It’s been a little while since I’ve posted about the wedding planning, but it is not because there hasn’t been much happening on that front. On the contrary, there has been so much happening that I haven’t had time to post! Over the past couple weeks we’ve checked a few pretty big things off the wedding to-do list; here’s what we’ve accomplished and how it happened!
First off is the big one: we selected a venue and set a date! We did this after taking a trip up to New England, during which we had four venue visits scheduled, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. The first venue we visited was gorgeous, so it set the bar pretty high, which I think was a good thing. I say that because one of the venues we saw later that day was lovely and we liked it a lot, but it was missing a few elements that the first one had. And if the first one hadn’t had them, we may not have known how helpful and/or necessary they might end up being on the day. The venue we ended up selecting though, Harbor Lights in Warwick, Rhode Island, was actually the one we saw on Sunday. And it was completely different from the gorgeous one that we saw the day before. I’ll admit that this made making a decision a bit tricky, but something that really helped was that Harbor Lights gave us the opportunity to put a hold on a date for a few days without putting any money down. So we did that and then just waited to see how that felt for a couple days before signing the contract. This was nice because it gave us a few days to breathe and reflect on the decision before actually pulling the trigger, but without having to worry about our date being snatched out from under us. And then when we did make the final decision, we were able to have it be a special moment, not a rushed one, even if that special moment was just sending an email.
The other big aspect of choosing the venue and setting the date is, obviously, picking an actual date. When it came to the date, we decided to go with April of 2019. Which yes, is only 8 months away. That did freak me out a little at first, mostly because I assumed that most people set a date at least a year in advance and I was worried that 8 months wouldn’t be enough time to plan. But I’ve realized since that it just means doing a few of the big things sooner, then there will (maybe? hopefully?) be a lull a bit later in the process. And I realized this after making a spreadsheet—actually a Gantt chart, for anyone who knows what that is (I didn’t until Jeff explained it to me)—containing all the tasks involved in planning and when they need to be completed by. To do this, I used a combination of wedding planning checklists that I had collected from magazines and the one that came with my wedding planning planner in an effort to make it as comprehensive as possible. And then, if I wasn’t already enough of a planning and organizing freak, I put all the tasks on the spreadsheet into the calendar in my planner by month. I like to see things written out in different ways—don’t judge me. But if you are someone who thrives on making lists, I strongly suggest applying it to your wedding planning as well. It has really helped me see what needs to be done when and keep, for the most part, from getting too overwhelmed. It has also helped me focus on one task at a time, as there were a few that needed to be knocked out right away.
One of those was a photographer. I love the idea of using engagement photos for save-the-dates, as well as the fact that the shoot gives you a chance to get to know your photographer before being in very close proximity to him or her for many hours on your wedding day. However, if you work backwards from our April date, that means we need to send out save the dates in late October. And before sending them, we need to order them. And before ordering them, we need to get our engagement photos. And in order to do that, we need to get them taken. So I was trying to find a photographer who was available for our wedding and could do an engagement shoot for us in early October—and I had some specific dates in mind for that. I know this seems like a tall order, but I was fortunately able to find someone who fit the bill. I wanted someone who had photographed weddings at our venue before, so they would be familiar with it and with the best locations. That also allowed me to look at some sample galleries that were actually taken at our venue, which was really cool, and gave me an even better idea of what to expect from the photographer on our day. The company we went with, Conte Sound Productions, also has a videographer they work with, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone. This was also important, not only for the convenience factor, but for the fact that I know they have worked together before and won’t be getting in each other’s way or anything like that. So photographer: check!
The last thing I wanted to check off early, and actually went into choosing our date, was the DJ. That’s because I wanted the DJ who worked my Bat Mitzvah fifteen years ago. Since then, he has done my siblings’ and cousins’ Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as well, with one or two exceptions, so it has become something of a tradition. My youngest cousin is actually being Bar Mitzvah-ed in January and he will be there as well. So when he was already booked for one of the dates we were thinking about, it made choosing a bit easier. And I am so excited that he will be at our wedding.
I’ve taken a break from doing too much wedding planning the past couple days (the reason for which will come up on the blog in the next week). And while it has felt good to get these big things done, there are still a number of things that need to happen between now and when we send the save-the-dates, which seems to be coming closer much faster than the calendar is moving. But alas, most days I feel pretty good about where we’re at. The others I feel stressed and overwhelmed, but then I realize (gag if you must) that this is all culminating with me marrying the love of my life. And I know that we—with lots of help from family—are going to make it happen.