Monday, March 10, 2014

Wedding Planning || Guest List and Resources

Even before Josh proposed, we had discussed what we envisioned our wedding to be like.  I've always wanted a small, intimate wedding but Josh wouldn't mind having a big bash.  As a photographer and guest, I've experience both ends of the spectrum.  There were a couple big factors that helped us decide on an immediate family only affair: 1) Josh and I are paying for the wedding ourselves and have a limited (but workable) budget, and 2) I want to be able to soak in every minute with my groom and family which I feel would get lost with a big shindig.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to share this special day with all those we hold near and dear, but I also know I don't want to spend my wedding day being overwhelmed.  Plus, besides the night of our engagement, our families have not spent more than a few minutes together in passing.  The day of our wedding will likely be the first time our families really come together to celebrate and become more acquainted.  Since this is the most important thing to me, besides actually marrying Josh, I don't want to compromise losing any of these precious moments.

We've caught a lot of flack for our decision to only have our immediate family present and it has made planning a bit stressful to the point that I've considered eloping a couple times!  But Josh sweetly reminds me that our extended family and friends just want to help celebrate us on our big day, so the disappointment is understandable.  We are planning to hold a big reception next year to have all of our family and friends join and think that maybe a one year vow renewal ceremony may be a good time to do this.  That way the pressure is off and I'll have already had my big day and won't be upset should things not go right.  Side note-I'm writing this as My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding plays on Netflix in the background which just solidifies my reasoning!

Our plan is to have a small non-denominational ceremony followed by a family dinner at our favorite local downtown spot--more on venues later.  We want to incorporate some of the typical wedding traditions like first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances, cake, and good photography, but really it is a simple affair: ceremony and dinner.  And while it may be small, I still want to have a beautiful day and keep as organized (surprise!) as possible.  I ordered All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day which has been pretty helpful.  I've only made a small dent in all the info and there is a good portion of it that is irrelevant to my specific needs, but it's good nonetheless.

Two years before Josh proposed, I purchased this book knowing that I'd use it one day.  I didn't want to jinx myself, though, so I put it away until the time was safe!  Since the plan is to DIY as much as possible, this book has been extremely handy.  So has this book that my older sister gifted me for Christmas which has gorgeous images and great desert inspiration.  And what kind of bride would I be if I didn't have a Pinterest board that has been collecting inspiration over the past few years!  I've also found the site to be full of great tips and spreadsheets which, for someone like myself, is a Godsend.  Love it.

So far we have our ceremony venue booked and my dress picked out but we still have quite a bit to go with only 6 months left.  I can't wait to see it all come together!

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