So you’ve found your soulmate and the idea of spending the rest of your lives together is all you need – or so you thought. It seems that the moment you announce your engagement, life swiftly moves from the honeymoon phase to the grind of planning a wedding. Some couples are built for this, while others dread the thought and contemplate eloping.

In an effort to “have it all,” modern couples find they’re having to balance conflicting ideas – embracing their wedding vision, but wanting to please their families, trying to enjoy their engagement, while also stressing about organizing the big day. Keeping your sanity during this process is key and that’s where a combination of mindfulness and working with expert partners is key.

STAYING CONSCIOUS IN THE WEDDING CHAOS

Planning a wedding can be stressful because it compels two people to combine their set of values and lives together– not to mention their bank accounts. In an effort to keep your relationship intact, it’s crucial to make a conscious effort to put the health of your future marriage ahead of your actual wedding day.

ALIGN ON EXPECTATIONS & FINANCES

It’s been said that expectation is the root of all heartache. Before you begin planning, it’s important to sit down and discuss what’s most important to each of you and what level of involvement you each want in the planning process. While both of us work full time, we knew that planning our wedding wouldn’t be balanced between the two of us. We discussed and delegated tasks to each other throughout the process, but also enlisted an expert planner (more on her below!) to help us stay true our vision, but realistically navigate the wedding timeline. Our overall advice: pick the three most important elements for your wedding together and don’t compromise on them. For us, we wanted stellar food, an awesome band and a unique location that was convenient for our guests.

You should also discuss your individual financial situations and establish a realistic budget before you sign any contracts to prevent racking up debt. You don’t want the celebration of a lifetime to prevent you from reaching future financial goals down the line, such as buying a house or accumulating assets.

PUT YOURSELVES FIRST & SUPPORT EACH OTHER

Couples tend to receive a lot of unsolicited advice on planning their wedding, especially from family members. It’s important for both of you to put each other and your shared wedding vision first. Don’t give in to pressures of your family at the cost of selling out your partner. After you get married, you will create your own family – so that’s your new priority. Start practicing shutting out negative influences that could ultimately drive a wedge between both of you.

When you inevitably get overwhelmed during the planning process, you will find the best thing to do is talk to your fiancé. Your spouse can help calm you down and see things rationally. Bringing a problem — regardless of whether it’s related to the wedding — to your partner will only help you solve it faster. Having someone you can count on for better or for worse is the biggest marriage perk of them all.

STAY OPEN TO COMPROMISE & BE KIND

The process of planning a wedding may be the best crash course in compromise available. It’s important to include elements specific to both of your individual tastes, preferences, and interests. If you disagree with something, step back and consider how much that one element truly matters to you. If it’s not a lot, let that one go. However, don’t be afraid to speak up for the components that are important to you. Lastly, make sure you discuss these topics at a time when both of you are in the correct frame of mind to make a rational decision.

Also remember to be kind to one another. When you’re in the midst of wedding planning, it’s easy to lose perspective and visualize what life will be like after the big day. Make the time to go on fun adventures or dates together where wedding topics are off-limits. Do nice things for one another — even something as simple as cleaning the house or cooking dinner for your partner can make a big difference on a particularly stressful day. Lastly, never forget to say “thank you” and “I love you.”

TRUST THE WEDDING EXPERTS

When it comes to finding partners to work with, it’s important that they understand your wedding vision and carry out your ideas with a high degree of professionalism. We wanted partners who appreciated our whimsical sense of style but were also visionary artists in their own right. After extensive research, we opted for an eclectic set of wedding vendors all who went above and beyond to make our wedding truly the best day of our lives.

Importantly, our team of partners helped keep us sane during the planning process and calm during the big day. They ensured we were able to thoroughly enjoy the moment without needing to stress about anything the day of. Trust them to do the same for you.

COPPER + CHLOE WEDDING PLANNING

Planning, organizing and executing a wedding will very likely be the most difficult task you undertake as a couple. It could easily be considered a full-time job with the constant coordination between the venue and vendors, logistics for the big day and adding in all of those unique touches to make your day special. This is where your wedding planner comes in.

