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Our Wedding Planning Process

Today is exactly four months until our wedding day. Four months remaining where I can add the word fiancé to all my spoken sentences (“hello, fiancé!”, “good morning, fiancé!”). Four months to the day until I marry my sweetheart Tyrone. Words cannot express how excited we are. In a way, it feels more real than ever before, and at the same time, we know it’s about to get a whole lot more real. Previously, our wedding day has felt so far off that I’ve had a hard time actually imagining it. I have tended not to give in to my imagination for fear that I’d never actually leave my daydreams or get on with all the day-to-day things that real life mandates I get on with. But lately, I’ve found my mind wandering off to that day four months from now, and I’m starting to believe that I will actually, like no jokes, for real, marry the man of my dreams. Eeeek!!!

Of course, now that we are at the four month mark, I’m also starting to get slightly nervous about how much we still have to do. Ty is as calm as ever of course, but Little Miss Type A Personality (me), is starting to feel like I don’t have a clear plan or timeline in my head to get all the things that need doing done. Enter the To-Do List (I’m all about to-do lists this week!). While I’ve shared the news of our engagement here on LUW and little bits and pieces along the way, I receive lots of questions from bride-to-be’s and readers about all things wedding, so I thought I’d share some insight into our wedding planning process so far and our newly created To-Do List. Here we go!

Saving Our Date

The first thing we did back in February 2014 when we became engaged was start talking about our wedding date. As we were living and travelling abroad at the time and weren’t scheduled to return home to Australia until mid April, we decided a 2014 wedding date wasn’t on the cards – mainly so we could stay in our newly-engaged bubble that little bit longer before getting down to the nitty-gritty of wedding planning. So we started looking at dates in 2015. A Spring wedding always appealed to me and then I discovered that October 3rd, a date special to us, fell on the Saturday of a long weekend. It was as if the stars had aligned and being the sentimentalist that I am, I knew we had found our date. So on the 3rd of October this year, 5 years after Tyrone asked me to be his girlfriend in the sweetest of fashions, we will become husband and wife. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

The Venue

Next came the venue. This was a hard one. I’d never really thought much about my future wedding prior to getting engaged. Never the dress, the setting, the ring, nothing. All I had imagined was one day having my Dad walk me down the aisle, and for a fleeting moment after getting engaged, about how wonderful it would be to get married at my childhood home. However, the task of planning a wedding seemed absolutely momentous from the outset and so that idea quickly vanished in favour of a venue that would coordinate many of the ceremony and reception details for us.

We wanted three things when it came to our venue: a setting where both the ceremony and reception could take place, a pretty location (ok, that was mainly me) at a reasonable price and one that felt like a perfect fit for us as a couple. Knowing that we had a specific date in mind meant that we were less flexible, so we got onto searching for our ideal spot early. During the first few months after our return home to Australia, we looked at three potential venues. At first, they all seemed so dazzling and amazing and like exactly what we wanted, but before long, we’d get home and realise none of them were “us”. They all had certain rules and restrictions and certain ways of doing things (wedding venues can be surprisingly uncompromising!), and while I tried to tell myself that it would make things easier for us, at the same time I didn’t like feeling like we had very little control over our day.

Before long, we realised that none of the venues were right for us. I started panicking and while it seems so silly now, the worry of finding a venue and keeping our date was seriously starting to stress me out. After another sleepless night, it finally dawned on me. I was doing everything I said I wouldn’t do when it came to planning our wedding – obsessing over the details and losing sight of what was really important. It was that morning that I woke up and turned to Ty and said, “why don’t we have our wedding at my family home?”. Ty confessed he had been wondering the same thing and was on board straight away. I couldn’t have been happier! I immediately texted Mum, and after weekends of dragging her around the countryside to visit potential venues, I waited nervously for her reply. It came 10 seconds later and all it read was “omg are you kidding?” (she’s so cute). I can’t remember what happened next, either I called her or she called me, but it was done. We had found our perfect venue – one that had been staring us in the face, and waiting patiently in the wings, all along. I look back now and the choice should have been so obvious from the very beginning. It’s so beautiful and full of the memories a wonderful childhood has bestowed upon me, it’s a place where Ty has also spent a great deal of time and feels very much at home, it is in the prettiest countryside setting with a big old grand home, wide open spaces, fields to frolick in and room to host the ceremony, reception and everything in between! Tick, tick, tick, tick, TICK!

