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Much to do about EVERRYTHING; the need for an Assistant on your Wedding Day

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Ladies, listen up, no matter how independent, talented, and organized you are, you will need help on your wedding day. And it’s not about quantity, it’s the quality. There is nothing worse than having a bunch of people around you with nothing to offer. I’ll take 3 dedicated people over 7 uncommitted people any day of the week. With all of your many task to tackle, don’t forget about assigning someone to take care of you, the Assistant. Think of the many reasons people decide to hire assistants, it’s no different for a wedding. The Assistant does everything you can’t do, and it’s certainly not because you are not capable. Quite the contrary, it’s because no one benefits from you being exhausted and overwhelmed due to being spread too thin, especially you.

You may think you don’t need to have one more person involved in the madness, aka your wedding, but your Assistant is crucial for having the most enjoyable wedding experience possible. Leading up to your big day, it’s easy to assume that everyone will know what you need and that you will too. However, much of wedding planning constantly changes, even up to the minutes before the ceremony begins. One week you could feel you need no help at all, the next week you are sinking in a pile of things to do. I know you are wondering, “If I already know what I want and who is supposed to help me, why should planning a wedding be so hard?” The answer, because people are involved, and when people are involved simple task can easily turn into hard ones. People change their minds, don’t keep their word, and make honest mistakes, and guess what, you are a person too. You are likely to change your mind or experience an unexpected change of plans that you could not prevent. A wedding is a constant work in progress because until it happens, you honestly have no idea what will take place on that day, and how it will turn out.

When thinking of who should be your Assistant, it is important to enlist someone that is equally committed to your wedding being as fabulous as you are. This person could play two roles, and also be a Maid of Honor or Mistress of Ceremony. If this is the case, make it clear to them that they serve in two roles. Don’t think because they have had your back so many times before that they will automatically know what to do in a wedding situation, especially if they  are not married or had a wedding of their own. Thoroughly discuss what their responsibilities will be. If your Assistant is not apart of the wedding party, then even better. It can be hard for people to stay poised because they are in the wedding, yet be constantly available for assisting. That is a sure way to drive a friend out of their mind.

Having an Assistant is also not a role that will be automatically encompassed in the duties of a Wedding Planner. Your assistant helps you be you’re best for the wedding and anticipates your needs before you voice them. While a Wedding Planner, only works on the wedding. If they are a very nice Wedding Planner, they will do their best to calm your nerves and assure you, but keep in mind that is not their job. If you are a DIY Bride, you will especially need someone to help you dot every “I” and cross every “T”. When under a certain amount of stress, whether good or bad, you won’t be able to remember everything . And there will be times when you may not have any more energy left or the ability to make one more decision, your Assistant will step in for you.

They go with you a million times to the wedding location, making sure your vision does not have any holes in it, and goes with you to craft stores to help you decide which color combinations are best. They are a shoulder for you to lean on, when you question why you decided to have a wedding in the first place. They tell you how to pose for your pictures, if the photographer drops the ball. They tell you to wipe your face, or reapply when your make up is coming off. They make sure you eat even if no one wants you to sit down and have a minute for yourself.  They are looking over the shoulders of the people you hired to ensure things are done the way you want. They get you water if your thirsty, and gather people when it’s time to take pictures. Trust me, you don’t want to have to yell “Hurry up, it’s time to take pictures!” on your big day.  They always have your best interest in mind.They are your shadow, and you will be so grateful you had them there. They take a lot of your crap and deserve all the free lunches and awesome gifts that you can give them when the wedding is over.  Again, don’t think these are obvious things that anyone would help you with or point out. Not so, people are too busy having a good time and may not really be thinking about you anymore. But your Assistant is always thinking about you.

Excerpt from Bride Confesses:  The Good, the Bad, and the Lovely

The Do’s and Don’ts for Planning the DIY Wedding of Your dreams

This is the one thing I was told to do, but didn’t bother to because I was simply too tired to contact another person. And because it didn’t present a current issue like so many others, it didn’t seem important, and I didn’t see the need to have it solved right away. I completely underestimated the role of the Assistant. It is honestly in the top 5 of important people for that day. The person you ask to be your Assistant needs to be strong and not care about what other people want, or care about being liked that day. They are only there for you and to make the behind the scenes parts of your wedding run exactly the way you planned. This is different from the Mistress of Ceremony role that is in charge making sure the events of the wedding that people see run smoothly from the beginning to the end.

