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TO DOs BEFORE I DO Wedding Podcast

The TO DOs BEFORE I DO Wedding Podcast is devoted to engaged couples from the exciting moment of saying "yes" to the unforgettable moment of saying "I Do.” I will be here to help you check items off your wedding to do lists by offering insight, tips and guidance throughout your planning process. This podcast will be carefully curated to educate and inspire couples. Each week, a new episode will be released where I’ll cover a different wedding topic and I’ll speak directly to you about specific planning tips and ideas. I will also interview industry professionals, brides and grooms-to-be, and married couples so they can share their insight and perspective on the wedding planning process with you. If you are engaged or even just dreaming of getting engaged, this wedding podcast is for you!

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004: Five on Friday - My 5 favorite wedding Instagrams

In addition to my weekly Sunday episodes, I’m going to release 2 more episodes a week! On Wednesdays, I’ll be answering your questions on my segment called “Wedding Wednesday Q&A”  and on Fridays, I’ll share my list of top 5 things wedding related that I’m currently loving on a segment called “Five on Friday.”   My first “Five on Friday” features my favorite wedding Instagrams! In no particular order:   @howheasked http://instagram.com/howheasked: They feature a new proposal story every day. You can use the #howheasked on your engagement picture that you post and it could be featured on their Instagram! @jasminestar http://instagram.com/jasminestar: Jasmine is an international wedding photographer based in Southern California.  She was voted Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World - quite impressive! She posts pictures of her work and her photog skills are incredible. @weddingchicks http://instagram.com/weddingchicks: When you follow them, you’ll receive tons of wedding inspiration … perfect for any type of bride or groom. Their Instagram feed is full of gorgeous wedding details.   @kleinfeldbridal http://instagram.com/kleinfeldbridal: The famous New York bridal boutique has an Instagram account and it is just as fabulous as you would imagine it to be. They post pictures of their gowns and accessories, as well as behind the scenes pictures of the “Say Yes to the Dress” show. @smpweddings http://instagram.com/smpweddings: Style Me Pretty is a style savvy wedding resource devoted to the modern bride. This Instagram account is a true reflection of their wildly successful blog.  This feed is flooded with real weddings that are so beautifully detailed that they inspire me to want to get married again and again! And of course, don’t forget you can follow @todosbeforeido http://instagram.com/todosbeforeido on Instagram!


6 Feb 2015

Rank #1

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079: Professional tips on creating your own seating chart featuring Kara Lamerato of Kara’s Vineyard Wedding

In this episode, I’m sharing a recent interview I had with Kara Lamerato.  Kara is the Owner, Blogger & Product Designer of Kara’s Vineyard Wedding.  Over at Kara’s Vineyard Weddings, she blogs about DIY wedding projects and also sells custom wedding décor, specifically Place Card Holders made from hand-selected, vintage wine corks.  Wine and weddings -- two things I love and Kara has made a successful business out of it!  Based out of San Diego, CA, Kara has done custom work for over 1,500 weddings around the world!  Since Kara’s specialty is custom place card holders, in this episode, I pick her brain on seating assignments, the escort card table and seating charts.  I hope that you enjoy listening to this interview and that you’re able to gain some useful takeaways that you and your fiance can apply to your wedding planning!   www.todosbeforeido.com


9 Aug 2015

Rank #2

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007: Five on Friday - 5 bridesmaid proposal ideas

On today’s “Five on Friday,” I wanted to stick with talking to you more about your bridal party.  Being a bridesmaid can be a big time and financial commitment. To show your girls how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them, here are 5 ideas to help you pop the question to your bridesmaids:   Gathering at your house Make them a bridesmaid kit A picture frame Edible gifts Jewelry


13 Feb 2015

Rank #3

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056: How to be an efficient bride during your wedding week

Over the last few episodes, I’ve been covering my “How to be an efficient bride” series with you and sharing tips on how you can be organized and achieve maximum productivity with minimal wasted effort or expenses.     In this episode, I’m covering another part of the “How to be an efficient bride” series and focusing how being efficient during the final week before your wedding.   Finalize the details   Create your packing lists   Create an itinerary / timeline and share it with your bridal party   Create a wedding contact sheet   Delegate a wedding contact person   Stay healthy   My biggest piece of advice is to just enjoy the whole process of wedding planning -remember the reason why all of this planning is taking place -it is because you are going to marry the love of your life!  Keeping that end goal in mind will definitely make your wedding planning experience that much sweeter and more enjoyable.  Especially when you hit that one week countdown, you’re in the home stretch of saying “I Do” and it’ll be just the beginning of the best new chapter in your lives together.