We enlisted the extremely talented Amanda DiNardi from copper + chloe – a full service wedding and special event planning business. She offers a variety of custom packages to tailor each and every one of your event’s needs. From full planning and design to event management, any vision you dream of will come to life with copper + chloe. Amanda is an extremely hands on, focused, invested and involved in every little detail for your event. Most importantly, she keeps your stress levels to a minimum throughout the process and on the big day. Everything was seamless from the ceremony to the reception.

Amanda is your first in command, the person leading the event. Sure, your venue will most likely have a Venue Coordinator and Maitre D, however, your wedding planner will be working with you and your fiancée intimately for a year or more. Amanda takes the time to know you and your personalities as individuals and as a couple, to ensure all your wants and needs are completely fulfilled. Importantly, she handles almost all of the heavy lifting to ensure your planning process and big day are as stress free as possible.

LAUREN ASHLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Lauren Ashley is one of the top wedding photographers in NJ for artists and creatives alike. She is a cultural creative at heart on a mission to beautifully capture and illustrate special moments between couples everywhere. We loved her for our wedding because of her airy, whimsical, & authentic approach. We especially appreciated how she enjoys keeping things relaxed and fun during her sessions while working hard to capture the perfect moments. She absolutely loves those unique candid photos that capture love and make couples appreciate their intimate connection.

Lauren treats every wedding assignment as the most important day of your life and ensures that it is documented in the most beautiful and unique way possible. Lauren is with you every step of the way from the beginning of your day straight through to the end, making sure every single moment is captured beautifully. She guided us throughout the entire process ensuring we were organized with a detailed shot list for the big day while helping to corral family members on the ground.

When it comes to getting your pictures, Lauren delivers a sneak peek within mere weeks following your wedding – which is crucial to helping the newly married couple relive and piece together what is undoubtedly a blur of memories.

RIVRE FILMS WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY

When it came to finding an artistic wedding videographer, we had to look no further than Lucas from Rivre Films. Lucas is another artist at heart who is obsessed with all things creative and takes on every assignment through the unique lens of a cinematographer.

He believes that weddings are a pivotal point in the life of a couple and are a once in a lifetime opportunity to cherish. He loves capturing moments between people in love and documenting raw emotion. Providing couples with something to relive those moments is why he loves what he does.

We appreciated his completely unique approach in which he seamlessly melds the old with the new. You’ll often see him using his vintage camera to capture special moments between couples and play with lighting which is beautifully woven throughout your video.

BRIDAL MAKEUP BY MAKE ME UP EVA

As a bridal makeup artist, Eva loves making women feel good about themselves. What’s unique about her approach is that she asks questions and listens first. She finds this to be so important because her client’s personal vision, needs, and comfort are the utmost priority.

Eva’s aesthetic style as an artist is soft, fresh, timeless & elegant. She focuses on creating polished looks that enhances her client’s natural beauty and helps them feel like the best version of themselves. We enlisted Eva for a makeup trial (ideal for your engagement photo shoot included in your package from Lauren Ashley) as well as the wedding day bridal party makeup.

Our bride usually does not wear a lot of makeup and wanted a romantic natural look for her special day – which Eva delivered perfectly. The makeup stayed the entire night without any unwanted running, greasiness, or reapplication of anything other than lipstick and gloss.

WEDDING FLOWERS BY FLOWER CHILD FLORAL

When it came to selecting a florist, Flowerchild Floral was our first and only choice. Their founder, Chelsie Mesanko, is the daughter of a florist and literally grew up around weddings. She spent much of her childhood being lugged around to early-morning flower market runs in San Francisco. That West coast upbringing certainly comes to life in her unique floral style and bohemian vibe.

Chelsie works with you hand-in-hand to match your wedding vision, unique color palette and textures. For us that meant lots of greenery and beachy elegance at an affordable price. We enlisted her expertise in embracing the natural quirks and beauty of the blooms that allowed our flowers to speak for themselves and set hearts a flutter. We especially loved that Chelsie always sources her flowers from local farms and hand picks them at a local market for your special event.

