Slade and I got engaged a year ago today. It absolutely does not feel like a full year has already came and went, but it has! Although I promised myself that the main purpose of my blog wouldn’t turn into the wedding, I can’t let this day pass without a little recap. So keep reading if you’re real interested in what wedding planning business we’ve been up to in the past year (or, of course, if you’re just bored and scrolling through social media).
We knew we would have a long engagement from the beginning. This, in hindsight, can be both a really fun thing and a really big tease all at the same time. Needless to say, we are totally ready for the big day to finally be here! But before the day arrives, we still have some fun things to look forward to and definitely some great things we can look back on.
Easter Sunday, March 2016: We’re engaged! And the church we would plan to get married in was already booked beforehand. Mom knew where I’d always wanted to get married: the same church she and my dad did 26 years ago. The chapel is absolutely breathtaking and books out years in advance. Luckily for me, my mom was on the ball as soon as Slade asked my dad’s blessing months before he proposed. So helpful!
April 2016: We booked our reception venue! This place is very rustic, very urban, very ‘Nashville’ and I cannot wait for my heart to explode when everyone Slade and I love are there celebrating and dancing the night away together.
May 2016: I couldn’t go any further without my bridesmaids! I started making their proposal boxes which took so long that I didn’t get them delivered until June! Do I recommend working a summer internship, a night time waitressing job, and planning a wedding all at once? Not at all…but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!
June 2016: A trip to Atlanta to the place where TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” is filmed? A MUST. Girls, you have to do this. I took my mom, her sister (my Aunt Shan), and her mom (my Nana). Even though I didn’t find ‘the dress,’ the weekend was a blast; I just love spending time with them. My mistake was that this was the first place I shopped and I didn’t have a clue what kind of dress I was even looking for; leaving me incredibly overwhelmed. There are so many styles out there that I didn’t even know existed! That being said, the people who are on TLC really do help you shop, try on, and give their advice which is what made for such a fun experience. These people are wedding dress professionals. Literally. You’ve got to go.
In June we also took our engagement photos. It was 95 degrees and humid (just great for my hair) but our photographer is amazing and I love how the photos turned out!
July 2016: Finally! I found my dress! They say on average, girls shop in two stores before finding ‘the dress…’ I, on the other hand, went to six stores in two different cities. Let me tell you, I am not a picky girl and I actually have a very simple taste in clothing, but it took me trying on hundreds of dresses before finally finding a winner. I remember getting so frustrated because all girls tell you, “you just know it’s the one when you put it on,” and I wasn’t getting that feeling at all – not one time with any of the hundreds of dresses I was slipping into. I was starting to feel like that old saying was a lie, or that maybe ‘my’ dress just didn’t exist. But finally, I found my beautiful gown (the feeling is definitely real) at The Bride Room in Green Hills. If you’re in the Nashville area, this place is to die for and you should totally go.
That June day I went shopping with just my mom. I really do recommend this. Having grandmothers, aunts, and friends come along is something I would absolutely tell anyone to make an event of, but also just having my mom there was very calming and we both cried when I finally found my dress. It was the kind of special moment that words can’t describe.
August 2016: We hired a wedding planner. The most frequent piece of advice I’ve received from recent brides is “to just let the professionals do their job.” I know that my mom and I could have gotten the wedding planned by ourselves, but there are some things a wedding planner can help with! So during August, we got organized and touched base on the overall feel we wanted the wedding to have.
September 2016: Our wedding planning meetings began and we always left feeling even more excited than when we arrived. This is when we really started envisioning what the big day would look like, moodboards and all! Slade also asked all of his groomsmen and ushers to be in our wedding during this month, and these flasks were a hit:
Speaking of, I can’t stress enough how helpful Etsy.com is while planning a wedding!
October 2016: We finally finalized our guest list, sent out our save the dates, and started wedding band shopping!
November 2016: November was the month of a last minute change in color scheme and bridesmaid dress shopping! This was such a fun day for me. Having (almost) all of my closest girls together made for a really happy time.
In late November, we started our cake tastings! Tip: do not taste the entirety of every single slice you’re given. Taste means one or two bites. I had the worst stomach ache after this day!
December 2016: We took a breather to allow for me to focus on graduating college and to celebrate Jesus, of course! We did have one exciting wedding moment, though: my dress came in!
January 2017: We got back to business. We did a lot of fun things like book our DJ, order our cake, register, build a wedding website, attend more meetings with the wedding planner, plan our bachelor and bachelorette parties, help plan showers, pick out tuxedos, and other things! My Poppie and mom even teamed up to make some corn-hole boards for the reception – they are so incredible.
February 2017: Florist appointments, invitation designing, and our first shower, oh my! February was busy.
It seems like we did so many different little things this month! One day, we went to our catering tasting and for that I had to call in the expert of cooking, my Aunt Angie! She, along with my mom and I, had too much fun during this part of planning. I’m not really a ‘foodie,’ but this grub was mouth-watering. I can’t wait for the reception dinner! Your wedding is a solid excuse to stray away from Paleo guidelines, right?
Also during February, Slade and I completed a pre-marital counseling course called “Building Blocks for Marriage” through our church. We learned so much! I totally recommend a class like this for anyone who gets engaged – we found it to be so insightful, encouraging, and thought-provoking.
March 2017: Does moving into your first home count as wedding planning? So far the majority of this month has consisted of getting settled into our new house. With the help of some incredible friends and family, Slade is officially all moved in! I will move in after our wedding and honeymoon. There have been some more wedding-related festivities, such as dress alterations and helping to plan more showers. Thankfully this month was slower on the wedding end so that we could focus more on the home end.The Next 2-3 Months?: April and May will be busy with showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, more pre-marital counseling with our minister, and planning and preparing for the big day in June! Then it’s off to Hawaii for us!
Thank you so much to absolutely everyone involved in making this season of our lives as special as it is. We are infinitely blessed by all of our friends and family – we simply can’t say it enough!