wedding planning


I cannot believe it's been more than half a year since I said 'yes' to Joe and we shivered our way home with a new ring on my finger. It has been so lovely. Everyone loves to talk about an engagement, and it's such a sweet time for us to dream about the next big steps in our lives...graduating, a wedding, new jobs, a new home...

But planning for our wedding is honestly something we've not devoted a lot of time to. For awhile, we were trying to make magic happen. We wanted everyone there, we wanted beauty and comfort, we wanted amazing food, and we wanted it for cheap. Then I got sick of calling venues and Joe got all philosophical about the meaning of marriage, and we both sat down and had a big talk about what we really wanted this day to look like for us.

For the record, I love weddings. I love getting a new dress and seeing everyone in their finest. I cry when any couple says 'I do'. Food and liquor? Give me more. And since the time I let go of my teenage fear of embarrassing myself, I will happily spend the whole evening dancing my pants off (not literally...I wear dresses to weddings...come on).

But for us...planning a big wedding is just not our style. In the fantasy world where we have abundant time and dollars, our wedding looks a little something like this.

But that's not this world. I am not one of those brides who has an opinion on everything anything. And I have to tell you, since we backed off our plans a bit, a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.

Now, we're not going all elope-y on you, but we are cutting out a lot of the major elements people usually have to plan for weddings: rehearsal dinners, bridal parties, a DJ, and the list goes on. The plan for right now is to have a small ceremony with our closest beans, followed by a big dinner at a big restaurant. That way, we can include most of our loved ones without having to work out too many details. And the biggest perk? Having a big dinner is a lot cheaper than having a reception.

And since the stress has decreased tenfold, I'm finding the whole planning experience to be so much more fun...and isn't that how it's supposed to be?

The one place I'm still uncertain about is flowers. They are such an expensive part of any wedding, but I'm so drawn to the idea of lavender and sunflowers and wheat, and it's hard to let go of that fantasy.

What kind of wedding do you want or did you have? Any advice?


  1. You are so sweet - I think you should get exactly what you want for your flowers - it doesn't all have to come from a florist (unless you want them to put it all together for you). Let me know if you want help researching and/or putting them together!

  2. I completely understand you! When I started looking for venues I got completely overwhelmed when we figured that one of the venues would cost us $20.000 just for the food and drinks! (that's what happens when you add taxes...) I cried and cried and almost gave up on have a wedding... but at the same time I knew I would regret if I did that. Of course I cannot afford that venue but like my mom said "have the wedding that will make you happy so you won't regret later", and that's what I'm looking for now. We found another venue and I will have minimal flowers (people do not remember much about the flowers anyway), really rustic, and hopefully I'll have people to help me put them together so I can save some money.
    So, that is my advice: "have the wedding that will make you happy" does not matter if it is at the beach, in a barn, in a restaurant, or in a boat! Do what makes you happy and you will have just good memories! :)

  3. We went with a VERY laid back wedding that was very thrifty. You should read my posts about our wedding!

    My most important advice is to do what YOU want. So many people were trying to get us to do things differently but I knew exactly what I wanted and I wasn't willing to compromise. Stick to your guns. It's YOUR wedding, not theirs.

  4. Having gone the big wedding route I commend your choice to scale things back a bit. I wish I had been able to do that- but the Greeks only know one way to do weddings, XL. Go small, go local, get crafty, it will be more beautiful and romantic. I love the lavender idea- just make sure what you want is seasonally available around your date! The easier it is for a florist, or for you to get, the more reasonable the price.

  5. I wrote a huge comment, but I don't think it worked... I'm gonna try again
    I know exactly what you are feeling! I felt completely overwhelmed when we were looking at venues and one of them would cost us US20.000 just for food and drinks! I cried and cried and almost gave up on having a wedding... but like my mom said: "have the wedding that will make you happy or you will regret later". Of course we cannot afford that venue, so we kept looking and found the one. We will have minimal flowers, really rustic, and probably put them together ourselves.
    So my advice to you is: "have the wedding that will make you happy", it doesn't matter if it is at the beach, in a barn, in a restaurant, or at the city hall. When you are happy you and your guests will have a blast and just good memories...
    btw I love your idea for the flowers!

  6. Also, if you're willing to arrange yourself, absolutely see if you can hitch a tax ID ride to the Boston Flower Market - generally any creative business tax ID will do, and SO magical. (Blogger field trip?)

  7. This sounds quite close to perfect. There's so much pressure to have a big wedding, to spend your life's savings (or your parents'??) on one night. I think the most important thing is being able to include all of those who matter the most to you, and I too would be totally willing to cut down on extra frills so I could have those people there with me :)
    ...though I do think you should have the flowers you want, maybe worth it to splurge there!

  8. Awwww! I've been married for a year and still swoon over everything about weddings. We originally wanted to cut back, too, but ended up having a ceremony and reception with about 85 guests -- a great number and beautiful day in the end. Your plan sounds like perfection :) And I looooooooooooove that idea for flowers. They don't have to be expensive either -- small bouquets + in season flowers = completely affordable. Or you could do them yourself or have a friend do them for you -- that will cut the costs, too. YAY have fun with the rest of planning!!!!

  9. I can totally relate to this right now! It can definitely be stressful and many times I have told myself, just relax and enjoy it, because you only get married once. We don't have lavish taste but food was our priority, so we kind of went all out on the food front. So we are dialing it back on the rest of the stuff. I'm not big on flowers so we won't have floral centerpieces (lanterns, lots of candles, maybe a couple flowers here and there) and our venue is very beautiful so we need very little decor. Other ways we are cutting back are me getting a very simple wedding band for now, not going on a honeymoon right away, no live music for ceremony, and getting married in november is saving us big. Your plan right now sounds absolutely fantastic! I also love the idea of wheat and lavender for decor! I find it is rustic yet romantic at the same time :) My only advice is have no regrets. Plan the wedding that you want, and make sure you don't sacrifice on what is important to you. That is my plan anyway...lol

  10. I love weddings, too--I write about them often for work--but you know, the older I get, the less I want a huge, elaborate affair and the more I want something small and uber-personal with my closest friends and family. My best friend had a backyard beach wedding this past April, and the intimate feeling of hers is something I really want to emulate with my own, whenever that may be. For me, the things that matter are food, photography and flowers to an extent, with food being the No. 1 priority.

    I just love your wedding Pinterest board and your plans so far sound perfect. :)

  11. You know, A and I just went to a wedding where a lot of traditional things (that aren't even that great) we cut and it wasn't until days after when I was recounting the even for my mom that I even realized myself. And you know why? Because it totally doesn't matter. What matters is having the wedding you want and what makes you happy and have people around you that you're joyed to be with.

    I love your take and that you're doing it your way. If we tie the knot, I know it will be something small and way less grandiose than my old self would have dreamed up.

    Looking forward to hearing about your plans!

    eileen ragan | leaner by the lake

  12. Congratulations again! ;) This will be a beautiful day ;) Can't wait for more updates! xoxo

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Thanks for making me smile. =)