Planning a Wedding? Here's What We Wish We Knew.
Savannah’s Wedding Advice:
I was married in October 28th, 2006. Man that's coming up on 13 years!!! Back before Pinterest, I had this vision of what I wanted and trying to make that come to life was challenging and fun all at once! I had a fall wedding. I had candles lit with dim lighting for the ceremony with fall colors, flowers, leaves, and branches for decor. I got married in a church and the reception was in a large open building. I wanted it all to feel like you were somewhere magical and the reception to feel beautiful and different... but on a low budget. This started my interest in event planning and I enjoying decorating. With a lot of assistance from my mom, family and friends, my dream wedding happened within our budget! It was perfect!
Looking back it was very unique at the time! Since my own wedding, I have helped numerous couples with decorating and planning their own wedding!! I love using my creativity to help others. Wedding and event planning has helped me greatly with that! Decorating is so fun and it's even more fun being creative with a budget and making someone's day so special for them!
If I was able to go back what would I change? Honestly, a different venue! I would have had an outside ceremony and I always dreamed of an amazing barn venue. Back then the Black Hills was so extremely limited and what was available was outside of our budget, and ultimately were not the look I was dreaming of.
That’s where The Farmhouse Barn comes in. We are building this venue I have been dreaming of since 2009. There is this great need for a venue like this and I have turned my excitement for wedding planning to events also!! Now that I am a mother of four littles, my wheels are always turning! I cannot wait to bring more family events to The Farmhouse Barn for the entire family! Man people the sky is the limit and dreams do come true.
Amy’s Wedding Advice
When I got married back in 1992 I was a young kid who grew up going to my grandparent’s ranch, watching my mom and sister barrel race and chariot race and led a pretty country lifestyle even though I lived in town. We rarely left our small town of Sheridan, WY and it wasn’t until much later that I started discovering who I really was and what I really liked, style wise. When I got married back in 1992 we had a $1000 budget….that was wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, event rental, photographer, cake and food! PEOPLE! WE DID IT BUT IT WASN’T PRETTY! It was pretty for a 19 year old who didn’t have a clue what she was doing or who she was or what she liked. Let me tell you a few things I would do differently if I could go back knowing what I know today.
1. Hire a professional photographer! This is something we did not do. My mom had a “friend” who took pictures for fun. Let’s just say my wedding day documentation is lacking on many levels. I absolutely hate my photos. If I had it to do over, I’d definitely have hired a professional and researched those who shared my style. Things have changed a lot since 1992 and the quality of wedding photographers these days is unbelievable! What a blessing to have such amazing memories documented in such a beautiful way!
2. If the budget affords, hire an event/wedding planner. Back in my day, I never knew such a thing existed but we hired one for my daughter’s wedding 2 years ago and I would do it again, and again, and again! I did not want to have the stress of anything to do with the setup or tear down of that day. It was well worth the money and we were all able to just relax and enjoy the moment that is truly a once in a lifetime occasion.
3. This really doesn’t pertain to me particularly but if you are planning your wedding remember this. THIS IS YOUR WEDDING, not your mom’s, not your mother-in-law’s, not your best friend from high schools. Do it your way! Whatever way makes you and your fiancé happiest is how it should be done! I can admit to this, because I had such a small wedding we probably went a bit overboard with our daughter. I got to live vicariously through her. She planned everything the way she and her fiancé wanted and we were happy to oblige. It was fun being part of the planning and seeing it all come to life was amazing and beautiful in every way we could possibly imagine. Having had such a small ceremony myself it was fun to have a different experience with our daughter.
4. Save for the honeymoon! I wish we would have been able to go on a honeymoon! My “honeymoon” was spent in a cheesy hotel room vomiting all night long because I was pregnant with our daughter! We are classy, classy people folks. Classy and very real. I’m not ashamed to tell you all that I was 19 and pregnant when I got married. We’ve lasted 27 years so no shame in this game! We did eventually get a real honeymoon thanks to my husband’s ability to win cruises through his employer at the time. It was only a 3 day cruise but we had the time of our lives! That was the first time I’d flown on an airplane in my life, let alone experience a cruise and all that went with traveling! Let’s just say I fell in love and knew that traveling was something we’d be doing a lot of in our lives and am happy to say we have!
The wedding industry is a $53.4 billion dollar industry (and that statistic is from 2013) so you brides have caught on, more so than I ever dreamed! There are endless options to choose from, endless amounts of money that can be spent but just remember to do you! Whatever that may look like, do you!
For me, if I was getting married in today’s world for the first time, I would choose a great photographer and definitely save for a great honeymoon! All the rest is just the icing on the wedding cake….oh, a great cake is another must!