How I Planned My Wedding: D I Y Bride pt. 1

Planning your wedding is fun but can get extremely stressful because if you're anything like me you've never planned a wedding (or any other event), ever. My fiance and I planned our entire wedding ourselves and decided to go a more "non-traditional" route to our big day.

Once we got engaged I was completely overwhelmed with where to start. I wasn't sure what I was "supposed" to do and wasn't sure what I wanted to do either. I didn't know how to send engagement announcements or if we should hire a planner or if we should throw an engagement party...nothing. All I knew is that I wanted to get married (lol). 

We decided not to use a planner, so I spent a lot (A LOT) of time on Pinterest looking up themes, ideas, schedules of events, and different ways to go about celebrating a wedding. I knew the traditional route wasn't for us because it can be very expensive and super ceremonial, neither of which we wanted. We decided on a destination wedding to Miami since it was where we took our very first vacation together. 

One of the first things we did was decide the size of our wedding. Neither of us wanted a big ceremony so we settled on 50 of our closest friends and family. Since we planned such an intimate ceremony we decided not to have a bridal party (also, I personally feel it's better if it's just the two of you up there committing your lives to each other).

After we had some of the logistics sorted out, I got busy making a wedding website. I tried out a few different wedding package sites like The Knot, Minted, AppyCouple, and Riley & Grey, but felt they were too one size fits all for what I was looking for. These websites are super helpful with some planning aspects as they do come with guides to help outside of the website, it just wasn't what I was looking for personally.

Once we got through the bridal shower, lots of planning ups and downs, vendor issues, and venue issues we finally got to the final countdown. Our wedding weekend was so much fun! We planned a welcome reception for our family and friends on Friday evening at Y.U.C.A., a Cuban fusion restaurant on Lincoln Road. The next day we held a welcome breakfast at our host hotel (where we made a room block for our guests) and spent time afterward on the beach together. We left Saturday evening open for our guests since that was the night we planned bachelor/bachelorette events with our friends. On Sunday, we had our ceremony and reception at The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour.

We had a morning ceremony followed by a Sunday Brunch reception. It was great, and everything we wanted it to be. It was a gorgeous, hot Miami Sunday, but a little windy (my veil flew off while I was walking down the aisle!). Our ceremony lasted about 20 minutes followed by a 4-hour reception. We had a brunch buffet filled with the usual brunch items, waffles, omelets, fruit and pastries, seafood items with crab claws, crab cakes, and smoked salmon, and mimosas. 

Overall, what I learned from planning my own wedding is to stick to your guns. When planning something different  you may get a lot of backlash or negativity, but don't let it make you feel like what you want is wrong. You'll hear this a lot, but it's truly YOUR DAY and no one else on the planet will ever experience it the way you and your fiance will. Decide on what YOU want and stick to it.