Wedding 101: The Spring Break Rush

The beginning of spring break was mostly devoted to knocking out a few wedding to-dos that were bordering on overdue. We made some pretty big strides and are pretty happy [and excited!] about the results.

Honeymoon = Booked: We’ll be spending five weeks in Europe. We’re flying into Madrid and [currently] planning: Madrid –> Barcelona –> Marseilles –> Cinque Terra –> Bologna –> Budapest –> Prague –> Berlin –> Brussels. Rather than book everything, we booked our flight to Madrid and our flight from Brussels back to the U.S., and we plan to purchase unlimited Eurail passes to allow us to travel freely from city to city. I cant wait to show Shaun Prague [where I lived] and Budapest [one of my favorite cities, ever], but I’m excited to explore new cities together, too. My online itinerary says 153 days to go… We’re leaving a week after the wedding, which I’ve been told is quite unorthodox, but we’ve got to move to Philly, first!

Wedding Rings = Purchased: We settled on three jewelers we wanted to meet, but the decision was pretty much made for us when Rob at Keller and George noticed Shaun’s Phillies hat, expressed his love for Philadelphia sports, and promised to take care of us because of our connection to Philly. He gave us a great deal on the rings, and also engraved them for free and is sizing my engagement ring for free, as well. We’re happy with the bands! They’re both small and simple [Shaun’s is titanium and mine is platinum], which is exactly what we wanted. Pro-Tip: I originally was looking into getting a more unique band, maybe pairing my engagement ring with white gold or silver for a quirky contrast and color. Platinum is such a heavy metal, however, that you can’t put a lighter metal next to it or it will corrode it. Thus, platinum engagement rings have to be paired with platinum wedding bands, which I didn’t know!

Invitations = Ready: We took a trip to Rock Paper Scissors on the Downtown Mall and got their advice on how we could “package” our invitations to make them look cuter and more cohesive. They showed us some creative products and gave us some tips we ended up sticking with. Three and a half hours later [groan, I had such a back-ache], I had them all assembled. Lucky for us, we got them weighed at the post office and they’ll only take one standard stamp. They’re set to go out in a few weeks to allow people enough time to settle travel and accommodations.

Shaun & Groomsmen = Dressed: Shaun and I stumbled around Fashion Square mall picking up ties that weren’t our style, but we nevertheless felt we had to choose to match our colors. We weren’t really happy with our choices. By the time we walked into J. Crew, we were pretty confused about the look of our bridal party. Thankfully, based on Shaun’s interests, my dress and the girls’ dresses, Jamie and O’Neill [whom I want to hire as wedding planners] articulated our vision more perfectly than we could have ourselves. We finally feel like the bridal party has a cohesive look, thanks to them! Shaun got his suit and the groomsmen’s ties at J.Crew [who is also giving us free alterations on both his suit and my dress, SCORE], and we purchased the guys’ shoes [they’re providing their own suits]. Not only are we confident in the look, we’re confident that it reflects our personality much more than our original idea of simply finding any tie in the right color. And, we can use all of our J. Crew rewards for cute honeymoon clothing. BOOYAH.

My Shoes = Purchased: This actually wasn’t a difficult task. Once Shaun and I settled on a color, I went with my go-to brand: Nine West. I don’t own a single pair of shoes from there that has ever required a “break in” period, and I could stand in their pumps all day at work. They’re like clouds. It was almost a no-brainer. I’m so excited about them, too!

Florist = Probably Tired of Us: Wednesday we took a trip out past Blue Mountain Brewery to visit our florist, Amy. It was great to see where some of our flowers will be grown [they have a garden on their property]. We came equipped with more material than we had at our first meeting – my dress, a bridesmaids’ dress swatch, my shoes, shaun’s shoes and tie, the guys’ shoes and ties, a copy of our invitation and a more developed idea of how we were going to use the colors in the wedding. We really got down into the nitty gritty of the flowers, even to the ribbons that will tie the centerpiece vases and the accent colors in my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. We’re happy to report that we’ve chosen some non-traditional [aka classically Courtney and Shaun] colors and styles that match us, the Jefferson, and what we hope will be the overall atmosphere of the day.

Transportation = Booked: In order to promote the maximum amount of debauchery, we’re happy to utilize UVA’s transportation services to shuttle guests back and forth from the hotels to the Downtown Mall. Hooray for maximum debauchery!

Our biggest projects now are scripting the ceremony and working on Sunday Brunch. We’ve each chosen a reading and are writing most of the rest based on samples and our own ideas. Most of the rest of the wedding plans can’t be worked on until we know the RSVPs. Coming soon!

Any brides have advice about navigating the final few months of planning? I’m always afraid I’m overlooking something!


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Categories: C-Ville, 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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