Wedding: Guest List, Attendants, Venue Shopping and My Decor Inspiration Board

7 Sep

I have jumped right into wedding planning. For someone who was never really that interested in having a wedding at all, I sure have embraced the idea quickly!

Of course, it helps that all of my friends and family are probably as excited about it as I am. I don’t think of my wedding day as my day — it’s OUR day — and not just for me and Zach. So many people have contributed to our relationship, love us, are cheering for us. That makes us a stronger couple so despite the fact that I never really was interested in having a wedding (I really thought we’d go the elopement or Justice of the Peace route), I’ve embraced it because I want to create a beautiful day that we can share with the people we care about the most.

Our plan for the day is a low-stress, lovely, DIY affair with some delicious food, drinks and a whole lot of love. So, we’ve started from the beginning.

Step 1: The Date
While this isn’t set in stone (I need to make sure we have a venue before I can say for sure), we have decided on September 28th, 2013. Fall in WV is a great time to have a wedding, as there are tons of trees changing colors. I also just love the fall!

Step 2: The Guest List
This part was the first tough part. I want to invite everyone, but we can’t. We have a very small budget. It’s very hard to figure out who to invite and who to leave off.  Right now we’re just adding everyone and figuring it out later.

Step 3: The Attendants
We both have picked the friends and family who will stand next to us while we commit to the rest our lives together. I can’t announce Zach’s picks yet, as he hasn’t asked them (I have — I’m way less patient than he is), so I’ll save introductions for another post.

Step 4: The Venue
We’ve started making appointments to look at venues, even though our guest list isn’t set in stone. As I’ve mentioned we are on a tight budget (prepare to hear that a lot), so right now I’m restricting my search to anything our Parks Board has to offer, which is a lot! Today, we went to see this place: 

St. Cloud Commons

At a very reasonable $170/day, I was excited about this, and they do have lots and lots of (pretty) outdoor space, with lots of trees (which will be great in the fall!)  The website says it seats about 100, but it’s very small. I don’t think we’d be able to fit 100 people in there having dinner, with a dance floor. So, St. Cloud Commons isn’t for us. On to the next one!

Step 5: Dreaming about everything!
I’ve just been spending pretty much all of my time thinking about how I want it to look (but that’s not as important as how it will feel), what I’d like my dress to look like, and how wonderful it will be to announce my intention to spend the rest of my life with my best friend to all of the people I love! I’m very excited! The other day I was going through Pinterest and dreaming about all the decor, table decorations, etc. when I put this together. I call it a ‘vision board’ for decor and table centerpieces:

Image source: Who knows! Pinterest!

Bright yellow mums, bottles painted grey (not blue like in the photo), tissue paper poms hanging from the ceiling. It’s all going to very DIY and fun.

So, yes. It’s all a big jumble of excitement right now, but I have no doubt I’ll be able to pull this together. I’ve been reading a few books too, which I highly recommend. I’m all about keeping wedding planning low-stress, as inexpensive as possible, and not making it all about the bride. I pledge to include Zach (when he wants to be included, sometimes he just doesn’t have an opinion and that’s fine) at all junctures, and rely on the expertise of my wise bridesmaids (they truly are). I also pledge to remember that the only thing that must happen on September 28th, 2013 is that we must end up married by the end of the day. Regardless of anything else, if we are married at the end of the day, it will be a success.

Here are the books I’ve been reading:

A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. This is a great book! It’s easy (even at the very beginning of wedding planning) to get caught up in the millions of details that wedding blogs, magazines, and even well meaning people want to tell you are so important, but Meg reminds us that the most important thing is getting married. One of the first exercises Meg has you do is to print out one of those exhaustive bridal checklists. Then, you take a red pen and circle the essential things. Which basically are: a person to marry, an officiant and clothes. That’s it. Then, take the green pen and circle the things that are most important to you. Not what everyone tells you is most important, but what you think is important. Then take the red pen again and cross everything else out. That doesn’t mean they won’t be included in your wedding, but it gives you permission to not stress out about it. That was a very fun exercise! You can also read Meg’s blog here.



Your Wedding Your Way by Sharon Naylor hits the same chord as Keene’s book. It’s not about tradition, it’s about what you want for your day. I know, above I said it’s not just your day, and that’s right, but it’s also not every Tom, Dick and Harry’s day either. I’ll be honest I just started this one, but so far it’s great.

You can find all of my book and DVD recommendations in my Amazon Store here.

Question of the day:
I want to hear about your wedding, or a fun wedding you’ve been to! Go! 


One Response to “Wedding: Guest List, Attendants, Venue Shopping and My Decor Inspiration Board”

  1. Sarah September 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Bill & I tried to go pretty low budget an I think we had a great day. Splurge on music, photos (or have those gifted) and do what YOU want. Just remember it won’t all go as planned and have fun! Also watch for David’s bridal sale. Hello $900 dress for $300!

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