We are officially just under a year to go until the big day, so today I’m beginning the wedding planning series here on the blog! So far we have gotten a lot accomplished, but I now see why everyone always says it is so stressful. In this post, I’ll discuss the date, venue, wedding party and caterer for the reception!
Okay, first things first, I used to believe you get engaged, pick a date and then find a venue. Wrong! You get engaged, pick a season (not even a month!), then after finding the venue, you want to hope they have an ideal date. Josh and I knew we wanted a venue that would allow us to hold the ceremony outdoors, with a backup spot for rain and a place for the reception. We did not want our guests having to find multiple locations. We wanted to get married in a more rustic setting and found five different locations to look at. Our favorite told us the entire month of April was open four days before we toured. Then when we arrived we found out two weekends (specifically, the one we wanted) had already been booked. After looking at all five we chose the one without our desired date. Then comes the part of picking the new date. Since we chose April as our desired month the hard part was deciding did we want to go earlier in April or roll into May. Well, the budget will help you decide, my friends! To get married in May at the venue would have increased the venue cost by $1076 in our case. April 21st it will be! Also, if either bride or groom are military, remember to ask if they offer any special rates. It is beneficial to ask if they are willing to work with you if you need to move your date due to one being called away for training or unforeseen duty, as well.
Now, I have known who I wanted in my bridal party for quite awhile, and once Josh and I got engaged I could not wait to ask them! A lot of people think the little ask gifts are ridiculous but I personally find them cute. I gave each girl a coffee mug & their favorite candy. It does not have to be an over the top expensive gift. You DO NOT have to give one at all, you’re friends and loved ones will just be happy to be considered. Josh & I agreed to five per side and we have five kids in the wedding. We have two nephews and then the three I once nannied (a ring bearer, a flower girl & three sign carriers aka the bride security). We asked the kids in cute ways, as well. Each boy received a teddy bear and a badge that had either Bride Security or Ring Bearer on it. As for little Caroline, she got a book from her favorite series, Pinkalicious: Flower Girl, and a bracelet with little pastel flowers.
Lastly, in this post, I wanted to talk about finding the right caterer. With a lot of venues, you are given a strict list to follow, so we were really excited to find out we could have anyone (with a caterer’s license) do our reception! We wanted barbecue & the fixins’ for our big day, and it was much harder to find than we thought it would be. Being in the western portion of the state for our wedding means that BBQ is not like what we eat back in the eastern portion of the state. However, having food catered from 4hours away could be dangerous, and very expensive (as if feeding 150+ is not expensive enough). We luckily found a perfect place named Prissy Polly’s in Kernersville! They serve both styles of BBQ and the best loaded potato salad! Now depending on the month & location you’ve chosen to have your wedding, booking a caterer can also prove to be a bit tricky so try to get that handled early on, too.
I think I will wrap it up here for now! No worries, I have plenty more to share with you about the planning process. Good & annoying things. I think next up in the wedding series will be photographers, engagement photos & save the dates! Feel free to share in the comments if you struggled with the initial planning, or if you have any tips!