Where has the time gone?!
It feels like just yesterday I was relishing in the glory of being newly engaged and trying to adjust to the feeling of having a little sparkle on my left hand.
I’m happy, nervous, excited, terrified, and a little nauseated to report that we are officially at the 100-day mark until I become Mrs. Camera, and I feel like I have so much to do.
I’ve crossed off a significant chunk of my to-do list, and the big things are well under way—our venue is set, we have an amazing caterer with a delicious menu in store for us, our baker is planning our cupcakes, we have an officiant, and, of course, I have a fiance, so technically we have a wedding!
…and yet I feel like there is still so much left to accomplish.
Early on in my wedding planning, I downloaded a free app called WeddingHappy—one of the many, many wedding-planning apps available for download in the App Store. You program your wedding date, and it brings up a task list with suggested finish dates.
No one will see my wedding shoes unless they happen to be looking in the corner of the reception as I break it down on the dance floor, barefoot. Right? Wrong. Wedding shoes have become such a “thing,” and even though I never intended to let it become anything I waste effort on, it certainly has. And I probably have my sister to blame (sorry!).
My sister/MOH NYC has a good friend who works in the shoe department at Bergdorf Goodman. She made a big deal about how he wanted to help me pick out shoes and that he could get me a good deal, yada, yada, yada. I went in with a pretty open mind and only a few requirements: navy or gold (or neutral) and not too expensive. Have you guys ever looked at the Bergdorf shoe section? Their shoes are certainly not within my regular shoe budget, and I was pretty confident they wouldn’t be within my wedding shoe budget, either. My sister told me just to send her friend some ideas and we would go from there. OK, I can do that! I scoured their site and stumbled upon the shoe of my dreams, the Valentino Jewelry-Bow Couture d’Orsay:
Image via Bergdorf Goodman
You. Guys. Seriously. How gorgeous is that shoe? Well, it is approximately $1,095 worth of gorgeous. Yeah, no. Not happening. I sent him that shoe with the request to find something like that but for cheaper. I wish I was here to tell you that you can get a stunning Valentino gold bow situation for—like—$200. But you can’t. According to my sister’s friend, you can’t really get anything good for “under $1,000.” HAH! Then I guess I will go barefoot?
Back to the drawing board I went. My Gchats were filled with shoe suggestions to and from NYC and Bridesmaid BOC.
We sent out our save the dates in January, and today I’m going to share them with you!
The inspiration for the save the dates came early—it was actually one of the first things I found while perusing Etsy just days after getting engaged. As our plans began to take shape the inspiration that we liked the most seemed more and more like it would work with our wedding.
From He Saw Sparks on Etsy
The string lights jumped out really quickly as being our primary inspiration. It worked particularly well with the venue we ended up picking (and was part of the reason why we went with Sodo Park in the first place).
MrsForston2Be shows off photos of her graduation proposal.
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No, we’re not considering the Jennifer Nettles/Jon Bon Jovi collab for our wedding song (though that might be a fun lark, and certainly not the most inappropriate song choice ever).
The Chapel at Honey Lake Plantation (and our backup ceremony spot in case of rain) | Personal photo
During our recent venue hunt, I had a most surprising feeling overcome me: I almost missed being a member of a church.
I mean, really, if you’ve got a “home church” and it’s got a fellowship hall, you’re all but made in the shade as far as venue is concerned.
Our caterer, Cescaphe, is known near and far for their exquisite cocktail hour. Although calling it a cocktail hour is a bit misleading. It’s actually an hour and a half, and during that time, as our ceremony space was being flipped into our reception space, Mr. Ly and I snuck off to take some pictures while our guests got to enjoy more food than they could imagine. We really didn’t want to miss our cocktail hour, and we tried desperately to get there, but we managed maybe 20 minutes of the hour and a half. We took some family photos, and of course that takes time to gather everyone. We spent some time in our bridal suite—which was also packed to the brim with hors d’oeuvres and samples from all the stations. Cocktail hour was held in the same foyer area where the guests entered before the ceremony. I don’t have many professional pictures, and without our own personal experience, I am relying on our guest photos and their commentary to tell this part of our wedding.
I hadn’t mentioned it yet, but I had some very special bee guests at the wedding. I was so lucky to have Mrs. Pain au Chocolat, Mrs. Coyote, and Mrs. Fox at the wedding, and as fellow bloggers they know the importance of the detail shots—they made sure they were taking plenty during cocktail hour!
Confession: I really wanted at least one or two pics of Mr. Toadstool at least putting on his tie and jacket, you know, to get a little bit of that “groom getting ready” feel. However, as I was putting on my dress, Mr. Toadstool arrived at the venue and my dad and brother informed him his bride was already a nervous wreck (seriously, I was my everyday crazy self, they were just exaggerating), so he hurried to put pn his tie and jacket, not waiting for it to be caught on camera. So no “groom getting ready” photos.
Once my mom and I pulled ourselves together, it was time to see my groom. The concept of “the first look” is not something really grasped around here. The bride and groom see each other without a lot of fuss and then proceed to get pictures—not really a special moment. However, I wanted to have that moment on camera. Hey, the photographer was already there, let’s take advantage of it.
*All photos by Alberto Alcorta Photography
Mr. Toadstool doesn’t really know what to do…
When you’re staring down the barrel of a two year (or more!) engagement, it’s tough to make any absolute plans at the beginning. Not that that stops any of us from looking for inspiration, right? And as much as I love to fill in all those who, what, when, and where questions*, the big one is how.
The who is easy: Bride & groom. An officiant. Everyone else is technically optional, but we know it’s more than that; having an idea of the size of your guest list is a good idea right now, but the details aren’t absolutely necessary just yet.
The what? Simply put, a wedding. Another blank filled in. (Though if you have a theme or something, this would be a good place to put it.)
The when? With a long engagement, you almost have your pick of dates unless you’re in a major metro area where venues book up to two years in advance anyway. Still, have a goal date in mind and your first and second pick for time of day. When = done.
The where could be broad—a city or country preference—or specific to a location. What I keep finding, though, is that the where has a lot to do with the how.