Where Can I Find A Matching Black Ring Bearer Pillow, Flower Girl Basket And Guest Book?

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but we’ve now added a cool, new feature to the sidebar of Wedding Dejavu that allows anyone to ask me and the rest of our awesome writers questions that, for one  reason or another, we don’t answer for them. Lots of people find this blog while they’re searching for a specific thing that has to do with preparing for their wedding and believe it or not, we unfortunately can’t answer each and every single thing they need to know.

I know, crazy, right?

This is why the Ask A Question form that you see over there in the right sidebar now exists. It gives our readers another great option to get some of the many, many questions that most people have as they begin to plan a wedding. So, if you are reading something on this blog and it doesn’t quite give you what you need you now have another way for us to help you out. All you need to do is type in a question, submit the form and if you include your email you’ll get notified once we post up the answer to your particular question. Yep, it’s just that easy.

I’m excited to tell you all about this new Ask A Question feature because less than a week after I created it we received our first question from a Miss Amber Robinson from Gillespie, Illinois who asked “Where Can I Find A Matching Black Ring Bearer Pillow, Flower Girl Basket And Guest Book?“. This question doesn’t seem too bad, especially for our first one — thanks for taking it easy on us, Amber. :)

Here’ s what I found out for you:

I tend to find a lot of great wedding gear such as ring bearer pillows, flower girl baskets and guestbooks over on Amazon.com, which is where I found the following  items that I think should answer your question. I know that another part of your question was that you would also like some red ribbon included in these various wedding must-haves, but I feel like adding some additional red highlights to these different things will be an easy add-on after the fact.

All-In-One Black Ring Bearer Pillow, Flower Girl Basket and Guest Book (plus more) Package
When searching through potential products that fit your criteria, I felt like I hit a goldmine when I saw this packaged up combination of a black ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket, guest book and silver pen set+bridal garter. Each of these products are great individually, but as a whole the full package makes it a much better than if you bought them all one at a time.

In total all of these products will cost you around $100, which isn’t too bad of a deal. If you’d like to check out this sweet package deal out for yourself, head on over here to Amazon.com and take a look for yourself.

Also, although the package is a great way to go, if you’re more interested in taking a look at each of them individually you can do that as well by checking out these links:

Thanks again for your question, Amber and if anyone else who is reading this would like us to answer a wedding question that you need answered, please feel free to let us know by asking it in the Ask A Question form in the sidebar.

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Wedding Planner Training Ideas And How To Get Started

Wedding planning is one of those jobs that many people start out doing as a hobby and somehow, for some reason it ends up morphing it’s way into a full-time job. Although there aren’t a ton of people out there working as a wedding planner for their 9 to 5, there are plenty of part-timers who fill in the gaps. Personally, I feel like there are so many part-time wedding planners (who are mostly women) due to the fact that a wedding is something that you wait your entire life for and once someone goes through that type of thrill, they want to still somehow be around it — even if it’s not theirs. Hence, the reason why there are so many people who consider themselves a wedding planner, but who might not necessarily consider it their main source of income. I mean, Stephanie and I aren’t wedding planners, but the main reason why we started this blog is to keep the fin and excitement of weddings around us at all times because we had so much fun at our own (which is why we named it Wedding Dejavu).

So, with this in mind, let’s pretend for a moment that either you’re someone who is already involved with wedding planning as a hobby or side gig and want to step it up a notch, or you’re someone who is ready to make the leap into full-time wedding planning. The one thing that you need to decide is how you can turn the passion and love that you have for planning and being involved with weddings into something that you can call your career. The good news is that doing this isn’t any harder than making your way into other jobs, but the bad news is (well, not that bad) that you’re going to need to put serious time into getting some wedding planner training and experience before you can get there.

If you have any type of common sense you probably already knew that this was going to take some work, but you are also probably wondering what type of work you should be putting most of your time into. To be honest, I’m no expert at the wedding planning business, but I have been around long enough and have met enough great wedding planners who have become successful by doing some of the things that you can read about below. The following suggestions might not be for you, but it’s definitely going to be worth your time to take a look over them so that you know what you’re about to get yourself into.

Follow The Wedding Industry Like A Maniac
Whether you’re buying the latest and greatest wedding planning books, going to a local bridal convention or devouring some of the hottest and most popular wedding blogs on the web, you’ve got to get out there and get moving and shaking. This means stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to meeting new people and it also means connecting to and learning from some of the people who are already making an impact in the wedding industry.

The wedding ecosystem is super connected and everyone seems to have their own part to play. It might take you a little while to figure out what’s what and who’s who, but the research you do and the things you learn along the way will be more than worth it.

