Despite pleading with Father Time to slow things down, we are now less than 3 months away from our October 19th wedding! Cue confetti, panic, and opening the wedding budget spreadsheet and staring with mouth agape every time. I've shared some of the process on my Instagram Stories, but realize I've not shared a lot here. You can catch up on my Instagram Stories under “Wedding.”
- Our engagement story
- Plus size dress shopping with David's Bridal
- Save the date reveal with Minted
- The bridal body myth – my frustrations with the lack of plus size brides in wedding magazines, blogs, and vendor sites. This is a daily frustration – so much so that I think “I need to write about this!” only to realize I already have.
As I write this, Steve and I are sitting on the patio listening to potential first dance songs. We had a list of about 20 and he made a playoff bracket and is in charge of conducting the slow song battle royale. The current matchup is newer Adele vs. older Rod Stewart.
I mentioned it in an earlier post – planning this wedding hasn't been what I expected. I think it's a mix of many things:
Age: I was 26 when I got married the first time. I'm 37 now. Preferences and situations change as we get older. I was fresh out of grad school when I got married, and now I'm more established with my career and have different interests, friends, and living situation.
Partner: Obviously with a different partner, it's a completely different dynamic. Steve and I are on the same page with most things, which is helpful. It's also different because we already own a house together. There's no build up or anticipation of officially living together. We've already combined lives in many ways to get to this point in our relationship.
History: I'm influenced by things I had in my first wedding that I don't want again, whether for superstition's sake or just wanting something entirely different. I never thought I'd have a second wedding (after my divorce I swore I'd never get married again.) Since we've both been married before, we want this wedding to be unique in ways that are important to us as a couple.
(Sidenote: We're now having a Tony Bennett/John Legend battle. It's a tough one.)
Whenever I run into friends I've not seen in a while, I get the “how is wedding planning going?” question. My response has usually been an eyeroll and sigh, and complaint about how expensive everything is and how I'd rather plump up my retirement account with the money. I realize this is not really the right attitude to have, so I'm working on flipping that around (if you're into the law of attraction, changing from an attitude of scarcity to abundance.)
The fact is that wedding planning is fine, but it's very different from planning the first time around.
For my first wedding, I knew exactly what I wanted: an outdoor winery wedding in the fall. I had vendor visits and contracts signed within a couple weeks of getting engaged. This time, we didn't start seriously thinking about planning until 3 months into our engagement. We had just endured the crazy events of our 2017: preparation and selling of 2 houses (mine required quite a bit of work before listing), buying a house, and moving to a new city (2 new cities for me!) and we were fiscally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. I didn't have a clear vision of what kind of wedding I wanted, and it's harder to set things in motion without that. It feels like I've been playing catch up from that lack of vision even since. There was also the disadvantage that we're new to Louisville, whereas in Lexington I could have named locations and vendors off the top of my head without research.
We considered a destination wedding, but a couple things became clear when we were going through that planning process. First, we really wanted certain people to be able to attend without being concerned about cost, time off work, safety, etc. Second, I acknowledged my controlling tendencies and realized how anxious I would be planning a wedding from afar. Once we let go of the destination idea and settled on a Louisville wedding, things became a little clearer.
So what's the plan? An intimate, formal wedding with great food and drinks. Pretty flowers and sparkle. A heartfelt ceremony, some slow dancing and The Wobble (seriously, I love The Wobble so much.) We plan on fewer than 65 people in attendance. The second time around, we didn't feel any pressure to invite more than that. We asked ourselves: who is important in our lives right now? Who do we talk to regularly? Who would bail us out of jail? (Only kind of kidding on that last one – it's a good exercise for narrowing people down!) I realize not everyone can cut their list this small when you factor in family and work colleagues. Steve has a small immediate family and I'm not close to mine, so that limited the guest count. My clients are based in other parts of the country, so no expectation they would come. We keep a pretty tight circle of friends.
(Current battle: Marvin Gaye vs. Joe Cocker)
There are elements of a traditional wedding that aren't appealing to us, so we're scrapping them! If you've not been married before, I can see wanting to tick all the boxes of the traditions you hear of and see in the movies. But this time around? No bridal party, no bouquet toss, no garter toss, no registry for household wares. Anything that didn't make sense to us and our stage of life right now was scrapped.
I've also gotten a lot of questions about where we're going on our honeymoon. This is a great question, and the answer is that I don't know yet! Paying for this wedding and all the related elements has not been healthy for our bank accounts. You think smaller wedding=smaller cost, but that's not entirely true. Sure, having a really nice plated dinner for 65 people is less than doing the same for a group of 200, but some elements cost the same regardless: venue fees, ceremony flowers, food and beverage minimums, photography, videography, string quartet, DJ, and fixed rental items like backdrops and lighting. Plus, I realize that I can be a little extra sometimes. Executing the vision with flowers, nice table linens, attire, and activities for out-of-towners is cramping the honeymoon budget. So, TBD on honeymoon! We may do something short and then do a bigger trip next year.
Any tips as the days tick down to the wedding day? Also, if you were attending and were a meat eater, would you prefer chicken, beef, pork, or fish? (Menu tasting coming up!)