If you’ve been reading our blog lately, you know that my blogging buddy Karen is getting hitched–in less than three weeks! We hosted a fabulous co-ed bridal shower for her at work this past Friday, and today, I’m thrilled to bring you the scoop on her last few weeks as a wedding-planning single woman!
NAME: Karen Sullen
LOCATION OF WEDDING: Atlanta, GA
DATE OF WEDDING: 12/3/11
THEME: Simple Elegance
COLORS: Peacock Blue and Silver
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 250
We got engaged in April of this year, and the planning started in May. So, we’ve had about seven months to pull it together. I had a few ideas, but much of that changed (like the colors, date, etc.) because of availability. We learned early on to be flexible while not compromising too much. I’m doing most of the planning, but Daren has really been helping and providing good input. I’ve really been impressed with how much he has wanted to be a part of the process, but I think if he went to one more reception site at the beginning he would have screamed!
Q. What’s the most important thing on your mind right now?
Getting all the details done! It just seems like so much to do—not major stuff but all those little things, like following up with all the vendors, making sure everything is in place, and that there is someone assigned to handle certain things for us. We’re 20 days away from the big day, and I’m just trying to keep things on track.
Q. What’s been your approach to handling stress?
I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve drowned my sorrows in French fries on many occasions. Love them! They’re a great comfort food for me. Other than that, I’ve just tried to delegate as much as possible, be realistic about what I can and cannot accomplish and just push forward until I complete the tasks. There’s something exhilarating about checking things off my list so I can breathe again.
Q. Where’s the source of most of your stress?
The finances. Even though we’ve stayed pretty much on budget, we’ve had to be careful and creative. Not that it’s not worth it, but when you get to this stage of the journey after all those little extra expenses have popped up, you realize that everything costs and it’s a lot of money to spend for one day. Now I understand why other brides before me at this stage said they should have just eloped! I wouldn’t want to do that, but I do understand the stress of it all.
Q. What about your wedding planning would you change if you could?
I would have moved quicker on the reception venue. We kind of spent too much time looking at various places, so by the time we decided on one, the dates we wanted were gone. Silly me, thinking that we were the only ones interested in that date.
Q. What’s been the most rewarding part of the process for you?
It’s also been great seeing my fiancé and me become closer in the process. Making decisions together, handling mishaps, supporting each other along the way, we’ve proved that we’re a great team.
Q. What effect, if any, did the economy have on your wedding plans?
I don’t know if it was necessarily the economy that affected our wedding plans or not, but we certainly had a budget and we worked hard to stay within it. We really used our resources well to help save money. It’s amazing how many people we already knew who could provide services either free or at a discount. I also saw the economy affect some of our out-of-town guests who were unable to make it because of their finances.
(NOTE: For their wedding favors, Karen and Daren chose our “Beautifully Beaded” photo frame in silver. )
Q. Did you hire a wedding planner?
No, I decided to do it myself since I’m a “natural planner”. But, with all that has to be done, I can definitely see the benefit of having one.
Q. So is your planning complete?
The planning is pretty much complete, it’s just the follow-through at this point.
Q. What life lessons has wedding planning taught you?
Learning how to delegate. I’m sort of a hands-on planner, and it’s typically “easier” for me to just do it myself. But, all of this wedding planning has taught me how to let go and trust someone to handle things. That’s a lesson for life…not just the wedding.
Q. What’s the best advice you’d give your best friend who was planning her wedding?
Be flexible so you don’t turn into Bridezilla over every little thing. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. Remember what this day is all about. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details that you have little time for each other. Do something that helps keep your relationship a priority and make some time for each other.
Sounds like Karen’s ready to take that walk! I know you join me in offering Karen and Daren (poetic, isn’t it?)
Best Wishes for a Long and Happy Life Together!
Become One of our Brides On The Brink!
It’s for brides, it’s about brides, and most importantly, it’s by Brides On the Brink who are about one month away from walking down the aisle. If you’re two or three months from tying the knot and would like to be a featured bride, please click here to e-mail your contact information and wedding date. I’ll send you the questionnaire to fill out and return along with a few photos of you and your groom-to-be. For passing on your wedding wisdom, featured brides will receive a $25 gift certificate* for MyWeddingFavors.com, where you’ll find fabulous wedding favors, wedding accessories, bridesmaids’ gifts and so much more!
* For shipping only within the US and Canada.