I know I’ve said in a few posts that this past week has been emotional. I think a more correct description is an emotional roller coaster. Along with my grandma going into the hospital and her health rapidly declining (and ultimately passing away), we have still made some good progress on our wedding plans. It’s been a little weird having one of the happiest and one of the saddest things in my life happening at the same time.
Decision #1: We set a date!
We are getting married September 8, 2012. I know it seems fast, but we both wanted to get married this year if we found a venue we liked that had openings.
Decision #2: We booked our venue!
We are getting married at Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota. We signed the paperwork and put in our deposit last Thursday. Here is a glimpse into the venue:
These are a few of the things we liked about Campus Club:
- The views are gorgeous. It shows off our beloved city of Minneapolis and we are excited for our guests to experience the views at night.
- They source all their food locally and serve local beer (yes, that means Surly will be on tap at our reception!)
- It is surprisingly affordable. I don’t know if it’s because they have trouble getting booked on Gopher home game days, but I’m not going to complain. Their food is also competitively priced, if not lower, than other venues in the area.
- The bar is in a separate room (which I didn’t capture on camera, sorry!). This will allow our guests who don’t like the dance party to get away.
- We can play different music in the bar and terrace so Matt can make a mix CD of his favorite music (apparently the Chicken Dance won’t be on that CD). This wasn’t a deciding factor, but is definitely a perk we like.
Decision #3: We picked our photographer!
I was given about 15 recommendations from friends and family and, yes, I tracked their quotes in a spreadsheet (would you expect anything less from me?). We ended up going with Bellagala because we found a photographer we liked and their promotion made them significantly more affordable than other companies. They threw in a second shooter for $250 and that would have cost $750 at other places.
I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Bellagala so far. They showed us 15-20 photographer books, we narrowed it down to two, and they emailed us links to more photos to review at home. They contract with individual photographers so we got to look at 15-20 companies within an hour. That would have taken weeks to visit each of them independently! They also segment them into tiers by experience and you can pick a tier based on your budget. We were undecided between two tiers so they showed us photographers from both. We ended up with Danielle. Click here to see her full portfolio.
Decision #4: We have our flower girl and ring bearers secured!
Technically, my three year-old niece told me no to being a flower girl. I told her she can take some time to think about it and get back to me. I’m sure she just has to check her schedule to make sure she doesn’t have a conflict that day. Matt’s nephew Hudson and my nephew Keegan will be the ring bearers. It will basically be an explosion of cuteness.
These are a few other things we’re working on:
- Asking the rest of our wedding party to take part in our day
- Finalizing the colors (it will probably be some shade of purple with black and white, but blue is still in the running for now)
- Picking out a DJ (we have the spreadsheet of quotes and just need to make some decisions now)
- I am going dress shopping on April 14, which will be less than five months before the wedding. I’m hoping there are some good off-the-rack options. I’ve been posting bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses I like on my Pinterest Wedding board.
- Hotel accommodations for our guests. There is one hotel within walking distance and another about 2 miles away that we’re working with to block off rooms. This will make it easy for us to provide shuttle service for our guests. Yay!
Have you ever participated in a wedding? What was your favorite part?
Is anyone kicking butt in the Final Four brackets?