I kind of can’t believe we’ve been engaged for over two months. But then at the same time, it feels so natural / right for us to be “engaged” that I kind of forget what it was like to NOT be. (Except I definitely need to stop wearing my ring to the gym. My trainer had me doing deadlifts the other morning and my ring was basically tearing up my hand…ew) Let’s recap what we’ve talked about so far:
- Mike proposed and then I finally told you guys the whole story.
- Then I gathered some of my initial thoughts on being a bride.
I do have some updates for you guys!!
We set the date.
Mike and I will be saying “I Do” on March 22, 2014. Initially, we were completely set on March 8th. We even told all the venues we were considering this was our first choice. But then, a late season snow storm (ok it was more like a rainstorm but people totally freaked out) hit DC on March 6th and Mama POTR (my mother) didn’t sleep for 3 nights. She also started watching way too much weather channel and was spouting a lot of very bizarre statistics about the occurrence of late season snow storms. We all agreed that if we could get the same prices, it was safer to go for March 22nd (I won’t even begin to discuss the snow storm that occurred on March 24th in DC because we’re not changing the date again). Keep your fingers crossed for an early spring 🙂
We booked the venue.
We will be hosting our wedding at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn, VA. I knew I wanted a hotel venue because it just seemed a LOT easier and a lot of stuff already comes with the package. Plus, since the majority of our guests will need to travel to the wedding, it is easier to have the reception at the same place where people are sleeping. The Zimmermans do not condone drinking and driving. But we strongly encourage you to drink! Initially, I really wanted to have the wedding at a venue in DC but we couldn’t find many options (that were in our price range) that could accommodate our numbers. While Mike and I are very committed to not having a crazy over-the-top wedding, we cannot commit to having a small wedding. We just have large families and large extended networks of friends who we want to be included in our day. I am committed to keeping the final number under 200 but it’s creeping up. Arlington venues had bigger rooms but still offered proximity to DC. Even better, the Key Bridge Marriott’s ballroom is on the top floor with gorgeous views of the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center, and my alma matter, Georgetown. SCORE.
We took our engagement photos.
A wonderful family friend is a very talented photographer and he came down to DC last Saturday to take our engagement photos. We were hoping for Cherry Blossoms but no cigar. However, we happened to pick the day of the Kite Festival which was actually really cute. Waiting for the pictures and I’m nervous / excited. I’m worried I made weird faces lol. We will likely use one of these photos for our save the date and the others on our wedding website (which is still VERY MUCH under construction). Here’s a couple that my mom snapped on her phone during the shoot. Can’t wait for the real images!
We have confirmed our wedding party.
We are having a small wedding party, which I think is the ideal match for our personalities. I will be having my best friend as my maid of honor and two bridesmaids (one friend and one cousin). Mike will be having his brother as his best man and two groomsmen (my brother and his friend). We are currently working out how we want to include other special people in the day including readings, ushers, musical performances, etc.
We also have several things in the works that aren’t 100% confirmed yet but looking good. They include:
- A church for the ceremony – it was important to us to find a ceremony location where we felt comfortable. I would like a family friend (who is a minister) to perform the ceremony and want a church that looks beautiful but also aligns on some of my social values.
- A photographer – I am in talks with someone who I know / have seen her work etc.
- A DJ – I am in talks with someone recommended by one of my bridesmaids. I know him / have seen him work as well.
- The dress – We are VERY close to the final one. I went shopping again with my mom this past weekend and I think we might have found the one. No details though … have to leave some things until the big day!
So what’s next??
- Confirm all of the above. Most importantly the church.
- Finish the wedding website
I welcome ALL advice from former and prospective brides out there (or non-brides who have opinions… this is an inclusive environment!)
Mike and I have now officially been engaged for 4 weeks. Woah, right? I actually got a new laptop this week (thanks Dad!) and Mike obviously set it up for me because I don’t know how to do it myself. He made himself a profile on the laptop too and I jokingly said, “Who do you think you are??? Setting up a profile on my computer??” and he response was, “Um… like… your future husband?” That was so cute to hear. I’m such a wedding planning novice and I’m definitely feeling pretty out of my element. We haven’t set an official date yet and have only just begun looking at venues. However, I have some feelings and thoughts on being a bride that I thought I’d share with the internets 🙂
1. Pinterest is a bully. I don’t really do the Pinterest thing but I did set up a couple secret boards to share with my friend Elsa. It’s helping me keep track of a couple things I’m finding around the internet. But other than that I’ve really been steering clear of Pinterest for wedding ideas. All it does is make me feel bad that I’m not going to spend the months leading up to the wedding making handmade needle point handkerchiefs to hand out during the ceremony or serving rosemary infused pink lemonade in mason jars wrapped in burlap and raffia during my idyllic outdoor wedding ceremony. I obviously want a beautiful wedding and honestly have so much respect for those wonderfully crafty and talented people who want to do that. But it’s not who I am, and I really don’t want to get bogged down in comparing our wedding to what it “should” be.
2. 90% of wedding dresses are strapless. I don’t know if you’ve taken a look at me recently but I have broader shoulders than your average lady. I look like a middle linebacker for the Miami Dolphins in a strapless dress. Thanks… but no thanks. Thankfully I am noticing somewhat of a trend away from strapless and a lot of really gorgeous offerings within my budget. I have no concept of what I think will look good on my figure, so I have a lot of trying on ahead of me.
3. I think a lot of Bridezillas are just really hungry. For someone who already has body image issues, being a “bride” is an emotional minefield. When I signed up for TheKnot.com, one of the first items on my “to do” list they gave was, “Get in wedding day shape! – eat right, join a gym, or even hire a personal trainer!” (To be clear, my post about getting Lady Ripped is not b/c I want to get in “wedding day shape” I just want to stop having this knee injury flare up). Do I want to look my absolute best for my wedding day? Absolutely! But I want to look my best, not starving. Emotionally, I have been all over the map on this issue for the past 4 weeks. Immediately after we started talking about the wedding, I started feeling my dumb inner voice telling me that I’m fat and I need to lose weight. Think of all the pictures they’re going to take of you! You’re going to look like a beached whale in white! Honestly, I’m nervous about this. I’ve shared these concerns with Mike, my mom, and my MOH because I need their support in the next year. I am committed to not reverting to old, very bad habits, but I’m definitely feeling the pressure. Any words of wisdom?
4. There are only a few things that REALLY matter. I’m thrilled to be planning a wedding with Mike. I couldn’t be luckier to have such a wonderful future husband and future family. No matter what happens on our wedding day, I get to spend every day for the rest of my life with Mike, and that’s the happiest thought of all. My approach to wedding planning is: focus on the things that really matter to me, be flexible on things that don’t, ask for help (especially from my mom), enjoy the process (I’m majorly type A so planning is super fun to me… let’s keep it that way), stick to the budget, stay grounded, simplify, and don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day the only things that matter in the whole world are the four Fs.
This guy (my fiance):
These three (my family):
Her (my best friend):
And these two (my faithful felines):