Happy 2018! I almost can't believe that I just typed that, I'm one of those people that thinks the 90s were only 10 years ago. Last year, I worked with 26 couples, participated in almost 10 styled shoots, and hosted 16 workshops on calligraphy + hand lettering. Thank you for keeping my dream alive - I truly owe it to the couples who love the extras during their big day and the events leading up to it.
One of my goals for 2018 is to check in more - be present more. Part of this will include a monthly bridal check-up. We'll chat with vendors, recent brides, even couples who have been married for 50+ years (holy moly!). I'm fortunate to work with and meet so many wonderful people who have so much to share that I'd love to share that with you too.
First up, our Catskills bride, Danielle. I had the privilege of meeting Danielle at NYSSSA, a summer program for incredibly talented high school art students. She took me under her wing and I'm so grateful for her friendship. I even have "my spot" on her couch, don't try to steal my favorite blanket either ;) After 10 years of dating, Mike finally popped the question and in less than 6 months (yes - you read that correctly), they were married in a beautiful Hudson, New York barn. Read more about her story:
Q: What’s the first thing you did as a newly engaged person in your planning process?
A: Immediately we started looking at venues and calling and to check the availability. We realized that the fall was only 5 months away and realistically finding a venue to fit what we wanted would be difficult. We also knew that we had an idea for a vision, and without the right venue that wouldn’t be something that could happen. Obviously we looked online first and then made a list, calling each of them to find out available dates. We set up site visits that at venues that had dates that worked for us. That was how we ultimately booked The Hill and were able to put a plan in place for our vision from there.
Q: You had a tight deadline, what would you suggest to brides about staying sane?
A: Yes 5 1/2 months!! I would say the way I stayed sane was by making a priority checklist. We locked vendors in quickly, and we lived by the checklist. As a DIY bride I had a lot of projects so I needed to keep to a timeline to get everything done. I had deemed the dining room the wedding room for those months and kept everything in there organized by supplies, projects, and finished things. As I finished them, I stored them in boxes and labeled them with not only what it was but also a little direction/description for others on that day to know what it was and how to use it. I also made a binder with directions and pictures of things to hand to day of coordinator so she could follow my vision (I’m kind of a control freak a little).
Q: Did you have to make any compromises?
A: Um... I wouldn’t really say compromises exactly. There were a few parts of the experience I think we missed because we were in a hurry that could have been fun. I think going to wedding shows would have been fun. Having a tasting at the caterer would have been fun and delicious but because of our quick timeline these were things we skipped. We also were unsure of our DJ and ultimately took a chance on him and he was fine, but it was one of our most difficult vendors to find as most we had recommended to us were already booked.
Q: You had rain at your outdoor ceremony - how did you make that work?
A: I had a plan before hand and realistically knew it was going to happen and if it did, some of my planning (unfortunately a lot of it) would be wasted and realizing I would just have to deal! I had planned for rain too by ordering matching umbrellas for the bridal party in case (they could be returned if not used). Going over possible photo options with our photographer if it was raining during first looks, photos, etc. Discussing with venue people how ceremony would change if it rained and caterers with how cocktail hour would change. Most of it was communicated to people in the days leading up to the wedding as the forecast didn’t look favorable. Then, on the day of, we were waiting and watching the weather and had a deadline on when the decision had to made and changing the plan. And to be honest at that point it was disappointing but it works and everything works out and it’s fine!
Q: Looking back, is there anything you would change?
A: Lol, the weather! Haha no I’m kidding. We were lucky enough to at least get to take pictures before the rain. If I could do it again I would find a day of coordinator that I trusted more or even maybe someone I knew. I had hired someone through a company and realized too late that my confidence in her was not what I wanted it to be. I think that worrying if she was doing something was my biggest stressor that day. I was right to feel that way because she wasn’t as competent as I would have liked.
The only other thing is I would make sure to eat if I could do it again! Everyone raved about the food and I can’t really tell you about it because I never really ate! Bummer. Because we skipped the tasting, I missed out on it then, too!
Danielle truly took DIY Bride to a whole new level and the results were just stunning. She made it possible in less than 6 months by keeping her cool, going with the flow, and being optimistic. Danielle and Mike are now expecting their baby girl this April and I can't wait to meet their new little one. I'm so excited for them and this new adventure they are about to embark on.