Wedding Planning Update: What We Have So Far!

I'm asked probably daily how wedding planning is going for Justin and I. And every time I say "well, we're pretty much done for now" I get the "what do you mean?!" response. So, I'm going to start this blog with a little disclaimer. I have NO IDEA why everything has been so easy for us in this process. I know I've said that in multiple blog posts, but it really has been such a breeze *knocks on wood*. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted for our wedding, so maybe that's why things have just fallen into place, but I decided to write a blog post to let you know some of the things we did and how we've gotten to where we are now in the wedding planning process. 

I want to mention again that Justin and I had been talking about getting engaged since March of 2017, so I had 6 months to plan and think about what i'd want(we got officially engaged on September 22, 2017). When you know it's coming eventually, it's easier to start gathering ideas and researching places because you know you'll need that information soon. Justin and I both spoke very openly about things we wanted and loved throughout those 6 months. When we first visited our venue (we went to lunch there with our roommate), we both looked at each other and agreed it was a beautiful brewery and wouldn't be a bad place to get married. Let's just say we both had that *feeling*. We peaked in The Reserve (the room they use for events) and when we got back home, we started researching the venue and prices etc. We had gone back a few more times and peaked in, I even contacted the woman who runs and plans the events there just to get more information. All that to say, we had a pretty good idea at that point that we would probably get married there. That doesn't mean I didn't research other venues extensively. I was on wedding-spot.com every day. Wedding Spot is a great website to use for many reasons, but I loved most that it estimated the cost of the wedding based on many factors - guest count, the type of food/drinks you'd want and the time of year. It made narrowing down places based on our budget easier. After all that searching and inquiring though, we both knew The Reserve was the place. I should mention that the venue does in house catering and bar service so that's one thing off our list!

Once we got engaged and booked our venue, the next most important thing to me was a photographer. Now again, I had been following wedding photographers for a few months if not longer. Some I followed because I happened upon them one day on Instagram, others I followed because I wanted to see their work and keep them in the back of my mind for when the time came for us to choose a wedding photographer. So when we finally sat down to choose, I showed Justin who I loved and he agreed he liked their work, and we sent out an inquiry! Within a few minutes Asher (our amazing photographer) had texted me with all the information I needed, we set up a time to chat on the phone and once we had talked and heard how they work, we knew they were the ones for us. I am so thankful every day for how things fell into place with Asher and Emily. It turned out that they were both booked at two different weddings the day of ours, and Asher's got cancelled two days before I inquired about them. I also let him know I wanted fall engagement pictures and the only weekend he had open happened to be the first weekend of November - right when the foliage was at its best. I mean it when I say we couldn't have gotten luckier. On top of all those things falling into place, Asher was AMAZING and our photos turned out better than I ever imagined they could (read about our engagement photo shoot and see the pictures here). 

After that, I looked into three different DJ companies. We ended up going with Entertain! LLC which is based here in Nashville. They were the only ones to respond to me with the answers I needed and didn't try to push any sort of extras on us (or spam call and text me like another company here did). After a few quotes and conversations, we decided on the DJ and photobooth which we're really excited for! I did all my correspondences with them via email, too which meant all the information I need is easy to find and look up. They also feature an online portal where we can put the list of songs we definitely want played, definitely do NOT want played, and songs to play during dinner, our first dance song etc. It's been a great tool to have and has been fun to fill out!

Next I started looking for a salon for our hair and makeup the day of the wedding. I ended up going with Hunter Paige by Parlor 3 - my hair stylist works there and is fantastic and I've only ever heard amazing things about their bridal team. So when I reached out and they had time available for us, I went for it. I had reached out to another girl who freelances and had done a styled shoot at The Reserve before but she was already booked. Thankfully, the email response from Hunter Paige came as soon as the other email was delivered so it worked out perfectly (the space at Hunter Paige is also GORGEOUS so I can't wait for me and my girls to get ready there that morning and feel like the queens we are ;). It is an in- salon appointment. They did have on location options too, but I thought it would be more fun to go there to get ready since it is so nice but it is your preference what you choose on your day! 

After that, I started talking to my friend Maggie who recently got married about her wedding bouquet. I've spoken briefly about Bloominus in another blog post, but now that I have had a consultation and have everything planned out, i'll let you know how easy it is to work with them. Bloominus is an online flower shop based out of California. They sell flowers to virtually anywhere in the US and have many collections to choose and customize from to make your day perfect. I emailed them through their website and was contacted by Rachel there who helped me start narrowing down some ideas. I let her know what I loved from a few collections and what I didn't like about some things (for instance, I want my bouquet to be mostly green with flowers being accents. She was able to customize the bouquet from a collection based off of the colors I gave her and it made my life SO much easier). Once we had everything quoted, I paid a deposit to hold the date and my flowers will be delivered the Wednesday before the wedding! Now, these flowers are DIY - they send you everything you need to make the bouquets, but it is up to you and whoever you choose to help you make them. I personally loved this because it gives me and my bridesmaids a special moment together and we'll get to say we actually made our own bouquets! My friend Maggie said it was so fun and way easier than she expected (plus her bouquet was stunning) so it will be a new experience for all of us! But Bloominus was so helpful and amazing to work with so far!

Now, I booked all of these things in October - one month after being engaged and 11 months away from the wedding. My advice, and what I'd recommend, is starting all of this as early as possible to at least save the date and make changes after if necessary, so long as the vendor you booked allows refundable deposits. A lot of places and people start booking up a year in advance so if you really love a place or something or someone, book it first and make that your priority.

Around the beginning of October, I asked my mom, Justin's mom and my sisters to come to Nashville so we can go wedding dress shopping. I contacted multiple bridal shops here in Nashville based off of the designers they carried. You can research dresses and find bridal shops that carry them near you by going on theknot.com and searching there. You can even search based off price which is nice, too. We go wedding dress shopping tomorrow (yay) so i'll have a blog post up early next week letting you know how we made out! 

Last, we also had a phone conversation with a family owned donut- food truck here in Nashville that will be making our dessert donuts! We still have to get out to try them, but Justin has had them before and loves them and I trust his taste and opinion! We have also block booked a hotel down the street from our house and venue, made our wedding website, picked our bridesmaids/groomsmen and wedding colors (I got swatches from David's Bridal and Azazie), and have started creating our save the dates to send out in January! 

Justin and I have had such a good time planning all of this so far. Every time we talk to a new vendor about that aspect of our wedding, we become more and more impatient knowing we still have 10 months left until the actual day. If your wedding planning process ends up being as easy as ours, take it all in and enjoy every moment you have together planning the day you finally become husband and wife! And if your planning process ends up being not so easy, and maybe even a little stressful, my advice is to soak that all in, too. Let the universe work in the way it is working. Your day is going to be perfect no matter what happens or where you get married. All that really matters is that you're marrying your best friend and the love of your life. I'd get married in a basement if I had to because the most beautiful thing about a wedding isn't the venue or the decorations or the cake and food. It's the love between you and your S/O. Every time you feel down or stressed, remember what you're planning and the end result. I'm sure I will find times where I feel overwhelmed or something may not go as easy or as right as it has, but knowing I have Justin right by my side through it all makes every single day worth it. 

Love always,