8 month UPDATE
Well folks, I am in the full swing of planning my wedding! I have my venue and caterer locked down, I am days away from putting deposits down for my florist and photographer AND my Save -the- Dates are being delivered today! To me, these are the key players for my magical day.
My venue: I know I want a mountain wedding but I also want lodging to be available for all my guests at reasonable prices. Most of my family is coming in from out of town, so having options for hotels and transportation was a big deal. I found a venue that is perfect! It’s on top of Look Out Mountain in Golden, Colorado: Boettcher Mansion! It has a breathtaking view with a mountain feel, but close enough to the city for all my guests to be accommodated. After touring it several times and asking a list of questions, I put down a deposit to seal the deal. I spent quite a lot of time researching which venues were cohesive with the number of guests attending and also has the mountain, rustic feel I was looking for. I took one weekend with my Mom and fiancé and had about 6 venues I wanted to see, and the very last venue was Boettcher. We knew right away.
My caterer: Working in the biz, I’ve had the pleasure of working with very talented folks from all realms of event planning. The caterers are definitely my favorite. My venue has a “preferred vendor list” that has plenty of caterers to choose from, but I want someone I know and trust to help make my day special. Marian with Celebrations Catering is who I have entrusted with this task. We see her regularly and she catered our company Christmas party in 2012. She is very professional and easy to talk with about my smorgasbord of a menu! I know how delicious her food is and I can’t wait to do a tasting with her!!
My florist: The abundance of choices is ridiculous. I am a budget bride and I even dabbled with the idea of perhaps DIY bouquets and centerpieces…but in reality, I know better. I don’t want to have to worry about the flowers the night before/ morning of my wedding! Getting online and googling florists for my area, my venue’s area, and “wedding” florists put me in a daze of colors and flowers. Knowing that I want sunflowers as my primary flower was a start, the pairing of flowers with that….no idea! I stumbled across some pretty awesome websites by just playing around with search engines, but one I feel is super cool is Thumbtack.com. Check it out. I typed in my budget for a florist and was contacted almost immediately by professionals who wanted to discuss my ideas! Being a pinterest-er I have photos of what I am thinking (or what I think I’m thinking), and in the end met with a lady whom I found to be very reasonable, helpful and I LOVED her. I may be going back and forth on flower arrangement details, BUT I have someone I am comfortable with and I know will provide me with beautiful flowers!
The photographer: I’d be lying if I said this isn’t a headache…it is. The cost of a decent photographer is astronomical! Being a frugal, diligent researcher, I cannot stop trying to outdo myself. Quality is my main focus here. I know what I can afford for this service and I have to find someone who possesses my must-haves for a photographer as well. Seems simple? $1500 budget. 2 photographers. At least 5 hours of shooting. Think again. Through many hours of online searching, replying to potential shooters, investigating portfolios and in-person meetings, I have narrowed it down to two different photogs. One last meeting next week will be the decision maker and I really feel sound with either. The quality is fantastic in both, as well as having genuine personalities. Getting along with the person(s) you hire for your special day is also necessary. In fact, one photographer with whom I was in love with from day one. We went and met with him, loved his work, sent the “I want to hire you” email and I never got a response. A courtesy response seems expected? Never did I receive such an email. Months later, back on my search for the “most suitable” photog, I reached out again, putting my pride aside, but to no hither. He now had a contract with someone else on my wedding date! Oh ok?! Pssh! It wasn’t meant to be, I accept that now, but let me tell you that whole week of no response email, then the taking of my date…I was a little crazed. So, love your photog. Be open about communication styles and things that are expected from one another.
I am patiently waiting for my Save-the-Dates to arrive. I am so EXCITED to see the final product. I am making strides in my planning every day. Come May I will not have time for planning; between work: graduation/wedding season and then 3 weddings this summer- no time will be allotted for MY wedding planning….at least until August 😉
Next Week: Budget and Checklist
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage” -Lao Tzu