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My wedding was set on June 10th of 2017, in the country. We got engaged on July 31st of 2016, so I had little to less than a year to plan a wedding, plus we were planning to move abroad in July of 2017. Needless to say that wedding planning and planning a move were pretty stressful.
Luckily the entire process went smooth, but of course, there were mishaps and things that went wrong. Planning your wedding is exciting, but also overwhelming. When you plan your own wedding you literally have to start from scratch. Of course, my first thought was- Pinterest! As a bride, Pinterest and The Knot will be your go-to fairy godmother for all things wedding planning.
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The first thing we decided on doing was finding a venue. I had no idea that people booked over a year in advance, so that kind of put us in a bad spot. The venues that I had in mind, were all pretty much booked. I searched and searched for venues on websites like the knot.com.
We did find some venues outside of our town, but that also meant our guests would have to drive and potentially get hotels. It seemed like finding a venue outside of our town was our only option. Then one day I stumbled upon this beautiful red barn, on the Knot.com. They were new, and literally just opened. To my surprise they had our wedding weekend opened.
It was the most beautiful venue, and absolutely perfect for us. My husband and I who are Country at heart, we prefer this over the city. The venue was a large red barn, with a bridal suite, two bathrooms, with an outdoor arbor for ceremonies. It was charming and rustic, exactly what we were looking for.
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Not to mention the owners allowed us to use any and all décor that they had. Their first wedding was that fall, and the bride had left a ton of décor to the venue. This included these gorgeous doors that opened up to the wedding ceremony. Whiskey barrels for the cake table, centerpieces and so much more. Since our wedding was 9 months away there were several other brides who donated their décor, that we used for our ceremony.
The venue also allowed us the use of the barn from Friday through to Sunday. Friday evening for the rehearsal dinner and set up. Sunday if we needed to come back to clean anything.
Once our venue was set, and I knew I could use the décor, it was time to plan the little details and find a wedding dress. Finding a wedding dress wasn’t stressful initially but not the best experience.
When I went for my first appointment, I bought a few of my bridesmaids, my mother in law, my dad, and grandma. I tried on a few dresses, and found ‘the one’. It’s that feeling you get when you feel like a bride, and everyone starts tearing up. I have to say I had never seen myself going for a ball gown, but it so happened it was the one.
Since I am so petite I had to get a lot of the dress altered, but the store actually ordered in the dress wrong, in extra length. So to put in short the whole experience of my dress arriving wrong, and having to alter it 3+ times was very frustrating to me. I had to keep reminding myself that it would be okay.
After I found my dress, we had to decide on what the bridal party would wear. I opted for letting my bridesmaids choose their own style of dresses in the same color. I knew that it was a pain to find one dress that would fit everyone in the right way, and be on a budget for them. This allowed them to find a dress they preferred and could afford.
It wasn’t until about two months before the wedding that my husband decided on what the groomsmen would wear! Luckily everything was ordered in on time, and their outfits looked great.
What I really didn’t realize when planning a wedding on my own were all the little intricate details. When to send out save the dates, when to send out invites, the timeline of the actual wedding day, who would bring what to the wedding, how to plan out the music, so on and so forth.
This is where researching on Pinterest and The Knot are essential. I found examples of wedding timelines when to send out invites, what songs we needed and all that jazz.
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My husband and I opted for doing most of everything on our own, such as writing our own ceremony script. We wanted our ceremony to be short and sweet, to the point. The actual ceremony actually took about 10 minutes.
The biggest thing and most stressful was planning the day out. When the bridesmaids would arrive, how much time to take for hair and makeup, who would pick up the flowers, when would the guys arrive with the music system, when to do the entrance after the ceremony, etc.
In the end, the day went according to plan, for the most part. My closest Aunt, and also a really great friend helped me so much during the entire process. She picked up the flowers for us, set them up the day of, made sure the cupcakes were arranged, and all the décor was set up. I always tell new brides that having one person, to be there for you and help with the small things makes all the difference. She ran around that day like a chicken with her head cut off, but she wanted to do it and made sure everything went smoothly.
The only mishap or bad thing about the actual wedding day was how hot it was. I really didn’t take into account how hot I would be in a ball gown. My dress had so many layers of tulle. Our venue actually didn’t have A/C since it was in a barn. We had opened up all the windows and doors for air flow.
Luckily my husband found an A/C unit that we were able to set up in the bridal suite so I wasn’t dying in there waiting for the ceremony to start. However, some of our guests, the older family members, ended up leaving early because of how hot it was.
What I loved about planning my wedding was watching it all come together in the end, and just being able to enjoy the actual day. We were surrounded by so much love, good food, and good music. I’m sincerely appreciative of all our family and friends who made our day happen.
We really lucked out on vendors such as caterers and the DJ. A good family friend of ours catered my sister in laws wedding, so we had asked her to do ours. My husband was actually in a band back home, so his band members did our music. They already had mics and PA equipment and played our music for us. Both of these saved us tremendous money!
The only things went wrong were my wedding dress, initially, and the heat. The heat I think of more as a mishap and something we really couldn’t control at the time. My wedding dress was ordered in wrong, so I had to wait longer to get it in. This meant it took longer to alter, and I had to have 3-4 appointments before they would start altering my dress.
Above all else, and beside the stress, planning your wedding is satisfying and a raw experience. You find out who is truly there for you, you learn to compromise with your soon-to-be-spouse, and you can watch everything you planned come together. Although there is something that is bound to go wrong, as a bride you will hardly notice. Because the only thing that matters at the end of the day is that you’re getting married to the love of your life.
Photographer: Carrie Hastings Photography
Floral: Flowers N Things
Read more about this wedding here: My Wedding Story
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