12 Jun 2018

My Wedding Video + Thoughts on Wedding Planning!

*This post is so kindly sponsored by WeddingWire! All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Friends! Today is our one month wedding anniversary! I wanted to celebrate that with you by sharing our wedding video, plus thoughts I’ve had on wedding planning! This is the first of a few wedding themed blog posts. I have so much to share with y’all -some things I really wanted to share during the planning process, but I just didn’t have time!

During the process, I’ve moved TWICE, switched jobs, received VERY VERY VERY exciting book news (which I will talk about in a blog post soon!!) and so much more. I’ve talked about the process of having a 6-month engagement in this article on The Everygirl, but now that the cake is cut (and frozen in our fridge for a year) I wanted to give a little advice to others out there!

My wedding video is amazing. It was done by John Antaki who completely captured the vibe I wanted for the big day: soft and serene during the first half, carefree and fun during the second, and the love and celebration between both of our families as two became one. I found him the WEEK before our wedding (more below) but I’m so glad I did! Take a minute to watch this video, let me know what you think, and let’s jump right in to my thoughts on the planning process!

B U D G E T:

Start with a budget…then add to that! So many things come up with the wedding planning that you don’t even think of paying for (like table linens!) and some people that may have offered to contribute something or another justttt might not. WeddingWire has a great tool to help you keep track of all the things, and redistribute funds if need be. Like I said, I moved twice and switched my job, so that was something to consider during wedding planning! Consider every possible outcome, and try to budget to the best of your ability!

Find Your People:

Wedding planning can be stressful, on top of doing it in 6 months. If Rob and I didn’t have our moms, our aunts, our uncles and my Maid-of-Honor, and our coordinator, I literally don’t know what we would’ve done. They helped so much during our process, and had a front row view and understanding of everything it took to pull the wedding off and the roadblocks we had leading up to the day. I’m so blessed to have them! Get your inner wedding circle together, whether it’s to help you organize, plan, or just vent! That’s truly a staple in this process.

Pick a Timeline That Works:

Whether you’re choosing your date because it’s the only day available to rent your dream venue, or because it’s a date of significance like ours was, make sure the length of the engagement AND the date work for you. WeddingWire has a great checklist tool for this – there are so many things to take care of, and you want to stay on top of it!

Our wedding date was the birthday of my late Uncle Tony – May 12th. He was like a father figure to me, and because his birthday fell on a Saturday this year, it just felt perfect! Plus, the venue that we chose cited May 12th as the ONLY available May date they had, and we took it as a sign!

However, that left us with an engagement period and planning process of around 6 months. That’s six months to PLAN AN ENTIRE WEDDING, including things like bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and honeymoon. And it fell on the day of two college graduations, so other vendors were booked. To say it was stressful was an understatement, but worth it for us, so unless you have a soon-ish date that’s very significant, or a vendor you really want that’s only available on a certain day, I’d say stretch out the engagement for a year or so. Your wallet and the people who are helping you plan, will thank you. 🙂

Decide On Non-Negotiables + What Can Be Let Go

 Because of our short engagement, we didn’t do Save the Dates … just invitations. We didn’t have an engagement party (I didn’t really think about it until too late!), and I didn’t have robes to gift my bridesmaids on the wedding morning. At first, I was disappointed about these things, but in the big picture, they didn’t matter.

For Rob and I, Non-Negotiables to have during the wedding were great catering, great photography, and great videography. We couldn’t find a videographer that met all of our needs until ONE week before the wedding (the person we thought we were using, ended up not being a great fit!), but I’m so, so glad we did! It was not something we were willing to pass on, and even though we were cutting it very close, we ended up with a video we LOVE.

Make it Easy for the Guests:

Most of my Husband’s family is from out of town, so on the wedding website, I included directions to the venue and a few hotels to choose from. Since the wedding also fell on the same day as two college graduations and Mother’s Day weekend (yikes!) a lot of hotels were booked! WeddingWire was a great resource to help me find hotel blocks and/or hotels that weren’t completely filled up. Although this is your day, your guests are sacrificing time and money to celebrate with you. Look for ways to help them a little bit!

When You Know, You Know:

Our venue, my wedding dress, my wedding shoes, AND my bridesmaid dresses were all picked on the first go round. Our venue was actually the first and only one we’ve looked at! When you know, you know. I knew that I wanted a Hayley Paige ballgown. Since my wedding was fast approaching, I needed to also make sure I picked something that didn’t need too many alterations. Luckily, the dress I loved was a sample, so it was discounted and right off the mannequin! I’m pretty indecisive with everything, so I was surprised at how easy these things went. Don’t drag the process out just because you feel like you “should” be doing so. Wedding shows might glamorize the decision making process, but really, just pick what you love. You’ll have plenty of other decisions to make!

