Because our wedding date is 06/14/14, that doesn’t leave me much time to plan this whole shindig! I’ll be busy with student teaching, etc. from August to next May. Can I pull this off? With a little prayer, delegation, creativity, and support, I am confident it will be awesome!!
Where to begin?
Let me just say that I will NOT be hiring a wedding planner due to the fact that we simply don’t have the budget for it. Which brings me to step one:
I know a lot of wedding “to-do” lists don’t place the guest list at the top, but I think it’s important to consider before making other decisions regarding budget, location, and food. You want to be able to afford your guests. Also, thinking about how many people you will potentially be inviting can immediately dictate the kind of wedding you want– intimate? boisterous? destination? backyard? You get the picture.
After realizing that we could be inviting 150-200 people, I sat down with my parents to discuss how much they were willing to contribute. I also looked at my own finances and drew up a number that I could handle. My fiance’s mom was generous to offer to pay for wedding expenses as well. Once we figured out our ballpark budget, it was time to narrow down a place!
We will be having a Catholic wedding ceremony. However, our local church is too small to accommodate the amount of guests we would expect! (both Ryan and I have giant families– that alone drives the number skyward.) So we looked around in neighboring cities and found a gorgeous church that fits the aesthetic we love (open, airy, garden) as well as the potential guest list! As for the reception, we honed in on a lovely park down the street that includes several spaces we could rent: a gazebo, hall, and fountain area. All together, these areas are affordable to rent (given that Ryan’s brother is a city resident) and would nicely accommodate all our guests. Plus, they come with all the tables and chairs we would need! SCORE!!
Once we have these three big things out of the way, the rest comes easy.
You should get an idea of who you want to stand up with you at the altar! Once you have these people selected, make sure you keep them in the loop regarding the planning process.
Since it’s now summer and we will be getting married next summer, what better time to shop for wedding attire? After doing acres of research online, I realized that shopping at a place like David’s Bridal would be far easier than trying to find dresses that coordinate at other stores. I originally wanted the different styles/same colors sort of vibe, but honestly unless you are shopping at a store that offers different dresses in the same hue, the process becomes way more complicated!
Once I looked at David’s Bridal, I was sold on their variety of chiffon dresses and the plethora of color choices. Since I have six bridesmaids of all different shapes and sizes, I decided to shop with my two curviest girls first. I cannot stress enough the importance of trying the dresses on first! I was able to see how my first choice of bridesmaid’s dresses looked frumpy and felt uncomfortable while my last choice fit them gorgeously and felt amazing! The colors also look different online– while I originally was attracted to greens, I couldn’t resist the stunning indigo color of their “Lapis” color hue. It looked great on pale skin tones without washing them out, and complemented tan skin as well!
I withdrew my original intention to have each girl in a different dress when I saw that the dress these two girls had on would flatter EVERYONE better than any of the other dresses there. Sometimes bridal stores just offer what you’re looking for better than department stores. For my case, this dress just worked! My thoughts were confirmed when I saw two more of my bridesmaids try on the dress and it looked great. I know it’s still a year in advance, but having my girls purchase the dress NOW will save headaches later when problems like late dress arrivals and alterations slow down the process.
An added bonus to shopping at David’s Bridal meant that we could coordinate our color choices with Men’s Wearhouse. They even offer a deal where the Groom gets a free tux rental! How about that!? A lot of the consultants were surprised that I hadn’t tried on dresses myself yet, but honestly I have an idea of what I like already and the dresses will go with ANYTHING I choose. They are so simple and elegant! I will be making my own appointment to try on dresses soon, once my sister (MOH) and grandma can be with me!
THE FUN STUFF!
I won’t have much time to DIY decor, favors, and other odds and ends during the school year, so why not start now? I will be making pinwheels, cupcake stands, napkin rings, table overlays, picture frames, and flower pots as well as collecting old books to use as center pieces. We just took engagement photos, so we expect to be printing those to use in the decor as well as sending out a few save the dates!
This website also offers wedding resale items! A little pricey, but maybe a good last resort?
Well now you know my goals for this summer. It’ll be fun trying to get everything together!