Another Wednesday, another wedding post! This is one I’ve been dying to share with y’all… my first ever planning update!
Let’s backtrack a bit, shall we? Andrew and I got engaged about five weeks ago, and have been hard at work (ok… maybe one of us more than the other ;) planning a June, 2019 wedding ever since! (We’re keeping the actual date private but will share all the details after!)
While around nine months is certainly enough time to plan a wedding, I knew I wanted to get moving on the bigger decisions ASAP. One of my biggest goals for this season is to truly enjoy engagement and not let the stress of planning get to me, so I figured the more I could get done upfront, the better!
So… what decisions have we made thus far?
One of the best pieces of advice I received was to book the things there are only one of first. For example, a band can only play one wedding per night, while a florist may be able to take on multiple clients for one date. So if we’re following this example, it makes sense to decide on the band before the florist. See what I mean?
So, I set out to make as many big decisions and secure as many of those single-bride vendors as I could. It’s only been a few weeks, and there’s still so much on my to-do list, but I’m so excited to share the items that have since been crossed off the list and the order we’ve done that in!
Before we get into this (lengthyyyy, you’ve been warned) post, let me say one quick thing. At the end of the day, this wedding we’re planning is merely a fun celebration of a commitment Andrew and I are choosing to make for the rest of our lives. That commitment is what we are most excited about, and above a big party and a perfect day, I am praying that God’s love is showcased through every bit of it. So as much fun as it is to go through these details, my prayer is that they remain just that… details… and that the real purpose of this celebration stays at the center of every plan we make!
Ok, jumping off my soapbox. Let’s jump in!
Andrew and I knew we wanted to get married in June (more on that later), so our biggest initial cross-your-fingers-and-say-a-prayer moment came to seeing if the church we wanted to get married at had any open Saturdays that month. This was the decision that dictated everything else… the date, the reception location, etc. It all came down to if the church had availability!
I know it’s not this way everywhere, but popular ceremony venues book up incredibly far in advance here in Dallas. In fact, it’s pretty common knowledge that booking a wedding at one chapel in particular for example, Perkins Chapel, can book years in advance. (Yes, you read that correctly.) So needless to say, I was worried we may have some difficulty with this!
Y’all, when the church wedding coordinator called me back to say that she had two available dates for us to choose from in June, I literally jumped and danced around my kitchen in excitement. Getting a June date at our dream ceremony venue less than a year ahead of time felt like a dream come true, and meant I could finally move on to the other details!
Well, you just read all about how picking our date played out above. :) No need to elaborate further!
Our biggest priority after finding a date and booking the church? Securing our photographer! I have always been the sort of girl who loves to dream about weddings (I attribute it to my mother not allowing my sister or I to read any sort of magazines besides bridal ones – ha!) and have always known photography would be a huge priority to me. After all, it’s one of the few things from your wedding you’ll have for a lifetime!
There is one Dallas photographer in particular whose work I have admired for literally years. It’s always been my dream that he would shoot my wedding! I’m not sharing who it is just yet… but let’s just say I was beside myself when I was told our date was the only June date he still had available! Praise, y’all.
I can’t wait to share more about who we’re using to capture the day, but let me just tell you that y’all are going to love him. His work is stunning… classic, timeless, ageless, beautiful and so real. (And don’t get me started on how beautiful his studio is.) I’m simultaneously giddy with excitement and filled with peace in trusting him to make this day something Andrew and I are able to look back on for years to come. Can’t wait to spill who this special person is soon!
✓ Reception Venue
When it came to deciding on a reception venue, a country club wedding just made the most sense to us. While they can be cliche and don’t always make for the most unique of settings, there’s something about the timelessness and formality a country club reception offers that I love. I also really appreciate that, in terms of planning, so much is taken care of in one fell swoop… the venue, the catering, the servers, etc. It’s so nice knowing that weddings are something they host often and have down to a science!
Now, the process of selecting which country club was a whole other story. There are two clubs in particular that we love here in Dallas and were able to get a hold put on for our date. Let me tell y’all… we spent two weeks debating which to proceed with! In the end, our decision really came down to the experience we wanted to create for our guests. The one we decided on fit my personal style best, and is one that Andrew and I haven’t already attended multiple weddings at. We really wanted something that felt fresh and new both for us and for our friends who have been on the wedding circuit as of late!
Another element that makes the club we decided on extra special? It’s where my parents had their reception over twenty years ago!
Up until deciding on a band, Andrew and I were incredibly lucky in terms of availability. We really want to make the reception tons of fun for everyone there, and having an amazing band is definitely a huge part of that. I think my mom and Andrew would both agree that the band is probably their number one priority for the reception! :)
So as soon as we secured our date, I reached out to see if Emerald City Band was available. Y’all… this group can get down, and if you’ve seen them you know exactly what I mean! They played at the wedding of one of my best friends this summer, and we didn’t leave the dance floor! So upon hearing that they, along with their sister band, were already booked up on our date, I immediately started looking into other options.
