Shalese & Robert Plan a Wedding: What We’ve Done So Far!

Jul 11

I always knew I would blog about planning my wedding.  Honestly, it’s mostly for myself because like I’ve said, this blog is my journal, and I think this is a really special, fun chapter.  I also hope that I may be able to help some brides!

I’ve worked in the wedding industry since I graduated college in 2012.  After working in a law office in Harrisonburg, I’ve never had a job that wasn’t wedding related!  If there’s one thing I’m an expert in . . . it would be weddings.  I understand them.  I love them.  But planning my own KIND OF scares the crap out of me.

If there’s one thing I want to make sure I remember (and help other brides remember!), it’s this: don’t take it so seriously.  Trust me, I’ve already experienced why that’s so hard to do!  So many small decisions seem monumental.  And people have so many expectations!  Someone commented on one of our engagement posts, “Your wedding is going to be EPIC!”  While that was so sweet, it was the first time very early on that I realized how much pressure a bride feels to be EPIC.  Unique.  Cool.  Detail-orientated.  Creative.  It’s kind of terrifying.

So, I haven’t talked about wedding plans much yet, but we’ve still been putting a few things together, slowly but surely!  Here’s what we’ve nailed down so far, in order.  Because having priorities is important.

Step One

We got engaged. EEEEEEK!!!  When I went to Caroline’s workshop in January, one of the first questions she asked was, “What are some goals everyone has this year?”  Because I believe in breaking the ice with humor, I said under my breath, “GET ENGAGED.”  Well . . . goal achieved.  HAHA

Step Two

We talked about general dates.  While we were traveling between Cinque Terre & Rome, Robert and I picked late October because we are both Winter lovers who hate being hot.  Easy decision!

Step Two and a Half

We’re getting married at the Mill.  DUH!  Actually, this was something I went back and forth on.  I didn’t necessarily want to get married a) where we work and b) where both of our sisters got married.  But then I realized I was being dumb.  We JUST renovated the Mill, and I got to be a part of a LOT of design decisions.  I mean, I got to design the perfect bridal suite with HELLA NATURAL LIGHT and gorgeous white cabinets.  Why wouldn’t I want to get married here?!

We are doing the ceremony outside at Robert’s parent’s house.  There is ONE THING I’ve always known about my wedding ceremony, and that was that I would be getting married in front of the mountains.  Done and done.  🙂

Step Three

Text Heather.  When I pictured my wedding day, I pictured Heather there with me.  She’s basically going to be my photographermaid, which means she’s going to come wearing what she wants and also sit at the bridal party table so I can make sure she gets fed at dinnertime.  IS THAT OKAY, Heather?!

Step Four

My very next text was to my hair stylist/makeup artist and friend, Britny!!

For years now, the only person who colors my hair is Britny.  She’s KIND OF Richmond famous these days — I make my color appointments several months in advance!  I don’t think there’s anyone who does blondes better.  I also don’t think there’s anyone who does up do’s better!!

SO!  When it came to finding a hair and makeup team (I’ll have me, 5 bridesmaids, and 2 moms!), Britny and Ashley were no brainers!  Britny trained Ashley in the color department, and now she is rocking balayages and slaying up do’s!  But of course, they are both crazy in demand, so I texted Britny from Rome.  She had ONE October 2019 date left, and it was one that I wanted!  That’s how we landed on October 26, 2019.  🙂

Step Five

I have written/edited enough articles about this to know that I wanted a videographer! I actually wrote an article for Richmond Weddings where we pulled together all kinds of quotes from vendors and brides who regretted not having a wedding video or cherished the one they had.  All of those quotes have stuck with me, so I did some price shopping!

I actually referred back to a post in a photographers’s group that I’m in where everyone named some videographers they loved.  I clicked on several different websites and reached out to White Flair Productions who, funny enough, Heather recommended!  Josh and I clicked right away via email with Office quotes . . . because he took the time to visit MY website!!  The Office quotes plus the fact that he’s worked with Heather multiple times PLUS his great package options made it an easy decision.

I will say this: I got quotes from 3 different videographers and found pricing on the websites of several others.  Videography is EXPENSIVE.  More expensive than my own wedding photography packages!  This was definitely a luxury expense for me.  I’m paying for this part myself because I truly believe I would regret it if I didn’t.  I’ve been waiting a very long time to marry Robert, and I want to be able to watch our First Look and our vows and our PARTY for years to come.  But there’s another great reason for me to make this investment . . . it’s going to be a great marketing piece for the Mill!  😉

Step Six

Take a break.  By the time I had done all of this, we were getting CLOSE to my sister’s wedding, so I put my planning on pause & focused on that.  We also had a LOT of Spring weddings at the Mill, but we are about to have a nice break from weddings every weekend!  That’s the perfect time to relax a little, then get a few more vendors nailed down before Fall wedding season takes over my life.

Honestly, my goal is to have everything booked this year.  Florist, cake, band/DJ, etc.  I want it all taken care of before 2019!  That way, I can spend the months leading up the wedding doing the creative stuff because . . . I don’t think I’m good at that part, and I want to take my time!  We’ll see if it works that way.  Stay tuned!

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