After our whirlwind engagement in New York over New Year’s, Mr. Wallaby and I returned to Houston and resumed ordinary life. We began to talk to our families about guests lists, so we could get a general idea of how many guests to expect when we searched for venues. (Fifty guests? One hundred guests? Two hundred guests?) During this time, I also picked up some wedding-planning books from the bookstore. My favorite was A Practical Wedding. A lot of bees have blogged about this book, and it really shaped how Mr. W and I have come to envision our wedding. I read a few chapters of it every evening after work while riding the exercise bike at my gym, and afterward I would excitedly tell Mr. W all about pre-1900s wedding traditions, DIY DJ-ing, and the like.
Photo via A Practical Wedding
One suggestion from A Practical Wedding is to brainstorm some words to describe your wedding: What kind of theme do you want? What elements do you want to see repeated in the decor and details of the day? How do you want your wedding to feel? Mr. W and I turned out to be on the exact same page. We decided we wanted our wedding to be personal and fun above all, and also whimsical, unique, creative, spiritual, and romantic. I’ll share an inspiration board later once I reveal the venue and other details.
The annual Houston Bridal Extravaganza took place a couple weeks after Mr. Wallaby and I got engaged. He heard about it from someone at work, and he suggested that we go to get some ideas. (Hang on, moment of appreciation for a groom who is the one pushing to go to the bridal expo!) The day of the expo, we entered the large convention room, and we. were. overwhelmed. Houston is a large city (fourth largest city in the US!), and the wedding industry is prominent here. Not to mention how important weddings are in the South! We had been planning to divide and conquer, but once we set foot in the expo, we were intimidated and clung to each other’s hands. My honest conclusion was that the expo was an overload of information. We were not prepared to talk to bakeries, linen rental companies, or ice sculptors. We just wanted to get some help picking out a venue…or even a theme! Furthermore, about 90% of the vendors who attended the expo are involved in putting on modern, glitzy weddings, and Mr. W and I were looking for something more rustic and nontraditional. In the end, we got a couple cute photo booth pictures, we ate some very delicious appetizers, and we came home with two bags overflowing with glossy brochures (which, admittedly, ended up in the recycling).
Event decor rentals displayed at the Houston Bridal Extravaganza / Personal photo
The Bridal Extravaganza had reinforced Mr. W’s and my vision of a whimsical, somewhat casual, creative, DIY, rustic wedding. With the help of our families, we drafted a rough guest list of about 150 invitees. With that information, we set off on the venue hunt!
How did you find inspiration for your wedding in the early stages of wedding planning?