House Beautiful

Goooo-in To The Chapel And We’re…

Gonnnnnna get m-a-r-r-i-e-d?!?! Yup, my friends, I am officially a grown-up.  I’m gettin’ hitched.  The girl who still sleeps with her childhood stuffed bear and whose mom has her Barbie collection ready for her holiday visit this year is a-walkin’ down the aisle.  And you know what that means?  It means it’s time to start planning.   Won’t you join me?

I would lurrrrv to hear from y’all about the parts of your wedding that came together to make it truly unique and special.  Are there examples of DIYs you constructed that worked like a charm?  Was there a type of food/bridesmaid dress/song/vows that contributed to your day feeling like a fairytale?

With so many thoughts and ideas swimming around my head, the idea of putting everything together is at times totally daunting.  Yet slowly but surely I’m starting to explore the wedding blogs (aka PORN FOR WOMEN), various nuptial magz (eh, completely underwhelmed here), and many of my friends’ brains (thank you, homies!) for ideas, inspiration, practical advice… you catch my drift.

But first, in the great words of David Byrne in one of my all-time favorite songs, “Once In a Lifetime“, How did I get here?

It’s actually a cute lil’ ditty, about a Boy who met a Girl back in college.  They were friends, occasionally running into each other at Boy’s legendary frat parties (helloooooo PHI DELTS!).

Boy and Girl graduated and moved off in separate directions, presumably never to see each other again.

(W’sup, Dad!)

Until 10 years later, when Boy contacted Girl to inform her he was living a mere two hours away.  Well ya don’t say…..

So Girl drives down the California coast one weekend to see her pal from the glory days of ol’ college.  To their slight surprise, Boy and Girl experience something along the lines of a-thees:

Boy and Girl get to know the LA/San Diego route very well over the next year and a half as they fall in love…

And then, well, the rest is history.


So now, here we stand, with T-minus 359 days to go and a wedding fiesta to start planning (think Florida, beachy, sand-between-your-toes rustic chic nuptials).  Oh, goody.

So tell me, darling readers, what worked for you?  Anything you’d do differently? Did you have a signature cocktail?  Is a videographer necessary?  Any cost-cutting tips?  As my wedding will be a smaller to mid-sized affair, I plan to keep it intimate, fun, and most importantly full of love.

Luckily, there is something I’ve already taken care of – my photographers.  Bless you, glorious ladies at joielala.  I knew you were good this summer when you managed to make this humble Midwesterner look like something out of a James Bond movie:

So let’s jump in, head first, shall we?  Let the games begin….


11 Responses to “Goooo-in To The Chapel And We’re…”

  • OOOOH i LOVE that you are asking for advice and tips!! Ok here’s one that Gwen just started thinking about –the Exit! At the end of the night, what will you do to go out in style…sparklers… a really great song? etc…

    Ok, here’s another one of the cutest things i’ve seen at a wedding — in the program, they included a cute leetle story about how the bride and groom met… then why the reading was special to them (this would be great for grandma’s wedding poem), then they included a little something about each person in the wedding party…because there’s not much to do while you’re waiting in the church, you end up reading these cute things and you feel like you know the couple better…

    mwah mwah

  • Not sure if you’re doing a wedding party… but if so, I totally love mismatched bridesmaid dresses – I was in a wedding that did it that way (all same color family but whatever style). So fun and each girl can pick something right for her shape! But awesome and comfy shoes are a must…and they don’t have to be white! I know you’re a style pro, so probably preaching to the choir here.

    And totally agree with Melissa ’bout the program – the more personalized the better!

    Focus on good food, drink, and dancing and the rest will just fall into place!

    Congrats and happy planning!

    • Laura – such a good suggestion, and I was thinking of doing just that! I love the idea of my wedding party being comfortable and loving the dress they picked, because they picked it to fit their body, etc.

  • One little (or big) something that guests will never forget. My wedding was lakeside and I came in on an fancy wooden boat. I love that people still tell me how they loved my entrance and how unique it was. (ask steph…she was there!)

  • I loooove the idea of stories about the couple and wedding party!!!! Perfect touch. And I vote YES on the videographer- being able to relive your perfect day is priceless…

  • I once went to a wedding where they had a memory table by the guest book – it was for the loved ones, friends and family, that had passed. They had a single white roses, tall skinny vases, with a picture of the person, tied on a pretty ribbon around each individual vase. It was very special, not too much, but just enough!

    Congrats and Love, Gwen

  • Oh another one I loved – do something unique with the guest book!

    I went to a wedding where they took this funky, old, wooden box, and made it into an address book – they had cards for everyone to sign – and a place for them to put their address. So in the future, each time the couple went to look up an address, they could read the note their guest wrote them on their wedding day. AND the wooden box would look cool sitting out on disply!


  • In the coming year, spend as much time planning for your life together as you do for the wedding…

    And remember: I called it!


  • After being married for 5 years, I think the biggest thing are the photos that you will cherish and put up in your home! So obviously you picked awesome photographers… the second thing in my opinion is your dress! You do not want to save money on that. Get the dress that will make you smile looking back on your photos forever.. I loved my dress so much!
    you are going to be a GORGEOUS bride!! 🙂 🙂
    ps. I agree with Jennalynn.. although super special and once in a lifetime… your wedding day is ONE day…but you have the rest of your lives together. Also, plan an awesome honeymoon! that’s the bestttttttttttt! after stressful wedding planning. (clearly I could go on about this forever)..

  • I had a memory table at the reception with all of my husband’s and my Family and Friends that had past, along with white flowers on the alter for them at my wedding. It was a nice way to honor our loved ones. I also had my bridesmaids wearing different dresses but the same length and color. I had all types of body types including a pregnant woman and they all could feel comfortable in what they were wearing.
    I would recommend everything being done early..i.e. dollar dance/important family dances, toasts, flowers and garter toss…anything important be done early so everyone (elderly and young children) can enjoy everything. Also taking photos before the wedding is a nice, so after the wedding you can get to the party. You can still see your soon to be hubby before the photos and have your own moment just the two of you. I would recommend someone taping your wedding too…I didn’t think I cared and then someone’s gift to us was a film crew and I loved watching our “big day”! The day will go far too fast to remember all of it. I would also say try to drink champagne right before you walk down the aisle…..your face will get too hot while you’re standing up saying all your vows! Also try to make a list of the photos you really want to be taken (family members, a silly photo of just the girls…or whatever).…I know you’ll look beautiful on the day, but it’s nice to know you have thought about what photos you’ll want in the future. All of them might be taken but it’s nice to think ahead of what you know you want. Also the big four: Something new, old, borrowed and blue can be used for more than one like an old blue borrowed something (I used my great grandmother’s blue hankie).
    But most of all…you’re getting married, nothing else matters. Flowers will not be perfect, your hair might turn into a side ponytail (happened to me) or a great many of things but no matter what you’re getting married to the man you’re in love with.

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