7 Jun 2015

Rank #4

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011: Do you need a wedding planner? Interview with Lauren Cowgill of WED

You’ll receive direct insight from a wedding professional to help you decide if you need to hire a wedding planner or day of coordinator. I’m so honored to have a successful and experienced wedding planner on this episode of the the podcast.  Lauren Windham Cowgill is the owner of Windham Event Design (WED for short - which is the perfect name for a wedding planning company)! She’ll share with you her advice and insight on the planning process.  And also provide you with some insider scoop on being a wedding planner.  


22 Feb 2015

Rank #5

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038: Planning your wedding in 6 months or less featuring Karley Kiker of Hitched in a Hurry

I’m super excited about this episode!  I had the opportunity to interview Karley Kiker, the author of the book Hitched in a Hurry: The ultimate how-to for a speedy “I do.”  Karley’s book is a guide for brides planning their weddings in six months or less. It is full of useful tips, charts, and organizational tools tailored to fit tighter timelinesand it also has interviews with real-life couples who’ve turned their short engagements into lifelong love affairs.   Karley was such a sweetheart to talk to and she shares some great wedding tips and advice to help you plan your wedding in shortened time frame.  Also, regardless if you’re having a speedy engagement or a longer one, her insight can benefit all couples who are planning their wedding and preparing for a lifetime of wedded bliss!   Hitched in a Hurry’s website: www.hitchedinahurrybook.com Book is available at:Barnes and Noble and Amazon Karley Kiker’s website:www.karleykiker.com   www.todosbeforeido.com


26 Apr 2015

Rank #6

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042: Q&A - What not to forget 30 days before the wedding

Question: What are some of the 30 day last minute to dos that people forget about?


6 May 2015

Rank #7

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026: Wedding registry

Today on the podcast, I’m talking about wedding registries.  In my “I’m Engaged, Now What?” series, I briefly touched on the this step, but because it is such an important part of your wedding planning process, I’m going to talk about it more in depth in this episode.   Setting up your wedding registry gives you and your fiance the chance to create the ultimate wish list for your home and new life together. What could easily be considered one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding sometimes ends up becoming stressful or overwhelming for couples.  I hope this episode helps de-stress this step in your wedding planning process. Include your fiance! Take your significant other’s wants and needs into consideration too. After all, you two are building a home and life together, so you want your future spouse to have a say in some of the wedding registry details. When you are determining which stores or sites to register at, it's always a good idea to inquire about a store's exchange/return policies. Also, when picking out your stores, find out if they have any perks or incentives for creating a registry at their store.  For example, at Bed Bath and  Beyond, Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, you get a 10 percent completion discount on items you registered for but didn't receive.   When it comes to picking out items for your own registry, don’t feel like you have to be limited to traditional registry lists. Register for items you and your fiance want and will actually use. When you start scanning items for your registry, be sure to register for items in a wide range of price points.  In addition, you and your fiance should try to have at least twice as many items on your list as guests at your wedding.  That will also allow for your guests to have more options when selecting a gift for you and your fiance.   Registering at two to four places is ideal because it gives your guests options, plus it is still a manageable number for you and your fiance. Once you register for your wedding, be sure to include your registry information on your wedding website so guests don’t have to second guess where to purchase your gifts.   Have fun with your fiance checking this item off your wedding to do list! www.todosbeforeido.com


29 Mar 2015

Rank #8

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029: Strengthening your relationship with your fiance featuring PJ Dixon

This episode isn’t focusing on the wedding details and planning process behind your big day.  Instead, it is focusing on the topic of strengthening your relationship with your fiance.  I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, you guys know that I love weddings and all of the details that go into making an event a special celebration. But what I love most about wedding planning is knowing the big picture…that vision that is developed from the beginning. It is ultimately the pledging and promising of forever between two people -- that’s what made me realize why I love weddings so much.   A lot of times, couples can get so caught up in all of the details and timelines during the wedding planning process, that they get lost in the excitement and commotion of the planning and sometimes lose sight of the big picture. I wholeheartedly believe your engagement should be savored and enjoyed.  Your engagement is also a time for you and your fiance to build upon your already strong relationship so you have a solid foundation when you say “I Do.”     On today’s episode of the podcast, I’m sharing a recent interview I had with PJ Dixon. After speaking to him, I knew I had to have him on the podcast because he has some incredible insight and advice to share about how couples can strengthen their relationship.   A little background on PJ - he is a motivational speaker and relationship and life coach who lives in Arizona.  Despite being diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy that was expected to take his life by the age of seven, he was encouraged to experience life to the fullest and do anything and everything he set his mind.  As a result of PJ’s positive attitude … he is still gracing the world with his presence, 38 years later!     Snow Skier, Skydiver, Former Wheelchair Athlete, 10th Degree Black Belt, Women's Self-Defense Instructor, International Traveler, Published Author, Motivational Speaker, and Self-Professed Advocate of Love!   PJ has been able to accomplish so much in his life and his story is truly inspiring.  But what is even more inspiring is the message he shares with couples.  Whether you are already married, engaged or hoping to engaged soon, PJ share the tools necessary to help strengthen your relationship with that someone special in your life.   www.todosbeforeido.com www.pjswisdom.com https://www.facebook.com/EngagedinOneYear


5 Apr 2015

Rank #9

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064: Five on Friday - 5 ideas to personalize your wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremonies are the reason why all of your friends and family come to celebrate you and your fiance!  They are there to watch you two exchange your vows and pledge a lifetime together.  Sometimes the wedding ceremony details get overlooked because let’s face it, when you’re planning your wedding, the reception details are more fun and exciting to work on.  You will most likely spend hours upon  hours obsessing over every detail of your wedding reception, and with good reason -- you want it to be  the party of a lifetime. But take a step back and remember that your ceremony calls for just as much planning too.  Your wedding ceremony should have just as much careful consideration as your reception. After all, that special moment when you and your fiance are pronounced husband and wife is the true highlight of your wedding! Depending on what type of ceremony you have, it could already be pre-written and very structured and you have to follow a certain timeline.  For Jeff and I, we got married in the Catholic Church, so our ceremony followed a specific format and we couldn’t deviate from it very much.  Or if you’re having a civil ceremony, you, your fiance and your officiant can work together to truly customize a ceremony format.  Regardless of what type of ceremony you’re having and where you’re having it, here are 5 ideas to help you add some individual flare to your ceremony. Share your love story 2. Express yourself 3. Explain traditions 4. Song selection 5. Make your guests feel included www.todosbeforeido.com


26 Jun 2015

Rank #10

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006: Q&A - Can I have more bridesmaids than groomsmen?

Question: I’m thinking about having 8 bridesmaids on my side, but my fiance only wants 4 groomsmen.  Will it throw off the ceremony processional and bridal party pictures if it is uneven? Or should my fiance and I have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen?


11 Feb 2015

Rank #11

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014: Wedding officiants & wedding ceremonies - Featuring Kim Kirkley, named “The Officiant” by New York Magazine

I’m sharing an interview I had with Kim Kirkley, a joyful Celebrant who is based in New York City.  As a joyful Celebrant, Kim shares her insight with you about wedding ceremonies and wedding officiants.   Declared “The Officiant” by New York Magazine, Kim has been featured by a multitude of media outlets including MSNBC, the New York Times and Four Weddings.  Kim is also a Nationally-Acclaimed wedding officiant/Life-Cycle Celebrant, TEDx Speaker, and author of 4 highly regarded books. On this episode, Kim answers questions about tailoring your ceremony to reflect you and your fiance’s relationship and what to look for when hiring your officiant. She also shares insight on what type of questions you should be asking your officiant and what couples can do to ensure to they don’t stress out when planning their wedding.     http://www.ourelegantceremony.com/   http://www.todosbeforeido.com/


1 Mar 2015

Rank #12

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072: Q&A - How to avoid stress during wedding planning?

