Posted by Alexis Givens, Real Bride and marthastewartweddings.com Editor
Hello, fellow brides-to-be! I'm so excited to join your ranks! As editor of marthastewartweddings.com, I've read a lot about planning the perfect wedding. But now that I'm engaged and planning a wedding of my own, all of that great advice has taken on new meaning. Today and every Tuesday going forward, I'll be blogging about my experiences and expectations, inspiration and perspiration leading up to the big day in August. I've got lots of questions and ideas, so read along with me as you plan your own fetes!
Now that my fiance and I have decided on our wedding location (Colorado here we come!), we've transformed our dining room into a laptop-loving, paper-cutting, tear-sheet-holding inspiration lab dedicated to our destination wedding.
I set up a well organized space on my dining room table with all the goods for perfect planning, including:
a. Multiple workstations (I just switch which chair I'm sitting in)
b. Great overhead lighting (I knew that chandelier would come in handy one day)
c. Table protection and camouflage (a tablecloth protects the surface and creates a hiding space underneath for all of my files, books and wedding supplies)
d. Plenty of chairs and surface area (just in case any friends or family decide to stop by and, say, help put stamps on envelopes)
My 5 Dining Table Planning Essentials:
boxes down the center of the table keep my piles neat, are easy to access from all sides of the table, and easy to move if I'm doing a specific project. Here, you'll see my trusty magazine in-box (holds mags I want to keep for reference), a paint and fabric swatch box, and a tear sheet bonanza box.
(2) Paper Cutter
From cutting paper for my inspiration binder to creating paper favor prototypes and other handmade stationery, this Rotatrim
cutter is an absolute powerhouse. I've had mine for about 5 years now, and I've never had to replace the blade. It cuts with more precision than any other cutter I've found, and I've used it countless times over the years for non-wedding projects like trimming digital pics, making photo albums, and scrapbooking to my heart's content. It's pricey—consider it only if you are a paper junky like me.
(3) Sheet Protectors
keep all my inspiration in perfect little pockets. I stash fabric swatches, tear sheets, photos, invoices from vendors, address lists, and just about everything I need in these handy pouches.
(4) D-Ring Binders
Binders are great for keeping all your information in one place. I have two: an inspiration binder filled with images, colors, and ideas to peruse when the planning bug strikes, or to show to vendors my vision; and a planning binder with sleeves that hold contracts, a planning calendar, vendor information and any logistical information I need to keep handy. I'm partial to the D-ring variety as I think they keep everything flat when the binder is closed and make turning the pages a tad simpler. It's the little things right?
(5) An Extraordinary Laptop
It finds all the answers to the questions I have, fills my brain with inspirational ideas, and allows me to shop for wedding dresses, favors, flowers, and just about everything else in the world all at once. Not to mention I plan on designing much of my wedding stationery on it, so we're pretty much tied at the hip.
So now that I've got my dining room setup, I guess I have to start going full force with the planning. In a few weeks, we'll be headed to Colorado to meet with potential vendors and make our preliminary decisions. Have you found anything particularly helpful during your planning process? Got any tips for my 6 month countdown to the big day? Please share! We're starting to really get serious about our Save the Date plan, so I'll check back in next week with an update.