A Whirlwind Wedding
At this time two years ago, I had just begun planning my daughter's wedding. She and her fiance became engaged in September 2016 and, since both of them were in graduate school, they decided on a summer 2018 wedding. Ah, good, lots of time to get everything in order! However, as she spoke with some of her law school friends, she was told that she should really not plan to get married during the summer of her bar exam study. This meant that they would have to move the wedding up a year. As luck would have it, they managed to find an open Saturday the following July at their dream church and a beautiful lakeside country club. Hooray, right?!
Wait. Whaaat? Nine months to plan a large church wedding and formal reception?? Well, having organized events and large fundraisers in the past, I felt confident that I could handle it. One of my girlfriends said, "If anyone can plan a wedding for 250 people in less than a year, you can!" After a nine-month whirlwind and lots of work, faith & determination, I can definitely say: Mission Accomplished!
You might be finding yourself in the same situation. Although engagements that last less than a year are not as common these days, it can be done! The key is organization and tackling things head-on. If you are a procrastinator, it's time to kick that habit! Don't be shy, either. We asked for recommendations from friends and trusted vendors. For instance, our florist was recommended by the church coordinator. In turn, the florist suggested a phenomenal cake bakery. We found some great vendors on our own and are now able to pass their names on to friends and clients. Listen to your vendors and let them steer you in the right direction. After all, they've been through this before. There's no substitute for experience!
If your engagement is a longer one (personally, my husband and I were engaged for almost two years, waiting to graduate from college), you can enjoy the luxury of a slower planning process and greater choices for your date, venue, photographer and other professionals. Still, there comes a point where things come to a head. Eighteen months can fly by and suddenly the calendar says you are just six months out! To stay on track, use the planners that you find in wedding magazines, or one of the wedding planning apps by The Knot or Zola (isn't technology wonderful?!). Personally, I still like to see things on paper! There are pretty paper planners available online, at bookstores or on Etsy. You can also make your own by customizing a simple three-ring binder in your wedding theme and colors.
The best thing for any bride to do is to work backwards from her big day. My daughter's custom dress was made in Italy. It had heavy beading on the bodice and layers of tulle and sequins. We were told it would take six months, and ordered it in November for her July wedding. Plenty of time! Although it arrived in May and fit like a glove, tweaking the bustle added on another six weeks. She literally picked it up the week of the wedding! Yikes! It's never too soon to book hair and nail appointments or find a locale for your bachelorette party, either. Even with details supposedly nailed down, there WILL be surprises. (Our makeup team cancelled just three weeks before the wedding!) Being a bit of a control freak and perfectionist myself, my expectations from vendors were high. My daughter helped a lot in that regard. All she really cared about was marrying the love of her life, and very little bothered her. She was definitely NOT a bridezilla, thank heaven!
Since my daughter's wedding, I have been blessed with more referrals and have helped other brides plan their big day. It truly is a labor of love! If you are newly engaged or have already begun planning your wedding, we would love to sit down with you and talk about your vision for your day. I am not exaggerating when I say that we never tire of talking parties and weddings! Ever since I was a little girl, details have been "my thing." Now my twin daughters are adding their talents to mine, and together, we'd love to help make your big day one that you can relax and look forward to! Let our experience help to guide you through one of the most potentially nerve-wracking, exciting, magical days of your life! Cheers to love and whirlwind weddings!