Wedding Planning Series: Update #1

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.

funny-wedding-planning-memes006

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.

VENUE

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

DAY-OF COORDINATOR

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.

DECOR RENTALS

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

WEDDING DRESS

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!

MAKEUP

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.

PHOTOGRAPHER

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:

VIDEOGRAPHER

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!

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14 thoughts on “Wedding Planning Series: Update #1

  1. Ha I don’t see you as rustic at all. I knew someone who had antlers as their center pieces. o_O
    I hope your coordinator proves to be good! She has to be your right hand woman…
    Yay for finding The Dress! I can only imagine… so many options out there – I mean, do you want the lace cut-out showing your midrift, or full back? Decicions, decisions! LOL 😆
    I’m still waiting for the name of that Bite lipstick your makeup artist used! 😛
    Can’t wait to see what your DIY stuff will be! 😀

    *By the way, if you’re not comfortable with linking your photographer’s site, you might want to even take off the samples of his photos because I was able to reverse image search the pictures you posted and found his site. 😉 (drag and drop any image into here: https://images.google.com) I’m not stalker, I swear. Well, maybe some light stalking… Your photos looks so CHEESE. LMAO!!! 😆 😆 But you 2 look lovely! So damn sweet, both of you. (you can edit out this part of my comment if you want!)*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha yes, neither of us are rustic at all! I’ve found that it’s hard to get away from it though, considering we live in the Wild, Wild West 😛 We have tons of barn venues here. Antlers for centerpieces? How interesting…
      Why choose between midrift lace cut-out vs full back? Just do both! hahaha. I feel like some people might find my dress boring…not that it really matters, as long as I like it, but just a thought that’s crossed my mind!
      Let’s hope the DIY things turn out! If they don’t, it can be a “Pinterest fail” type post!
      Oh dear LORD, I knew it was possible to reverse image search, but didn’t know it was that easy. Thank you for pointing that out! Leaving your comment but took the photos off 😛 LMAO yes, they’re so cringey…my fiancé was so embarrassed when I told him last week that our fromage was on the photographer’s website for all to see, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I myself would prefer a “boring” dress. I call it classy! I bet you’ll be COMFY in it, that matters too.

        Well, it wouldn’t have been obvious to anyone who hasn’t already met you which photos were of you and fiance! So no worries. My favourite fromage one was the nose on nose shot. Close second: “you caught us just as we’re about to kiss!” OH YOU GUYS, SO CUTE. LOL. It’s a rite of passage, these engagement shots! By the way, your makeup looked beautiful – good job! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s true! I hope I will be as comfortable as one could possibly be in a dress with a bunch of material trailing after you.
          Heh, if I hadn’t posted that one picture in my September Happiness Highlights, I’d just post his website since no one would know which one of the couples is us 😛 LOL, I’m surprised you thought the nose-to-nose was the most fromage..the one of us almost-kissing takes the cake for me. Re: the makeup, thank you! 🙂

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    • Hehe, my married friends always tell me that when their wedding was over, they were left feeling like “…what do I do with all this time?” now that they didn’t have a wedding to plan. It’s fun reading about wedding planning though, everyone always puts their own unique spin to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your venue is absolutely gorgeous, I love it! I’m so excited for you!

    I honestly don’t think you’ll regret not blowing your bank account on your wedding – we had a modest budget but I’m glad we invested in the things that mattered like photography and a great meal for our guests (and ourselves of course!). Even almost 12 years later, I probably wouldn’t do much of anything differently. Actually having a day-of coordinator is something I wish I had – I think that’s a really smart decision and well worth the money!

    Good luck with the rest of your planning (although I don’t think you’ll need it!)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks Nicole, you’re so sweet!
      Yes, I agree – now blowing your budget is something I don’t think anyone would ever forget! At the end of the day, it’s just a day. You got it right, though – photography and food is definitely the most important, though! Guests don’t remember all the details of a wedding, but they will remember the food.

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