For those of you who missed the announcement, about a month ago I became betrothed. What a good word that is, betrothed. As I’m sure you can imagine this first month has had its fair share of excitement as well as stress, because let’s be real: wedding planning is crazy. Crazy fun and crazy crazy. Within days of our engagement I felt an incredible need to have the first two all important decisions made: what is our venue and what is our date? The venue is so crucial, literally setting the stage and tone for your event. And obviously having a date pinned down is paramount. There’s a big difference between a 6 month engagement and a 24 month engagement. Not like a 6 month engagement was even a remote possibility for me. Those who know me and my difficulty making decisions in a timely manner will understand why I’ve joked for years that I would need a very long engagement. So many decisions to make.
Yes that is my beautiful engagement ring. I have no shame.
Well I am thrilled to inform you that those two all important first decisions have been made. While we originally had talked about an October 2014 wedding, all of the venues I started inquiring to were already completely booked for 2014. I don’t know why this surprised me. So pretty quickly I started coming around to the idea that it might have to be 2015. Happily, on only our second venue tour, my wonderful fiance liked the place so much that he too decided that it would be worth the wait.
Here we are posing for my mom’s camera phone while touring our chosen venue, Witt’s Inn. My ideal location was somewhere in a natural setting, whether that be a farm, a forest, a park, or a winery. All that didn’t matter so much as long as it wasn’t a loft or grand ballroom in the middle of the city. While I’m no country girl, I’m really not a city girl.
Witt’s Inn is a bed & breakfast surrounded by farm land in a rural part of Lowell, MI which is just about a half hour drive from my home. As soon as we arrived I had a good feeling. Just a few days prior we had toured a similar rural farm venue but had a completely different experience: it didn’t feeling welcoming, it didn’t feel right. But at Witt’s Inn everything seemed perfect, especially the lovely barn with crystal chandeliers! Ya’ll know I love crystal.
Our date is May 23, 2015. So far away. But every time I think about it the more I’m sure this is right for us. 1 year and 7 months is on the longer side of engagements, and believe me I have gotten some shocked reactions when I’ve told people. Chris and I are happy with our decision and we’re sticking to it.
There were many advantages to waiting till May ’15, not least of which was that the photographer I’d had my heart set on since the beginning was quickly booking up Fall ’14 dates and we probably wouldn’t have been able to work with her. On top of having our date and venue chosen, I am so excited to be working with Kelly Sweet. I spent hours looking through photographers’ portfolios and absolutely no one in the Grand Rapids area could hold a candle to Kelly’s work as far as I’m concerned. Plus it was her beautiful photographs of an October 2012 wedding at Witt’s Inn that helped lead me to that venue!
Here’s some more of Kelly‘s work from other weddings. I just love how her photos have a strong artistic quality. Her use of focus, negative space, and especially the way she captures the warmth of light is just stunning.
So the first leg of wedding planning has been good! With three very important decisions made and 548 days to go (oy), I’m feeling great. Hopefully more things will slowly start to click into place over the next several months. Of course I already have lots of ideas for decorations, flowers, the dress… I’ll probably share some of my inspiration photos with you guys soon. :) I’ll leave you with this candid shot of Chris and I exploring the site of our future wedding. <3
Most photos by Kelly Sweet. The obviously unprofessional ones by me or my mom. :)