For those of you who don’t know, on June 15th, 2019, Kitchy got hitched! Cary (my now husband) and I committed our lives to love, honor, and cherish each other before God and 300 of our closest friends and family. It was the most beautiful day of my life, and I’m not just saying that. The mood was joy-filled, the weather was breezy and in the low 80’s, all our people were there… it was perfect in every way.
To start off, this post is probably one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever had to create, because there is so much I wanna say and share but I also don’t want to bore you to tears with details details details. So, here goes my attempt at a fine balance between the two…
Venue: Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, SC
Reception: St. James Church, James Island, SC
Photography: Taylor Rae Photography
Videography: Rellek Films
Wedding Dress: Bridals by Jodi
Wedding Dress Alterations: Kira Elizabeth Design Studios
Bridesmaids Dresses: Birdy Grey
Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux
Florist: Charleston Flower Market
Wedding Cake: Erindipity Cakes
Catering: Dish & Design
Event Rentals: Snyder Events & JW Events
Invitations: Basic Invite
- ORGANIZATION IS PARAMOUNT: You do not need 18 months to plan a wedding, you just need to be organized. Start with nailing down the venue, date & time THEN work on details like guest list, dress, bridal party, color scheme, caterer, music, ceremony, etc. We planned our wedding in 6 months, so if we can do it, so can you.
- PINTEREST IS NOT THE STANDARD: Do not go in with the expectation that your wedding should be featured on Pinterest. You are going to have a gorgeous wedding because you and your significant other handpicked the details in it to reflect your relationship. Your bobby pins may come out of your hair, your lipstick may wear off, your skin may get a little dewy from the summer humidity…THAT’S NORMAL! Go with the flow, and don’t expect every minute detail to live up to the unattainable standards of Pinterest. Anyway, most of the pictures you see on Pinterest are from styled photoshoots, aka fake weddings. So enjoy your wedding day imperfections, because that’s what makes it special and uniquely your’s.
- BRIDAL PARTY: You don’t need the same # of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Your pictures are not going to look uneven or lopsided because there are more guys than girls or vice versa. Ask the people you know will stand by your steadfastly on your big day. Enough saia. Also, be sure your bridesmaids and groomsmen are ordering their dresses and suits in advance. Alterations and sizing mix-ups WILL happen so account for them by doing things months ahead of time. Be specific about the jewelry, shoes, hairstyles, and makeup you want for your bridesmaids. For groomsmen, be specific about shoes, socks, ties, etc. It never hurts to give them too much information!
- MAKE IT UNIQUELY YOUR OWN: The goal for our ceremony was to create a service where people could encounter the Holy Spirit and feel the love of Christ abounding. Both of us were raised in Christian homes and have strong faiths, so our desire was to have an uplifting service where believers and non-believers alike would feel welcome and loved. My husband and I chose familiar hymns to reduce the number of stumbling blocks people may have in worshipping during the service. We picked scripture that reflected the gospel truth. It was a beautiful representation of our own individual faith walks and our future life together as husband and wife. We made it our own, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
- SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION TO VENDORS: When working with vendors, always be considerate of their time and effort. They have a bunch of clients they work with, be the ones they remember and enjoy working with.
- SHOT LISTS ARE A MUST: Give your wedding photographer a shot list of all the pictures you want taken: portraits, formal family pictures, reception candids, getaway pics, getting ready, invitation suites, etc. The most details you give, the more seamless your day will be. Also, there will be a whole lot less for you to fret about day-of.
- EAT: Your dress is gonna fit you even if you eat a ham biscuit, I promise. So eat breakfast, drink plenty of water, recruit someone (aka your maid/matron of honor) to help you go to the bathroom, and snack…often! We had cheese sticks, nuts, crackers, pimento cheese, and protein bars right before we walked down the aisle, and that made all the difference in abating being hangry.
- STICK WITH YOUR DECISIONS: My mom and husband got annoyed with me a couple times, because I couldn’t make up my mind about some of the details when it got closer to the big day. I would make a decision and then question it. “Should I have picked a different color bridesmaid dress?” “What if people don’t like carrot cake?” Ultimately, once you’ve made a decision, don’t backtrack. Move forward and don’t change a thing.
- SAVOR EVERY MOMENT: The piece of advice I was given the most and it definitely proved true. Take mental pictures of your day. Find joy in the small things. Enjoy each conversation, hug, and well-wish. Revel in the beauty of having all your people in one place while you make one of the biggest decisions of your life. Don’t get caught up in how badly you need to eat or how much your feet hurt from your heels. Take in every moment and savor it. This will be the most beautiful day of your life.
What Kept Us Organized
Honestly, my mom is what kept us organized. She had an entire binder of receipts, timelines, checklists, the whole enchilada! We did not hire a professional wedding planner, because my mom was essentially our wedding coordinator. She has the gift of being extremely organized and detail-oriented, which made her the perfect fit. Also, she knows me pretty dang well and knows what I like and dislike, I mean she has known and loved me for all of my 26 years. But having month-by-month timelines where we kept up with appointments, payments, and follow-ups was extremely helpful.
Having someone (whether it be a professional or a family member) to help you stay on top of things is essential. I definitely could not have done it without my mom. Planning a wedding is an extremely large undertaking, so having lots of people on your team to help you orchestrate is HUGE. I was thankful enough to have a lot of people offer to help the week-of. My godparents from Oklahoma came in early to help with flower arranging, setting the reception space, transportation, sous-chefing, Total Wine runs, and so much more. A couple of ladies from my parents’ church even came to help arrange flowers at the reception venue the day before. Family members took care of transportation for all our older relatives. We had people come far and wide to help us. It was probably the best gift I could have asked for. Both Cary and I are extremely grateful for all our family, friends, wedding party, church family, and vendors who worked diligently to serve us in making our wedding day absolutely spectacular. Many hands make light work…
After many hours of Pinterest and Etsy scrolling, I realized that a master timeline would be a fabulous way to convey important events to your wedding party. So, I constructed a timeline for our wedding weekend that included EVERYTHING: times, locations, addresses, phone numbers, vendors, when/where photos were being taken, who needed to be at each event…It was sort of an exhaustive way to organize it all, but it worked and honestly it gave me the biggest peace of mind to know that everyone was on the same page, everything was planned.