Your Assistant is the person that tells you and your groom that you have something on your faces, finds and arranges the people to take pictures at the wedding, in case the photographer is not skilled in this area. They make sure to keep the both of you hydrated, and tells you if you need to touch up your make up.  They help you to change your clothes and make sure you are not running behind. They are your life saver for that day. To make sure they have an understanding of what will be expected of them, come up with a list of all their duties and make sure they have it in advance. Your Assistant should not only be there for you the day of the wedding, but also the months leading up to it. They will help you to communicate all areas you need help in. Believe it or not a lot of people don’t ask a Bride what she needs help with, but only offer to do what they are comfortable doing. And a lot of times a Bride may not know what she wants or needs until she actually needs it at that moment. She needs someone to stay a step ahead of her and to be able to communicate with everyone that’s involved when she can’t.

I hope that I have helped you in your decision of whether or not having an Assistant is necessary…it is.

To ensure that you get the best wedding assistant possible, follow these steps.

  • First, if you have someone in mind that you would like to have as your Assistant for your wedding day, then ask sooner than later. While they may not be planning your wedding, it still is a time commitment. Please be considerate about their current responsibilities.
  • Secondly, explain the role and your expectations to your Wedding Assistant. As a friend, it’s easy for them to get caught up in helping with everything else but forget about what you will be holding them accountable for.
  • Thirdly, your Wedding Assistant does not have to be in your same age group. When deciding who your assistant should be, you need someone reliable, positive, patient, and even tempered, not your twin.
  • And lastly, forget about using someone to be your Wedding Assistant that has been flaky in the past. Guess what, they will be flaky in the future. They will cause you unnecessary stress because you will want to replace them.

Remember…..Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be

Rachel Bryant Lundy

My Funny Acting Valentine…. I still don’t know how I feel about you

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Call me “cray cray” but I’m one of those strange creatures that prefers a gift that is pretty, and I can look at forever, instead of a gift that I will have to watch die or needs digesting. And, I’ve never been a fan of the high school graduation or last minute feel that balloons bring to any occasion. These sentiments combined with my background in finance, has me asking every time I see expensive yet corny V Day memorabilia, “what bill or savings account could this money have gone too?” I know, I’m strange or at least, not the most romantic person in the world. Thankfully, my husband leaves the over thinking to me and ignores my conspiracy theories on the meanings of this man- made holiday; otherwise there would be no fun in the Lundy household. I still find it hard to get super excited about this day, originally for lovers only.

Truthfully, my heart is torn over V Day. Yes, I am married now, but I’ve been “team single” for so long, that I still have the wounds from the triumphs and trials of a single girl’s heart. I can recall many times of committing to just sleeping through the day. Being single on V Day is just starting to be celebrated. It wasn’t that long ago that taking yourself out for a wonderful dinner was perceived as you being a glutton for punishment.  It was best to stay home, and tell yourself that all dine in restaurants were off limits until the next day. And even though you typically wouldn’t be dining anywhere as part of your daily routine, you instantly resented that if by chance you wanted to, you felt like you couldn’t. Suddenly a few hours of staying in, feels like an eternity.

Having worked in numerous retail stores that cater to women, and currently working next to a popular pharmacy, it’s hard for me to take V Day seriously while watching stores prep for it immediately after Christmas. Immediately folks, GEESH! I’m bombarded with so much chocolate and candy  so long before the day, that it almost fades away to background noise, and becomes lumped in with the other items I’ve learned to ignore while perusing down the aisle . How about the running jokes in my head, mocking the many relationships on life support, that use V Day as a way to quickly pump some life back into them. This typically backfires because someone has to ask “Why does it  take Valentine’s day for you to show how you feel about me?” And let’s not forget about the relationships  that  won’t have a chance of progressing, because this one day drops in as a bomb destroying everything in its path. Usually, one person feels it should be celebrated and would be if they were being taken seriously. The other might take the day seriously, but feel it is mainly for people that are committed and love each other, not just starting to get to know each other. Who’s to say which one is right, but  typically it is the woman that needs V Day validation, whether it’s  genuine or not.

We can’t ignore the awkwardness it causes between close friends, the one that has plans and the one that doesn’t. You can’t be a jerk to your single friend and ask what they are doing if they haven’t mentioned it to you. But of course they will ask what you are doing, which ends up making you look like a jerk anyway, just because you have something to do. This one day can cause a lot of drama. Even those of us who seem above it, are somehow drawn into the antics. As convicted as we are to not care about the day, it only takes one spouse of our coworkers to have something delivered to the work place that makes us run home to make sure were getting something too. And our whole “every day is valentine’s day” mantra goes flying out the window.

However, with all my cynicism about V Day I was able to find some good in it. Not a lot, but enough. Here me out and temporarily forget about my previous case against it. In our current society, where there is bad news bombarding our news feeds all the time, a day that focuses on giving love and appreciation might not be that bad.  It also gives our sweetie pies a chance to show their true colors even more.

