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The Big Picture. A.K.A. Sparkling White Wine

July 12, 2010
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We’re not any more positive on what kind of wedding we want to have than we were on Friday. But we are, hopefully, in the right direction now. We took Awesome Angie’s advice and discussed the big picture over bottle(s) of wine. We didn’t succeed in getting gloriously eye-opening revelations or anything. But then again, we are at the very beginning of planning, really. So I’m not gonna ostracize us, are you?

We got some keywords figured out, that describe us, things we like and hopefully our wedding:

Gathering. Eats. Class. Festival. Reunion. Relaxed. Rockstar. Comfort. Beer. Eats. Swanky.

Yes, we know. We made a buttload of progress.

We wanted to define the guest list in terms we could live with as well: People we want to see there, in so many words. Which is really easy to say, but we looked at our guest list, and there were far too many “Should invites” on it. We’ll get on with that later.

For now, the DO-NOT keywords:

Stuffy. Fakery. Bad Beer. Tasteless Music. Bland Food. Trend-Influenced Decisions. Bears. Selfish Music. Too Much Pretty.

Not the Chicago Bears, they’re more than welcome. Matter of fact…kidding. We’re talking about the kind that steal pic-a-nic baskets and rip off your face with one swipe of their paws. We’re also joking.

We want a party. A freaking party. (Who doesn’t, right? Stop stating the obvious, Lizzie…my time is valuable). I know. Anyways, we just see that people sometimes get wrapped up in other details and they forget about the badassery that makes them an awesome couple. You know? You’ve seen it right?

I want to utilize the wedding blogs for the resource they are. Idea-central. I do not want to take note from every wedding I ever liked the look of and end up with some trendy-in-the-box wedding with conflicting themes and me, in the corner, sobbing in fetal position. That’s been clear throughout, I hope, right?

Anyways, there’s a word we want above all, and I can’t say we’re being unique, because anyone who reads the lovely Sara’s 2000 Dollar Wedding knows all about it. Authenticity.

So what have I told you? Not much. I promise we didn’t dig into the wine too much to forget our first “REAL” night of wedding planning. We just started here..with keywords of the vibe we want.

Just in case you’re wondering: Day 12 has just begun and I’m leaving for Russia in ONE week! (More later)


Refresher on the reasons why we’re having a hard time deciding: We have two distinctly different pictures in mind. One’s a little more wedding-y, but stillย badass. They do everything there for you. We would be left with a few just-for-fun projects and the paperie, which we love. The other is a summer-festival-styled-outdoor-pig-roast with great beer and great company. The confusion? We have to do every little detail of “this” wedding alone. The only outdoor venues we love that don’t charge a $10,000+ minimum are completely. bare. I mean it. Nothing. We’re planning from Texas to Chicago while I’m still a student and Isaiah’s working full-time, so that might be a bit of an inconvenience.

The main problem? We have this concrete idea of a wedding matched up “vs” this vague, could-be wedding. And there’s a lot that could go wrong with us handling every single detail.

So, you! Did you think in terms of keywords or vibe or did you get right down to the nitty-gritty? What keywords did you think of, if yeah?

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2010 5:32 am

    no bears?! oh no! ha ha just kidding. I love all your “want” descriptive words, especially swanky!

    also, Russia!?!? How exciting!

  2. July 12, 2010 8:06 am

    wait- how long is your engagement? don’t you have a bazillion months or something? go with plan b, just because i want to come. you have enough time to sort out the details and determine if it will work, all diy and whatnot. and then, ditch it for plan a, if not.

    it took us 5 months to find an affordable diy venue.

    • July 12, 2010 1:30 pm

      oh, duh. re: your questions in the post.

      we made a list of “musts” and “can’ts.” sometimes the stuff on one list was very much influenced by the other. under x amount of $’s was a must. just because of the sizes of our families, 150+ people was a must. serving dinner eventually fell into the cant’s list, after we looked into things. sometimes you’ll get into vague ones- don’t let that happen. like, “must be fun.” mmm. ok. what would make it fun? live music? taco truck? free-flowing booze?? be specific.

      by making these lists, i found i had my heart set on certain things that i hadn’t even realized. and we found ways to make it work- by stretching the budget, doing extra research, or making things ourselves.

      later, we picked a few words to narrow things down. not words, really. but ideas. we wanted to have the kind of wedding that carey grant and audrey hepburn would’ve had, if they had gotten married. but that was a little more aesthetics-direction than anything.

    • July 12, 2010 2:23 pm

      We do have a bazillion months to plan. Just seems like a lot from so far away, you know? Maybe I’m being a sceerdy-cat. Thanks for the advice, I definitely agree on the pinpointing, we’re pinpointers as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wouldn’t mind if the wedding was a little kitschy as long as it was classy, but your wedding was definitely classy, missy!

  3. July 12, 2010 11:49 am

    I vote for the summer festival pig roast. We originally started planning a “summer-festival-styled-outdoor-pig-roast with great beer and great company.” We were thinking about renting out the “beach” club off of the man-made lake near our house (walking distance; over a pretty bridge) for the reception and a gazebo over the lake for the ceremony. Rocking good time. DJ; swim party; carnival games; paddle boats. Awesome, right?

