It's been just over one month since Brentley and I got married in Greenville, SC... and we are still talking about how perfect our wedding was. Everything about our wedding was a dream, and I can't wait to share a lot of the photos with you... SOON ;) I've received several requests to share things I learned as a bride...and I've received several other questions about our wedding and the planning process. So to consolidate everything, here's one big post of all of that wrapped up with a bow for you :)
What felt different in decision making as a bride vs. as a planner? Oh man... the emotions. As a planner, I can be pretty objective, but when it comes to planning your own wedding... it's not as easy. Emotions are elevated when it comes to weddings. A wedding day is a very important and special day that comes with a lot of expectations from a lot of different people, so it's easy to be super sensitive. I honestly tried to be the "planner" in the beginning and remove all emotion as the bride so I could just get everything done and then enjoy being an actual bride... but that's not possible since planning a wedding is an ongoing process from the moment you get engaged to the day of the wedding. So I just tried to communicate as well as possible and stay patient.
How did you handle differing opinions? I didn't really experience too many differing opinions. Most people would offer their opinion, and if I liked it or agreed with it, I definitely took it into consideration. If someone didn't like a decision I made and voiced it to me, I tried to explain my perspective both as a wedding planner and as a bride. And I think at the end of the day, most everyone wanted what I wanted.
Is there anything you would've skipped if you did it over again? Is there anything you didn't have at your wedding that you wish you did have? Nope. These were both questions that Brentley asked me on our honeymoon. The answer is, "No." I feel blessed to have been able to have everything we could have ever wanted and more. There's not a thing I would have changed.
What was your biggest regret? I'm not sure I would call it a regret necessarily, but something I just wish would have happened. I wish I'd had more time to say hello to every single person who came to the wedding. Everything went by so fast, and everywhere I turned, someone was saying hello to me...and I just never got to everyone. Otherwise - no regrets!!!
How did you deal with your wedding budget? We had a top amount and an ideal number in our budget with a bit of flexibility in between. While we stuck to our budget really well, it was REALLY easy for that top amount to move. Things add up quickly, and we kept coming back to the list of what was most important to us. We chose those items first and cut whatever we needed to in order to make sure our priorities were met first.
What music did you use in your ceremony? My cousin and aunt played guitar and sang, which made our ceremony music 20x more meaningful. Our families and wedding party walked down the aisle to "Fullness" by Elevation Worship. My sweet nieces, the flower girls, walked down to a shortened and more upbeat version of "La Vie en Rose", and my dad and I walked down the aisle to "I Get to Love You" by Ruelle. Our recessional song was "Dancing in the Moonlight".
What were some of your favorite design elements during your wedding? Gosh, I have no idea! It was all so perfect. I loved the ceremony arch and flowers, the draping in the reception space, the linens, the furniture, the lounge areas, the seating chart vignette, the custom sign behind our cake... I can't choose, and I can't wait to share the photos with you!
What were some of your favorite moments during your wedding? There are 3 very distinct moments:
Our First Look: It was such a private moment, just the two of us (well, and our photographer and hair/makeup artist!). Somewhere in Falls Park someone was playing John Legend and Ed Sheeran, so those songs were unexpectedly playing in the background. It was just so special to spend a few minutes alone together.
Walking down the aisle: Despite seeing each other before the Ceremony, we still had "that moment" during our Ceremony. Both of us "had a bug fly in our eyes" ;)
Seeing and walking through the Reception space alone to see it fully prepared: After months of designing and planning our wedding, it was so special to see it fully prepared and come together...and I LOVED being able to walk around with Brentley to take it all in before our friends and family flooded the space.
Did you have wedding favors? Nope! I knew this was an area I wanted to skip. While it used to be expected to have wedding favors, many brides and grooms choose not to have them anymore. And frankly, I've been to enough weddings as a wedding planner and as a guest to know that there are usually a LOT of favors leftover at the end of a wedding. So we just didn't do them :)
How involved was Brentley? He was always curious about most aspects of the wedding, asking questions about how something is done or how we were going to have everything look. Most of it he left up to me, but he definitely helped pick out our First Dance song ("Parallel Line" by Keith Urban), choose the menu, choose the cake flavors (he enjoyed coming to the tasting!), and helped TREMENDOUSLY with the seating chart (my least favorite part, haha). He also helped me watercolor our place cards (#imarriedup). And when I became overwhelmed with anything, he was always quick to help me keep things in perspective and take some stress off.
How was it handing your wedding over to another wedding coordinator? AMAZING. I did the bulk of the planning. Upstate I Do and I collaborated on building the design, and then they took over all coordination. Whenever someone asked me something regarding logistics, I loved being able to say, "I don't know; our planner will tell you" :)
Did you feel any outside pressure as a wedding planner planning your own wedding? If so, how did you deal with it? A little bit. It felt like everyone I spoke with, regardless if they were involved in the wedding or not...and regardless if they're local or not... were always asking about the wedding, always wanting to know what the plans were. And everyone had the best of intentions about it. Eventually I would just smile and say, "It's coming together great! I can't wait for our wedding day, and can't wait to share the photos with you!" :)
As a newlywed, what are some tips you found helpful on your wedding day that you can share with other brides that you didn't know to give as a wedding planner? Relax. Don't stay out late the night before. Drink lots of water. Relax the morning of your wedding. Put your phone away. Have a bridesmaid who will have a handheld fan readily available if you're getting married in the summer months. Really, truly take some time to savor your First Look together. And always keep the most important thing in perspective: This is YOUR day. This about you and your fiancé, about starting your life together and becoming husband and wife. If something doesn't go as planned - it is fine.
When can we see your photos??? SOON!!! :)
OUR AMAZING VENDORS:
Planner & Co-Designer: Bespoken
Ceremony Venue: Larkin's Thomas Roe Founders Room
Reception Venue: Larkin's L
Photographer: Jonathan Connolly
Coordinator & Co-Designer: Upstate I Do
Floral Designer: Kate Asire Flowers
Overall Design Concept: The White Box
DJ, Uplighting, and Photo Booth: Uptown Entertainment
Caterer & Beverage: Larkin's Catering
Beauty: Latia with Cotton Rouge & Company
Cake Baker: Couture Cakes of Greenville
Stationer: Sofia Invitations
Calligrapher: Katie Faikes
Draping: Berbank Events
Transportation: Southern Shuttles
Host Hotel: The Westin Poinsett
Travel Concierge: Ten Twenty Travel
And if you missed any of the previous posts about my wedding: