Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Q+A

I took to instastories early last week to ask you all what you wanted to see in terms of posts for the upcoming month! I got an overwhelming amount of requests to do a wedding Q+A with you all!

I was a bit hesitant to do this because I obviously want there to be lots of surprises when it comes to our wedding. Answering a bunch of questions felt like a lot might be given away! Many of you did ask questions that I won't be sharing until after our wedding, but there were also a lot of questions that will be fun to answer now! This is going to be a lot of text, so thanks for sticking with me!! 

What is your favor?
We are not doing favors. I will elaborate in a full blog post on this one! 

What type of flowers are you doing?
I like flowers, but this is honestly something that is not a priority for me (probably shocking for some, I know). By hiring a great florist, they will be able to execute my vision and choose flowers that are seasonally appropriate as well as look beautiful with the setting, too. For flowers, I asked for a 'dinner party vibe' in that nothing is over-the-top or ostentatious. I want the entire look to have a classic, understated elegance to it. Even when it comes down to my bouquet, I truly do not care what flowers are in the bouquet and I asked for a very small bouquet for both me and my sister. I loved how Meghan Markle's bouquet was a beautiful addition but not showy and did not detract from her or her dress. You can see my initial inspiration, here

How are you doing your hair for your wedding?
Courtney Benedetti will be doing my hair for our wedding. She is phenomenal and I am so excited to have her be a part of our wedding weekend. She will be doing my hair for our rehearsal dinner, my hair/my sister's/my mom's hair for the wedding day, and my hair again for our reception that evening. I am not sharing how I am wearing my hair in these three different styles until after the wedding! For the longest time, I was actually planning on doing my hair myself for the entire weekend. I still have full confidence that I could execute this, but I really think there is something 'special' about having someone else do things for you. I think the feeling of being pampered will make that weekend stand out from any other weekend, and ultimately, that's why I decided to have my hair done professionally!

Are you glad you did not hire a planner or do you wish you did?
For those of you who are new here or don't know, I worked for an incredible and well-respected event planner for 2 years (my first job out of college!) here in Pittsburgh. I quite literally learned from the best and so I never once needed to research vendors or do anything that a first-time planner might need to do.

We are also having a wedding on the smaller end of the spectrum which is always easier to manage and we are having our wedding at a venue where I not only know the staff and how capable they are, but they are well-known for their great service and capabilities.

With that said, I truly cannot imagine planning a wedding without having any event experience and not knowing about the vendors in whatever city you live in. I also think things get trickier with a very large guest count or something with a ton of moving parts....which our wedding doesn't have. Had we come up with a large guest list or had we been using an event space that required a lot of moving parts, even with my event experience, I would have hired a planner. Event planning is no joke. There is a reason that it is a huge industry. Had I not had any event experience, I would have 110%, without a doubt hired, a planner. I not only think it's worth the time and money, but it's worth it to save your sanity, too. 

What are your mom and the mother-of-the-groom wearing?
I will not be sharing what they are wearing until after! We haven't settled on dresses just yet. My mom has tried a ton of different ones and just this past weekend we landed on one that might be *the* dress. I truly do not care what anyone wears to my wedding in terms of color, etc. I want everyone in attendance to be dressed in what makes them feel their best. We are, however, doing black-tie so it is my hopes that everyone follows that... and if they don't, it's not for me to notice or to worry about! 

How involved is your fiancé? Your parents?
My parents and Andrew are pretty involved, but since I was the event planner, I'm the one that is leading the charge. I have been having fun showing them the ropes. I am one of those people that is very gung-ho. If something needs to be taken care of, I will do it with gusto and have no problem doing it- in fact, I'd prefer to do it, ha! 

My parents have shared their opinions on things, but they ultimately let Andrew and I make the decisions. I feel very lucky because I haven't once felt any pressure or stress coming from my parents. They are my support! I am glad to have my dad equally as involved as my mom. He has gone to all of the meetings, he came to all of the dress shopping appointments, etc. ! It's a special time for mother and daughter, but we are a close family and it has been so important to me for my dad to be equally included! 

As for Andrew, as a person, he is the most relaxed human I have ever met! He does have his opinions, though, and it's so much fun to see what he likes/dislikes/what's important to him. For example, I did not feel the need to send out save-the-dates. It just wasn't something I planned on prioritizing, but for Andrew, he considered that to be important, so we are sending them out! I don't make a single decision without sharing it with Andrew first. After all, it's our wedding. 

