My Life as a Bride

I am two months and sixteen days away from walking down the aisle.  Just when I think I am done with most of the planning I remember all of the small things that are left to do.  I have officially booked my location and all of my vendors (you think that would be it, right?).  I am very grateful to have a great team of vendors and venue that are amazing at what they do.  I am unbelievably blessed to have parents and a fiancé that are making my wedding dreams come true.  It’s hard not to get caught up in everything going on in your life, but don’t forget the people that support you the most and help you throughout your wedding process.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

I have been trying to think of things to decorate the venue with, but it’s difficult to make decisions when there are so many cute ideas out there (Pinterest anyone?).  I think I have had a bit of trouble matching things to my theme, only because I like it all.  Seriously, why can’t there be more life events that involve a huge glamorous party?

I have yet to find a bilingual officiant for my wedding.  I know, I know, I am missing a key ingredient to the most important part of the whole wedding day, the ceremony.  Where does one find a bilingual officiant around the Hill Country?

I have a bridal shower, a couples shower, and my bachelorette party coming up and I could not be more excited.  Adam and I had a long engagement and I feel like it was one of the best decisions we made.  I had plenty of time to enjoy my engagement, plan the wedding, and now I can enjoy the fun parties being thrown in our honor.

I am going to be a wife soon!  I know I have been working up to this for a little over a year now, but it feels so real now.  How will things change?  How will it remain the same?  I will have new responsibilities and so many changes will take place.  I know the advice to the bride and groom are a bit cheesy, but I really like the idea of it, especially with all the changes taking place in our lives.  Thus, we will be having advice cards at our wedding.  We are currently searching for a house in the city, which is very exciting.  As soon as I am done with the wedding details I will begin to work on house details.  Planning never stops, huh?

 

*Betsy Villanueva

Continue Reading

My Life As A Bride

I recently went to an appointment with a florist and we picked Whim Florals to create our vision for the wedding.  Whim is known for their rentals and they have recently added florals to their services.  They don’t have many pictures of events through Whim yet, but the head florist has many years of experience and does amazing work.  She took her time going through everything with me and took me around the site to show me all the vases I could pick to use.  Kari has been very prompt and helpful and I am excited to work with her.  She sent me my contract with a powerpoint that she made up with the flowers we decided on and an excel sheet to break everything down for me.  I found this to be very helpful especially so I could explain things to my mom and fiancé.  The flowers that I picked are very bright and spring colors.  I couldn’t decide on more white or neutral colors or spring colors so I picked all of the above.  Don’t be scared to mix things up.  My ceremony will be very classic with neutral colors, then the cocktail hour will spice things up a bit by adding more color. The reception area will have plenty of spring colors and less whites.  The ranch where I am getting married has three sections that we will be using so each section will have a different vibe to it.  I am very excited to see it all come together.

Bouquet (no Mason Jar)

Last week I went to a meeting for my rentals and found the perfect table settings.  I had been searching for a while for the perfect gold plates, but had very little luck.  I finally decided to scratch the chargers because gold plates on the gold charger made the plates look cheap and tool the beauty of the plates away.  I didn’t realize how many linens were going to be needed for the wedding.  Linens will ultimately take half, if not more, of my rentals budget.  I picked a satin linen for the tables.  I have seen bits and pieces of everything and I am ready to see it all together.  My wedding planner calls the theme of my wedding a modern Marie Antoinette.  My original vision was completely different, but it changed along the way and I am much happier with the classic feel that I picked over the vintage image I was going for.  Don’t be afraid to evolve with your wedding.  I know some brides have a very specific look and feel of what they want for their wedding, but sometimes it is nice to see where the process takes you.

I have officially picked out all of my big things that I need for my wedding.  All I have left are invitations and details.  Where do I even begin with invitations?  I decided that since several of my family members from Mexico City will be attending I want to make them feel special so I will be picking out invitations and making theirs in Spanish and send it to them in advance since they are traveling from another country.  I have several other little ideas in my head for the wedding I just need to see how they will play in to our wedding.  We are ordering wedding favors from Mexico and also making some favors.  I am excited about both of them (you can tell I am excited about pretty much anything wedding related)! I have about 4 months left until I get married.  Adam and I could not be happier with how things have come together so smoothly.  A huge thank you to Kayleigh, our venue, and all the vendors that have been wonderful to us throughout the process.

*Betsy Villanueva

Continue Reading

My Life As A Bride

Trying on wedding dressesTwo months and a few weeks later I found my gown! It was a long process, but totally worth it.  I didn’t have that WOW moment that most brides get.  I felt that the dress was different than any dress I had seen, so I picked it.  Others loved the dress when they saw me in the dress or the dress itself so I am pleased about that.  I can’t give details about the dress, but it is different than what I expected to end up with and I hear that happens quite often.  I will post a few pictures of what I tried on throughout my 7 store visits.

