Sunday, December 11, 2011

wedding planning 101

the ring (the picture doesn't really do it justice)
oh my! what a crazy three (almost) weeks it has been. being engaged is heartwarming! to feel the love and excitement, the joy and the blessings everysingleday! oh and putting on that ring every morning and getting to stare at it all day long, well that's kinda fun too! (it is gorgeous! if i do say so myself.)

i've had a time line for awhile now about when i would want to get engaged and when i would want to get married to Chris, and thankfully all the pieces are slowly falling into place exactly where i imagined they would fall (in their own unique way of course). ...i'm truly starting to really believe that what you put out there in the world with your positive vibes and hopeful thoughts really does come back and complete you to give you what you want!

i knew that if i was engaged before the end of the year i would want all the major stuff taken care of before heading home to NM for Christmas. and it is such a huge stress relief to report that all of the big stuff is taken care of!!!

date: check
ceremony: check
reception: check

those three elements are done and taken care of! (details will be forthcoming.)

now i need some of your input! here are some questions i've thought of, i'm sure there will be lots more as time moves closer to the big date! (countdown is a little less than 10 months away!)

what is your wedding planning advice? - it's so insane to think that you do all of this planning for one day, and none of that planning knowledge really get's put to use again. well this is your chance to give me some of the knowledge that you learned!

where do i get ready? - our ceremony is in the afternoon. the night before the wedding Chris will sleep at the house, and i'll sleep at the hotel (i plan to wait to see him until i'm walking down the aisle). do i get ready at the hotel?, at the church?, at the reception hall?. ...both the church and the reception hall have bridal suite's where i can get ready. i'm pretty sure the church will be open all day for our use, and the reception hall will be open at 1pm for our use.

what kind of guest book did you have? - i've seen a big picture of the couple and you sign the border around it, i've seen a big silver platter that you can engrave, the classic guest book, in a bridal magazine i saw a polaroid camera where the person signing takes a picture of themselves puts it in the guest book along with congratulations and advice...

what music should be played? - both for the ceremony and reception? any classic tunes i have to have, let me know!

how far in advance did you go wedding dress shopping? - a lot of the bridal magazines suggest going now, some say 6 - 8 months prior. i am of course like every other bride wanting to lose weight before the wedding...and for that reason don't want to shop now. any in put would be great!

any cost saving tips? - i'm slowly beginning to see how every little detail can add up to a lot of money! what did you do to save? what did you LOVE that spent more money on? what did you look back on and think "we really didn't have to spend money on that?"

i do have more specific questions, but i think that is good for now.
i'm so elated that Chris is on board! he's been a big part of the wedding planning and the input. definitely a hands-on groom! (he was quick to point out that there are no groom magazines.) on the drive home from Kearney after Thanksgiving we pretty much spent the whole 5 hour drive talking about the wedding and our vision for the day! it's gonna be one helluva a celebration!!!

i'm getting married!!!
triple cardio 60min


Erin said...

I couldn't really give any suggestions other than to really shop around and talk to past customers/clients to get their input. Sean and I got married in Disney World and we were completely spoiled because everything was a package deal. Disney gave us our own planner to help us with specifics, but other than that, everything was taken care of. I've heard it can be very stressful, but just follow your gut and enjoy the ride! The day itself will go by SOOO fast, so don't worry too much ahead of time! Good luck!! :-)

the emily said...

April I GASPED when I saw your ring! It's GORGEOUS!!! I loooove it! I can't wait for more details!

My advice: get a good photographer. My number one regret was our photographer. He was fine and cheap but I wish so badly I had had real professional awesome pictures taken. In that vein, I would also suggest getting bridal portraits of just you a few weeks BEFORE the big day. That way you can see what you like--if you want to change your hair or makeup decisions, before the actual wedding. Just a thought.

