December 7th, 2019 was hands down the most perfect day I could have ever dreamed up – everything was exactly how it was supposed to be… even if it wasn’t.
Meaning that everything didn’t go exactly as planned – but it went exactly how it was meant to. Take it from someone who is EXTREMELY detail-oriented, someone who spent hours planning everything down to the minute – YOU ARE GOING TO FORGET SOMETHING and SOMETHING MIGHT NOT GO EXACTLY AS PLANNED. And guess what? IT WILL BE OKAY – in fact, it will still BE PERFECT.
Now, I am not saying don’t plan or prepare – I am saying to plan and prepare up until a couple days before the wedding and then let it go and enjoy the ride. Anything that hasn’t been done 24-48 hours before the wedding isn’t getting done, it’s that simple.
All I know is that December 7th came and went quicker than I had a chance to realize – and the same group of people that came together for Shane and I will never be in the same room again… let that sink in.
You and yours will bring together a group of people from all over the place – a group of people that come together for one night to celebrate the two of you.. take that for what it is worth and don’t forget to cherish the moment.
Q: What mattered the most/least to you?
A: The venue definitely mattered the most to me – I wanted to create a space that was actually magical. I wanted our guests to walk in and just be speechless – hence the 45 real Christmas trees.
What mattered the least to me was honestly food. Obviously, I didn’t want gross food but after we picked a caterer that we liked, I wasn’t very picky. Food can rack up a big bill VERY quickly, especially with larger weddings. We had 200 people at our wedding so, we were feeding a lot of mouths. And let’s be honest, when you go to a wedding you are going for the party – the food is a nice gesture but really you are ready to dance and have a good time. At least that was the mentality I had.
Q: All the winter things! Getting married 1/2/2021 Winter details?
A: EEK! This is so exciting – I would get married in the winter over and over and over again as many times as I could.
- Obviously, the Christmas trees were a big winter statement for us.
- Our colors were dark green, gold, black, and pops of deep red – very wintery.
- We had a smores bar for dessert and it was served with hot cocoa.
- I got to wear uggs… that was fantastic.
- I ordered monogrammed flannel Christmas PJs for my bridesmaids.
- The bridesmaids were long sleeve green VELVET dresses.
- Shane wore a green velvet tuxedo jacket.
- We had an excuse to make it BLACK TIE.
- I was able to COMFORTABLY wear a long sleeve dress.
- The church was already decorated for Christmas so we didn’t have to add anything!
Q: Most expensive investment/cost of your wedding?
A: Our Christmas trees were hands down the most expensive part of our wedding – but the warmth and feeling of the venue was a top priority for me. I kept that in mind when budgeting other things. I would say it is important to identify the top three most important things to you before you starting planning – that way you can prioritize when budgeting.
Q: Fun things you did the morning of your wedding?
A: We all got ready together in the same hotel room – we had mimosas and bagels and laughed until we cried. All the girls surprised me with a “scrapbook” each girl had made a page with pictures and a letter. It was one of the most meaningful things I have ever received … I cried – of course, but it also brought back such good memories and confirmed that I had all the right people standing by my side on my big day.
Q: Where did you find your bridesmaid dresses?
A: Alright, are you ready for this? They came from Lithuania – BUT I FOUND THEM ON Etsy. Here’s the deal, since I can remember long sleeve green velvet dresses were my dream… so, here we are. The shop is called Desir Couture and she was amazing and extremely professional. I reached out to her and if she could send me the style I was looking at and the two colors I was between – when it came I was completely SHOCKED. They were perfect and the quality was impeccable. Also, she custom makes the dresses based on each girls’ measurements.
Q: How did you decide on a hairstyle?
A: First off, find yourself a stylist that you are completely comfortable with. I mean really comfortable. You want to be able to say when you don’t like something – I usually struggle with this because I am a people pleaser but then I met Danielle. Our initial trial went well, I was set on having my hair down – think old Hollywood curls. She did it, I liked it – or kept telling myself that anyways. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful but it just felt like a normal everyday hairstyle. I called her the next day and told her that II was unsure about my hair – I was back in her chair that afternoon. We experimented with the updo and I was sold.
Q: Weird question but did I see you wearing boots?
A: YAS! No shame in my UGG game.
Q: Party bus/limo?
A: Party Bus ALL THE WAY. Due to the fact that our wedding party was 18 bridesmaids/groomsmen plus Shane and me – we were limited. We also allowed plus ones/significant others and our parents. I WOULD DO THIS 100 TIMES OVER. I have been to plenty of weddings where I was a plus one and I awkwardly had to show up to the reception alone. As for our parents, that was a last-minute decision that I am so glad we made.
Q: Assigned seating?
