V.I.B. Bride Katie C's Perspective

Once upon a time there was a little girl that played with her brand new wedding Barbie doll. Barbie would meet Ken on their first date at the snack shack, they would go on many fabulous dates in her pink convertible and Ken was always a gentleman. After a short while Ken would then drop down on one knee and pop the question, they would move into their dream house and live happily ever after.


We have been wired since day one to day dream about our own once upon a time story. Love is what makes the world go ‘round and you have agreed to plan a day to celebrate your love with your very own Prince Charming. If that’s not something to celebrate then I don’t know what is! So stand up, cheer and proclaim your love from the highest mountain top!

Now that you have your Once Upon a Time you know need to think about planning your Happily Ever After. Cinderella never warned us girls that planning a wedding would entail asking ourselves everything from if you want your name on your napkins to what cake knife you should you use. Take a deep breath and relax. Yoga would probably be a good hobby to start now if you haven’t already been practicing.


We girls need to stick together! As a bride myself and currently in the process of planning my own wedding, I am ready and willing to share my tips and tricks to not only making a beautiful award winning wedding but also doing it stress free (well as much as possible…) and using your budget wisely.


Guest List – Are you in or out? {Read More...}

The tough part should be done right? You have the man of your dreams and a sparkling ring to match. Wrong! This is only the beginning of a whirlwind of options and opportunities to set the stage for one of the most memorable days of your lives. One question you need to ask is who is going to be there to share this glorious occasion with you and your significant other? You can expect a flood of congratulatory e-mails, tweets and posts from excited friends and family members all hoping to get an invitation to the nuptials.

First things first, you should always be gracious to anyone sending you their blessings. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily needed to be invited but definitely let them know there encouragements are welcoming.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of tips I have learned over the past few months:

Tip#1: Sit down with your family, fiancé and your fiancé’s family and ask them to make you a list of the most important people they would want to have at the wedding. You should also be making a list. After you get your headcount of the VIP’s you can then start trimming or adding people to it.


Tip #2: This would also be a good time for your fiancé to have the money talk with his folks and you with yours. Usually this is done in private but can vary depending on your relationship with each other’s folks. After they see how many people they want to attend on their side this could help justify how much they would be willing to donate to the cause. Typically the bride’s family pays for the wedding, but now since people are getting married later in age the parents are either helping to contribute or not at all. This is different for everyone and no right or wrong answer to who should pay, simply who is financially able and willing to help.

Tip #3: DO NOT STRESS OVER MONEY! This is one of the top subjects newly engaged couples argue about. No matter how much you are able to spend on your wedding, you will make it work. Whew and breath! It might mean choosing a smaller venue with less people or picking a 5 star venue with hundreds. Changing venues because of food costs and room rentals could also change your budget significantly.

Tip #4: The hard part comes when you need to trim down your list so it can flow within your budget. Each person’s cost will depend on the extra details you want to have. For examples of extras; save the dates, invitations, stamps, thank you cards, more stamps, cake, dessert table, appetizers, meal, alcohol, gifts, out of town gifts, travel expenses and hours for a photo booth or other entertainment provided. Also remember hidden costs such as; tax, service charge and gratuity.

When trimming down your family’s guest list it is important to do it gracefully. Demanding they cut crazy Aunt Judy is not the way to go. Not only this will make people upset and title you the bride monster they will always find out you didn’t want them to go. Talk about DRAMA! Depending on how much each parent is contributing could be a good way to determine how many guests they are allotted to invite. Make sure to explain your budget and cost per person if they are confused why they cannot have a million people (unless you can then more the merrier!). By understanding the cost per person could end up meaning they might contribute more, you will need to suck it up and foot the bill or a few people will need to be cut. Remember family is forever and this is there day too! If people are a make it or break it it’s better to invite the crazy Aunt then have to be reminded for years to come.

Also look at your own list and who are you inviting? Who are you going to miss if they do not show? Are these people you hang out with regularly on a personal level? These are all important questions when deciding who is in or out.

Tip #5: Remember this is your fiancés day too. If he absolutely needs to have his college friend that lives in another state and hasn’t seen him in 5 years, let him have that luxury. But be sure to explain your limited number of guests and the importance of inviting only close friends and family before you agree.

Tip #6: Do not tell anyone they are invited unless you are 100% sure. It’s easier to say you are still working on your guest list or only family is invited then taking back a verbal save the date. Make sure you also reiterate this to your fiancé. Nothing is worse than being at a bar and watching him invite the bouncers and bartenders to come hang out at your wedding. If this does happen, remain calm and you can kindly talk to him about it at home. Don’t punish him for being excited to marry the woman of his dreams! This also goes for only sending save the dates to people who will be 100% invited.

Tip #7: If your budget only allows you to have 100 people but you want 300, reception only invites could be the way to go. This is a double edge sword however, because the people who only get to go to the reception might be upset they couldn’t come to the ceremony and dinner. Also think is Grandma Ruth really going to show up at 9pm just for the booze and dancing? You also don’t want to be spending the entire time greeting people that are coming late. Think this is a time for dancing and celebrating! Talk with your family and fiancé to determine how formal you want you’re wedding to be and if you want reception only invitations.

Tip #8: After you have a semi concrete guest list you can now start moving on to other items on your to do list. The guest list will change over the course of planning (if save the dates or invitations haven’t been sent) once your budget gets finalized and your extras have been decided. For example, maybe the only way to have the 5 story cake with a moat and bridge is to cut the fiancés out of state friend from the guest list. Consider each person and there importance before you ask yourself if they are in or out.

Author: Katie C. | V.I.B. Forever Bride

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