As I reflect on the whole wedding planning process, there are a few things that stick out to me. We started off with a budget, but it grew (and grew and grew) and I've heard that you should expect to go over budget.
My parents and I each had things that were really important to us and because they were funding the affair and I love them dearly their opinion was not taken lightly. The most important things to us happened to be the most expensive, of course.
- The photography. We knew that it would be a challenge to bring Kelly of Kelly Moore Photography and her assistant or husband all the way to South Carolina from Louisiana and that we'd have to pay for it. But I also knew that I have never seen anyone's work and liked it as much as I love Kelly's. She is also an old friend of mine and I knew how comfortable we'd be with her. We definitely got what we paid for and I'm so thrilled to have these amazing images with us forever!
- My dress and shoes. This was one of the first things we did and I had no idea what I wanted in a dress. We didn't set a budget for the dress because I had no idea what to expect and I wanted to buy the dress that I felt the best in. I saw the high end and the higher end and the middle of the road when it came to prices. I ended up falling in love with a very simple, highly structured, Carolina Herrera gown that didn't totally bust our budget. We bought the dress and veil at Warren Barron Bridal in Highland Park Village in Dallas. I'd send anyone there for the most amazing experience. The veil was by Angel Sanchez and completely finished the look of the dress. I also feel like I have an heirloom piece waiting to happen in my veil. It is timeless and classic and the lace is just perfectly detailed. My mom told me that she wanted to buy me some special shoes to wear with my dress, but they couldn't be white because I had to wear them again. And I'm such a shoe fiend that I never wanted to wear white shoes at my wedding, anyway! I found the perfect gold brocade d'orsay Manolos that went perfectly with my pink and gold color scheme.
-The music. Todd and I knew that we had to have the Root Doctors play at our reception. They were out of our budget, so we decided to pay for that ourselves instead of having my parents fund it. This was one of our best decisions. The band was amazing and completely made the party! We also knew that we wanted our very talented friend to come down and play and sing at the wedding in addition to arranging all of the music for the organist and string quartet. He agreed, but we had to fly him down. The ceremony music would not have gone off nearly as seemlessly without him and this was money well-spent.
- The paper. We started off with our Save the Date and after looking through books and options, I knew that we'd have to go custom. We had a lot of information to get out through the Save the Date, I wanted to include a photo from our engagement session, and I wanted the cover to be the lace design from Todd's mother's handkerchief. That lace theme came back on the invitation and again, that was custom and letterpress. We brought it back again for the cover of the program and then I used it again when I designed little table signs. I am an event planner and believe in branding the event and setting the tone for the event in the beginning stages. I think we did that and hopefully everyone's expectations were met.
Next up... I'll tell you some of my favorite things about the day and how we kept it about us.