This weekend, I drove to Denton (where Riley and I will marry) for a wedding planning weekend! Along with our moms, we visited our wedding venue and met with our coordinator, trudged through
boring important details, and shopped for my wedding dress! (Riley wasn’t invited to that part, though! 😉 )
My mom travels a lot for work, flying all over the country for field rides and meetings. She happened to be in Dallas (30 miles south of Denton) this past week, so we figured that this was the perfect opportunity for her to stay in town for the weekend and work on wedding-related tasks together.
First, on Thursday morning, when I arrived, Riley and I drove to our venue (read this post for a tour) so that I could finally see it! Believe it or not, that was my first time seeing it in person! Riley toured it on his own since I wasn’t able to make it up to Denton and loved it, and we wanted to book it before someone else snatched our date, so we went ahead and put down a deposit a few weeks ago. Thankfully, I implicitly trust his judgement, so I knew I would love it. And I did. It is absolutely gorgeous and I am thrilled that I have the privilege of saying “I do” in such a beautiful place!
On Thursday evening, Riley and I met up with my mom and the three of us went out to dinner together. My mom hadn’t been feeling well (cold, congestion, coughing, sore throat–the usual at this time of year), so we went to Corner Bakery and chatted over soup and hot tea. After dinner, we stopped by CVS so that she could stock up on medicine, where Riley made the decision to buy all of his kitchen spices from now on since the prices are so much better than grocery stores…I’m not so sure I’m on board. #yougetwhatyoupayfor 😉
Friday: Details, Details, Details!
Waking up on Friday, I was eagerly anticipating meeting with our wedding coordinator and walking through the venue a second time. For about two hours, we (Riley, me, my mom, and his mom) discussed the order of procession, what our menu will look like, the décor, where people will be seated, who is going to greet guests, etc, etc. Lots and lots of details that needed to be ironed out, but by the end, I was literally dizzy!
After our meeting, the four of us went to Panera for a light and quick lunch (much to Riley’s chagrin–he was pushing for burgers, BBQ, or pizza) before us three ladies drove to my very first dress appointment. I was so, so excited, but I also had butterflies in my stomach. I had an idea of what I liked, but had no concept of what it would feel like to try on white gowns for the first time. My consultant was wonderful and extremely helpful (and patient!), and helped me trudge through all kinds of dresses, as I tried to decide what I liked and what I didn’t.
I was somewhat surprised by what I liked and didn’t like (many of my married friends have told me that this is normal), but in the end nothing was my dress. There were two front-runners, but one had some detailing that was a little too much for my taste and the other had a beaded bodice that was beautiful but really irritated my arms. I don’t want to be uncomfortable all day on my big day, so I said no to both. (I wasn’t discouraged, though, because I knew that I had two more appointments the following day!)
Saturday: I Said “Yes!”
I woke up on Saturday slightly anxious because I knew that I needed to find my dress that day. Our wedding is less than six months away at this point, and some gowns take that long just to arrive (not including alterations!), so I was very aware that it was go-time. This time, Riley’s sister joined me, my mom, and his mom as well.
Walking into our first appointment, I was impressed with the salon. It wasn’t huge, but there was a large selection of dresses and it was obvious immediately that the shop was run like a well-oiled machine. I met my bridal consultant, Lauren, and shared my vision with her. She was able to quickly pull some gorgeous dresses and helped me get into each one.
Some were too country looking, others were too heavy for a summer wedding, some were too edgy or bohemian…and then I tried one on that was beautiful, and classic, and elegant. I tried on a few more no-thank-yous before putting that dress back on, getting “jacked up” (adding a veil, earrings, etc.), and saying “yes!” to the dress. Oh, how I wish I could share a photo with y’all! Promise to share lots after our wedding.
I ordered the dress on the spot, called the salon where my second appointment was to be held and cancelled it, and drove to meet Riley for lunch back in Denton. I was dying to show him pictures (we tell each other everything!), but refrained. He’ll have to wait until late July for that! 😉
Saturday night, I had the chance to meet a couple of Riley’s college friends over dinner and drinks. We had a great time laughing and I loved to hear stories about their college experience since I didn’t even know Ri at the time!
After dinner, I headed to the hotel room that I was sharing with my mom and climbed into bed. I felt a twinge of anxiety come over me, but attributed it to the whirlwind day I had just experienced, and tried to fall asleep. After hours of tossing and turning, I woke up on Sunday morning in a complete panic.
Sunday: This. Is. Actually. Happening!
My heart was racing, my chest was tight, and I could not, for the life of me, get a full breath. I started to flip through my mental rolodex, trying to figure out what was causing such anxiety. I realized that the dress had done me in.
