The morning after Jay and I got engaged, we went to my parent's house for a brunch with my family and a couple of friends. And it was there that the planning began. I sat down with a couple of friends and my sisters on the couch while Jay relaxed in a nearby chair watching golf and we decided to get this party started. As in, start coming up with a vision for the biggest party I've ever hosted. When you think of it like that, it's easy to get a little overwhelmed. As we tossed out ideas and flipped through magazines for inspiration, I was both excited and in awe at the same time.
"This is going to be the best day of our lives!"
"How do people plan all of this? Especially if they already have a job?"
But it's incredible how things just start to come together. We set the date. Jay and I already knew that an outdoor/farm/barn/tent type wedding was exactly what we wanted. But because our wedding date was less than eight months away, we knew renting a venue of that type would be nearly impossible (they're booked 18 months in advance!).
So, I reached out to some friends and contacts who might know of a private property we could use. By the end of the week, the location was secured.
The advantage to getting married in a place that doesn't usually host weddings? You can do whatever you want! The disadvantage to getting married in a place that doesn't usually host weddings? You have to bring in everything you want!
That means we've spent the past two months renting everything from bathrooms to forks. Thinking about lighting and music and invitations . . . and of course, the list goes on.
So far we've locked down:
The Guest List -- Everyone who says this is the toughest part is right. In order to not have to sell my house to pay for this thing, we kept it as short as possible!
Food -- My first priority! Our dear friend Antigoni Sander McCloud and her team at Kafe 421 in Minneapolis are catering. We're starting the meal with our absolute favorite Tomato-Basil soup.
Invitations -- My sister took on this project in New York City, working with a graphic designer she knows there. We just finalized the designs of the invites and save-the-dates today!
Band -- When our aforementioned friend Antigoni got married, we danced until the very last song. So we had to book Urban Myth for our big day too.
Officiant -- My dad is a Lutheran minister. Oh, so convenient.
Decor -- My mom is an interior designer. Also, oh, so convenient. She's all over it.
Tent Rental -- I think we have a 10 page list of items to rent from Apres Party and Tent Rental. If I look at the list too often, it causes me stress. :)
The Dress -- I dreaded dress shopping. I dreaded the pressure, the quest for perfection, and the intense scrutiny of my appearance. I shouldn't have. The experience was lovely. We bought the only gown that made me say "I love this" when I had it on. Kelsey at Bridal Accents Couture listened to every word my mom, sisters, and I said about each dress I got into (not always gracefully, by the way). Finally, she said, I think this one will be everything you want. She was right.
Next on the list:
Photographer -- We are meeting with a woman we're hoping will capture all of our wedding memories next week.
Send out Save the Dates -- Wow, I have a lot of addresses to track down.
Insurance -- We need a liability insurance policy for this party and I should have a quote any day now.
Bridesmaids -- Four down, one to go. My best friend should receive a package containing a printed scarf (in wedding colors!) and a note today. I told her she can't open it until she calls me! Tonya, you'd better not be reading this! :)
Location Details: We know where the reception and cocktail hour will be taking place, but because our location has been knee-deep in snow, we haven't determined exactly where we'll hold the ceremony. Melt, snow! Melt! We're planning another visit this month.
And through it all, Jay and I have created some fun traditions. Since we'll be married on the 21st of September, every month on the 21st leading up to the wedding we have a special night, just the two of us. Last month we made dinner and toasted to our life together. He often looks at me, smiling, and says "You're going to be my wife!" Of course, I reply with "You're going to be my husband!" We are total nerds, we know. My mom keeps reminding me to enjoy every moment, because it's a such a special and brief time. She's right and I am.