Some parts of the wedding planning process are very stressful, but there is a way to start out, that is fun, and sweet and creative.
People have asked us where we began when we started to plan our wedding. How did we know what was important to us, and what did we do to make sure the day was going to be unique and very personal to us?
On our honeymoon, Noah and I were recalling the different details of the wedding and felt so happy and grateful for how it all turned out. We remembered how last year on our little engagement getaway (to The Boonville Inn – which is amazing by the way!) we sat down and answered Martha Stewart’s “20 Questions that made planning a wedding so much easier”. And they were a good start, but honestly a little vague. I decided to riff on them and write up the most helpful questions and the additional thoughts we had that helped us plan a wedding with personal and special and unique details. From this process, we knew what kind of venue we wanted. What kind of vibe, music, colors, and menu style. And, it all felt very ….us.
I know lots of bride’s pour over Pinterest and magazines and want a wedding from those look books and trendy mood boards. And that’s totally ok! But I think it’s important to say – think about aesthetic yes, but think about your relationship – what’s special to both of you. If you want to work in more of your personalities here and there, start with these questions and see what comes up for you!
1. HOW DID YOU MEET? (THROUGH A MUTUAL FRIEND?)
- If a mutual friend introduced you – would they possibly be a good option for your officiant? Or speaker in your ceremony? Or to give a speech during dinner? Think about the people (or couples) that have inspired you as a couple and as individuals, and how you could incorporate them into your ceremony, or events, as speech givers, hosts, etc.
2. IF YOU MET ONLINE, WHAT WERE THE FIRST QUESTIONS YOU HAD FOR EACH OTHER?
- This might tell you a little about whats the most important to you individually and in your commitment to each other. This could influence your vows or anything you want to incorporate into your ceremony.
3. WHERE DID YOU MEET? WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DATE?
- Could the food or drink inspire your rehearsal dinner or welcome party menus?
- Were you on a hike or something outside? Maybe an activity like this could become a special part of the wedding weekend.
2. DO YOU SHARE A FAVORITE FILM AND/OR FILM SOUNDTRACK?
- Could you use any of the songs work for your procession? First dance, etc?
- Could the setting of this film influence the aesthetic or vibe of your wedding location or venue?
5. WHERE HAVE YOU TRAVELED TOGETHER?
- Near… Any favorite spots close by that could become your venue?
Or Rehearsal Dinner/Welcome Party location?
- And Far… Could the cultural cuisines influence your wedding menus?
- Do you prefer rural or cities? This can help you decide on a locale or vibe for your venue. What will make you feel the most comfortable and happy?
6. DO YOU HAVE A PET?
- How can they be involved in your wedding? If not in person, maybe a drawing of them could be part of the invitation suite or on your website.
7. WHAT TIME OF YEAR DO YOU LOVE MOST?
- This is will help you nail down a date, color palette, and venue. A summer garden is different from a cozy mountain lodge!
8. WHAT ARE EACH OF YOU KNOWN FOR?
- Possibly what you do as a career or a longtime hobby? Is there a way to incorporate these interests into your favors or an activity at one of your events, etc. Take your personal references and think outside the box with them. Their influence can be less literal and more inspirational.
9. HOW CAN YOUR WEDDING BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE BACK?
- If you both share an interest in charity or supporting important causes, think about how you can create opportunities to educate or donate?
10. LOOK AT YOUR PARENTS WEDDING PHOTOS IF YOU HAVE THEM (OR OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY). IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO EMULATE OR INCLUDE AS A TRADITION?
- Did you father wear a tux? Or a cream linen suit? Maybe you have to wear one, too?
- Did your mother wear a gardenia in her hair? A veil? Or a pantsuit?
11. IS THERE A FAMILY HEIRLOOM (LIKE JEWELRY PERHAPS) THAT YOU WANT TO WEAR/CARRY WITH YOU?
- Does it have a color or vibe that plays into your wedding story or palette?
(If not, it doesn’t matter, I’m just mentioning this because these are the places that the special and unique touches are unearthed and can influence and enrich the whole experience.)
12. TOGETHER, MAKE A LIST OF YOUR SHARED VALUES.
- What do you think your relationship honors?
- Could be support for each other’s hobbies or faith. Speak with your officiant about ways you can incorporate these into the ceremony. If you are writing shared vows, these could also work into those.
- If you are asking any friends or family to speak or read something, give them a direction to reference in their search or writing. “Creativity is so important to us, we’d love if you found a poem that spoke to that shared value of ours.”
I hope these questions (and the leading follow-up questions 🙂 help you get started with your wedding planning in a way that feels fun and easy. There are so many details to decide on, hopefully the ideas that come from these discussions will make many of them no-brainers! xN