When I started this blog, I did not picture it involving wedding planning updates (also, I wasn't engaged at the time!). That said, I’ve had a few people ask me whether I’m going write them . . . So I’ve decided to! I hope you enjoy reading this series and that it is encouraging to anyone planning their wedding or dreaming about wedding planning in general. I am figuring out things as I go, so I would absolutely love to hear tips and ideas if you’ve been through this before!
The collage at the top of this post is an inspiration board I made to guide our vision for our wedding. I really recommend making one if you’re in this season. For one, it’s just a fun “task” as far as wedding stuff goes, and also, it’s really helpful to be able to send to potential vendors to give them a quick glimpse of the aesthetic we’re imagining for our day.
Also, I should note that just for the sake of keeping some things private, I’m going to share certain details until after our wedding. Specifically, I have decided not to put our exact wedding date and venue on the internet for just anyone to find, even though I love sharing in this space. So if I’m vague about some details, that’s why! But there’s a lot about the process that I can still share without giving too much away.
In the almost three months since getting engaged, we have:
- Set our wedding date and booked a venue
- Asked our wedding party (20-strong!) to stand beside us
- Booked our amazing photographer
- Booked our wedding coordinator
- Found my wedding dress (that part was just me, since Grace won’t see it until I walk down the aisle. Her attire is still TBD).
- Gathered a lot of inspiration and ideas, started making our guest list, and made a lot of decisions that we now just need to execute (i.e., music, food, florals—we haven’t booked those vendors yet, but we have a strong sense of what we want)
When I write out all that we’ve accomplished in terms of wedding planning, I feel pretty proud of us! It can feel like a never-ending sea of tasks, but I can honestly say it’s all awesome and so fun and exciting. In a season where a lot is changing and we’re both SUPER busy with work, wedding planning is such a great escape from “real life,” and not at all a burden right now. As the time gets closer I might be eating those words, but Grace is the most easygoing person to plan a wedding with. I try to take my cues from her :)
So what’s next? Finalizing a guest list and sending out save the dates is at the top of the to-do list. We still have time, but that’s one thing I’m starting to feel anxious about getting done, especially since we have so many people traveling from overseas or across the country. And, booking the other major vendors (catering, florals, a band, and probably some rentals) will happen pretty soon I hope.
To round out this update, I’m going to answer a few of the questions I have gotten the most since starting to plan our wedding:
How long of a timeline do you have?
I am so ready to marry Grace! I’ve pretty much always known that I did not want to have a long engagement. It’s totally right for some people, but for me, I wanted to make it happen as soon as possible. That timeline turned out to be about 9 and a half months from when we got back from our Alaska trip (where we got engaged). I think it would be pretty stressful to do it in a shorter timeline—plus, a lot of the best vendors get booked far in advance! So even making it happen on about a 9-10 month timeline is a little tight, but I’m so glad we’re doing it this way.
How do you find the major vendors like venue and photographer?
This is the question people have asked the most so far. What I can say is thank goodness for the internet! I found our venue from searching wedding blogs (Style Me Pretty is one of the most useful and comprehensive in my opinion) and spending a lot of time pouring over photo galleries and reviews. I knew the general area where we wanted to get married, so I zeroed in on venues in the area, and then I reached out to about 5 or 6. We planned site visits at 2 to start with, but we ended up booking on the spot at the place we did our first site visit! And just cancelled the other one. It was perfect, and we didn’t need to see any others.
We also found our photographer online and booked her after a phone consultation. I think a photographer is probably the vendor we were pickiest about, especially because Grace is not a fan of the “traditional”/super posed wedding photos, and yet I didn’t want anything too artsy or that wouldn’t look classic in 50 years. I think we found the PERFECT happy medium and I am so excited to have her capture our day.
For our coordinator and all of the other vendors we plan on booking, we have gone through our venue and just asked who they recommend. It’s really helpful to ask your existing vendors who they love working with. I think that’s the best way! It also saves you a ton of time of google searching and hoping you’re making the right choice.
How are you staying organized?
I am using two physical wedding planners. I know, two?! But I have found it extremely helpful. Right after we got engaged, I bought the Southern Weddings Planner online because I love their magazine, and the planner itself is just beautiful (I know I’ll keep it as an heirloom, and I love the idea of my children leafing through all the magazine clippings I cut out and dreams I wrote down). And, my friend Irina sweetly gifted me The Knot Real Weddings Planner. I actually LOVE using both! They are written by different magazine publications, and they both have really good ideas. I feel like I’m getting a bigger cross-section of expertise by using both of them. I also now buy a wedding magazine pretty much every time I’m in an airport or browsing at Target! Though some of them feature kind of ridiculously-over-the-top weddings, I still like getting ideas from them.
What has been the hardest part?
Making our guest list. It’s still not complete, and it’s really difficult. I’ve heard pretty much everyone who’s planned a wedding say that’s the hardest part.
What are you most looking forward to?
I think both Grace and I are really excited for catering and cake tastings! That seems like it would be the best part of wedding planning. I am also super excited for the moment of seeing our invitations all addressed and stamped and putting them in the mail. I love paper and stationary, so that’s very special for me.
Have you planned your honeymoon?
I thought so . . . and now I'm not sure. Right after we got engaged, I suggested to Grace that we go to [destination] for our honeymoon (I'm keeping this a surprise for now, just because I look forward to writing LENGTHY posts dedicated solely to our honeymoon planning!). Grace was totally on board and I told our family and friends that we would be going to [destination], leaving a couple of days after our wedding. But right as I started to look into finding the best places and making reservations and buying plane tickets, I weirdly had a change of heart . . . and now I'm considering something totally different. Grace is the sweetest person on earth and will go along with whatever my heart desires. I wish I could take two honeymoons, because I'm having the hardest time choosing! I know this is all vague, but I'll share more soon. Maybe I'll even do a poll to try to get some advice. It's a good problem to have, but it's tricky!
Thanks for reading. I'll share more soon!