Getting ready depends on what you want to happen. If you want to feel relaxed and not rushed, I would get ready where you are most comfortable. If you're getting your hair or make-up done professionally there won't be a lot you actually have to do, so getting into your dress could take place at the church. If you are doing those things yourself or having a friend do them, I would do it at a hotel where you have plenty of counterspace and available mirrors. If the church has a good bridal space (see it beforehand to see what you think), I would do it there. It will be so much easier than having to travel. Our reception hall didn't have anything more than bathroom stalls and I didn't know that beforehand and it made getting into my dress a little awkward--I didn't want it to touch the bathroom floor, you know?

I had a traditional guest book in our wedding book and I've never even glanced at it since the day we used it. :) Find something you like and go with it.

Most dress shops will tell you to order the dress NOW. My dress took 8 weeks to get in and alterations took another 8-10 weeks. The skirt was too long but because of the details on the bottom, they had to take the skirt completely off the bodice of the dress and hem it from the top, so it was a big deal. Also, it turns out I was a size 5 at the time and had to order a size 6 and take it in to make it smaller, because the 6 was too big and the 4 was too small. You never know what's going to happen. I would do it as soon as you can. My niece got engaged over Thanksgiving weekend and ordered her dress that next Monday (but she's getting married in March so she had to move fast).

I would also recommend a fresh flower bouquet. They're expensive but look so much prettier. If you don't want to throw your bouquet (if you want to keep it I mean), get two so you can throw one and keep one.

I didn't spend a lot at my wedding. My cake was the most expensive thing ($600). Even my dress was only $400, although with alterations and veil it was more like $800 I guess. We didn't have a sit-down dinner so food was inexpensive--and I didn't get ANY of it. :)

So what I would definitely spend money on would be the dress and the photographer. Centerpieces are pretty but you can't really use them again, so I wouldn't spend a ton on those.

whew! That's quite a comment! I am SO EXCITED FOR YOU, APRIL!!! Weddings are my favorite. I can't wait to see how yours comes together. I hope you work out a LOT so I can read all about it. :)

Anonymous said...

Waited for this blog forever!!!

My Baby is Getting Married!!!!

My tears are overflowing, such a
beautiful ring. I want a framed picture of it . . . please . . .
and one with Chris on his knee!!!:)

Love ya bunches, MOM

PS Tell Chris he should write-up something for Grooms and submit to the Golf Digest and Sports Illustrated!!!

Tammy said...

You're getting married!!! Congratulations!!!:) That is soooo awesome! Am I invited???;) JK. I don't really have any advice, but if I think of any, I will be sure to let you know!!LOL

sarahlove said...

The ring Chris gave you is so perfectly YOU. Shiny, sweetly delicate and gorgeous, just like your heart. Love it.

You get what you give. For sure! Remember back when negative thinking took over your mind and soul? You have come so far! I am beyond proud of you. :) Happiness is a choice and I am so so so glad that you are finally in your element of life and THRIVING. What an awesome feeling for you! YOU DID THIS! YOU MADE THIS DECISION. Can you tell I am proud of you? I really am!!!! HUGS!

Wedding planning advice? I've already told you this but will say it again. Plan all you want (and yes you will have a time line and such that you will try your best to stick to) BUT things occur on the day that aren't planned. IF you run into any hic-ups, just think of it as part of your story and just go with it! Nothing else matters on the day except enjoying the processing of getting married to the love of your life.

Where should you get ready? Depends on a couple of things. Do you want to travel with your dress on from the hotel to the church? AND will the church allow you plenty of time to get ready there and have family photos prior to the ceremony? (I'm referring to documentation of portraits of you alone, you with your mom, you with your dad, you with your bridal party or other special friends or guests. Not of you with Chris. As you stated, you aren't seeing each other until you walk down the isle so pictures with him will happen after the ceremony.) If you plan on getting ready at the church I would suggest being ready (that means with your dress on) 1.5 hours prior to the ceremony!

