You may remember me introducing you to Madai and Danny last year after announcing they were one of the couples that won our services through a giveaway that we ran. At the time, Madai and Danny were planning a spring wedding with their closest family and friends.
However, a series of life events made it so that they had to take little time off of planning to regroup. I am happy and excited to share that their planning is back in full swing and they’ve already got their new venue and date booked.
When Madai reached out to let me know the planning was back on and to pick up where we left off, I asked if she would mind sharing her story with you guys. You see, here’s the thing. As wedding professionals, we often talk about the tasks you have to accomplish, how happy you are and the timeline you need to follow in order to plan a perfect day.
However, for many of you, it’s not that simple. Some of you get engaged and are so overwhelmed with the thought of planning that you never start. For others of you, you start planning then life circumstances require you to take a step back for a little bit. Either way, the process of starting to plan or jumping back into planning can be a daunting one.
I’m not afraid to admit, it’s a process I deal with very little. The majority of my clients get engaged and after a month or less of engagement bliss, they start planning and don’t stop till they reach the end of the aisle. It’s hard for me to share advice from a place of experience as I do in every other post because I have little experience with it.
Excited at the chance to help other couples going through something similar, Madai is sharing her and Danny’s story with us today and her advice for jumping back in feet first (or finally getting started!)
You had to hit the pause button on planning for a few months. Can you tell us what led you and your fiancé to make this decision?
One thing that my fiancé and I told each other when we got engaged is that we want to have a wedding that is debt free. We don’t want to plan an extravagant event that leaves us in debt for months or years afterwards. So when we first got engaged I felt a lot of pressure to get married within a year (which is silly and no couple should feel the need to rush to get married once they have gotten engaged). So that led me into panic of planning and searching for vendors and sites. I felt really discouraged when the more I searched and kept getting quotes back, the less hope I had for making our goal of a debt free wedding possible. I tried numerous times to reach out to family for help (which is awkward enough) but no one was willing to give us a dollar amount of what they could assist with. This also happened the same time I lost my job and had recently moved from an apartment to a house (where rent was a bit more expensive). Talk about a stressful situation! Needless to say, we had to pause. It wasn’t an option, there was no way we could make any type of down payments on anything until Danny and I figured out our personal lives first. After a few months I was able to get a full time job which has allowed me to get back on track to saving for the wedding again. And we were able to finally get family to pitch in as well! So in the end I’m thankful that we were able to take a break to breath and reevaluate. It helped us see that 1. there are a lot of vendors/friends that fit a variety of budgets and 2. if you can’t remember the decor and small details from the last wedding you attended, people aren’t going to remember yours, so don’t stress the small stuff (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t decorate but just don’t stress yourself about it 🙂 )
How much of your planning had you accomplished before taking a break?
Not a whole lot because we got engaged November 27, 2017. I lost my job in April and didn’t get a full time job until September. All I was able to do was continue researching different locations and venues and get quotes from various companies. I did however buy my wedding dress at a sample sale, so I did get a major checkpoint done while working part time 😉 (#itspossible to ball on a budget future brides)
How did you pick back up when you decided it was time to start planning again?
Honestly this part was really hard. I was saving some money and I knew I could make some down payments for things but I really didn’t want to go through the disappointment of finding something I love only to not be able to afford it. Ironically, what helped kick start my planning again actually came from being denied from a venue. Danny and I had found a killer deal on a mansion on Airbnb.com. The venue was in our price range and we had talked to my fiance’s parents about having the family stay in the mansion and we could rent out rooms to cover and make back some of the costs. This was the first conversation, after many times of going to them asking for support, that my fiance’s family had finally shown interest in helping support and pay for a venue. Right when we had figured out all of the details and policies of the house and we got the OK to book the venue, I contacted the owner and he said he was entertaining an offer to sell the house (which he later did sell)! Talk about a SUPER motivational buzz kill. I was devastated! I thought “great just as we were finally getting some support, the venue itself gets sold”. I’ll admit I thought about just giving up and I expressed that to my fiance’s family and my own because at that point it just didn’t feel “made to be” (#itsreallynottheendoftheworldbrides). The weekend after, Danny’s parents cut us a check and with that we were able to put a down payment on the lovely St. Petersburg Women’s Club. We went back and forth with trying to make the February date possible but we realized two things: 1. We have lots of family that will be traveling and a Sunday date would make it more challenging for our guest to enjoy themselves and attend. And 2. February just felt too rushed and we didn’t want that pressure to form again.
Did taking a break from planning change your perspective on planning or your priorities in any way?
Yes like I mentioned before it helped me realize that I just really need to stick with being realistic with my wedding budget and to not stress the small stuff or trying to be the next “Instagram or Pinterest” wedding sensation (although that would be a cool bonus). People come to celebrate YOU and YOUR SPOUSE getting married, not the teal or turquoise napkins. I also realized that my main focuses are venue, food, photography, and DJ. If i have those then it’ll be a great night.
What’s your new wedding date and why did you choose this time of year?
We chose June 23rd because it was the earliest Saturday date available. I know so boring and not romantic at all but it was important for us to have it on a Saturday and for it to be ASAP since we are already delayed.
How many guests are you inviting and if you don’t mind sharing, what budget are you working with?
We are inviting 150 guest and are trying to stay under 10,000.
Since your first update, what vendors have you secured?
I have secured my venue and have a photographer and caterer that I am close to closing a contract with.
Have you decided on a theme or colors?
Simple and Romantic. My colors are champagne, blush, gold, sage, and dark green. I love the idea of a “natural” looking beauty by using lots of florals and greenery and minimalistic gold details.
What elements of your big day are you looking forward to planning next?
The decorations. This is the thing I am most excited about. I love designing centerpieces and putting together different ideas for displays and sets. So I’m very excited for that part.
What has been the most fun and most challenging part of planning so far?
The most fun has been all of the brainstorming and day dreaming I’ve been doing while trying to plan for this wedding. The most challenging has been staying positive when the pressure of money gets in the way. I have to remind myself to be realistic with my expectations for my wedding day and try my best not to get wrapped up in ideas or “traditions” that just aren’t ideal or in my budget.
Madai, thank you so much for sharing! You had some amazing advice and even though taking a break wasn’t ideal, it sounds like you’re getting the wedding you always wanted! We can’t wait to help you plan and see your big day come to life!