Last week was wedding overload for this girl. Because the event will be in Wisconsin, whenever I head home it’s plan, plan, plan. On this trip’s agenda: tasting, flowers, ceremony music, LASIK eye surgery, table linens, and more. It started with my hair trial. I realize five months out is a little early for that first appointment, but because I'm typically only home on the weekends, and the lady I am scheduled with for my wedding doesn't work on the weekends, this mid-week jaunt to Wisconsin was the perfect time for that first trial. I went in equipped with pictures of my hair at past weddings (this is where my reoccurring role as a bridesmaid comes in handy), and I explained that I wanted something timeless and chic, without looking too harsh. As we started talking, I found it best to pull up pictures from past weddings to show her things that I didn't like about the previous styles . . . this one was too flat, that one to loose.
And after some back and forth, the final look resulted in a giant bun at the nape of my neck with my hair sideswiped in the front. At first glance, it felt a little too flat, which I told her I wanted, but I decided to head home and take some pictures to see how I liked it on film. I also wanted to see how the look would hold for the remainder of the day. And sure enough, the front appeared a bit too flat on film, and within an hour of being home, I realized the bun was too low and was brushing on my neck, which caused it to lose its form. I can't even imagine how something like that would be able to withstand the endless amount of hugs I'm sure will go around on the day of. I took a few pictures for my stylists to show her its demise the next time, and made a few notes so I remembered my feedback. The following day was a bit of a wash because I had LASIK. The Fiance and I both decided to get our eyes fixed before the big day because we didn't want to risk sporting bloodshot eyes on the big day (and after 26 years with glasses/ contacts, it seemed like it was time). My wedding planner, Amy Red from MiMi Design, flew in shortly after I got home from the doctor, and thankfully, given my hazy demeanor, she could see that I was in no position to make any decisions. We grabbed a quick bite with my parents and headed to bed ready for a full day of planning in the morning. On Friday, we started at the church to discuss décor with Amy and our florist. Everyone met there bright and early, and we brought with us a few different options to line the aisle. I had in my head that I wanted silver lanterns mixed with tall silver candleholders, but when we arrived, the lanterns looked too short against the tall pews, and we determined the lanterns looked a little too rustic for the romantic and elegant setting we were striving to attain. We decided that small glass cylinders on a pedestal dispersed down the aisle with tall candle holders was our best bet. (Quick tip: A fantastic place to look for inexpensive glass vases, votives, lanterns, etc. is jamaligarden.com. The service there is questionable, but the price point is right, so keep it in mind.) Once we established the props we were going to use for décor, we had to create a corresponding floral strategy that would work with the décor we were planning for the tent. I'm admittedly terrible at knowing different types of flowers. I know I like peonies, ranunculus, orchids, lilies of the valley, and roses, but how to put it together creatively and in an aesthetically pleasing manner is not my strong suit. I showed our florist, who has known me since birth (and has probably been planning my wedding with my mom since about that time) pictures of bouquets that I like and didn't like. I figured if we could determine the bouquets, then the rest could stem from there.
As we got into our floral conversations, I realized there was a lot more to it than simply pointing to a pretty picture and saying make that. I loved a ranunculus boutonniere that was set in an array of lilies of the valley, but my florist pointed out that in July, the heat would damage the arrangement rather quickly, and it would be best to do something that could withstand the temperatures. Peonies are also not that easy to come by in July . . . so we had to create some alternate options while he worked through the pricing. We are having round and rectangular tables in the tent for dinner, so we created two differet arrangements for each type of table. We walked through door decorations, ancillary table arrangements, pieces for the altar, blooms for the moms, the wedding party, and the readers, and everything in between. Four hours later, I left that meeting with my head spinning (and my eyes throbbing). There were so many different arrangements needed for so many different tables . . . my mom and I went straight home to rewrite it all in a recap format to make sure we didn't miss anything. And even now, a week later, I'm still not sure we have a clear vision for what we want. We're also still trying to decide on the linens, so though we know the centerpieces, the tables don't feel quite complete. One thing that is complete, however, is our ceremony music. We met with the musicians early Saturday morning at the church (this time The Fiance was in tow, and Amy Red was back in Minneapolis with a long to-do list from our outing the day before). The church sent me a list of "acceptable" music a few weeks prior to our meeting and The Fiance and I spent a night googling all sorts of different songs and melodies. I marked my favorites, and then before the meeting, spent a few hours going through old wedding programs (yes, I save them), looking at some of the unique options that weren't on my list. As a result, we have some classics ("Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," "Ave Maria," "Trumpet Voluntaire") but also some originals ("The Prayer." the Notre Dame Alma Mater, the theme song from Rudy). Thankfully, the musicians were incredibly accommodating, even throwing in a few original ideas we hadn't come up with, and I left that meeting confident that the day-of music was not something I'd need to worry about. (Knock on wood.)
The final, and most fun, part of the trip home was the tasting. The Fiance and I had been excited about this for weeks. We sent some suggestions to the chef a head of time, but we really wanted him to feel free to use his creativity and come up with new and different options that tasted great and look fantastic on the plate. (I'm all about presentation.) We arrived at our venue with my parents on Saturday night and were directed to a private room where we'd be dining with the Restaurant Manager (also a good friend of the family). He surprised us with a centerpiece from the florist that mimicked the design we were thinking of for some of our centerpieces, which was so nice to see in person. Then we were promptly presented with the salad, which was a light mix of greens with pears and strawberries in a candied pecan bowl. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and simply put, I loved it. The chef had come up with something totally unique, that was fun to eat, looked great, and tasted phenomenal. The rest of the meal followed suit. The steak was great, and he served five different fish options for us to try. We narrowed the results to two, and planned to come back in May with The Fiance's family to make the final decision. We also narrowed the cake options from five flavors to two (wedding diet starts today, I swear), so I'm excited for our next tasting where we can see it all come together in one meal. At the end of the weekend, I felt exhausted (and full) but enthused. I realized while I was home that the people we are working with to make this day a reality are phenomenal resources that I need to tap more regularly as I go through these plans. I never would have come up with a menu that's as exciting and delicious as the one our chef prepared, nor would I have been able to tie together all of our floral elements into one cohesive vision without the guidance of our florist. I know I have a lot of ideas and opinions as a bride-to-be, and so does my MOB, but the experts that we are relying on to make this all happen are a great asset to utilize in this planning process. My goal going forward is to be more open to others suggestions. Yes, I know what I think I want, but there just might be some idea out there that I haven't thought of that's even better. Nonetheless, I can't wait to see how everyone's ideas are rolled into the big day: Five months and counting.