We've already been engaged for a month and a half! I can't believe it. And, no, I haven't stopped staring at my finger or getting giddy when I catch a glimpse of my ring at a particularly sparkly angle. And the word "fiance" still sounds weird rolling off my tongue :)
Instead of taking the advice of my friends, I jumped into planning mode about 2 days after Tom popped the big question. For us, the first thing we needed to figure out was where the heck we're going to tie the knot! With my immediate family in Texas and Tom's immediate family in St. Louis, we had a few decisions to make. Additionally, we needed to take into account all of our friends and family who will be traveling for our big day. We figured out that we'll (hopefully) be welcoming wedding guests from New York, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, California, Texas, and maybe a few other places. Although we weighed all of our options -- including traveling somewhere fabulous for a destination wedding -- we decided to get married right here in good 'ol Columbia, MO. Why? Because this is where we met, fell in love, and now call home...and it's a fairly central location for everyone!
At this point, we've checked out four venues here in town (well, one's in Jefferson City about 30 minutes away): La Maison, Museao, Columbia Country Club, and Stephens College's Kimball Ballroom. Without naming names, we liked three (each had its own respective list of pros and cons) and hated one (the space isn't right for our wedding, but the service was AWFUL). Throughout the touring process, we've been gathering ideas about what we like and what we don't like, but it's safe to say that we haven't found our wedding location yet. Still, we're early in the process, and I'm doing research every night to find new places to visit. I also think we're realizing that there's a good chance we're not going to find the place here in Columbia. And that's okay. I've started researching ceremony and reception venues in St. Louis just in case.
Once we find a few venues we love, my dad will fly up and help us sign all of the paperwork, and we'll be able to nail down our wedding date! At this point, we're hoping for April 2014 :)
Even though we don't have a date or venue yet, we did meet with a photographer here in town. Her photos are beautiful, and we love the packages she offers, so we hope she'll still be available once we book our venue. To better our chances, I'm not giving out her name quite yet. If we get married here in Columbia or in St. Louis, stay tuned!
Other than checking out venues and meeting with the photographer, we've been busy putting together our guest list and figuring out what's important to us to include in our wedding day. We're currently having a little trouble finding a suitable wedding officiant, but we're working on it. I've also been spending a lot of time building up my wedding Pinterest boards, which I think has both helped and hurt. Yes, I'm getting a good idea of how I want our wedding to look, but I'm afraid I'm getting my hopes up for things that just aren't time and cost efficient and, ultimately, won't end up being a part of our big day.
For that reason and a few others, I'm currently pretty stressed out about the whole planning process. So, last night I decided to take a step back and take a few weeks off from planning. I'm going to read this book, which was given to me by a friend, and do what I should have done a month and a half ago: spend a little time enjoying my fiance and basking in the fact that he wants me to be his wife!