Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Woes and Wisdom: The Brides Tell All

This week's bride feature is from the lovely Chelsea Jewell, whose wedding details you have seen on the blog in the past day or so. Chelsea was a wonderful, fun bride to work with. We had three major obstacles that we managed during her engagement. First, this girl does it all. Between grad school, teaching, and planning a wedding we had a tight schedule to work within for planning. Second, while Chelsea and I are located in NWA, the wedding was taking place in Memphis. Can you believe it only took one trip to Memphis for my crew to make this happen? And last, my baby boy was born a short two months just prior to this wedding date. Thankfully, Chelsea and Denise (her fun momma who you will hear from tomorrow) worked with me to be prepared ahead of time for my absence after D was born.

Here is some wonderful advice from this bride of 5 months:

From your own experience, what advice would you give other women for their wedding day?
Enjoy every minute of it!! After all of the planning, work, and stress, your day has finally arrived, and you need to have the time of your life! One of the best decisions we made was to hire a planner (not just any planner, the best!) to carry out our plans for the weekend. We had everything set and ready to go on Thursday so that my entire family was able to relax and enjoy the weekend! I highly recommend having someone help you that weekend (and all the weekends before) so that you don’t have to worry about all of the details falling into place.

Looking back, are there any details from your wedding you would have changed or excluded?
I loved the favors we passed out after our wedding (caramel corn in clear sacks with one of our engagement pictures printed on them), but we had so many left over! I liked them, but I think they were pretty overlooked when our guests were on their way out. I think this is the one thing that might’ve been unnecessary.

In your opinion, what are some good ways to keep costs low when planning a wedding?
I think it is really important to prioritize when selecting everything for your wedding. By determining what is most important to you, you can decide where to focus your money. In the end, you can save money on things that are less important to you.

In what ways did you make your wedding and reception different from all the rest?
In Memphis, there are several great reception venues, but we have been to numerous weddings at all of them. Seth saw online that the Memphis Zoo (a nationally-recognized award-winning zoo) hosted weddings, and he was insistent that we looked into it. I am so glad that we did! Our reception venue was pretty unique, especially for our guests from out-of-town, and I think it made for a gorgeous site and a great party!

What was your favorite detail about your wedding and reception?
I loved, loved, loved the flowers and the candlelight at our ceremony. It was just what I had envisioned! I also loved some of the smaller details that I think were somewhat different… the monogrammed wrap for my bouquet, our silver monogrammed toasting cups, my “Mrs. Jewell” hanger for my wedding dress, and our ring bearer pillow that now lives on our bed at home. I had such a great time selecting even the smallest details for our wedding and reception, and I loved how it all come together wonderfully!

What was your favorite experience or memory from your wedding and reception?
Hmm… so hard to choose a favorite! I loved spending the day with my best friends getting ready with the anticipation of finally marrying my best friend! Putting my dress on and the walk to meet my husband-to-be was such a surreal experience, and I love that I remember every second of it! I didn’t want to be a bride who looks back and says “It was all such a blur,” so I tried to really take in every moment and every detail. I am so glad I did! I also loved our reception because we were able to visit with all of our friends and family, but we also really enjoyed the band and dancing together! It was the perfect combination.

What is the best way to keep your guests excited and involved at the reception, so they won’t leave early?
Make it a party! If you want your guests to be entertained enough to stay, it needs to be fun! We had a great group of people that stayed on the dance floor, enjoying drinks and food, until we left. We wanted our reception to be fun for our guests, so that they didn’t feel obligated to stick around, and I think we achieved that!

What do you suggest as good wedding music? Is it best to use live music or a CD?
Being from Memphis, we have such a great selection of bands that most of the weddings we attend have awesome live music. I’ve been to some great weddings with DJs, but a band can set such a fun vibe that I don’t think you get with a DJ and CDs.

What is something that stressed you out while planning, and how did you alleviate that stress and what solution did you find for the problem?
Oh, I pretty much stressed about everything! ☺ Like I mentioned earlier, I realized pretty quickly that we needed to prioritize what was most important to us. We wanted to host a party that our friends would enjoy and that would be a great way to celebrate our nine years of dating finally resulting in a wonderful marriage. Through endless discussions about what we wanted and what wasn’t as important to us, it became easier and less stressful to make decisions. You have to make a TON of decisions when planning a wedding, and I had a wonderful mom, fiancĂ©, and wedding planner to help me. That is the solution… find good friends to help keep you calm and make decisions!! ☺

What is something you did not expect about planning a wedding that you experienced?
I didn’t expect everything to book so quickly! We started planning almost 15 months out, and because we did, we were able to get everything we wanted. Had we waited about a month or so later, all of our preferences would’ve been booked. I was just very surprised at how far in advance wedding vendors fill up, especially for a summer weekend wedding.

Thank you, Mrs.Jewell! I know that your advice will be super helpful to all of those brides-to-be out there! Tune in tomorrow to hear from this girl's Mother of the Bride! Thanks, Benfield Photography for the pic at the top!


Shawna Young said...

Great Advice for Brides Mrs. Jewell!!!! :)

Denise R said...

Great advice! Good idea in doing this Jenessa! I think this series of Q&A from Brides and Moms should help others going through the process!