Wedding 101: The Other Stuff

Shaun and  I have one wedding fight [thankfully, only one]. It always starts with me panicking about how I can’t “visualize the space” and worrying that it’s not going to all “come together,” proclaiming we need a “theme,” and then Shaun responding angrily, “What does ‘a theme’ even mean?” My retort is always the same, “I don’t know.” Because I don’t, really. You just look at wedding blogs and everything in those venues looks perfect. It looks planned and executed with something in mind. I couldn’t figure out our something, and it was starting to weigh on me.

I guess the bottom line is that obsessively following wedding blogs and photo blogs only gets you so far. The “aha” moments that I live for, like the one with Amy the florist, will happen when they happen, and you should relish those moments of clarity. A day later, you’ll be confused and trying to figure out some detail again. Here are the details that are starting to become clear for us:

Invitations: We’re getting a sample invitation printed from a vendor on Etsy. Because our wedding is technically a “destination” wedding [for everyone but the two of us], we plan to send invitations much earlier than the standard ten-week point.

  • Pro-Tip #1: Most printers use standard “PMS” Pantone color numbers [the “Pantone Matching System” I believe], and your printer will probably ask you for the PMS numbers of your color palette. Make sure you have these handy! It took me two hours to track them down through the paper company we had picked our colors at, and it was pretty discouraging at times.
  • Pro-Tip #2: Ask the person designing your invitations if they’re able to print all of your paper goods so everything is uniform. Think: menus, programs, bar cards, table numbers, labels for alcohol, etc.
  • Pro-Tip #3: Don’t overlook Etsy! Their prices are much more reasonable, and their products often much more personal than other avenues.

Rehearsal Dinner: Today we’ll be doing a tasting to choose our rehearsal dinner menu, which – you guessed it- will be at The Local. It’s our absolute favorite place in town. They’re being very accommodating with the menu to help us find a vegetarian option that’s not simply a pasta dish – I know I won’t want to eat a bowl of pasta the night before the wedding.

Registry: We’ve been making lists, comparing prices, cleaning out our kitchen, and trying to figure out just what we want to put on our registries. Part of me thinks registries are a bit outdated – they’re relics from a time where couples didn’t live together before getting married. Since we already do live together, we’ve amassed quite a collection of good-quality appliances and things, so we’re well on our way to a fully stocked apartment. Plus, since we’re both going to be lawyers, the time to actually use all of these things is certainly going to be approximately zero. We’re trying to limit ourselves as such.

  • Pro-Tip: Go in this order – (1) What don’t we have that we need? (2) What do we have that needs to be replaced? (3) What do we want or what would it be nice to have? The nice thing about an registry is it lets you prioritize how  important each item is so your guests know just how badly you want that robot vacuum cleaner. also offers sample registries and registry checklists so you ensure you’re not missing anything you’ll regret.

The Maid-of-Honor Stuff: Kelly rocks, and she’s in the process of putting together some awesome things: the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. I totally admire her, because not only does she get right down to business [“OK, let’s discuss this wedding,” she said as soon as she picked up the phone last night], but she’s already got things in mind. She chalks it up to the fact that she’s “been to a lot of weddings” [she’s a photographer, remember?], but I think it’s just a ton of creativity and vision that I can’t wait to see come to fruition.

Aand that’s how we’re spending our break. So we’ve got a date, venue, DJ, caterer, cake, florist, rehearsal dinner, and a [potential] printer. Still no word on a dress, though. Hopefully soon…


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Categories: Wedding


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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  1. That “Food Drunk” Feeling | Ryes and 'Shine - January 13, 2012

    […] Local with their executive chef, Matt[hew Hart] and Crystal, the event coordinator, planning our rehearsal dinner. Matt brought dish after dish for us to sample: appetizers, salads, four entrees, two desserts, and […]

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