Wedding Wednesday: Avoiding the Checklists

We're back with another Wedding Wednesday! My first WW on Dani Arizona, but not my first in Blogland. Just in case you're brand new to my world, I'll give a little background.

Vance and I met at a math tutoring center in high school at the beginning of 2009. We started dating in August 2011, almost 5 years ago. (eeeeep) He proposed to me on the 4th of July last year in San Diego on the beach after we watched the fireworks. We announced our engagement in December and we're really planning a wedding now which is pretty cool. But the cool part of this whole thing has been the blessing of doing life with Vance. Enough with the mushy stuff. 

Ever since we got down to the nitty gritty in May and started looking at venues, I've attempted to stay away from the checklists. Brides, you know the ones. The what you're supposed to have done 9-12 months out, 6-9 months out, etc. They're the worst especially for the unconventional couples like us who by definition have done things pretty backwards. I bought The Southern Weddings Planner and I've been loving it more than any of the others I saw (even though we're not in the South). I've been haphazardly checking off items on the various lists.

Just for the fun of it, I'm going to grab one of the overwhelming checklists off Pinterest and update you on where we're at.

12+ Months Out
Announce Engagement: Again, we did this about five months later, but it worked.
Celebrating one year of engagement in Vance's bedroom...sorry babe. :)

Decide on Wedding Date: Vance and I truly agree on one thing. Why does everyone advocate picking a date before a venue? We've been focused on finding the perfect venue and then the date after. Any date you choose will become your wedding anniversary, so you're going to celebrate it no matter what. So right now we ALMOST have a date(s). (and we'd be about 9 months out.)

Pick a Honeymoon Destination and order your new Passport: WHAT. We're just trying to pick a location for the wedding. We haven't even started to think about a honeymoon. We've thrown around the idea for a few years of staying in a hut on the water of somewhere beautiful. Ask me about the passport next January ;). (Just kidding...kind of)

Select Wedding Party & Confirm Participation: Surprisingly, I thought I was on track in this area because I asked my girls back in April. A wrench was unexpectedly thrown into that. I'm going to address the elephant that's been hanging it in the room if you follow me on social media. I had a maid of honor until one morning, I didn't. After one of the most insincere emails I ever received, I came to realize this person was just a stranger to me. They were resigning from a job, not talking to someone they claimed was their best friend. It was one of the most hurtful things I've ever experienced. This isn't meant to bash. It's just me speaking the truths that I've made peace with. That's all I'll say about that. I have 6 amazing members of #DanisBrideSquad and my maid of honor, Patricia, also known as my Sonic partner in crime on Snapchat was the best choice I've made thus far. Vance is in the process of asking his groomsmen, so keep an eye out for a post on that soon! Hint >> it involves Jack Daniels!

9-12 Months Before
Interview & Hire a Wedding Planner: Something I thought I needed especially with the logistics of our wedding. The costs will be allocated elsewhere because we're going it on our own. (with the help of everyone we've ever known of course.) I should put Wedding Planner on my resume at this point. hahaha not even.

Decide on a Wedding Color Palette & Theme: Well, I've narrowed my 60 Home Depot paint swatches down to about 10ish? But when people ask our colors, I still say ummm light neutrals, like a total loser. I guess it's better than pulling out my paint swatches out of my purse. Also the theme is something like classic romantic feminine, but not too feminine with greenery which Pinterest calls, "earthy glam," but I won't use those words again since my mom laughed at me when I said them. It's just as ridiculous to say out loud as it looks typed.

Begin Dress Shopping: One of the first things I did. I was pretty dead set on ONE dress at one store, until I saw another dress at another store, and then I was set on THAT dress. To be honest, I hadn't had that moment of wow this is it. Everyone told me I'd know the feeling when I put it on, but I thought maybe I just wouldn't have THAT exact moment. Back in June, with my bridesmaids in tow, I brought them to see the second dress that I thought was it. We got lost and ended up in front of a different Bridal store in the same complex. We found the store we were looking for, but thanks to the consultant at the store who assured me that the dress would be available to try on when it wasn't, it seemed like a bust of a trip. The girls encouraged me to just stop in that original store to try stuff on because "you never know." Well, it was the second dress I put on there and I got that feeling. So did the girls. After about 8-9 more dresses, I put the second one back on with a veil walked to the big mirror and cue the tears. This was the dress. It was everything I never knew I wanted. Two days later, it was ordered. Now we wait. Until then, I'll keep looking at the pictures on my phone every chance I get. Call it fate, but I'm actually early on this one. ;)
My Momma and I after we ordered the Dress

Book Venue (Ceremony & Reception): Here's the big one. The one we've spent a good portion of almost every week doing since the end of May. Ideas and plans have changed so much since our first venue tours in San Diego over Memorial Day Weekend. I'm not quite ready to share what we're doing yet. It's definitely not traditional and I hinted above with the word dates. We've looked at over 20 different locations indoors, outdoors, grass, ocean views, and everything in between. We've put 56 cents in meters and spent less than 20 minutes in a venue. It's been quite the experience for two people like me and Vance who know exactly what we like. Thankfully we found one that is just everything for our reception. We're JUST about ready to book it. Stay tuned. 

What's Next for #VanDanSayIDo

Creating our Save the Dates: I couldn't imagine having someone else design my paper goods, so I'm taking that on myself. We'll see if I survive the process of creating and printing my own Save the Dates before I guarantee I'll be doing the invitation suite too. 

Finishing Our Wedding Website: It's almost done, except for ya know the date and the location. But close enough right? ;)

Sharing Our Engagements: Since we booked our photographer, Simply Jordan Lee Photography, we took our engagement photos last weekend. I've shared a sneak peek on Instagram, but I'll be doing a FULL photo heavy (obvs) post for next Wednesday's WW. IT'S GOING TO BE SO GOOD. Jordan is a dream to work with, but more on that later of course. But seriously check out her insta

This Wedding Wednesday was all over the place and there's certainly about 70% of those checklists that I'm not even ready to start thinking about, but this was a fun little way to update you. What was the most exhausting part of your wedding planning process?


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