I don’t know what had gotten into me, but everything I looked at after that just didn’t seem quite as fun. I just kept thinking to myself “I don’t want people dancing to the cha cha slide for the 500th time out of obligation. I want them genuinely having the best time!” That’s when I had a crazy idea. Let’s just say there’s a band I saw perform at a wedding a couple of years ago, and they single-handedly made it one of the most fun receptions I’ve ever been to! Y’all, they are way different from your usual wedding-singer troupe, but that’s why I am so excited for them to make this night even more memorable. Let’s just say they’ll definitely turn this traditional, southern reception into one heck of a party!
✓ Hair & Makeup
Another vendor that can usually only service one bride a day? A hair and makeup artist! This was another instance in which I was lucky enough to secure my first choice, and it feels like a huge weight taken off of my shoulders knowing she (can’t wait to spill who soon!) will have this all under control! Have y’all ever had a blowdry or makeup appointment go terribly wrong, and you end up feeling miserable instead of dazzling for the rest of the night? Before booking our hair and makeup artist, this was probably my biggest fear for my wedding day… just not feeling myself! Let’s just say that I’m thrilled to be in these oh-so-capable hands!
It’s so wild seeing that little check next to “honeymoon.” I’m already ridiculously excited, and I still have a whole wedding to enjoy before then! I wish I could fill you in on exactly where we’re going, but Andrew has made it clear that he’s not going to budge an inch… he wants to keep it a surprise! Seeing as he managed to pull off the most incredible surprise of my life, I’m loving leaving this all to him! He has assured me that we’ll be heading to somewhere with a beach, and I already can’t wait to get shopping. Goodness, think I should to slow down much?? ;)
Whew. If you’ve made it to the end of this post, I am seriously impressed! I set out to make a short bullet list… and ended up with a novel. Thank y’all for caring enough to read along!
Everything is starting to feel real now that these big decisions have been made, and I’m in the process of wrapping up a few more here in these next two or three weeks! The next few items on my to-do list?
My sweet mom and I have been to quite a few floral meetings in the past two weeks. I never expected just how fun these would be! Being able to brainstorm and dream with professionals who do this sort of thing for a living has been incredibly inspiring and eye-opening. We’ve been shocked at how much we’ve learned through these meetings alone!
We’ve officially wrapped up our meetings, and are now in the process of reviewing proposals and deciding on a team. We’re getting so close to deciding, and once this piece of the puzzle is in place, we can really start moving on fun design elements. I hope to have this checked off by the end of this week or early next week!
EEE!!! The dress! I can’t even tell you the number of gowns I’ve tried on (trust me, I’ll be sharing so much more about this process later) but what I can tell you is that I’ve settled on almost exactly what I want. I’m not going to give too much away, but let’s just say it’s very similar to what I imagined I’d always wear… yet also different! I haven’t pulled the trigger yet and still have a few more options I want to explore, but we’re getting close, y’all!
One project I’m wanting to complete by mid-November? Asking my bridesmaids! I haven’t even thought about how I’ll do it yet, but know I want to do something special and fun. So many of y’all have requested details on who will be in my bridal party along with how I’ll be asking, so I’ll be sure to share more on that in future Wedding Wednesday posts!
P.S. If you have any creative ideas for asking bridesmaids, I’d love to hear them!
A couple of weeks ago, my mom, Andrew’s mom and I all sat down for a little wedding-planning pow wow. (It was seriously the most fun thing ever!) One thing we decided on? Finalizing our guest list by October. Squirm.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge how putting together a guest list is just about the hardest thing I have ever done?! Our ceremony location holds about 300, so we’ve decided to use that as our number. Even though that sounded so big to me initially, I’ve quickly realized just how many people I’d love to include and just how hard it is to make that doable! My now-married friends all warned me that this is one of the hardest parts of planning. Oh boy, do I believe it!
The final thing on my “complete as soon as possible” list? Invitations! This is the one area that my mother has a very strong opinion on. She wants timeless and traditional through and through. While I definitely want something timeless and traditional as well, I’d also love to bring in some unique elements that help set the tone for the look and feel of our wedding. Let’s just say we’re working on figuring out how to combine these two “visions!” :) Y’alls recommendations last week for a custom wedding monogram were so helpful, and I’m definitely in the process of looking through each one!
I must apologize again for how lengthy that list got… this has been so helpful for me to write out, as I haven’t looked at what we’ve done and what we need to do next in one place yet! Hopefully, this gives you a feel for where Andrew and I are in the planning process. I am so excited to reveal specific vendors hinted at above in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Don’t forget, please feel free to leave any recommendations for Wedding Wednesday posts you’d like to see below!
Finally, I thought it would be fun to add a little something new to these posts… a roundup of gorgeous white dresses! Each week I’ll showcase a few bridal-worthy frocks here at the end of my “Wedding Wednesday” post. There are so many gorgeous ones in today’s colleciton! Happy shopping!
Love from Texas,