Ok this wedding! This wedding was amazing, but what I really truly connected with was Kelsey's bravery while wedding planning. I'm so happy to share her tips and stories with you because she really put together a GORGEOUS wedding but she did it her way and even changed her dress after she purchased one. I am a broken record when it comes to doing it your way and being resourceful. If you want a different dress, get it. If you need to change your date to get the venue or photographer you want, change it. No fear. It's wedding! I loved that about Kelsey! Also loved her input here and I think you will agree she nailed this wedding! So who better to get planning advice from?
What was your favorite memory?
So many! But I’ll try to narrow it down to my top three. I definitely envisioned our wedding to have a certain feel and certain look and walking out into the barn to see it all come together before our guests got there, gave me all the feels. Everything I had pictured had come to life, and that was amazing. My 2nd favorite was waiting out of sight with my dad to walk down the aisle. All the wedding party had walked down and we were hiding behind a house so none of the guests would see me. He gave me some sage fatherly advice and it was a really special moment with just the two of us. And lastly, as cliché as it sounds, but the wedding ceremony. Adam got choked up and I really tried to embrace every second of it, and loved it :) Oh and the bomb dinner food (shout out to Three Guys & a Grill for catering – so delicious and we ate up the leftovers for the next week!)
What could you have done without?
A less extensive dessert bar – we had a cake, cupcakes and donuts and had *so* much left-over, it was probably a little over-board.
What was the best advice you received?
To stay present. I think I actually read that from a previous blog Dani had posted from a bride from two years ago and I really took it to heart. Every part of the day, from getting ready with my bridesmaids, to the ceremony, dinner, dance etc… For every part of it, I tried to just take a quick 30 seconds and stay present so that it all wouldn’t fly by too fast.
What did you book first? Venue, Dress, Photographer.....what order would you suggest?
We booked our venue first since we knew we needed a date before inquiring with other vendors. Once this was booked, I reached out to photographers to gage pricing, style and availability and quickly booked this second. I think this order worked well!
What were you nervous about and was it worth it?
The weather! As I mentioned above, I envisioned a certain feel for the day and that involved having the reception dinner in the barn. Due to the size of our wedding, the venue was unable to flip the barn from the ceremony to the reception so this required our ceremony to be outside. I was all for this, but was super nervous about the weather being ok. It turned out to be theperfect day so it was definitely worth it. I think even if it had been raining, we would have made it work :)
What tips do you have for planning brides?
First, stay organized. Second, ask multiple vendors for prices, don’t just settle for the first one you find. I inquired with multiple vendors regarding linen & cutlery prices, draping, chairs etc. Even though it was a lot of work, I think we found some really great deals. And lastly, stay true to you and your fiancé! There were a few very “traditional” wedding things we left out, notably the bouquet & garter toss, my dress and traditional cake cutting. We just didn’t feel that that was a priority for us and something we’d rather not do, so we didn’t. It’s YOUR day, do what feels best to you!
If you could do it over again what would you change if anything?
I would have spent more time looking for a dress. (so I didn’t end up having to buy two!). See below
Tell us about how you chose your dress and bridesmaids dresses:
I don’t live near my parents so my mom came to visit me for a day of dress shopping. Doing it all in one day was a bit much for me – and by the end of the day I was just ready for it to be over so ended up buying one at the last shop we went to. Well, it came in and I tried it on and it just didn’t “wow” me. Then as I drove home from work one night, I spotted a different one in the window, decided to try it on (by myself!) and I loved it. I had a friend come with me the next day to make sure I wasn’t crazy since it was a little non-traditional, but she loved it and I knew in my gut it was “the one”. So I sold the other one on Ebay, ordered the new one and it all ended up working out in the end. For my bridesmaid dresses, I knew I had to get one that was available at a national chain as my bridesmaids live all over the Midwest. I just tried to find a color that fit and a style that would look good on all body types
How did you stay organized?
I was lucky enough to have a wedding planner so that helped keep me organized! She used a program called Aisle Planner that had a checklist based on how far out we were from the big day and various other pages dedicated to catering, dessert, ceremony etc. The checklist method was definitely one that worked for me and I know there are numerous other free ones available online. The checklists are *especially* great for thinking of little details you may not think of
Anything you'd like to add?
I mentioned it above but stay true to yourself & your fiancé! Get the dress YOU want that makes YOU feel good. Get the food you want, even if it’s not traditional. Don’t feel pressured to include traditional parts of the wedding day if you don’t want them. You have one wedding day. I wanted to look back and have no regrets about doing or not doing things – and I can honestly say we have none!
Full Wedding Preview Here with Links to vendors: Kelsey and Adam