When it comes to planning a wedding, it can be a bit overwhelming! How do you even begin planning such a big event?! I started out by purchasing a wedding planner notebook on Etsy, here is the one that I bought:
Inside this wedding planner it had a timeline & checklist and all sorts of things to help keep you on track which made it seem a little less overwhelming. First things first, you want to pick a venue & a date so you can start to book your other vendors. Grant and I went to a wedding at Black Smith Main a couple summers ago and loved how it was a mini destination wedding, people stayed the weekend and made it a vacation. We both love being up north on the lake, so it was kind of the perfect venue for us! We toured a couple other venues in MN, but Black Smith Main was our favorite and felt most like us. Once we booked the venue, we booked our wedding planner Kate from Blooms Design, cannot recommend her enough! We had some other friends that got married in Brainerd a few summers ago and worked with Kate and loved her, she is also local to the Brainerd area where our venue was, which is super nice because she knew all of the vendors from that area, so we went with her! Truly one of the best decisions we made, was hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner is expensive, but they actually help you save money in the end because they tell you what you need/don’t need and are really good with numbers, so you don’t overestimate! If a wedding planner is not in the budget, I highly recommend using a day of coordinator in order to make sure your day goes smoothly & you are able to enjoy it without stressing too much
Within the first couple weeks of getting engaged, we met with Kate so we could go over high-level details of what we wanted our day to look like, budget, design ideas, etc. After that meeting, Kate came back and provided us with a list of vendors and we started to book our vendors that would fill up quick and could only be at one wedding at a time (photographer, DJ, videographer, etc.) We then met with a couple of photographers but were pretty sure we knew who we wanted to go with from the beginning. We chose Janelle Flom for photography and her brother Josh for videography, we loved their work so much & knew they worked great as a team! After photography & videography came the DJ. We also were pretty certain on who we wanted to use for DJ. We ended up going with GenerationNow, we heard them at our friend’s wedding a couple summers ago and it was such a blast that we booked with them without hesitation! Once we booked all the big/important vendors we took a little break to just enjoy being engaged.
After a little break, we started to make our guest list, don’t forget this step, it is super important and sometimes can take a little bit of time! Once we got that finalized, we sent out our save the dates! Because our wedding was technically a destination, Kate wanted us to get them out between 9-12 months.
Next, we created a Pinterest board where my mom, Michelle (Grants mom) Kate, Grant and myself would all add ideas and collaborate on. After a couple of months of that, Kate began to build out our design mood board. Kate also does florals so she kind of did everything all in one which was really great because she totally understood our whole vision! I knew I wanted to keep the overall style pretty modern, light & airy, greenery mixed with dry florals, lots of white/light pink with accents of a burnt orange/terracotta color. I relied really heavily on my mom’s great eye for all of this stuff, she had a lot of visions and I loved all of her ideas, so I owe her credit for everything! We did a couple rounds of mood boards, tweaking design details/floral arrangements, until we felt we really had it nailed down! Once we got our colors solidified, we began working on our wedding invites, we used Paper Rock Scissor for the invitation suites & we had a custom map inside made by AnnViv Lettering, it all turned out PERFECTLY!
We then worked on some other important items, picking out bridesmaid dresses, booking our hair/makeup artists, deciding who we wanted to marry us, countless trips to Brainerd for food tastings, etc. I could go on and on about all the little details that go into planning a wedding, but everyone’s timeline varies. My biggest piece of advice is to have a timeline to keep you on track & stay organized!! Planning a wedding is SO fun but can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of it.
Good luck! Reach out with any questions, I am no expert, but sometimes talking to someone who has gone through it recently is helpful!
We truly could not have done it without all of our amazing vendors!
Photography: Janelle Elise Photography
Video: Flom Films
Wedding Dress: The White Room//Rime Arodaky
Lettering: AnnViv Lettering
Linens/Table Rentals: Apres Event
Catering: Prairie Bay
Venue: Blacksmith Main
Dessert: Knotty Pine Bakery