It’s been an exciting few months planning our wedding – which is right around the corner on August 28th. Chris and I got engaged on October 4th, 2009 in the very beautiful Napa Valley at Quintessa. As someone who has planned professional events, I always thought wedding planning would be easy breezy. I actually joked that 12 months was plenty of time to get it all together and that I could probably do it in 3. Alas, I was wrong. I should say, this all depends on the type of wedding you have and the scope and budget you are looking at. Also, if you are doing it full-time, 3 months could work. But, for the average couple out there who also have full-time jobs, wedding planning can be quite an adventure.
(photo credit: http://aweddingjourney.blogspot.com/)
The next few posts on this blog are meant to serve as a guide for those going through this exciting journey.
I hope that the experiences I share here help inform your process. And if you happen to be considering a wedding in the lovely state of New Jersey – hopefully you learn about all the cool things that Red Bank, NJ (and the immediate surrounding area) has to offer.
Before we start this exploration, I wanted to share a few core ideas that informed our process:
- We loved the idea of a destination wedding but wanted our special day to be accessible to older relatives (who mostly live in New Jersey). We happen to be lucky enough to live in a “destination” – so we decided to go with a wedding weekend in our very own Monmouth County – specifically Red Bank. (There are lots of other choices at the beach in Jersey that are NOTHING like the show Jersey Shore – so check out the many great options).
- Local is the new global! After deciding to stay local, we committed to supporting ONLY local companies in the process. We wanted to work with vendors that were close by and that are part of our community. It’s a great community and businesses here put an emphasis on the customer’s experience. It’s sophisticated yet still with a beach vibe (and close to NYC)! On a side note – working with vendors all in one location made planning efficient and much easier.
- We specifically wanted a small wedding party – one best man, one matron of honor and a few kiddies (1 ring bearer and 2 flower girls). This was important to me especially – and again, made life much easier to plan. Can you see a theme here?
- We did not get a wedding planner, but I definitely could see the benefit of using this service. The cost may be worth it for some of you. I did interview a few people, but by the time I brought them into the process so much was already planned and it wasn’t worth it for us. That said – I do have staff supporting us the day of (not necessarily a “professional” wedding planner – but event coordinators that will undoubtedly put my mind at ease).
- I am a Digital bride. Big surprise there right? For me, it all started with the master spreadsheet. But I also wanted to find the right mix of online services as well as traditional print communications. We have this wonderful website (created by ContentRobot and hosted by BlogonCloud9) but we did do print invitations as well. The Save the Date was a video though! I’ll be exploring this theme more as we go.
- It’s your wedding, but it’s not just about you. We learned through the process that there are a lot of expectations to meet. Unless you are eloping, my suggestion is to try and be flexible. Took me a little while to get that one, but I learned.
- On a similar note, I will also say – keep an open mind. While I had some thoughts about fun things I enjoyed at other weddings and even some visions of my own – you don’t really know until your there, making a decision. It will ease the stress if you just go with the flow.
Ok – here we go. Hope you enjoy learning more about our journey.