After the celebratory champagne was done and I'd finally gotten used to the word "fiancé", it was time to start planning our wedding. I can't tell you how anxious the prospect of wedding planning made me. One of my first worries was that my fiancé and I wouldn't be on the same page. And even worse, what if wedding planning would cause fighting? We aren't fighters - we talk things out. The second something bugs us we tell the other person and so have great communication between us. Even so, there's always that "what if?". I knew we needed to start this off on the right foot.
To kick off our wedding planning we needed to talk about PRIORITIES. If they weren't aligned from the start, we'd have a real problem. So we sat down and figured out our top four:
- A wedding venue that some people could stay at and that we could rent for a whole weekend
- Good food and wine
- A great DJ for the reception and a great band for our ceremony and cocktail hour
As you can see there are already compromises in there. He wanted DJ and I wanted a band, so we'll have a little of both. Other things that were important to us was that it be a summer wedding as our best friends are teachers, as is my Dad, so it should be convenient enough for them all to come over to France. Also, that we have our big wedding in Bordeaux. We chose there for a few reasons:
- Pyk is from Bordeaux so it's a lot easier for his parents to help out with planning and logistics as they live there.
- $$$ - Getting married in France will cost us probably around a third of what we would pay in the US for the same style wedding. Yes, that much less.
- There are chateaux and other historical places around Bordeaux that we just couldn't incorporate into a wedding in the US because the historical architecture isn't there. Our wedding venue is from the 14th century. You just can't find that in the US.
- Most importantly, Bordeaux is where I fell in love with France. The first time I came to France to visit Pyk it was winter. I landed in Paris and for DAYS it was rainy and grey. A few days in, we took the train down to Bordeaux and as we were arriving into the station, the skies opened up into a gorgeous blue with puffy clouds and sun shining. We explored the city and the only word I could think of to describe it was magic. That's where I told Pyk that, "yes", I could move to France.
After we had talked about this I felt SO much better about wedding planning. We ended up being on exactly the same page and that has made making decisions and contacting vendors so much easier because we know what's important to us.
Tips for the newly engaged:
- First things first, I'd say that even before figuring out your budget, figure out your PRIORITIES. What do you want and what does your fiancé want? Can you meet in the middle? Once you have these in place, you have somewhere to start. The first thing we booked was our venue. Stay tuned for that story!
P.S. Thank you to our incredible vendors, all photos are from our actual wedding
Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger
His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux
Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan