I've planned a bunch of weddings. I've worked with a lot of the best brides and grooms. I've helped couples make many decisions. I've set a lot of tables, straightened many veils, and found the right words to convince many flower girls and ring bearers to walk down the aisle. I've stood in the background and witnessed many couples exchange vows, make lifelong commitments to each other, and then spend the rest of the evening laughing, dancing, and celebrating with some of their closest friends and family. And now, since getting engaged recently, I've had the privilege of stepping into their shoes and experiencing this whole thing from a bride's point of view.
I've debated and gone back and forth on whether or not to start a series so you can follow along as the wedding planner plans her own wedding. There are things I want to keep private, but I've had many of my current and past brides reach out and want to know how it's going, what our plans are, and want to hear about it from this perspective. So while I will keep some things private or as a surprise for later, I will blog every now and then to share how our wedding planning is going.
Brentley and I got engaged on a Saturday afternoon in early February, and we are planning a late July 2018 wedding. Yes, it's kind of quick (not the quickest I've ever planned a wedding, though!), but we needed to squeeze it in between Bespoken's two heavy wedding seasons.
After following my own advice to newly engaged couples, we spent the weekend celebrating and savoring our new engagement. After that, our first conversations needed to be about our budget, vision, guest list count, and priorities.
I went through some of the same questions I probe other brides and grooms with...asking about what's most important to us, how we want our guests to feel, and what we want to walk away saying about our wedding as a couple...as well as what we want our guests to walk away saying about US, not our wedding. After going through these questions and nailing down a budget (based on what we can afford as well as what things cost), overall vision, guest list, and priorities, we were able to start thinking about the location and our venue.
To be quite honest, we originally thought of going overseas, having a small, intimate ceremony with just immediate family. But it was important to us to have our family there, and some circumstances wouldn't allow that, so we're having our wedding in Greenville, SC. (And let's face it, the dancer in me wants to have a big party with all of our friends and family there).
Since we had an option of two dates, and were leaning more towards one than the other, we were able to narrow down venue choices based on availability alone. We ultimately chose to have our ceremony at Larkin's Founders Room and our reception at Larkin's L. The L is a new historic venue in Greenville, and we are so excited to celebrate there with so many friends and family members. It has an industrial, historic vibe, with huge vaulted ceilings and huge arched windows. And a bonus: our caterer and bartender is also now chosen since these venues are owned by Larkin's! Not only is their food absolutely delicious, but this is just potentially two less vendors that we have to coordinate.
I typically wouldn't recommend dress shopping as quickly as I did, but due to our short engagement, and knowing how long it takes to order a dress and leave time for alterations, I knew this was something that I needed to get a jump on. So I made an appointment with one of my favorite Greenville, SC bridal boutiques - The White Magnolia. I'm so used to visiting Johna (the Greenville manager) and the girls at The White Magnolia in a planner role, that it was a little surreal walking up the steps as a bride for the first time. I took my mom and sister-in-law with me, and we had the best time. I went in with an open mind and tried on a lot of different styles. The experience at The White Magnolia was perfect. Sarah, the Bridal Stylist, and Johna were so sweet, so accommodating, knew my style and tastes, and went at a pace I was comfortable with. I was absolutely overjoyed to find a dress I love that is not only within our budget but is also by my favorite bridal designer, Hayley Paige. Obviously there will be no pics of this one ;)
That's about it for now! I'll share more later, so stay tuned :)