Question: We all know planning your own wedding is hard but how do you get less stressed about it? www.todosbeforeido.com


15 Jul 2015

Rank #13

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017: I’m Engaged, Now What? Steps 11-15 in your wedding planning process

In this episode, I cover the third segment of the “I’m Engaged, Now What?” series.  This series has 15 steps and in this episode, I’ll cover steps 11-15.  In my previous episodes (episodes 002 and 005 of this podcast), I discussed the previous steps. 11. Select and send out your save the dates 12. Go wedding dress shopping 13. Insure your wedding ring 14. Research, meet and hire your wedding vendors 15. Get started on your wedding registry  


8 Mar 2015

Rank #14

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080: Tipping your weddings vendors

Question: “Can you help me determine all of the important vendors I need to tip and what amount is appropriate for each, but at the same time won't bust my budget?” www.todosbeforeido.com  


16 Aug 2015

Rank #15

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044: How to be an efficient bride - Communicating with your vendors

So today on the podcast, it is part 1 of my series: how to be an efficient bride.  I’ll be talking about communicating with your wedding vendors.   When Jeff and I got married, I was very organized when it came to planning our wedding and also handling correspondence with our wedding vendors.  I wanted to make sure that during any communication I had with our vendors, I was clear and concise with my questions or responses .. I felt like the more organized I was, the more it would save both Jeff and I and our wedding vendors’ time.  I absolutely loved all of the vendors that we worked with during our wedding planning process and one in particular, even joked around and nicknamed me a “professional bride!” This was even before the launch of the TO DOs BEFORE I DO Wedding Podcast!  I think she dubbed me a “professional bride” because not only did I love and enjoy all aspects of mine and Jeff’s wedding planning process, but I also was an efficient bride who knew how to get things done!


10 May 2015

Rank #16

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016: Five on Friday - 5 ways to save money on food & beverage at your reception

The cost of feeding your guests can and will quickly add up. Food and alcohol at your wedding reception can become the the greatest portion of your wedding budget.  And just like they are an important line item to look at in your budgeting spreadsheet, the food & beverage selections are a pretty big deal. Given the amount of money you will spend on this category alone, you should be concerned about the type, quantity and quality of what you and your guests will eat and drink.   So here are my 5 ways that you and your fiance can save money on your food and beverage at your wedding reception.     1. Stick with signature cocktails, instead of having a wide variety of top shelf liquor Since most reception sites charge for every bottle that is opened, even if it was for just one drink, you can consider offering a limited bar for your guests.  By scaling back on your options, this can help you cut down some costs and increase your savings!  I would recommend that you work with your venue’s beverage team to select a signature cocktail or two. Another option and idea for you to save some money when it comes to the f&b at your reception is to serve just beer and wine.   2. BYOB If you and your fiance can, try to choose a reception venue that will allow you to bring your own alcohol.  You can purchase alcohol a lot cheaper at warehouse stores such as Sam's Club, Costco, or BJ's than from a caterer.  Plus, most of those places I just listed allow you to return any unopened bottles!   3. Select less expensive food alternatives Higher end options can really take a hit on your budget.  Especially we you factor in the per person price and multiply that by the number of guests you’ll be inviting. Don’t be afraid to just ask your caterer for less expensive menu options and alternatives - they can work with you to create a menu that will impress your guests while not breaking the bank. 4. Shorten your cocktail hour to 45 minutes Contrary to the name, your cocktail hour doesn’t need to be a whole hour!  If you reduce the time to say 30-45 minutes, this not only cuts down the number of hors d’oeuvres that you serve during your cocktail hour, but this idea will also help you will save money on both the food and the bar.   5. Have a hidden sheet cake in the back One way to save some money on your food and beverage costs is to have a smaller wedding cake, maybe 1 or 2 tiers that will be on display for the cake cutting and then keep a larger sheet cake hidden in the back that will be cut and served to your guests.  