I don’t know all of the awesome wedding blogs out there, but here are a few that you should know about:

  • The Anti-Bride: No, they’re not against being a bride, they’re just a big believer in the fact that not everyone needs to be the stereotypical wedding couple. My friend Carolyn actually runs this blog and she wrote up a sweet post about my pink and black wedding day Vans after Stephanie and I got hitched.
  • The Broke-Ass Bride: No one wants to spend any more money than they have to when it comes to their wedding and this blog will help you save as much cash as possible. Their motto is Bad-Ass inspiration on a Broke-Ass budget and all you need to do is read a few posts like this one and you’ll quickly see that they have it all covered. The Broke-Ass Bride and her husband The Fresh Hubby also have one of the most awesome videos that I’ve ever see about how they met, which is done to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Yeah, you should probably watch it.
  • The Rock ‘n Roll Bride: This is a great blog to keep up with what’s the latest, greatest and sometimes off-the-wall thing that’s hot in weddings right now. You never know what’s going to be posted on this blog (like this old-school styled wedding), but it’s almost all colorful, fun and inspiring to any potential wedding planner.

Volunteer Your Time
If you really want to get some wedding planner training under your belt, then probably one of the best things that you can do is connect up with other career wedding planners and tell them that you want to learn how they do what they do. This might sound a little weird at first, but what you’ll find out is that all wedding planners were at the same place you are right now and the fact that you would like to help them and learn from them is probably giving their ego a nice, little boost. So, ask a wedding planner if they would like your help, pro bono, and soak in as much as you can once you do.

If you’re really feeling brave, then another way that you could volunteer your time is to dive into the wedding planning world head-first  by helping a soon-to-be-married-couple plan their wedding just like you would if they were paying you the big bucks. This will help save the couple some cash all while schooling you on some wedding planning 101. If that’s not some serious wedding planner training, then I don’t know what is.

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An Experienced Bride’s Advice On Preparing For Marriage

Jon and I celebrated our 10th anniversary earlier this year by renewing our vows in Vegas with Elvis officiating. We got married the first time in Vegas, but it was a more traditional ceremony (sans Elvis)…so it was a lot of fun to celebrate our milestone with the King.

And we deserved to have some fun; after all, making it to a decade is quite the feat when it comes to marriage. Our parents are still married – mine for over 45 years, Jon’s for almost 40 – and this has been an unspoken source of encouragement for us. We know it’s possible to make it.

But…we all know that many marriages don’t last. Jon and I have traveled through many peaks and valleys ourselves, but one thing has always carried us through: Commitment.

It’s not just commitment in the sense of committing to each other, it’s bigger than that. It’s committing to marriage. It’s enjoying the good times and weathering the storms together.

You have to know going in that it’s not going to be a rose-petals-on-the-bed kind of life. That might be how it starts out, but be prepared and understand that your love for each other will change over time. It’s supposed to.

Now anyone with a brain knows that before you get married you have to tackle the lifestyle issues including religion, kids (many issues with kids but I’ll save that for another day), finances, family roles, where to live, etc. If you don’t deal with these basic themes, you’re setting yourself up for major drama at best. Listen to each other and find agreement on how you want to life your life together. Be on the same page.

But preparing for marriage isn’t just about being on the same page, living together, pre-marital counseling, or being best friends. It’s also about taking a hard look at how you define commitment. Will love be enough to carry you through? Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you have to rely on the mutual understanding that “no matter what we will get through this”.

Jon and I met after college. He moved into the apartment next to mine, and I knocked on his door to welcome him to the neighborhood. We had our first date a week later. After over a year of dating we got engaged, and got married about a year and a half after that. We did most of the typical pre-marital stuff, but my story with Jon is not typical.

The first couple of years were great, then we fell into a major valley. Jon had to deal with his addiction issues, and I had to try to understand what he was dealing with and what it meant for our family. Did I know he was an addict when we were dating? Not at all. We were both partying, so it never occurred to me that there was a problem. It didn’t rear its ugly head until about 2-3 years into our marriage.

Rehab, half-way houses, therapy…you name it, we tried it. Throw 3 kids into the mix and life gets very complicated.

During these years I asked myself on a regular basis, “Why am I in this marriage? I don’t need this.” But in my lists of pros & cons, three things were always at the top of the pros: Love, Commitment, Family. Every time I was ready to end it, I saw those three things and chose not to.

Thankfully Jon turned his life around with God’s help, and we began to repair our marriage. The scars are still there for me, but they don’t define me or my marriage. The vows we took mean something, and we are both committed to making our marriage and relationship work.

This is all heavy stuff, and I hope that more traditional marital challenges are what you encounter (he’s a slob, she’s moody, crazy kids, meddling in-laws, etc.). What I hope you get from this is the message of sticking it out. If the love is there, and I mean really there, you will see the value weathering the storms.

