Planning a Wedding from a Grooms Point of View by Brett Eklund


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DIY Weddings!

I consider myself a very thrifty person, always looking for ways to stretch my dollar and make it worth that much more than just face value.  From building my own furniture to painting my own walls, to shopping at thrift stores to browsing craigslist and garage sells, it dawned on me – Codie and I’s wedding could be done very similarly!

Now although I like to say I’m thrifty, that doesn’t mean that I still don’t like nice things because I do.  I just find ways to get the things that I want without breaking the bank and going over budget.  We recently just got back the quote for our flowers that we went and looked at from last weekend and the bill came out to be almost two thousand dollars!  I couldn’t believe it.  And yet, I still can’t believe we aren’t just getting married in someone’s backyard and using the money that is going to our wedding for something else.  But I get it, it’s all about the memory and the moment and for both Codie and I’s family, this will be the first wedding in quite some time.

Tissue Paper Flower Center pieces

So this morning when I started thing about what I wanted to blog about, I was checking my to do list on The Knot’s website and I decided to see what they had under the DIY section for weddings.  Wouldn’t you know it; they had a whole section on tissue paper flower centerpieces and Brooch Bouquets!  What’s funny about this is that Codie and I were just discussing the DIY approach and after seeing these blogs, I started thinking to myself heck ya!  Why not do something like this?  This will give our wedding a much more unique and personal touch on the wedding all while saving some money! (We all know that where we can save money, usually means sacrificing time.  Something that I don’t have a lot of in the first place, but hey that’s why we have bridesmaids and groomsmen right!!!)

What about you?  Have you done a DIY theme wedding, or at least incorporated a few aspects of some DIY into your wedding?  What did you do that turned out fantastic or would suggest staying clear of from personal experiences?? I’d love to hear!

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Usher!! ur um Ushers!!! The grooms support squad

Ok, Best man, check.  Groomsmen, check. That was easy your all done with the role assignments! WRONG! Another very critical aspect to a snag free wedding is the role of the usher.

What is the usher?  The usher is typically the first smiling face your guests will see.  Ushers are the greeters and seaters that assist with all the pre-ceremony stuff.  If you are doing an outside wedding like us, they may also be used to help with the set up of chairs and tables.  You might most associate the usher with the individual that hands out programs and walks grandma down to her seat. Image

Sometimes people might think that the ushers are those who didn’t quite make the groomsmen list, but in reality sometimes there are just more guys to pick for the role of groomsmen then there are bridesmaids.  And if you really think about it, the usher was still given the opportunity to be apart of your wedding!

Ushers should typically be picked based on the fact that they can communicate clearly, possess interpersonal skills and can identify issues that may come up and be able to resolve them without being told so.  Ultimately your ushers are like your secret service, they are your eyes and ears working for you in the background ensuring that everything is running smoothly while you and your bride are getting ready to take the center stage and commit your lives to one another.

Ok enough about roles and responsibilities.  How many ushers should you have for your wedding and do they have to be guys?  The general rule is one usher for every 50 guests.  If you plan on having a smaller wedding, recruit two just to be on the safe side.  Guys are typically enlisted to be ushers, but with today’s modern weddings, who says it has to be?  Do what YOU want!

Has anyone ever been at a wedding where they have had an usher be their savior??

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Get your Groom involved!


Ok Brides, this one is for you. 

There you are, working feverishly over making decisions, planning and coordinating every aspect of your wedding while your husband-to-be sits in the background scratching his…um head wondering what to do.  I want to touch base on a couple of simple tasks that you could get your husband-to-be to pitch in on to alleviate some of the burden you’ve been working on.

How is your guy at math?  If he doesn’t hate math like most people do, and spends his free Be rational, get realtime doing Sudoku, why not put him in charge of keeping track of the wedding budget?  Let’s face it ladies, the man wants and thinks he is the head of the household.  He likes to be in control of the money.  And if he is computer savvy by any means, there are all sorts of online budget trackers out there like this one here.

One thing that I pride myself at, and maybe you can pride your man at, is negotiating.  I find no shame in asking for a better rate or haggling vendors out there, and you shouldn’t be either!  These vendors that are out there WANT your business! If you husband has a strong personality and has that charismatic touch to his words, set up the meeting, discuss your plan of action with him and go in it together letting him talk the payments options.  There’s no harm in asking, except that you could save hundreds of dollars!!

Total Wine

Taste Testing at Total Wine

For my last quick tip for the day, lets face it guys like to drink!  Have your husband go out with his best man and grooms men for some taste testing’s.  Really, we all know you’re going to pick your favorite beers and wines and even hard liquors, but giving him that the sense of responsibility will perk his interest in other tasks later down the road.  If you have a store like Total Wine near by, have him check out when they do their tastings (TWS offer great discounts on the products that are showcased at their tastings too, another great way to save some money!!)

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Our recent visit to the florist

On Saturday, Codie, her mother (whom I refer to as Merm) and myself all went to meet with the Florist to further discuss flower options and arrangements.  Little did I know there was so much more to the flower arrangement process than just the brides and bridesmaid bouquets.  I completely spaced that the groom and groomsmen where a little piece on their jackets, and that the mother and grandmother of both the bride and the groom also get some flowers.