    • July 12, 2010 2:20 pm

      That sounds like a blast! Very similar to what we’re thinking of, but PADDLE BOATS would be an incredible addition! You are awesome.

  4. July 12, 2010 11:59 am

    So is the issue with the pig roast you don’t know where to have it? Or cause it seems overwhelming to do everything yourself? If you need some help pricing things out, let me know, cause I’ve already done a lot of pricing around the Chicago area (for venues, rentals, etc.). Email me if you want some specifics.

    I think you know I’m rooting for the pig roast. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • July 12, 2010 2:19 pm

      I WILL certainly be e-mailing you! We have TOO many places in mind, actually. They’re all blank slates. YIKES. That’s just a little overwhelming, eh? It seems like a little bit of a bear to attack, you know!? Yikes!

  5. July 12, 2010 12:30 pm

    Do you have a date set yet? If you really want the pig roast, I say GO FOR IT! Just make sure you give yourselves enough time to work out the details ๐Ÿ™‚

    • July 12, 2010 2:13 pm

      We have a tentative August of 2011 date. Over a year away, so I think we’ve got enough time to plan! Haha.

      • July 12, 2010 3:33 pm

        Definitely enough time! I say go with your gut on how you want the day to be ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also hire a wedding planner to help you with all those little things if you go with the pig roast. I hired a day-of coordinator, and she actually ended up saving me more money than she costs (because she has so many vendor connections)! — so that might be something you want to look into.

      • July 12, 2010 4:04 pm

        You know, everyone that I’ve talked to said their wedding coordinator was 15% of the day’s costs or whatev and they usually have 10-20% deals with vendors…Yeah…I must’ve looked so high and low for a wedding coordinator in Chicago that had ANY experience, whatsoever, and it was $2000 or above for day-of-services, which IS 20% of our whole budget, haha. Chicago is such a different place to plan in, it’s so over-saturated with weddings and what not that everyone knows what they have…you can’t find that gem that’s undercharging or even just charging what the rest of the world charges for the same thing.

        Even our PARK DISTRICT charges $20,000 for weddings in the parks owned by the city. They are outstanding, but no thanks. Damn.

      • July 12, 2010 8:35 pm

        Damn! I guess that’s one perk of living in a small city like Knoxville…

  6. Rachael permalink
    July 12, 2010 3:19 pm

    For us, the theme came about from the timing and our favorite colors. We wanted November so it wouldn’t be too hot (we’re in FL), and we also wanted enough time to plan – we got engaged about a year ago. My favorite color is deep red and his is kind of a sky blue. So it’s an autumn theme with those colors mixed in.

    The past year has gone by sooo fast, so keep that in mind. At the same time if the pic roast is what you realllly want – go for it! Having it outside to me means you won’t *need* as many decorations. Good luck, and awesome blog for having just started!

    • July 12, 2010 5:16 pm

      I definitely agree that every couple has their own organic way of planning it right. I’m glad we’re not trying to force ourselves into a mold we don’t fit in, you know? Thanks so much! You’re sweet!

  7. July 12, 2010 9:22 pm

    You can come to our summer pig roast if you let us come to yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    When it came to creating our vision for the day, we both knew (almost right away without even discussing it) that we wanted a cheap-o, crazy, fun bonfire on the beach with a billion guests. We had the choice of going with an all-inclusive beach venue for $10k, but that would mean fewer guests, which was a deal-breaker for us. And that’s when we found the Queens County Farm Museum. We’d have to DIY everything, but it seemed worthwhile because in my imagination it seemed do-able. (Well, with LOTS of research and enlisting help from friends and fam, of course.) Honestly, the process of making something out of nothing has been A-MAZING. Creatively it’s been rewarding, and emotionally it’s been eye-opening (and ball-growing).

    As the weeks went on and I read about real weddings on APW, I came up with more key words: spiritual and community-oriented. And our theme for the big day: It takes a village to raise a marriage. It’s funny – on the fringes of wedding planning it’s all about the fun stuff (reception). But as the day grows closer it becomes about the REAL stuff.

    One thing I noticed during the planning is that things change. I’m talking aesthetic preferences for the reception, and also “must-haves” for the ceremony. A lot of things just fall away as time goes by and the budget breakdown gets more realistic. For me, these changes were due to the fact that there’s authenticity in terms of who you are NOW vs. who you believe your best/ most creative/ funniest/ most crafty/ most organized self is. And I found myself swaying back and forth between me now and my ideal self. Turns out my wedding is going to be a mix of both. So there will be some celebration and pride about the wedding day/ who I am/ what I’m capable of, but also a bit of letting go. And I’m finally becoming cool with that.

    Anyhoo, about your bare-bones venue, how bare are we talking?

    Sheesh, was this a comment or a guest post?? Sorry.

  8. July 12, 2010 9:58 pm

    those keywords are fucking fly.

    definitely picking up on the vibe you want. i’m sure those words came out very easily with or without wine.

    i’m really loving following your wedding planning journey- you guys are going to pull off some showstopping shit.

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