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Jennifer & Colin on the day of the proposal

As a planner the expectation that exists when it’s your own wedding is higher and more stressful. People automatically think your special day has been planned since you were a little girl, for me, that wasn’t the case. Working within the industry I did have a solid idea on my wedding vendor team, but that didn’t mean my wedding was pre-planned. I’m a strong believer that the feel of your wedding needs to be organic and influenced by several factors including the venue, season, time of day and interests that the couple share.

Colin and I had been dating for over 5 years and had previously discussed marriage, so we knew it was in our future. Always wanting to be surprised, I wasn’t sure when or where the actual proposal would occur. It ended up happening on a day trip to Point Pleasant, West Virginia. I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. Colin on the other hand LOVES Halloween and wanted a reason to make the holiday a little more memorable for me. The trip had been planned as just a fun fall excursion. Little did I know that Colin had bigger plans for the day. Our engagement occurred on Saturday, October 31st. YAY WE’RE ENGAGED!!

We are almost immediately hit with “When’s the big day? Where is it? What’s the theme?” As a planner my mind immediately went to venue availability. Knowing how much our industry has changed in recent years, a lot of couples plan their date around their preferred venue availability. The night of our engagement when everyone had settled down from the excitement, I started thinking and began formulating a plan. Within a few hours it was essentially planned, pending my fiancé was on board with everything. Sunday morning a text message was sent to Jenny and Brooke, my business partners, sharing all of my ideas. By that afternoon, everyone was on board with my vision: “Old Hollywood,” classic, black and white. What bride doesn’t love a black tie affair? Plus, tuxes instantly bring our love of all things James Bond into the equation as well.

The next morning I was on the phone with venues that we felt would best would fit our theme. Of course, I knew in my heart which venue we were leaning towards. After a few days of correspondence, we locked in July 30th at the Dayton Art Institute!

Did I think it was going to be a quick turnaround? Yes. Did I panic about that a little? YES!

With a few phone calls, I had locked in our florist, photographer, caterer, cake and DJ. Regardless of who you are, budget is almost always a concern and weighs heavy on any bride and groom’s decisions and we were no different. I was worried, could we throw a glamorous Hollywood-themed event within nine short months? Needless to say panic set in. The concern wasn’t with having it planned in nine months (that’s covered), it was budget. After many restless nights, we decided to pursue the same venue but on a different date that would allow us more time to enjoy our engagement (and more time to save $$). Thankfully, one date still remained open in 2016 – November 19th! Before locking in the date officially, I immediately called all of my vendors ensuring their availability. They were all in! Bring on our new wedding date – November 19, 2016 at the Dayton Art Institute!

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Our engagement party

Honestly, from that point forward we were relieved – feeling good about adjusting our date and moving right along. I’ve found ways to get creative with certain areas of our wedding to help save money here and there. We’ve been very fortunate that so far we are right on track as far as our overall budget.

Just like every bride, I had my wish list of items and so did my fiancé. My must haves: a nice venue, amazing flowers and good food. My fiancé’s must haves included: the theme (he’s a HUGE movie buff) and a Bloody Mary bar. Being a planner we often see the wishes of the groom go by the wayside so I didn’t want that to happen to Colin. I know how valuable his role is and how important of a day it is for him as well. I’ve kept him and his opinions involved in all decisions (except the dress). Besides, it’s his day too!

As the next several months unfold a lot of our vision will come into action. July brings a lot of “to do” items and a lot of check marks will need to be made. Stay tuned as the next four months unfold for our Old Hollywood event!

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