Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wedding Wednesday

Whew, what an exciting and whirlwind month this has been! Between travel and holiday celebrations and getting engaged (which was most certainly the high of my year!!), it's been a jam-packed but exciting month.

I don't want to bore you all with wedding planning talk but over the course of the next several months, I thought I'd share some wedding-planning updates. For this first post, I thought I'd share some of the decisions we've made, especially those that sort of 'buck' the trend of what most couples decide to do.  

1. We set the date! Before we got engaged, we had talked about having a short engagement, so I knew we'd have to jump right into wedding planning. Our goal was to get married in May (Phil thought we could get married even sooner but he had no idea how much going into planning a wedding...) and luckily we were able to find a church and venue that are available in May. So our wedding will be on Friday, May 19th!! We either wanted a Friday night or Saturday morning wedding, but with a 5 month engagement, Saturday morning was out as the church we wanted to get married at didn't have any Saturdays open in May.  I know that Friday night weddings are inconvenient, especially for out-of-town guests, but we know that the most important people in our lives will find a way to be there. And I'm mentally preparing myself ahead of time for a lower acceptance rate when the RSVPs start to roll in.

2. Small wedding party. I've been in 10 (!!!) weddings so I knew I'd either have to have 2 bridesmaid or like 8. After talking it over with Phil, we decided to keep our wedding party small. My 2 sisters will be my matrons of honor and Phil will select 2 friends to stand up by him on our special day. There are some benefits to having a small wedding party as we'll have fewer people to corral for photos and it will reduce the cost of flowers since we'll have to make fewer boutonnieres/bouquets. 

3. Apparel decisions. I will wear a traditional white gown, but we are skipping bridesmaid dresses and instead I've asked my sisters to pick out a navy dress to wear, which they are both on board with. I've been in so many weddings and have never re-worn a bridesmaid dress so I'd prefer they spend money on something they will wear again. This is not a knock against others who have selected bridesmaid dresses. I just feel that as I get older, what 'matters most' to me changes, and having my sisters in dresses that are a similar style or made of the same fabric just doesn't matter to me. Additionally, the guys won't be renting tuxes or suits; instead we will ask them to wear a gray suit. The color of their suits will likely vary but, again, it's a detail that just doesn't matter all that much to us. I've seen more weddings these days where the bridesmaids wear different hues of dresses, so I think it will work just fine to have the guys in different hues of gray.

4. No wedding dance. While Phil and I enjoy dancing at others' weddings, we have decided not to have a wedding dance. We are going to have so many out-of-town guests that we don't see very often. I would rather spend our time visiting with them versus feeling like we need to be on the dance floor. So instead of a dance, we'll have more time for socializing after dinner.  

Those are a handful of decisions we've made so far that are a little bit 'different'. But I feel good about the choices we have made. I can already tell that I'm not going to be one of those people that LOVES wedding planning, but in moments of stress, I'm going to try to keep my eye on the prize:  marrying Phil!

Have you planned a wedding?  If so, did you make any/many non-traditional decisions?

19 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow I did not know you've been in 10 weddings! That's a lot! Definitely a good idea to keep yours small in that case and I love the idea of just having them pick out dresses. For me it's not even about necessarily wearing the dress again because I don't mind picking out a dress just for one event, but I think it's nice that they can pick something they really love and feel comfortable in on that day. Being in a wedding, a lot of attention in on you too (for better or worse) and it stinks when you have to wear something you don't feel good in, if that makes sense.

One of our biggest against the trend decisions was having Eric's friend Brian marry us. I know a lot of people do that now, but at the time no one we knew in real life had actually had a friend perform the ceremony and I definitely think some people were like wait, you trust Eric's friend to do it? I was like, definitely over some stranger! It allowed us to write the ceremony ourselves and have someone we know and love in all our pictures. After we did it, everyone thought it was a great idea lol. I have also sat through some SUPER awkward ceremonies since then which has only further solidified my decision!

