I get to blog my own wedding!!! Enjoy.

Wedding Venue: Ford Birthplace – Beautiful & affordable.

Reception Site: N.P. Dodge Memorial Park Pavilion

Catering: Attitude on Food & Cortez Catering

Photography: Image Society – Megan & Scott weren’t my bosses that day. They were my professional photographers. There were a few things (like every wedding) that went not according to plan. The first thing? I was burned by a curling iron on my forehead. Megan immediately got on the phone with Christine from Blush to see if she could come back to airbrush over the burn. Unfortunately, she was all booked, but they both tried to see if we would cross paths sometime that day. Right before the ceremony, she went out of her way to touch up my makeup at her house to cover up the burn. Scott helped Jon get his bow tie tied because he didn’t remember to practice before the big day, and together it was figured out. All of our wedding party thoroughly enjoyed them, because not only are Megan & Scott professional, they’re fun as hell. Jon & I have received so many compliments on our engagement photos, save the dates, invitations, guestbook, and wedding photos. We know we will have them forever to commemorate such an important time in our lives.

Videographer: Kyle Gilbertson with The Gilly Group – I am so in love with the video. The audio is crisp and clear, the compositions are spot on, and the transitions are flawless. Kyle is an artist and technically proficient, which are characteristics that make an amazing videographer. Watching the video is like experiencing your wedding day all over again in 10 minutes, and to be reminded of how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband and the memories of a beautiful wedding day.

Cake: We made our own dessert bar of Rice Krispie Treats, Coco Puff Treats, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats, and more. However, my Grandma insisted on cake. It came from Cake Gallery. There was pink champagne, chocolate, and vanilla, all delicious.

Wedding Dress: Ellynne’s Bridal – This was the big splurge. I wanted the ‘SYTTD’ experience and Ellynne’s delivered.

Groom Attire: Jerry Ryan – Black tux with a white button-up with mother of pearl buttons, and a black bow tie. Jon purchased his tux for only a fraction more than it would cost to rent. Alterations were also included. He looked so handsome that he could be the next James Bond! Nicholas from Jerry Ryan is knowledgable and very fun to work with.

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Mismatched! My only guideline was navy blue in color.

Groomsmen Attire: Jerry Ryan – Dark grey suit with white button-up and a navy tie. They also purchased their suits with included alterations for only a fraction more than it would cost to rent. We had out of town groomsmen that Nicholas from Jerry Ryan worked with and it went very smooth.

Hair: Brittany – Salon Z at Legacy. I loved my hair and wouldn’t change anything about it.

Makeup: Christine with Blush Makeup Artistry – THE BEST MAKEUP ARTIST EVER. I would choose your wedding day based on when she’s still open. Seriously.

Shoes: Von Maur – The back shoe room for $34!

Jeweler:  Sockel Inc. The original engagement ring came from Borsheim’s, but I had a major allergic reaction to the metal (I wasn’t able to get the ring off for almost a month…) Sockel Inc. came to the rescue and offered 18k palladium, which is nickel free and more affordable than platnium. My rings were handmade by Gary Sockel and I designed them with the help of Janet Sockel. I was also able to approve the opals that went into my wedding band. Jon’s ring came from Borsheim’s.

Florist  Loess Hills Floral – I highly recommend Rhonda who owns Loess Hills. She is bubbly, funny, and most importantly, amazing at her job. I have seen flowers go brown by 2:00 on a wedding day, and hers lasted the entire day.

Music: Tay with Complete Music. He’s absolutely fantastic and made my reception feel like a club where you never want to stop dancing.

Wedding Breakfast Meal: Grapes, Strawberries, & Bacon from Hotel Deco’s buffet.

First Dance Song: He Loves Me – Lianne La Havas – Check her out. Her voice will blow your mind.

Honeymoon: New Zealand in February 2015!! We cannot wait.

What was the most memorable moment of the day?  

Katie: When I walked down the aisle with my dad, time seemed to slow down. As we made our way towards Jon, I looked at the expressions of friends and family and it brought me to tears. I will never forget that moment in time.

Jon: After the ceremony, and before the reception, Katie & I had a moment alone and it was nice to relax and look into each other’s eyes to really reflect on what just happened. We got married!

What advice would you give to couples reading this who are planning their wedding? 

My advice? Here’s a list.

1.) Research your vendors – They can make or break your wedding planning experience and wedding day. I used The Knot and asked experienced wedding vendors I had already hired for their recommendations.

2.) Don’t go on your honeymoon the day after your wedding. We spent the next few days after our wedding visiting with out of town family & friends and it really extended our wedding celebration!

3.) Drink lots and lots of water starting at least the month before your wedding date. I took this advice and my skin cleared up, I felt more energized, and my tummy got a little flatter. (You should do this anyways, but looming wedding date is a good motivator!)

4.) Choose a time of day with ‘pretty light’ if you’re having an outdoor ceremony- Make sure you pick the correct time of day for the sun position for ideal light! This will help your guests’ eyes (and yours!) from squinting. Unsure of the best time of day? Ask your photographers and you will have a couple of happy photographers on your hands!

5.) Have your man buy his suit/tux. It makes a huge, HUGE difference for your groom to wear a suit/tux that is altered to him. Imagine wearing a wedding dress that is in your size, but it’s a little long or a little tight in the arms. What? No. Never. Right? That’s what it is like to wear a rented suit/tux. Also, I’m sure you’ll attend some weddings and he can wear the pants, shirt, and/or suit jacket again. 

6.) Ask for help – At first, I was too timid to ask for help making decorations, setting things up, and asking for advice. But, once I got over it, people were so happy to help! I couldn’t have done it on my own and I am so thankful to everyone who pitched in.