You're Engaged! Now what? Using Paper to Plan – Sarah Drake Design
Shopping Basket

You're Engaged! Now what? Using Paper to Plan

January 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Congratulations! Engagements are an exciting, and often overwhelming, time in one's life. When I was planning my Santa Barbara nuptials, I was completely overwhelmed by all the decisions that had to be made. I was 26, and planning it with the help of my family of co-workers at the Santa Barbara Independent, my circle of wedding planners. Without their advice, I probably wouldn't have gotten married at all. For many of you, a planner or designer is the appropriate choice- he or she will help you with all of the details, from setting a budget, to helping design the look of your event(s), to choosing vendors, to making sure the day runs smoothly.... I could go on! There are tons of planners and event stylists out there, and it's important to choose someone who has a personality and style you feel right at home with- you will be spending a lot of time with her, and putting trust into her to make decisions for you and your family. One of the most essential things I learned, was to prioritize. If you look at the wedding planning as a huge mountain to climb, you'll definitely get overwhelmed by the stress of planning such a huge event. I know for me, tears and anxiety definitely played a roll. I had never had to plan anything larger than a birthday party, and most of you, unless you're already a seasoned entertainer, won't have done it either. Breaking it up into small steps will help you feel as if you're making progress, and will feel much more manageable. So how do you begin to pull together the celebration of your dreams? You've probably already starting pinning from your favorite blogs, gathering ideas you love. And that's a great place to start, to get a sense of your style, if you're not sure. But all those images will start to overwhelm you if you don't have a few kew details in place. It great to know that you want unglazed cake and linen napkins; trophy vessels for your floral, and a farm table outside, with fairy lights hanging from the trees. But, before you can secure these small details, a few key things will help you plan the decor and overall look of your design. The rest of pieces will fall into place. I'm partial to paper- It just helps me see details as a whole, when they are laid out in front of me. 1. Buy a three ring binder from an office store, and some way to section it out. I liked those clear plastic sleeves. I know, not very romantic, but I was able to place contracts, business cards, images from magazines, fabric swatches into sections, marked: ceremony, reception, photographer, florist, transportation, invitations, etc. Bring this to your meetings with vendors, so that they can see your vision for the entire day, and make appropriate suggestions. My binder housed everything, from contracts to tears, to all my notes and guest list:

2. Magazines! Sitting into front of the computer all day at work, and then at night planning your big day can be exhausting. Take a break from the screens and relax with your favorite drink, and start to go through a few. Tear out the images that speak to you. These are the tears I showed my dress designer for the organza overlay in back and front of my dress.

3. Calendar. Once you have your wedding date, (which will only come after you choose your location, so I'm a little ahead of you) you can start to work backwards from it. Now, I can only speak to when you should order your stationery, and a wedding designer or planner can help you with the entire timeline, as it's complex. But if you do like to see it all laid out, this planner roundup from Oh, So Beautiful Paper will help you choose a stylish and functional planner to pop in your bag, and dedicate to the entire planning process for the year.

My picks: left, right. Once you get a little organized, the following should be first on your list to nail down: Budget, Location, and then your first vendor to secure - your photographer. Good luck!


Leave a comment

Your email addresss will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Keep up to date on events, special announcements, and news


