How long after your got engaged did you begin planning the wedding?
I’m gonna say that maybe I waited until the Monday after we got engaged (which was on a Friday night) to start stalking venue websites and looking at available dates. We were engaged in May and knew that we wanted to get married the following May or June, so I knew we couldn’t wait too long.
How did you keep track of your wedding planning (book, planner, Excel, other)?
I might be the world’s biggest Excel fan, so that was my go-to planning tool. The size of the folder that contains wedding spreadsheets on my laptop is kind of ridiculous and I will never show anyone for fear of embarrassment. But all those little cells did keep me extremely organized. I’m not really a fan of putting pen to paper so having lists and numbers stored electronically worked for me.
When you discussed the wedding, what 5 things where most important to the two of you?
- Keeping costs down where we could
- Making everyone coming feel involved/important
- Having the day represent our personalities
- Creating a day that was as convenient for our guests as possible
- Making the day FUN.
Did you register for gifts and was it a good experience?
We did register for gifts but only at Macy’s. I had wanted to just register at one place to keep things simple and Macy’s provided enough of a range of items for us. I also found that their online registry manager was easy to use and their completion program was one of the more generous available to newlyweds.
Could you share some wedding planning advice for newly engaged couples?
Try not to get sucked into the wedding planning vortex. What does that mean, exactly? Remember that you don’t need to rent chair covers if you can’t afford them – no one will be paying as much attention as you think they will be. Don’t forget that those are your best friends and closest family that you asked to be in your bridal party, not your wedding slaves. If you both aren’t in the right mindset to discuss a vendor/contract/fill in the blank, shelve it until the next day – it actually CAN wait. The vortex…try to avoid it as best you can. And if you’d like to get a closer look into my wise wedding planning tidbits, you can check out the “Things I’ve Learned While Planning” series on the blog.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Our biggest splurge was probably on wedding day looks – my dress, his suit, and the suits we gifted the groomsmen. We had to make sure everyone looked good! We saved a bit at our venue by having our wedding on a Sunday, when there is a reduced catering minimum commitment. We saved with our florist by only having her make bouquets for me and my bridesmaids, while using non-floral centerpieces on the reception tables. We also DIY’ed some décor elements like the table numbers, escort cards, and seating chart as well as our save the dates, all of which helped keep costs down.
Did you have to handle any tricky or delicate issues while planning your wedding and how did you cope with them?
We had to be mindful of honoring both of our religious and cultural backgrounds and figure out a way to concoct a wedding that would please both us and our families. I am Catholic from Italian/Polish families and my husband is Hindu from an Indian family, so we ended up having a Hindu ceremony in a hotel ballroom that was also recognized by the Catholic Church after our marriage prep work was completed with my parish priest. We split up the wardrobe for the day, going with traditional Indian attire for the ceremony and more “American” wedding looks for the reception. And the food during cocktails and dinner was a mix of a little bit of everything. It was what ended up working for the two of us, so we were happy with the decisions we made along the way.
Could you share some wedding day advice for newly engaged couples?
Leave any worries or stresses behind you when you wake up on your wedding day. That’s the day you’ve been waiting on for so long, so be mindful to soak every minute of it in.
Could you share your favorite photo from the day and tell us why you love it?
Image Courtesy of: Nicole Peterson of Girl Photography
It’s so hard to pick a favorite from all of the amazing shots that our photographer, Nicole Peterson of Girl Photography, captured that day. I’d imagine it’s sort of like asking someone to choose her favorite child. But here is just one of my faves. Do you see that light in the room during our first dance? Our photog killed it!
Thank you, Jessica! I loved how you discussed combined different religions and different cultures into one beautiful and positive ceremony and reception! Be sure to follow Two Wedding Belles on Twitter and Like them on Facebook!
Would you like to ask Jesscia any questions about her wedding experience (or, if you're planning a wedding – email her)? Leave a comment and we'll try to get back with you!