All these planning brides around me. Wedding is the top subject of most conversations lately, My sister just had a wedding, my coworkers are engaged, I have received a very high number of wedding inquiries/ bookings lately. Weddings! Weddings! Weddings! Don't get me wrong, I am loving it! I also added my wedding inspiration from past brides on Fridays but this week is a special post from a bride a year later (rather than a month later) to give you some perspective on what is really important and what your wedding will look like a year later. I was just saying the other day, weddings are kind of like Christmas, the anticipation is so apparent, like having the perfect gift to give, so thought out, so well decorated, so exciting and then comes Christmas morning, the gift is open in what seems like seconds and then it's over. It's REALLY important when planning a wedding to focus on what is the most important to YOU. It's REALLY important to be excited about the marriage and your promise of forever. I loved hearing what Jennie had to say being married a year now and all the wedding dust (and glitter) settled.
1. What was your favorite memory from the wedding?
Ugh, SO HARD TO CHOOSE. I think back to one moment a lot, it was just before the doors opened in the barn. I could hear Laura singing (History in the making by Darius Rucker), and I looked at my dad who said, "Just breathe, this is good." and then the doors opened, and all I could see was Travis. The photos are a crying/smile mess, but it was wonderful.
My favorite moments captured on film ere just after we got married in the corn, and after dinner. Those candids still give me goosebumps to relive, and I highly recommend them to any newlywed. Those times allowed us to take a second out of the wedding craziness to just be with your new partner, and the feeling of "OMG we did it, and it feels awesome!" is plainly visible on our faces.
2. What could you have done without?
We made a huge effort to only focus on details we wanted, in order to splurge on time/money spent on fewer things, rather than spread over a lot of just ok things. We tried to ask ourselves this question often during the process to have few regrets here, and I think we succeeded. Maybe we shouldn't have ordered 12 gallons of ice cream :-) (We went through maybe 6)
3. What is your best advice for planning brides?
Remember the day is expressing your love for each other, and pick a venue, theme, etc that you feel comfortable in. I can honestly say that our day felt so authentic to us because we regularly stopped to ask, "Is this something we'd normally do/that we really like?"
We love to be outside, so we made sure the cocktail hour had games. We don't really like cake, but love ice cream, so we hoped our guests would be one board too (they were). When you feel good about the choices you make about the service itself, the aesthetic choices, and your plan for the day, the wedding will flow smoothly, and leave you only worried about your vows and speeches, not whether your guests are having fun/if xyz is in the right place.
4. Looking back, what was the MOST important?
Marrying my best friend, with our favorite people surrounding us.
5. What did you plan/Book first? Dress, venue, Photographer ?
We tried to book you before we even had a venue (brides- she'll say, maybe if it's a good fit once you book the location)! So I think it went venue (which luckily included a caterer), then photographer, then dress, then band. Although dress shopping was really fun, I really wanted to make sure the dress fit the venue, so I waited until that was booked to start looking.
6. A year later, looking back what were you nervous about? was it necessary?
Logistics- would people catch the busses in time/would the band get set up on time/did everybody have enough food and drink/would people play games at our cocktail hour. I hadn't been to many weddings before ours (2 I think), so I didn't really realize that people will totally just get there and go with the flow. They're there to help you celebrate, and make sure you have a great time at your own wedding. They want to show up on time, and they want to have fun. Don't stress about things being a few minutes behind, or if your guests open up the bar early.
7. What tips do you have for wedding planning brides?
You are capable of at least 50% of what you see on Pinterest, maybe more. We made every decoration, except the old doors, and spent very little on sprucing up the place. I met someone who said her centerpieces alone were over $100 a table. I think ours were $12+an hour of time apiece.
Get a band. I know, everyone has their own tastes, but man, a band livens things up and we had to do a last call for dancing at midnight.
Accept help, in any form! My mom is an expert sewer, so she made quilted table clothes. Travis's parent brew their own beer, and we wanted a toast, so we had them make us a few batches. My sister is very creative, so we asked her to surprise us with a custom cake topper.
8. If you did it again, would you do it the same?
Everything. It was awesome!
9. If you were talking to a newly engaged, what order would you say you should hire vendors?
Venue first, the rest can come as needed. Venue ultimately decides a lot, from capacity, to lighting, to location, so it helps you better interact with your later vendors, and helped me narrow down dress-style.
10. Anything else at all you would like to add...
If you write your own vows, DON'T lose them! I left mine at the alter, and they were lost in the shuffle, I was(and still kind of am) devastated. Also, see point 1. You should absolutely plan for photos for just the two of you during the reception.
This wedding will always go down as one of the greats for me. From the couple to Sugarland venue to the timeline and incredible vendors and wedding party I got to work with, this day was a favorite. I think Jennie and Travis really thought out this wedding and wanted it to be fun for everyone but more importantly wanted it to reflect them as a couple. I hear a lot of worrying about what other people think and want while wedding planning, but think of it in a year or five years or ten. What YOU wanted will really be all thats left and what was most important. A wedding is a day of celebration for the bride and groom, it should be centered around that. So put yourselves first and everyone will love the result!