Sunday, January 2, 2011

“No, I’m not going to be a professional cheerleader. I’m going to be a wedding planner.”

Do you remember when you were little and what you wanted to be when you grew up changed based on the newest Barbie outfit you got? Well, I went through that phase in college. I wanted a career in everything from fashion merchandising to sports management to constitutional law. In the spring of my freshman year, I was torn between art history and wedding planning. My brand new art history designer encouraged me to sign up for Sex, Gender, and the Arts, instead of the Ancient Roman Art class I wanted to take. She was a feminist with deathly pale skin and bright red lips. I was a cute, blonde, and very pink cheerleader. And, thanks to phenomenal AP Art History teachers, I knew all the answers. Surprisingly, she didn't like me. And she surely did not like the fact that I had to travel for the NCAA basketball tournament the week before our research paper were do. In fact, she was so upset about this that she told me I had my priorities wrong and asked if I was planning on being a professional cheerleader as a career. I responded, "No, I'm not going to be a professional cheerleader. I'm going to be a wedding planner." And, as her jaw dropped to the floor, my wedding obsession was born.

Between that moment and my wedding a month ago, I amassed an unhealthy awesome amount of research about weddings. Over the next few days, I want to share some of my favorite websites that I've found in the last 6 years.

First category: Blogs and tools

1. Obviously, my #1 favorite blog of all time is Wedding Chicks. There is just sooooooo much inspiration here. I've spent hours and hours and hours staring at the beautiful images and pasting them into inspiration boards. I love the expansion into templates and DIY, and I ended up using quite a few of these in projects I'll show you later.

2. Along the same lines, Style Me Pretty has an overwhelming amount of eye candy. Prepare to set a timer to force yourself away, or you'll never quit.

3. In case you live under a rock, Martha Stewart is a goddess of all things DIY. Martha Stewart Weddings has a wealth of inspiration and projects. Her magazine was also by far my favorite, even though it is only quarterly. In fact, I may or may not still buy it occasionally for hostessing ideas.

4. Another great website is DIY Bride. I didn't actually use this one that much when I was planning, but they've done a major overhaul lately, and it looks like it has a lot of excellent content that is easy to find.

5. Project Wedding is another one that I wish I would have spent more time on, because they have a lot of great stuff. Same thing with The Bride's Cafe.

6. Once Wed and The Broke-Ass Bride are great resources if you are budget-conscious and DIY.

7. Last, but definitely not least, Wedding Channel and The Knot are now almost identical, and both have some awesome tools that will really help you stay on top of things. One feature that I loved was the Guest List Manager. I just uploaded my Excel spreadsheet of addresses and had it all right there. I was very patient, and they finally released the Seating Chart tool. That was pretty much the coolest thing ever. The Budget was also insanely helpful, especially at the beginning when we were trying to figure out how to plan how to apportion our money.

Coming up...supplies, favors, invitations, etc!

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