By Grace Keating
We are just under five months away from July 16, 2016! I found that turning the corner into the New Year brought a whole new motivation for wedding planning; Kevin and I have been working on it more than ever since the holiday season ended. With a two year engagement, we have been able to take it slowly. Recently, however, it seems we’ve kicked it up a notch.
At the end of January, we attended what has been perhaps my favorite wedding preparation event thus far (maybe besides finding my dress): our reception venue tasting/“wedding preview.” All couples utilizing Kirkbrae Country Club in 2016 attended to sample hors d’oeuvres, entrees and the services that the Club can provide. Kirkbrae really pulls out all the stops for this event. The ballroom was beautifully decorated – in every style imaginable! Each table showcased a different linen style and color, as well as various table settings, favors and floral centerpieces. Couples were really able to get a feel for how different decorative styles will look at their reception. There was a DJ, different lighting options throughout the night, and tons of food to try. I’m fairly certain Kevin and I tried every hors d’oeuvre offered, as well as different types of salad, entrees, and countless cupcake and dessert samples. What a date night! It made us all the more excited to just get a glimpse into what our reception will actually look like – just add both sides of both our huge families and stir…Serves 200. Sure to be a hit!
Speaking of food, we’ve also started executing on our dessert vision. Yes, “dessert vision” – not even something I knew I had until I started researching bakeries for our cake. Since the get-go, I’ve been pushing for cupcakes, along with a small cake for us to cut. I love the options this gives everyone in regards to flavors. Luckily, Kevin was completely on board (ha, like he needed a lot of convincing). Since I can remember, my family has been getting our milk and pastries from Wright’s Dairy Farm in North Smithfield, so Wright’s naturally popped into my head as an option for our wedding. The day before Valentine’s Day, Kevin and I had a consultation there and quite literally had cake for breakfast. We walked out an hour later with six different flavors chosen and, visions of a “cupcake bar” dancing in our heads. More to come on what our dessert station will end up looking like!
As you may be able to tell from past blog posts, Kevin is a pretty involved groom. He has enjoyed being a part of lots of major decisions, and I’ve valued his input. The floral decisions, however, he wanted no part of whatsoever. Perfectly fine with me! I appreciate the dichotomy of his desire to be involved, yet giving me full free reign over this aspect. After doing lots of research (on both Pinterest for my floral “vision” and The Knot for vendors), I’m excited to finally have CherryHill Flowers on board!
This brings me to the first time I feel qualified to leave a piece of advice for future brides. Regarding making your vendor decisions, not to scare anyone, but these are important decisions. You have a certain vision for your wedding that you simply cannot carry out on your own. You need a venue and a caterer and a musical professional and a florist and professional transportation and a baker and hair/makeup artists and…the list goes on and on. There are certain questions one should ask, price points to discuss and samples to view, but underneath it all, I think that a bride really needs to connect with vendors.
Upon touring Kirkbrae and chatting with Tiffany, we walked out knowing our reception would be there. Our DJ invited us into his home for our first consultation and took out his own wedding album when we got carried away talking; we booked him the next day. I felt after meeting with the florist that she seemed to really hear me – she understood my vision and wants, as well as my budget. Booking her was a no-brainer. I’ve been so lucky thus far with finding great people to involve in my wedding day. I trust them and know that, in their specific ways, they will help make the day exactly what I want it to be. It can be stressful to root through the thousands of vendors to find the right ones, but when you do, sometimes you just know. It’s kind of like finding the person you wouldn’t mind spending the rest of your life with. So fear not; you’ve already done that!