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Survive Wedding Planning: Your Chill Pill Prescription

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Survive Wedding Planning: Your Chill Pill Prescription

This week, Selwa Lukoskie, founder of SolaceSing Productions will be sharing her insight on how to relieve stress during wedding planning. Selwa founded her company out of a desire to tell other peoples’ stories through music. She helps brides and grooms relive their stories by crafting custom wedding songs.

In her words:

I was a DIY bride on a budget who planned her entire wedding from scratch. In fact, when it was all over, I was convinced that I should become a wedding planner. I don’t say this to brag. In fact, though I’m one of the most organized people I know, I’m not sure I could ever be a wedding coordinator. The process of planning my own wedding was very stressful, because I wanted it to be the most perfect day of my life. After all, I was only going to do this once (assuming all goes well).

Through it all, I realized how important it is to minimize your stress level. Even if you don’t do it alone, it can be a very nerve wracking process, and it’s crucial for your health and for the happiness of all involved that you remain at peace. Here are some tips on overcoming stress that I garnered from my own wedding planning experience:

Hire a wedding planner

Wedding planners do it for a living, and they work with multiple brides at one time.
They have connections to vendors and are often able to secure lower prices on goods and services. If you can work a wedding coordinator into your budget, it can save you a lot of time and headache in the end, as they will be in charge of all the little details. This will leave you to focus on the bigger stuff, such as who to invite and where to buy the perfect wedding gown. And, you’ll have more time to spend with your future husband. Remember, he is the reason you’re doing all of this in the first place.

Enlist the help of your wedding party

If you can’t afford to hire a wedding planner, you can still ask your friends, family, and bridesmaids for help. Invite them over for an afternoon and devote a few hours to addressing those wedding invitations. I had a hard time asking my bridesmaids for help, because I didn’t want to inconvenience them. But if they don’t want to help you, they wouldn’t have said yes to being in your wedding in the first place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Treat yourself to a spa day

Get a massage; or a facial; or a manicure and pedicure; or splurge and get all four. You’ve put a lot of hard work into planning this occasion and you deserve to relax. Spa days also make great bridesmaid gifts if you’re at a loss on how to say thanks to your girlfriends for all their help.

Be prepared

No wedding is perfect. Things can and will go wrong, so prepare for it. Pack an emergency kit that includes deodorant, breath mints, makeup, a nail file, extra pantyhose, a mirror, dental floss, and anything else you think you might need at the last minute. If you have children in your wedding, be prepared for the unexpected. I received this piece of advice from our wedding director a few months before our big day: “Tell yourself, over and over that you’re going to have the best day of your life, no matter what happens, and you will have the best day of your life, no matter what happens.” She was right.

Remember who, and what, this is really all about

You can’t please everyone. Though you’ll probably have friends and family members insisting that you implement their “two cents” into your ceremony or reception, in the end, your wedding day is about two people: you and your groom. Ultimately, it comes down to the two of you and your unique love story.

As a singer/songwriter, music is my solace in times of stress. Before I was even engaged, I had decided to write a song for my future husband and surprise him with it on our wedding day. Throughout the wedding planning process, I would sit down and play this song, to remind myself of our story, and why I was doing this. The excitement over seeing his face when it played during our first dance was both comforting and motivating. If you find yourself stressed over the little details of your wedding day, go back and relive the bigger picture – your story – the best way you know how. Your wedding day will go by so fast that most of the little details will disappear from your memory. What will remain is what is most important: your husband, your relationship, and your story.

For more information

If you’d like Selwa to help you relive your story by writing a special custom wedding song, please visit her website at, or email her at

Follow her on Twitter
Like SolaceSing on Facebook

To begin your custom invitation design, contact Mara by clicking here.

Survive Wedding Planning: Choose Your Photographer

Survive Wedding Planning: Choose Your Photographer

In this segment of the Survive Wedding Planning series, learn how to choose the right photographer to capture wedding photos that you love from Steve and Jessica Fox of Steven F. Fox Photography.

The Team

Steve and Jessica have been photographing weddings since the spring of 2006 and love working together. Steve’s extensive training and background in commercial photography give him a modern style of portraiture that captures emotion in beautiful and creative ways. Jessica is a photojournalist who is passionate about people and relationships and enjoys capturing details and unique moments. Steven F. Fox Photography is a professional studio located in Holland and available for travel worldwide.

