Category Archives: Planning

Could You Please Take Our Picture?


From the very beginning, photography was very important to us, though for slightly different reasons. I wanted to have rich photos from our day because after the last dance has been danced, the food is all gone, and the wedding dress has been packed away, all we will have left will be our memories and the pictures. And I really wanted those pictures to be amazing. For the mister, since most of his family would not be able to make the trip from Michigan to our wedding, he wanted to have really nice photos for his family to view.

Our search for a photographer began and ended with one guy: Ed Pingol of Ed Pingol Photography.

Teana and Aaron Engaged - 0035_fhdr

Eddie is actually a friend of mine, so that makes him a friendor. I’ve been hounding him about being my wedding photographer since he first started in the business and I’m so excited that he’ll actually be taking our pictures.

Eddie is so incredibly easy to get along with and has a great eye for amazing pictures so having him as one of our vendors was actually a relief because we knew for a fact that he would be able to get along with our guests and other vendors (especially the DOC) and that we know that we’re going to get some really fantastic photos.

Ed Pingol Wedding Photography

Even though we were sure Eddie would be our photographer (he was the only one we met with), I still took some time to contact other photographers (23 to be exact) to see how his package would compare, but they either had amazing photos and astronomical prices or they had prices that were more aligned with our actual meager photography budget but their photos left something to be desired. We weighed our options and seriously considered the effects on our budget if we went with Eddie. There just wasn’t any comparison for use; these will be our tangible memories from the day and one of the few things we’ll be able to share with our children. So while we went way over budget to secure Eddie’s work for our wedding but honestly, I was more than happy to splurge here and tighten the belt elsewhere.

Ed Pingol Wedding Photography


How did you find your photographer? Did you splurge?


Pulling My Head Out of the Wedding Planning Sand

Funny how life used to be drag on when I was younger (back when nearly 3 months of summer vacation felt like a lifetime) and now it pretends to be the bus from Speed, refusing to drive slower than 50 MPH lest it explodes. Unless it during work hours.

After sprinting out of the gates in May to research and pick our vendors (we had nearly every vendor tied up by September), I had started to slow down on the wedding prep, believing I had “so much time!” And I did. Back in May, that is. Now that we’ve turned the calendar to 2014, I’m staring dead into the eyes of our approaching wedding. And it is on the Speed bus.

wed seasonI just started reading Game of Thrones a few months ago and have been saying “Winter is coming” every chance I get. Because that’s not annoying. At all.

I Pollyanna’d my way through most of last year, casually taking care of craft projects and whatnot as the mood struck, which left me with various projects in different phases of completion. It was a bit overwhelming having so many projects going at once and I think that was probably why I put off diligently working on them. Because watching Chopped and The Mindy Project is a lot easier to handle than trying to design signage or write a blog post about finding your caterer.

People constantly asked how the planning was going and I’d always reply, “It’s…going.” Because it kind of was, just not really. I wasn’t even really paying attention to how much time we had left either. Then again, I didn’t really have to since everyone else seemed to know exactly how many months we had left.

But now…now I have 5 months left to tackle the rest of our projects and final details. Actually, it’s more like 4 1/2 months since I have instituted an “Eff it” deadline – if my projects are not done by a week before the wedding, then we’re not having them. Done and done. And if there’s one thing I thrive on, it’s the stress from a pending deadline. I used the Christmas break to work on some wedding projects and we got a lot done. Get ready folks, I have planning updates galore!

Did you experience a wedding planning slump? How did you get over it?

Budding Inspiration: Pretty Flowers!

One of the most surprisingly easy wedding tasks was figuring out what kind of flowers I wanted for our wedding. While I do enjoy flowers, I was kind of indifferent to them for our wedding. My indifference definitely was a positive considering the rather small budget we originally had for flowers. I considered DIYing our flowers and then hiring a professional to tackle the personal flowers while I handled the centerpieces, then I considered doing simple, single flower arrangements for the both the personal flowers and centerpieces and then…it kept going back and forth.

Then one day my mom surprised me by gifting the money to cover my dress and flowers because she wanted me to get something nice. So I’m hiring a florist to handle the flowers. Before I get into our florist search, here’s some of my floral inspirations. Warning: lots of pictures ahead!

Bridal bouquet: Since I will be wearing white/ivory, I wanted to carry a colored bouquet so there would be some contrast. The only flower I was really wanted are green Weber parrot tulips but since I don’t even know when they’re in season, I wasn’t married (heh) to them. Basically, all I wanted was something with a green tone, soft, romantic, and fluffy like a cloud.

bridal flowers inspiration

[Sources via: With This Ring, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Project Wedding]

I plan on decorating the stem with a ribbon and one of my dad’s Army metals like this:

Bridal bouquet with military medal[Source: Style Me Pretty]

Bridesmaid bouquet: Similar to my bouquet, I wanted the bridesmaids’ bouquets to stand out against their dresses so I decided to go with all white and because I’m so well-versed in flowers, I described my vision for the bridesmaids when meeting with florists as “All-white and fluffy.” I’m a floral genius.

all white bouquet[Source:]

I also want their bouquets decorated with extra long ribbons for an added flair of…ribbons.

