I can't believe we are just about six months out from our big day. The last 14 months have really flown by in the blink of an eye. It feels like just yesterday Matt got down on one knee in Central Park on that warm October day to ask me to marry him. August 13th, 2022 felt like a lifetime away and now the days are melting into one another so quickly. It has been such a whirlwind of emotions during the wedding planning process. When you take on planning, coordinating opinions, balancing budgets, and hand-selecting all of the little details, it's easy to get lost and lose sight of the bigger picture.
2021 was a tough year for me personally and I wasn't always my best self during the wedding planning process. I found myself easily overwhelmed by creating and saving for our budget, taking on feedback on how the day should go, and getting absolutely fatigued by making decisions. I had a stretch of a few months where I literally couldn't make a single decision without feeling overwhelmed.
Matt and I sat down and talked about how to recenter. We both wanted to enjoy the process of planning as much as we enjoyed getting engaged, so we created a plan that has since totally changed the game for us.
I share so much of my life online, and now with my TikTok, so much of the wedding planning side of things. I see so many tips on how to save money, what to pack for the day of, the cutest new outfits -- but rarely do I see tips on how to slow down and enjoy the process of planning with your partner. I hope this gives you some tips to spark inspiration in that way.
I wanted to share some of those tips and things we started doing to make the process fun again and some major updates on where we're at with wedding planning!
Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips
1. Make wedding planning dates - I had a bad habit of bombarding Matt with questions when it wasn't the best time to talk seating charts and wedding colors. He would text me questions as work and I would feel overwhelmed. Now we set aside time after dinner and have coffee dates every Sunday to wedding plan. Having our set time set aside makes everything run so much smoother!
2. Make a list of priorities - Once of the first things Matt and I did when we started planning was ranked all of our vendors and day-of details by priority. We both had things like catering, photography, and videography at the top of the list and that helped dictate our budget! It was super helpful!
3. Source feedback, take a week, then make the decision with your gut - I live in the constant balance of wanting to make sure everyone is comfortable, or ideally likes, my decisions and wanting to do things totally different than what's normally done. That's not always the easiest place to be. I started working on taking feedback where I need, taking a week to step away from the decision, and then making the decision with my intuition.
4. Do something small every day - I found myself getting very overwhelmed with all the things that are on my to-do list. I started taking 20 minutes to an hour every day to work on our to-do lists that can be broken up into smaller tasks. It makes things feel much more conquerable and there's nothing like checking off a to-do list!
5. Find a venting buddy - I definitely could not have gone through wedding planning without my closest friends. Two of my best friends have or are getting married while I've been planning and having them to bounce ideas off of, get advice from, and vent to has been such a blessing! Throw in a bottle of wine and everything is a little bit better!
6. Have date nights that are totally un-wedding related - When we first got engaged I wanted to talk about the wedding 24/7. I was just so excited! But having date nights where we didn't just focus on the floral arrangements and menus helped take off some pressure of focusing nonstop on the big day!
7. Create an emergency wedding fund - By far the most stressful part of wedding planning was budgeting. Trying to create and stick to a budget was definitely not always easy. I wanted to create a fund that I would barely notice I was putting money into, but would end up saving a decent chunk of change just in case I needed it. I started using Digit, an amazing app that helps squirrel away some money into a savings account. Digit calculates the right amounts to slowly move into a savings account depending on how much you spend that day. In the last few months, I saved over $2,000, which is such a great safety net if needed!
8. Have DIY parties - We're DIYing some stuff for the wedding to save a little bit of money. My friends are the best when it comes to DIY's. We throw on a movie, grab a bottle of wine, and make it a little party. It feels like we're back in college again!
9. Celebrate all of the milestones along the way - By the time Matt and I get married, we will have a 22 month long engagement. Sometimes the wedding can seem so far away and other times it seems like it's right around the corner. We've made it a point to celebrate our big milestones along the way. On August 13th, 2021, when our ceremony would've been starting, we sat on the beach and played the music we'll be walking down the aisle to. For the one year anniversary of getting engaged, we went out for a fancy dinner in New York City. When we went to get my wedding dress, we went out to celebrate with our families. We try to make little moments worth celebrating along the way!
