The Journey of Wedding Planning and other anecdotal tales from a broke bride-to-be.
Weeks before Jeremiah proposed to me, I knew I wanted to marry him. I would lie awake at night, plotting and planning my wedding. Even then I become easily overwhelmed with details. Less than 365 days away from the day, I am *still* just as overwhelmed. Making decisions doesn’t come easy for me so I’ve celebrated small wins…
I’ve (in some cases “we”, but let’s not get crazy) said “yes” to:
Ceremony: Jeremiah proposed to me on Friday February 12. On Monday February 15, we had decided to get married at my church, Bethany United Church of Christ. There are a variety of personal and very special reasons we made this choice, but it remains the driving purpose behind our day. All the other details are what Jeremiah likes to consider, “Aimee just having fun.”
Reception hall: WE WON! Okay, so the chances of booking Happy Days Lodge (first two pictures only) may or may not have been as competitive as I thought it was going to be, but there I was - 7:55am, on the couch in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Bethlehem, PA, watching the seconds tick by, waiting to make “the call”. I swear I even had a little drop of sweat on my brow. Finally, as the clock tolled 8am, I dialed. Adrenaline pumping, I punched in the wrong number. Damn. Dialed again. Voicemail. Dialed again. Voicemail. Dialed AGAIN. VOICEMAIL. What the?! Obnoxiously, I emailed the Event Planner for the CVNP and then on the 10th call, I left a message. Those next 30 minutes were painstaking long - every scenario flashed through my head. I would either be launched into full on planning mode or back to the drawing board of visiting horrible sites only to be disappointed with the boring decor or 1980s plate design. I think everyone in the CVNP office and staff members with me did a little jig when I finally got confirmation we had booked the hall for September 17, 2011. Everyone was happy; not because I booked the hall, but because I would stop pestering them about it.
The dress: I said yes to the dress! My mom and I had quite a pleasant experience at Elyse’s Boutique in Akron, Ohio. Elyse owns the boutique and it was extremely laid back. I’m not sure the experience would be pleasing to most as there was little fussing over me - I got into/out of my own dress, the dress the wrinkled from being in the bag, and there were minimal other dresses. But I went in there knowing exactly what I wanted and didn’t really want to share the experience with an audience of sales clerks. I had a personal connection with Elyse which made me feel even better about buying my dress there. Everything just seemed to align that night, including buying the dress as a sample (even though it had just come into the store) which provided us with a discount and the ability to walk out the store, dress in tow. I still catch Jeremiah watching TLC’s Say Yes to The Dress. I’ve had fun convincing him my dress is “doily-like” (boy talk for a lace wedding dress) which he is very against.
Photographer: Nothing makes me happier than talking wedding photos at every family function. A special thank you to my Uncle George for offering to take photos for the wedding.
We’re currently working on caterers. Totally Cooked and Old Carolina BBQ are both front runners. I’ve also begged my oldest brother to take some pictures of us in the Valley for the Save the Dates.
Other than that, I spent a good week playing on Etsy.com from 6-8am purchasing such gems as a “Jeremiah and Aimee September 17, 2011” wooden plaque, ring bearer bowl (vs. pillow) and Save the Date templates.
I’m looking forward to updating this blog regularly so my readers (currently ONLY Tumblr Staff!) can be kept up to date…and I’ll most likely share the blog too. That might be worthwhile.
As stated previously, eloping has become quite a center of discussion and while I’m fine joking about it, I would never think to get married without those closest to us present. However, I am starting to get concerned with my lack of enthusiasm about *anything* wedding related EXCEPT photos from a beach wedding.
I haven’t quite wrapped my brain about what a Destination Wedding would actually look like which is probably why I’m still writhing in pain from the daggers my mother threw at me when I mumbled something to the tune of “beach” and “wedding” in the same sentence.
Perhaps us telling everyone we want to get married in the church I’ve belonged to since birth and then 3 months later turning around and saying, “Wait. No. Now we’re considering traveling over 12 hours away to get married at the beach despite our grandparents’ health” might not go over well. I can’t say I blame them; I question my decision-making-credibility often as well. Jeremiah and I need to get better at keeping our thoughts a little more private until we’ve committed to them. And by “committed”, I mean “put money on it”.
Ellen LeRoy, I love you and all your beach wedding photography glory (http://www.ellenleroyphotography.com). Here’s hoping I can come to some sort of agreement with my family about sharing this wonderful day with closest friends and family at a place I like to call “My Second Home”.
…my life goes and gets broke. As much as I would love to leave this blog to be “all about wedding planning”, I fear my financial woes might overwhelmingly creep in.
I would love to say something horrendous happened which has left me “broke”, but, unfortunately, it’s just a life of poorly paid bills and lack of understanding the value of a dollar.
One thing I can admonish is I despise the words “wedding” and “reception”. These two beasts can charge up a location simply by breathing a slight utterance. Thank you Conrad Botzum Farmstead, http://www.botzum.org, for being the first to help me understand this.
$900 for the first four hours, $200 for each additional. This does notinclude any rentals, but does include a rustic barn and rolling hills. Rustic being the operative word, complete with warped floor board and missing boards in the walls….with no rain-out location. The Farmstead owner, Maureen, indicated I would be required to have more than 4 hours for set-up/clean-up and, if possible, she would book a second venue that day. A minimum $1,300 for a location…that you may or may not have to share on your wedding day.
I think I’m going to start telling people I’m planning a funeral. Can you imagine paying $1,300 plus cost of chair/table/linen rentals, lighting, and food for a funeral only to disrupt the day to rush in before guests arrive to set up, all the while worrying Northeast Ohio weather will hold up so guests aren’t left cramped inside a decrepit building and your 80-year-old grandparents won’t trip while making their way to the buffet line?
I wish there were more words to describe how convoluted this whole set up is, but if you have to question my rationale, you would probably be a bride crazy enough to think this was acceptable.
Conrad Botzum Farmstead for a wedding reception (or a funeral)…FAIL.
Okay, really we’ve been engagaed for less than 2 months but this process is already getting old. Trying to find a non-traditional reception location at a low expense is proving to be more difficult than helping republicans understand George W. Bush really did f-up the United States.
I spent my flight home last night brainstorming possible locations with a complete stranger and still got nowhere. Jeremiah brought up elloping again tonight. I have to admit, I’m 20% bought in.
Thanks, Lauren, for sponsoring our first wedding purchase. Your Target gift card invested us with new organic cotton sheets. It just felt right to be so earthy…and the price was right for the high thread count.
Off for another fit full rest, only to wake to another day questioning why when I work two days over the weekend I’m allowed only one weekday off. A staff procedure I may never fully understand.