Brooke’s Wedding Adventures (entry no. 2)

Hey friend! 

Today I want to talk about the early stages of my planning process.

The first thing we did after getting engaged was set a specific budget for our entire wedding. 

After setting our budget, we were quick to secure our venue and set a date. We did this for a couple reasons: 1) The venue is one of the most important aspects of wedding planning (if you don’t have a place, how will you have a wedding??); 2) Venues get booked rather quickly, especially in a COVID world, and we wanted to make sure we got one that suited our style and budget; 3) We needed to plan around our families’ schedules as well as our college schedules, and having a date and location as soon as possible was very helpful. We looked at venues both in North Carolina (where my family and I are currently from) and Virginia (where Caleb and I go to college) and eventually decided on the beautiful Old Pate Chapel and The Bottling Company – a ceremony and reception space just ten minutes away from Liberty University!

Next, we began creating and narrowing a guest list. We both have large families, and our venue has a capacity limit, so this was a harder process than anticipated. We had to meet with each other several times to talk through or update the list before finalizing it. HELPFUL TIP: We created a spreadsheet of all our potential guests and categorized them into lists of priority (columns A, B, and C). This made it easy for us to see all our guests’ names and maneuver them as needed. For example, we knew that no matter what, our entire family would be invited to the wedding, so we added them to column A. On the other hand, we had several coworkers or high school friends with whom we were not as close. Even though it would be an absolute joy to have them at our wedding, they were not the highest priority on our extensive list and so were added to column B. Column C was almost like an “overflow” during the brainstorming process and included people who were not a part of our lives anymore but who we would love to invite if there was a possibility. If a space opened up in column A (e.g. if we were certain someone from that column would not be able to attend), we would move people from column B into that column A and so on.

(SIDE NOTE: If you have a guest limit due to COVID, capacity maximum, or just personal preference, do not feel guilty for not inviting certain people! This is your special day, and while it is wise to be aware and considerate of the people who are invited vs. those who are not, you ultimately have the final say in who you want present on possibly the most important day of your life!)

In the middle of picking the venue and putting the guest list together, I also started brainstorming my color scheme. I already knew I wanted to incorporate emerald green, but I went back and forth about what secondary or accent colors would look best. We finally decided on emerald green and midnight blue as the main colors with accents of gold and wine in the décor, and we love how they all look together!

In my next entry, I’ll be sharing my experience with wedding dress searching and shopping – when I started, who came with me, how many I tried, etc. I can’t wait to share it all with you! Until then!