Wedding planning advice after almost 1 year of being engaged
One year ago today was one of the best days of my life ❤ My love, Andrew, got down on one knee in the midst of the mountains and asked me to marry him, gush!
Our proposal story:
It was one of the last days of our road trip out west and we were in Grand Teton National Park. I had set up a mountain couple’s session with my dear friends Kayla and Mike, who had given me the immense pleasure of photographing their wedding the year prior. Grand Teton holds a special place in their heart, so they made the trip out there to document this new phase of their love journey. We met with them in the afternoon at the Silver Dollar in Jackson, WY to plan out their sunset mountain photo session.
Given that this was our last night in the mountains, I was watching Andy’s EVERY move, looking for his “tells” that would clue me in if he was nervous (i.e. not sleeping well, fidgeting, etc). To my disappointment, he was perfectly normal. He was even chatty and perky as we drove to the photo session at Schwabacher’s Landing! However, I tried to put that out of my mind as I mentally got myself into “work mode” after being in “vacation mode” for so long.
The sunset could not have been more stunning for Kayla and Mike’s session. I was reminded of their wedding day and how inspiring I found their relationship and connection to be. These two are truly meant to be together, and it’s such a blessing that they found their way to one another. As their session wrapped up, Kayla offered to take a photo of Andy and I because, as she said, “This is just too stunning to pass up.” That was my first clue. When I put my arm around Andy, he was shaking like a leaf–I immediately knew what was happening! He whispered in my ear that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, so he had something to ask me. Of course I said yes!
It can be so easy to get caught up in the wedding planning process and forget where we came from and the feelings we felt in the beginning. So my biggest piece of advice is to just remember why you're doing this. You're marrying the love of your life. I’m sharing more wedding planning advice I’ve learned over the last year of our engagement.
Having a specific vision for your wedding makes it a lot easier. Whether that's a theme or simply how you want your day to feel, holding that vision close to you and making sure that all of your decisions align with that vision makes the decision making process a lot easier.
Work with vendors that you really trust, make your heart happy and that you feel are going to bring your vision to life. Being in the industry for close to 10 years, I have so many wonderful vendor friends. So honestly the hardest part was choosing which great vendors to work. I trusted that the vendors I surround myself with that I didn't get to work with on our day believe in the concept of community over competition and that I still love them dearly. It was just a personal choice for whatever reason. So working with people that I trust on my own wedding day was so important because I know that I can then delegate that area and it’s going to be wonderfully handled.
Speaking of delegating :) I know wedding costs add up quickly, but I'm willing to spend a couple extra dollars for someone that's going to go above and beyond for me. Knowing that I’m in good hands takes a big weight off my shoulders and I don’t have to worry about that portion of the wedding planning anymore. I trust in their expertise and know I will figure out how to generate the income needed to have that experience.
I do my best to really listen to what's important to Andy and try to bring that to life. He wanted a courthouse wedding, but being around love stories for so much of my life and my career I envisioned a bit bigger of a wedding experience than going to the courthouse. I know at the end of the day I will still be married to Andy which is the ultimate dream. Keeping both of our visions in mind, we go into conversations knowing that there might be some compromising to meet in the middle. So have an open conversation with your partner about their vision because a lot of times you're both on the same page or very close.
For us personally, planning so far in advance has worked in our favor. It gives us time to budget and reserve the vendors that we really wanted on the date we had our hearts set on going into our wedding planning. I know longer engagements aren’t always possible, but it has definitely helped us financially.
Having fun with it all has been huge for us! This planning process has felt so easy. I am giddy thinking about our wedding day and seeing everything come together. Because we've had so much time to think about everything and plan things in advance, we're going into the day with a calm and loving but also excited manner.
Thinking about our wedding party and guests experience was also really important for us. Are they going to be fed well? Are they gonna be having fun. How can we bring our personalities and our relationship into this wedding day so that it's memorable for all of us? It is important to us that our gratitude and appreciation is shown throughout our day to our wedding party and our guests that are taking time out of their lives to celebrate us and our love story.
My last piece of advice is to just remember why you're doing this. You're marrying the love of your life.I am filled with such gratitude and wonderment when I think about the fact that I'm actually planning my wedding day to the man of my dreams. I'm continually thanking him, appreciating him and dating him. We want that to be a big part of our relationship, beyond just our wedding day, as keeping that romance and love alive is very important to us. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the details and logistics during the planning process, so remember to show your love and keep that spark alive! Also, keep your relationship at the forefront of every decision and know that at the end of the day you're going to be married. That's all that you could ever ask for.