Hello sweet readers! I’m back this week with some stories for you on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the ever-daunting venue search and DIY wedding coordination.
You may have read a couple of weeks back that we had five months from our engagement to our big day on July 13th, 2013. We felt like that was ample time. We knew just where we wanted to wed, and I love hosting and designing events, so no problem! Our vision was a beautiful, rambling ranch in Ojai, California. It was the perfect spot—rustic and removed yet still close to our homes in Los Angeles. Relaxed and stylish, but not stuffy. We had the confidence of two lovebirds ready to watch from our nest as everything simply fell into place. What could go wrong?? A lot. Which is why I would like to offer you my advice.
Top 5 Don’ts of Wedding Coordination (a.k.a. How to Avoid Bridal Burnout)
1. Do not book your venue in a distant locale before you have checked availability on nearby hotels.
2. Do not text your fiancé during your busy workday to have a quick lunchtime chat about ‘the flow of the wedding evening.’
3. Do not send out save-the-dates to everyone you have ever dreamed of being at your wedding because you think there are plenty of hotels in town and you have secured an affordable venue.
4. Do not carve through rental company sites, draw out table configurations, play out lighting scenarios, create shuttle schedules, plot bathroom access, compare the costs of specialty cocktail ingredients, or design escort cards and welcome baskets until the wee hours of the morning. Every wee hour of every morning.
5. Do not convince yourself that when the main hotel, as well as every other hotel in town, is completely booked that you will just find a way to make it work. And see rule #1: Check hotel availability before you secure your venue!
So, my friends, many lessons have been learned. Our venue was secured but every hotel in town was booked within a 45-minute radius. This led us down a difficult path of searching for the right spot. So much so that we couldn’t even tell after a while what felt like ‘us’ anymore. I was set on doing a DIY wedding, but every place that we even remotely liked required bringing in our own kitchen, bathrooms, and shuttles. How was I, the bride, supposed to handle all of that for our 140 guests while enjoying our big day?
Thankfully, we have come out of the wedding woods and found our groove. We ditched our troublesome venue and have found our perfect ranch, still within budget and just a bit further north in the woods. I surrendered to the fact that as much as I wanted to coordinate (i.e. control) everything myself, it was a crazy notion and no one would enjoy that process. We now have a great coordinator who is handling the logistics for our special day. I have cleared up my wee morning hours so I can focus on the mood of the evening, the design, and simply being the bride-to-be.
I wanted to share with you some design inspiration for the evening in this gallery.