And I would be remiss not to mention how great Andrew's family has been. Just like him, they are so laid back and flexible and don't pressure us or add any stress to this exciting time! 

The hardest part of wedding planning? Favorite part?
I think the hardest part is having patience! The anticipation of the big day is SO exciting and it's hard to even imagine what that weekend will be like! In that same breath, I'd say that that is my favorite part, too! Chatting about the day with my fiancé is so exciting and having such a momentous occasion to look forward to is thrilling! In random moments throughout this time in our life, one of us will say to the other, 'we are getting married!' and we get giddy with excitement. I know that sounds so cheesy, but the happiness of this time in life is something I will cherish forever. 

How do you keep all of your planning stuff straight?
I have a tab in my e-mail to organize wedding-related correspondence. I have a folder on my hard drive with all of the wedding documents and within that, they are categorized by folders labeled with things like 'guest lists', 'contracts', etc. These docs are backed up on my external hard drive and Dropbox (this is just how I handle every single file on my computer, too). Once a document is 'final' I move it to a different dropbox folder so I can access it anywhere. I also have a big binder divided out with printed versions of items. Everything is sectioned with dividers for different parts of the big day. The idea behind the binder is that anyone with that binder should be able to execute our wedding day. 

What is your sister wearing?
We literally have no idea yet, ha! I told Callie that she can wear whatever gown she wants. No matter the color, style, etc. I want her to feel her best! She is my maid of honor and I am not having a bridal party, so the world is her oyster in terms of dresses she can choose- she is not limited to just bridesmaid dresses! We have been looking everywhere from Neiman Marcus to ASOS, and haven't found anything showstopping just yet. We'll see! I will say that in terms of colors, we are definitely going to make sure that whatever dress my mom and sister and MOG, end up choosing, they will at least somewhat coordinate in terms of colors so the photos look cohesive! So for example, no one will be wearing lime green and red in the photos, ha! 

Do you plan on fake tanning before the wedding?
This is TBD and will most likely be a last-minute decision. I will likely get a spray tan with my girl, Dina. She is the best and I totally trust her. Her tans look SO natural and never fake or orange. I have gone to her before so I know what to expect. She does 2-3 coats depending on the color you want. I have done both 2 and 3 coats before so I will likely do just 2, but who knows! Game time decision right here! If you are in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend her. 

What flavor cake are you having? Are you having a cookie table?
No clue about the cake- it's not something I have a strong opinion about, though! We won't be doing any tastings that until January, so this is still TBD. Whatever my fiancé wants, I'll be happy with. YES to the cookie table!!!! I know some of you may think a cookie table sounds tacky, but it's a tradition for Pittsburghers (this tradition is so big and so popular, that even the New York Times wrote about it, this article is great, too) to have a cookie table at your wedding. I love Pittsburgh so much and so any way Pittsburgh can be involved is great! I so look forward to the cookie tables at each wedding we go to! I also love this because our wedding will be so formal and the cookie table is something that is more casual and homemade- it's a personal touch that pays homage to the city I love so much. 

Would you consider yourself traditional or more modern?
Overall, I tend to skew more traditional in my aesthetics and execution. I would say my opinions are more modern, though. In terms of literal traditions, there are a lot of wedding traditions we are not doing, but flipside, there is a lot that we are doing!

Will you be sharing your registry? Will you have a traditional registry or will you have a honey fund?
I will share our registry, definitely! I know most couples have registries, and it has been so much fun to create one! At the same time, it feels so odd to request gifts. It feels 'greedy' if that makes sense. I've shared my thoughts on this with family and friends and all have expressed to us that they would love for us to have a registry because they want to give us gifts! It's so generous and thoughtful and I completely respect their wishes- I mean I would never not give someone a wedding gift, you know? So I get it. We will have a traditional registry. We won't be registering for any type of 'funds'. It is not for us. You do you!

We are honestly just grateful for those who are able to celebrate with us and that is enough.

Do you plan on wearing sashes/tiaras/etc.?
No sashes, no crowns, none of that! I don't like things that say 'Mrs.' or 'Bride' or 'Wifey' or anything like that! It's just a personal preference-no judgment here- I know so many who do like that kind of stuff! Again, you do you!

