THE FIRST HURDLE OF WEDDING PLANNING
Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is doing well! It has been a while since I have been back on my website... it is so sad that the last post was our engagement story ( cue the shame and hard core eye roll). No matter... I am back now, with some time to breathe because we have officially reached a good point in the wedding planning journey.
I recently asked on my instagram, if there would be any interest in me reflecting on where we are at in the wedding planning process, and it was overwhelming how many responses I received. So welcome to my first "WEDDING DIARY"and I will do an updated entry at least once a month moving forward!
How am I feeling/How is Romain feeling? I think it is very safe to say that I am starting to feel better being at this stage 6 months away from the big day! So the month after the proposal we hit the ground running. We realized pretty quickly that the best time for the wedding was going to be July 2019. Then we realized that we only had 11 months to do all the planning, so we knew that we had to find our venue first because everything was already booking up fast! In all honesty, finding the perfect venue, that was available when we needed it, ended up being the most stressful part of the planning process. Romain and I had a list of 50 or more venues, and we didn't have any opportunity to see the venues with our own eyes before we booked, so we relied heavily on Romain's dad and brothers to help us check out places, and ask all the questions, take videos of the locations, it was full on crazy, and right as we were about to pull all of our hair out, we were reminded of a place and we knew it was the one because Romain's family's reaction when they saw it, completely sold it! We booked practically right away, and then found out that the location could not have been more perfect, because my family also lives in the town.... not just close by but in the town! So it feels even more intimate and special! Romain and I have since visited the venue twice and we could not be happier. We both have been dealing with all the stress of planning a wedding pretty well. I think our best strength is our communication, so we work well at keeping each other level headed. This time of being engaged goes by super quickly, so we are making the most of every opportunity. This helps keep us from getting truly upset when little things you had in your mind might not work out.
What have we done thus far? Oh gosh... honestly, we have been extremely organized and have accomplished more than we thought we would by this point. According to our estimated timeline... we are slightly ahead of schedule! YAY!
First of all... where is the wedding? We do have our venue, and if you have been paying attention on my instagram and insta stories you might have seen some pictures or videos. The venue is about 35-45 minutes outside of Paris, in the cutest little town of Lésigny, where some of my family is located. We are getting married at the Chateau de Lésigny, and it blows my mind every time when I mention it to someone... or see the venue again because it is so gorgeous. It is a Chateau from the 16th century and was the former residence of Marie de' Medici!! It also is surrounded by a moat, please somebody pinch me! (Can I say again how my mind is blown that we are getting married here?)
Will the ceremony be religious or non-religious? The ceremony originally was going to be located in the 16th century church of Lésigny, because Romain and I are both Catholic, but unfortunately they refused our request because our ceremony is on a Sunday rather than Saturday, and it is also a national holiday and they only have one priest. We had the option of bringing in our own priest but we settled for having a beautiful garden ceremony at the Chateau instead. The best part about this decision is that we were able to ask someone who Romain has been friends with since they were tiny to officiate the ceremony, so it will be even more special and beautiful!
The music for the whole day of wedding celebrations was going to be a big deal for me, because my degree is in Classical Music and Vocal Performance, so I already had some ideas in my mind. I obviously will not tell you the specifics but so far we have booked a violinist & cellist duo for the ceremony and a string quartet for the vin d'honneur (a.k.a. the cocktail party before the dinner), and a DJ for the end of the evening. We are currently looking into booking another live band for the start of the dancing before the DJ begins. I am also putting together a Spotify playlist for the DJ because I want a nice mixture of French Classics, and Wedding Classics, and favorites. Honestly, what we have lined up musically already makes me so happy. I think because my background is in music, I knew we couldn't just have a DJ, I wanted to make sure we could enjoy some amazing and talented musicians as well.
The dress has been the most difficult part of the experience for me. I fell in love with an amazing Parisian designer, Rime Arodaky! Her dresses are feminine with gorgeous detail, they are lightweight, and super chic but for me who is paying for her own dress, and hasn't been saving, the price tag is a little bit too high! I wish I could justify still going after one of her amazing designs, but the reality of the situation has started to sink in. Romain and I are having a 5 day wedding celebration, so I will actually be wearing 5 dresses!! HOLY MOLY! That wasn't originally the plan to have a 5 day celebration, but it has turned into a full fledged affair. So... considering I need a budget for 5 dresses, I am trying to keep my big wedding day dress on the lower end of the price tag as much as possible. Also I have many more bridal boutiques to visit here in Chicago, but I reckon that I will most likely order my dress through BHLDN, because they have beautiful designers and they can get a dress to me no later than 10 days from placing the order, and my timeline for a dress is dwindling fast. Everyone has been telling me how I needed to find a dress no later than January if a designer was creating a new one, because it would be a couple months to get it to me, and then a couple months of fitting it directly to me. So I think BHLDN will be my saving grace.
Romain and his brother/best man, Hugo, have both found their suits in Father and Sons in Paris. I only saw Hugo in his suit for the wedding because Romain would like to keep his suit a secret from me, just as I am keeping my dresses secrets from him! The experience they had in Father and Sons was wonderful! They fit the suits immediately and the gentleman who assisted them killed it with finding the perfect suits for them. There is a reason that Paris is the fashion capitol of the world, they just know everything down to the smallest details. They recommended to Romain to wait until I have my dress to purchase the shirt because you want to make sure that both whites match. I mean it makes sense as I write it but I didn't put two and two together when thinking about the pictures and how even a slightly different color white could look strange.
There are a couple of other pieces to the wedding day puzzle we have sorted, but since I have rambled a lot already, I will tackle the rest of the questions and details in my next diary entry.
Please let me know in the comments section below if you are planning a wedding, and want to offer some advice! I love hearing other bride and future bride stories, and tidbits!
Sending you all my love, and looking forward to catching up with you again soon!
The future Parisian bride