I am getting married next June! Kenny and I were engaged last July after being together for 7 years. Even after all of that time together we knew we were not prepared financially to get married within the next year (which ended up being a good thing because my baby brother just got married 2 weeks ago). We were able to enjoy our engagement for a while and I can honestly say that I was dreading the actual planning part. As much as I love detail-I did not want to have to worry about every last detail of my wedding that no one else was likely to notice.
Fast forward a few months as time began getting closer to when I should start considering a date and a venue before it was all booked up. I live in Dedham, MA which is home to the Endicott Estate-a beautiful old mansion built in the early 1900′s. I have loved the building ever since I was child when going to visit family in the area. As we would drive by the Endicott Estate I would gaze out the car window and revel in the idea of how romantic the whole thing was. I had known for a while that I possibly wanted to have my wedding at the Endicott and was aware that because the building was owned by the town it was pretty affordable. After visiting their website and seeing that you receive a discount for being a resident of the town it pretty much seemed like a no-brainer to me.
Kenny and I went to meet with the event planner at the Estate and instantly fell in love. The building has so much character, is grand, handsome, and beautiful all at the same time without being too “fancy” and over the top. It fit our taste perfectly. It will be beautiful but still maintain a low-key vibe.
Once the venue was booked I began looking into taking care of booking our other vendors as well. The one thing that really helped me to stay on track and not get overwhelmed by the planning was The Knot website. The timeline really takes you month by month on what you need to accomplish and I swear it is what has helped keep me sane through this whole process. Everything else really began falling into place once the date and venue were booked. My friend Cyndi is an incredible photographer who I have featured on my blog so there was no question I was going to use her. She does her own photography for babies and families, but is part of the Hitched Studios team for wedding photography. I was lucky enough to already know who I wanted to use as my caterer after drooling over their menu for over a year. We did our tasting and that sealed the deal. Kenny’s sister was a graphic design major so she helped design our save-the-dates and will help with the invitations. She does an incredible job and we are so lucky to have her help and talent! We only had to pay for the price of sending them off to the printer. The flowers were my next endeavor. I had heard wonderful things about using the florists through Whole Foods-and let’s face it: their flowers are always stunning. Luckily I have a Whole Foods 5 minutes down the street from me, which is also 5 minutes from the Endicott Estate. I met with the florist there and we immediately hit it off. She understood my vision perfectly and adores doing weddings at the Endicott Estate. I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune on flowers and the Estate is so ornate as is-it really doesn’t need a lot, so when she quoted me at $1,500 for, get this: 1 bride’s bouquet, 8 bridesmaids bouquets, 8 groomsmen boutonnieres, 2 father’s boutonnieres, 3 mother & step-mother bouquets, 2 flower girl bouquets, AND decorating I was SOLD. Ladies & gents-if you have a Whole Foods remotely close to you I strongly suggest you check out their floral department.
The DJ was really the only vendor I needed to research and that didn’t take long. I wanted to use a DJ who did a great job at a friend’s wedding. When I found out he wasn’t available he referred me to a few other companies. My cousin Laura, who is also featured here on my blog, is a hair stylist and I trust her with everything I have so as far as hair goes on my wedding day I am all set. I was going to spend the money on hiring a make-up artist to do my bridal make-up, but after some confusion at my brother’s wedding which resulted in me doing my own make-up-I am now convinced that I will be also doing it on my wedding day. What I have seen on others has not blown me away and I know I can achieve what I am looking for.
As for all of those little details I was telling you about that I didn’t want to bother with-I am now loving it! Once things started getting rolling and falling into place-those special little details really became fun. I am by no means getting carried away with them because I know that it’s not necessary to go overboard. As for my dress-let’s just say that I also lucked out and found it online, on sale, and it fits beautifully! I don’t want to give details away but I will write a follow-up blog, post-wedding with all of the details-and of course some incredible photos! :-) Another aspect of our wedding that will keep the stress down is NO SEATING PLAN! Yippee! Where the Endicott Estate is made up of a bunch of different rooms that all flow together-we are keeping it cocktail style all night! Tables and chairs will be set up if people want to kick back and relax, but there will be TONS of delicious food for people to enjoy while they are mingling and dancing the night away! This also ended up being more cost-effective: definitely something to consider if you are planning a wedding!
Ladies-this is such an incredible time in your life. Relax and enjoy it. Everything will work out-and if it doesn’t-no one else will notice! I am extremely fortunate with how things worked out with all of my vendors so easily falling into place and not having to do a lot of research. Knowing people in the right places also makes a huge difference. I also feel like with how long Kenny and I have been together, how long it has taken us to get to where we are, all of our perseverance has finally paid off! I keep telling people that all of this has been too easy and that something bad is bound to happen. But then I stop and think: maybe we are just finally getting what we deserve after all this time. We are good people who do good things and we have made it this far, so maybe this is our time. Whatever it is, I am fully embracing it and not taking it for granted!
A year ago we were renting the house my father grew up in and Kenny lost his job. That loss of a job resulted in him collecting unemployment, not only going to college for free because he is a Veteran-but getting PAID a monthly housing stipend because he served overseas after 9/11, getting hired back at his job, us planning our wedding, AND as of last week we finally bought the house we were renting! Amazing what a difference a year can make! If there is something that you truly believe is worth fighting for-don’t give up. xoxo