Ten years of marriage has taught me a lot, but I am aware that fast forward another 10 years and I might have a different perspective on how to prepare for and survive marriage. But for now this is my take on it. I’ll end with a few things that have helped me along the way:

  • If you are in it, be in it for the long haul.
  • Mean what you say.
  • Forgiveness is a powerful thing.
  • Family is all you really have. (For us our kids are the glue, they are everything to us and our greatest reward.)
  • The good times are great times. They are what sustain, so treasure them.
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What Now? Wedding Planning Help For The Newly Engaged

An engagement is such a wonderful and happy time in a couple’s life. It’s a shame that so often brides and their husbands-to-be can become overly stressed directly following their decision to make a lifelong commitment to one another. It’s not necessarily the commitment part that scares the living jabeezes out the two, but it’s the daunting process of planning a perfect wedding day that can literally make a happy, beaming, so in love couple turn into a couple of Debbie Downers. Luckily there are a slew of ways to make planning a wedding that caters to your every dream be an experience that you actually enjoy! Below I have listed the first 5 things that you should do following an engagement to ensure that your planning experience is a success.

Make Your Own Time line
There are a wide variety of wedding planning time lines available to today’s bride. You can find basic time lines outlining a month to month schedule through a simple google search. Use these as a rubric of sorts to design your own month to month plan of action. When developing your time line, keep in mind how you like to handle things. Are you a person that gets the job done quick and makes decisions easily? Do you like to take your time and space things out into easy to bite size pieces? Develop your wedding plans as such. Don’t try to make it more stressful on yourself than it should be. Only work with what you know you can handle.

It’s also important to set “Goals” for yourself NOT “Deadlines”. What I mean by this is that instead of marking on your calendar that you HAVE to book the reception venue, buy your dress, and book the photographer by the 15th of this month, you should say something to the effect of…”It’s my GOAL to book these things by the 15th of this month. It’s a way to take a positive outlook on the planning process as opposed to a negative outlook.

This next part may sound a bit backwards to you, but I believe it’s of great benefit to a couple to actually plan the date of the wedding AFTER you develop your calendar. This way you are not trying to cram everything into a few months or try to space everything out longer than it needs to be. Once you have created a comfortable time line, THEN pick your date.

Decide on the Size/Style of your Wedding
Next up is to decide on the size of your wedding. You’ll want to be careful with this part. First think about the type of wedding you envision. Will it be a destination, large gala, simple chic, or medium sized affair. Don’t worry about what your great Aunt Patty wants you to have.. what do YOU want your wedding day to be like? The size and style of your wedding will ultimately determine the type of venue that you will need to secure for the ceremony and reception.. which brings us to our next point.

Book the Big things First
The top three big things to book are as follows: The church, reception site, and photographer. These are the top three things that are necessary to schedule a great deal in advance. Especially if you live in a small town where there is a small selection of venues and vendors, it’s important to book them early so that you’re not left to compromise for a different wedding date than you had planned. It’s not important what order you book these three. Perhaps the photographer that you want is only available on a certain day. Go ahead and research available churches and reception locations and if it works out to book the photographer first, go ahead. The key is to be flexible with your specific date choices. It’s totally fine to just pick a month that you want to be married in, and then review your options for availability to find the specific date.

Enlist the Help of Friends/Family/Volunteers
Now is your time to shine! After an engagement you typically have a flood of eager beaver volunteers to help you plan your special day. Don’t look at the extra help as a bad thing. Although a lot of family and friends will have their own opinion on things, use they’re eagerness to help to your benefit. Make it clear that you are so grateful for their help and you already have an idea of how you want things to be so they will be a great help to you in order to reach your ultimate wedding day bliss.

Ryan and I were blessed to have a ton of family helping us out, considering we were planning our wedding from 3000 miles away! Mothers, aunts, sisters, friends…they are all fantastic resources and are usually very willing to take on a little responsibility when it comes to the wedding day. Just be careful not to become the delegating bridezilla from wedded hell. Be considerate and thankful for the help you receive.

Decide on One Night a Week For you and Your Significant Other to Work on Your Wedding
One of the best decisions Ryan and I made early on in the wedding process, was to designate one night a week to focus on our wedding planning. We had a lot of fun with this and it quickly became our favorite night of the week. We called it “Wedding Wednesday” and we would simply head to our favorite coffee shop, bring our wedding planner book, and pick one topic a week on which to focus. This allowed for a lower level of stress when planning things simply because we were only doing one thing a week. It is actually possible to plan your entire wedding just by simply completing one goal a week. It’s a great way to brain storm and really put a unique spin on important pieces of your day. Both Ryan and I often had different ideas in mind, but through our “Wedding Wednesday” we were able to collaborate on everything and created a fantastic, unique, and memorable wedding.

So those are my top 5 most important areas to focus on directly following your engagement. Don’t forget to be absolutely elated about your recent commitment and have a wonderful time planning your wedding because it will fly by and in no time you will be walking down that aisle ready to say ‘I do’!

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