6 Mar 2015

Rank #17

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067: Five on Friday - 5 ways to cut costs on your wedding invitations

In this Five on Friday episode, I’m giving you 5 ways to cut costs on your wedding invitations because, let’s face it, we all pretty much want to save money where we can and we don’t want to break the bank when it comes to our wedding budget.  When it comes to wedding invitations, there are so many different options to select from -- you have to figure out the style you want, what type of fonts and colors to use, what enclosure cards to add to your invitation suite and what type of cardstock or paper you want to use.  The options are endless and can get overwhelming at times!  And then of course, couple that with having expensive taste and getting sticker shock when you see how much an invitation will cost then multiply that by how many actual invitations you need.  But don’t you worry - here are 5 tips on how you can cut some costs when it comes to your wedding invitations. 1. Use a local printer 2. Make the most of your space 3. Try partial customization 4. Skip the calligraphy 5. Use RSVP postcards or online RSVPs This episode of the TO DOs BEFORE I DO Wedding Podcast is brought to you by RapidLash.  RapidLash is a clinically-proven and dermatologist tested serum that helps improve the overall appearance and condition of your eyelashes and brows. After just 30 days of use, you’ll start to notice denser-looking, and healthier-appearing brows and lashes…. which will make your eyes pop, especially on your wedding day! You can visit Rapidlash.com to learn more about their amazing product line.   RapidLash is available at CVS, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Drugstore.com, DuaneReade, Dermstore and other retailers.  To find a RapidLash retailer near you, visit: RapidLash Store Locator   To see the amazing before and after pictures from women who’ve used RapidLash products, visit: RapidLash Results


3 Jul 2015

Rank #18

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041: “Say Yes to the Dress” Exclusive Interview

I had the opportunity to interview a newlywed couple who will be featured on TLC’s hit show, Say Yes to the Dress!  The couple, Jevie and Michael Stegner, were such a delight to meet with and interview.  Jeff and I had the best time getting to know them and hearing about their shopping experience at Kleinfelds, the application process for Say Yes to the Dress and how the production crew filmed their wedding day.  I mentioned that they are newlyweds … and when I say newlyweds, I mean it!  During the time of our interview, Jevie and Michael just said “I Do” 6 days prior! Because their wedding was so fresh on their mind, they also shared their insight on the highs and lows of their wedding planning process and they provide engaged couples with advice on how to not get too stressed out and overwhelmed.     www.todosbeforeido.com


3 May 2015

Rank #19

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013: Five on Friday - 5 free wedding apps to keep you organized

We all know the world is overrun with technology, so why not use technology to your advantage when organizing and planning your wedding? So today’s Five on Friday, I’m going to share with you 5 free wedding apps you and your fiance can use to stay organized while planning for your big day.   Postablehttps://www.postable.com Postable makes pulling together a large group of addresses pretty painless. Postable will give you a link that you can email out to family and friends. People click it and add their contact information directly into your address book for you.   Avocado https://avocado.io/ It is a fun, private, and secure app for individual couples to stay connected.  The Avocado app offers a private chat setting for just you and your beau, which lets users send pictures, texts and videos in one secure place. It also allows users to share lists and calendars in one place.     Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/todosbeforeido/ Well, because who hasn’t heard of Pinterest yet?  Pinterest is a key tool for brides to be because you can create different inspirational wedding boards for every category of your wedding design. Whether you're deliberating over dresses or collecting ideas for floral arrangements, you can keep scrolling through pictures that will inspire you.   Wedding Happy http://www.weddinghappy.com/ WeddingHappy provides a simple solution to keep track of your tasks and your vendors needed for planning your wedding.  The WeddingHappy app will help you easily check items off your wedding to do lists!   Wedding Party https://www.weddingpartyapp.com/   Your wedding guests can upload pictures to it during the ceremony, reception or any pre-wedding functions. What I find most helpful about this app is that you can also use the app to update guests before the big day about wedding news and upcoming events. This is perfect for setting up messaging groups - like your bridal party or parents and inlaws.    


27 Feb 2015

Rank #20