My hubby and I were snowed in on V Day and the day before. The streets were a mess, but he caught the bus downtown to get my gift. And even though I had a specific request, he was still able to surprise me, just to show me he cared… I’ll stop bragging now. I guess when put that way, maybe we should have more than one V Day a year. Maybe it should be one for every season? With the use of Instagram, Flip gram, Twitter, and Facebook, feelings about love are able to be spread so much quicker, and end up dominating the news feeds that day. Taking our minds off the murders, kidnappings, robberies, etc., even if but for one day. And I’m happy to say the celebration of this day is becoming more inclusive. Now people are emphasizing the love for their children, spouse, coworkers, and best friends. It’s actually turning out to be a day of love, instead of a day just meant for lovers.

I guess the idealist in me is stronger than the skeptic part. And I wish that everyday people treated the ones they cared for as if it was V Day. In hopes of spreading more love in the world, maybe one day we all may learn to love first and love daily. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1st Peter 4:8).” Btw, on this V Day weekend, we were able to make it to two baby showers, YESSSSSSSS.

To better your chances of having less anxiety over future V Day’s, try implementing the following:

  • If you are not a fan of traditional gifts, let your Valentine know what items you would prefer in advance. The key is making sure you don’t let them know while receiving their gift. Being unappreciative is never smart, and greatly increases the chances of not getting any more gifts.
  • Keep the day in perspective. If you have a true Valentine, don’t make a big deal about it if you don’t get a gift on Valentine’s day. You may have gotten something else that was more important earlier in the week, like rent money. In my book, that counts the most.  There is no need to change your values for one day.
  • Be clear and honest in your communication with your spouse about what you can afford, if you honestly want to celebrate the day but don’t have the means to. You can still show how much you appreciate them by making a wonderful breakfast or dinner, followed by the best desert ever (wink, wink).
  • If you are single, you have two great options. You can ignore the whole day all together. Get some rest and save your money. Sadly, like most holidays now, the one who wins the most are the many stores that are patronized.  Tip: If you have friends that have plans don’t be bitter, be happy for them. You never know if they may know your future valentine. They will remember if they saw you give them side eye when they mentioned their plans, or if you genuinely were happy for them. Your second option is to find a group of people who are as pessimistic about it as you and make fun of the day for the rest of the evening.

I hope what I have shared makes your future V Days more enjoyable.

Remember…Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be.  

Rachel Bryant Lundy

“Woo chile”, these weekends sure fly by!

 Not long ago my Saturday mornings would consist of lying in bed, while watching episodes of the Pioneer Woman, and ordering in if I eventually became hungry. Now, as a new Bride, I find myself with a “to do list” to tackle every Saturday morning. Mainly to ensure that the next work week runs smoothly and to keep my happy home, happy. Not to mention trying to squeeze in baby showers and birthday parties, of which there is never a shortage.  And, oh yeah, the most important “to do”, spend quality time with the man I just married. However, the bright side is at least I have an awesome partner in crime to help me tackle those things. Albeit, a partner that loves to get up early and stay busy, while I prefer not to do anything until the feeling hits me. Some say I’m lazy, but because I’m an artist, I prefer to call it, inspiration driven.

On Thursday evening, my sweet husband called my mother and offered to take her to work on Friday because she doesn’t like to drive in bad weather. She declined the ride but instead offered to take us to breakfast on Saturday. We both love food, and don’t turn down meals, especially free ones. The only problem, I would have to get up at 7:15 a.m., same as any other day. Oh well, breakfast at our favorite spot in Baltimore, Sip and Bite, is worth it.  It’s a small 24 hour diner known for its Greek food, but we only eat there for breakfast, and sells the best crab cakes you will ever taste.

We arrived at our favorite diner, to be waited on by our favorite sassy waitress. She and my husband are always at each other’s throats, both of them tough on the outside, and soft on the inside. Once seated my mother says “This is just like the bar cheers, where everyone knows your name”. The waitress replied “Yea everybody knows me as bit**.” Our whole table burst out with laughter. It’s really hard to be offended by a funny person. And besides the food, the main reason for going to a diner is the free entertainment. While eating breakfast, we have a discussion that never gets old, church politics and the rebellious nature of children brought up in the church.

Stuffed from breakfast, and a little tired from taking my mom to run some errands once we got home we decide to do something different, and not do anything else for the rest of the day. Before we knew  it, there was 8 p.m., and we were now thinking about what to wear for church tomorrow. So once again I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m., while thinking of the errands left to do tomorrow that we put off today.