At the time I felt like I was having a pretty small bridal party too. Technically I had 6 people but 2 were my younger cousins who were almost like "junior bridesmaids" though we didn't call them that. I had my sister and 3 best friends at the time. There were some other people I could've added, but I felt like if I had one more then it would lead to 2 and 3 etc. So keeping it small made it so I don't think anyone felt offended or left out.

Charbelle4 said...

I had one bridesmaid. I would have had 2 but my mom pitched a fit and said it would look lopsided so I just had the one. Patrice's dress was GORGEOUS!!! It was a strapless navy dress from Ann Taylor and I loved it so much I wanted one! I love that you are completely making this your own! It's your wedding!!! Friday night is when Patrice and Aaron got married and they still had a LOT of people attend! Every time I think about your day I happy dance!!! I also found out last night from one of my girlfriends that I'm going to be an aunt again!!!!! Nephew number SEVEN! If you have someone who is good at flowers and there is a farmers market that will be open up there in May you could go that route for your flowers. I also know of a website that has gorgeous flowers, let me know if you want the link. I'm so glad you're going to be posting details so I can keep up!!!

Gracie said...

I made basically all the same decisions as you, except went with Saturday morning (10 am!) instead of Friday night. All my bridesmaids wore dresses they already owned (mixed pastels), and the guys wore suits. I made our bouquets, and we skipped the dances. Instead we had brunch while a pianist played jazz and classical. It was just fine...and kind of cheap, which was good since I was still in college and footing the bill! Breakfast foods and cocktails (bloody marys, mimosas, screwdrivers, champagne) are a little more affordable than a sit-down dinner, anyway.
You're making smart trade-offs for the things that are important to you and your families, and that's the only thing that really matters.

Marlys Dotzenrod said...

I really like the ideas you have planned! I prefer smaller, intimate weddings and at our age, really don't enjoy wedding dances as we can't visit amidst the loud music! I know that is probably my age speaking, but being able to visit with family who we don't see often, is much better.
I am excited to read your blog in the next months leading up to the "Big Day"! I am so happy for you and Phil!

Emily Ward said...

My husband and I did "pick your own" for our wedding party and I loved it. Knee length black dress for the ladies and the guys were asked to wear a black suit. We bought the ladies pink shawls to wear over their dress and green ties for the boys to wear with their suits (pink and green were our wedding colors). One of the dunce groomsman wore a navy suit instead of black but whatever, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

J and A said...

SO exciting!!! Oh man I loved wedding planning, it's so fun. I think everything sounds perfect and no matter what you do it will be perfect for you both! So excited to hear more details as it comes together.

katielookingforward said...

I LOVE all of these choices!!! Sounds like a great plan so far!

Carolina John said...

Some people think the wedding dance is a chance to express how you feel about each other or some kind of personal style. Plus you remember the song - we danced to Let's Stay Together by Al Green and still smile at each other every time it comes on the radio. Can't tell you what the mother/father songs were, but that one was a special decision. and we, as a couple/family still have a 70's funk/motown vibe like that.

Stevie said...

Our wedding was very non-traditional. We only had 35 people (including ourselves, our officiant, who is a very good friend, and our two good friends who played their violins). We didn't have a wedding party at all, we walked each other down the aisle (I find the concept of being "given away" to be antiquated and, frankly, misogynistic). We bought our flowers the morning of the wedding at the local farmers market and arranged them into a variety of vases that we purchased at a local thrift store (we also had lots of candles). We didn't have a formal reception, just a big dinner around two huge family style tables. We brought our own music and turned it on after dinner - people danced, people mingled, and we all had a really good time. It was very low stress (and low cost!) and it was one of the best days of our lives. Ultimately, it was about celebrating with the people we love.

Shoshanah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shoshanah said...

Wedding updates aren't boring! At least not to me. I want to hear all about it!

As for nontraditional decisions, we also didn't have matching tuxes. Instead we asked them to wear black suits with white shirts.

Jeanie said...

