Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wedding Planning / Ideas, Organizaion, & Setting A Course

Today I want to jump right into my experiences in gathering ideas, getting organized, and setting a course for your wedding, based on my experiences. Whew, we're in for a long haul!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I started gathering ideas and sources months before we were engaged. I just knew it was coming, and couldn't help but begin to dream of what my wedding day would be. At first, I had no idea what I wanted, which is strange considering I've always looked forward to being a bride on my wedding day. The last time I had really thought about it was 10 and 5 years ago when my two older sisters got married. I have photographed some really cute weddings, but my focus was always on photography, not what things I could incorporate into my own wedding.

Gathering Ideas:

My first inclination was to jump on my laptop and gather ideas, so I fired up Firefox and went to and Both had good information, but it felt a little cookie-cuter for me. Somehow, thank God, I started to stumble on some alternative sites, which I list below, that were packed full of unique real weddings, DIY projects, budget saving ideas, freebies, and more. One of them of course, was Luxe, which is how I met Misty, chose her as my wedding coordinator, and ended up guest blogging. (Heads up, that's the topic of next Friday's entry; finding your vendors!)

I can't say enough how happy I am that I browsed these sites for ideas! What I've found has given me the spark to make my wedding a truly unique expression of who Ryan and I are, think outside the box, be bold with my ideas, and pull everything off for an affordable price. If you've visited Luxe's wedding blog, Bliss, that's a good sign you're on the right track! Also make sure to bookmark the sites I've listed and be inspired!

Getting Organized

As I poured through the archives I found myself spending hours just soaking in all the amazing ideas and photographs from others' weddings. I grabbed each image that spoke to me, and soon had accumulated more pictures than is imaginable. One thing I did right away that I would strongly recommend; Create a specific folder on your computer titled Wedding, and sub-folders titled Dress, Decor, Bridesmaids, Groom, Flowers, and so forth, and be diligent to keep your ideas organized! This has helped me so much, I pretty much become an unproductive puddle of gush when things aren't organized to the T.
Another sign I'm an organization-aholic: I created a similar set of folders in my online bookmarks to keep track of the sites I wanted to remember. Anything from a vendor's site to an Etsy shop with funky headpieces to, Luxe!

Setting A Course

Having everything organized allowed me to look through and understand what I was drawn to, which helped me define my wedding's identity. I can tend to be all over the place and ooh and awe at every creative thing that comes down the pike. I realized I had to figure out what mattered most and the difference between what I liked and what I LOVED! This is where I started to set my course, or in other words, define what I wanted and focus my attention appropriately.

I knew I wanted a soft vintage look, eclectic decor, a relaxed reception, and lots of cream, coffee, and paled pinks and golds. I also fell in love with a mid-toned gray suit for my handsome guy, the sweetheart top on a wedding dresses, feminine details, and cute signs that said things like, "Cheer when the couple is announced Man & Wife."

I could go on and on but I'll wrap this up by sharing some amazing wedding sites for you to visit and bookmark. Seriously, DO IT! Not planning a wedding but love creative inspiration and eye candy? You know what to do, click the links ; )

Wedding Inspiration Websites that will BLOW YOUR MIND

100 Layer Cake
Brenda's Wedding Blog
Green Wedding Shoes
Once Wed
So This Is Bliss
Style Me Pretty
The Bride's Cafe
The Wedding Chicks
Utterly Engaged

Now that I've shared a little about my process and hinted at my wedding style, I'd love to hear what all you have in the works for YOUR wedding, whether it be past present, or future!

Are you going Black & White Modern? Rustic barn complete with cowboy boots? All-out 80's dance party? Do tell!


Angela Watts said...

So, since you have such a critical eye for photography, who will be shooting your wedding?

ashley sturm said...

Good question! I'm actually going with a friend from school, her name is Mary Frances Chrisman and she's based out of California. I can't wait to have her photograph our wedding : )

Photos By Courtney said...

I was just going to ask the same thing...that will be very exciting!!!!

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