Everyone keeps asking us how wedding planning is going and I feel like we keep making this face.
Haha, but really...I think I had unrealistic expectations of what wedding planning would be like - and to be honest sometimes it's just stressful, but other times I have total "pinch me" moments.
So today I thought I would share our 6 month engaged wedding planning update! Jeez, how'd it fly by that fast. I hope this helps any engaged couples, clients, future clients, or just update family & friends on what we have been up to.
1. Hire a planner.
Seriously though. If not for help with the planning, than absolutely for day of coordination. Your planner will help take your ideas and bring them to life with a cohesive vision. They take the stress away and bring you peace of mind. And I don't know about you, but when it comes to my wedding day.. being stress free is high on my priority list. You want someone you can trust that will execute your vision and help run the day smoothy and exactly how you dreamed it would be (and more!)
We are so incredibly excited & grateful to be working with my dear friend Christina Padavano of Pinch Me Planning. She is a rock star and my go-to sound board for all of my ideas. I've worked with her on countless styled shoots and real weddings and I know her passion for design and detail is exactly what we need to bring our vision to life.
She has a growing team and offers services from full planning to day of coordination. So if you are still on the lookout, I highly recommend her!
2. Enjoy your engagement
I understand that not everyone wants to have a long engagement. But in order for us to enjoy it, we knew we wanted to take our time. We didn't want to be rushed to make any decisions or be limited to vendors we loved based on availability. Not to mention, I was pretty booked for 2018 and I knew I wanted to take some time off before and after our wedding so a long engagement was perfect for the circumstances.
This has been one of the best parts of wedding planning. We have been picking and choosing what we want to work on and allowing things to come together organically rather than rushing to make decisions. We also decided to have an engagement party to celebrate because the wedding wouldn't be for another year and a half. I high recommend this! Why not soak up all the engagement and use any excuse to use the word fiancee?!
(Am I right Cole Libby?!)
3. Remember what's important
When you start digging into wedding planning it's easy to get lost in the overwhelm of budgets and proposals and having the best of everything. Whenever I get that way I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and take a step back. Look at Cole and remember what's truly important. I'm marrying my best friend! I'm committing to forever surrounded by our closest family and friends - that is what is important. The rest is just extra.
With that being said, if I'm going to spend my money I want it to be the best value. I want to invest in vendors who not only do I love their style and work but also love who they are as a business & people. Investing in someone you trust to help bring your day to life is worth every penny.
Again - peace.of.mind.
If you are like most couples, you don't have an endless budget. You have to allocate your wedding funds to the things that matter most to you. I highly recommend having that conversation with your significant other. For the two of us, obviously photography & videography were on the top of our priority list. It was one of the first things we booked! We allocated a large portion of our budget to professionals we admire because it's something that's super important to us. If you haven't heard of Mary-Claire Photography & Happy Camper Films, you need to check them out.
The venue - obviously, this is one of the first things you book when planning a wedding. We decided to go with a nontraditional wedding venue because we really wanted a custom wedding weekend experience. Our venue, Portside Manor, is essentially a huge airbnb on gorgeous property on the coast of Maine. We have the house from Thursday - Monday as well as the other house on property. Which means, our entire wedding party, significant others, and parents can all stay right on location! We really wanted this type of experience for ourselves and our guests. The other aspect of Portside Manor is that it's just the house & grounds. So it's up to the couple to really bring the wedding vision & design to life. So we have to rent and organize all of the rentals from the tent to chairs, linens, bathrooms, and more! This is certainly not for everyone (and I questioned my decision a few times) but in the end it gives us the ability to completely customize our entire wedding. Which is exactly what we wanted!
Oh, and did I mention our pup can be there? We couldn't do this thing without her.
Our officiant. Guys, I knew I wanted Maria to officiate my wedding since the moment I met her. Even more so after Cole and I photographed our first wedding together where we got to watch A Sweet Start in action. We are not super religious people, but we wanted a ceremony that would capture the true essence of who we are as a couple and the promise that we are making to one another. We are so excited to work with her in crafting a custom and unique ceremony tailored to the two of us.
So as much as I love the pretty - it's really about the experience. We want to create not just a day, but a weekend, that perfectly reflects who we are as a couple and the start of a beautiful future together.
We have a few other vendors booked, but I don't want to spill all the details. I just wanted to share our method of choosing vendors and allocating our wedding budget. I had someone recommend that both the bride & groom write down their top 3 priorities (separately) and then sharing with each other to best budget their wedding on what is important to them! I think this is a great idea if you are still struggling on where to start.
We still have over a year before we tie the knot and I feel like we have made a great dent in planning! I wanted to have a lot of our vendors booked before I headed into busy season, but I can't wait to dig into all the little personal details that really help make a wedding day unique!
Ok, so maybe I was being dramatic at the beginning. Wedding planning isn't allllll that bad. A lot of people (sometimes myself included) assumed that because I was in the industry I knew exactly what I wanted or knew the ins and outs of planning. That was so wrong. I'm so wrapped up in photography world, that although I have lots of ideas of things I like and vendors I'd love to work with, I honestly didn't have the whole thing planned out.
But being a bride has given me so much perspective and appreciation for my clients. I feel I now understand even more so where they are coming from and can truly relate to their entire planning process and execution of their vision!
After a poll on Instagram you said you wanted to hear more of the wedding planning details so I hope this was helpful and/or interesting to you! If you have any suggestions for other blog topics you'd like me to consider! Shoot me an email - I love hearing from you!