Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#bestdayever0927: bridal party shots.

Let's see, where did we leave off last week? Oh right. We had just finished our first look and it was time for Bridal Party shots. These were probably the trickiest part of the whole day. Mainly because of the whole time issue and also because I refused to do the first look anywhere near the house, so we had to meet up with them which obviously takes time. My original plan didn't make much sense and I wanted to get some pictures up by the barn, so we decided to meet everyone at the barn immediately after our first look, so we could get those out of the way before guests began to arrive.

For quite some time I had a vision of using lounge furniture for some of our pictures. I wish we could have done more with the furniture, but due to the time and having to move things all over the place to get it done, I stuck with just a few pictures in this one location. They are definitely some of my favorites regardless.

Once we finished those, we hopped back on the shuttle and headed back to the house to "finish" the bridal party shots. I put that in quotes because my original plan was to have them all done before the ceremony. Instead of sticking with the plan and being a bit disappointed with the amount of bridal party shots we got, I told everyone they had to stick around for a few minutes more after all was said and done. #sorrynotsorry

They got off really easy in my opinion. They were able to drink while we took pictures and they only took pictures for probably 45 minutes total. I've stood around for 3 hours taking pictures before, so complaining was not acceptable ;)

Next up, the most important part of the day! The ceremony!

*all photos credited to Ward Photography


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

An exciting announcement!

For as long as I can remember, I've been a planner to my very core. On any given day, I'm probably planning a random vacation that may never even come to fruition or a girl's night or even just a fun date night for JC and I. It's definitely a passion of mine and I take great pride in the fact that I'm the person my friends and family come to when they want to plan something or even just need an idea to start with. 

Most recently, as you all know, I spent quite some time planning our wedding. It was a labor of love and I can honestly say that there wasn't a single part of it that I didn't enjoy. Even when it came time to find an alternative because my original idea was out of the budget, I pushed through with a smile.

As you all know, I've tossed around the idea of starting my own wedding planning business, but never thought I had enough experience or, quite honestly, the confidence to make a full fledged attempt. Welp, that all changed about a month or so ago.

While I was trying to find a hobby (using the term trying very loosely), I realized that I didn't really need to look. I knew what I enjoyed and I just needed to find the confidence to make it a reality.

Not long after I came to this realization, I emailed the event director at Mount Ida (our venue) and took her up on her offer of putting me on their preferred vendor list for Wedding Planners. Within hours I had a company name, price sheet and contract. That's when Best Day Ever Events became a reality (a big thank you to my dear friend, Megan, who helped me come up with the name so quickly!). 

In an effort to get my name out there, I immediately started creating Craigslist posts and emailing my wedding vendors to let them know of my new endeavor. Soon after, I got a referral from my wedding planner because she was unavailable for a date a bride was inquiring about.

To say I was excited is the understatement of the century. Even more exciting, she was getting married at Mount Ida. My venue. I knew that venue. The people who run Mount Ida trusted me, so she should too, right? 

I quickly sent her my price list and soon after she responded with some questions - the biggest one being "have you coordinated a wedding at Mount Ida before?". Hmmm, lying is out of the question in my book. But should I just strictly answer the question she has posed or do I give her the entire low down?

I decided to go for the latter. I didn't want 6 months to pass and she learn that this would in fact be my first wedding and think I deceived her. So I spilled all the beans and made sure to include that I'm a preferred vendor for Mount Ida, I was married there and I've assisted others with planning their own weddings (in the loosest of terms, of course). And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. 

It wasn't long before I was certain that this bride was no longer interested in working with me. It went from immediate responses to dead air. I reached out to my wedding planner, since she was new to the scene not too long ago and she told me that she handled those questions exactly as I had done. "Eventually someone is going to be ok with your lack of professional experience because you're the cheaper of the options out there".

