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My Best Friend's Weddings & Advice: Wedding Wednesday

My Best Friend's Weddings & Advice: Wedding Wednesday

This past year I was lucky enough to get to stand with two of my best friends at their beautiful weddings. Even though I have been to many weddings in the last few years I had never been so closely involved and got to see just how much work and effort goes into planning a wedding. 

The big day with Hallie! The most beautiful flowers you've ever seen! 

The big day with Hallie! The most beautiful flowers you've ever seen! 

The night before with Taylor... lots of laughs & even more champagne! 

The night before with Taylor... lots of laughs & even more champagne! 

Now, through my own planning process, I have looked to them both for guidance and advice on so many things from picking my dress to finding the perfect florist. It truly takes a village to plan a wedding so I asked them to answer a few questions about what it takes to pull off the BEST DAY EVER.

Pick your bride vibe- were you…Easy-going, Traditional, Glam or…. Bridezilla?

Hallie: I would say in between easy-going and traditional. I'm a very laid back person but certain things I was very opinionated about!  
Taylor: I consider myself a very laid back and easy going person so during the whole wedding process I felt the same way. I knew I wanted a wedding with traditional southern and classic feels. 

 

Looking back, what was the most important decision that you made (or didn’t make) that majorly affected you on the day?

Hallie: I did forgo a wedding planner just to save money somewhere... the best decision I made was definitely having a "day of" planner. She was there taking care of everything and making sure things were under control! This is a MUST if you choose the no planner route! 
Taylor: One of my most favorite things my mom did before the wedding ( very steel magnolias) in the old south the mothers used to put a white table cloth of the dining room table and display the brides China and any and all gifts the couple received . I loved that Babcock would deliver the gifts to your house on Fridays! It was so special to see my new China and every gift we got and it made thank you notes so much easier. I also loved staying downtown at the Peabody  near my church and wedding reception. It made the weekend a mini- vacation and I felt like a princess. Everything was so convenient and easy. I loved room service with Erin Leigh and Kelsey right across the hall. It was nice to get ready slowly and having my makeup done by Kelsey while we were looking out over the beautiful river view. It was important to me to just have a few people in the room, having too many people would have made me crazy nervous. Find those people that chill you out and keep them close!

How did you pick your vendors? (was it a planner’s advice, friend’s recommendation, or just trusting your gut?)

Hallie: This was super easy for me because my sister got married about 5 years ago. I knew just by planning that who I would use again and would I would steer clear of. 
Taylor: I picked my vendors through recommendations. My mom follows weddings and photographers blogs. I totally trusted her with every opinion she had. 

 

What is one thing that surprised you about the wedding planning process?

Hallie: The amount of effort that goes into 12 hours of your life! You blink and it's over! I was a little depressed when it was over because this had been my primary focus for the past 10 months! I had to find a new hobby with all my spare time! 
Taylor: My mom and I say it's kind of like Christmas you can plan and plan and buy all you want, but can only do so much until that weekend comes. 

 

What was one thing that made you feel really special during your wedding weekend?

Hallie: Over all what I remember is having an amazing group of bridesmaids! They were all SO attentive and there to make me feel special all weekend! I had several bridesmaids fly/come in from multiple different destinations and to think someone has spent that time/effort/money on you really makes you feel so fortunate. 
Taylor: I felt so blessed and so special the entire weekend. It was such a cool thing to see the people you love most in the world in one room and they were all here for me and George. I was so thankful for my parents giving me this beautiful weekend and for all of our wonderful friends and all the hard work from everyone.

 

Did your real life wedding match your dream/Pinterest wedding?

Hallie: Yes! I was never much of a Pinterest gal so I know that probably helped in the long run!  I do think Weddings today have become such a production and the extremes people go to is unbelievable. I feel the primary focus of a wedding can easily be lost in the midst of planning. You have to draw the line somewhere and bring things back down to reality!
Taylor: Yes! I felt like Cinderella especially in my dress and my  horse drawn carriage that took us all the way to our hotel in Harbor Town. It was so neat to me working with different vendors and sharing my ideas and is collaborating and making both of our ideas work. Sometimes they would have better ideas than I had thought of and sometimes stuff my mom and I said they told us they had never thought of that before. 

 

Did you get a chance to eat at all?

Hallie: NO! Our caterer was supposed to make us a basket of food to leave the reception with but that didn't end up happening. We were starving by the time we got to the Peabody that we ended up ordering hundreds of dollars worth of room service. I highly recommend eating together before the reception starts.
Taylor: Yes! We had the most fabulous candle lit dinner right after the ceremony.

 

 

Favorite song you danced to?

Hallie: Nelly- "Hot in Here."
Taylor: My favorite song in the whole world is "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You".  I loved dancing to "Sweet Pea" with my dad, and then my brother Preston cut in to "My Girl". I loved that it was different and really special to dance with my 3 favorite guys!

 

Drink of choice during the reception?

Hallie: Wine! Pinot Grigio to be exact! Drink of choice in life too! 
Taylor: We drank from vintage silver goblets the whole night. My drink or choice  was white wine, I did not want to spill on my dress. Our caterer had a special lady for us that constantly kept our goblets full of water or wine- so we didn't have to go to the bar once or ask anyone to get us anything.

