Today’s post is an update on our wedding planning. I finally got to sit down and gather my thoughts on the planning process, as this whole time has just been “go, go, go!”
Wedding planning has been pretty smooth sailing so far. One of the biggest struggles was when I started planning, and realized my “dream wedding” is maybe $30K out of our budget. However, once I gave myself a reality check, everything we’ve booked so far has been below budget without having compromise on much.
We booked most of our major vendors by the end of August, because my “just get it done” personality needed everything crossed off my checklist ASAP. Today’s post focuses on the first few vendors we booked. We wanted to find people whose prices were fair, but still fairly well-established in the wedding industry, and our top 3 priorities were food, photography, and music.
The venue was the first thing we booked way back in February, because we heard that venues get booked up very quickly. We visited a few different places we were interested in, but ended up choosing a golf club. Depending on the weather, the ceremony will be outdoors and the reception indoors. We don’t want a rustic wedding (nothing wrong with rustic, it just doesn’t suit us as a couple), but funnily enough, our venue is a little rustic. However, when we walked into the venue during our initial visit, it just felt right – it was the only place we visited where we could both picture ourselves getting married. We are embracing the rustic-ness of the venue, while still try to add our own, more classic, taste as well.
Source: All photos from our decor rental vendor, Chair Flair
We booked our day-of coordinator in April. For me, there is enough to worry about on our wedding day, and I don’t want to wake up that morning and deal with phone calls from all of our vendors. We still wanted to plan the wedding ourselves, but having peace of mind knowing that someone will be there to run the show was worth the extra money we had to pay. Even though we only chose her day-of coordination package, her services extend beyond the wedding day: she did a second site visit at our venue with us recently, will help us with our itinerary, have a progress meeting with us a few months before our wedding, and will call all of our vendors closer to the wedding to confirm everything for us. She’s a super sweet lady, and I’m excited to work with her.
We booked our décor rentals on the same day as our day-of coordinator, because they actually work out of the same office even though they run separate businesses. We thought it would just be logistically easier if we booked both of them – both of their prices were reasonable, so why not? It just so happens that she’s also the preferred decor rental vendor at our venue…so all signs just led to us booking with her. Most of our decor costs went towards renting chiavari chairs (like the ones in the picture below, and ugh, I keep asking myself if I’m INSANE for spending that much on chairs), although we’re also renting smaller things such as charger plates, linens, napkins, and a wedding arch. Some of our decor will be DIY – I will do a separate post on as I start these projects!
Source: All photos from our decor rental vendor, Chair Flair
I started looking for a wedding dress in February, and finally found one in April (my poor MOH, I dragged her to so many stores with me!) I tried on a lot of dresses that I loved and had considered buying, but something just didn’t feel quite right with any of them. The dress I picked ended up being one I had seen online and was interested in trying. It wasn’t scheduled to come in until October, but I received a call from the store in August telling me it had come in already. During the time between when I had picked the dress and when it had arrived, I had started doubting my choice and wondering whether I had chosen the right one. When I went to pick it up, I fell in love with it all over again, because the dress was even prettier than I remembered. I keep opening the garment bag to take a peek!
I tried to find a makeup artist as soon as possible. I wanted an Asian makeup artist, as I tend to find that Asian makeup artists feel more comfortable working with my facial structure. I wasn’t sure how many Asian makeup artists were available, so I wanted to get on this task right away. My MOH recommended a MUA who had done the makeup for another wedding she was a part of two years back, and I ended up booking her in May. I really liked how she did my makeup – I looked polished, but still like myself.
We met our photographer at a wedding expo we attended back in January, where his work caught our eye (by the way, wedding expos? Hella scary. Thousands of brides gathered in an enclosed area is never a fun thing). We met with him for a consultation in May, and booked him right away. He’s super nice and very laid-back… not to mention his price was $1,000 lower than what we budgeted for photography. For our engagement shoot, we were both extremely uncomfortable in front of the camera, but he took the reigns and told us exactly what to do, and was able to get some amazing shots despite the crazy weather we experienced that morning. I was going to link his website, but just realized that he has some of our engagement photos up! So here are some examples of his work:
Videography was an afterthought for us. We originally weren’t going to have one in order to cut costs, but I’ve read that not having a videographer is a major regret for many married couples. As a compromise, we booked a videographer that is just starting out in the business and therefore less expensive, since the purpose of the video is only to remind us of the day. He’s actually a friend of one of my bridesmaids, and does wedding videography on the side. We hit it off right away, as it seems like we have a lot of common interests. We’re really excited to work with him.
On the next Wedding Planning Series (sometime in November): entertainment, wedding design, and flowers!