I'm happy to report, she was right! A couple weeks ago, a bride reached out to me about her wedding at Mount Ida Farm next August. I sent her pricing and hoped for the best (and also hoped she'd never broach the subject of experience). Not too long after, she wanted to set up a phone call to chat (insert panic) and a few days later we spent over an hour on the phone talking all things wedding. I mean, is there anything better? And this is coming from someone who HATES talking on the phone, but I'm guessing texting wouldn't have been the most appropriate plan of attack ;)

I can honestly say it was the best first consult I could have imagined. I'm even more thankful to be starting out on my own wedding venue's list because I actually sound like I know what I'm talking about ;) Just kidding, I truly do think I know what I'm talking about, but it was nice to be able to provide real life examples - like no, there's no need in allotting 30 minutes to get guests to the barn or just remember, no red wine on the concrete. And it didn't hurt that the girl appears to be planning quite the similar wedding as us. Gold, ivory, pink and mint are the colors with a shabby chic, touch of rustic theme.

The very next day after our call, I received an electronic copy of the signed contract and just a few days ago, I got the hard copy and the deposit. You guys, THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

In my wildest dreams, I never though this would actually be a reality. Not because I didn't think I could ever manage or accomplish the task, but because I tend to back away from things that could potentially result in failure (let's face it, that's always a possible outcome with a new business) or require me to put myself out there. But with this, my passion won out.

As soon as I got the electronic draft, I immediately got to work on a website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and blog (coming soon)! If you'd be so kind to like/follow/shout from the rooftops these pages, I'll be your best friend forever (how's that for motivation? ;))

I can't promise this blog here will continue to flourish (but I can promise I'll still post about our wedding!), as I'm going to try and devote a lot of effort to the new blog (and let's be serious - this one is basically a wedding blog at this point anyways!). So I hope you will come and visit me on the new one when it's up and running!

Last, but certainly not least, if you know of anyone in the DMV area that is looking for a not-so-expensive wedding planner, please pass along my information!

You guys are the best and I am excited to share this journey with each of you! xoxoxo

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

#bestdayever0927: first look.

As I mentioned last time, by the time I was done getting ready, I was more than ready to see JC.

I was a complete and utter mess when I got into the Event Director's Hummer to head to the location we chose for the first look. Not only were we running behind, but JC was in the car directly behind me and it took everything in me not to turn around and look at anything and everything going on behind me. You know, it's like when you see a sign that says "don't touch". You just want to touch it.

When we finally got to the location, they led me to my spot on the one lane bridge. They took a few pictures while they were directing JC to my location.

We didn't plan it this way - JC coming up to me instead of vice versa. It just sort of happened that way and I didn't mind.

But of course, it was awkward. The photographers are in their spots - one facing my front and one facing my back. Right before JC taps me on the shoulder, the photographers tell him to stop and just stand there. So I can basically feel him breathing on me, but I can't see him, hug him, kiss him, NOTHING. Those next 30-60 seconds felt like eternity.

When they finally told us to go for it, JC tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around, started crying and gave him the biggest hug I think I've ever given him.

See how hard I'm crying here?
We stood there hugging for a good 2-3 minutes, I think. At least it felt like it lasted that long.

Of course, JC told me I looked beautiful. I think he said some other things, but I was so caught up in the moment that I don't remember much of it at all. Thank goodness for pictures!

And just like that, all my emotional hot mess of a self was back to my normal self. It's amazing how seeing JC just made everything better. I think that might be a sign I chose the right guy for me ;) I'm 99.9% sure I didn't cry again the rest of the day and I know it's all because of that first look.

Brides, if you're contemplating a first look, I HIGHLY recommend going for it. Walking down that aisle to JC a short while later would have been completely different had I not seen him prior. I probably would have cried all the way down the aisle. And it's become blatantly obvious in these past 2 posts that I'm not the prettiest of criers.

Once I saw JC, everything felt right. I didn't have a care in the world after that (well, the time thing was still bugging me, but not nearly as much).

Not to mention, I got a reaction from JC that I wouldn't have gotten from him had I met him at the end of the aisle. I got to spend my first few moments with him alone (or as alone as one can be with 2 photographers and an event director). We got to hug. We got to kiss. We got to speak to each other about our day. It was absolute perfection and I wouldn't have changed one second of it for anything in this world.

So if you're thinking about it. Do it. And one other suggestion - try to find a place far away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Where no one else can see. We were originally planning to do our first look by the house where we were all staying for the weekend. That meant there was a very good chance people would be looking out windows, peaking around trees, etc. Being far away from everyone else ensured that we were able to have an intimate moment together to just take it all in.

Next up on the timeline - bridal party shots!

*all photos credited to Ward Photography

Wedding Wednesday