WEDDING MUSIC BY SILVER ARROW BAND

Founded in 2012, the Silver Arrow Band has been setting the industry standard for event music in the United States ever since. Their huge roster of musicians are passionate about creating memorable events and assembling a completely customized band catered to your needs. We worked with them to build an 8-piece band completely designed to our musical tastes and ideal setlist.

The Silver Arrow Band prides themselves on knowing just what to play and when to play it. It isn’t enough just to fill your dancefloor – they want you to love the music! Every song from the start of the day until you drive away together as a married couple is tailored especially for you. Or, if you prefer a more hands off approach, just leave it all up to them.

We especially liked their unique online planning system which allowed us to customize our day-of schedule and playlist–and update it as many times as we liked leading up to the wedding. This means a lot more control and less stress. We listed out our musical preferences, favorite genres/songs and even the tune we wanted to end the night with. With budget levels for every kind of event, the Silver Arrow Band will be sure to have something for everyone.

WEDDING CAKE BY THE VINTAGE CAKE

The Vintage Cake has set the standard for combining taste with beauty. We love them because of the incredible selection of high end cakes and toppings. Not only are they cake designers, but also professionally trained Pastry Chefs. Like all our vendors, they are true to their craft and strive to produce the highest quality cakes and desserts using their experience as career Pastry Chefs and practicing only the best professional techniques.

From your tasting to your cake cutting, the Vintage Cake aims for perfection in designs and excellence in taste. They are inspired by the timeless beauty of vintage design, while dedicated to producing cakes that are custom to their clients’ vision. We opted for a three tiered cake with each layer customized with it’s own flavored sponge cake, filling and addition. Some of our favorite layer combinations included chocolate sponge with cookies & cream buttercream and frangipane rainbow cake with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry jam. YUM!

OKAMOTO STUDIO CUSTOM COCKTAIL ICE

Shintaro Okamoto the creative force behind Okamoto Studio and Ice Modern, a NYC-based artist collective best known to produce artful installations and performances out of crystal clear ice. Shintaro embraces the craft and its business as his calling to introduce ice that is most unique and relevant to today’s audience. From designing the runway for Zac Posen to collaborating on the display window with Barneys New York to competing alongside Chef Morimoto in Iron Chef America, Shintaro thrives on offering new ways to play the ephemeral quality of ice as the perfect metaphor for the ‘here and the now.’

We enlisted Shintaro’s expertise to create custom ice blocks for our signature His cocktail, The Maker. Quality ice can make or break a cocktail so it was important our ice be of the utmost quality, crystal clear and large enough not to dilute the drink. For an additional special touch, go for the customized engraving.

MITCHELL’SNY LOGISTICS HIGH END DELIVERY

When it comes to getting everything you need delivered on time and in one piece, trust the guys from Mitchell’sNY Logistics. They went above and beyond to ensure our custom ice order from Okamoto Studio was handled with extreme care and urgency travelling from NYC to our wedding venue in South Jersey. Everything from the booking process to the hourly updates from our coordinator/driver was seamless. Our ice arrived on time in one of their top-of-the-line freezer trucks and was handled with the utmost care. In addition to handling our custom ice, they can also deliver your wedding cake and anything else you can imagine. Trust Mitchell’sNY Logistics for your most high end important deliveries and everything in between.

NEXT DAY WEDDING BRUNCH BY PLAYA BOWLS

Playa Bowls has become a local (and now national) staple for acai and superfruit bowls. Arguably one of the best things to have after a surf session or a long night of partying. Do what we did and enlist the Playa Bowls team to cater the day after your wedding. Their full service event team will roll up with the Playa Bowls food truck or set up a table right outside the hotel where you and your guests are staying.

The Playa Bowls were a huge hit with our guests, many of whom had never experienced an acai bowl before. Their awesome events staff will work with you to completely customize your menu and bring along several ingredients for your guests to “build their own bowls”. The setup worked perfectly for us and there really is nothing better than a Playa Bowl the day after your wedding!

About The Author

Conscious Connection

Conscious Connection is the digital magazine for cultural creatives. We are a global collective of writers, artists, philosophers, adventurers and business leaders dedicating to making an impact doing what we love.

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