I will admit that I had been planning our wedding (in my head) LONG before a proposal was in the works. A girl can dream, right? When it came down to thinking about where we would have the wedding there was no clear location. I am from South Carolina and SD is from Florida, but his family now lives in Georgia, and we now live in Mississippi. There was no central location for us. I never had the dream of getting married in my hometown or in a church. I knew I wanted something a bit different. So, on a vacation to Florida with his family, the subject of weddings came up, and I casually mentioned that I loved his Aunt and Uncle’s home. I thought it would be a perfect place for a small wedding. Little did I know, his Aunt would say yes right then and as soon as the ring was on the finger, the real planning began. We will be having a small family wedding in Alabama. A location central to no one in our family, so everyone will be traveling. However, I think this will be such a special place to say, “I DO” because every time we visit them, we can think back on our special day with our family and friends and just enjoy all of those memories. The home features a beautiful lake, and we will be having the ceremony on the dock! I cannot wait to share pictures of the day so you can see just how beautiful it is there!
When it comes down to picking your venue my advice would be to make sure it fits your personality and your budget. Also, make sure you feel special about the place and that you will not regret having your ceremony there one day. How did you go about picking your wedding venue?
Girl meets guy. Girl falls in love. Girl gets engaged. What’s next? Well, for me it was setting up an engagement session. You may be wondering why that was first for me. I had been wanting Strawberry Dude and I to have professional photographs taken for a while, but there is no better excuse than an engagement shoot! So, I asked around the small town I live in and looked online for the perfect photographer that had the perfect balance of the style we were looking for and to fit into my budget. I found a lady, who was just starting up her business and had taken mostly pictures of families and babies. However, she had one gallery of a couple that I just fell in love with, and I decided to contact her. We hit it off. She was so attentive to my wants and needs and was so accommodating to me for the month before the shoot. On the day of our shoot, it was cloudy and windy and cold! I had not planned for this, and our clothes really didn’t go well with chilly weather. As it was too late to change anything, I decided to just go with the outfits I had decided on and freeze! When we met up with the photographer the very first thing out of her mouth was hello of course and then she said,”If I do not get the shots I want today because of the weather then we will schedule another time.” She made me feel so at ease that I knew the pressure was off and we could really enjoy this experience.
The first location of our shoot was where SD proposed. At a farm on the campus of Mississippi State University. We got some great shots there, but it was really windy and cold, and we were both uncomfortable. But as you can see the images turned out really great!
Next, we moved on to the next location, which the photographer picked out. We drove about ten miles out of town with four of those miles down a dirt road might I add to the place. It was an old cabin sitting on a small lake. She informed us that this cabin and property survived the Civil War so we thought that was a really cool addition to the already beautiful location. This place was surrounded by trees, which made it about ten degrees warmer. We were happy to get started. These photos turned out amazing, and I could not have been happier!
SD and I had a not so fun engagement shoot with the weather. Near the end of the shoot when we were standing on that dock it started pouring rain, and we had to run back to the cabin to seek shelter. I thought we would have to redo the entire shoot, but I am so happy with the results. This reminded me that everything may not be perfect, but the end result can still be wonderful!
If I could give any advice about finding a good engagement session photographer, it would be to ask around. I asked several women with children in my office along with ladies I knew in town and on a forum online. Next, look at a ton of their work. If you like it then you’ll probably like the pictures they take of you! And lastly, if you’re in Mississippi then look up Monica Allen Photography, and you will not be disappointed!
You all remember my invitation fiasco with my dad? Well, now I’ve got another piece of paper decision to make.
Originally I said that I wanted to do ceremony programs and have these pretty fans with our pictures on it since our ceremony would be outside in September. Well, in true “I’m not even engaged yet” fashion I didn’t realize how much these sort of things cost. The deal I had with my parents was that they would pay for the big things (a.k.a. catering, dress, invitations, etc) and if we wanted any details we had to pay for that stuff ourselves. Which, in all honesty is nothing compared to what they are shelling out for our wedding. I tried to spread my purchases out so I wasn’t trying to buy everything at once, which I have done pretty well with but this one last purchase is one I’m still debating.
With under 40 days to go, I just can’t decide if it’s worth wasting the paper on a program. Our ceremony will be less than 30 minutes long and is not in the church. I’ve been to three weddings already this summer and none of them had programs. Yes, I’ve saved money by finding people on Etsy to design me printable items that I can do myself. The only part I was really looking forward to was having my bridal party and our parents formally mentioned on the program. I haven’t mentioned this to my parents because I really don’t want to start a war over something trivial, so I’m hoping everyone will be so busy the day-of that no one will notice.
So, do you think programs are worth the extra money and paper?
I feel as though I have been dreaming of my wedding for quite some time and these past two months I have taken to the web, bridal magazines, and forwarded ideas from friends/family to find ideas for my wedding. This past weekend I toured my first wedding venue. Mr. Rosebud and I have discussed wanting to have something outdoors but also want options in case it should rain, which if any of you have ever been to the state of Oregon or call it home, that is a definite possibility with the unreliable weather we have.
