Saturday, April 5, 2014

planning our wedding: intro

it's been almost six months since samuel and i became husband and wife, and i've been wanting to share our wedding planning process, since i think it's kind of bad ass that we planned a wedding we loved in approximately six weeks. we felt we were able to create an experience that honored our friends & family without spending an obscene amount money. in the following posts, i'll share with you our budget with exact figures, ceremony flow, regrets, and whatever else that's relevant. 

but before that, i wanted to share some tidbits of info:

our dating/engagement timeline
june 7, 2012 - started dating
july 14, 2013 - got engaged
july 29, 2013 - samuel booked our venue while i was backpacking in montana! 
august 14 - sept 1, 2013 - traveled to france and spain, so we decided no wedding planning until we got back. 
sept 1 - oct 10, 2013 - MAD wedding planning!
oct 12, 2013 - married to the love of my life

top three values for the wedding day
1. ceremony
2. food
3. people / fostering community

what i was certain i must have, before we started the actual planning: dippin dots (we didn't actually end up getting it.)

what i knew for certain i didn't want to do during the ceremony: someone preaching a sermon (but this was a point of compromise)

the value that kept coming up the most: simplicity & generosity

what i felt torn up about, but was glad i did: because i don't have the best relationship with my dad, i really didn't want him to be the one walking me down the aisle. but, i felt BAD! (there are so many cultural expectations you'll encounter!) i'm closer with my mom, but it didn't feel right to have just my mom walk me down the aisle since my dad would be there at the wedding. i finally decided to have both my parents walk me down the aisle, and felt even torn up about that. but when i look back, it was just a few moments long, and i'm glad that i chose to have both of them participate in giving me to samuel. i think it both honored my parents, and i was able to honor my desires. 

what everyone said that was absolutely true: "the day will go by SO fast!" omg. it sure did.

what i didn't think i wanted, but really did want: i didn't think i wanted to be in the white gown, and do that whole typical wedding shabangabang. but honestly, it was a wonderful feeling to put on a sexy white dress and have all our friends gathered around us to celebrate. there are very rarely these opportunities when friends from all your circles of life gather in one place. it's momentous and extremely special!

biggest conflict: name change. wow, this one wasn't resolved until the thursday before our wedding day!

two values that guided my decision on my dress: 
1) i want to be able to wear it again and 
2) i want to feel beautiful in it.
i haven't had a chance to wear the dress again yet...and i'm not sure i will. but after the wedding, i didn't realize how strong my desire would be to hold on to it so that maybe my child might want to wear it one day. it's only been 6 months, so this desire could change. 

how much i spent on my dress
: $150 from + $28 alterations
*funny side story: when i took my dress to get altered (length and shortening the deep V up front), the seamstress pinched up the V barely a millimeter, and i looked at her and said, "a little higher please." she responded with, "you're young! you want to feel sexy!!" i laughed and said, "this dress is already sexy!" so she pinched it about a millimeter higher. haha, good enough! 

what we spent the most money on: $4,886 on food

what i said we were going to spend before we started planning: $5K

what i said we were going to spend after we started planning: $10K

what we agreed was our budget goal: $12K

what we actually spent: $17,676 (give or take a few bucks)

why we don't regret the $5K+ discrepancy: because we ended up spending a total of $5,135 on thank you follow-ups (tips, lunches, gifts for speakers, etc) and family care (hosting our families the days prior to the wedding). we wanted to make sure everyone knew we were super grateful for their help! that weekend, we got feedback from our family & friends that they felt well taken care of during the wedding festivities. that made us feel warm & fuzzy inside.

added on 4/9/14 best advice i received: "honey, all you need to do is show up and get married." spoken by a friend's grandmother, when she was in the midst of wedding planning.

added on 4/10/14 number of times i cried really hard during the planning: at least 4 that i can remember!

picture courtesy of oh happy dawn photography.


  1. your wedding sounds LOVELY. i had a few similar desires for my own union and the one i refused adamantly to negotiate on was who would walk me down. i chose no one, and though i know it may have hurt my parents feelings, it felt honest to me and for once, i wanted that emotion on the one day *i* was giving myself to the love of my life.
    i bought my wedding dress the tuesday before our wedding, for $200 on clearance, online, and it was just perfect.

    love is so wonderful.

    1. haha..wonderful. it's a great feeling to be aligned with your values and living them out. love IS wonderful! xo


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