January 8, 2020
Lavon and I got engaged 2 years ago on December 29, 2017, and we began planning right away! I absolutely loved wedding planning, and occasionally, I kind of miss it! I remember having this vision of what I wanted our wedding day to be like, but not knowing for sure if it was going to be possible! When it came to our wedding day, there were some things that didn’t really matter to us, and there were a few things that were REALLY important to us (maybe I should say “important to me”, but Lavon was always so good about knowing what was important to me and making it important to him too. And vice versa.)! I knew these three main things were going to be the biggest investments on our wedding day, but I had a strong feeling I wouldn’t regret every penny we spent. And I was right! We had to budget things very carefully to see what was feasible and what wasn’t. We did everything we could to make these three things work in our budget, we then were able to, and now neither of us regret it one bit! We look back and think about how glad we were that we invested the extra money into the vision we imagined!
Before I go on, let me explain something! These are three parts of our wedding day that I absolutely loved, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! However, not everyone is going to love the same things I do! What might be really important to one couple might not be important to another couple at all! That’s okay! I’m not sharing this to make people feel like they need to invest in the same things we did. I’m also not sharing this to make couples feel bad about not investing in these things if they already had their wedding day. I truly hope this doesn’t come across that way, and I’m sharing this out of the goodness of my heart: I want each couple to do what’s best for them! I’m sharing this to remind you that this is the most special day of your life – budget carefully, do everything you can do to make your vision come to life, and take this as a reminder that you probably won’t regret any of it! We sure didn’t!
Our Top 3 Best Investments on Our Wedding Day, and why there are no regrets:
- High-end photography from a photographer I trust. Y’all knew this was going to be the first, most important one, right?!? I’m a photographer…how can it not be?!?! I am also 99.99% sure that even if I wasn’t a photographer, this would still be our number one priority! I’ll be honest, photography was the most expensive part of our wedding day. But I wanted it to be…why? Because it’s the ONLY thing we still have from our day!!! Besides our video, it’s the only way to go back and reminisce on those memories! Our other two investments were important to us, but not NEARLY like this one was! The day goes by so fast as it is, and it was hard to cherish the moment…what if we hired a photographer that was okay, the day ended, and we didn’t even like our photos?! Sadly, this happens to some brides, and it breaks my heart! I had a bride inquire with me last year that was interested in wedding photography, but ultimately went with another photographer. She contacted me recently after her wedding saying she hated her wedding gallery, and asked if I would do a portrait session for them. It’s stories like this that make me so sad because it happens so often! Yes, our wedding photography was pricey, but what she captured for us was priceless! I actually have tears in my eyes right now as I’m typing this: I’m so passionate about educating brides why it’s important to invest in a photographer that they know can deliver; someone they know can capture their day the way they dream of; someone that is well-experienced, technically capable, and creatively talented, but even more importantly, someone who is a great communicator, has a kind, thoughtful spirit, and is amazing at making people feel comfortable and beautiful. I don’t mean to brag, but that was our wedding photographer, Seneca Epley! Lavon and I had so much trust in her! And now she’s become a sweet friend in our lives!
- Real floral centerpieces at our reception, and big bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids! We all know flowers can be expensive, but they are SO BEAUTIFUL, I think it’s worth every penny! One of the main reasons real flowers and greenery was so important to us is because flowers, as a decoration, will never go out of style. Ever! They were used to decorate 100 years ago, 200 years ago, and longer! Yes, maybe there are some colors of flowers or styles of centerpieces that won’t always stay in style. But I have a feeling the classic white flowers, greenery, some blush roses and other more muted, natural colors, arranged in a simple vase will always be timeless! We also loved the way reception florals changed the atmosphere – it feels fresh, romantic, sweet, carefully thought of as each vase was handcrafted, and simple but stunning! Between all the reception centerpieces and the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and flower crowns, this was a big part of our budget. But because we were careful, planned ahead, and thought of what was most important to us, we were able to make it happen! We don’t regret every penny we spent towards so many flowers, and if we were to do the day over again, I honestly would have been fine to invest even more!
- Beautiful, high-end reception chairs, instead of folding chairs. This was definitely a WANT and not a NEED for us! This was originally my idea as we were planning, but I always knew that if Lavon didn’t feel fancy chairs were a necessary investment, I would be okay without them. I mentioned it a couple times when we were planning out our budget and for awhile, we didn’t know for sure if we would rent them! But my sweet fiancé made my beautiful Chiavari chair dreams come true!!!!!!!! Looking back, I knew renting nice chairs would change the look of our reception for the better, but I had no idea HOW beautiful it would make it! It wasn’t cheap and we were on the fence about it for awhile: this wasn’t as important to us as our first two above. I understand why most couples don’t think it’s necessary! Some might think Lavon and I were insane to pay extra for just some pretty chairs, and that’s okay! However, it was such an easy way to make an area look really high-end, EVEN if we hadn’t invested in real floral centerpieces, but a more simple centerpiece instead! These chairs took our reception from looking like a pretty reception in a tent to a beautiful ballroom in a tent! And we loved that! In the end, I’m so glad we invested in them, and I’m not the only one: Lavon will say so himself t00!
All this to say: if you have big dreams for what your wedding day looks like, don’t dismiss those ideas too fast! Do your best to make your budget work and consider what’s most important to you and what doesn’t matter. Our love we celebrated and the fun memories we made with each other, family and friends made our wedding day what it is, but these three things were the perfect finishing touches for us. Scroll to see a few favorites from our wedding day! Oh how I wish I could relive this day all over again!
See what I mean? Those bouquets add SO MUCH to these portraits! Plus, my friends are so beautiful <3