Featuring a REAL BRIDE : Noelle
After ONE whole year of wedding planning — I’m here to offer some encouragement and advice to help all you future brides out there beginning this journey. The owner of P3 Events, Lindsay, asked me to sit down and write about a fresh, bride’s perspective in wedding planning and I just couldn’t say no!
While my personal process may look different than yours, I am here to talk about the honest UPS and DOWNS and INBETWEENS of your engagement. So without further ado, here’s the beginning of my wedding planning story:
Hello everyone! I am Noelle, and believe it or not— I’m getting married in T-23 days. WOW!!! I am from the sunny state of California, but I also am a behind-the-scenes team member of P3 Events. So, not only am I planning my wedding, but also IN the wedding industry!
How Our Story Began
My fiancé and I became engaged on October 9th and we have been dating for almost 5 years! We are high school sweethearts, and could not be more excited to walk through marriage together. The beginning of our wedding planning journey began when he proposed to me at a Brad Paisley concert (photos below). I absolutely loved the ring he picked out + though we had been talking about engagement, this was a complete surprise proposal to me!
Besides the “love” part of getting married, the moment I got engaged — a part of me was stoked to start planning! If you’re like me, then you’ve been dreaming of your wedding since you were a little girl. My Pinterest board was already filled with ideas. But while my mind envisioned a fairytale, I remember feeling the pressure of wedding planning early on.
The first challenge you face is the number #1 asked question: “So, when is the date?” Which I guarantee is already starting to get annoying. While your friends and family mean well, you feel more pressured to pick a venue & give them an answer. My best advice is to be honest: say “we don’t have a date picked out yet, but we will let you know when” or “no clue! We haven’t started planning and enjoy JUST being engaged right now.”
**TIP: It is more than okay to be honest, and upfront with where you are at in planning. Don’t let people’s questions or opinions RUSH your experience.
The Venue Hunt
This is going to be your most stressful task on the checklist — BUT don’t let that scare you. I was terrified my dream wedding venue would get “snatched up,” before I could book it (which is so silly now looking back). Yes, you want the perfect venue, but take your time! You’ll want to establish your wedding budget before you find a venue to ensure it fits within your comfortability. My tips for keeping an ORGANIZED wedding budget would be — keep track of your spending & money people give you. AND use a platform. I used Aisle Planner (paid) and the Knot (unpaid).
**TIP: Most importantly, do your research! Read those wedding planning blogs because finding your venue blogs are the most helpful ones you’ll read. They tell you exactly what you need to look for & what kinds of questions to ask.
For example: My fiancé and I are having a smaller, destination wedding in the country. We desired fresh air, mountains and open space, which lead us to a venue on a lake (pictured below):
Putting Together Your Wedding Style
My favorite part of wedding planning was choosing the style & colors. If you are no expert in design like I am, inquire the help of a wedding planner! Not only are they skilled in wedding design, but a wedding planner remembers all the things you forget and will guide you every step of the way (note: make sure design/styling is a specialization your wedding planner has if you want them to rock your world). Planning your wedding is a whole world of information for new brides-to-be. Getting an expert may be the best decision you ever make!
Our wedding style was very on trend with the season of our wedding, FALL. And since the groom and I are bound by love for country music, we choose the theme of our wedding as country with a twist of modern. **TIP: Pinterest, Instagram, and Tiktok has inspiring ideas, however, don’t say YES to all the “trends” if they don’t reflect you and your partner’s personalities (you may regret it later).
My FALL Pinterest inspo for our wedding below:
Finding the DRESS!
The moment I got engaged, I went looking for my wedding dress. I mean who doesn’t want to dance around in pretty dresses all day? I spent the first 3 months looking for my dress, however I recommend holding off on dress shopping until you’ve locked down your style, budget, and venue.
Go to a few dress appointments and don’t expect to find “the one” right away. I personally went with a small group of people, and I feel this is BEST. My mom, sister, and grandma accompanied me for the first dress appointment and thought I found “the one” there. However, I also booked an appointment with my three best friends (and bridesmaids), where I actually DID find the one. Later on, I even got a second dress for the reception/dancing portion since my dress ended up being so large.
Unfortunately, I can’t show you that one until after my wedding day, but here’s a few runner ups:
Now, if I were to sit down and write about all of my experiences in the last year of wedding planning—you’d be reading a novel! For my closing advice, I want to just say, live in the moment. Life still passes on in the days leading up to your wedding and you don’t want to waste all of them thinking about your wedding. Rejoice in the blessings you receive and the love you have for your fiancé.
Look! Here is my groom and I after we got marriage license!! Which quite literally humbled me to slow down and love on him in the days leading up to our wedding.
Overall, I really enjoyed the wedding planning process but I am thankful it is a once in a lifetime type of experience. If you’ve booked a planner — you just did yourself a huge favor! Lean on them throughout the wedding process and they will keep you on track. And equally, I feel very grateful for this season of my life. I hope this at least gives you some peace of mind and encourages you to get started on your own wedding planning journey now!