Wow! You have it so together, I am impressed. And I couldn't agree more with all of your decisions, not that it matters. Especially about a wedding party and the dresses!

Oh, and bore me. Please! I will not get tired of your updates!

Abby said...

So fun! May 19 - going to put my time off request for that week now. I'm going to use it as an excuse to spend some extra time in Minneapolis that week to be there to support/ help in whatever way I can!

As much as I do love dancing....I'm not a big wedding dance fan either. I have really bad hearing...and so can't socialize well with loud music. I know. I just turned 85 last week.

If I can impart any wisdom on "wedding cliches" ...i don't advise "the first look" for wedding photos. But maybe your different than ryan and I? We felt SO AWKWARD and forced. And I had lipstick on - so ryan couldn't kiss me, and he is still bitter lol. That's the only thing that really sticks out to me from our wedding - everything else was amazing and a very memorable day that I will always hold in my heart!!

Stephany said...

I've thought about my wedding, if I ever have one, often, especially when I hear about wedding planning and how stressful it is. I do not plan on having a big wedding. In fact, I'd rather just elope! But I would want my mom there and my brother and nephews and some of my friends. So I'd like to do something really small, maybe even a destination wedding, and possibly having a bigger party later on to celebrate with everyone else.

I'm excited that you'll be doing updates! I love all the decisions you've made so far. I think you'll be a fun, laid-back bride! :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Friday weddings are awesome, because you can save a lot of money, and it's unique. I got married on a Friday too :-)

I'm so excited for you two! That's smart that you're not having your sisters buy bridesmaid dresses, as you're right, they never get re-worn.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

It sounds like it is all starting to come together! I think that all of the little details are really unimportant when it comes to the grand scheme of things. Like you said, keep your eye on the real prize, and don't worry about the minutia. I have been to several weddings and I cannot tell you if the bridesmaids dresses matched, because that is not why I was there! I was there to support my loved ones and what color the cake was or what flavor it was is really not that important in the long run. Just have fun with it; this is YOUR day!! I can't wait to hear more about it as the day gets closer!

Sandra Bond said...

Yay, it sounds like you're making decisions left and right... that's awesome. And don't sweat the etiquette... i think it's totally ok to make this YOUR wedding by doing what you think is right.

We don't have big wedding parties and/or bridesmaids dresses or best men suits.... we only have a matron of honor and one best man. Everybody dressed the way they wanted to dress. I like that instead of imposing a dress code on people.

I am so excited for you two! It'll be a great wedding!

Caroline said...

Oh great post! I love all your decisions, first off. Small bridal party will make your life SO much easier and I second what my sister said, bridesmaids will look and feel best in a dress that works with their unique body :) Especially when you'll only have two bridesmaids, it won't be hard to coordinate dresses and navy isn't a color you need to worry about different dresses matching, you know?
Other recs: try to reduce driving as much as possible or lots of moving logistics. Moving from hair salon to house to put on dress to church to picture spot to reception spot adds stress to the day. Allow extra time for hair and make up, it always takes longer than you think. Write out the exact groupings of family formals (including people's names) for your photographer if she/he doesn't ask for it already. Greatly reduces time of family portraits. Do an engagement session, it's a good chance to get to know your photographer and you'll be more comfortable with them on the day of (resulting in less awk pictures :)) Those are the big tips I can think of right now but feel free to reach out if you have other questions! I am a wealth of random wedding planning knowledge haha.

Amber said...

Yay I am super excited to follow along with your wedding planning over the next few months and I can't wait to watch you walk down the aisle!

Man, wedding planning is sooo hazy to me right now ha ha. I remember it being quite stressful and busy, but don't remember the exact things that stressed me out. I should read past some of my old posts... But I can definitely say that 4.5 years later the day itself doesn't really matter that much to me and I'm sure any old day would have been fine, it really truly is about the marriage and everything that happens after the wedding. That said, celebrating that day with family and friends really did mean a lot to me and it's so rare to have so many of the people you love in one place!