Well as you already have heard, I’m getting married and I truly couldn’t be more excited! Along the way I want to share with you my wedding journey and the real life fun of planning your own day, even as a wedding vendor!
So how did I plan so many key elements of my wedding in the first two weeks? Well it was more simple than you would think! Matt and I have been dating for almost 8 years, yes 8 years, so we have been discussing our engagement and ideal wedding plans for a few months now. Not only did I want to have a solid plan lined up when we actually did get engaged, but I wanted to avoid planning during wedding photography season as much as possible so I can focus on my sweet couples in 2015!
Let’s jump into the date. We picked June 2016 because not only could we enjoy the beautiful weather of the Keys (we’ll get to the location in a moment) but all of our family could be there with kids out of school. We also didn’t want the date to be too close to any specific birthday or big holiday, simply because we want to celebrate it all on it’s own! So back to the location! I’d like to think that Matt and I are a fun and laid back couple, so we wanted a wedding location that represented that. As a destination wedding photographer, I love the feel of that destination experience and have always known that’s the way I wanted my wedding planned out. We both love the Keys in Florida and thought that a wedding on the beach couldn’t be stressful, right?! Right. Well fingers crossed that pans out!
Next we discussed the venue. I searched for weeks to narrow venues down to the Keylargo Lighthouse! We were mainly focused on finding an “all inclusive” type venue where we could stay, enjoy the week, and focus on the celebration more than the formalities. And the Keylargo Lighthouse had it all!
We’ll be getting married on a beautiful beach looking out over the ocean surrounded by our closest family and friends! The reception will be under stringed lights with more dancing than we can hope for! Lucky for us, this beautiful location rarely sees a full day of rain, so we can truly relax about our outdoor event!
Next up, we chose our photographer! I’ve had so many friends ask “how in the world are you going to choose your photographer?!” and at first, it seemed like a daunting task. But thanks to the amazing community of wedding photographers, I searched around, asked for recommendations, and wah la, we found Matt at Diamond Eyes Photography out of Atlanta Georgia!
Our main focus when finding a photographer, was finding someone who could absolutely blow us away with capturing moments! We love our family and friends and want our wedding to be a big celebration, so we need a photographer who can capture just that. And since we were planning a destination wedding, the location of the photographer didn’t matter as much. Plus I personally think that Matt’s work is going to be absolutely amazing in a beach/ocean setting, we are beyond excited to see our photos and the wedding’s still a year away!
Finally, we went dress shopping! This was a part of the planning process that I was truly thrilled for! I headed up to Kansas city with my Mom, future Mother-in-law, and my sweet sister for the day. Our first stop was Altar Bridal in Leawood KS! I did a little research before booking our appointments to see which designers each bridal shop carried. Since I was looking for a romantic and more beach like wedding dress, Altar Bridal and the Sarah Seven line of dresses seemed like the best fit!
Although I can’t tell you much more about my dress since my wonderful Fiance reads my blog, I’ll just say that it’s stunning! Sara, my dress consultant was a dream to work with and helped me style my look from head to toe! And although I didn’t have that crying moment you see on TV I truly can’t imagine myself wearing anything else on the day I say I Do!
So there’s the start to our wedding planning! There are so many wonderful vendors that I personally know who will be helping out with my day and I can’t wait to share more soon! My biggest piece of advice thus far is take the planning process one step at a time. Make sure you truly represent you and your fiance’s personality in the planning decisions you make and simply just ENJOY IT!
© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2015 | Destination Wedding Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide