Wedding Planning Update!

Good afternoon, friends!

I’ve been taking advantage of the extra free time at home to do a little wedding planning! As you guys know, Matt and I will be getting married in October 2012 (here’s our engagement story if you missed it!). We met with the caterer (who comes with the venue we chose) last Friday and made some great headway on planning the menu — more details on that to come when we do a tasting! We’re also meeting with the on-site events coordinator next Friday to talk more details, so I’ve been looking through wedding magazines for ideas!


My dad has a stationary bike in the basement, so yesterday morning I set up shop on it for about 40 minutes, flipping through magazines and tearing out things I liked the look of.


I’m definitely not the type of person that has had my wedding planned since I was 12; I’d never even looked at a wedding magazine, website, or blog until after we got engaged, so I basically have no clue what to do beyond just what I’ve seen at friends’ weddings. It’s been helpful and fun to get some ideas!


Here are some things I liked the looks of.


We’re having an outdoor wedding with a tent, and I loved these Chinese lanterns in the photo below on the left. Matt had actually mentioned liking lanterns, too, so I’ll definitely show this to the planner! As for table settings (and flowers), I think we’re going to keep things simple — we’d rather spend money on having good food, a good band, and an open bar than on elaborate decorations.


We’re thinking of a dark blue color theme, and I liked the look of the middle dress in this picture below for bridesmaids, probably with silver shoes. Two of my bridesmaids are coming to visit me in NC in January so hopefully we can do a little dress shopping then — I’m thinking along the lines of Ann Taylor or J. Crew so the dresses will be less expensive and already in the right size! I don’t want anyone spending a fortune to be in my wedding.


This is random, but how cute are these pie pops?! I love pie. Way more than cake. But don’t worry, we’re still going to have a cake. :)


And isn’t this a cute guest book idea? It’s a picture that was turned into a puzzle, and guests can sign the back of it before you put it back together. Love it! I think we want to have a photo booth at the wedding though — so it would be fun to just have a blank album book for people to use to paste one of the photo prints they get from the machine with a little note. That way we’ll have pictures of all the guests (plus photo booths rule).


I loved this creative RSVP card idea, too — although my mom made the point that you’d want to make sure people responded in a clear way how many people they were RSVP-ing for, etc., so we probably won’t do this. But still love it!


Also love this idea for an all-in-one gift registry — everything in one place! So convenient.


I also ripped out a bunch of photos of wedding dresses I like, because I’m going wedding dress shopping on the 27th for the first time! Gah! I’m bringing my mom, grandmother, and MOH with me. The lady at the store where we made an appointment said to bring some photos of styles I liked. I found myself most drawn to lace, chiffon, and ruffles (though not all together, ha). In terms of style, I like a bunch of different styles — the sheath dresses are pretty (especially when lace is involved), but I definitely want to try on some ball gowns for fun, too. :) I’m thinking I want something with straps, but sweetheart neckline is really cute, too… I guess I’ll just see what speaks to me!

Here are some of the ones I ripped out to bring with me.

I loved this dress — I really like dresses with little belts. So cute! I thought the skirt was fun, too — and I liked that the top was different. Very unique.


I especially liked the one on the right below — the lace is so pretty and I like the straps.


Again — loving the belt look and the skirt is so pretty — love the lace and how light/flowy it looks.


Thought this one below was gorgeous — again, love lace and belts!


I loved that this one below had a really light looking skirt — I don’t want anything too heavy because I will clearly be very busy dancing up a storm at the reception.


This one below had a pretty skirt, too — I liked how it was a bit bigger but not huge. This one might weigh a lot though?


Anyway — so fun! If you guys have any wedding dress shopping advice, please share! :)


  1. 1

    :) Just good luck!

  2. 2

    I adore the dress with the light looking skirt and also the lace dress on the right that you mentioned with the pretty sleeves and the purple ribbon. I read “Oct 2012” and thought oh, that’s far away, but realized it will be 2012 SOON! How exciting!

  3. 4

    Definitely try on all different shapes and styles at your first appointment. I ended up with something completely different than I had envisioned but I ended up falling in love with it! Have fun, picking out the dress is one of the best parts.

    • 5

      I will for sure! I’ve had others say that they got something way different than they expected, too. You just never know what you’ll fall in love with! :)

  4. 6

    Tearing ideas out of magazines and browsing the blogosphere for inspiration was (ok still is… ) one of my favorite things to do! Especially b/c I’m much better with pictures than words!
    If I had to pick one piece of dress shopping advised it would be narrow down a silhouette (A-line, ball gown, mermaid, etc.) and then try on other dresses in that same shape with different details. I feel that that really helped me avoid trying on too many dresses and not be able to make a decision!
    And when you find “the one” – stop looking! (just like your fiance!!)

  5. 8

    Anne- I cut out the SAME EXACT dresses from that magazine!!! Hilarious! I got my dress two weeks ago. I went with my Mom and MOH and just tried on a bunch and it spoke to me!! Wahoo it’s very SURREAL I must say. Good Luck!

    Meliss :)

  6. 10

    definitely try on a few dresses outside your “idea” of a perfect dress, you might be surprised what you end up liking once you’re wearing it! have fun!

  7. 11

    Yay for fall 2012 weddings!!! We are getting married on 11/3/12 in Texas (although we’re both in NYC) and I am right there with you in terms of not having a CLUE about all things wedding related until the Mr. popped the question. I was like…..uh i hope you’re ok with a really long engagement cause I need time to do some RESEARCH! We’re also doing an outdoor wedding with lanterns and stuff, and I’m playing with the idea of only candles instead of floral centerpieces since it will be sunset/dark for the majority of the time and scattered candles outside = super romantic! Can’t wait to see what else you guys end up choosing!

  8. 13

    How fun! Hahah I like the dark blue and latern ideas :)

  9. 14

    We’re registered at Amazon which has everything AND a universal button so you can add things from others sites. It’s pretty handy.

  10. 16

    I kept wondering if you were getting married at the same place that I did (in DC) but if there’s a tent, you’re probably not!

    I had J. Crew bridesmaid dresses. I think they really liked them.

  11. 17

    Omg so exciting! Enjoy every minute of such a special time in your life!!

  12. 18

    I love all your “likes”! I would be so overwhelmed with all the options but just like running, remember to make it fun! Especially the food tasting. I’m with ya…even being raised Mormon where I had roommates married off essentially every semester in college–I was never one to think about what my wedding looked like. Pie pops–I didn’t even know they even existed…

  13. 19

    Those dresses are gorgeous! Gah, I wish I could do it over again just to wear another dress. I’m in love with the third dress, those sleeves are awesome!

  14. 20

    I love all of those ideas! I especially love the top of the last dress. I got married 3 years ago but sometimes I wish I could get married again just to wear a dress. :-P Hmm, maybe elaborate vow renewal? haha

  15. 21

    I am getting married next year too. 05/20/2012- we are doing a Sunday brunch in the foothills of Colorado. I am excited/nervous at this point. I have crossed a lot of things off my list but we went with an all inclusive type of venue- they decorate, cater, DJ, provide chairs, linens, etc. Took a lot of the planning decisions away. I also want a photo booth if I can fit it into our budget. I love the idea!

  16. 22

    How exciting! Like other people have said, be open-minded and try on lots of different dresses. I really loved the short dresses and ones with color, they were fun and different and I’ve never been one for the traditional gowns. I ended up getting a floor length ivory traditional gown! I shocked a lot of people but I loved it and never wanted to take it off :)

  17. 23

    Oh my gosh, the first dress is sooo you!!! Let the fun begin. Remember to enjoy this time because even though it seems stressful now, you will never get this time back. (well hopefully. ;)

  18. 24

    Just beware on Registy 360 if you load stuff that isn’t one of the preferred vendors you will have no idea if people bought something for you already or not so you could end up with 3 rice cookers!

  19. 27

    I reaaaaally like #3, #5, and the last one. All so beautiful!

  20. 28

    We had a photobooth at our wedding, and it was AWESOME. The guests loved it, and I love flipping through our guest book and seeing everyone we love having a fun, silly time.

  21. 29

    Apparently we are on the same page with wedding dresses, I would have picked pretty much those exact ones! Good luck, excited to hear how it goes!

