Planning a wedding is easily the most enjoyable yet stressful part of being engaged. The excitement of counting down the days until you spend the rest of your life with your soul mate is also met with the stress of selecting bridesmaid dresses, organizing guest lists, and planning seating charts.
Shortly after getting engaged, I purchased The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer from Barnes n Nobles. Created by the wedding site The Knot, this planner was my Holy Grail leading up to November 10th. I went to every meeting, dress fitting, and tasting with it in hand. I strongly recommend this book for every bride-2-be who is particular about details or if you lack direction. This book is a great guide to help set you on the right path.
For me, wedding planning was a breeze. For the most part, I had my wedding planned out on Pinterest way before there was a ring (we dated for seven years, which gave me ample time to plan, lol). I consider myself a very meticulous person; I usually know what I want and how I want it done. However, as much as I enjoy planning a successful event, I often stray away from the idea because of the internal pressure I place on myself. Unfortunately for me, I was planning my life’s biggest party and there was no escaping. The pressure was on to make sure my wedding was nothing short of a good time. If I wasn’t placing enough pressure on myself, I had added help from the countless members of the peanut gallery who never failed to remind me that in their mind this was going to be the “wedding of the year.” I never wanted my wedding to be THE wedding. I just wanted it to be MY wedding, and whether or not it met everyone else’s expectations, I didn’t care because it met mine.
Although my ideas and organizational skills played a role in having the wedding of my dreams, I cannot take all credit. I had an AMAZING wedding planner and decorator, Wallie Sharpe. I also had the BEST bridesmaids who went above and beyond to ensure I had everything I needed to make my day special.
I wanted to share a few tips/ideas of what I did to make my wedding an unforgettable experience. As I said, I am big into details and final touches, so below are a list of things I did to make my big day – MY day.
Personalized Wine Bottle Favor:
Wedding favors are a great way to say thank you to your guest for attending your special day. I wanted to do something different, as opposed to the typical ” thank you” fridge magnet. Jovan and I had 200 personalized bottles of wine. Our guest could choose between red, white, and non-alcoholic (for the saints, lol). Our favor was a huge hit. I even had to stop a few guests from taking more than one bottle. I have gone to a few houses and seen our bottle on display…some empty, but still on display nonetheless. lol
Photo booths are not only entertaining for your guest but also make for great keepsakes. Jovan and I had a walk-in booth that could hold up to 8 people. Anyone who knows me knows I love taking pictures, so a photo booth was a must for me. Saying that it was worth every penny is an understatement
Custom bridesmaid dressed gowns:
I always knew I wanted my wedding theme to be a reflection of timeless elegance. Choosing gowns that reflected that was essential. My wedding colors were black and white with a touch of gold, three colors that I believe are ageless and classic. I searched, and I was unable to find a dress that matched exactly what I wanted. I reached out to one of my mother’s seamstress, who has made countless dresses for my family. I went with an off-the-shoulder black sequence dressed for my four bridesmaids and an off-the-shoulder gold sequence dressed for my two maids of honors. The dresses were everything I could imagine and hugged each girl’s figure perfectly.
Flower girl dresses:
Following my bridesmaid dresses’ spirit, I wanted my flower girls to have beautiful gold, black, and white dresses. I went to Etsy- the mecca of everything DYI. I was able to find a vendor who hand-made these beautiful dresses for $30…yes, $30! I was able to customize the color of the sequence top, sash, and tutu. As you can see, the dresses came out great! Honesty, how cute are they?!
Ring Bearer Sign:
Again, what would I do without Etsy? Pinterest inspired this cute sign bear idea. I searched Etsy and found a plethora of vendors selling ring bear signs with various designs. I always believe that less is more, so I went with the simple font stating, “Uncle Jovi, Here comes your bride.” Jovan’s nephew carried the sign, and although I was not inside to witness him walking in, I could hear “Ouuu’s and Aww’s” from down the hall.
Custom Grooms Jacket:
When searching for ideas for groom suits on Pinterest, I came across a few great ideas but could not find any similar ones in stores or online. So like my bridesmaid’s dresses, Jovan’s suit was also custom made. Jovan’s brother is big on getting his suits tailored and custom-made, so he took care of everything. Jovan ended up going with a white suit jacket with gold and black embellishments and black pants.
My cake was white, and gold with white roses spiraled throughout. I knew I wanted my topper to be gold. I debated for a while on what type of cake topper I would like. I searched on Pinterest and came across the custom-made” Mr. & Mrs. “topper idea. I turned to Etsy yet again..and found a few vendors that were selling the custom topper. I ended up going with the “Mr. & Mrs. James” topper made of wood and sprinkled in gold. I think the cake looked beautiful and tasted even better.
For those who don’t know, Jovan is a killer piaonosist. As a musican, he was adimant we have a live band. The band consitsted of his friends who are also dope musicans. It was the pefect touch to our reception.
Class of 2017 Dance
2017 was a big year in my circle for marriages. Jovan and I attended nine (yes, nine) weddings, three of which he was a groomsman. I thought it would be fitting to have a portion of our wedding dedicated to all our friends who got married within the year. My wedding was the last of the bunch, so I figured what better way to close out “The Marriage Class of 2017” than with a first dance. We invited all our peers to the dance floor and had a “first dance” with all the couples. I got a few comments on how beautiful it was to see all the young couples celebrating the act of marriage. I believe it was a nice added touch and helped to make our day unique and memorable.
Many people don’t know this, but a month before our wedding we lost our original venue to Hurricane Irma. I could write a whole other post about that experience, but to say I was stressed would be an understatement. All in all, our wedding was everything I could have imagined and so much more. I can’t say I would do it all over again, but I do enjoy looking back! Lol!