We began by meeting with florist coordinator at Sparks Florist in Reno that I will refer to as Pam to protect her identity.  We arrived a little late, as we all thought that we would be meeting Pam at the Sparks Florist in Sparks.  Once we arrived, she greeted us warmly and we began to sit down and discuss our options.  Now, if you know me at all, I tend to make light of all situations and inject my humor into any situation.  Well, for whatever reason, Pam was not digging my humor as we began and quickly shut me out.  So I sat there and listened quietly as to not ruin the experience for Codie and Merm.

But as I sat there and watched, I began to notice something interesting.  As Codie and Merm were looking through some pictures, and even the iPad that was offered to browse “Pintrest”, the florist would write down only the names of the flowers identified in each of the pictures that Codie and Merm had stated the liked, and not so much the design or arrangement of the flowers.  I thought this was strange, so knowing Codie, it is not so much the flower that matters as she pointed out many times she likes the way the arrangement looks.  It was only then when Codie had pointed to another Pintrest arrangement that Pam had said “with that flower you have to buy the box, which contains 25 flowers”.  We only needed three for the arrangement so Codie and Merm asked if they were expensive.  Pam replied, “they aren’t cheap”.  Codie and Merm immediately answered back that they were only looking at the styles and arrangements and that the actual flower didn’t matter.  They were identifying color combinations and arrangements and could care less whether or not it was a rose or a carnation for example.

So guys, when you go out, watch for this and preplan with your lady on what exactly it is that you want.  Maybe you do want specific flowers, or maybe you are only concerned with colors.  Whatever it may be, you are going to be working with a business that works and makes a living off of selling perishable items.  Weddings are a big source of business for them so watch carefully to see if your coordinator/florist are looking out in your best interest and not just for a good pay day!

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A Groom with a View

So recently, I came across another bloggers webpage who happens to be doing the same thing I am doing.  I’ve been reading his posts on planning his wedding, which has been not only informative, but also very entertaining.  His name is Robert Schwartz (@AGroomWithAView) and his standpoint and take on the process from dating to picking out invitations has really opened my eyes and the approach that I have been taking in my own blogging adventure.

Recently, he posted a video that shows the reality of the dating game, as taken and seen from his point of view that I believe most of us can relate to.  Much like Robert, I when I first moved to Reno, I began dating using an online dating site and could relate to the same types of scenarios his found himself in. Image

During this video, there was some sound advice that was given.  Sometimes, the way to find that special person you are attempting to seek out is to not be looking at all.  And from personal experience that is so true!  In my more successful relationships they were all started off when I was not looking.

So whether or not you are looking for someone special, or already have someone special in your life, I would definitely check out Robert’s video here and take the time to reflect!

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Next stop, the Florist!

This past weekend, I was out of town conducting my one weekend a month duty to my nation as a member of the National Guard.  Codie on the other hand, was experiencing one of her first weekends off in quite some time and ended up attending a wedding fair Friday night.


Photo By: Squidoo

While at the fair, she and her mother had come across many different vendors that we were still do out on getting set up.  They also signed a contract to have a very cute wine barrel bar to be set up at our outdoor wedding.  One thing she was happy to report to me upon my arrival Sunday night was that she had set up an appointment with a florist in the nearby city of Sparks, NV. 


Photo by: Squidoo

Every wedding is full of flowers, from table centerpieces, to bouquets to corsages.  It is one of those aspects of the wedding that brings so much life and color to the wedding.  Flowers are absolutely beautiful, ranging from multiple colors and styles. 

Being that our colors are grey and navy, I did a quick google search to see what types of flowers could be good possibilities.  I found this website that lists a great deal of blue flowers and this other website that gives some great blue flower combinations!



But then I started thinking, just because our colors are blue and grey, does that mean that our flowers have to be the same?  Or does that become to much of the same color?  I guess depending on what our florist has to say and what Codie likes will determine that.  So then, what do you think would be good complimentary colors to navy and grey??

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Sweet like HONEY under the pale MOON light!


Planning for the wedding day encompasses all the necessities to ensure the big day goes off well with a hitch (pun intended).  This encompasses site selection, catering, music, formal wear so on and so forth. All this planning only leads up to the big day, but the next best part is what happens afterwards!  The honeymoon!

Planning for the honeymoon should be started at least 4 months out from your wedding.   This will include determining where it is that you and your spouse would both like to go and spend some quality time away from the stresses of life to start off your marriage the right way.  The importance of planning ahead for a honeymoon allows for you to properly arrange for time off of work and also to ensure your trip is booked.  Think about it, when was the last time you had to book a last minute trip whether it be for business or pleasure.  You might find yourself in a position where airfare is higher and hotel rooms are booked.  This is why planning now is crucial to your success!

