Justine from Beaumade here to share some wedding planning wisdom with you from everyone’s Instagram BFF, Jessie Kuruc!
Jessie Kuruc <3
Source: Jessie Kuruc Instagram
If you haven’t been living under an Instagram rock, you are probably familiar with the amazing Jessie Kuruc. Best known for her incredible ring paintings, Jessie is also a fine jewelry designer – Jessie’s collaboration with The True Gem will leave you speechless and seriously ready to shop. Side note: if you’re in love with the Jessie Kuruc x The True Gem rings, you can try them on virtually in Beaumade – yay!
If all that wasn’t enough, Jessie also happens to be incredibly kind, LOL funny, and the ultimate girls’ girl.
Besides slaying the artist/Instagram/life game, Jessie is also a newlywed! Jessie’s wedding this past March was an actual dream IRL. And as a bride-to-be myself, I selfishly wanted to hear ALLA the wedding planning advice Jessie had to share, so we sat down virtually (obviously) to chat.
Without further adieu, check out my interview with the one-hundred-emoji, Jessie Kuruc!
Justine from Beaumade: So to kick us off, let’s talk wedding “themes.” As a bride-to-be myself, people have asked me about the “theme” or “vision” we’re going for. Is that a real thing, and if so, what was your wedding theme/vision? How did you come up with it?
Jessie Kuruc: Wedding themes are absolutely a real thing! However, I will say that they’re not a necessary thing. I think deciding on a theme can be really valuable if you’re going for something like “Tim Burton” or “Great Gatsby” because just about every detail will have to be chosen accordingly in order for it to come across. Otherwise, just pick a color palette and a few elements that you want to stick to. I personally didn’t have a theme, but we stuck to neutral colors and incorporated geometric and watercolor elements. Don’t feel like you have to fit your wedding into a box! I see people string random descriptive words together to try to create a theme for their day and it’s really not necessary. We won’t know one way or the other if your linens fit your Romantic-Yet-Rustic Bohemian Themed Garden Party. We really don’t even know what that means.
“I personally didn’t have a theme, but we stuck to neutral colors and incorporated geometric and watercolor elements. Don’t feel like you have to fit your wedding into a box!”
Justine: Did you work with a wedding planner, and would you recommend other people work with one? What tools did you find most useful for finding inspiration, tracking ideas, and managing your budget?
Jessie: Yes and no! I didn’t hire a wedding planner, but I did hire a coordinator who worked with us from the month before the wedding up until the end of the wedding day. I think day-of coordinators get overlooked because you think you can save money and have your mom or maid of honor do it, but at what cost? To me, it was just as much my mom’s day as anyone else’s so there’s no way I wanted her to be stressing about the timeline rather than enjoying the day with me. It’s absolutely worth the investment to have your day run completely smoothly and have the luxury of actually attending your own wedding.
“I think day-of coordinators get overlooked because you think you can save money and have your mom or maid of honor do it, but at what cost? To me, it was just as much my mom’s day as anyone else’s so there’s no way I wanted her to be stressing about the timeline rather than enjoying the day with me.”
As for inspiration, I wish I had a better answer but: Pinterest. My budget was also a total disaster, so I’m not even allowing myself to advise on it. We probably spent 1.5x what we were anticipating but I like to believe that was everyone else’s fault but mine. (It was my fault.) Pro tip: take your actual budget, shoot for 33% less, and then you’ll end up at your actual budget!
Justine: How did you figure out the timeline for your wedding day? Did you do a first look, or wait for Adrian to see you walk down the aisle?
Jessie: The first step is to consult with each vendor and figure out what their needs are. Your caterer will know how long they need for set-up and your photographer knows how long they need for portraits. Your coordinator will be the one running the show, so they should help you dictate your timeline!
We didn’t do a first look, but that was Adrian’s decision! I really wanted to do one, just so we could have more time for photos, but it was really important to him to see me come down the aisle for the first time and I’m really glad we did that. I think it depends on what time your wedding is, actually! If your wedding is at 6 pm and the sun sets at 7, I’d do a first look so you don’t have to take portraits in the dark. But if you have the luxury of light, not doing a first look was actually amazing. We were both really glad we saw each other for the first time at each end of the aisle.
Justine: Let’s get real. So much of wedding planning is budgeting, and figuring out how best to allocate your budget to bring your dream wedding to life on perhaps a not-so-dream budget. What’s one thing you’re SO happy you invested in, and what’s another thing where you’d tell brides-to-be to consider spending less on?
Jessie: The best investment you can make is your photographer. Everything from your wedding, minus a few sentimental keepsakes, will be thrown away. The flowers die, the cake gets eaten, the rentals get returned. The only thing that is timeless is your memories, so why skimp on those? There are so many things you can pass on! Favors? Skip. Flowers? Love them so much, but skip. I worked with Something Borrowed Blooms, a company that rents silk flowers, and it was the best decision I made the entire wedding. Every quote I got from a florist made me break out in hives, so having an alternative that was affordable and just as beautiful was more than I could have asked for.
