So, you’re engaged…now what? Freak out your fiance (as I did) by pulling out your 5lb folder of wedding ideas and asking their opinion on invitations? Probably not the best approach.
I recently spoke with a friend that was commenting on how she planned her wedding as an event, making sure the guests were constantly fed and/or entertained, that the spaces were visually stimulating and that there wasn’t any lag time. Having the overall view of the wedding day as an event helped her organize time lines and create a day her guests still talk about years later.
Maybe you think it isn’t romantic to think about a wedding as a production, but it is. And thinking about a wedding as an event to produce can really help streamline and simplify the wedding planning process (and this is why wedding designers and planners are so important!).
The easiest way to start out with wedding planning isn’t to decide on colors, or invitations, or buy the dress or any of the fun immediate things that pop into a newly engaged person’s mind…it is to find the style of the wedding. Do you want it intimate and simple? rowdy and fun? sophisticated and fancy? huge guest list and relaxed? playful and entertaining? How do you want your guests to feel when they walk into the reception? How much time and/or money do you want to dedicate to this day?
Take an hour or so to just jot words down that you want to have be descriptors of your day, and make sure your fiance is with you so you’re both present for the foundation of the planning. After writing down a few dozen words, circle THE most important ones. If in your brain you were picturing a ballroom wedding with orchids dripping from the ceiling and a 10 piece band, but circled words like, simple, modern, and minimal, then it is easy to see how your initial vision of your day can be counterproductive to how you want your day to feel. It is important to get the FEELING you want down before you start visualizing what the wedding will look like.
Once you have some good overall feeling words, you can refine your style. Maybe a catch phrase pops in your head….like Vintage and Country Chic. You now want to start narrowing down what these words mean to you so you don’t start buying all the burlap you can find and then realize that isn’t exactly what you were picturing. Collecting images helps a ton, and currently no one does it better than Pinterest. Get some boards going and then let them sit for a week and come back to them…see what ideas pop out at you and if you can see a pattern or style start to emerge.
Why does this matter? What if you go dress shopping and fall in love with a huge ballgown that has a train and cathedral veil, and then you decide you want a casual outdoor wedding. You’ll be sweating up a storm in a dress that is impractical for walking around outdoors. There are many frustrations that happen while planning if you don’t have the overall vision down first, and it should be as thorough as possible before you start buying things.
One person’s description of a country wedding can be totally different than another, and in order to keep things as simple as possible, it helps to have more detailed descriptive words. Here are some wedding styles I can think of that all would fit under the heading of Country Wedding.
Farm to Table – Simple and fresh, using primitive antiques (think Little House on the Prairie) and wildflowers, fresh home style food served family style on long tables in an open field or a barn.
Nashville Party – could be anywhere from a barn to an alternative club, country music and fried chicken, bridesmaids in cowboy boots and a live bluegrass band.
East Coast Equestrian – at a golf club or fancy ranch, lovely hats, preppy colors, champagne and lawn games, ribbons and lace with a tailored look.
Shabby Chic – a white washed cottage or on a mansion lawn, mixing old and new, rough and delicate textures, tea roses and peonies, vignettes of antiques scattered throughout the space.
Wide Open Spaces – think of Kevin Costner’s wedding or Lauren Bush’s wedding…the scenery is the backdrop, whether it is mountains or prairie, yet the wedding itself is fancy (this requires a nice budget btw). A huge dress, chandeliers, dance floor under the stars…full of impact and visually stunning.
If you want to see some wedding inspiration boards that are up and running, be sure to check out my Pinterest page. Happy planning!