Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Operation: Plan a Wedding

I've been asked to provide more wedding planning updates. Truth is, everything is running pretty smoothly.

*knocks on wood*

J and I decided as soon as we got engaged to not "overthink" the wedding to the point that it overshadows the marriage element. (I know, we're cheesy idealists in love). Sure, I enjoy a beautiful Pinterest wedding, and I see how brides can get lost in all the gorgeous magazines, DIY projects and aspirations for a magazine-worthy wedding. But that seems like a lot of stress.  I want it to be beautiful but more importantly, "us." We decided that our "vision" for the wedding would be: a good time with people we love that ends with us being legally married. Plus, our wedding is at Christmastime, so how could it be anything but magical? There will literally be a Christmas tree at our wedding reception. It's a dream come true.

My mom and I are both planners, so we got a lot done early on. Plus, I've planned large events in previous jobs so I'm no stranger to a to-do list and a timeline. Much like Santa, I love making my list, checking it twice, and then moving on and not looking back. 

Even before we got engaged, J and I knew we wanted a short engagement. However, aligning calendars with families, churches, and venues meant the shortest engagement we could have was nine months. That didn't feel that short but people said, "You wouldn't want less than that anyways! You need at least nine months! That will be tight!"


So, here's the update I'm sure you've all been anxiously awaiting: We've now moved into what I consider "Phase 2" of wedding planning. What's Phase 2 you may ask? Clearly, I'm an expert since I've never done this before and will never do it again, but here's how I see it:


  • Pick a date and a venue
  • Determine a budget and then cry at how much weddings cost
  • Identify group rates at hotels
  • Determine wedding party 
  • Find and confirm all your vendors
  • Say Yes to the Dress
  • Determine colors and bridesmaid dresses
  • Taste food, drink wine, taste more food

We completed Phase 1 within about six weeks of getting engaged, allowing us to have fun, relax, and enjoy summer. (More on that in a future post) I got to make spreadsheets and use excel formulas. It was magical. 


  • Purchase bridal accessories
  • Decide/finalize decor
  • Order and address invitations
  • Plan the ceremony and pick music
  • Order rings and then do not lose said rings
  • Plan for welcome bags (snacks! yes!)
  • Draft programs
  • Discuss day-of schedule

I know I'm omitting other things, but you get the idea. Phase 2 is the last round of planning before the time immediately before the wedding (aka Phase 3: THE TO-DO BEFORE THE I DO). I'm pleased to say we wrapped most of Phase 2 this past weekend when we were in Charlotte. I even had a "hair trial" which is apparently a thing you have to do when you are getting married. Now, we just have to get J a tux, mail the invitations, and enjoy our last three months of engagement. 

Overall, I'm finding wedding planning to be fun and far less stressful than movies would have you believe (I'm looking at you, Father of the Bride and Sixteen Candles). Other things I've learned that movies didn't teach me: 
  • Wedding tastings are the best part of planning a wedding. Popular culture makes you think wedding dress shopping is the most climactic part of wedding planning but finding that meal you think everyone will enjoy is far more exciting. "Say Yes to the Crab Cake" am I right? (Spoiler alert: We aren't having crab cakes.)
  • Wedding colors are actually a very big deal. Immediately after we got engaged, people starting asking me what our wedding colors would be. They would look dejected when I'd say I had no idea. In lieu of official wedding colors, I guess we've opted for wedding "feelings." (I'm the bride and I do what I want, dammit!) In case you were wondering, those would be: classy holiday cheer and warm cozy love.  You know that feeling you get when you see a city street  with trees dolled up in lights? That's our wedding feeling. And also green. 
  • For my next career, I plan to break into the wedding accessories business. I'm going to learn to make veils so I can try and charge people $500 for a piece of tulle. A PIECE OF TULLE. For that price, it should shoot glitter or serve as a wifi hotspot while I walk down the aisle. 
  • If you get married at Christmastime, you can mooch off other people's decorations. The wedding coordinator at the venue actually said, "So, we have a professional decorator who comes and decorates for Christmas and those decorations will still be up, I hope that's OK." Um, yeah, free professional decorating and Christmas trees? I think that will work. 
  • "Included" is the most magical word. For example, we picked a venue that has tables, chairs, linens, etc. included. I don't recall if I even saw what the linens looked like. I was told they are neutral, pretty, and included, so I'm in. I mean, a napkin's a napkin, right?
I'm very excited to see what the next three months will bring. Maybe we should do another food and wine tasting just to make sure we're ready? 

Less than 100 days to go! Let's do this!

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