  22. 30

    Wedding dress shopping is so much fun! I think that was my favorite part of the entire wedding planning process. All of those dresses are beautiful! Have fun and enjoy it!

  23. 31
    Anna Marie says:

    Those dresses are so beautiful! Have fun planning your special day!!

  24. 32

    Well, I’ve never been wedding dress shopping myself, but I’ve watched say yes to the dress about a million times. My advice would be to let the people you are shopping with know what you are looking for so that everyone is on the same page. The number of girls that left without a dress because their family kept making them try on things they didn’t like is ridiculous. And also, just ENJOY it! It’s a great time to spend with people you love, don’t stress out!

  25. 33

    Good Luck Anne, I ended up getting two dresses! The dress I wore for the wedding was beautiful but it had a short train and I didn’t want it to get ruined at the dance. I also love to dance so I bought a white knee length halter dress just for the dance so I could dance all night! :) Good Luck!

  26. 34

    I love the last two especially the last one.Also love the one on the right with the belt that you mentioned. Have fun and I also love the middle one for the bridesmaid. Does it come long or just short.

  27. 35
    Pat Elsberry says:

    Love the 3rd one and the last one. Though from your photos I think the first one looks like one of your favorite styles!! :). So many decisions… My one piece of advice is to try and enjoy each step and new experience – don’t stress about it as it will all come together!! I think it’s really special to that you’re going with your mom, grandmother and MOH! Enjoy!

  28. 36

    love wedding talk — can’t wait to see the ‘final product’. it’ll be a beautiful day for sure :)

  29. 37

    My #1 advice for wedding dress shopping? Don’t make a decision based on price alone, DO NOT try anything above your budget (it’s a guaranteed way to blow your budget), and you can bargain at the wedding dress shop (as long as it’s not a David’s Bridal or a type of chain). For me, I checked out prices of online shop to know what to base on, and I saved $250 on the tag price.

    I have pictures of my lace dress w belt here: I LOVED it. And it wasn’t too heavy either (my wedding was in Rio de Janeiro, during early summer, and I wasn’t dying from the heat). If you like lace with straps + belt, there’s a version that is halter top (my dress was Karena Royale by Maggie Sottero, the halter is just called Karena). Also check out Allure for some amazing lace + straps dresses. I particularly love this one:

    And the best wedding dress related tip I heard? On wedding day when you have to pee, sit down facing the toilet! That way you can grab the dress, and there are no surprises on what your dress is touching on the floor (or falling inside the tank). It’s odd, but totally works!

  30. 39

    My recommendations on wedding dress shopping (and I haven’t read through the other comments so I’m not sure if someone else said these already) are:

    1) Don’t try on dresses on outside of your budget. They’ll just confuse you.
    2) But try on dresses that you may not have initially been drawn to because you might surprise yourself!
    3) Pay attention to the color of the fabric – white? ivory? champagne? rose? What color looks best on you?
    4) If you find a dress that is close to your dream dress but not quite, remember that a variety of alterations can be made. My cousin found a tank-sleeve dress she loved and added full length sleeves because that was what she really wanted! The seamstress used the extra fabric from the hem. A good seamstress can totally personalize your dress!
    5) Just like your fiancé, don’t settle :) Keep looking until you find what’s right for you.


  31. 41
    Stephanie G. says:

    I got married this past October! I had similar taste in dresses as you. I ended up with this one: It looked amazing, and much more expensive than it was! Good luck!

  32. 43
    Stephanie G. says:

    Oh, and I replaced the beaded belt with a satin ribbon in “champagne.” It looked a little more elegant :)

  33. 45

    Just from seeing your usual style on the blog, I can totally see you in those dresses – especially the first two. Wedding dress shopping is so much fun!

    I totally agree with Chase not to try on dresses out of your budget – it will just make you sad if you really like one. I do think you should initially try on some some you aren’t sure about to see what looks best on you, but then stick with variations on what works.

    I found it pretty easy to narrow down silhouette, color, and fabrics, and ended up getting the dress that was the first I eyed and first I tried on in the first store I’d visited.

    Have fun!

  34. 47

    all of those plans look awesome! i love the dark blue theme! and I love the lace dress with the belt and thin pretty!

