Christina here! It’s been about 4 months since I announced my engagement to our readers and it’s high time that I give you an update on what I’ve been up to – plus some tips on the wedding planning process. FYI, as of today, I’m almost exactly 6 months out from the wedding date. Insert Eeeeek emoji here!
I really hit the ground running immediately after getting engaged. Within 2-3 weeks I had a venue and date nailed down, along with the photographer, videographer, a graphic designer for invitation/signage needs, and a caterer. It’s funny that I moved so quickly on these big-ticket items because I’m definitely not type A and it’s not like I had some kind of “fantasy wedding” all planned out, but…
THE VENUE – I discovered Camp Pinnacle while researching this post about summer camp weddings, and I was pretty positive that I’d get married there when the time came (confirmed after a quick tour… it’s amazing!). There was exactly one open date for 2017 and Brian and I jumped on it with no hesitation, even though that meant our total engagement time was only 10 months. You know how you’re supposed to make a priority list about what’s most important to you concerning your wedding? Above anything else, booking this particular venue was the number one item on my wedding priority list.
Why? I am ALL about making things as easy as possible for myself and the guests. Camp Pinnacle is able to house up to 250 guests for the entire weekend – so long as they don’t mind sleeping 10 to a room in bunk beds 🙂 I love that in addition to having the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception venues included at no additional cost, almost all of the annoying logistics for a typical wedding weekend – hotel blocks and reservations, transport from one place to another, etc. – are non-existent. They have a fantastic event staff, and the camp also comes with a very affordable option of on-site catering for the entire weekend (and it has a BYOB policy woop!). Did I mention that the wedding will be held during peak leaf changing season in the mountains of North Carolina? All signs point to HELL YES!
UTILIZE YOUR FRIENDS – If you can! I’m very lucky to have a long list of super talented friends who were available for hire. My photographer is a friend from UNC who is one of the girlbosses at Bit & Grain. I’m already excited for the day when my wedding photos hit my inbox because she’s SO fantastic. My amazing graphic designer/calligrapher/invitation guru works in the same building as WedPics and she makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis. Some people warn against mixing your friends with business but I say that’s total nonsense… choose your vendors wisely, of course, but don’t discount any talent that is already invested in you as a friend!
Here’s what I’ve crossed off of my wedding to-do list so far:
- wedding date & venue
- set budget
- save the dates
- guest list (exactly 100 people!)
And here’s what I still need to get busy doing:
- research & book bands
- create wedding website
- provide invitation info to graphic designer
- misc DIY projects
- a million other things that I haven’t even thought of yet
In general, I’d say planning is going exactly as I would expect while still having 6 months left to sort out the little details. I haven’t been stressed at all, in fact the whole process has been nothing but FUN so far! That said, I do have fairly constant lingering thoughts about some of the more time-sensitive things that need to be prioritized sooner rather than later.
MY ADVICE – I guess if I have one takeaway so far it’s this: Brian and I decided that if weren’t crazy about a wedding tradition then there was absolutely no reason to include it in our weekend. Our parents fully respect our decisions, which I realize has made things super easy for us in comparison to others. So… no engagement photos, no fancy centerpieces from a florist, no super fancy menu, no wedding cake (pies from Whole Foods!), no bridal parties, no religious officiant, no bouquet toss, etc… this saves us time and money, and it allows us to put all of our resources towards the things that we find truly important.
We want to know! Are you planning your own wedding? What are your tips for wedding planning?!