Will you wear white to all of your bridal events?
I already have my shower and rehearsal dress and they are both white, so yes! However, it's not really a priority for me to always be in white. If I find a pink dress and I want to wear for a bridal event, I will happily wear it. I will say, in general, I prefer to wear white... I feel my best in white button-downs, white eyelet dresses, white jeans, etc. so this is one of those times in life where I can wear all the white I want hah!

Are you inviting children to your wedding? If not, how did you let people know?
This was such a popular question. We are having a flower girl and ring bearer (my fiancé's niece and nephew). Otherwise, no children will be invited. Many of you asked how to make it clear to guests that no children are invited. The short and simple answer: your child is not invited to the wedding unless their name is clearly spelled out on the envelope. Long answer...

If you are inviting children, you would address the outer envelope to Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. Then, on the inner envelope, you would address it to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and then on the lines below, you add in the children's names. The inner envelope is also where you would add 'and guest', too. We're doing an inner and outer envelope so this is how we will be addressing things! An outer envelope is there to protect the invitation when it goes through the mail.

If you are not doing an inner and outer envelope, you can add the children's names on separate lines on the envelope under the parent's names.

If children are not invited, their name will not appear on the invitation. It's really that simple and clearcut!!!

If you are having a more casual wedding or whatnot, this might not apply to you! I'm no expert- but I'll be sharing a Q+A with my stationer (in a few weeks) who will be sharing tips and tricks for all things wedding paper! You stationer should be able to guide you in the appropriate direction, too! 


Anonymous said...

I was wondering what made you decide to not have a bridal party (I apologize if that’s being too nosy)?
My daughter felt the same as you about registering for gifts, but she realized that most Invited guests prefer to shop from a registry.
As for children not being invited, apparently that can be a sticky situation. I know someone who lost a lifelong friend because their child wasn’t invited to her son’s sad and so ridiculous.
I’m sure every detail of your big day will be lovely!

Summer Wind said...

Anonymous, I chat about the bridal party here:

I have heard so many stories about children coming to weddings where they were not invited! I couldn’t believe it! Luckily there are very few couples invited to our wedding who have children under 18, so it won’t be an issue for us and I never really gave it a second thought until I was asked this so much!

Anonymous said...

While your suggestion re: kids SEEMS clear cut, unfortunately it isn’t so. In my experience, people will assume they have plus ones and that their kids are invited regardless of how the invitation is addressed. There’s no one-size-fits all answer, but if a bride’s guest pool includes a lot of people with kids, I would recommend they consider including “adult only” reception on the invitation. I don’t love the phrasing, but as the above poster said, some people are very offended about the kids thing and I think it’s best to make it explicit to avoid conflict (for brides that think this might be an issue). I only had a few guests with kids and just reached out individually to let them know that children weren’t invited, but to let me know if they needed help to arrange childcare. Offering this up can help soften the blow.

Hannah R said...

I just read the blog post you linked about your bridal party! I am not currently engaged but Im at the stage of life where my friends are either engaged or are a bridesmaid in someone else wedding. It definitely sounds overwhelming. From purchasing gift boxes for 8-10 bridesmaids to planning a bachelorette, and some being upset with the duties, etc it gets out of control haha! I know I've already been thinking when it comes time for my wedding I will most likely decide against having a bridal party so I'm excited you posted you decided the same.

My question is that on the day of, will you somehow coordinate with your photographer to have a few photos with your closest gals? I feel like I would just want a few professional shots to keep for memories!

Summer Wind said...

Hannah, yes, I have a shot list for our photographer and different groups of girlfriends are on that list! Definitely, want to make sure I get all of the important photos in, but just don't feel the need for the stress of a formal bridal party!

Anonymous said...

I love all of your floral inspiration. I went for a similar vibe, and also did the simple Megan Markle-like bouquet. I used only Lily of the Valley for my bouquet, and only whites and greens in the decor with candles and wouldn't change a thing. To each her own, but I tend to think a large bouquet can be overwhelming to a woman and look too put together (as opposed to just gathered). Candles with simple florals also make such a difference in creating the mood of romance and elegance. I am linking my Pinterest wedding board with photos of my wedding and my inspiration for anyone else looking for a similar vibe:


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