Wedding Planning in the Time of Corona: September

Hi fabulous babes!

Welcome to month one of Wedding Planning in the Time of Corona: Month by Month. I am SO excited to take you through my entire wedding planning process! My vision for this is that at the end of every month, I’ll fill you in on what I did that month, snazzy behind the scenes photos that you won’t see anywhere else, and tips and trips for future brides!

Let’s dive in!

One of our engagement photos, taken by Zina Dichoso

September.

My wedding is officially a year away, yay! I officially started wedding planning this month, and it’s already been a whirlwind. I am SUCH a planner, so I live for this. Our wedding is on September 4, 2021 at the beautiful Park Winters. Due to Covid, we moved our date from May to September, so I’m planning for an end-of-summer bash instead of springtime beauty.

The first things we did for the wedding were to choose a venue, narrow down our guest list, choose a wedding party, and decide on our photographer.

This month, I had a couple tasks on my mind:

  • Find a DJ
  • Send out Save the Dates
  • Start the cake tasting process
  • Decide what to do in terms of my dress

The Journey to a Perfect Wedding DJ

Finding a DJ turned out to be quite difficult. I had an all-female DJ group in mind, but we found out that due to Covid brides moving their dates to 2021, they were already completely booked. It turned out that we would hear that a lot. After talking to a couple DJs (and letting them know how much we hated typical wedding DJs), we found the one. A cool dude named Mike will be our DJ.

DJ MIKE!

Something I didn’t like about this process was that the intro calls were so, so detailed. Not knowing what to expect, I allowed the DJs to take the reins. We ended up spending almost an hour on the phone narrowing down every detail with a guy we didn’t even end up choosing. My advice? Ask them a lot of questions, and don’t feel the need to go into too much detail at first. We knew we just wanted someone with a good vibe, and we could cover all our musical likes and dislikes later on.

Getting Creative with Save the Dates

Our save the dates have officially been sent out, and they are stunning! Here’s a picture of our final design, created by the ever talented Severina Thom. If you’re looking for an invitation designer, you need to check out Sev! She is efficient, smart, easy to work with, and wicked talented.

I told Severina what we wanted, and she created 4 breathtaking designs for us to choose from. This is what we landed on, and I love it!

We knew we wanted to do paper Save the Dates, although this is super not necessary. I love having things to hold onto, and wanted a full paper invitation suite. Severina will also be designing our invites!

Severina had everything printed and addressed all the envelopes, so all we had to do was buy stamps and stuff the envelopes. Easy peasy! It was really fun going through our entire guest list, and seeing everyone’s names written down. We hope our guests love it!

**Pro Tip** Everyone sends their Save the Dates at different times, but here’s the tip I heard- if you have guests coming from different countries, send 11-12 months before the wedding. If you have a lot of out-of-town, domestic guests, 8-9 months is good. And if almost everyone is local, 6-7 months out works!

Cake Tasting 101

This is definitely the most exciting part of wedding planning, because cake, duh. For us, having a delicious cake is the most important part, but we also want it to be pretty!

I stalked my wedding venue’s Instagram and found a couple cakes that I loved. I looked them up, and narrowed it down to one: Palette Cakes. This absolutely stunning cake and dessert shop is run by Kellie, our new bff. I was able to tell Kellie exactly what we were looking for, and she’s figuring everything out for us.

We want a smaller cake (two-tier) with a full, and I mean FULL, dessert bar. Kellie will most likely make our cake as well as 4-5 desserts to go along with it. She’s also customizing some gorgeous cookies as a nod to my Dutch heritage, but I’ll leave the specifics a surprise!

We have scheduled our cake and dessert tasting for December, and I am low-key nervous about how I’m going to try 4 cake flavors and 5 dessert flavors. Send prayers!

John and I are both huge fruity dessert people so here are the flavors we will be trying:

  • Cream Cheese Blueberry on Lemon
  • Fleur de Sel Caramel on Chocolate
  • Cream Cheese Strawberry on Strawberry
  • Elderflower Lemon on Vanilla

Excuse meeeee!! Can you believe how decadent these sound?!

Very, very excited for December.

A Dress of My Dreams

Ok, the moment you’ve all been waiting for- my wedding dress!

I honestly had no clue how this was going to go, since I am a curvy lady. I don’t fit into size 12 samples, so going to any old store was not going to cut it! My first experience was at David’s Bridal, and it was just awful. The dresses looked cheap and none of them fit me. DB praises themselves on fitting all brides, but they sure didn’t work for me.

Feeling super ugly at David’s Bridal

Next, I went to a boutique that said they had plus size samples, when all they really had were approximately two dresses that I could actually fit my body into. They continuously told me they could order the dress for me in my size (ya know, if I BOUGHT IT), and that just sucked. Who wants to buy their wedding dress before actually trying it on first?

“Trying On” my dream dress *tear*

I then had a great experience at Sparkle in Sacramento. They specialize in plus size brides, and it felt like Christmas being able to actually try on dresses! I went towards the end of the first Covid lockdown, and we wore masks, gloves, and they emptied the store for me, which was so fun! They were very safe and socially distanced, and I ended up buying 1 of 2 of my dresses there!

Ah yes, how could I forget to tell you? I decided early on that I wanted to do 2 dresses for the wedding. 1 I plan to wear for the ceremony, photos, and drinks. Then just before dinner, I’ll slip into dress #2 and enjoy dinner and dancing in that gown.

I found the dinner and dancing dress at Sparkle, and just needed the perfect ceremony dress.

To my surprise, BHLDN, the wedding dress subsidiary of Anthropologie, dropped their plus size collection in August and I almost LOST IT.

I love Anthropologie.

I love BHLDN.

When I got engaged, I went straight to BHLDN to oggle at all the dresses I knew I could never wear *tear*

But as soon as I heard the collection had released, I made an appointment.

This was the best experience of all. The ladies who worked in this department in Walnut Creek, where I went, were incredible. I felt like I had a cheer squad watching me all day! Seriously, magical.

wedding dress, BHLDN, anthropologie
I almost considered going short because this option was so cute!

After feeling like a goddam princess all day twirling in as many dresses as I could get onto my body, I decided on a stunning dress from Watters (one of my FAVE wedding dress designers!). I fell in love with both the dress and the veil, and I ordered it on the spot. Eyyyy I said yes to the dress!

This added cape made me weak

The dress from BHLDN showed up on my doorstep literally TWO DAYS later. So trust me, you won’t need 7 months to order your dress if you go through them.

Too modest for my taste, but here’s when I decided not to go with sleeves

My other dress was ordered in May, and won’t be here until the end of November. I can’t wait to have and hug them both **casual dress spooning may occur**

Miscellaneous Thoughts

So here we are! This month was such a great starting point for the planning. John and I spent a lot of time discussing colors, cakes, and various traditions. It’s bringing us even closer being able to plan this together.

I also created my wedding mood board **official version** and decided on colors. Our theme is ‘Aperol Spritz’ so expect a lot of fun oranges and pinks with some blues and whites thrown in. Have you seen more gorgeous colors?!

Next month, I’ll be looking at florists, talking to hair and makeup artists, and planning more for our Rehearsal Dinner Pool Party (yep, we are so extra).

Stay tuned, and we sure to watch my Instagram to see various wedding updates during the month!

Xoxo,

Hannah