Guest book? I had one. Like Emily, never looked at it. Seriously. Never ever opened it and don't even know where it is! SO BAD, I know. But one thing we did have at our engagement party was an advice book that we passed around and had people write messages in- over the years, I have looked at that countless times. It always makes me smile knowing that so many people supported our love. That being said, I have an idea for you. You could put an envelope with note cards at each table and on the envelope write something along the lines of: 'Please enclose relationship/love/friendship advice for Chris and April to open on their 1st Wedding Anniversary.' Each table will have a different year. Then each year you have encouraging words to read. Just an idea! In addition to that, you can also have the framed picture where people sign the mat. That way you have something to look at all the time!

sarahlove said...

PART TWO (didn't realize I had a limit!) LOL!

Music? Anything that gets people UP dancing or tapping their feet. IF you have a good DJ they will know what songs work and what don't. A little bit of rock and roll, slow songs and timeless classics are always sure hits. Things like techno and heavy metal usually leave the floor lonely. Weddings are the type of place for feel good music. I know that I wasn't very specific in my answer but I hope that I least helped guide you somewhat.

Dress shopping? You should go now. At least window shopping and try on dresses to get an idea of what you think you want. Many times brides go into a dressing room with an idea of what they 'thought' they always wanted but then end up liking a totally different look. If that were to happen, it could set you back in your search because you've been only looking at a specific style. Don't judge a dress on the hanger. ;) ALMOST ANY dress can be altered at ANY time by ANY deadline. GASP. (I think seamstresses will despise me for saying that.) The fact is that you will pay for it if it's a rush order. (They will be happy I added that part.) It's easier to go alter down than alter up. Point is, start now. I know you've been looking and probably already have an idea of what you want. TRY on a million dresses. Even if they are ones you don't think you like. Because you CAN! :)

Savings? Food, cake, limos and anything else that's 'disposable' after the wedding. THE WORST thing couples can and many times DO is go into a marriage IN DEBT by thinking they have to entertain their guests with fancy hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour or providing fancy party favors to take home. Your guests don't care what they eat. They don't care what the party favor is! They are there to see YOU get married and to celebrate with YOU!

LOVE? I love the things that I still enjoy looking at to this day which are: my rings, my photographs, my wedding dress and MY HUSBAND. (Not that I spent money on my husband in that way but... because he wasn't a mail order husband or anything creepy like that... although we did get married overseas. I just wanted to throw the word 'husband' in there.) ;)

Yahooooooo! You are getting married!

PS I will not be offended in any way if you do or don't take my 'knowledge'. It's your day! Create it the way YOU both want it. Happy planning!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Emily about your photographer! I would say you do not want to skimp on that. I can get you info on a couple good places if you like.

Other than that I would say do what is right for you and Chris. We got married in Vegas and everything was a packaged deal. My flowers were the "sore spot" but it all worked out due to some overbooking on their end and I got them for free! WOOT WOOT! Fresh flowers are definately prettier than silk, but they are pricey too. I did not want typical wedding music at our reception, no YMCA, Electric slide etc and really no slow dancing. The only time we slowed it down was for our first dance but I asked my brides maids to join with their SO's as well. I wanted it to be a party like we were at da club. So I was very specific with my DJ on what I wanted. And she stuck to it.

You are allowing US to celebrate with you; it is all about YOU and CHRIS. Do what makes you both happy.

One more thing: my only advice to you for your wedding gown is to find something that you LOVE with the body you have when decide to go try on dresses. Do not worry about what it would look like if/when you lose 30lbs. This was probably the best advice I got. I found something I loved with the body I had - then when I went in for my first fitting I was pleasantly surprised to have to take it in. I still would have loved it if if no alterations were needed.

Happy Planning my friend!


Anonymous said...

Oh, and we had people sign a ceramic platter because we didn't do engagement pics (D is stubborn). I never put it up and then it broke when one of the kids stepped on it. So i guess that was the one thing I wasted money one.