2010 calendar 826CHI afternoon of bridal luxury alternate boutineer Amazing Wedding Cakes anthropologie antique bottle centerpieces apple pie recipe art art museum wedding aspen tree invitations at home authentic design inspiration b corporation beach Behind the Scenes Bella Umbrella best apple pie recipe best corporate gifts best margarita recipe best midwest wedding vendors best online wedding invitations best toffee recipe best wedding blog best wedding gift Big Basin Big sur bird design birds black and white invitation black and white invitations blind stamp blue wedding invitations book lined envelopes booklet inviations botanical calendar botanical invitations branding bridal shower theme budget friendly wedding centerpieces butterfly notecard butterfly place cards cake girls calendar California California Road Trip calla lily invitation calligraphy calling cards candle paper wraps Capitola Carla Ten Eyck & Co. casa covarrubius casa covarruubius casual centerpieces for weddings Causemetics cherry blossom wedding invitation Chiacgo chicago Chicago band Chicago Bridal Event chicago corporate invitations Chicago Custom Wedding chicago custom wedding invitation chicago custom wedding invitations chicago designer chicago event planner chicago florist chicago graphic designers chicago invitation designer chicago invitations chicago letterpress invitations chicago logo design chicago monogram designer chicago museum wedding chicago stationery store chicago wedd Chicago Wedding chicago wedding events chicago wedding invitations chicago wedding planning chicago wedding registries chicago wedding registry chicago wedding retailer Chicago Wedding Shows Chicago Wedding Vendors chicago wedding workshops chicago weddings china painting clover and bee color palette Color Story color trends company values connecticut event planner conneticut photographers contest cool mom picks corporate gifts corporate invitations cotton paper coupon code couture correspondence creative retreat creativity custom bedding custom chandelier custom chicago invitations custom china custom cocktail napkins custom crest custom dishes custom envelope liner custom envelope liners custom gift registry custom gifts custom guest book custom handkerchief custom holiday cards custom holiday cards holiday plus save the date custom home custom invitations custom lighting custom linen custom linens custom logo custom monogram custom monograms custom plates custom postage stamps custom programs custom room design custom stamp custom stamps custom stationery custom stoneware custom thank you note custom thank you notes custom wax seals custom wedding dresses custom wedding invitation custom wedding invitations custom wedding invitations chicago cut and paste Datura: A Modern Garden design competition design process Desk Accessories Dessert Menu discount discount stationery DIY DIY holiday card Dove Grey Dr. Jazz and the New Orleans Sounds earth day edged invitations edged wedding invitations edging El Salvador elizabeth messina Elizabeth Porcher Jones Calligraphy embroidered linen napkins embroidered linens embroidered napkins embroidery engagement party ideas engagement party themes engraved invitations engraved wedding invitations entertaining equestrian invitation escort card escort cards estera events events jubilee Events Jubille fall color palettes fall colors fall fashion fall wedding themed table farmer's market fashion inspired wedding invitations favorites feather invitation feathers fine china first year anniversary flat printed invitations Flight thank you cards floral floral design floral wedding invitations flower calendar flower cocktail flower invitations flowers For Your Home free calendar free download wedding free holiday card free recipe cards free valentine's cards french inspired wedding fugi apples fuschia and peony Gala Cloths gethsemane gift guide gift registry gifts that give gifts that give back Give give back giving back grand opening invitations grass cake grass invitation grass wedding invitation green and gold green and grey invitations green wedding grey handkerchief handmade bouquets handmade dishware handmade movement handwritten invitations handwritten response cards heart invitaiton heart shaped invitations heart wedding invitation Heraldry and Crests holiday card download holiday cards holiday invitations holiday table ideas home decor honey crisp apples honeymoon spots horse invitations horseshoe hostess gifts how to how to hang china plates how to have a wedding in a pandemic how to holiday cards How to mail invitations how to order online wedding invitations how to set the table ice identity imagery inspiration inspiration board inspiration into design invitation design invitation giveaway invitation inspiration invitation retailer invitations invitations chicago Jennie Fresa & The Beauty Library Jubilee Events Karen Lindler Designs LA honeymoons lavender menu lavender place cards leaf impressions Legendary Chicago letter writing letterpress letterpress calling cards letterpress invitations letterpress journals letterpress note cards letterpress personalized stationery letterpress printer letterpress stationery letterpress wedding letterpress wedding invitation letterpress wedding invitations linen blanket linen care little book of letterpress locally grown peonies Logan Square logo design logos love letter invitation Love Letters love notes luggage tag menus luxury invites for less luxury wedding invitations MADELiNE Shoes marble invitations marbled wax Martha Stewart Weddings Meet the interns menu design menus for weddings merchandise mart mezcal mini journals monique lhuillier monogram monogram cake monogram collection monogram design monogram plates monogrammed china mothers day gifts mountain wedding Nachtmann nature navy invitations new antiquarians new invitation design new orleans new orleans wedding new year new years card New York Honeymoon Next non-alcoholic punch offset invitations online calendar online wedding invitations Orange & Blossom orange and brown orange and green order day of online order invitations online order menus online origami outdoor wedding outdoor weddings packaging design pandemic wedding paper flowers paper gifts paper goods Park Lane pattern pattern wedding invitations patterns with purpose peony bridal bouquet peony invitation peony invitations Perlis personalized dinnerware personalized gifts personalized holiday gifts personalized linen personalized menus personalized napkins personalized stationary personalized stationery personalized stationery for couples personalized wedding invitations photographs Photography picnic wedding pin in place of boutineer pink and gold wedding pink wedding ideas place card place cards placecards Poetic License Shoes Pommery Gold POP Champagne poppy invitations portraits Posh Paperie poster guest book press printable calendar program punch recipe purple and sage raspberry punch ravenswood art walk ravenswood artwalk real weddings Recipe recipe card download recycled wedding red registry retail invitations Riedel RM Champagne Weddings roadtrip honeymoons romantic table top rose garnish rose themed party rose water margarita rustic saints same sex ceremony same sex wedding chicago same sex wedding invitations San Fransisco event planner Santa Barbara santa barbara weddings sarah drake sarah drake company values Sarah Drake Design sarah drake invitations save the date save the dates scented candle Scottish invitations seasonal photos self care semi custom invitations set of three set table shadows shadows and sun silhouette leaf invitation silver ink silverware rules simple apple pie simple christmas Simple Indulgences somerset paper spring inspiration spring notecards spring wedding invitation stamps style me pretty style story Sucre Summer Berry Pudding Recipe summer color palettes sunlight Syrup Eddies table card table cards table etiquette Tabula Tua texture thank you notes thanksgiving paper craft thanksgiving pie thanksgiving place setting The Cornstalk Hotel the rose lady the scoop The White Dress by the Shore Tom Morlock tomatoes Twigs and Honey Uncategorized unique gifts unique save the date ideas upstate New York Weddings valentine card valentines cards Velvet Wedding Invitation vera wang vintage postcards vintage stamps vintage wedding invitations Violet Hour Weddings water color wedding invitations water for all watercolor crest watercolor emblem watercolor wedding invitations wax seals wedding wedding blog wedding blogs wedding boutineers wedding branding wedding cake wedding centerpieces wedding dresses wedding events wedding flowers wedding guides wedding invitation designer wedding invitations wedding logo wedding logos wedding menu wedding monograms wedding photographer wedding photographers wedding photography wedding registry Weddings what is an inner envelope? when do you need an inner envelope? white christmas white flower arrangements white tea white tea punch white tea rose infused punch willow invitation winter gifts winter whites Wisconsin Honeymoon wisteria wood place card holders Yellow and Gray Invitation yellow and grey invitations Yellow and white Yellow edge paint yellow envelopes liner Yellow Invitations yoga retreat