|Roses in the garden where we'll have our ceremony|
The garden is more formal and traditional in all of it's floral glory, but it's also extremely open to interpretation as far as the flow of the ceremony goes.
The reception venue is rustic modern with exposed studs, beams and brickwork, and the main room is big enough for square dancing and our bluegrass band. Which were both a key part of our decision making process. And we can use whichever vendors we want, we get the keys to the place (so we can decorate!) on Friday morning, and it's walking distance from the hotel where I'm hoping most of our guests will stay.
From all of this, I have learned a few important lessons:
1. Keep it simple. This is partly because I do not want this wedding to be the sole focus of my life for the next 9 months and because it will just be easier for my brain to hold fewer details and decisions. To help me accomplish this, I have a fantastic and highly organized binder broken down into subjects ("flowers", "food", "rentals", etc) and a month-by-month schedule of what needs to be done. It's completely reassuring and I love the feeling of knowing exactly what we need to do when—and checking things off when we finish them!
|Wedding binder, the "decor" section|
2. No one will know what we don't do. Yes! This golden nugget of advice came from Kimberly and it is seriously my wedding mantra. And it's helpful because there are definitely a lot of voices sharing what we "should" do. But to be honest, I think less can be more when it comes to throwing a good party. As in I'm still not convinced that we need to add more flowers around the ceremony area to define the space. The space is pretty well defined, and it's a lovely garden after all. Maybe that's enough?
3. Be creative and take time to make decisions. After our first meeting with a caterer, the estimate was about $2k over what I had in my budget. Part of that is because of a chunk of change for a "beverage station" with water, iced tea and lemonade, and part is because gratuity and tax are included. But seeing those numbers, and knowing that we have rentals on top of it, is helping me to take things one step at a time.
Do we need to rent $16 tablecloths? Could I come up with vintage linens or kraft paper instead that would be a better use of money? Probably. Do I really want to spend $12.95 per dozen glasses when we could buy a dozen mason jars for less money AND have them to use for storage for years to come? I think so.
There is a fair amount of pressure to sign on the dotted line immediately, but the truth is that we have time, and we plan to use our time to figure out how we can make our day a reflection of us and our loved ones with the funds that we have. I think it helps that I definitely don't have the intention to throw the Best Wedding Ever. I just want it to be Really Fun. And Pretty. And full of Love.
I'm going to be using Fridays for the coming months to share some of our plans, so I hope that you'll stay tuned to that and be ready to offer advice!