The A-B-C-D’s of Planning a Wedding

My name is Amy Beth Cupp (ABC!) and in 2007, I married Mr. D. That’s right, my initials are A-B-C-D! As luck would have it, my first job out of culinary school was working with an event planning and management company here in New York City. Needless to say, was lucky to have a few NYC wedding plans under my belt before it came time for me to plan our very own ‘big day.’ I’d like to share with you my top tips for brides-to-be, The A-B-C-D’s (if you will) of planning your wedding effortlessly, with style, and grace. 

Always remember that one good decision makes the next one that much easier and you can throw just as amazing of a wedding with 3 months of planning as you can by taking 3 years to do it. No pressure, but I planned our wedding in 6 months, and had plenty of time to spare! Not to mention, we were in the middle of gut renovating our new apartment and celebrated Thanksgiving, and the Holidays during that time too! It’s not magic, you can do it too.

I hired a magician for the cocktail hour. He was such a hit!

It’s not rocket science – it’s a big party. Great food, music, family, and friends = recipe to success. I gave myself one week to make each decision. (With exception of selecting my dress!) I’d set up at least 3 meetings in a week with each specific wedding vendor. At the end of the week, I’d review what I found and decide upon one. On the rare occasion that none of them suited me, I’d set up another three meetings for the following week. This process helps to speed along the planning process in an efficient manner.

The stationery gives your guests a ‘sneak peek’ into your wedding celebration

Stay true to yourself and your personality as a couple. Throw a party to celebrate with your loved ones that you’ve found the right person to spend the rest of your days with. That’s it. Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t worry about the end result being magazine or blog-worthy! It’s just not worth the stress.ABCDs-of-wedding-planning

A. Decide what is important to you. The Mr. wanted great food and a live band. I wanted delicious food and a smooth transition between the ceremony and reception. I wanted to keep the energy high and the celebration going without any breaks in the timeline of the evening.
Luckily, the St. Regis hotel has facilities for all sorts of events, so we planned to get married in an opulent ballroom on the second floor and take everyone up to the penthouse for the reception. It was wonderful because I was able to get dressed on site an simply walk downstairs for the ceremony. No traveling in a bulky white dress during the dead of Winter.

Always have a make-up and hair trial before your wedding day!

Once our guests arrived for the evening, coats were checked at the front door and picked up at the end of the night. We didn’t have to hire a bus, limos, or transportation for our guests from the ceremony to the reception. We saved both precious time and money on that portion of our wedding planning budget.

Honor the happy couples that came before you with a photo table that includes wedding photos of family members.

B. Pick a Season, then the location, and that will dictate the date that you will be married. Once that is set, go look for a dress. Don’t waste time trying on dresses until you know what kind of place you’ll be getting married at. Dresses vary from Cinderella ball gowns, to gausy beach appropriate numbers. You’re only spinning your wheels, and wasting your time if you go dress shopping before you have a Season, the location, and the date picked.
C. Pick in-season flowers to keep your budget within reach. You can have more of everything if you order flowers that are appropriate to the season. You can also save money during the ceremony by doing groups of candles in hurricanes along the aisle instead of fancy live flower arrangements. Your guests will be busy watching you be married – decorate, but save the majority of your floral budget for the celebration afterwards.
We got married in February, right about when Spring flowers start to pop up in the floral district. I was inspired by the bright yellow flowers found on Forsythia, which are the very branch that bursts open each Spring. That ‘good decision’ led to me selecting an analogous color scheme of yellow, orange, and red buds.
Do you know what else are yellow, orange, and red? Lemons, oranges, and cranberries! And as luck would have it, they’re priced right during the late Winter months. Think outside the box. You’ll be shocked at what treats Mother Nature has in store for you – if you just listen to her!Don’t get to wrapped up trying to match the colors of the room to the flowers. As you’ll see, the room where our reception was held was various shades of sky blue, pink, and gold. There wasn’t a stitch of pink or blue in my flower arrangements and I think that the final result was still quite successful!Plan a wedding that reflects your personality.D. Whatever you do, be sure to be present – not only during the wedding planning process, but also on your wedding day. Things will go “wrong” the day of your wedding. Roll with it, and don’t let it ruin your day. Don’t lose sight of what this wedding celebration really about. A wedding is one day. This celebration is about your life together going forward into the future.

Stay present: and you’ll have the best night of your life!

I am thankful I got married before the explosion in wedding blog content. I know that the pressures from the wedding planning community and magazines can be totally overwhelming. Make your best effort to throw a wedding celebration that reflects your personality as a couple. Stay true to your heart, and remember that there are no “wrong” decisions. Don’t try to copy or out-do the newest wedding trend that you see on the blogs – it will only lead to your wedding looking super trendy, (and dated) really fast.
I hope that you found the A-B-C-D’s of planning a wedding as a resourceful tool to get started on planning your celebration. Maureen, I hope you have a wonderful wedding day. Thanks again for asking ABCD Design to write about such an important topic!