|Love Lane, Brooklyn Heights.|
After Dan proposed, we pretty much went the exact opposite route of any other couple that's ever gotten engaged, ever: instead of starting to plan the wedding, we hightailed to Europe for a year. (That's probably how you originally came to find this here bloggy. Remember those days? Yeah . . . I hereby solemnly swear to bring more travel-related content . . . sometime . . . one of these days . . . in the near future. Promise. Maybe. I'm not pinkie-swearing about it, and we all know pinkie swears are the highest form of binding legal contract, sorry.)
Anyway, in August of last year, after about eight months of traveling, I came to realize that if we did actually want to get married in 2012, we had better get to finding a venue - especially since the wedding would be in NYC, land of godawful expensive EVERYTHING. (Side note: I don't know if every city is like this, but the second you say "wedding" in New York, the price gets jacked up approximately 500%. Ridiculous. I was this close to becoming a virtual card shark playing online poker just to fund the damn thing. [J/K, sort of.])
|Love and colors on Water Street, Brooklyn.|
The first thing we did was decide what "wedding" meant to us: did we want to do the traditional thing and be married in a church? How about a banquet hall? We realized that traditional didn't really jibe with who we are as individuals or as a couple, and whenever I asked Dan what his "dream wedding" was, he'd look as me sideways, scratch his chin, and say "Outside?"
And thus, outside it would be - the ceremony, that is. Lord knows I didn't want anything to do with renting chairs and tables and tents and bringing in caterers and florists and sound system to a New York City park. NIGHTMARE.
|Below the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, Brooklyn.|
Since Dan and I wouldn't be able to view the venues ourselves, I did the next best thing: asked people I know who have good taste. Luckily I had a friend who'd just finished planning her own wedding, and hit her up for recommendations and then sent my mom to go view a bunch of places. Most of those places happened to be near the Brooklyn waterfront which is perfect because that is just about the sweetest little slice of real estate porn you ever did see. Think gorgeous converted brick warehouses set against sweeping views of the lower Manhattan skyline. Unbelievable.
We settled on holding the ceremony in Brooklyn Bridge Park and having the reception at Water Street Restaurant nearby. We didn't choose a color scheme, we didn't make an inspiration board, and we definitely didn't have a wedding planner (which, thinking about it now, sounds like a sweet dream from a faraway land: if you have the funds to hire one of these folks, I say do it and don't look back. You'll thank me later) so we just ended up choosing things we liked and hoped that it formed some kind of cohesive "look."
|My box of happy stuff! Invitations, bottles of bubbles, and peacock feathers, natch.|
I'll be totally honest: even after planning our entire wedding, I still feel like it's really hard to know where to start with this kind of stuff. Here are some of the resources I found super helpful:
Wedding blogs! I especially love Snippet & Ink and Brooklyn Bride (who, despite the name, is not limited to NYC weddings and vendors). For general party planning Oh Happy Day! has lots of great ideas.
Books and Magazines! Brides magazine has beautiful, inspiring layouts. As a bride, you'll definitely have tons of lists and lots of questions for each venue and vendor, so I really liked these two books that my adorable sister-in-law gave me (thank you Lauren!): Bridal Bargains and The Bride's Book of Lists
Know of other fantastic resources for time-starved brides? You know what to do: holla at yer girl in the comments.