One of my dear friends from high school Chelsea Hunter just became Chelsea White. Although I’ve been on the wedding planning side and have watched weddings from the spectator’s standpoint, I wanted to hear first hand how each part of the process felt for her and her finance. Here’s her story and advice.
Events By Chelsea: How did you meet?
Chelsea: Andrew and I met at church. He was leading worship for our youth group at the time and I was just a volunteer helping out. He was very shy so he wrote on my Facebook one day and said we should get together sometime. We met up for coffee the next week and after that the rest is history!
Events By Chelsea: What advice do you have for a recently engaged couple?
Chelsea: My advice for a recently engaged couple is to ENJOY it! I think too many brides get too hyped in wedding planning right away. I took the first month to just soak it all up. It's such a fun time and I didn't want to take away from that by stressing myself out about trying to put a wedding together that second.
Events By Chelsea: How long were you engaged for?
Chelsea: I was engaged for 7 months.
Events By Chelsea: What's something you spent a lot of money on that now looking back wasn't as important as you thought?
Events By Chelsea: How many dresses did you try on before you found the one?
Chelsea: I tried on about 5 or 6. I picked out a dress online from David's Bridal. I know my body shape and what looks flattering on me so I had an idea already what style I wanted. I did try on a few styles to amuse my mom and sister though! The dress I originally picked out was a bit plain and I picked a similar dress with a bit more pizzazz to it.
Events By Chelsea: What was your favorite part of your wedding?
Chelsea: I have a few but one of my favorites was walking down the aisle. There is just something about that feeling that you are getting married, everyone is watching you and you're starting a new chapter. Plus, I walked down to "Chapel of Love" which is mine and my grandma's favorite oldies song! I walked down by myself and it was a moment of me putting my independence behind and marrying my best friend. I loved having Andrew grab me towards the end and just let me know I was no longer going to be by myself, that we were now committing to each other forever. It was just a blissful moment and one I will never forget.
Chelsea: My biggest tip is getting a wedding planner. I thought I didn't want one but my friend Jennifer Edmon from Something Blue Weddings offered to help plan my wedding and boy am I glad I agreed to have her help me! http://www.somethingblue.us.com/ She helped me with every detail, from keeping my sanity to running my wedding that day. It's a very important aspect I think people overlook and it just helps the bride, groom and everyone else have a smoother day. I highly recommend putting one of your higher costs into a wedding planner. My strategy was having a lovely day and with her it was perfect!
Events By Chelsea: Did your finance take a big part in planning?
Chelsea: Andrew took as much apart as he could. I really valued his opinion and this day was just as much about him as it was me. I feel sad when the groom seems like he just shows up to his own wedding. The wedding was a very blended mixture of us both. It had all my simple and vintage elements along with his rock and roll side all mixed into getting married in a little church chapel.
Events By Chelsea: If you were to do it over what would you change? Any regrets?
Chelsea: If I could do anything over the only thing I would change is the date! It was the middle of July in the afternoon. Our wedding day was SO HOT! Like almost dying hot. Luckily, we planned on having a fairly short wedding with just a dessert reception, which was perfect, but everyone thought they were going to melt and we almost did. Honestly, that is literally the only thing I would change. We loved every detail because it was created by us. We got married in a church a lot of his family was wed in, we had many DIY details and all our loved ones surrounded us. Who could complain about that?!
Chelsea: My other advice is, make it your own. This is about you and your groom. Don't let anyone else stray you away from what you really want or you will regret it. We literally did whatever we wanted and it really showed because it reflected us.
Also, I’m not big on going into debt over a wedding. I really find it foolish to start out your newlywed life in debt. Obviously, there are some debts you can't avoid like school or a car loan etc. but adding to that debt over a wedding will just set you up for a harder financial situation. It's just not a smart choice in my opinion. My wedding was literally under a few thousand dollars. That included EVERYTHING. We got away with it because we used every resource, friend and creativity we could muster up.
Also, I think in a wedding budget the most money should go towards photography. That's what you get to take home (besides your dress) at the end of the day. Make sure you hire a photographer you LOVE. Even though my wedding day was extremely hot you could never tell in my pictures.
My last bit of advice is to ENJOY your day. I see to many brides getting flustered, upset and angry on their wedding day. Just relax because it literally goes by in a blink of an eye. You are marrying the love of your life and on that day that's all that should matter.
Tips on accessories: My necklace was my something borrowed. My earrings were vintage from my grandma. I wore a pearl ring from my grandma and my other ring was the one I gave my bridesmaids. My shoes were glitter Toms. I wanted to be comfy and they were also my something blue. I think accessories should add to your dress and style. I say pick one big piece too and downplay the rest. I wore a huge pearl necklace and wore small earrings, no bracelets, and small rings. If you did hair up and big earrings I would suggest a smaller or no necklace and bracelets. I also think at least one if not all the pieces should be meaningful. It's a big celebration and me being able to wear pieces that all meant something to me made me feel even more special. Shoes. Well every woman has very different opinions so pick a pair you love, get them photographed and rock em!
Thank you Mrs. White for all your help and advice. :)