Everyone has a vision of what they want for their wedding and has different priorities, so I want to start by saying even though I had my dream wedding, it wasn't perfect, but in the end really did turn out to be my dream wedding. I'm writing about how I planned my dream wedding, but the "how" may not be what you think.
It was May and we got engaged on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were practically the only ones on the beach when he proposed at 8 am. I was in shock! And so happy. Once I got engaged, like so many of you, I obsessed over Pinterest, created a wedding board and made a real mood board (yes, I actually cut out pictures from magazines!).
make a list of what you know you want
Since the options are literally endless in every aspect of the the planning process, start by narrowing it down with what you know you want.
I always wanted a small, intimate, outdoor wedding. Going into it I was sure I wanted the following:
- Date: A spring/summer wedding (May or June)
- Guests: Small guest list to keep it intimate
- Dress: Sweetheart neckline, belted if possible (I was open to silhouettes)
- Colors: White, blush pink or lavender, grey or taupe
- Location: Outdoors in nature, preferably near or in front of a lake
let the planning begin - the venue
I basked in being engaged for the summer before I started planning. Come September I started to get anxious and was ready to jump in knowing I wanted a spring wedding. Planning events was part of my job as a PR Manager, so it definitely helped when it came time to plan my own wedding. I was methodical in my planning yet it was still so easy to get overwhelmed with choices!
Knowing wedding venues get booked a year in advance and that wedding dresses take at least six months to make, I started there.
Once we set our budget I made a list of potential locations but they were either not available, too far from the city for guests, too pricey or some other reason. It was stressful. I almost considered getting married down south just the two of us but I knew deep down I really wanted to share this day with those closest to us.
I started by making appointments with a bunch of venues and would book 2-3 visits at a time that were located in the same area. My sister who was also the maid of honor came withme and she was super helpful because 1. I trust her opinion 2. We have the same taste and she knows what I like 3. She helped to ask questions and check things out in case I missed anything.
We eventually found a gorgeous golf course. It checked of a lot of boxes. The ceremony would be on the grounds and the reception would be in a beautiful ballroom. They had their own team of vendors for food, music, decor which made it easy. We booked it in September for a June wedding. Done.
Suprisingly, this was one of the easiest decisions theourhgt the entire planning process! I found 'the dress' on my first visit at a bridal boutique! I tried on maybe five dresses, all different styles and silhouettes but when I tried that one on, I KNEW. It's so true what they say!
Photography was at the top of my list (food was at the top of my husband's). I had my eye on a few photographers and price-wise most were in the same price range. There were a couple who were slightly more expensive and we went with one of them. I was so excited when we chose our photographers! Not only are they extremely talented, we just clicked with them too (they're married)!
It was the end of the year and now that I had the venue, the dress and the photographers I could relax a little. Or so I thought. Keep an eye out for the Part 3 for the rest of the planning process and to see how it turned out!