Dear Posh Purpose readers...I'm so sorry for having neglected you over the past few months of wedding planning. I'll save you (my totally legit!) excuses and just say that I also wanted to make sure that contracts had been ironed out, signed, and deposits cashed before giving you the skinny on all my planning.
I had decided early on that Mr. 3 and I would be tying the knot in his hometown of Roanoke, VA because some of his family members wouldn't be able to attend due to health reasons unless they didn't have to travel very far. After a disastrous first attempt to find a venue, where we spent 2-3 weeks in August/September trying to secure a former B&B called the Mirador, contract negotiations fell apart when the owners refused to do business with us because we asked for them to further define the terms of the contract. I believe that I've posted before about the importance of reading contracts and I'll say it again READ YOUR CONTRACTS. You definitely do not want to sign anything that has vague terminology like "we will charge accordingly." Contracts with misspellings are also a warning flag. After the Mirador disaster (and crying on Mr. 3's shoulder for several hours), we regrouped and took another look at the area.
While Roanoke has many venue options, a lot of them were less than ideal. I knew that I didn't want to deal with any venue where the dance floor would be outdoors (hot sweaty bride = ick). I'm not a country club or hotel wedding type of girl and a lot of the places weren't going to be handicap accessible. After much searching and deliberation (I considered just hosting a 50 person sit down dinner for about two weeks, but I couldn't give up the idea of dancing, so I backed away from it), we finally settled on the beautiful Patrick Henry Ballroom. The PH is a historic ballroom in the old Patrick Henry Hotel. The hotel was converted to condos and the downstairs has been renovated, taking the ballroom back to its original historic structure but adding modern updates to the infrastructure. We settled on date in July that (luckily) the church also had available and I'm so excited for our choice!
From there, Mr. 3 and I spent quite a bit of time searching for our other biggest decision...the photographer. Let me tell you, I searched and searched for about 3 months before our contract was finalized. It was quite a struggle to find someone that fit in with our budget and that we loved. A lot of the photographers in the area are still sticking with the 80s style, super posed, stiff style OR they have gone in completely the opposite direction and like to throw every possible special effect at the picture. We were not fans. We finally found Sam Dean from Sam Dean Photography. When we first met with Sam we liked how laid back he is, plus Mr. 3 and Sam hit it off pretty well. Sam's work is also fantastic! He takes a more photojournalistic approach and really doesn't care for the photoshopping. We are excited to have him for our wedding day!
Next up...the band! My dear friend Marie got married a few years ago and had a band at her wedding. What a difference it made! I didn't think a band would fit into the wedding budget, but luckily Roanoke has a large number of local musicians, so it suddenly became much more affordable because we weren't going to have to pay a travel charge or overnight accomodations. We used Kent Martin from SRO Productions and he was so helpful and patient with me as we made our selection. We finally settled on a 7 piece horn band called The Kings, and I couldn't be more excited.
Now, I'm sure everyone wants to know about the dress. My poor mother took me to a dress shop in Roanoke at Thanksgiving and three different stores in Charlotte, NC at Christmas (in one memorable, marathon of a shopping day). I didn't find anything. We went back to one of the dress stores, J.Majors bridal, to do a retry of four dresses. After having wedding dress dreams and worrying all through Christmas, I turned what was supposed to be a one hour appointment for 4 dresses into an hour and a half frenzied look at 12-15 dresses. After going up on my price point a bit, I finally found what I was looking for from Martina Liana. I don't want to give all the details away, but it's a beautiful sweetheart silk organza gown and I'm super excited about it!
Among the other things that have been decided - I've found a wedding coordinator, picked out my stationer (more on him later!), and my mom and I have been purchasing decor items like a madwoman. With less than 6 months to go, I feel like I'm either right on track or seriously behind (depends on the day of the week). How are everyone else's wedding plans coming along? What big decisions do you have left?