So... surprise! My boyfriend of 5 years is now my fiancé! On our 5 year anniversary in early February, Max took me on a secret adventure to a cute little town about 2 hours outside of Seattle and proposed. And now here we are, a few months into wedding planning! Woah, this world of weddings is weird, I'll tell ya. My dad is an Episcopalian priest so I have probably been to something like 200 weddings in my lifetime. And because of that, I have never ever fantasized about weddings at all. I might be regretting that now as when I started to dip my toes into the pool of wedding planning, I was pretty shocked at how weird that pool is!
So first of all, getting engagement photos taken feels so weird. I am pretty damn awkward when I am in front of a camera with anyone behind that camera watching. I had lots of practice taking self portraits when I did outfit posts all the time on my blog. But I still feel really stiff and goofy when anyone else is shooting me. Thank you to my friend Margaret Jacobsen for enduring my goofy uncomfortable body language and magically producing some really sweet photos of Max and I that I will treasure forever.
Now on to wedding planning. This process you guys, it's way to similar to business planning. I feel like planning a wedding is a totally different experience from planning joining a life together and becoming married. Does that make sense? Preparing for marriage is way more romantic to me than planning a wedding. But both are connected. The process of planning a wedding at this stage at least is just event planning. And baby, we are doing it on a serious budget! We are trying to keep everything under $5,000 with a wedding guest list of about 125-150. And it turns out after researching the cost of an average wedding, $5,000 is a small budget. I read that the average American spends $31,000 on their wedding. Hey, no hate if you invested that much financially in your wedding. But as a 28 year old small business owner who invests almost all of her money back into her business and is paying a large staff, I cannot nearly afford the average wedding costs of an average American. And I just am not into going into any debt for our wedding. So $5,000 it is! I am good at hunting down deals so I know we can create something beautiful on a budget :)
We are getting married in our home town in Northern California. (Max and I grew up in the same place and went to the same high school which made for choosing where were going to get married a pretty obvious one for us.) We are thrilled to get to show all of our closest friends from across the U.S. the place that really shaped us into who we are today. Though Max has lived in Seattle for almost 5 years and I for 10 years, we still have lots of friends from our hometown. So we are really excited to see all of the communities we have developed across the U.S. come together to get to know one another. Let's hope for the best! HA!
Another great thing about getting married in our hometown is that our wedding can be way more community oriented. We are not putting on a giant show and trying crazy hard to be as perfect as so many weddings appears to be on Pinterest. Everyone tells me, "Oh I am sure your wedding is going to be so Pinterest worthy!" since I have almost 1 million followers on Pinterest. But meh, I'm not looking to impress people on Pinterest with my wedding. I'm looking to simply create a beautiful event that truly shows our love for one another and our community on a small budget. And I know that I can make something beautiful happen on a small budget. I want to please us most importantly, and if Pinterest ends up liking it, that's cool, you do you Pinterest.
Some of my parents friends who I have know for years and years are letting us have our wedding on their gorgeous countryside property. They have a big grassy field that will be dry and golden come October which I think will be stunning at sunset. And they have a big barn where we can have dancing and snacks as the evening goes on. I have another childhood family friend who owns a mini pie truck called An Honest Pie. And they have graciously offered to cater our event at an affordable price which I am so happy about! Their pies are SO yummy and I think savory pies will be a delicious main dinner element in October.
My friend Jennifer Stenhouse, who both taught me in metal smithing and is featured in my shop, is making wedding rings for me and Max! I'm so excited about the design we came up with for mine. I'll have to document the process of choosing stones, settings, and the final out come here to share with you!
Now I just need to take care of 1 million other things and fit them all into our budget and we will be good to go. :) Location, food, and photography are the biggest budget suckers for most weddings so I feel really lucky that we have awesome friends who can help us budget those elements into our wedding in an affordable way. Thank you my friends! Planning is my jam and the nitty gritty planning on a wedding event is just as fun and interesting for me as planning a business. Budgets, timelines, delegation, negotiation, conflict management, color palettes, aesthetics, design, its actually really gross how the wedding industry is so similar to the fashion industry. But what can you do, ya just gotta do whats true to you and your loved ones and enjoy it as that. I want to take my biz skills and use them to make this wedding well planned, but take my relaxed personal style and simply let the chips fall as they may in certain aspects of the week and day itself. I'm excited.
I know you guys probably have lots of great advice to give me about wedding planning and all that. So throw your advice my way! I want to hear it!