- Looking back on your wedding day, what was the best decision you made?
1. To say “I do.”
2. Buying my dress at Norman’s Bridal. It was seriously the easiest part of the wedding planning, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect dress for me. I know I sound like an advertisement for them, but it was priceless knowing I wasn’t going to have to worry about my dress or alternations.
3. Choosing to spend more money on my photographer than anything else, because the pictures and memories are all I have left of that one day I put so much time, money, and work into. And believe me, I don’t want to EVER forget the product of our months of hard work.
- If you could change anything about your wedding day, what would it have been?
There are two things actually.
- I made the decision of our location based on convenience, not just for Michael and I, but for everyone involved even though I had ALWAYS dreamed of an outdoor wedding. I don’t regret the decision I made; it was very beautiful and turned out great, but if I was doing it again I would do the extra work to make my dream happen. Location affects so many aspects of the wedding, and unfortunately is one of the first decisions that has to be made and almost impossible to change. It’s important not to get ahead of yourself on all the more “fun” aspects and skip really taking your location into consideration of what you want.
- Concerning the actual day of the wedding, I would have been less involved in the final details of the décor and taken more time to enjoy quality time with my family and bridesmaids relaxing. I was so exhausted at the end of the day; my whole body hurt, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. It was a crazy beautiful day though.
- How did you go about choosing your photographer?
This was a big one for Michael and I. With him working in the media field and having a very strong opinion on what was “good”, it was hard to find someone he deemed worthy that was not only available but in our price range. We heard about Heather through a friend and amazingly enough both loved everything about her. We had also decided our engagement session would be our trial run for whoever we hired. After seeing how well she worked with both of us while taking the photos and the end result of our pictures, there was no more considering to be done. We had to have her!
- Did you do some sort of workout program to get fit for your wedding day?
I am a firm believer in running. No, I’m not one of those “natural” runners, so every day was a fight, but it worked! Leading up to the wedding, my free time became less and less, so I had to make my workouts count. Running was the best way for me to do it. I could run anywhere, at almost any time of day, and it gave me the full body workout I wanted.
- What was the most fun part of your wedding?
We are very social individuals who are always surrounded with people, so talking to friends and family at the reception. Everyone there was so special to Michael and I that we couldn’t help but just love seeing them all in one place.
- What was the most “memorable” part of your wedding?
Walking down the aisle. Someone was standing in my way, and at first I couldn’t see Michael at all. When I finally saw the look on his face, I knew he had me forever.
- How did you select the venue(s) that you used?
Michael and I attend James River, so the option was always one we considered, but the determining factor was the size of our wedding. There aren’t a whole lot of venues that cater to large weddings (350-400 people) in the area and even fewer that can host both the wedding and reception at one location. We were both very passionate about making our wedding the best possible experience for our guests. With so many out of town guests coming in, we were concerned with everything from parking to hotels. James River met those needs and gave us more flexibility with decorating availability, unlike most other venues.
- What were your wedding colors?
Apple green and black on white damask. Being the one who had been dreaming of this day for so long, I gave Michael three options. Of course he chose his favorite color- green. It couldn’t be just any color of green though, it had to be the exact shade of a ripe green apple in the summer. Black and white damask was also a given for me. I love the pattern and its vintage inspiration, but it still provided clean lines and made a statement.
- What advice would you give to a bride who is planning (or getting ready to plan) her wedding?
1. If you are a DIY bride, do as much in advance as possible. Don’t think you will have time two weeks before the wedding to do anything. That time just disappears.
2. Don’t settle for the first price of anything including linens, flowers, programs, etc. Always shop around. I was first quoted my linens at $1300. Less than a week later I found a company who didn’t carry the linens I wanted but was willing to make them specifically for my wedding at less than half the cost of the first bid. You don’t always have to sacrifice what you want for a better price.
3. Make decisions wisely. Everyone will have opinions along the way, but know that you and your husband’s are the only ones that count. In 50 years you will be the one to remember this special day, not your guests, not your parents, and not your coordinator. It is important to make decisions you can look back on with joy rather than regret. This doesn’t mean you can be a bridezilla though, because you don’t want to ruin a lifetime of memories with a friend or family member over shoes. Instead, take the opportunity to let other people help! Putting ribbons on programs with pizza and 6 of your best friends is way more fun than doing it by yourself.
- As a newlywed, what piece of wisdom or advice would you like to share about marriage?
Make the decision everyday to see each other’s heart the way God sees it. Doing this will calm frustrations and detour anger; it will motivate chasing after each other’s love language. In those times we fail to pursue this perspective initially, it urges our heart to be quick in seeking forgiveness and restoration.And never forget to laugh together. We also read the books For Men Only and For Women Only, and I think we would both agree they were very good!
- Save the dress, sell the dress, or trash the dress?
You tell me! Goodness this is hard and a question I’m STILL struggling with! Here is my plan as of now. Save the dress until our five or ten year anniversary so my heart is a little less attached to it. Then trash the dress, but not REALLY trash the dress. Just do fun things in it without worrying about it getting dirty for fun pictures. Get the dress cleaned, and then struggle with the sell or keep question!
We wish you and Michael all the best!