Truly Engaged: Visual Wedding Planning Tools

Categories Ceremony + Reception + Wedding Planning

I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way through the wedding planning process, she’ll be sharing some of the emotions, inspiration, and insight she uncovers along the way

Eek! Our wedding is two weeks away! Scary, exciting…all sorts of emotions churning through me right now. My life has been a blur of details and deadlines…oh, and on top of that: we moved! <sigh>

Because we are having our wedding within a large, public park, I’ve been trying to finalize a bunch of layout/setup details, including:

  • seating charts
  • reception layout
  • wedding processional path
  • “photo op” spots for our First Look and Wedding Party pics

Not only do these details have to be figured out, but they also have to be communicated to those who will be helping execute them.

Tedious? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

For today’s post I’m going to talk about a visual wedding planning tool I discovered that has really helped me sketch and map out these tedious, but important wedding details: Google Docs Drawings.

Yes, Google Docs has a drawing tool! It’s not just spreadsheets and text editors. Google Docs drawings has been immensely helpful for our wedding, as a way to translate our layout ideas into physical, visual representations that can be saved, printed, and shared with other wedding participants.


Why I Love Google Docs Drawing:

I can create, edit, and share my designs from any computer. 
Unlike InDesign or other  design programs (which are great programs), Google Docs can be accessed on any computer device–anywhere, anytime. This makes it super convenient for me to work on drawings whenever I have time in my busy schedule: during my lunch break at work, at home on the couch, etc.

I can invite others to view, comment, or even collaborate.
I love how I can mock up the basic design, and then have my fiance and mother help fill in the details. I can also control the settings, if I don’t want others to actually edit the designs.

For example, I mocked up the general reception layout, then I shared it with my mom, who helped fill in the actual seating arrangements, since she has been managing the guest list.

I can share my Google Drawings with non-Gmail users, too.
My fiance actually discovered this little gem! He’s been able to email our drawings to his sister, who does NOT have a Gmail account. This capability gives us the freedom to send it to virtually anyone with an email account.

I can print them for people to reference on the wedding day.
Drawings can be downloaded as a PDF, PNG, or JPG–plus, they can be printed and passed out to wedding vendors and party members. For example, our “helpers” can use one of our printouts as a visual reference as they arrange tables and set up the centerpieces and decor.

Below is one example of a Google Docs drawing I created for my wedding. I uploaded a map (photo)  of the park where our wedding will take place. I then drew symbols and lines on top of the map to indicate where key events will be taking place.

It’s not finished yet, but you can see how it looks below:


I think Google Docs drawings is really helpful for anyone who is having an outdoor wedding, or a wedding at a non-traditional venue (rustic barn, anyone?).

I’d love to hear from other brides and grooms– What visual planning tools did you use for your wedding? How did you figure out your floor plans, photo locations, etc.?


 Rachel for MagnetStreet Weddings



New! Personalized Water Bottle Labels

Categories Reception + Wedding Stationery

New! Personalized Water Bottle Labels!

  • Printed on durable, waterproof vinyl
  • Strong, self-adhesive backing (peel & stick)
  • Designed to fit standard water bottle size (16.9 oz)

Love stickers? Who doesn’t?! Personalized Water Bottle Labels present another opportunity to feed the “peel & stick” obsession and round out your wedding theme at the same time! Printed with your wedding colors, fonts, and photos, personalized Water Bottle Labels can turn your bottle into a cool and refreshing alternative to an otherwise bland beverage.

Great for any style party {engagement, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception} why not request free samples to see how you can wrap your mind around using personalized Water Bottle Labels for your beverages.

personalized water bottle label


Rustic Peacock is the design on this particular water bottle label. This vibrant, gorgeous design is available across all of our stationery offerings … please, check out the entire design theme for Rustic Peacock.



Small Wedding Venue Ideas

Categories Ceremony + Reception + Wedding Planning

We love small weddings! Every one we’ve attended, have been so beautifully stamped with the personality of the bride and groom. And, they seem easier to plan … Although you’re still preparing for the comfort of your guests in all the same ways, you’re seemingly less encumbered by logistics: food, seating, decor, costs, etc.

Here are some lovely ideas and considerations for your small wedding. Some you may have already considered and some may be new, but we encourage you to think big for your small wedding venue!

