You’re Engaged! First Things First

Photo courtesy Aaron and Jillian Photography

The day you got engaged was one of the best days of your life (second only to your wedding day of course!) Honestly, what a whirlwind! Now, things have calmed down, just a bit, and your mind and wedding pinterest board that you swear you never started until you got engaged, are full of tons of ideas! But how do you start actually making wedding plans. Some people will tell you the first thing you need to get done is your venue. Others will tell you it’s your dress. But, I’m here to tell you something completely different!

The first thing you should do is figure out what aspect of your wedding is most important to you. You’re probably thinking, but that’s not what any of the wedding magazines I’ve been binge reading say! That’s exactly it though! Wedding magazines are constantly giving ideas out about how to make the wedding showcase what make you and your fiancé “you.” What will make your wedding “you” and the perfect day that you’ll never forget is figuring out that one most important thing to you at your wedding.

How did I stumble upon this wisdom you may ask, the credit goes to my wonderfully supportive mother, who has helped me make every decision in regards to this wedding. I was having trouble deciding on a venue, and she told me that the one I chose should be the one I love the most because throughout everything she did for her wedding she could remember that her venue was her favorite detail.

I guess it’s like mother like daughter they say because I quickly realized that the venue was the most important aspect of the wedding for me.

That being said, once you decide on that most important detail, it will drive your whole wedding… literally… options will drop from endlessly overwhelming to a manageable array of choices that only further compliment that number one detail.

For me, I knew that I wanted that picturesque “Charleston” wedding with trees hung in Spanish moss framing the ceremony and a tented outdoor reception where my guests could enjoy the beauty of a warm Charleston night with just the right amount of breeze coming off the water. Luckily, Charleston has plenty of venues with just that special “something” I was looking for. Ultimately, the final choice came down to the sentiment factor- Lowndes Grove is what wedding dreams are made of- It had everything, a gorgeous white plantation home right on the Ashley River with sprawling lawns, and it was only minutes from the heart of downtown. Even more meaningful, it was the first place that I had met John’s grandparents, so I took that as a sign from above that this had to be the place John and I would tie the knot. That decision has driven all subsequent crucial decisions. For example, the only dates available for Lowndes Grove (this is a full year and a half out mind you) were late Winter and Fall. Luckily, October is the new “it” month when it comes to weddings in my opinion so I was absolutely fine with a late October wedding. John, on the other hand, had to be sure there were no major Clemson football conflicts with the wedding.

Photo courtesy Aaron and Jillian Photography

So, we had our venue and ultimately had our date. From there, decisions such as flowers, food, attire, and color scheme were immensely easier. We were working with Fall so we focused on Fall colors, foods, and flowers. Not to mention, once I had the venue, it was so much fun to find a dress that I not only loved, but that Lowndes Grove helped me shape into a real vision in a beautiful but conflicting sea of dress styles.

My decision journey aside, think to yourself what is most important to me? If it’s:
– Having peonies in your bouquet, you’re looking for a Spring Wedding
– Wearing that quintessential Princess Gown, you’re looking for a more formal wedding.
– Walking down the aisle at you Alma Matter’s Chapel, you’re looking for any date available and will be guided from there.
You get the picture! Once most important decision is made all others follow seamlessly and you are sure to have the most memorable wedding of your dreams.


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