After touring the venue and sitting down with the owner of the facility, we started looking over numbers. Granted, this was the first venue we toured and we have not chosen one at this time. The numbers were a bit alarming! I hadn’t even considered all of the unexpected costs that were brought up. Are we wanting to rent linens? Who are we using for flowers? China? Cleaning deposit? All of these things were not even on my mind when I planned to tour this venue or any other as I still have 1 year 1 month and 23 days until my big day. But who’s counting right?
Have any of you ever thought about purchasing wedding insurance? I was just enlightened to this concept recently, and I must say that I’m a little stunned by it.
When we signed our ceremony venue contract, one of the pieces we had to agree to was that if there was any act of nature or God that made it impossible to have the wedding, we wouldn’t be having a wedding (in more or less words). However, we would not be responsible for any of the costs.
Our photographer even had us sign the same sort of contract. It all makes sense to me. There are some things that you cannot avoid, insure, or plan on. Take the Zombie Apocalypse, for example. If this so happens to occur on the day before your wedding, there’s a good chance that the money sunk into this event is gone forever. And good riddance – if I’m being chased by zombies, the last thing on my mind will be my ruined wedding. This goes to say for all natural disasters and acts of God that leave the situation just impossible.
You know those designer dresses that you only dream about wearing, but never assume you’ll actually don on your wedding day? These dresses seem unattainable.
You hit a sample sale!
Sample sales are God’s gift to women. Whenever a new line is about to roll out for the season, wedding boutiques and shops opt for making space by cutting prices. Some places cut those prices by 40 to 90 percent!!!
Let me get an AMEN.
How wonderful, right? If you aren’t extremely worried about having the newest style of dress, then you’re in luck. It’s not like you’ll be getting a dress that’s been outdated for 12 years either. Nearly all of the dresses are from the previous season and previous year.
So the boutique gets to clear out some inventory and you, my dear, get a rockin’ dress for way less! I smell a wonderful win-win.
Be on the look out for sample sales in your area. Figure out which boutiques you’re dying to get into and try on some dresses, then sign up on their email list. Boutiques usually send out newsletters and emails informing you of when their sales and events are taking place.
That’s actually how I found my dress.
And I found it from this gloriously adorable bridal boutique called Anna Be Bridal Boutique! I could not get over the old wood floors and brick walls. The way they displayed their wedding dresses was adorable.
Anyhow, I digress. I got about 40% off my wedding dress. I fell in love with the very first dress I ever tried on. I tried a few other dresses, but none compared to the first. I thought I would take several trips to look at dresses because I am extremely indecisive.
But… like they say, when you know you know!
Happy sample sale wedding dress hunting. And happy planning!
Let me start out this post by saying this should not even be a question!
We finally booked our “real” honeymoon last week for January 2013 and I couldn’t be more pleased. Originally I looked up different places, got some ideas of prices for flights and all-inclusive resorts to see what we could afford. We had places we were dying to go to, but the price just wasn’t right (aka Bora Bora, Brazil, Maldives). Even though our parents are paying for the wedding, we still couldn’t justify spending 10K+ of our own money for one week’s vacation! I even know someone that financed their honeymoon to an expensive resort! Can you believe that?!
A friend of mine told me her mom was a travel agent and even though I trust her, I was still a little leery on the concept. My family doesn’t really travel much and when we did, we planned our own trips. So, I gave it a shot and gave her mom our information, what we were looking for and what kind of budget we had. We had a resort in mind, so I made it easier for her.
When our wedding first came about, John and I had differing views of what size the event should be. I never wanted a gigantic wedding by any means, but I also wanted to make sure I invited all of my dear friends who are in my present and were from my past. I thought I would want to invite some old high school friends and teachers, as well as friends from college. John, however, was not stoked on the idea of having so many random (to him) people coming to our wedding. Neither John nor I are keen on being the center of attention, and in John’s eyes, a large wedding sounded completely uncomfortable. To me, I remembered thinking of when I was young and couldn’t wait to have basically every person I ever cared about in my life to be a part of wedding celebration. I guess I wanted a big wedding by default. This created friction in how we approached the subject of the guest list.
Time went on. My thought process changed, luckily for John. As you begin to plan your wedding more, you begin to see that there are certain ways of thinking of your wedding that don’t apply to when you’re about to have one. I realized that there are so many of those people who I thought I wanted to invite that I have not kept in touch with nor heard from in several years. It really had me thinking of what it would look like to have a wedding filled with guests with whom I didn’t really know anymore. And if I was going to be busy catching up on several years with these people, I would miss my entire wedding reception.Of course, there is something to be said about reuniting with people from our past and how these occasions are perfect for bringing reunion about. I absolutely believe that. I also know for a fact that our budget is minuscule, so it’s difficult to squeeze all of those bodies into our money waistline.Every person invited is more money spent. Realistically. This may be tactless to say, but it just so happens to be a fact.
I spent $12 on a wood address stamp and it has turned out to be the best money I’ve spent on the wedding to date! We have used it for multiple things including the return address for the save the date cards, return address for our invitations and the address that the RSVP envelopes will go to. The process was SUPER easy (and obviously cheap). I first figured out what size I needed based on the size of the envelopes. I decided on a 2×2 inch square. I then simply used photoshop to design it. The website I used was thestampmaker.com. It’s so easy! Just upload the artwork, preview it, pay and viola! It was at my doorstep within 4 days. They are even on sale right now I believe! Check out ours (with our blurred out address…sorry, no creepers wanted).
The finished product!