{click to enlarge}

small wedding ideas


Since the most popular weddings months are June, August and September, we can’t resist the allure of an al fresco wedding!

1. For the outdoorsy couple:

  1. Lake or beach setting- flanked by a gorgeous shoreline, all that’s needed is a simple arch or canopy to say your vows under.
  2. Barn, country setting- rustic settings are charming–let nature be your ceremonial entertainment i.e. birds chirping, creek sounds or the neighs from a horse. Think blankets & bales of hay.
  3. City, regional or state park- lovely views, nearby shelter, and built-in BBQ pits, are just some of the perks here!
  4. Your backyard- All you need is room to roam and a beautiful focal point–perhaps that old weeping willow tree will do.

Keep in mind with any outdoor setting:

  • Check city or state regulations for any permits that you may need i.e. parking, fire, etc.
  • Are there safety issues to be concerned about? i.e. uneven grounds {disabled guests}, water {kids}
  • Is there a bathroom nearby?
  • Is there nearby shelter if it rains?
  • Check to see that your outdoor setting is ok with your officiant.
  • What rental items will you need? i.e. port-a-pottie, tent, tables, chairs, etc.

{Here’s a good resource article for outdoor weddings from The Knot}

2. Bed & Breakfast

Do you live in a resort, destination or an area claimed for its historical significance? Chances are, there is a bed and breakfast nearby that would be an ideal setting for a small wedding. These mansions or inns typically have lush grounds and grand rooms–wonderful photo opportunities. Ask the B&B if they have any wedding packages.


3. Local Hotel, Bar or Restaurant-
4. Cinema or Live Theater-
5. Community Center-
6. Church-
7. School-

Have a favorite establishment with loads of personality? Check to see how you can personalize the space to call it your own–get ideas and help from creative family and friends. Think outside the box … does your church or community center have a brand new room with gorgeous lighting, a beautiful fireplace, etc? Lastly, always try to negotiate costs with vendors and those in chargethere is no harm in asking!

You have options!

Whether you’re having a small wedding or live in a small town, you probably have more options than you think to have that small, intimate dream wedding. Take a drive around your town and let your imagination take you for a ride. Let’s hear your ideas …


What are your venue choices?



DIY Wedding Centerpieces

Categories Centerpieces + Reception + Wedding Decor + Wedding Flowers

DIY Wedding Centerpieces

Some of the prettiest and easiest wedding centerpiece ideas are right underneath our noses–we just need to look around and perhaps think outside the box a little. If you love the idea of floral centerpieces but need to stretch your wedding budget, check out these simple, inexpensive DIY wedding centerpiece ideas.

Vintage serving pieces & household containers

This is where thinking out of the box comes in handy–especially if you are having a rustic, country, backyard or otherwise vintage-inspired wedding. Match the piece with the flower type and incorporate the beauty of another era onto your tables. Browse thrift stores for inspiration and unique containers.

diy wedding centerpieces

A monochromatic look

Pairing white on white looks fabulous, pristine and elegant.

diy wedding centerpieces


Succulents in vintage ice cream dishes

These common succulents are easy to grow, easy to find and would make unique favors too.


Single flowers in clear decanters

What is more darling than the soft look of single stem flowers? Imagine the light streaming through the clear glass–simple beauty that is part whimsy, part casual but fully pretty! You could have all the same vases or decanters or for an eclectic look–a variety of different shapes and sizes.

diy wedding centerpieces


White daisies & cobalt blue

A striking contrast with a clean, crisp look–white daisies in a sea of cobalt blue. Anyone thinking nautical?

diy wedding centerpiece


Painted tin containers

Save your soup cans and save big on your centerpieces. All you need to do is paint these tin cans in your wedding colors. Easy-peasy. Small bunches of flowers and herbs will bring a casual, colorful, and aromatic appeal to your outdoor tables.

diy wedding centerpieces


Flowers in Egg Cups

Need a sweet wedding favor idea to go along with your brunch or morning wedding? Fill your egg cups with large single flower heads or bunches of little lowers. Delicate and pretty, and easy on your budget.

diy wedding centerpiece


What do you think? Which DIY wedding centerpiece idea would you go for?

images Source: Country Living

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