A: If you are asking this question you haven’t met my family. HAHA, but no, absolutely not. There are too many people that have specific “tastes” in who they like and do not like. This was just an added stressor that seemed unnecessary to me. With that being said, we did count out how many family members we had and then put “Reserved for Family” on them. We let those people know ahead of time that they were to sit at one of the reserved tables.
Q: How did you serve dinner?
A: Stations. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Everything went smoothly. We had three stations – which meant three different lines, which ultimately meant people were getting fed fast.
Q: DJ or Band?
A: We had a DJ. Honestly a live band would have been really cool but they are extremely expensive and somtimes I feel like you can me limited on what songs they can perform. Also, a live band is going to have their vibe no matter what type of music so, if you go with a band make sure you REALLY like whatever that vibe is.
Q: Can’t decide about a wedding coordinator?
A: Okay, here’s the deal – I AM A CONTROL FREAK. If you know me, you know this is true. With that being said, I didn’t want someone doing all the work for me because I thoroughly enjoyed the planning aspect of it, and of course, I wanted to make sure everything was getting done to the degree that I wanted it.
However, I did hire a “day-of” coordinator and she was a no-bullshit kinda girl (just how I wanted her). We met a few times leading up to the wedding – I was extremely specific on what I wanted and how I wanted it and she made sure that happened on the day of the wedding.
Q: Your flowers were beautiful – what did you ask your florist for?
A: First off, thank you! Secondly, if I am being honest, my florist was perfect. She was in charge of the whole venue – the Christmas trees, the lighting, the table settings, EVERYTHING. While our venue was pretty extravagant, the flowers were not. I wanted simple. I pretty much went in a said, “Jodie, I want a winter bouquet that’s big, beautiful, has greenery and absolutely NO ROSES”. I ended up with perfection. Funny thing is, she actually did use a type of rose but it resembled a peony more than a rose. Also, she added berries which I absolutely LOVED.
Q: First dance song?
A: You Are The Reason By: Leona Lewis & Calum Scott
Q: Something you wished you could go back and do?
A: Honestly, I wish that I could go back and take a couple seconds to myself to stop and take a mental image of the reception – just to let it all soak in.
Q: Biggest thing you stressed about that didn’t matter in the end?
A: Okay, now that I am typing it – it sounds ridiculous but I was freaking out that groomsmen green bowties wouldn’t match the bridesmaid’s green dresses. I was also worried that we weren’t going to have enough bartenders per number of guests… couldn’t tell you what the bar even looked like at our wedding because I always had a full drink in my hand!
Q: Okay, I’m torn – first look or no?
A: This is completely a personal preference. Shane leaned more towards a traditional, no first look whereas I leaned more towards having a first look. We decided on doing a first look and I wouldn’t change a thing. I was a ball of nerves (obviously) – I was so anxious and needed something familiar, I needed to see Shane. Also, the fact that we were able to share a moment with just the two of us was extremely special.
Q: Did you have a kid friendly wedding?
A: Here’s the thing with this – you are always going to have someone that doesn’t agree with your decision. Short answer: no, we did not have a kid friendly wedding. Long answer: We had a black tie event, normal black tie events don’t include weddings. Very few of our friends have children and the ones that do were happy to have a date night. Almost all of our family even extended are over the age of 18. HOWEVER, my nieces and nephews were absolutely in the wedding – they also cam to the reception but left after dinner so the adults could PARTY. THIS IS YOUR WEDDING, DO WHAT YOU WANT.
We brought in 45 real Christmas trees for a local Christmas tree farm – I told our florist who was in charge of everything that I wanted a “posh” ski resort – not too rustic but definitely cozy and warm. The next day we allowed guests to take a Christmas tree home which everyone loved. We still had a few left and we donated them to the local children’s home.
One piece of advice, make your wedding unique to you. With Pinterest and social media it is easy to get caught up in the trends and lose your own touch in the process. I had dreamed of a winter wedding since I was a little girl. Not to mention, there was a handful of things I chose that people advised me against because they “had never seen it” – that only made me want to do it more. For example: my family is in the pizza business – so, right after the send off we had Pizza hut deliver 20 pizzas. Safe to say we were the favorite bride and groom.
Also, our day of coordinator kept us moving around the room when we were talking with people. I told her that grandparents and anyone we know that was leaving early were the most important. Because once the dance party started – you were only chatting with me if you were on the dance floor. I have been to far too many weddings wehre the bride and groom are never on the dane floo because they get caught up trying to say “hi” to ever single guest.
Last tip: ask your DJ/band to coordinate with your photographer and ask all guests to come to the dance floor for a group picture right before they open the dance floor. The pictures turn out epic and then when the music starts there are already people on the dance floor.
Most importantly just remember, take a deep breath and enjoy your day BECAUSE you are getting married and that is ALL that matters!