Wedding Planning With No Plan

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie Bride Wars, it stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as best friends who. have dreamed of their perfect weddings since childhood. At the beginning of the movie, they are attending the wedding of a friend, discussing the things they like about her reception. Then Kate Hudson sighs, “but it ain’t June,” to which Anne Hathaway replies, “and it ain’t the Plaza.” In this movie, and I’m sure for many brides-to-be, they have a distinct vision of what they want their wedding to be. I have no such vision, and have therefore started into wedding planning without any sort of plan.

Now, I suppose if I said I had no vision at all, that wouldn’t be completely true. While I’m not quite sure of exactly what I do want, there are things that I am certain I don’t want. I don’t want to get married in a hotel or a country club or in the middle of a city. But because I am open to all sorts of venues apart from those, I was unsure how to go about searching without many search parameters to speak of. I thought I could try searching by location, but I’m also pretty flexible on that, and neither The Knot nor Wedding Wire allow you to search by state—you have to include a city as well. Needless to say, beginning a venue search has proven to be a bit of a challenge.

However, my lack of a plan has also been a boon in my venue search, and I will tell you why. Unlike Hudson and Hathaway, I don’t have my heart set on a particular season or month either. I’ve narrowed it down to April, May and November primarily, September or October second. For other brides-to-be, I totally understand if you have your heart set on a certain month. But if you don’t, it can take a lot of stress out of the process. I’ve started reaching out to a few venues for pricing information and availability, and the available dates have varied, widely in some cases, from venue to venue. But I have chosen not to see this as a bad thing. Instead, I’m approaching it in such a way that when I go to visit the venues, and when I do fall in love with one, I will be happy taking any available Saturday that falls in one of my months.

The aspect of wedding planning in which I was a bit stressed about not having a vision was, in fact, in my physical vision for the wedding. The aesthetic, the colors, the flowers, the decor, all of that stuff. So in these first two weeks (I’ve been engaged for two weeks today!), I’ve decided to just see what I react to. I picked up a few bridal magazines, being the magazine freak I am, because I thought that would be a good place to start. Plus, I figured it would be a bit more curated and not as overwhelming as Pinterest. Then as I flip through, I’m pulling any images of things I even remotely like. I know that everything I pull out might not go together, and that I may end up going with a totally different cake or bouquet than the first one I tore out of Martha Stewart Weddings, but for now I think it’s helping me just get an idea of what’s out there and what makes me smile.

I also took the quiz on The Knot’s app to determine what my wedding vision is, according to them. Jeff and I did this together, and it was actually pretty fun. We looked at probably 120 or so photos, and for each one you could swipe left if you didn’t like it and swipe right if you did. It was an easy way to expose us to a lot of different ideas and aesthetics all at once, plus at the end, our wedding vision was revealed: Bohemian with a bit of Traditional and a touch of Industrial. Now yes, those are just words. But they are buzz words that appear in a lot of venue and decor descriptions, and now I feel like I can confidently look for them and know that I’ll probably like what I see.

So while I didn’t have a vision or a plan to start, I can feel one slowly starting to form. And it’s only making me more excited to move forward and watch my wedding come together!

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