Wedding Planning Progress

IMG_1801 Well our wedding is now just five months and a few days away! Which means we've been hard at work the last three and a half months since Ryan proposed. We have all the big decisions basically done, and find ourselves now with about a million and a half small decisions. Wedding planning is NOT everything I thought it would be. I'm thrilled, of course, to be engaged to my love, but I'd always told him I'd want a year to plan and really "enjoy" being engaged. Man, I'm glad we missed that mark because five months out I'm ready for the whole thing to be done and just be married already! I don't like being that person who only thinks/talks about her wedding!

Psst! Sneak peek at our venue, above!

Here are some of the things that have been going on in Morgan/Stephens wedding land...

1. EVERYTHING is more expensive than we thought it would be. Like, a thousand dollars more EACH. We'd originally thought we could pinch and do the wedding for $15k (before I'd looked up any vendors). Maybe that would have been possible if circumstances were different (we didn't want to get married in the city, we weren't having an October wedding in a rainy city, we had a childhood home that would accommodate us, if we were a super DIY graphic design team who's cousin is a DJ and best friend bakes wedding cakes). But generally the non-negotiables for us meant that the budget instantly rose by another $10k. The sad part is, in many ways we're still thinking in terms of a "budget" wedding - we just chose some spurge items that were absolutely essential to us. We're lucky to have help from our parents as well as forking up a chunk ourselves (hence the not buying much for the apartment lately), and we don't want to take on any wedding debt.

2. We don't like WEDDING STUFF that much. Matching bridesmaids. Ballrooms. Chair slipcovers. The concept of "wedding colors". Upholstered card boxes. Cheesy bridal party poses. Garters (whose idea was THAT?). And at (nearly) 28 years old and having attended MANY weddings, I've realized... we don't HAVE to do anything other than say vows and sign the marriage license. Approaching everything from point of "do we want to do this" and incorporating only the traditions/elements that appeal to us has been AWESOME. What are my wedding colors? Well, I don't have "purple and orange" where everything is color matched - we're using a palette of hues ranging from ivory to nude to blush to dove gray, with hits of charcoal and evergreen... not what the caterer wants to hear when picking out linens!

3. We're also on a "take it or leave it" attitude with wedding trends. I'm not styling a magazine spread - it doesn't matter to me if the ideas have "been done" and I also don't care if it's "the hot new thing" if I don't like it. When is a trend "over" and who decides? Guess what - if you love it, it's always in style. You don't have to cater to anyone else's taste but you and your spouse-to-be (and it helps to throw the moms a bone once in a while). Falling under this category is keeping DIY projects to the bare minimum! I am not a DIY bride, I am NOT a crafter. I MIGHT paint our names on a mailbox for a card box and I MIGHT make my own veil. Otherwise if it's too complicated to do ourselves or too expensive to hire out, we're skipping it. Also, I didn't want to decorate a whole bunch, so our wedding is in an art gallery. It comes decorated. We're adding flowers and candles (and table linens) and that's about it. Keeping it simple!

4. We're getting creative in cutting costs. Yes, some things were a lot more expensive than we expected. But we're willing to trim other places to make it happen. I love our wedding invitations (getting samples next week!) but they could have been wayyyy more expensive had I opted to do letterpress or foil instead of printing, and we skipped the extras like ribbons or a million inserts and inner envelope. I want them to be pretty, but simple is fine. We also wanted REALLY good food (we're both kinda foodies) but we couldn't afford the kind of sit-down dinner where everything is amazing... so we're having really amazing heavy hors d'ouevres. Not only is the food price-per-head less (even $5 less per person counts when you have 100 guests), but we're renting fewer tables and linens, plates, and flatware. Not to mention fewer tables = fewer centerpieces. I've always loved wedding cake designs, but we got major sticker shock looking at wedding cakes ($900?!) and realizing that we've eaten our fair share of dry cake with plasticky fondant. Taste and cost over-ruled and we're doing an assortment of yummy two-layer bakery cakes for closer to $300. Easy.

5. Working together has been a saving grace. Lots of people have assumed that I, as a bride and as a designer, am dictating the whole wedding. Or even pre-planned the whole thing before Ryan even proposed. Couldn't be farther from the truth (and this attitude kind of hurts my feelings). Sure, I had ideas I'd gathered with Ryan's taste in mind, but the actual vendors we've hired are ALL different from what I'd initially thought  - most of them I hadn't heard of before we started actually calling around. And as someone who might have the tendency to over-think the planning process, it has helped SO much to talk over everything with Ryan and to make decisions together as quickly as possible. No drawn-out mulling over napkin color. I find a source, we look at options, we pick. Boom. Ryan was in charge of the catering (found a bunch of options, called for quotes, went over the estimates and menus). As soon as we found ourselves hemming and hawing over two, we just picked one. Perfect is the enemy of done. We've found it really helps to schedule wedding planning sessions (with wine, naturally). We go through our checklist, tackle the most urgent items, assign "homework" to be completed for next time (like gathering estimates), and we're done. Whenever we get too stressed out or have been doing a lot of planning stuff, we schedule a non-wedding day where we spend time together doing something fun and don't talk about wedding planning. Keeps us sane.


This is getting crazy long so I'll leave my other topics for another day. Is there anything you want to hear about specifically? Still keeping wedding posts to a minimum, but thought this was a good check-in point to share our process!