We have secured a venue and a photographer. Florist consults are in the making and we met with a potential caterer on saturday. I have also purchased my wedding dress!
Our venue is The Inn at Westwood Farm in Orange, Virginia. The owners, Jay and Elizabeth, are SUPER wonderful and awesome and the minute I pulled in, I knew it was perfect. It's a beautiful re-modeled farmhouse turned bed & breakfast and I couldn't be happier.
Our photographer is the wonderful Ali Caudill. She took Ainsley's 1st Birthday pictures and we all loved her! Super sweet and oh so talented. Her eye and appreciation for details and her ability to make you feel comfortable are two of the main reasons we knew we wanted her capturing our special day. Seriously, if you live in this area, you should check her out. Here is a picture that she took of my daughter, Ainsley.
My wedding dress is from the La Sposa collection. It's called, "Salsa." Orginally, I had programmed my brain that i was getting married in a lace dress...more specifically, this lace dress:
So, I began searching for a bridal store in my area that carried this specific dress. I had a lot of reservations about whether or not my body would be complimented by the shape of this slip dress, however. I did things in the "not so normal" order...Mark and I had a baby first. Therefore, my body went from being in the best shape of my life to the worst shape of my life. I solved that problem by making a list of dresses for both my "pre-baby" body and my "after-baby" body. This dress was on my "pre-baby" body list and I figured I'd get it on only to rip it back off again and then spend the rest of the day being depressed.
I, however, was pleasantly surprised when I put the dress on. I fell in love...immediately! It actually looked really good on me! It was the 3rd dress I tried on and quickly became the forefront winner. I couldn't believe my eyes...
And then I tried on this dress:
And I knew immediately that this was it...as much as I didn't want to LOVE it, because I had it engrained that my dress would be lace, I couldn't avoid it. I am the farthest from a girly girl that you can get and this was a very relaxed, comfortable, casual dress with pockets nonetheless! The real dress isn't quite as poofy and I love it!
Mark and I know that we want to have BBQ picnic food at the wedding so we met with Hank's Smokehouse near Harrisonburg, Virginia to discuss the details.It's a little overwhelming to hear about all of the "additional" charges, like using "real" plates and glasses instead of disposable...but their food was awesome and compared to a normal black-tie wedding meal, it's extremely inexpensive. My main concern is the "presentation." I have always been obsessed with the details. The way the food is presented does matter to me, even if it is just a small detail. I just hope that if we choose this caterer they will allow me to present the food the way I would like without a gazillion additional charges.
For flowers I am interested in small and simple. Wildflowers like yellow asters, babies breath and billy balls are all the flowers that I need! I met with a few florists and will hopefully have a better idea of final cost within the week.
Another big thing to check off the list is our Save The Dates. I ended up doing them myself, thinking I was going to save a ton of money, but turns out that it's so friggin expensive regardless!! I didn't want to do them, but my mom thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know as far in advance as possible since they are traveling so far. Done.and.done!
My major gripe (which is a huge one) about wedding planning is that I am doing all of it by myself...literally. I wish that I had more support from everyone close to me, especially my mom. My mom isn't into this wedding stuff at all and the only thing she focuses on is the money, which frustrates and overwhelms me on a daily basis. She hasn't given me a set "budget" yet on what she is willing to contribute...and I really wish she would for obvious reasons. I'm extremely aware of the importance of keeping costs low, which I have been doing, but it would be nice to know the maximum amount that I have to work with...then I wouldn't have to call her on a daily basis to discuss pricing (which gets us nowhere anyway). It's been disappointing so far, to be honest. Instead of being excited about how awesome of an experience this is, I am instead constantly worrying about money and my lack of time due to being a mommy, working full time, and mark being gone a lot due to coaching and starting a new business. hmph. I envisioned having my closest loved ones to share the experience with, but so far, I feel alone in most of the planning process thus far. But, even with feeling this way, I am still managing to have a blast! And I pray daily that everything comes together...even if I do have to do it all by myself :)