Hi y’all, I figured I would write up a quick post for everyone who has been following our wedding journey since I really haven’t posted anything about the planning process! I have been asked how I’ve been planning our wedding basically with JUST my mom! And I know everyone thinks it is the hardest and most stressful thing to plan a wedding, but it really isn’t!
The best advice I can give you is plan a wedding that engulfs both you AND your fiance. No one likes a selfish bride, I can tell you that. And no one likes a copy cat, so try to be as original as possible. Michael and I are both so into rustic and country things that we wanted to have our wedding emulate everything that screams us! No, we will not be including camo or plaid in this wedding even though that really is us. Our house is a cute little brick house with dark wood, lace and deer heads and rustic elements all over, so of course our wedding WILL have these things. We even drink out of mason jars on a regular basis, so obviously they have a purpose at our wedding, they’re not just for cute decoration.
First things first, the VENUE. Obviously I knew way before we got engaged that we would be getting married in a barn. My dad is a self made farmer, of course he is straight off the boat Italian but all of his brothers have turned into those tractor, car, truck whatever mechanical thing they can get their hands on kind of guys. My dad has taught himself everything he knows and loves about farming. Michael’s family have been farmers for years, and they also came from Italy, so hard work on the farm is self taught in our families. I grew up in the mud, singing country music, on four-wheelers, and basically driving anything my dad put me on before I was five. Michael has grown up on a farm and loving southern and classic rock. I also just love barns so you know what, I really didn’t need to justify why we chose a barn but what the hell, you can know me better I guess!
When I started looking at venues, I knew our wedding would have over 250 guests, and that was just family and close friends, not even letting anyone bring their kids! So when looking for barns, none of them really held over 150 people and I just don’t have the heart to cut people off my list. So I told my parents about the issue we were having with a venue, and they basically told me to keep looking. After a few weeks, my dad finally came to me with his iPad, and was like “I think I’m going to build me a barn.” If you know my dad, that’s literally how he talks to make it seem like hes doing something for himself, but he really isn’t. Then he says “how about we have the wedding in my new barn.” Of course I was ecstatic because now I could have everything I possibly want for our wedding. (When I say I, Michael does not really care about decorations or small details of our wedding, most guys don’t, so don’t take it personal if he says “do whatever you want”) And so, my dad and his team of Amish friends, built a barn.
Second, the minor details like decorations, tents and chairs; I got really lucky, since my dad is a rock star in life, and helps so many people, a lot of his friends have offered to donate tents and chairs as a gift to Michael and I for our wedding, but of course after our wedding I will totally let everyone know the names of our vendors. (Remember that need be original, that’s why I’m waiting until after our wedding) One of his friends is also an antique dealer, so I will have every piece imaginable that I want. They have also given me suggestions on who else to use for decorations if I need more. My moms friends have also offered to help staff our wedding and make sure everything runs smoothly, and of course help put together my centerpieces, I am only using fake flowers in the centerpieces, the rest of my flowers will be real. In hindsight, it pays to have friends who are willing to help you out, if you’re having a low budget wedding like us. And I am SUPER thankful for all the help people have been offering. The will not go un-noticed, and after our wedding I will be posting everyone who helped us and of course they will be showered in gifts!
Third, the photographer: My lovely friend Olga, has been a huge help in this department. (If you enjoyed our save the date photos, you should highly consider hiring Olga to take your photos, click her name to go to her website). Before I started planning our wedding, I really didn’t care about our wedding photos. I was okay with going the cheap route, hiring someone local and helping a growing business. But talking to other brides who did that, they regretted it. Saving money is great, but you should never skimp out on your wedding photos! These are going to be the only memories you have to show your kids and generations beyond, you want them to look amazing and last a lifetime. So, Olga put together a list of some of the best photographers she knows, because she wanted to be a guest at our wedding and not the photographer, so I didn’t hire her as our main photographer. I want my friends to enjoy our wedding! Anyway, I browsed through the list, looking and emailing each one to find the best fit for our wedding. I knew I wanted all day coverage, because you only get married once, well me anyway, I also knew I wanted a second shooter, because Olga told me the importance of the second shooter is to capture all those minor details that the main photographer might not see or have the chance to shoot you and the reaction of your guests at the same time. I also knew I wanted an album, because they can be expensive if you add them on later! So, after meeting one of the photographers she suggested, we just clicked and I fell in love with her style, so the contract was signed and the rest will have to wait until after our wedding!
Fourth, the attire: Finding my dress was the most insane thing that has ever happened to me. I made countless appointments at other boutiques before finding my dress. The funny thing is, I never made it to those appointments. I knew what I was looking for, but it was all about finding the dress that just ended my search. My mom and I went to a wine tasting in Haddonfield, and we walked through numerous bridal salons filled with people and just made appointments to come back. We walked around all day, and got in our car to leave, when driving down a side street, we passed where I would find my dress. My mom pulls over and says do you want to stop and make an appointment there too? I said sure, so we went in. There was not a soul in this place besides the owner, her mom and her daughter and their dog! They were getting ready for a bridal show the next day, but they greeted us with the most respect and asked me what I was looking for. I told her what I was looking for and she pulled some dresses, and asked me if I wanted to try them on. I was not expecting this at all! So of course I said yes. My favorite designer is Maggie Sottero, and one of the dresses she pulled was a Maggie, so I tried that one on first. It was brand new, just came to their store, and she zipped it up and it hugged me like I had ordered it for myself! It fit like a glove and was everything that I wanted. I walked out and showed my mom and she just knew. Of course I tried on the other two but they just couldn’t compare. So I put the first dress back on and just stared at myself. I couldn’t believe that I just found my dress. I felt really shitty because it was just my mom and I and I really wanted my sister, Aunt Ann, and future mother-in-law there, but when you know, you know! I FaceTimed my sister and she cried, so I cried, and that was that. My mom thought finding my dress was going to take years, and millions of dollars, but it didnt! I don’t even have the desire to look at other dresses. Mine is perfect for me.
Thats all I’m going to talk about today, I’ll make another post later, but enjoy! If you ever have any questions on how to plan your perfect wedding, you can always contact me! Like I said, I will reveal the names of my vendors after my wedding, so that you can have options!