Up until this point in planning, everything had been pretty un-emotional. (That is, except getting engaged!) But the dress?! That’s something that I had been thinking about for years. I have journals with sketches of my future wedding dress, hundreds of pins as inspiration, and a lot of excitement about choosing the dress in general. It felt so strange that it was all over! And so quickly, too.
I still have to settle on my veil and accessories, of course, but the most important part of my wedding day look? It’s done!
Because of that, everything felt so, so real. I’ve heard from married friends that the fact that you’re actually getting married will hit everyone at a different time, and for me, it was the day after I picked my wedding gown. It feels like life is swirling right now at a hundred miles an hour–Riley and I have big decisions to make between now and our wedding date, which is quickly approaching, and as always, there is a heavy fear of the unknown for me.
Unloading all of these heavy, anxiety-riddled emotions onto Riley on Sunday afternoon, he took my hands and prayed for me. (Do you see why I want to marry this man?) Fear and faith can’t coexist, so the fear has to go. I chatted with my best friend Ang (who will be my Maid of Honor!) on the drive back to Austin that night, and she reassured me over and over…God has a plan. He is bigger than you. Trust Him, trust Him, trust Him. Wise words from two of the most important people in my life. (If you would, will you pray against this crippling anxiety? Pray that peace would overcome fear?)
Walking away from this weekend, I feel so blessed and so very excited for our big day! I wish it would come sooner, but I know that the next five-ish months will fly by. I’m working on taking each day at a time, letting go of perfection, and learning to breathe so that I can truly enjoy this short season of engagement.
(This feels more like a journal entry than a blog post, but hey! It’s something, right?) 🙂
RIGHT. THERE. WITH. YOU. Literally. This past weekend we moved Matthew into OUR apartment and had OUR furniture delivered. I still haven’t had that moment where it hit me that we are actually getting married yet, I’m assuming it will come when I pick my dress out, too. But the whole weekend I had to keep reminding myself that this is OUR apartment and we had to decide together how we wanted to arrange the furniture haha. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people but those who are in the same season of life totally get it. Your weekend sounds so exciting!! I’m glad you got to see the venue finally, it looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to see your dress after y’all get married!! I know you will look beautiful! What is y’all’s wedding date?? I have my first dress appointment this Sunday and I am already getting a little nervous about it, but still SO excited and so ready to find the one. Praying for you girl! Remember, no matter what happens (decorations, the meal, the dress, the weather, etc.) you and Riley will still be HUSBAND and WIFE!!!! 🙂 Just relax and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime season of planning we are in!! 🙂 Don’t worry, I have to keep reminding myself of this about me and Matthew when I get overwhelmed, too.
Blair Menzel says
Shelby! It’s so fun to walk through this crazy season “with” you! (Virtually, at least!) Being engaged is such a weird time–there are just so many emotions and feelings tied to every little decision…but you’re right! At the end of the day (which will be July 31st), we will be MARRIED. And what’s better than that? 🙂
Janette Garcia says
This sounds so exciting! What an amazing weekend, you must be so pumped for the big day now!
Blair Menzel says
I really am! Thanks Janette!!!
Claire T. says
Hey Blair! I can totally relate to your wedding planning experiences. My big day is rapidly approaching (40 days!!!). My best advice is to focus on the details that are important to you. With Pinterest, etc, lots of people feel pressure to have every single cute little thing they see. Don’t do it 🙂 Just pick a few things you like and can manage without getting stressed out 🙂
As for dress shopping…I decided to remake my mom’s dress into something more in-line with current fashion. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on that dress shopping experience but at the end of the day, I got to basically custom make a dress that has sentimental value to my family 🙂 You’ll see it soon!
Blair Menzel says
Claire! Only 40 more days–HOW EXCITING!! As for your dress–I absolutely love that you’re recreating your mom’s dress–that is so, so cool! How special. Can’t wait to see it!
I so wish I could have seen you in a few dresses before July 31., Blair. I cried like a baby wanting to love on you just from reading this post about your anxiety,then I read that Riley was there to calm your nerves, just what your fiancee should do! It makes me love him even more.
I will be NO GOOD on your wedding day when you come down the aisle because you are a part of my heart that has gone away. This whole process while so exciting for you brings a bit of sadness for me because it means you have grown up, moved on, and have a real love beyond family.
I pray for you and Riley everyday of this journey. Love, Aunt Sharon
PS. My personal takeaway:
.”Fear and faith cannot co-exist.” Great thought, one that I have struggled with all my life.
Blair Menzel says
Aww, I teared up reading your comment! I wish we lived closer indeed. This is such a crazy season of transition and change–all good, but not all easy. Lots of love to you and your family! I miss y’all so very much!
I felt the exact same way when I bought my dress a month ago. I am almost sad I found a dress so quickly because the whole process was so fun and amazing!
Blair Menzel says
YES! So glad I wasn’t alone in that.