Wedding Wednesday: Source List + A Few Tips

I've gotten a few questions about wedding planning lately, so I decided to put together a little source list.

Ceremony: Saint Mary Magdalene Church
Reception: Redstone Golf Club
Rehearsal Dinner: Italiano's
Bridesmaid Luncheon: Humble City Cafe

Photography: Amy Jo Bland and Tracey Ivy {Engagements}
Invitations: Sweet Penelope {printed at Office Depot}
Flowers: Kroger

Wedding Dress: Dolly Couture
Lace Shrug: Rohm Bridal
Shoes: Zappo's
Earrings & Flower Hair Clip: Steinmart
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papel
Groomsmen Ties: JC Penney's
Bridesmaid Gifts: Earrings from JC Penney's {Allie's from Nest Pretty Things} and Hair Clips from Bando
Groomsmen Gifts: Personalized Water Bottles from Greensender

Pew Bows: Romance Ribbon
Cake Stand: Home Goods
Cake Toppers: The Pretty Pixie
Pillar Candles: Barn Loft Candles
Bubbles: Oriental Trading
Sweetheart Table Letters: Joyful Etsy Shop
Signature Frame: Michael's
Other Frames: Ikea Ribba Series

Wedding Night Hotel: The Houstonian
Honeymoon: Rio Palace Las Americas in Cancun {Booked through Cheap Caribbean}

I'd also like to leave you with some advice for planning an-almost-stress-free wedding. Not for planning the cutest, most original wedding in the world, but for keeping stress to a minimum throughout the process.
  • Stay organized. I kept a huge to-do list on Google Docs with headings for the ceremony, reception, attire, miscellaenous, and married life {like an apartment and health insurance}. I was constantly crossing off items and adding more. I also used Google Docs for a spreadsheet with the guest list {and an extra column for gifts recevied}, a seating chart, and a list of expenses. Finally, I had a wedding binder to house all the important paperwork.
  • Choose a reception venue that does everything for you. It was so nice to have an event planner to coordinate everything, worry about all the details and, most importantly, decorate. Your options aren't necessarily limited to country clubs or fancy banquet facilities. We seriously considered having the reception at Italiano's, the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner ended up at.
  • Don't read too many wedding magazines/blogs. If you become too obsessed with reading those great sources of inspiration, you will become consumed with wedding ideas and end up taking on way more than you can handle. The only wedding magazine I purchased was the Real Simple guide {of course} and I avoided looking online unless I needed a specific idea, like for the seating chart or centerpieces.
  • Shop online. It saves so much time and usually money. Plus, there's just tons of great options out there, especially on etsy. We took this to an extreme, even buying the wedding and bridesmaid dresses online.
  • Don't be too proud to ask for or accept help. I couldn't have survived without the help of Adam, my mom and, especially, Allison. They helped address the invitations, tie all those darn programs, and fluff all the pew bows. My mom saved the day when a flower crisis arose, the one stressful incident. Allison, my style guru, found the bridesmaid dresses, my lace shrug, and the cute "mr. and mrs." letters. She came up with our favor idea and even gave us a gift cerfiticate for engagement pictures.
And a few cost-saving tips for good measure:
  • Don't have an evening wedding. The food at our reception was literally half the price because it was at lunch time. And since the wedding was over around four, we got to spend extra time at the Houstonian!
  • Don't serve alcohol. Having an open bar could almost double the cost of your reception. Since Adam isn't 21 yet, we had the perfect excuse to avoid alcohol.
  • Use a grocery store instead of a florist. They did a fantastic job for a much, much better price. So, that's pretty much a no-brainer.
  • Get the boxed invitations from a craft store. I didn't want the cookie-cutter invitations you can find at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, so I ordered an invitation template from an awesome graphic designer for $75. Envelopes and paper brought the total cost to $150. While I love how the wedding stationery turned out, those generic invitations {especially with 40% coupons} would have been about a third of the price.
Those are just some things that worked for us. But every wedding is beautiful and there's definitely no right way to throw one! Although a few Bridezilla episodes come to mind that disprove that statement.