Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Looking for Wedding Wisdom

I've been doing a lot of thinking about wedding planning—both the nature of it and also the actual act of thinking through steps as we start making some decisions—and I have to say that it's been just as hard as I expected that it might be.

I've watched many friends go through this process lately—check out Brianne's wedding graduate post over on A Practical Wedding for one example—and I have to say that the whole thing just feels hard. Which is funny because this sort of planning, picking out colors, creating an aesthetic, making things cohesive and meaningful through details, is part of my day job. I know that I can do it, so that's clearly not the issue.

It's the bigger issue of finding a way to outwardly represent the amazing relationship that I have with Josh through locations, food choices, decor, readings, and apparel. I think that's a pretty tall order and I'm downright intimidated by it. Part of why I feel this particular pressure is because about 75% of our guests will be coming to Des Moines for the first time so we'll be playing host as well as having them share in our day. And I'm a perfectionist by nature so I of course want to ensure that they have the best experience possible. And I want it to look lovely.

But all of that is meaning that making decisions—I'm stuck on the location right now as the State Park that we'd settled on is remarkably flood prone, a chance that seems unwise to take in our lovely water logged state—is even harder. This is especially true since we're trying to stick to a budget and are therefore avoiding traditional wedding venues* are out, which is actually okay with us since that means we'll have more say in each element of the reception—like beer from Peacetree and wine from Chimney Rock. I know that when the day comes, whatever we decide will fade into the background because the reason that we'll all be there is to celebrate the joining of our two families, the start of our deeper commitment to each other. But it's a little hard to see the forest through the trees right now.

That said, I am VERY excited about my dress plans—all I will say that they involve my mom and I having a hand in the making of the dress alongside some super talented ladies down south! YAY!—and I am even more excited to be get to marry Josh (that day feels like it can't come soon enough!).

The board of images above is one of my wedding inspiration boards in Pinterest, a handy bookmarking site that allows you to keep track of things as you surf the web. It's crazy useful for someone as visual as me and it's really fun to see what my friends are being drawn to. They are some images that I've gathered for inspiration and to help me try to imagine the end result of our current efforts—there are clearly a few threads like a mixture of shades of pink, flowers in mason jars, natural elements and an outdoor ceremony.

So, if any of you have been through this and have faced similar feelings of wedding planning intimidation, please share.

*Just a little note about my use of the word traditional. I do not mean it in a negative way. I simply mean that we can't fit a venue that comes with a hefty price tag and that stipulates wine and beer costs in our budget, so we're having to be more creative and DIY. Just wanted to be sure that I clarified that.


  1. Yes, planning your own wedding is difficult, I agree. It's sometimes easier and more fun just to help with someone ELSE's wedding! :)
    Just put yourselves into it and it will become a beautiful expression of your commitment. Say the things you want to say in your vows and readings, make the things you want to make for your reception, have fun with it and it will be perfect!
    Your inspiration/idea photos are so beautiful, I hope you will continue to share those as you gather more :) Good luck!!

  2. Oh Amy, I have SO been there! We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this week - check out my blog for the full look-back wedding post and some thoughts on all that. I chose to make everything myself for our wedding, sans help, and I had a very high-stress, demanding day job that required working 'til late at night. That meant all my crafty wedding planning happened in the wee hours. I remember being delirious at 4am hand painting all of the jelly jar lanterns and paper-macheing our hurricane vases and designing and puff-painting the menus had to be perfect. And then our incredibly expensive wedding photographer took virtually NO details shots of all the details and decorations! I survived it and had a ton of fun in the process, though I understand how overwhelming it can be. My husband always tells me "Remember, no will know what you didn't do."

  3. Good luck with the wedding plans - I guess the whole thing can be quite overwhelming (I've never done it myself, so don't know!)

    Great to see you are a pinterest fan too - I LOVE it!

  4. I've had lots of friends get married, but something about the way you've been writing about your experience, with such honesty, I just really love. Looking forward to more snippets as the plans come together, and I'm so excited for you!