 

Now that I have picked my dress I am five months away from getting married and I have quite a bit left to do.  Maybe this is when stress sets in for brides.  I have to finalize flowers, dinner, rentals, rehearsal dinner, cocktail hour music, pick invitations, and find a bilingual officiant.  The rest is details, details, and more details.  I have no idea how I will personalize our wedding to be more “Us” yet, but I think that is done after all the main things have been picked out.  I have so many ideas, I just need to find a way to make them fit our theme.  I don’t even know what to call my theme, I should probably ask my wedding planner this question.

We have been so busy with the actual wedding that we haven’t done much research on the honeymoon.  I have heard great things about St. Lucia and Costa Rica, but who knows where we will end up going.

I am excited to meet with the florist to finalize those details.  If it was up to me the wedding would be a flower wonderland, but I don’t think Adam would appreciate that many flowers.  I am still trying to figure out what color of flowers to go with for the wedding.

The latest task completed, besides picking my dress, has been to order save the dates.  I have a round about number of guests to send save the dates to and I ordered some extras, just in case.  What I really need to do is make a final guest list.  I think this has been hardest for me because I feel bad when I cut people, but it needs to be done.

We have also set up our first registry.  We will be registering at three different locations so that our guests have a variety to pick from.  Adam and I worked so well together when we picked items for our registry.  I have heard of couples getting into fights or arguments when it comes to doing the registry, but that wasn’t the case at all.  Our goal when we went into doing the registry was to think long term.  What kind of things do we want to see around the house 5 years from now or even longer.  Adam let me deal with the china and the things it takes to make a house more homey and I let him pick the most of the kitchen items.  Let’s be honest, Adam does most of the cooking so he knows more about what is best for the kitchen.  We didn’t finish the first registry, but I feel like we accomplished quite a bit.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

Continue Reading

My Life As A Bride- Wedding Gown Edition

What can be more important to the bride than the cake, vendor choices, and venue?  Her wedding dress, of course!  It is the last dress she will be wearing as a single woman and the first dress she will be wearing as a newlywed.  Not to mention, all eyes are on the bride as she walks down the aisle to happily ever after.  People will talk about the dress during the wedding and after the wedding.  Guests will discuss how they feel about the dress, how it fit the bride, was the style pretty or ugly, etc.  What is most important is how you, as the bride, feel in the wedding gown.  What do you want to look like on your wedding day? A princess? A sexy bride? Traditional bride?  Some brides want the dress to fit in with their wedding theme.  I have yet to decide what I want to look like on my wedding day.  A consultant asked me an interesting question when i was shopping for a wedding dress; “What do you want to see when you look back at your pictures?  What do you want your kids to see when they look at your pictures?”  I guess I had never through of that.  It did not help me narrow my choices, but it could help you narrow yours.

I went in to my appointments with an open mind.  Dresses that you would normally rule out can actually be the best dress for you.  It all depends on how it looks on you, not on the hanger.  You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.  I know I was with certain dresses that I would not have picked when it was hanging.  I have visited 7 bridal shops throughout Austin and Houston.  I have yet to find my dress (I will get into that later).  Most of the bridal consultants were very nice and pleasant to work with.  None of them gave much of an input, which can be good and bad.  When I would ask them for opinions they would say I like them all or they all look great.  This just makes it more difficult to decide.  I have been going to the appointments with my mother.  I feel like this is one of those moments you need to have with your mom.  It can be emotional and even difficult to try to find the perfect dress for your wedding day, but the person that will never fail to get you through the tough moments is your mother.  She will be honest with you.  I know some people may take large groups of friends or family members to dress shop, but I think that it would confuse me even more to hear so many opinions.

2013-wedding-dress-pronovias-glamour-collection-bridal-gowns-durban__full

Wedding dresses are beautiful to begin with, so the issue I am having is trying to find the dress that I can’t stop thinking about.  The dress that makes me glow and excited.  I haven’t been wowed by any dresses so far.  Maybe there really isn’t a big moment for everyone when they pick a wedding dress.  I am not looking for the big moment, I am looking for the big dress, the one that impresses me.  I know, I know, 7 wedding dress shops is a bit much, but I am not willing to settle on a dress.  I am in it for the long hall so I only plan on wearing a white extravagant gown once in my lifetime.  Am I putting too much emphasis on the wedding gown?  That is a possibility.  Hopefully I find my wedding gown soon.  I am on a time crunch.  Ladies, keep in mind that dresses take about 4-6 months to be made and it can take even longer than that.  Allow yourselves enough time for the dress to come in and to make alterations.  I will already be paying rush fees because I am 6 months away from my wedding date.  I suggest you find a dress 8 months before your wedding date, just to be on the safe side.  Also, pick a dress that fits your body type.  Not having a wedding gown this late in the game is a bit of a hiccup, but I am determined to find one soon.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

Continue Reading

My Life as a Bride

Bridal Extravaganza

 

Once my venue and date was set it was time time to ask my friends to be a part of my big day.  Pick your bridal party wisely.  You don’t want to have so many people that it becomes overwhelming for you throughout the entire wedding planning.  Pick the women/men that are most important to you but that will also be there for you the whole way.  You need to be able to count on them for anything that may come up.  I haven’t had much for my bridesmaids to do yet, but I know that if I need anything they will help as much as possible.  I asked my bridal party to be in my wedding by giving them cute gifts, like the one below.  Do you add your fiancés siblings in the wedding party?  Some people may feel obligated to but if you aren’t close to them don’t feel pressured to add them.  It is a nice sentiment to want to add them but ultimately it’s your wedding and you get to pick who stands by your side.

