How to Plan a Wedding in a Week, Pt. 1

As some of you may know, I’ve been having some problems getting the whole wedding planning process started. Even though I got engaged in November, up until this past Friday I had no venue. While some of this can be blamed on the fact that I didn’t even know what city I wanted to get married in, the main reason we’re so behind is because the one venue we finally decided on in April fell through. Without getting into the boring details, the venue was basically holding out giving us a contract because they were waiting for a bigger event to come through. When we told them we had to have an answer so I could start doing things that involved actual planning (like sending save the dates) for our fall wedding, they told us we’d be better off finding another place.  Lovely, eh? That news meant that if I didn’t find another venue within the next two weeks, we would have to postpone the wedding to next year.

After some major brainstorming by my mom and I, we found a place that seemed to be under our noses the entire time. We reached out to them, told them our time constaint, and the negotiations began. When it started looking like this wedding might actually happen, I decided to fly down to my hometown for  10 days to meet the caterers, see the venue, and sign the contract.

Because I don’t plan on coming down again until a month before the wedding (for the shower), I’ve decided to essentially plan the majority of the wedding in the 10 days I’m down here. With 4 months to go until the wedding, I’m definitely on a tight schedule. So far I’ve been down here 5 days, which means I have 5 more days left.

As soon as I got here, I toured the venue and met with the caterers, who run the venue. After two days of negotiations, we were able to work out  the food, alcohol, and price details, along with the date. As soon as that was finalized, I was able to jump in and start the bulk of the planning. Here’s a recap of what I’ve done so far.

Order Save the Dates

Luckily, I had already selected a great Etsy designer a few months ago when I thought we had the other venue booked. I sent her my ideas, and we finalized a design within a few weeks. She knew my details were pending, so I tried to stay in touch with any updates. After finalizing today using the WeddingWindow.com guest manager, I calculated how many we would need and gave her the go ahead to print them and overnight them to me. I went to Office  Depot today to buy address labels for them, and hope to have those printed out by tomorrow.

Buy a wedding dress

I went to NYC in March and went with two of my girlfriends to try on what felt like 1,000 wedding dresses. While I found one or two I liked, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted. Plus, I wanted to wait until I had a venue booked so I could have an idea of what kind of dress would work well in it. I found a local wedding store that sold a few designers I liked, and we made an appointment to go in last Friday. Without thinking we would actually find one that day, I picked out several dresses that were part of a leftover Memorial Day sale, and fell in love with a gorgeous Atelier Aimée 2008 dress, and instantly knew it was the one. My mom and I looked at each other, agreed that nothing could compare to it, and bought it for half price, along with a veil. We couldn’t believe it.

Contact photographers/hair & makeup artists/musicians

With a lot of online research and several referrals, I have reached out to several potential photographers, hair/makeup artists, and entertainment companies that handles bands and DJ’s. So far I’ve scheduled an appointment with a photographer on Tuesday, and hope to have a meeting with several musicians this week. I just started getting price quotes from hair/makeup artists, and when I find one that doesn’t seem outrageous (no luck yet), I’ll try to set up that meeting for later this week. My main worry right now is being able to find a band/dj I like, and hope that my research will lead me to some good people.

Find bridesmaid dresses

I had formally asked two of my  friends to be my bridesmaids a month ago, but wanted to wait until I saw my  sister and two sister-in-laws in person to ask them.  I also decided to include my oldest friend a couple weeks ago, and asked her over brunch today. With everybody in the know and a wedding date booked, the quest for bridesmaid dresses has begun. I’ve been to SO many online stores looking through various designers (Amsale, Nicole Miller, BCBG, Jenny Yoo, BCBG, Ann Taylor, etc.) and haven’t found anything that knocked my socks  off.  I’m sure EVERY bride says this, but I really want to get something that’s a) under $200, and b) something that the girls will actually want to wear again. It’s not easy. So far the only dress I’ve found that I somewhat like is a  Melissa Sweet dress, and I hope to check that out on Tuesday at a local salon here.

So far, that’s it. Phew! There’s lots more to do,  so I’ll post updates as they come!

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