  35. 48

    i meant to say straps, not sleeves lol

  36. 49

    So much fun! I had a blast planning my wedding-for the most part :)

    Good luck wedding dress shopping next week! I went around this time last year (and just got married in Oct) and picked a dress in the first store I had an appointment with. I hope you find one with everything you want, and if not you have plenty of time to customize it!

  37. 50

    Congrats on your engagement! Wedding planning can be so fun! I love love love J Crew bridesmaid dresses but not sure how much money your girls will save – They are $$$!!!

  38. 54
    Jennifer L says:

    A week or two ago I seen a bazillion floating lanterns coming from a church.. it was so beautiful I actually had the thought that if I ever get married, I’d love to do that.

    Also, blue is a great choice for bridesmaid dresses in my opinion. Everyone looks good in blue and it isn’t distracting.

    Have you thought about hair? Up or down? I feel like for me, that would be the hardest decision!

  39. 58

    I think you would love this dress, based on your choices above:

    Let me know what you think! I’m getting married in April 2013- I actually tried this dress on and almost bought it but then my fiance saw it so it was back to the drawing boards!! I found another one that I love equally as much!

  40. 60
    kristen @ livinlifeinlouie says:

    LOVE weddings! I have never planned one, but you seem to have a good idea what you want. Love the dress by Jones. So pretty!

  41. 61

    I think you would look stunning in something like the first dress. The ruffles are fun. Tone down the beading a bit. I think the dress you wear should speak to your personality, Anne. You seem like a laid back, fun-loving and not fussy kind of gal. Pretty and classy. Your dress should be the same. I don’t see you into much beading, pearls or glitter. Though, who wears a dress made of glitter except Snooki?

    • 62

      Haha yeah I definitely don’t need a Snooki dress. :) And that’s exactly the type of dress I want – pretty, classy, but fun and not too fussy, either. I don’t want a high maintenance dress I can’t move around and have fun in!

  42. 63

    Wow you have made a ton of progress already! I was in the same boat, all I knew was that I wanted a beach wedding so I had a lot of research too. I love the photo booth idea, I wanted to do that so badly but couldn’t fit it in the budget. However, since then I have seen a lot of groupon-type deals for photo booth rental that make it totally affordable, so keep an eye out for those! Vouchers deals also great for bachelorette spa trips so everyone can afford to participate :)

  43. 65

    I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but make sure to try on dresses that fall outside of what you *think* you want. I tried on SO MANY dresses just because my mom/bridesmaids/salesperson wanted me to and it blew me away how different dresses looked on my body.

  44. 66

    Those lanterns are gorgeous! Hope you can incorporate those in the wedding decor. Food is sooo important. Guests deserve a great meal. Especially in chilly October. Hot grub! Don’t forget the veggie-people. No fish. No meat.

    Got to agree w/Katy W. Very true. That first dress is smashing. Love it. But, you must try it on Anne. Don’t get yourself too overwhelmed.

    Does everyone like the dark blue dresses? I don’t know. Guess the darker shades of blue have to grown on you. How about just black? For a really classic wedding look?

    You will have a magnificient wedding Anne! Enjoy yourself pulling it all together!! Time flies.

    • 67

      Don’t worry – we’re planning to have a tofu option on the buffet line for vegetarians/vegans! :)

      I do like the black/white approach for weddings – super classy. But I just think dark blue is more me. It matches my ring, after all! :)

  45. 68

    We did something like that for our RSVP cards – just make sure you put a number on the back that coordinates to a number you have written down somewhere, in case you can’t read their writing! I LOVED giving people the option to write a personal message, or draw a picture! on the front :) Have fun shopping! xoxo

  46. 69

    Woohoo! Looks awesome!! Good luck with dress shopping, can’t wait to hear how it goes!!! :) EEK!

  47. 70

    LOVE the 2nd and 4th dresses—they’re exactly what I want for myself, too!

    And that puzzle idea is so unique and cool. Perfect combination!

  48. 71

    My sister Kate is also looking at the second one (the Martina Liana dress with the brown belt) for her wedding :-) I can’t wait to see pictures of what you find!!! eeeee!!!!!!

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