Bridesmaid bouquets with ribbons[Source: The Bride’s Cafe]

Boutonnieres: Again, we’re not tied to any flowers so we’re pretty open to whatever. I’d like the mister’s bout to be white and the groomsmen’s bouts to be green.

groom bouts

[Source: The KnotLee’s Florist & Nursery, Once Wed]

groomsmen bouts[Source: The Knot, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Tomobi Floral Art]

Centerpieces: I’m continuing the “fluffy” theme with our centerpieces. Our centerpieces pretty much set the overall design theme for our wedding: kind of elegant/modern rustic with a hint of vintage [if it sounds like I’m pulling this description out of my butt, well, it’s true. I’m totally making it up as I go along]. I was drawn to fluffy white centerpieces with birch vases.

White centerpieces with birch bark vases[Sources: Snippet & Ink, In This Instance,  Project Wedding, One Fine Day Events]

Tip: Whether you DIY your flowers or hire a professional, having inspiration photos will help provide a clear vision of what you want for everyone to follow, especially if all you know you want is “fluffy like a cloud.” 

On the next episode of Talda Plans The Weddening, I’ll share our harrowing search for a florist. Are you DIYing your flowers or hiring a florist? Or are you skipping the flowers completely for something different?

My Wedding Fairy Godmother

bride wars candance bergenBride Wars anyone?

Once we decided to have our wedding at the Hacienda de las Flores, we had to wait until we were a year out from our wedding date before we were able to book the venue so we were at a standstill until then since I didn’t want to start making plans until I knew for sure we would have the venue and the date, but once we signed on the line, I set out to find our first vendor: a day-of-coordinator.

While I can handle planning the wedding on my own (c’mon now, I’ve been planning this shindig for the past seven years!), I knew from the beginning that I wanted a DOC to take the reins on the wedding day. After watching several weddings before me, I definitely saw the benefits of hiring someone to handle all the details and timeline the day of. After all the time spent worrying about the details leading up to the wedding, I didn’t want to worry about the wedding day itself. If something happened, I didn’t want to know or stop the festivities so I could figure out how to fix it. All I wanted to do was show up, look pretty, get married, and eat cake.

Plus, I didn’t want to make my family and friends work on my wedding. That, and if I’m being honest, I’m a perfectionist (surprise, surprise) and I love my family and friends, really I do, but I don’t think I trust any one person enough to set everything up exactly the way I want them to be. Not that it would be impossible; it would just take me a while to convince myself things are fine. Hiring a professional alleviates a lot of these issues.

What I didn’t know was how expensive DOCs could be. We had a very modest budget and while I found several DOCs in the area, to say I had sticker shock was an understatement. Many emails and phone calls later,  I was worried and discouraged as my long list of coordinators quickly dwindled and worried that we wouldn’t find anyone within our budget, even after increasing it by two hundred dollars in hopes of finding someone.  After what felt like ages, we found two coordinators who were available for our date and fit nicely within our budget.

I met with the first coordinator after work and really liked her. She was relatively new but I felt that she knew her stuff and could handle our wedding. Plus, we got along fabulously, which is an important consideration since we would be working very closely with her. She was my favorite so imagine my disappointment when I saw her fall apart under  the pressure of the mister’s questions during our second meeting. He wasn’t especially hard on her; she just tripped over some of his more critical questions. Ultimately, while she seemed fully capable of doing a good job, he wasn’t fully convinced she would be the best fit for us.

We met the second coordinator at our venue. This meeting was a night-and-day difference from the first. From the moment she sat down, she chatted with us about our relationship and started asking questions about which factors were the most important for us, how we envisioned our wedding, and other details about the day. I had shared my Pinterest board for the wedding with her beforehand and she had gone through it before the meeting and knew what I was going for and had some great suggestions for us as we toured the venue. I was getting excited about her but did my best to temper my excitement since I needed the mister to be on-board. Then when she skillfully navigated the question and answer round from the mister, we knew instantly she was the coordinator for us. We hired her on the spot.

I’m excited that Linda of Simply Events will be our day of coordinator! She was a lovely woman and just as excited to work with us. While her business is relatively young, she has over 20 years of event management experience, including wedding coordination at wineries so we definitely got the best of both worlds: a newish coordinator establishing her own business with the experience of a seasoned professional. Plus, her rates was under our original budget! I’ve already been bouncing questions and ideas off her and she’s been really responsive and honest about her opinions. She was already our smartest investment.

Tip: Day of Coordinators can be expensive but keep looking; there are some great options out there for everyone!

Are you passing the buck to a day or coordinator (or a friend or relative) or do you think you’ll handle it alone?

And so it begins…again.

After taking a much longer than anticipated hiatus from my “pre-planning” blogging, I’m back and ready to blog and plan for real.

While we’re still not “officially” engaged with a ring, we have officially set a date and are actively planning our 2014 wedding! Yays all around!

I know it seems weird to be planning a wedding before a proposal but since the mister is simply waiting to land a full-time job before officially proposing, we figured it was better to pick a date and start planning now instead of waiting for him to get a job and then waiting another year before we got married. Because after 8 years of dating, we don’t have much wait left in us.

And while we could have easily planned a good wedding in however many months, we both knew that it wouldn’t be the wedding I had hoped we would have. We discussed it ad nauseum and after my assurances that I would be fine with whatever wedding we had, the mister called my bluff and told me I deserved to have the wedding I dreamed of.

Aww, shucks.

And thus the unconventional wedding planning experience. But considering the history of our relationship, doing things out of order is so totally us.

So it’s time to let loose with all those plans I’ve been working on in my head and make them real. Ready?