The Plans of a Planner - Getting started

Hello! I can't believe it's mid-August and I'm just now getting around to writing about my wedding plans. Well, actually, I can. See, I'm a procrastinator, and I admit it. I've always done so, and find that I work well under the pressure-cooker that proctrastinating can create! So here we are, 5 months away from our wedding, and I've got a lot to tell you.

First, I'll admit, it took me a couple of months and a date change to get into the planning process. We originally thought we'd get married mid-November, and since we'd been engaged at the end of April, didn't seem like a big deal. Then life kicked-in, and work got a bit crazy - 5 weddings in 6 weeks - and I realized that I had no time to think about our wedding, nor the energy to do so. I told my fiance that I really wanted to enjoy being engaged and at the same time didn't want to wait a year or more to tie the knot, so we pushed back 2 months to mid-January and relaxed a bit.

So mid-January it is. The date is special to us, not only will it be our wedding date, but it is also his parent's anniversary, and they'll be celebrating 45 years on the day we exchange vows. Given that the date fell on a Friday, was in January, and held a special significance, we went for it.

Once we decided on the date (normally I would advise couples to be a bit flexible with date so that they can have their pick of venue, but I ingored my own advice!), we set about searching for the place. I thought this would be a slam-dunk - I knew the vibe I wanted - beautiful but not too fussy, relaxed, restaurant setting. Ahem. This proved to be the most challenging part of the planning so far. I went first to the restaurant I had always envisioned. Turns out it was too small for the guest list we had put together, and to rent the whole restaurant was fiscally not in our budget. On to choice #2, a neighborhood place that really seemed perfect. They promptly replied with a quote, not too bad on the food and beverage end, but on the buy-out for the evening, ridiculous. Moving on. I was standing at the back of the crowd during a wedding ceremony at a beautiful country club where I'm lucky to plan tons of weddings - a location I had not even considered - when it hit me - why had I not considered it? Honestly, I was afraid it would feel like work to have my wedding there, but once the idea was planted, I couldn't get it out of my mind. So I approached my sweetie with the idea, we visited and took an official tour, and a few days later signed on the dotted line and we had our venue!

Once the venue was chosen, I sat back and let it sink in. Having planned well over 100 weddings, I knew that my first plans would not be my final plans, so I took my time and let things marinate. And marinate, and marinate. I was stumped. I found myself unable to get into the planning process. Was it because this is what I do for a living? Was I having trouble making decisions? Nope. None of the above. This next part is going to seem like shameless salesmanship, but it isn't (but please do hire a wedding planner!). I was visiting my friend Joanna at her office and she asked me how my wedding plans were coming along. My answer was bleh, they weren't coming along at all. She was surprised and asked why. Then she did me the biggest favor - she asked me about details - dress, location, flowers, etc. I walked out of her office anxious to get back to my own and get started with the planning! I went home and was on fire with getting my ideas put into action. Later that evening, it hit me why I had been so unable to move forward: I wasn't talking about my plans with anyone. Typically, one of the roles I play as a wedding planner is to be the sounding board for brides - we brainstorm and bounce ideas off of each other - this is how a wedding gets planned. I realized after talking with Joanna that I wasn't doing that with anyone, that while I had all of the plans in my head, not expressing them to anyone had stymied my creativity.

That was about a month ago, and since then I've ordered my dress, bought my shoes (again, thanks to the sharp-eyed Joanna seeing the perfect pair online and sending me the link), booked a photographer, put our officiate on hold, mailed our save-the-date cards, setup our blog, and have come up with what I want in terms of decor and music. It's all so exciting, and I'll share more of those details in the coming weeks - tune in next week to read my thoughts on budgeting for your wedding.

Until then...



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