The best investment you can make is your photographer. Everything from your wedding, minus a few sentimental keepsakes, will be thrown away….The only thing that is timeless is your memories, so why skimp on those?
Justine: I love the idea of life hacks – little tricks to help manage time/money/whatever better. Did you come up with any “wedding hacks” that made planning easier or saved you loads of money?
Jessie: YES! Aside from the rental flowers, shop Etsy for templates! You can get your invitations, place cards, table numbers, menus, seating charts, EVERYTHING for super cheap on Etsy and have them printed locally! The price of paper goods is outrageous, and while everyone would love to invest in talented stationers, it’s not always feasible. This was an awesome way for us to have really pretty signage, support small businesses, and save money.
“Shop Etsy for templates!…This was an awesome way for us to have really pretty signage, support small businesses, and save money.”
Justine: What’s something a little new, unique, or off-the-beaten path you did at your wedding that you think more people should do?
Jessie: Snacks at the end of the night! We passed out salted and cinnamon sugar soft pretzels from Auntie Anne’s at the end of the night and all of our incredibly “hydrated” guests lost their mind. It’s the little things.
Justine: Weddings are infamous for being loads of work, especially in the days and weeks leading into it. How did you feel the week going into your wedding, planning wise? What advice would you give a girlfriend about how to relax heading into the final days before her wedding?
Jessie: Outsource and adopt a DGAF attitude. If you’re confident in your day-of coordinator, you’re not going to be stressed about your vendors! By the time you’re 2 weeks out, stop caring about the little things. We were going to have this amazing send off with LED balloons for people to hold (and not let go of, of course, we’re not monsters) but it became such a logistical nightmare and source of stress that we just said F it and did bubbles and the world didn’t fall off its axis!
Outsource and adopt a DGAF attitude.
Justine: You’re a newlywed, but you’ve also been a bridesmaid before. What’s something bridesmaids can do to make their bride’s life easier? What’s something a bride shouldn’t push on her bridesmaids?
Jessie: I think insisting on helping! I’m a rare case, I genuinely LOVED wedding planning and barely wanted my husband involved, so my bridesmaids just got to roll up the day of, but when I’m a bridesmaid I am like “give me a job, any job.” Whatever you’re skilled at, whether it’s DIY stuff or organization or whatever, send your bride a text and just say “Hey, give me a list of the names and I’ll make the seating chart” or whatever is comfortable for you. Sometimes a blanket “anything I can help you with?” is hard for the bride to answer, so giving suggestions on how you can help is always appreciated.
Justine: Number one piece of wedding planning advice you wish you could pass along to your past self.
Jessie: Don’t plan too far in advance! It’s so easy to be a year and a half out and go crazy with buying stuff so you can ‘be prepared.’ Your mind is going to change after 6 months and you won’t be able to return it!
Justine: This wouldn’t be a Beaumade blog without talking about the bling! Your ring selection process was of course a bit different given that you designed them with The True Gem. What advice do you give girlfriend’s who are looking for their engagement ring and/or wedding band?
Jessie: Go in and try some things on! I loved the extremely thin band trend SO much until I put it on my vienna sausage finger. Go with what you like on your hand, not just on the hands of Instagram hand models. [Editor’s note: you can try on wedding bands from the comfort of home in Beaumade! 🙂 ] And don’t feel like you have to have the trendiest ring ever, either! Don’t you remember how cool those side bangs were in 2009? Things change, girl.
Rapid Fire Speed Round!
Justine: Biggest pet peeve as a wedding guest 🙂
Jessie: NOT. ENOUGH. FOOD. It drives me insane. I don’t necessarily want to say quantity over quality, but I will say that I remember every wedding I’ve left starving. I’d choose a big plate of barbecue over 2 oz of salmon and a side salad.
Justine: First dance song?
Jessie: Ours was Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran!
Justine: Best song to get people on the dance floor.
Jessie: Lemon by N.E.R.D. and Rihanna was wiilllddd at our wedding. We ended the night on it and it got super raunchy. It was beautiful.
Justine: Morning-after brunches – yay or nay?
Jessie: Nay. Between paying for the rehearsal dinner and wedding meals and the morning-after brunch, you might as well just pay for their kid’s college. We met up with some family, but we were happy we didn’t have one more commitment to tend to after so much planning.
Justine: Opening the rehearsal dinner up to your entire guest list – yay or nay?
Jessie: Absolutely not. Splurge on one great night, no need to split your finances between two dinners!
Justine: Wedding toasts from guests – the more the merrier, or limit them?
Jessie: Limit them! A lot of the time, the toasts are only special to the couple and the person giving it, so have them write it in your guest book. Your guests will want to chat with each other, not just listen!
Justine: Honeymoon – go immediately or wait?
Jessie: If you can, go immediately but keep a day in between! We were so glad we had a full day to recover, sleep in, see our close family, and pack!
Jessie: Thank you so much for asking me to chat with you! I hope some brides find a few things that come in handy!
Justine: Thank you times a million! I think I speak for everyone when I say you are our girl crush 🙂