Carly Rubach

Gettin’ Hitched

Wedding planning is no simple task, but this week's TCDIY lays out a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

By - Jan 20th, 2013 04:00 am

Everybody’s doing it! Ever since I got engaged, I’ve heard the good news all around me: 2013 is going to be a big year for weddings. Maybe people feared the world ending, and, as a result, love confessions spiked across the nation. Perhaps it just means that lots of people get married every year and I’m just now noticing.

Either way, we all now embark on the long road of planning what I’m told is “the most important day of my life.” I’m not one who grew up fantasizing about all the details of my special day, but I’ve always known that I wanted to get married in my parents’ backyard. So, naturally, I’ve been watching Father of the Bride, Rachel Getting Married and the occasional Hallmark film to inspire a few ideas.

My mom and I spinning in the backyard. The only picture I could find of my backyard.

This wedding will spark several of my DIY projects for the new year, and I can’t wait to get started. Our first goal is to send out homemade “Save the Date” invitations, along with a video made by Ryan, my fiancé. “Fiancé” is a really silly word, by the way. I feel like a fancy jerk when I say it. Thoughts?

We’ve already got a few ideas in place and our goal is to keep the planning for the actual day as simple as possible. When I talk to people who’ve done this before, however, they continue to remind me that it will not be simple and I will cry. Though this notion scares me a little bit, I still think we’ll be able to get through this without shedding too many tears.

For this first wedding column—a series of what I fear may be many wedding columns—I’d like to give you some tips based on what I’ve learned so far. Even if you’re not planning a wedding this year, we’ll have plenty of tips and projects that you can apply to any of your upcoming parties or events.

Wedding Tips (so far):

Use what you have:

    • My mom has oodles of hydrangeas in her backyard. We plan to use a combination of hydrangeas, wildflowers and succulents for centerpieces and bouquets. Big money saver, hopefully.
    • My mom will also be utilizing a lot of furniture she already owns to create outdoor vignettes for people to sit and relax. We might even borrow some furniture from family and friends for additional seating.

Call it a party:

    • Hotels, caterers, and banquet halls will all hike up the price once they discover your event is a wedding.
    • When you book anything, call the occasion “a party” or “an event” when getting a quote. Avoid using the word “wedding.”

Create a spreadsheet:

    • I love spreadsheets. To get the ball rolling on planning, I created a shared Google spreadsheet with sections for both families where they can enter their guests’ names. I totaled up each column and created a nifty formula to give us the final count. You can then create as many sheets as you want within the spreadsheet to share contact info, websites, catering info, pricing, etc.
    • Anyone can have access to this spreadsheet and can make edits at any time. You’ll need a Gmail account, but it’s free to set up.


    • We all know about Pinterest, but these boards really come in handy when you’re trying to visualize what your wedding will actually look like.
    • I’m finding that, without trying very hard, I’m leaning toward a color palate of soft peaches, pinks and natural tones with a few pops of color. I don’t think I would have chosen that for myself, but everything I post seems to fall under that category, so there you go.
    • My mom and Ryan’s mom are both able to see what I’m posting and they can Like—or not Like—certain things, which is always fun to see. We’re still able to interact, even though we each live in different cities.

Photo courtesy of A La Crate Vintage Rentals website. Photo Credit: Dodge Creative

Go vintage

    • Vintage is becoming more and more of a wedding trend. I went to my first bridal show in Madison and the first exhibitor we saw was A La Crate Vintage Rentals. They had a beautiful display and a huge online gallery of vintage items for rent, including large barrels, chalkboards, furniture and more.
    • Rentals can weigh heavily on the budget, so you have to be cautious here. You can even do some purchasing of your own. My mom has a friend who bought all of her own china instead of renting it, and then resold it on eBay. This might take a little more work, but could definitely save some money in the long run.

I hope this helps you as you get started with your “party” planning. Please post your tips and suggestions in the comments section. I look forward to sharing what I learn and what I make along the way.

0 thoughts on “TCDIY: Gettin’ Hitched”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m Sooooooo excited for you! Yay. My bff is getting married. I love you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to see your ideas! I am so excited to have another daughter!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Carly, congrats! You are going to make the most beautiful bride. And your parents’ backyard–magical!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Miss Aleksia!!

  5. Anonymous says:

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