I’ve decided to start a new series documenting my wedding planning process – partially for myself as a memento to look back on this time and partially because I want to let other women who are may have a similar personality style as me to know that they are not the only ones. More specifically, my goal is to show women that just because you aren’t big on parties or big crowds or having the attention on you, there are ways to plan a special day for you and the love of your life that are pleasing to your relatives, yet doesn’t leave you terrified and dreading your day.
When I got engaged about two weeks ago I was ecstatic and elated and couldn’t believe it and filled with even more love for my now fiancé, Chris, than I thought was possible. However, I was also overcome with a sense of worry almost immediately. I knew that there was no way I would be able to have my small, quiet day in a vineyard I envisioned in my head with 25 of our closest friends and family members. I knew that I was about to step into a very busy couple of months of planning, making phone calls, visiting/meeting a lot of new people, and getting in touch with extended family and friends that aren’t necessarily in my “circle of comfort” that we interact with on a regular basis.
Chris and I were lucky enough to have a trip up north planned for the day after we got engaged, so we were able to get away, just the two of us, for almost three full days before having to come back to the real world and start the craziness. Almost immediately after we got home, my mom wanted to start planning (rightly so, as the date we have been looking at only allows us about a 5.5 month engagement) and just about everyone in my life had a plethora of questions. When we started telling people that we were planning to get married in the fall, the two questions we got over and over again were “THIS fall?!” and “Are you pregnant?!” and I swear if I hear those one more time, I might lose it.
But in all actuality, I know it’s a pretty quick timeline, so here is what we have been working on in these last 2ish weeks since getting engaged:
- The venue. I knew I wanted to go with an outdoor, rustic theme, but with some sort of an indoor option, too, if the weather is bad. After looking at and researching a ton of places online, I have narrowed it down to 5 and my mom and I are going to go see them tomorrow. Our goal is to pick a place and confirm a date tomorrow, too, which I feel would just alleviate so much of my worry right now and allow me to start actually focusing on the fun parts – bridal party, decorations, food, honeymoon, etc.
- The photographer. Years ago, I saw some wedding photos of a friend of a friend and was immediately obsessed. They were perfect – not posed, so natural, and really told the story from beginning to end of the entire day. I bookmarked her website and came back to it as soon as we got engaged. She just so happened to have a little availability this fall, so my mom, my sister Sara, and I went to go meet with her last week. She also calmed a lot of my nerves by giving me a typical timeline of the day and by letting me know that she always does a personalized, detailed agenda for each wedding. Again, once we nail down the venue and date tomorrow, I’m hoping to book her and start planning engagement pictures, outfits, hair/makeup…
- The catering. We have a few different options for catering, depending on if the venue we select provides menu options or not. I’m kind of hoping for not, since I like things more personalized and don’t want to be stuck to choosing from one set menu they have. We also want to go for more of a strolling theme, with food stations around the property, and less of a formal sit-down dinner. Chris is taking care of the bar himself (and has an awesome idea), so that’s one thing I can cross off my list.
- The dress. I made a few appointments in about 2 weeks to go look at dresses with my mom and sisters. All I know is that I want something simple with a cut-out back.
- Little details. My sweet friend Clare got me a beautiful wedding planner, so my mom and I spent some time over the weekend going through it and looking at all the little details it encourages you to plan ahead of time – a lot that I would have never thought of on my own. It’s kind of like having a real person wedding planner, but without paying the cost or dealing with conflicting opinions (which I know a lot of my friends have struggled with). I love it.
There have been a few disagreements on the things listed above, and since (in my opinion) items 1 – 4 are the biggest parts of the wedding, I know that I’ll feel a lot better once they are confirmed and can’t be changed. The main reason we want to get married this fall is because we know we want to get married and start the next part of our lives’ together, so why wait? I have also always wanted to get married in the fall and don’t want to wait 1.5 years for next fall. It also helps that the short timeline doesn’t really give a lot of room for things to change or to go back and forth on the big decisions – something I would highly recommend for people that are stressed out by the thought of planning a wedding.
Although some women love to debate and find the perfect “everything,” I’m not one of those people. I want the day to be an expression of us, fun for our best friends and family, and a celebration of how much we love each other. As long as our general ideas are taken into that equation, we will be happy. And the planning is made much easier by having some wine while doing it….. 😉
In the next installment of this series, I’m going to talk about the guest list – a huge source of contention for people with anxiety, who like to keep things small and are only really comfortable around a select group of people.