You Can’t Please Everyone:

Whether it’s out of love, malice, or just in the person’s nature, some people very close to you (and not so close to you) will have opinions about what should and shouldn’t be done on your big day. People will want to be invited/involved that you just can’t include, people will have opinions on bridesmaids dresses, makeup, catering, how the showers or bachelorette parties should go, or anything that you can think of. I’m a little bit of a people pleaser, so this was hard at first, but necessary. Of course, take people’s advice with love and consideration, but also with a grain of salt. Stick to exactly what you want, and realize that if you and your Significant Other are going to want everything your way, that means, eventually, someone else might not get there’s.

This also goes for vendors: I’ve had conversations with lovely vendors who just couldn’t meet our needs for the day – and that’s ok! It frees them (and you!) up for a better fit!

Have an Open Mind

This might sound contradictory to my last point, but along with sticking to what you want, have an open mind. I always thought I’d get married in church, and never thought I’d get married outside, for fear of rain or blistering heat (and it was indeed 95 degrees on the big day!). But we were so set on the venue, it was a chance that we were willing to take! I also never thought I’d wear a strapless gown – I usually hate the way I look in strapless things, but have rarely felt as beautiful as I did on my wedding day. Having an open mind brought to things to the day that I absolutely loved!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I know it was long, so if you want me to elaborate on any specific thing, please let me know! Follow along for more wedding recaps (and even more exciting news!) Please let me know if you have any other wedding related posts you want me to do! Thanks for reading!



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  • Still swooning over this @galmeetsglam dress and @kendrascott jewelry 😍 @whitv is a creative directing genius!
  • I met the Planner Queen @emilyley today and she is just as sweet and warm as you’d think! I had the pleasure of participating in the @simplified planner photoshoot and planner gals: y’all are NOT ready for the new covers. I already have mine picked out lol! Today was such a fun day with so many amazing and hardworking women. 💕 #simplifiedsisterhood
  • So this is the first true bookshelf I’ve had since I’ve started Booktube like FIVE years ago!!! These aren’t all of my books, I need another shelf, and I don’t know if this shelf will stay organized like this (I’ve already arranged one), but for right now, I’m soo happy with it. Two of these rows are TBR shelves - I haven’t read the books on them yet! Do you see any faves? 💕📚 #shelfie #shelfiesunday
  • The cover of my debut novel, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, publishing with @scholasticinc on November 5, 2019! The full interview including the inspiration behind the story and some fun facts about me are at the link in my bio! I LOVE this cover so much and how it perfectly embodies the story! The cover focuses on our ghost, Avery, who was buried in an abandoned and segregated graveyard. 👻❄️She wants to be remembered by any means necessary. Iris and Daniel try to help her but ... to what end? Thank you so much to @maevenn for such a BEAUTIFUL cover. A bonus is that blue is my favorite color! 🙌🏽💙 #TheForgottenGirl
  • I’ve uploaded my 2019 Bookish and Writing Goals and a Copyediting vlog to my channel, and a bpost all about @purebarrelkn and how it made me love working out again to my blog! The links to all of these are in my bio. I’ve turned in first pass pages for #TheForgottenGirl too! 😍 I can’t wait to show you what the cover and inside pages look like! This past week was pretty busy, so I felt this shirt from @clutchcowork was pretty fitting. Here’s to an restful Sunday to prepare for the start of the a new work week. ❤️
  • Happy New Year everyone! I took the day yesterday to set goals for the year in my #powersheets, and figure out my Word of the Year. I decided on Steadfast. Here’s why. ⬇️ Steadfast: fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.

Last year I spent a lot of time dwelling on decisions - from big ones to small ones like figuring out which book to read next. 😂 I was easily distracted by worry, stress or social media. 
This year, I’ll have tunnel vision and focus on what matters. I’ll be able to make a decision and stick to it. I’ll focus on my debut author year without the noise. I’ll be so strong in my faith that I won’t think to worry or stress. I’ll be intentional in both work and play time! 
And there’s this Bible verse: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬ 
Here’s to a fruitful and exciting year! 🙌🏽🎉What’s your Word of the Year?
  • This month marks 6 years since I chopped my hair off and went natural! Every December, I get my hair trimmed and straightened (this time, I got around 3 inches cut bc i wasn’t that kind to my hair this year.) Swipe for the blowout I got right before I got it straightened, and some other fun pics through the years! ❤️ the very last pic is a length check. Thinking of doing a natural hair journey video on my channel! 🙆🏽‍♀️
  • Merry Christmas from us and our 3 different types of plaid. 😂🎄🎁 ❤️#PajamaChristmas