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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: Cake Design

Survive Wedding Planning: Cake Design

The first part of our Survive Wedding Planning blog series is all about the cake! Learn all you need to know from local expert, Lori Hawkins from Desserts by Lori in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Passion

I started this business purely for the love of seeing people’s faces when they see and then taste my cakes, desserts, or other sugary creations! With wedding cakes, we set up before everyone arrives, so I miss that initial reaction – so when they follow up with me by sending me pictures of them with their cake, and let me know how much they enjoyed it – that is a great feeling!

Desserts by Lori

Desserts by Lori

Advice from the Expert

All brides should make a point of having a taste-test and consult with several bakeries. Just because someone’s website shows their artistic skill, does not mean that their cakes taste good, and vise-versa! Be respectful of the appointment – I have had a few no-shows or late appointments – most brides do not understand that the bakery probably baked a special cake sample just for them!

Bring ideas with you. Your cake artist will want to get a sense of your style! Many times our brides bring us several pictures, and want different features from each cake picture. We will then combine it to make it uniquely theirs.

Desserts by Lori

Desserts by Lori

Bakeries will be charging you by the slice, not the size of the cake layers. Each cake shape/size serves different amounts of people. Have an estimate of your guest list and the cake artist can help you figure out how big of a cake you will need. A tip for budget-conscious brides: Most brides are getting a smaller cake, and then ordering sheet cakes to make up the difference in guest count. After you and your groom cut the cake, it is whisked away to the kitchen to be cut and served to your guests – along with the sheet cake that will already be in the kitchen.

Desserts by Lori

Desserts by Lori

Another “hidden” charge comes from your venue. Check with your venue to see if they have a cake cutting/serving cost. I’m shocked that some of the venues charge more to cut and serve the cake than I charge to bake, design, and deliver it!

With that in mind, we are seeing a lot of brides wanting cupcake towers, so their guests can serve themselves; therefore cutting out that cost. To keep with the cake-cutting tradition, a small one-layer cake can be made for cutting.

Desserts by Lori

Desserts by Lori

Fondant: A big misconception is that fondant (rolled sugar-dough that covers the cake) is bad-tasting. Yes, there are some bad-tasting ones out there, but there are some great-tasting fondants now! The fondant gives a great artistic-palate for us to work with, is exceptional smooth and perfect-looking, and allows us to put on satin ribbons and other special things on the cake. There is buttercream underneath, and the fondant is soft enough to cut, so your guests can choose to eat it or eat around it!

Trends this Season

1. Black and white cakes

Black and White Trend

Desserts by Lori

2. Cake jewelry – broaches (some heirlooms from grandparents, some new) placed somewhere on the cake (in the middle of bows, etc.) Dripping crystals on wire, rhinestones.

3. Ribbons – satin ribbons can only be put on fondant. (Buttercream will soak right through them)

Desserts by Lori

Desserts by Lori

4. Surprise Groom’s cake (the sky is the limit on these!)

5. Table cakes – each cake gets a little cake, some decorated specifically for those guests, and the couple married the longest gets to cut the cake. The wonderful thing about these is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on centerpieces, because they are eaten!

Susan and Lori from Desserts by Lori

Susan and Lori from Desserts by Lori

For More Information

Check out designs and more information at Lori’s website.

Phone: 616.554.5500
Find Desserts by Lori on Facebook

Thanks for the great information, Lori! What does your dream cake look like? Did you find this article helpful? Do you have a question for Lori? Leave a comment below! We love to hear your thoughts!

For more wedding inspiration visit March 27 Designs!

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