Visiting with a vacation planner or visiting websites devoted to all inclusive packages may be the easiest option if you don’t have the time to piecemeal and coordinate travel and attractions.  Many places such as Sandal’s offer these types of packages to scenic destinations and offer you and your bride the luxury of taking it easy.  Whether it be a cruise or a resort, finding a location where you know the food, lodging and even guided tours can a lot of the stress out of the situation.


ImageBut what about expenses?  A lot of money was invested into your wedding, which may either leave your parents dry, leaving you with the responsibility of paying for the honeymoon.  Fortunately, I came across this article which shows you that there are definitely options out there costing under $2500!  And if you consider this, $2500 for two people to stay at a hotel and dine is not a bad deal if you plan on leaving the country. 


So where do you plan on booking your honeymoon?


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The reason you are the one…

Brett and Codie
This post will actually not have a lot to do with planning, but it does have to do with the reason why I am writing about getting married from a groom’s perspective.  That reason, is about the love of my life – Codie!

In my first post, How my Journey began, I wrote about how Codie and I met, and how I proposed to her.  Today, I just want to write about how much I love her.


It is impossible to even begin to put into words how much I love you and how much you mean to me.  I never would have imagined in a million years that the woman I would marry would be as amazing as you.  You bring me so much joy and laughter that not even the rainiest day or the darkest nights could bring me down.  When I wake up every morning I feel so blessed that you are the first thing I get to see.  I love kissing you on your forehead and telling you that I love you before I leave for work while you are all snuggled up under the covers still asleep.  I love it even more when you get home and your bright and beautiful face walks through the door with the biggest smile just happy to see me!

Brett and Codie I love you for so  many reasons – we both love Homestar Runner, Archer, have our own little “meows”, make up songs about whatever just to talk about whatever, your amazing Jeopardy skills, that sweet little defiant voice you talk to me in, seeing you without makeup, your constant drive to start projects only to finish half of them and your continuous love for me.

I love telling you how much I love you all throughout the day, kissing you, hugging you and just smiling and laughing with you.  I love our little family of kitties and the home we have established together.  You are an incredibly hard worker and hardly ever complain about it.  You are so cool, so hip, so hilarious.  You are always the life of the party and always have something witty to add.  Everything about you I love and wouldn’t change any of it.

I love the fact that we get along so well and that everything we do, we do together.  You are my best friend and my lover.  Thank you Brett and Codie again for taking an interest in me, and playing it so cool while we started journey together.  I am glad I decided to cross that friend line because you have become the greatest gift to have ever received.  I love your family, and how they love me back.  I love that my family loves you so much too!  Everything about you is perfect to me but that’s because you are perfect for me!

I could go on and on and on, but again this is impossible to put into words, and so many different things are running through my mind, and to get them into an understandable sentence form right now just seems to be impossible.  I look forward to just telling you how much I love you when I get to see you when you get home in just a little while!  This is just a little love note to tell you and the world how much I love you, and that I will always love you forever. =)


Me @~~>~~~

To all you out there reading this, the next time you see you husband/wife take the time to tell them how much you love and appreciate them and give them an extra long and special hug and kiss!!

Color Run!

Color Run!

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Make your Wedding Reception more memorable with the right Caterer

A little planning can go a long way, just as a little menu planning can easily impress the socks of your guests.  With a few tips I read via Amy Gordon on The Knot, your guests will surely thank you for the little added touch you brought to their taste buds!

Coming up with a Theme

Whether or not you are planning on doing a themed wedding, nothing says that you can’t do a themed menu! Bringing a theme to the reception menu can have a lasting impression on your guests, even if it is just the way you eat the food!  If you are not having a themed wedding, providing a themed menu may add that additional flare your guests will remember you for many years to come! See real casual, elegant weddings.


If you have a fair amount of guests coming from out of town, why not think about some of the foods that are unique to the area. For instance, originally I am from New Mexico, so incorporating dishes that have green chili would be a flavor of the area!  This will make your guests remember you and your wedding every time they hear or taste something that is similar to what you had to offer during your reception!


Ever been to a Teppan grill?  You know where they build the little volcano out of the onions and light it on fire? That’s what I’m talking about!  See if any of the caters that you are considering offer any type of additional dressy appearance for that added touch of elegance.

 All in the Family

Weddings are a time of joining together two families, so why just stop there?  Another unique idea that I came across while living out here in Reno is that of a basque.  A basque provides the feel of the old traditional family style.  Think picnic benches and everyone just sits together, no formal seating chart made.  Then when the food is delivered, it is brought in big bowls and sharing dishes for everyone to pass around and take some.  This would be a great way to allow for all your guests to get to know each other a little more!

Don’t just serve it upmusashichef1

Be creative with your dishes presentation.  See if the caterer has any clever tricks up their sleeves and can present the dish outside of the norm.  As Amy Gordon would suggest – “instead of serving soup in a bowl, have it ladled into a hollowed-out acorn squash. Or have asparagus tied up like a present with leek leaves. You could even serve coconut shrimp inside a coconut and garnish with a tropical flower.”

Do you remember a specific wedding you attended where the food set off your wow factor??  Other than the reception, what factor do you remember most from the last wedding you attended??

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