The Wedding Planning Process
Hard to believe that at this time last year we were only a little over two weeks away from our wedding, and I was running around town printing programs, buying lipstick, and going over the travel itineraries of beloved family and friends. In the spirit of this year's upcoming wedding season (and in empathy of all my lovely friends going through the same thing right now), I thought I'd share a peek into my wedding planning process and show you how my ideas/inspiration for the day evolved over the months planning it!
Because I had done no pre-engagement wedding planning prior to Tim slipping a ring on my finger, September was a really crazy month for me last year. In between getting engaged, celebrating with our family and friends, and taking engagement photos - we finally put into motion the very first steps of wedding planning! We knew we wanted to get married in May to convenience friends and family who planned on coming to town for graduation anyway, so that meant we only had about eight months to completely plan our wedding.
When I first started my planning in September, I envisioned a very romantic, Art Deco-inspired wedding. I had fallen in love with online photographs of a venue called The Silver Fox in Streator, IL - a 1906 Masonic Lodge turned into a gorgeous, historical, one-of-a-kind wedding venue that I thought would be perfect for our nontraditional sentiments. I wanted to wear a vintage bias-cut silk gown with starry Loeffler Randall sandals and hang stars (and even a photobooth-sized moon!) everywhere. We eventually decided against booking our wedding at The Silver Fox because it was just too far from the airport and any hotels to work for the amount of out-of-town guests we were expecting, but this is the moodboard I created for what that version of our wedding might have looked like if all those dreams had come true.
Once The Silver Fox was out of the picture, there was really just one other venue I was curious about, so we decided to visit Columbus Park Refectory, a historic boathouse in a Chicago park district that boasts sunny patios, a grand dining hall, and black and white checkered floors. As soon as we visited the Refectory, we both knew that this was it. We booked it as our venue only a few days later.
My original vision for our wedding at the Refectory was a little more colorful and quirky (if you can believe it), then what we ended up settling on. At first, I thought I wanted to use two of my favorite colors - yellow and orange - as the basis for a sunny and whimsical wedding day. I was eyeing an off-the-shoulder vintage organza wedding gown I'd scoped out on Etsy and thought I'd put all the bridesmaids in bright yellow skirts (a choice I'm now glad I ditched since yellow isn't the best color for anyone). Here is the first moodboard I made for our Columbus Park Refectory wedding day.
In the later stages of my wedding planning, I decided to pare down the color just a bit and settle on a still vibrant but more earthy palette. I wanted to echo the greenery of the park surrounding our venue and pull out some deep green, along with bright splashes of pink and classic black and white. I was lucky enough to be doing freelance writing work for my favorite dress designer Kelsey Genna at the time, and she made me a gorgeous bespoke gown with black and white flowers that, when looked at from far away, seemed just like polka dots. I took a risk and also ordered Tim a deep green suit from ASOS that ended up fitting like a glove and looking every bit as chic and bold as I'd imagined. Here are some of the inspiration pics I drew from when planning the final version of our dream day!