How does a planner, plan her wedding?

I have decided to share my journey through planning my wedding to help shed light, advice and to potentially inspire those who are also planning their weddings.  Hopefully you enjoy my story as my journey continues.

When I first got engaged I was in disbelief and incredibly happy.  I could not help but look down at my left hand and see that the feelings I was feeling were real.  On a typical pacific northwest day, it was grey and raining and as my fiancé asked me to marry him between the crashing waves on the beach and the determined surfers in the ocean, we both knew that we wouldn’t be going surfing that day.  As soon as we got back to the house, I was on the phone and skyping with family members and friends to share the exciting news.  In between phone calls, I was already starting to plan.  What did I do first?  I asked my sister for her guest list spreadsheet from her wedding that contains all of our family members and their addresses.  It had begun.


As much of a planner that I am, believe it or not, I did not have my ‘dream wedding’ all worked out- much to my cousin’s disbelief.  I knew certain elements I wanted to have and had a faint feeling of how I wanted the atmosphere, but I did not have any of the details yet.  One thing I was aware of was that you can dream about ‘your big day’ for years and long for a particular setting, but you will not know if that setting is realistic until you have a rough idea of your guest count.  So having my sister’s spreadsheet was my first step to figuring out what would be realistic for me.  If you do not have a sibling who recently got married before you, that’s fine.  Start your own guest list and be generous at first.  Don’t worry about being stringent on the first draft- trust me, there will be many editions to come.


Being a planner and having worked in the industry for over five years, I am aware of how many elements are involved in planning a wedding.  So needless to say, I hit the ground running and got to work on vendors, theme and the venue search.  Though it is important to find a venue (and a date) early on, you need to also determine the overall style of the atmosphere you imagine.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted an outdoor, natural element instead of an indoor hotel ballroom feel.  I have a large family and knew that I wanted as many of them to be there as possible.  I also knew that I would be looking to either the Whistler or Okanagan regions as this was something that my fiancé and I discussed previously.  Keeping these elements in mind was crucial to be able to begin our venue search.  We ended up finding a vineyard in the Okanagan with a special meaning to us that will be the perfect mix of nature, style and fantastic views.


I will admit that given the timeline set before myself (nine months from engagement to walking down the aisle), I took on the role of a planner for first three months of my engagement.  I was approaching decisions and vendors from a planner point of view, as opposed to a bride.  I was action-based not emotionally driven.  I think though, that this approach helped me to get ahead of the planning to make sure I could meet the deadline nine months later.  Don’t worry if you’re not as enthusiastic about the planning as I am.  Make sure you do what is best for you and your partner.  If that means that you have a longer engagement or hire a wedding planner to help with things, then do so!  Also- remember that a main reason to hire an expert to help with the planning and executing is to relieve stress from the process so that you can focus on what’s important to you.  It also allows your friends and family to fully enjoy themselves and to not have any responsibilities on your wedding day.


So far, the experience of planning my wedding has been full on, action forward and exciting.  I can visualize the day and how I have planned for it to come together.  As one task after the other is checked off my list (of which I have many), the more room I have to think about the excitement to come!

Another wedding update will come soon, but for now, work on your Pinterest boards or drop me a line.



Alex & Lily Home

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