Tag Archives: planning

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?

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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?