All right… so we figured out the time of year, the colors, the flowers, the dress, and the venue. But now, we needed to sort out a few more details. Since we knew we wanted the big day about a year later to return to our proposal destination and take in the fall leaves, we glanced at the calendar to sort out when a Saturday would fall at the same time of year. Even though the proposal was September 22, our actual big day would be Saturday, September 19th, just a few days shy of a full 365 day year. Ironically, later on during the planning I looked at our calendar and realized yup it would be 2 years from when we met. We met on September 10th, then first hung out on the 15th. When my man asked me to his place (again, irony as it is now where we’re ending up living) for dinner he planned to make for me, it was the 19th of September. This was also the night he first told me he liked me and was interested in more and the night when he first kissed me. So, we’d be getting married 2 years to the day since our first kiss and would celebrate our first kiss as husband and wife on that anniversary.
We wanted an afternoon wedding. Of course, that time of year is just before the time change out of daylight savings and the light hours decrease quickly. For some reason, having our ceremony at 4:30 in the afternoon just sat with me from day one. I didn’t want to be the typical couple with on the hour, but I didn’t want to do too late to where no one left before 10 and I didn’t want to do too early where most guests felt like they needed some more snacks after the meal. This way too we could add the twinkly white lights around the pergola and have some glowing candlelight for a romantic feel much like I always imagined the day after basking in the warmth of the late sun in sometimes cooler temps. Everyone else seemed on board (of course, as the day drew nearer I heard a lot of “maybe you better make it earlier; the sun is dropping fast.”) And you can see the romantic lighting was indeed fabulous for our shots.
The next item up for decision time was our meal. Luckily, Brent and I talked with a couple we were friends with as they tried to plan their wedding a bit earlier than our engagement and we helped as Brent took their engagement photos while I posed them. During this phase, we started discussing our possible wedding. Immediately, we agreed that with a country feel we wanted brisket, potato, coleslaw, and then the cake. Now, my hubby makes an awesome brisket (really one of the best I’ve ever ate, so yummy!), but I cringed a bit inside when I heard him say he wanted to be the one mastering the grill at our reception. Do you remember in the 1990s “Father of the Bride” when Mr. Banks aka Steve Martin thinks his little girl’s idea of a reception at home can make him daydream about just a family BBQ? Yeah, exactly what I started picturing. Yes, he can cook awesomely. However, he’d never been to a wedding he could remember. So, he could not possibly grasp all the groom goes through that day and how much I wanted him to be celebrating with me as we took in those first few hours of married life. After some debate, and discussion of wanting guests to make it potluck (what about our out of town guests who can’t bring a prepared dish?), we caved. I think what made us cave was that my mom made a point that they could not rest and enjoy the day with us if they were so worried about helping prepare food. That’s when my parents offered to pay for a caterer. So, time to start looking into catering that met our dream meal.
It also meant trying to decide on our cake too…. lots of ideas there, but found one through photos online we liked. Next, trying to find a caterer that met our budget and could make the cake off the image we liked. I can’t believe how much they wanted… like upwards of $350 to $400 and that was for only 50 people attending! I finally found a woman I worked with who also came highly recommended by hair stylist (also to do my hair as an automatic choice). Her price was very reasonable and I entirely trusted her to meet our needs. Plus, we got it down to $165, with delivery included!
Back to my hair, I immediately knew my usual stylist was going to style it for me and also be a guest. She always championed Brent and I along the way, and used us for her family portraits. Plus, I always enjoyed her and she knew my hair and saw eye to eye with me on what styles suited me. Several wanted my hair entirely up. However, she agreed with Brent and I that only the sides should be back. Brent likes my hair down and I prefer it this way too. Yes, it’s my choice, but I want to be the woman he loves as I come down that aisle. Next, my make up. I’ve had others do my make up a few times in the past: prom, another wedding I was an attendant at, and I ended up not feeling like I looked like me. Brent likes the natural look on me and I wanted again to honor that, but just add a bit more. I know my skin. I know my colors. And with YouTube to the rescue, I also knew there were plenty of tutorials out there to help me create a face that would last through all the ceremony, photographs, and reception and still look great. I took their tips and added it to my own routine for the day. If Kate Middleton can do her own for the royal wedding with all the cameras on her, why couldn’t I do it?
So, I had all these parts figured out and there was still much more to come…