As the movie industry says “That’s a Wrap” and so is our wedding. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month already…time sure does fly. I would like to take a minute to reflect back on our event and share some planner insight that might help when planning your next event. We are truly blessed to look back and know there isn’t one thing we would’ve done differently. We truly had the wedding of our dreams come to life in front of our very eyes. Our vendor team was out of this world, family and friends had a blast and still to this day I can’t think of anything that went wrong (unless my team is holding out on me). 🙂
Looking back on our event, what made it successful was truly a lot of pre-planning even down to our budget. Our budget was established the first month of our engagement and we stuck to it and nailed it spot on. So how did we stay successful with our budget? Well, if anyone knows me they know I LOVE a good spreadsheet. I created our budget spreadsheet within the first month of being engaged and added to it throughout the year with tabs for each item and moving budget pieces for the wedding. This helped when it came time to compile all of my vendor contacts, playlists, addresses, shot list and to-do items.
Throughout the entire year of our engagement I pre-planned as much as possible. Our spare bedroom in our house was devoted solely to wedding items. This helped keep everything contained to one area so when it came down to the week of the wedding – BOOM – it was all there and labeled. There are so many items you can purchase ahead of time so that way you can truly enjoy the week of your wedding. There is NO NEED to stress if you pre-plan and prepare! If that’s an area you struggle with then HIRE A PLANNER it’s in our blood. Why create more stress for yourself?? You should be enjoying your family and friends.
As our wedding approached and final counts were in to all vendors, I coordinated a time to drop all of our items off at our venue. We were fortunate to have the ability to drop all of our wedding day-of items the Thursday before. So you guessed it, I was stress-free as of Thursday, November 18th! We dropped our out-of-town bags at the hotel as well. The weekend prior to our wedding we had blocked off a few hours and tackled out-of-town bags and napkin folds (see our older blog post for details). I coordinated with Prime Time Party Rental to pick up our napkins early so we could pre-fold and stuff our napkins. Again, less for us to do the week of the wedding (can you tell I’m really trying to stress this)!
Our rehearsal and dinner went smooth and even ended fairly early so everyone still had their evenings to relax. The day of the wedding went just as smooth, we even had snowflakes! I have a love for snow so to see it the day I was marrying my best friend…AMAZING! Our wedding was unique and special to us. As guests entered into the museum they had the opportunity to walk the red carpet, making them feel like they were a part of our movie-themed event. At the end of the red carpet, they were greeted by our guest book attendant, my cousin, to sign our movie film reel “guest book.” We exchanged our vows on the stage of the Renaissance Theater at the Dayton Art Institute and of course made sure to include movie elements to make it even more special and unique to us.
After the ceremony our guests were invited to enjoy cocktails and appetizers in the Great Hall followed by a family-style dinner. Once dinner was complete, we opened up the Gothic to our guests for dancing and late night snacks which consisted of a popcorn bar! When guests entered the Gothic they were introduced to a slightly new color scheme that took our black and white and paired them with pops of red. Throughout our entire wedding, everything was black and white so why not mix it up a little for the conclusion of our event! Adding a new unexpected element is a great way to keep guests thinking “what next?” Our event was a progressive event, always moving guests to new rooms with new elements and textures.
As mentioned earlier our vendor team was out of this world and we couldn’t have done it without them. That being said, it’s time to give credit where credit is WELL deserved so here goes (in no particular order) Lillian’s Bridal, Eye Do Hair & Makeup, Shaterra Jenkins Makeup Artistry, Salon on Rahn, Bahar’s Studio, Marriott at the University of Dayton, Willow Wind Carriage & Limousine Services, Dayton Art Institute, Sherwood Florist, Frosted, Gary Leppla DJ, Jenny G’s Cupcakes & Treats, Westendorf Printing, Bernstein’s Fine Catering, Beautiful Mind Finds, Canvas Studio, Prime Time Party Rental and Men’s Wearhouse.
Thank you all so much for following me on my journey and for helping make our wedding day amazing!
NOTE: We will be posting professional pictures in the coming weeks.