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Where to Start?

Disclaimer: this is a wedding post. If you are not interested in wedding talk, please feel free to move on.

A little introduction in case you have stumbled upon this blog. I was a wedding planner/day of coordinator/officiant in the Austin area for nearly 10 years. I loved all things wedding and I was pretty good at my job. I was passionate about creating a Carefree Wedding experience for my couples.

I tell you this so if you have just stumbled here, you know that I actually do know what I am talking about.

You have the ring, now what? #isaidyes

I'm in the beginning process of planning my third (personal) wedding. Not everyone gets it right the first time, not even the pros. And in my case, not even the second time (if you are new here and want more background on that, I suggest you go back and read some of my earlier blogs).

But also if you are here, this might not be your first wedding either. The main reason I decided to start writing about this wedding is I tried looking for some information for the Mature Bride and I wasn't finding a lot of information.

Let's face it - the wedding market is heavily geared to the young, first time bride. And while my first advice to any bride was always DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY it is still nice to get that validation from a professional.

Even for me.

So if you came here looking for validation, then I am here to give it to you.

When it comes to YOUR wedding, DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

If you think you are too old to have the big wedding you always wanted, then you are wrong. As Nike would say, just do it.

Worried that you will look silly in a puffy ballgown? Who cares? I'm willing to bet you will look beautiful.

Wear what makes you feel good. What makes you feel beautiful. What makes you feel happy.

For me, I'm leaning toward a colorful gown for this trip down the aisle. I've done the dream wedding dress (I got really lucky the first time around - it was on clearance!). It was big and traditional and timeless and I still love that gown.

My second wedding dress was a bit more bold - I once again found it on clearance, this time in the Mother of the Bride section. Though you would never have guessed it. It was cream - which frankly should right there have taken it out of contention for the MoB section, but it was also very revealing. It was perfect for me though.

I've done a lot of Pinterest "shopping" and the choices are kind of all over the place. I have no idea what I will end up with. What will I really like on me?

But maybe you came here because you don't exactly know where to start. Maybe it has been a long time since your last wedding - things have changed. Maybe you found love late in life and just don't know what to do.

The first thing you should do after you have found love and said yes, is determine what is most important to you on your wedding day (other than getting married, of course).

Is it the size of your wedding? Do you want to be surrounded by all of your friends and family? Or do you want to keep it more intimate and small? Do you want to elope?

Knowing how big an event you want will help set the stage for everything else.

Is your dress really important to you? Have you always wanted a big princess gown - that won't work very well on a beach. I'm not saying you can't, but you might be miserable in a big dress on the sand. Conversely a form fitted, sexy sleek gown may not be best suited for a barn wedding either. Again, you do you, but your style of gown can help set the tone for everything else.

For us, we have decided to get married in Maine at one of the family homes (it sounds fancier than it is - not that it isn't really nice). His great grandfather purchased Pops Cottage back in the 1940s and as other properties became available around it, other family members scooped them up. Rob's father's cousins own a lovely home they have just opened up as a rental and it has a large, beautifully landscaped yard. I knew the moment I saw it that if it was possible, that's where I wanted to get married.

So pretty much everything else about the wedding is being dictated by our choice of venue. I might not know what kind of gown I want yet, but knowing it will be outdoors will definitely be something I keep in mind.

Since this is a destination wedding for us, we decided to plan a quick weekend trip back up to Maine September 10-13. Which will be one year before our actual wedding date of September 9, 2022. It will be good to see what the weather is generally like that time of year plus I'm scheduling lots of appointments for wedding recon. I can do a lot over the worldwide web, but some things are always better in person.

My next big decision will be the rental company. Since our venue is a private residence, we will be renting everything. I'm probably going to get a tent which will make me almost (but not really) wish for rain so I don't waste money. I just know if I don't have it, I'll regret it. But there are many types of tents available and I still have a budget to consider.

I really like the clear tents since one of the biggest reasons we decided to get married there is how beautiful it is, but they are also more expensive. Budget might win on this one.

I should also mention that I have already hired my wedding planner/day of coordinators. Molly and Anna are a team which I immediately loved. I spoke to a couple of different planners but they said more of the things I used to say when meeting with couples. It's scary choosing someone without actually meeting them in person - though we did facetime - but I'm feeling pretty good about my decision. And while I don't need actual planning assistance, I do need someone local to help vet vendors when I can't.

I do highly encourage all couples regardless of age or financial status to hire at least a Day of Coordinator. Whether you need a lot of hand holding or a hard core DIY Bride (or Groom), a DoC will make sure your day is executed to your specifications - so you can relax and focus on your wedding day. And all of your family and friends can too. And by hiring a DoC early in the process, you might be able to save money by working with tried and true vendors that have already been vetted...and may offer discounts to their clients.

And if nothing else, the earlier in the process you begin working together, the more your DoC will fully know your vision come the big day. Which is really what it's all about.

Ok - that's enough for today. Just remember to have fun, if planning your wedding is stressful, you are doing it wrong.

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