 

Cake Flavors?

Hallie: For the brides cake I chose to go with pretty traditional flavors- white and strawberry. Grooms cake- was all chocolate. A variety for everyone! I would recommend choosing something more traditionally flavored just so you can cater to the crowd. You certainly don't want a lot of left over cake! 
Taylor: All the flavors! The Flour Garden is seriously the only cake I will eat! I love carrot cake so much, that was the top layer which we will eat on our one year. I chose strawberry, traditional wedding flavor and chocolate.

 

Did your fiance have any opinions about the day?

Hallie: John was in his last year of residency while we were planning our wedding , so he didn't have much time to contribute to the plans. His number one priority was his cake and the band! I let him have free reign on choosing both! I regret the cake decision but it made him SO happy!! The grooms cake was McDonald's themed and was by far a bigger deal than my cake! 
Taylor: Yes, funny enough George did have opinions on certain things . He went with us to the cake and food tastings and was very helpful. 

 

How did you stay calm before you walked down the aisle?

Hallie: First Look! This helped calm my nerves as much as possible! I think every bride is going to be nervous walking down the aisle regardless of what she tells you! 
Taylor: A few sips/ glasses of champagne :)

 

Did you cry at any point during the weekend? 

Hallie: Not during the weekend of the wedding but many tears were shed in the prior weeks beforehand! It's not necessarily you were upset about anything but just so stressed by this point! 
Taylor: No not really!

 

What was one area you were able to save on budget wise (flowers,cake,decor,location?) and how?

Hallie: I saved money with my caterer. The caterer is a bill that can creep up on you in no time! I invited about 700 guests to the wedding and with that number things can get out of hand quickly. With that amount of people the quality of food automatically goes down. There's just no way to serve that many people and it be top of the line food. I chose good/hearty food that filled everyone up over the smaller dishes with unique presentations. I also saved on both of our cakes. A family friend ended up doing both cakes. My thought process behind it was as long as it looks good and TASTES great! People are coming to eat the cake and not necessarily look at it! 
Taylor: I think you can use your flowers from the rehearsal dinner and make those work with the reception!

 

Did you see each other before the wedding for pictures? Would you have done things differently now?

Hallie: Yes, we decided to see each other beforehand. This is the one area that caused a little drama in my house as this is not a traditional southern way of doing things. I knew I would be so nervous and anxious beforehand if I didn't see John. I do NOT regret it! It also makes for some really cute pictures too! 
Taylor: We saw each other before the wedding and I was so glad that we did that.

 

Paying all these deposits on your vendors so far in advance is kind of scary…which vendor booking were you the most nervous about?

Hallie: Band! I've had friends whose band double booked them by accident. You quickly forget about your nervousness because you have 1000 other things to think about and do. When it comes to your deposits.... I recommend doing all your big vendors first and having them all commit on a date you have chosen then deciding on the smaller stuff later. A smaller vendor is much easier to replace than one of your crucial ones! 
Taylor: I honestly wasn't nervous about any of the vendors. I showed the pictures of what we wanted and knew they would do it.

 

Have Any Wedding Crashers?

Hallie: Yes!! It was Elvis week in Memphis so there were Elvis impersonators everywhere! We had a handful crash the wedding and they were great! Who doesn't love a good wedding crasher!? 
Taylor: I'm sure we had some, but I didn't notice them.

 

Funny moment you heard about afterward? 

Hallie: An (Un-named) groomsman was making out with one of my dad's good friends daughters until her dad caught them and let him know, "She won't be needing anymore of that!" 
Taylor: Yes!! We have a few... cousins hookups. Pictures do tell all! 

 

Where did you Honeymoon and how did you decide?

Hallie: St Lucia! It was a pretty easy decision considering neither of us had ever been to the Caribbean- I highly recommend it! 
Taylor: We knew we wanted to go somewhere tropical and George is very good at booking trips and really researching anything. We had a few friends tell us about El Dorado Casisatas . It was truly the most beautiful place, we still cannot get over the food . We want to go back every year!

 

Best advice you got?

Hallie: I know this is so cliche and I rolled my eyes every time someone told me this but cherish these memories because they really do go by so fast. You really don't end up remembering much of your wedding day because you are so busy running around and worried about a ton of stuff that in end won't matter. Remember what is important and be present in each moment! 
Taylor:  We always heard was you will meet a lot of cool and interesting people on your honeymoon. People told us they regretted not hanging out with their new spouse the entire time and that they went to a lot of dinners and cocktail hours with their new friends. So George and I told each other we were not going to do that! The Thursday of our trip we did meet a lot of interesting people, we met two couples from England who had been coming to this resort for 18 years-- one of the couples came back for the food only! We met another couple who lives two streets over from us in Memphis who got married the same day we did and her name was Taylor! Such a small world. The honeymoon was absolute perfection and I enjoyed every moment with George and loved meeting such diverse people. I loved the week of my wedding. I felt so happy and so calm, soak in every moment!!  

Thank you to my friends whose beautiful marriages inspire me daily.

On The Kisser

On The Kisser

High-Tech Beauty

High-Tech Beauty