do you know someone who knows everyone? Send an email out to those folks asking for suggestions and help. Not everyone will respond, but you'll be shocked at how many DO. 

Being in a town saturated with cream of the crop wedding venues and vendors (read: the most expensive and unattainable of everything), reaching out became invaluable. I even had some people offer to let me use their farms and homes for free! I'm just saying, you never know what could happen. And why not increase your chances of stumbling on something magical (and did I mention possibly free?) by putting yourself out there?

Check out Renee's blog, Will Frolic for Food, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook



Guest Post | Wedding Planning Tips From a Real Bride

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