Choosing Our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

In reality, this was the easiest decision we’ve made in the entire wedding planning process. While I’d never thought much about my wedding prior to becoming engaged, I always knew that it would be my two sisters who would be standing up there next to me. For Ty, the choice was an easy one too. It was always going to be his brother and his best friend. Ty only recently asked his brother to be his best man, and in a younger brother’s life, asking his older bro to be his best man was such a special moment for him.

Organising Wedding Vendors 

The greatest challenge of choosing my family home as our wedding venue has been the need to coordinate every last detail, without the help of the event coordinator that comes alongside a hired venue. Add to that the fact that Ty and I live a good few hours away from my childhood home and things have been even trickier to coordinate. Luckily, my Mum, who never fails to amaze me and remind me of what a superwoman she is, has been there to help us every step of the way. With huge amounts of her help, we have booked an amazing wedding caterer and organised hire of all the essential bits and pieces (I say that so nonchalantly, like a huge white silk marquee, tables, chairs, lighting, dance floor, bar, generator etc etc are just ‘bits and pieces’, but you know what I mean 😉 ) and her and Dad have amazing plans for the gardens that we’ll all be helping out with soon.

The Dress!

Finding a wedding dress was the part of wedding planning that I always thought would be the most fun and I’ve shared a little bit about my shopping trips here on LUW. For me though, shopping for my wedding dress ended up being the part that bought out my most self-doubting and indecisive self. While I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted after my very first shopping experience, I couldn’t help but continue to try on every style of dress there was – the tulle ones, the strapless ones, the lace ones, the slinky ones, the ballgown ones, the vintage ones, the glam ones, and everything in between – just in case. It was fun in the beginning, but with each dress, my confusion and indecisiveness grew, while the need to make a decision became more pressing.

It was then that I found the most amazing dress. Honestly, it took my breath away and from the very first second I saw myself in it, I think I kind of knew. Despite that though, I continued to torture myself with trying on dresses I knew weren’t right just “to make sure”. I was worried that the dress I loved so very much wouldn’t match the expectations I felt others would have of me and my wedding dress, and I began to feel entirely overwhelmed by the process. There were times when I desperately wished I could have asked Ty’s opinion, because he always helps me see straight, and even though I resisted, he did give me the single best piece of advice he could have given me. “Trust yourself and choose the dress you love because you love it.” And that was all I needed to finally realise what I knew deep down all along. That truly exquisite dress that took my breath away the very first second I saw it and made me feel so completely me, was the one. Just like that, the stress and pressure I felt (placed on my shoulders entirely by myself might I add) in searching for my wedding dress vanished and the thought of wearing that gorgeous gown in a few months time literally gives me butterflies!

OUR WEDDING TO-DO LIST

14.02.14: get engaged!
Announce it to the world
Set a date
Choose our venue
Book accommodation for our guests
Choose our celebrant
Plan our honeymoon
Choose bridesmaids
Choose groomsmen
Find my dress
Find my shoes and accessories
Choose Ty’s suit
Find bridesmaid dresses
Choose groomsmen attire
Send our Save The Dates
Organise our music
Decide on our wedding cake
Book our photographer
Organise flowers
Finalise wedding menu and food options
Finalise drinks and bar
Organise decor and decorations
Design invites and stationery
Send our invites
Plan flower arrangements and table centrepieces
Decide on ceremony style with celebrant
Organise bridal hair and bridesmaids’ hair
Choose Carly’s wedding ring (Ty’s keeping it a surprise!)
Choose Ty’s wedding ring
Finalise arrangements for our honeymoon
Decide on (and practice) bridal makeup
Finalise guest numbers
Go to bridal shower
Go on Hens and Bucks do’s
Panic! (just kidding)
03.10.15: get married!
Go on our honeymoon!

So that’s the longest post I have written in a long time, and with so few photos too – I hope you all don’t mind! This weekend is a long weekend and we have plans to cross quite a few more tasks off the To-Do List. My favourite part of having a To-Do List, of course, is watching the task list diminish, so happy days!

Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any wedding planning stories, or words of advice, or questions, I’d love to hear them so let me know in the comments! XO 

** P.S. Our updated To-Do List with 3 weeks to go! **
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