10. Remember, what it's all about - I know it's cheesy, but it's so true. Coming back to remember what it's all about is so important for me, especially in these final few months. It's in moments like this that I go back to our priority list, or thinking about why we are doing certain things the way we are. Slowly seeing everything come together has made us so excited and we know that we aren't just planning and prepping for a wedding, but for a marriage.
Our wedding planning updates
The Venue We picked a gorgeous space just outside of Philadelphia for our wedding. It was important to me that the event was COVID safe if necessary and I loved the look and feel of an outdoor ceremony and reception. Our reception will be outside in a gorgeous oak grove in the late afternoon. We are doing a nondenominational ceremony and just picked our readings and speakers. I'm so excited to see it all come together!
Our reception will be held at the same venue in their beautiful tented ballroom. The building is a permanent stand alone fixture complete with electricity, flooring -- you know, everything necessary for it to be its own building -- but the sides of the building come off to welcome the late summer air and make it an outdoor COVID friendly space. I couldn't love it more.
I am so excited to be working with Enchant Cinemas as our wedding videographer. When I saw the name, I got so excited, but after watching his catalogue on youtube I insisted that he was our wedding videographer. His videos actually sold us on our wedding venue! He's able to perfectly capture romantic moments in a fun, upbeat way and each video feels as unique as the couple he captures!
We are working with the truly amazing Chrissy from C.Jamie Camera Creative. Chrissy has a remarkable way of curating beautiful photos that blur the lines between captivating candids and stunning editorial shots. We instantly fell in love with her style when we looked through her album and after meeting her for our engagement pictures we knew she was for sure the real deal. Plus, she has a great, upbeat personality that will help us engage our wedding party and big families!
Our caterers came highly recommended from our venue and for good reason. Williamson Catering not only makes delicious food, but they're the perfect company to host a collaborative experience. Matt and I have been to our fair share of weddings and because Matt and I both love to cook (and he wants to one day open a restaurant!), food is super important to us. With a late summer wedding, we wanted to put a little summer flair on our menu. We put together a really fun menu full of BBQ inspired delicacies, fresh fruits and vegetables, and our personal favorites (empanadas, chicken and waffles, and a huuuuge charcuterie board!) Rick and his team were totally down to help us customize our experience and I can't wait for the big day to indulge (we even ordered two dinners 'to-go' for us to enjoy later!)
Our bakery came highly recommended from Rick and his team. We're working with Brooklyn Girl Bakery to put together the perfect, beautiful, and delicious wedding cake. I thought it was such serendipity that Perri grew up in New York City -- she even named all of her cakes after different neighborhoods! She's also the winner of Netflix's Sugar Rush and I have to say tasting her cakes was one of the best parts of planning so far. They were all so good we picked three flavors to serve and are doing a groom's cake for the rehearsal dinner! I had a tough time narrowing down exactly what I wanted the cake to look like, so I sent some inspo picks to Perri and she's going to surprise us on the day of!
Florist I love flowers -- and moreover, I love BRIGHT flowers. I really want our wedding to feel like a bright, colorful, summer celebration so I wanted our flowers to reflect that. We are working with Blue Moon Florist for all of the bouquets, corsages, boutonnières, arch installations, and big decorative pieces. They were so open and receptive to my vision and budget and sent some beautiful inspiration photos back to me! I can't wait to see how they turn out! They even helped me find a company that will be taking our flowers and repurposing them into bouquets to donate to the local retirement home and children's hospital.
We're also working with Something Borrowed Blooms for a few additional decor pieces. They are a super affordable rental service that ships everything to you, ready to go! I'm ordering my preview pack this month and will be sharing on TikTok!
I have worked with Birdy Grey now for two friends weddings and I truly can't recommend them enough! We started working together back in 2019 and seeing how the company continues to grow and evolve has been amazing. The quality of their dresses is unreal for the price and I feel like every time I log on social they have new styles launching!
I am doing mismatched bridesmaids dresses in rose gold, gold, blush, and rose quartz. My sisters have their dresses ready to go and I'll be finalizing the rest by late February!
Still finalizing: Hair and makeup inspiration, honeymoon details, and those dang disco balls