I started planning our wedding—actually starting to buy things and solidify ideas—probably in February. We got engaged in December and, while I already had things I KNEW I would want to buy/make, it was hard for me to start that process right away, with the wedding being ten months away. I was certain about who I wanted to make our invitations, so I started that process right away. And with that, things just happened. Some ideas I attached myself to, like the handmade place mats, and some just didn’t work. I love the look of having different plates (preferably cool, vintage china), but knowing we’d have a fairly large wedding, PLUS the mismatched place mats… it became an idea that just needed to be let go. That’s what my whole summer became. Reeling in a ton of ideas and throwing a lot of them out.
It’s a good idea to start off with an idea of what you want your wedding to feel like. The atmosphere. Classy or casual? Traditional or unique? So on and so on. We knew off the bat we wanted a simple wedding that felt like you were getting together for a casual picnic with oh, 175 of our nearest and dearest. With that comes a certain look and style. We could also be more casual when it came to plates (paper plates from Costco!) and silverware (from Costco!), since our catering was a homecooked “picnic” meal.
I was reluctant throughout the planning process to go through with two days of events. I held question marks over a lot of factors: Would people come? We have to plan another meal? How are we going to entertain everyone?… However, this turned out to be hugely successful, and we were so thankful for the cooperative weather! The best part was that we got to spend ample time with everyone. Pretty much everyone came on both days, and thanks to Adam’s awesome family, we fed everyone haystacks, hot cider and hard cider, and over a dozen friends made cookies. Everyone pitched in and it was so much fun. My brothers sang a hilarious song they wrote for us, and numerous friends played music ’til dark. If you’re up for the extra work, I’d highly recommend it!
We tried to reflect more about the meaning of our wedding, you know, the actual getting married part, than what it would mean for us to get all the cool little details that make weddings sparkly and neat. Our ceremony was planned with our pastor and his wife as we went about marriage counseling. We chose scripture that we based the message off of, and wrote our own vows. For our unity symbol, we gave all our guests candles that were lit as we exchanged rings and our friends sang a song, signifying the bond between us and our friends and family who have been such a valuable part of our lives. It was a very special moment for us, where we could take a deep breath and look out at all our guests. Things like that can’t be too rehearsed, but it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the wedding.
For our cocktail hour, guests enjoyed homemade fruit slush—a favorite refreshing snack of ours—while we finished up taking photos. The reception was very laid back; people played corn hole, ate a lot of food, listened to music, wrote stories and well wishes on the post cards we left on the tables, and enjoyed a beautiful fall day. For our “exit” we all gathered in front of the Hobson House and Keesha took pictures of all of us together, waving and high-fiving.
When all is said and done, there were definitely glitches. The frozen fruit slush was very much frozen as opposed to slushy by the time it was served, but friends immediately stepped up and pounded away at it until it was perfect. By the time the reception rolled along we realized we really didn’t plan a whole lot of details after the ceremony, but who would have noticed besides us? It’s kind of the way Adam and I roll. If things are planned to a T, something’s bound to go out of place. And for some reason, it all worked out. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing (except for getting sick immediately after everyone left). My advice is to set goals throughout the planning process, and get things done ahead of time. If people say they can help, use them! It turns into such a fun process when more people get involved. On the day of, let people take care of things… no one wants to see a frantic bride. My aunt from Iowa flew down a week early to be an extra set of hands as we finished up place mats, bouquets and other little details, which was a huge help (thanks Aunt Mim!).
Focus on what’s important. Keeping that simple idea in mind made our weekend simply wonderful.
A final note by Keesha: And so ends the story of Katie and Adam’s wedding planning process and their entire wedding experience….And so begins their new life together! I hope that you enjoyed this series! If you happened to miss any of these great posts, click on the ‘categories’ drop-down menu above and find, ‘wedding planning’. (Fourteen fun posts that started way back in July!) Thanks so much, Katie, for sharing your thoughts!