Wow, how is it already Friday?! I’m heading up to St. Louis tomorrow to visit my friend (and go to a workshop and do a photo shoot!) and let me tell you… I am going to FREEZE! I’ve been freezing here in Florida the past few days and it’s only been in the 60s! So wish me luck in dealing with the cold! ;) I thought it would be nice to end the week with this rustic vineyard wedding from Jana Williams Photography. There’s something about rustic weddings that makes them so cozy and intimate- and this wedding definitely evokes both of those things! The gorgeous bride Janae is here sharing some of her wedding memories with us- and she has some great advice too! :)
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
I got the most help for my wedding from tons of wedding magazines. I had two folders that had labels and spots for 12 categories, so I would tear out pictures I loved and circle whatever it was that I wanted to remember and then would place it in the correct file category, from hair to make up to decor at the reception. Then after a many many months of collecting I looked through those pictures again and could tell that most of the pictures were similar per category and that I had a clear vision of a rustic, outdoor wedding with a lot of natural wood, mason jars, and home made touches, like the home made signs that said bocce ball and J + J wedding. So I pulled a lot from what others had done and added my own touches.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
The most important thing for me in choosing who I would work with on my wedding day was whether they could see my wedding day vision as well and if when I met them I could tell they would fit right into the scene I always had in my head of that big day. Jana, my photographer fit in perfectly. She looked and played the part in a flowing, long bohemian style dress and her assistant was wearing cowboy boots. Too cute.
Did any of your vendors do anything special for you before, on, or after your wedding day that you would like to share?
My wedding planner, Candice, was awesome. I had hired her before I knew where Justin and I were going to get married. After several months of looking at dozens and dozens of sites I was getting frustrated since none of them felt quite right. She suggested I look in Paso Robles because they have a rustic, down-to-earth wine country feel and she offered to come with my parents and I for the weekend up there to scout locations. That was not in her contract, but she went above and beyond to do that with me. Candice knew the right questions to ask and she could really tell by the look on my face which wineries I loved and which I hated. She handled it like the pro she is and if it wasn’t for her and my parents doing internet research I may have never found Cass (which happens to be my nickname) Winery in Paso Robles.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
I honestly couldn’t name one thing that was my favorite about my wedding because there are so many, but maybe I could narrow it down to my top five:
1. Bridal boot camp the morning of the wedding. Boy did we sweat it out. So fun.
2. Spending the day with my bridesmaids, mom, mother-in-law, and my sister’s mother-in-law all in one hotel suite getting dolled up with the hair and make up people.
3. Walking down the aisle feeling so incredible and holding Justin’s shaking hands beneath the shady oak tree in the middle of the vineyard during the ceremony.
4. Dancing our first dance as husband and wife to Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.”
5. Watching the glow in the dark bocce balls fly around the vineyard while I danced with my best girlfriends and knowing Justin and I were finally married.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
My best piece of advice for other brides is to stay organized. Use one of those year planners that bridal magazine put in each issue and place it on the refrigerator and cross off things as the months go by. It will give you a place to start and will also remind you of things to come that you may want to start thinking about. Make a file folder with different categories (hair, make up, dress, reception decor, invitations, rehearsal, ceremony, etc) and keep tearing out those pictures and using them for inspiration. If you aren’t an organized person then it would help to find a friend who is to help you or just spend the extra money and hire a wedding planner who will do everything down to the last detail for you. I am extremely organized and I still got a bit stressed out during the last 2 months.
Oh, and lastly, don’t wait until after the wedding to open your wedding gifts. I realize some people are superstitious about that, but it helped so much to open the gifts as they came and then to write a thank you letter immediately. That way you are not stuck writing 200 thank you letters after the honeymoon, which would be a real downer. You don’t even have to send the thank you notes until after the wedding. They don’t need to know you opened the gift before the big day. I promise that organization will help you keep a level head.
That is some excellent advice! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us Janae, and congratulations! Also a big thank you to Jana Williams Photography for sending us this wedding! :)
I’ll tell you what- I love that they had apple cobbler in lieu of cake! And that simple tablescape- clean, elegant, and beautiful! But my absolute favorite detail from this wedding: the bocce ball! I think it’s an AWESOME idea to give your guests something to keep them entertained! So now what about you? Do you have any favorite details from this wedding? Anything that inspired you that you might use for your own wedding? :)