If you feel like you need help planning your wedding or just day of coordinating look around for a wedding planner.  Many wedding planners are expensive, but they do offer different packages.  For example, you can have a wedding planner throughout the entire process, use them for three consultations and day of coordinating, or just the day of coordinating.  I would highly recommend day of coordination because this frees you up to enjoy your wedding day without any stress.  I have a wedding planner that is there throughout the whole wedding process, but I try to use her the least amount possible because I enjoy wedding planning.  It is great to have a professional to get recommendations from about vendors and to bounce ideas off of for your wedding.  Also, your wedding planner can hammer out details with vendors, review contracts and ultimately save you money in areas you had not even considered.  Your wedding planner has contacts, use them.  He/she knows the best vendors that fit your budget.  My wedding planner is a good friend of mine, but the reasons I picked her are because she is great at what she does, she is dependable, she is a delight to work with, and she gets things done.  Seriously, if you need any help planning your wedding contact Kayleigh Ziegenbein, she is the best!

What could be next on my to do list for the wedding?  Well, my wedding planner gives me a verbal timeline of what things should be done and by when.  You can find a wedding check list on theknot.com or weddingwire.com.  I went by the timeline she gave me but also what was most important to me for my wedding day.  I booked the photographer and videographer then the ceremony musicians and the dj.  I have yet to book the cocktail musicians because unfortunately they don’t take bookings for the spring yet.  To me, the photographer and videographer are very important.  They  are the ones that capture the big day from beginning to end so that you can look back at those moments as often as you like.  If you are a bride on a budget keep in mind the areas that are most important to you so that you can spend more on those areas and less on other areas.  Also, keep in mind that certain aspects of a wedding book quicker than others.  An example would be venues, that is what most people book first so they are what gets taken off the market first.  Caterers can do several weddings on any given day if they are a big company with several employees but if you are looking to book a smaller company then they may just do one wedding a day.  This goes for any vendors in the wedding market.  They know how many weddings a day they can handle.

Wedding Check List
Wedding Check List Cont.

Have a great weekend!

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

 

Continue Reading

My Life as a Bride

A Wedding Venue
A Wedding Venue

 

I am engaged, but what is next?  Do I pick a date, pick a venue, or ask people to be a part of my big day?  I decided that before I set a date I needed to research wedding venues.  This was the best way to start because if you have your heart set on a specific date and the venue of your dreams doesn’t have opening around that time then it can create some stress.  With this in mind I started my search for the perfect venue.  The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a place that had a gorgeous view.  I did some online searches and was able to narrow down my list of wedding Venues.  My top pick was Camp Lucy but I was able to exceed my own expectations and find a venue with an even better view of the hill country.  Keep an open mind when you visit the venues.  If you are too closed off from new ideas then you can miss something even better.  This almost happened to me.  I had my heart set on Camp Lucy and I didn’t want to bother looking at other locations after I visited the site.  Luckily my mother convinced me to look at another venue that she thought I would like even more and it ended up being the perfect place for my fiancé and I to have our big day.

When You pick a venue keep in mind what all is included in the venue pricing.  Do they include lodging? Do they have a preferred vendor list? Do they allow outside vendors?  Do they have a commercial kitchen for caterers?  For example, if there is no commercial kitchen for the caterers the caterer will have to bring their own equipment which can ultimately cost you more money.  Things that you may never have considered can add up quickly.  You may also want flexibility in a venue.  Some venues that I visited did not allow for outside vendors that were not on their list, so the caterer that I had in mind wouldn’t have been able to be my caterer.  Don’t settle on a venue that doesn’t allow you to have the options you have dreamed of on your wedding day just because it is the prettiest.  You can always glam up any location.

Once I picked a venue we discussed dates with the owner.  I am lucky enough to be getting married a year and a half after the proposal.  The date we picked is the same as my parents anniversary (I know, cute right?!).  I wanted to have time to plan and not be stressed.  I hear that weddings make people crazy and that it is stressful and I did not want to be that bride or put my friends and family through a time crunch.  Ultimately my venue is setting the tone for my wedding.  It may be pricey, but all of the benefits of having my wedding at this venue definitely outweigh the cost.  The owners are wonderful, the location is gorgeous, they include everything I was looking for, and they are flexible and very helpful.

I know that I picked the perfect location that fits my needs, exceeded my expectations, and represents my fiancé and I very well.

*Betsy Villanueva

 

Continue Reading