By Sunday evening, we managed to have all the errands done, and I was able to have dinner ready in time to watch some “comforting foolishness” Real Housewives of Atlanta. My husband is easy to please as long as a meal has rice in it, but I’m a little old school,and I believe if you are not going out for Sunday dinner, then it should require a little more effort than usual. So, I took my stab at making potato salad that I haven’t made in over two years. The ingredients that go into it are pretty simple, but I forgot how much elbow grease it takes, if you want it to be good. I also made collard greens seasoned with turkey necks, and fried chicken. I was tired but it was so worth it.

Dinner was definitely my biggest accomplishment this weekend, because it was done out of love for my family, and it was good. Yeah, I’m cheesy, you can blame it on the Donna Reed episodes my father used to make me watch.

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By late Sunday night, my husband and I started lamenting over not being ready for Monday, but equally content that it had been an enjoyable weekend with together. Although the new schedule and demands of newlywed life has been an adjustment, I think we are doing pretty good, and it will only get better.

To get the most out of your weekends with your spouse, try incorporating these 5 things:

  • Pay attention to your spouse’s approach to the weekend. To keep both people happy, be open to doing things the way they want and meeting them half way. One of you may have to get up a little earlier, and the other, a little later.
  • Find a way to recharge your batteries on the weekend, so you don’t dread the upcoming work week. Take a long nap, long bath, or go for a long walk to clear your head. Those one or two hours focusing on yourself will do wonders for your mood, because you won’t feel like you are giving all your time to others with none left for you.
  • Have a plan for what things you normally need to do during the weekend to provide structure, and discuss what you are going to do on the weekend earlier in the week. So, if there are changes to your normal routine or plans, everyone will be made aware in advance.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different than you normally do, and loose the routine for the weekend. Avoid forcing yourself to do what you don’t feel like, if it’s not a necessity. If you want to, do it. If not, then don’t.
  • Continue to work on your relationship with your spouse. It’s easy to get caught up in making sure the home runs smoothly and end up forgetting about the people in the home.

I hope what I’ve shared helps to make  your weekends a little less chaotic and more enjoyable.

Remember….Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be.

Rachel Bryant Lundy

Flowers: To be Fake or Not to be, that is the Question

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You may be wondering will people be whispering at my wedding “She couldn’t afford real ones” or “They look so cheap, where did she get them from?” if you choose to use artificial flowers. If you decide to use real flowers you may wonder if people will say “She didn’t use enough” or “She should have used a different kind”. It’s easy to agonize over what people will say on your big day. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether or not to use real or artificial flowers. But, a factor that should definitely not be one is the “people factor”. I will admit at one time there may have been a negative stigma when using artificial flowers but thankfully the world of wedding designing has evolved. And now the more common terms used for fake flowers are silk or artificial and they are becoming increasingly popular. Tip: Your choice of using real or artificial flowers in your wedding should be based on your preference, your design theme, and your budget not what will people think.

At the beginning of your flower search keep in mind the kinds of flowers that will most easily work well with the colors of your wedding. Then, begin to consider availability. Based on the amount of flowers you want, if they are real, certain ones may not be in season. If they are artificial, they may be in a limited supply from a retailer. Tip: If you plan on being creative and have a specific design theme in mind, it may be safer to use artificial flowers. If you want a more elegant affair then real flowers always add a special touch and are best for large budgets.

            What I most love about flowers is that even if you have never been a person that really liked them, you will find that with so many choices you are bound to find a combination that you will love. You can be bold, understated, rugged and country, or glamorous. Tip: You can use flowers to say a lot about yourself and the groom. Don’t be afraid to have fun and let your personality shine through. However, unless it is intentional and you are using a combination, you must have the same flowers displayed throughout your wedding. Once you pick a style of flower, it is best that you stick with it. Having a different style of flower appear out of nowhere may not be noticeable to your guest but it has the ability to drive you crazy.

To make sure you get the most out of your flowers and do not regret your decision, try to do these 3 things:

  • First, to save time and money decide on the flower that you like the most based on the color choices of your wedding. This will help you stick with your initial vision and prevent you from changing your mind half way through.
  • Secondly, to avoid being surprised, thoroughly research the prices of flowers based on the amount that you will need for both real and artificial with 10 percent extra. This will leave room for error or an unexpected change in design.
  • Lastly, do not underestimate the impact flowers make on your special day. Avoid waiting untll the last minute or being indifferent and letting someone else make the decision for you. Without proper planning it can leave a lasting negative impression on your pictures, memories, and overall wedding experience.

I hope I have given you a good start when thinking of where to begin in regards to your flower search. You can never go wrong when you make the choice that is best for your wedding, not other people’s expectations. Flowers may seem like a small part of the wedding as compared to your dress or location, but it is the small things that make the big things even better.

Remember….stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride To Be!

Rachel Bryant Lundy