Wedding Planning 101

You can go from 0-60 in a flash
The wedding ideas start NOW

You can go from 0-60 very fast when you’re a planner by nature. It took all of 30 seconds for the excitement of the many wonderful plans we’d be able to make now, to sink in after the initial shock of the proposal wore off. The wedding ideas started rolling….

Just the word planning makes me giddy! I’ve always been so excited at the thought of organizing and planning and keeping agendas and a tidy space etc. Anything that helps me feel like I’ve got a good handle on things. I know some of you will roll your eyes at that and others will think “This girl speaks my language!” We’re all hard wired so differently, but part of my wiring is an intense love for planning! So, imagine my delight about 30 seconds after the shock had worn off that Mark had just proposed……Let the fun begin!

The proposal happened at my favourite spot in Niagara on the Lake, Pillar and Post. (You can read all about the romantic details here) The next morning while Mark was loading up the car I noticed a wedding guide book on the desk in our room, well done Vintage Hotels! As I skimmed through the pages I saw an ad for a beautiful vineyard wedding ceremony location followed by an all-inclusive reception at a quaint little inn. I quickly sent an email inquiry and within minutes someone had gotten back to me with every little detail about the packages available. I was so impressed with the efficient and kind response, I told Mark we should take a drive by there on the way home and check things out. We did just that and both of us fell head over heels in love with the beauty that this place holds.

We didn’t have an official appointment, but we asked someone working there if we could just take a quick look at the reception room and they took us on a tour. They were setting up for a wedding that day. The room itself is all done in grays and whites with floor to ceiling windows across the back overlooking the Niagara Escarpment. It was perfect in everyway. We made an appointment for an official tour, but we both already knew that this was the spot!

Mark and I are on the same page with almost everything. We always joke that he’s the male version of me and I’m the female version of him. I don’t remember feeling this excited about the wedding plans the first time around and he says the same. What a difference it makes when you’re planning your big day with the one you’re meant to be with! We started with a wedding checklist that I came up with to accommodate wedding ideas on a budget. You can get a free copy of this checklist here. Every idea I’d bounce off him, he loved or had similar thoughts to. We spent that night going through the wedding board I had created on Pinterest and started jotting down some future things to look into.

We still had to tell the kids about our big news. We saw our oldest first and his initial response wasn’t as exciting as we had hoped but he’s a teenaged boy who’s survived his parents divorce, so the idea of another marriage that could fall apart in his eyes was something to worry about, not celebrate. Mark assured him that this time wouldn’t even be happening unless we were both sure that we were in it for life. It’s nothing like the first marriages and when we make this promise to each other and to the kids, it’s a promise we don’t intend on ever breaking. He quickly came around.

We took the younger three out for a special weeknight dinner and let them all choose a “fancy” drink off the kid’s menu. Once the drinks came we told them we were out to celebrate something and asked if they had any idea what that might be. Addison piped up “That Justin’s not here!” Alyssa threw out a guess and then Jayden goes “You and Jenn are getting married!?” half jokingly, so I showed them my hand and said “Yes, you got it! We’re getting married!” Alyssa’s face lit right up with a huge smile. Jayden was practically shouting “are you serious!? Have you been wearing that ring the whole time and we didn’t notice!? Wow!” Addison’s jaw was on the table. She kept asking if we were serious. We tend to joke a lot in our house, so she wanted to be sure this wasn’t a not so funny prank! Then the giggles and chatter non-stop started. They were all so thrilled and really couldn’t be happier. Mark and I couldn’t have asked for a better response from them.

Below is a little video for you to see part of the reaction. This was shortly after talks of the wedding plans had started. Addison had decided that she should be the official wedding planner just like in Father of the Bride, she would be our own personal Franc! Look out world! We told them all that they would be our wedding party and that they would be included in everything, that this day is just as much about them as it is about us.

We have our own personal Franc!

About a month after the proposal we had almost everything that could be booked early on, booked! After our tour at the winery and inn, we secured our date and gave a deposit. We had a DJ connection from way back and booked him. I took care of arranging for mobile hair and makeup. I’m not a big flowers girl so being the budget happy chick I am I decided we would go with flowers from Costco. They have amazing wedding packages for incredible prices, incase you’re ever looking!

I found a photographer that I absolutely loved from a list of wedding vendors on weddingwire.ca and after meeting with her we were very happy with our choice. About a week after our meeting we received a very disappointing email that stated her day job would not allow for her to do a Friday wedding, that she couldn’t commit. She provided us with recommendations and after looking at a couple of the others, I liked the soft romantic feel to one of them. I contacted her, and boy are we ever glad how things ended up working out. We are head over heels for our photographer Andrea’s Impressions. She was so quick to respond, so warm and kind in her correspondence. We booked our engagement photos with her and asked to do them half engagement, half family photos and she was more than happy to do so. The pictures you see throughout the website are her amazing work! I can’t wait to see the amazing wedding photos she will capture for us!

With all of that done one month in, we were more than ahead of the game! I still wanted to attend a wedding show, something I never did the first time around and being the great guy Mark is, he happily went along with it even though everything offered there seemed to be something we had already taken care of. We made a date day out of it and had a great time together.

I started looking into attire for myself and for the girls. I had visions in my head of what I wanted but unless I wanted to fork over WAY too much money for a dress that gets worn once, it didn’t look like I’d have any luck finding it. I decided to do a quick search on Amazon. Couldn’t hurt right!? Bingo! After several search attempts, I finally worded it correctly and there it was…. THE dress! Excitement quickly turned into to worry though. No reviews. I couldn’t find any information on the company at all, do I take a chance!? Most things are made over seas anyways, it could turn alright, you never know…. I decided at the price point, why not give it a try. I ordered it right away so that if it did turn out to be a total bust, I would have time for plan B. The dress arrived within a month. I tried it on and my jaw dropped with a few minor alterations I would have the dress of my dreams!!! I was thrilled to say the least.

Having such luck with my dress I decided to peruse Amazon for the girl’s dresses as well and found a perfect age appropriate dress that came in both of their sizes that they both loved. They arrived, and they were perfect too! Who knew that Amazon would be my go-to for wedding attire!

Until next time….

xx Jenn

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