I know that you previously wanted to get married in a church and decided against it – how did you make that decision?
I wouldn’t say that we decided against getting married in a church. I never had set plans for what I wanted my wedding to look/feel like until we actually started planning, so I really didn’t know if we would get married in a church! When we started really talking about what we wanted, the idea of having the wedding at the lake house and doing an outdoor ceremony just felt like us, so that’s what we did!
How many bridesmaids would you recommend? How did you like having four at yours?
That’s a totally subjective question, in my opinion! I know people who have had none and people who have had twelve. It totally depends on your family, friends, expectations, etc. I loved having a smaller group and only wanted my nearest and dearest standing next to me – the people who I believe will be in my life for the long haul. I happened to luck out with the best bridesmaids ever – everyone was easy going and fun! There was no drama and I didn’t feel put in any sort of awkward or weird situations. Having just four girls to shop for did make it way easier to find bridesmaid dresses, I will say that!
What vendor do you think is most important for the day?
For us, it was the decor/event production team. Every aspect is important – think food, music, photographer, etc. – but the production team perfectly captured my vision and completely set the mood for the wedding. They transformed a home into an event venue for the day, which made everything feel special and wonderful!
How did you plan an outdoor wedding at a private residence? What would you have done if it rained?
Our rain plan was to have another, smaller tent set up over what would become the dance floor later in the evening. We would have gotten married under it and squeezed as many people under it, as possible. My parents were also very willing to let guests inside their home, in case of rain, which was incredible generous. Thankfully, the weather stayed clear and we were able to decide against the second tent a few days before the wedding!
As far as planning the wedding, that was mostly up to our wedding planner! All of the vendors we hired had done plenty of outdoor and private residence events, so they all knew what they were doing!
How did you keep your sanity through the whole process?
My cool-as-a-cucumber fiancé and wine 😅 Sort of kidding, sort of not.
Having a wedding planner was key to my sanity, overall. While I still was involved in a lot of the decision making and things, she handled all the other stuff (which is a lot!). Having people close to you to lean on is key. I tried to not talk about “the wedding” every time Mike and I were together, but he was definitely a shoulder to lean on when I got overwhelmed. My bridesmaids and mom helped me talk through options and decisions, as well, which was great!
Keeping perspective was important, too. While we wanted the day to be special and everything we dreamed, there was also the reality that it is just one day. It’s important, of course, but not because of the food you choose of the dress you wear. It’s important because of what it means to you, your spouse, and your loved ones. Everything else should pale in comparison.
While there were times when I legitimately wished we’d decided to elope, it was all worth it, 110%. It was the most incredible day!
What do you wish you would’ve known about the big day that you didn’t know?
This is a hard one! I truly don’t have any regrets or anything like that. I wish I would have known just how quickly the day goes by, but that’s not something you realize until after. I tried to keep myself as present as possible, but there can be so many moving parts and so much going on that it’s easy to get caught up in it all. Looking back, I have very vivid memories of specific things, like the first time Mike and I saw each other that day, what we talked about during our first dance, etc. Other parts, like most of our ceremony, are a total blur, which is why I’m so glad
we hired a videographer!
What did you and your bridesmaids wear getting ready that day?
I bought them robes from Target and I wore a white robe from Bhldn!
What did you include on the wedding website?
Date, location, hotel information, and registry information! We had a pretty small group, so most anyone who had a question outside of that just contacted one of us to ask. Most people forgot about the website when it came time for the wedding, so I’m glad I didn’t put too much effort into it!
What elements of traditional weddings did you decide to keep out? For example, did you decide against favors? A seating chart?
We had table assignments (seating chart), my dad walked me down the aisle, and we had a first dance. And that’s about it! So many of the “traditional” things, like a unity candle, the bouquet toss, and a big farewell, just weren’t important to us.
How long did you spent planning?
We were engaged on November 19th and got married on July 15th, so it was almost nine months. I didn’t really start planning until January, so it was about six months of full-on wedding mode.
How did you pick your wedding bands?
Mike’s dad gave hime some loose diamonds that had been taken out of some family rings, so we knew that we wanted to use those for my band. I wanted a band that matched my engagement ring band, so that was easy! He picked out the band that he liked the look and feel of the most – I think we were at our jewelers for a total of 30 minutes for him to pick it out. He didn’t have much of an opinion, so just picked the one he liked the most!
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