I was so thrilled to be engaged and excited to get married but I was not looking forward to all of the stress of planning a wedding. According to my friends who had been married before me, the planning process could get pretty intense and I decided from day one that I wanted it to be as simple as possible.
My fiance and I live in Florida but my entire family lives in Ohio so we planned a trip up north to nail down as many wedding details as we could fit into one weekend. Once we finalized a location and a date (my hometown and 7 months away from when we got engaged, why wait?) it was time to figure out the next most important detail, the dress.
As someone who works in the fashion industry I knew finding the perfect dress would not be an easy task for me. I didn't know exactly what I wanted but I knew exactly what I didn't want: no satin (too shiny), no all over lace (everyone does it), no strapless (too much adjusting), you get the idea. After doing HOURS of online research, I had found a measly two dresses that I was interested in trying on. Two out of the thousands of beautiful options available! Apparently I am very picky.
For my wedding dress selection panel I had chosen my mom, my best friend and matron of honor, and my aunt. Off we went to the first stop, imagining a beautiful bridal salon with floor to ceiling mirrors, crystal chandeliers and champagne. This was going to be great! Little did we know we were walking into our first I Guess I Do moment.
We were instantly brought down to earth as we entered our first shop. Swarming with people and packed to the brim with dresses kept in clear plastic garment bags, this was not the glamorous experience we had envisioned. To top it off we were told there was a dressing room shortage, so after changing into dresses in front of my entire group PLUS another bride and her mother, we decided this wasn’t the place for us.
Thankfully we moved on to our next appointment where we had the wonderful experience that we were hoping for, and I found THE dress, a beautiful silk georgette, tiered skirt Hayley Paige dress with floral beaded bodice. It was one of the options I had found online, so it was meant to be!
Now on my husband’s family’s culture:
My husband Marshall’s family is from a small island in the south pacific called Kiribati. For weddings it is customary for family and friends to perform a series of song and dance to wish the happy couple good luck and welcome the new family into their culture. We did not know exactly what to expect from their performance, it could have been a total I Guess I Do moment at the reception, but it was definitely the highlight of night. My mother in law and her family and friends got together every night the week of the wedding to work on their performance for the wedding and they did not disappoint!
Tip for a stress free wedding: Don’t sweat the small stuff! Choose which parts of your day are most important to you and focus on those, keep less important aspects as simple and stress free as possible. You want your engagement and your big day to be filled with memories of fun times and family, not of stressful tears and panic. The cake and wedding programs were not on the top of my priority list so for the cake I found a photo of a cake that I liked online and emailed it to the bakery. That was the last I thought about it and on the day of it was beautiful! I took a similar approach with the programs and they ended up being just fine.
Photographer: Ian Pascoe Venue/Food/Cake: The Oscar Event Center DJ: DJ Toad Florist: Bryan's Flowers Dress: Hayley Paige via Amanda's Hyde Park Bridal (Awesome experience! Would definitely recommend) Bridesmaid Dresses: Victoria's Secret Catalog Knife Pleat Maxi (Under $150!!)