We’re starting a new feature on Woman Getting Married where we check in with brides just like you to see how the wedding planning is going, what you’ve done so far and what your major stressors (or reliefs!) have been along the way. It’s a chance for other bride-to-bes to get a glimpse into how others are planning their wedding, and to get tips and share some of their frustrations and happiness before saying ‘I Do!’
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Social Media Manager, The Queen Latifah Show
Los Angeles, CA
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve run into since you started planning your wedding?
I would say the biggest hurdle has been our location situation. We are Catholic and most churches want you to become a parishioner before you can put a wedding date on their calendar, which basically just means registering at the parish and waiting 6 months. So, we decided the best decision would be to get married at the church where I am a parishioner and grew up attending – in my home town about an hour away (plus, the pastor there knows me well and the church is beautiful, St. Vincent de Paul in Huntington Beach, CA). However, we searched and searched and could not find a reception venue that we liked and was affordable in Huntington Beach (which is in “The OC”). Ultimately we decided to go with a beautiful, affordable venue closer to where we live (Angelus Mountain Center) but it means that guests will have to drive about an hour from the ceremony to the reception. We struggled with this because it’s definitely inconvenient for our guests, but we want everyone to know will not be offended if they choose to just celebrate at the reception and skip the ceremony – not everyone wants to attend a Catholic wedding anyway!
Has anything been easier than expected?
Our catering situation was definitely easier than anticipated. We scheduled tastings with two different caterers on one Sunday afternoon and we immediately knew the second one was it – Max City BBQ! It was affordable, delicious, and the staff was great. Done!
Is there anything about the wedding planning process that is totally different than how you thought/envisioned it would be?
One thing I have been pleasantly surprised about is that my fiancé has wanted to be involved. He always told me – from when we first started dating – that marriage wasn’t important to him (he didn’t need a legal document to know he was committed to his partner). However, every step along the way, he has gone with me to viewings, tastings, and appointments. When he didn’t attend, he wanted to weigh in on the decisions (and has let me go on and on about choices that need to be made). Yes, there are details he doesn’t care about, but he has definitely wanted to be involved and feels like the wedding is a reflection of both of us, which I love (even when he doesn’t agree with me about cake toppers).
Do you have a wedding planning timeline or are you attacking each item as they come up? If you do have a timeline, can you tell us a bit about what you’ve done so far and what you still need to do?
I do! I’ve been using TheKnot.com’s checklist the whole way and it’s been so helpful, more as a way to keep me from getting ahead than keeping me on track. I’m the kind of person who hates knowing I have a lot to do so I just start tackling everything and can get overwhelmed. The checklist timeline helps keep me on track of WHEN I should do what so I do things in the most efficient way.
Here’s where I’m at so far…
Stephanie's Wedding List
- Booked reception venue (includes nothing at all – just the space)
- Booked church with officiant
- Scheduled rehearsal time
- Booked photographer (and did engagement session)
- Booked caterer
- Booked day-of coordinator
- Reserved hotel block
- Registries started
- Website built
- Picked wedding party
- Bridesmaid dresses (each girl is picking out their own)
- Wedding colors chosen
- Bought a dress and rented a veil to match
- Started looking at florists. I have one or maybe two more to consider
- Designed our save-the-dates and invitation suite myself, but need to get those printed
- Started looking at DJs. I have a favorite and we’re going to see him DJ on August 2nd
- Narrowed down our list of cake bakers. I think I want an old coworker to do it (she has her own cake company – Twinfully Sweet) but she just had a baby so we’re going to do the tasting in September
- Bought a pair of shoes on a whim because of a sale on BHLDN… but I think I want a different pair now!
- Have an idea of where we want the rehearsal dinner, but have done no investigating
- The DIYs for the centerpeices, welcome/gift tables, and photo booth are all just on my pin boards
- Transportation – I think we’re just going to use UBER’s wedding code.
- My fiancé wants a mariachi band for cocktail hour, so gotta figure that out…
- Groom/Groomsmen attire
What’s your biggest worry/stressor about the wedding?
I’m a little worried about getting everything done! Because I am doing things a little DIY, I just hope that I can pull everything together before the big day! I have to keep reminding myself – I still have 10 months!
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to all the dancing! I’m ready to get down on the dancefloor! I know as a guest that’s always my favorite part so I can’t wait!!
Follow Stephanie’s wedding planning over at QueenLatifah.com!