Steven F. Fox Photography

Steven F. Fox Photography

Your Budget and Research

Consider the importance of photographs when setting your wedding budget and selecting who will capture the moments of your day. Not only does a professional photographer have the equipment and experience needed to work in a wide variety of situations but they also know how to interact professionally with your other vendors and your guests. Keep in mind that at the end of the day when your vows have been said, the cake has been cut and the last dance has been shared you will be left with your dress, your memories and your photographs.

There are so many options out there that finding the perfect photographer can be overwhelming. It is important to take time to find out what types of photographs you like the best. I consider a photograph “good” if I want to see myself in it. Knowing what you like will help narrow down the list of options and give you a more manageable list of people to meet with.

Steven F. Fox Photography

Steven F. Fox Photography

Choosing Your Photographer

When you are meeting with photographers (or any vendor for that matter) be sure to ask questions that are important to you. There are some great lists of questions out there but if the questions don’t apply to what you want to know then the answers won’t help you decide who is a good fit for your wedding day vision. A few questions I would ask are:

1. How long have you been photographing weddings?
2. Who will photograph my wedding if you have an emergency?
3. Do you have back-up equipment?
4. Do you bring lighting for indoor portraits and the reception?
5. How would you describe your style of photography?

Steven F. Fox Photography

Steven F. Fox Photography

Your photographer is going to be with you all day long, so be sure that you are very comfortable with the person who will be your shadow on the most special day of your life. Your wedding day can also be stressful so having someone there who is calm and confident plus willing to help when needed is HUGE!

Steven F. Fox Photography

Steven F. Fox Photography

Working with Your Photographer

Have clear expectations and be sure to talk with your vendors about them. We will do everything in our power to capture beautiful, creative and memorable images but we cannot meet an expectation if we are not aware of it. If you have very specific ideas be sure to discuss them with your photographer and give them the material and the time they need to capture your vision.

Steven F. Fox Photography

Steven F. Fox Photography

For more information, visit Jessica and Steve’s website:

Email them at: or
Call them: 616-550-5661

Thanks for the great information, Steve and Jessica! Did you find your dream photographer? Were you able to use this article? Do you have a question for Steve or Jessica? Leave a comment below! We love to hear your thoughts!

For more wedding inspiration visit March 27 Designs!

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It’s all in the details… maybe?

It’s all in the details… maybe?

I’m not going to lie, I love details. Anything fuzzy, sparkly, small, intriquite, intriguing and delicate. Love, love! So as you can imagine, putting together my wedding this spring caused a few headaches…

One such headache came on the morning of my first dress fitting. I had an appointment at noon, and I didn’t have shoes. At all. Because my wedding was at the end of March, I had procrastinated so badly in this, debating whether or not to buy closed-toe boots in case of a far too common Michigan snowstorm, or if I should go with the traditional elegant heels in hopeful anticipation of decent weather.

When the stores opened at 10, I knew I had just over an hour and a half to find the perfect pair. Elegant, classy, and comfortable, with just a little something to make them perfect. Details. Oh, and they had to be ivory to match my dress.

So I began my rampage at the local mall, running from store to store several times, trying on shoes and annoying the sales associates by asking for different colors and sizes that clearly didn’t exist… I tried! On my third run to Macy’s I found a pair on the clearance rack that were perfect–all except for the size, so the sales associate there politely called all of the other local Macy’s stores and asked if they carried my size. There was one pair left at the mall across town and I had 45 minutes to go before my appointment.

I’m sure I drove like a maniac. And I’m sure that in my crazy bridezilla head all I could think about was how my dress would be altered incorrectly if I didn’t have my wedding shoes when I went to try on the dress. So I got to Macy’s, ran to the shoe department, asked for the shoes by name, bought them and left to go to my dress alteration appointment.

After arriving, I realized I had a problem. The shoes were the wrong color.

Can you believe it?

I must have had fifteen minutes to go when I saw a DSW and was able to go inside and immediately find my wedding shoes.

(thanks for the photo, LVL Photography!)

After all of that, it only took 15 minutes to find my wedding shoes and the color, height and sparkle were just right. And they didn’t even have to alter the length of the dress.

Weddings can be very stressful, but at the end of the day, you will be married. And nothing can stop that, not even an elusive detail.

Visit my website to learn more about what I do at March 27 Designs!