September 1, 2018 was the best day of my life. It’s difficult to articulate how perfect our wedding day was, but let’s just say if something wasn’t perfect, it didn’t matter. It was perfect to us. I highly recommend joining the “plan your wedding in four months” club. It is more than enough time and any additional months may have put me over the edge. If you’re Type A, organized, and can make decisions easily, then a four-month timeframe is for you.
It all comes down to venue availability and once you’ve locked that down, the rest is just making a list and crossing items off as you go. I did not think a lot about my future wedding day before being engaged, but I do know what I like. We knew we wanted to get married in downtown Indy since it’s our home, so that made selecting a venue easy.
We originally had a venue in mind that ended up being less than spectacular in person. I’m an optimistic-glass-half-full-person, so I was willing to make it work, but we did a complete 360 and booked the Conrad. The date in my head (September 1) was available and we went for it. I can’t recommend Kelly and the Conrad team enough – the attention to detail and professionalism are unmatched.
Now that you have a venue, I recommend creating a Google Sheet and keeping anything and everything there. Google docs are easy to share, and they automatically save. Add the remaining vendors that you need and fill in the gaps as you go. I Google everything, so I relied on online reviews and tackled one thing at a time. I’ve included sources for all the little details that made our wedding day very much us. Etsy became my new best friend and it’s a great way to support small businesses.
Create a planning timeline and add the big items like photographer, band, flowers, etc. with target dates to confirm each vendor. Wedding week was not that stressful because I had my cheat sheet to rely on. After the rehearsal dinner I had a few last minute to-do’s on my mind, so I typed them out on my phone and shared with my mom and Kelly. It put me at ease to write it down and it was incredible to see all the planning come together on our wedding day.
We started the wedding day with yoga at the Conrad taught by one of my bridesmaids, which I highly recommend if you’re not in a hurry to have your hair and makeup done. Yoga at 9 AM, followed by hair appointments between 10 – 1 PM. We didn’t start photos until 2:30, which I loved because it meant we had most of the day to relax.
Our first look was at 2:30 and then we had the full bridal party at 3:00 for photos on Monument Circle. Ceremony was at 4:30, followed by a cocktail hour at 5:00 and dinner at 6:00. We ended the night with heartfelt toasts and a night of dancing. There was no downtime for our guests between the ceremony and the reception, which was a priority for us. We wanted our family and friends to have fun and I think we can safely say, they did!
Here are a few photos via the talented Molly Connor Photography. Molly and her sidekick, the other Molly, did an amazing job capturing our happy day.
Venue: The Conrad, Indianapolis
Photographer: Molly Connor Photography – THE BEST!
Band: The Jon Durnell Band (from Fort Wayne, IN) – They were amazing and even learned our first dance song, “Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You,” as a wedding gift to us!
String Quartet for the ceremony and the cocktail hour: Kessler Strings (they played “Here Comes the Sun” when I walked down the aisle)
Calligraphy and Dibs on Libs koozies: Kim Shrack of Manayunk Calligraphy
Dress: J.Crew (circa 2008 via Poshmark)
Wedding ribbon belt: Etsy (I purchased this the week of the wedding. Talk about a last minute decision.)
My veil: MarisolAparicio, Etsy
Wedding dress personalized hanger: Etsy
Shoes: Monogrammed navy blue suede loafers by Jack Rogers
Jumpsuit: Purchased via Poshmark and a Kardashian wore the same jumpsuit on the Ellen Show, so it’s an obscure brand. It had pockets and bows on the straps!
Men’s tuxes: The Black Tux
Bridesmaid dresses: Lulu’s
Bridesmaid gifts: pearl earrings from J.Crew
Make-up: My make-up was done by my friend Lindsay Shipps
Monogrammed handkerchiefs for my parents and Nick’s parents: Etsy
Wedding stationary for thank you’s: Curio Press, Etsy
Hand painted cake toppers: Etsy
Monogrammed napkins: The Stationary Studio
Monogrammed Oxford shirts for the bridesmaids: Etsy, the groomsmen received personalized flasks also via Etsy
Personalized mini Tabasco sauce favors: Etsy
Nautical striped paper straws for the bar: Etsy
Flowers: My mom purchased the flowers wholesale and then assembled the bouquets and boutonnieres the day of the wedding. The flowers were shipped from Columbia on the Thursday before to allow them to bloom.
Monogrammed ribbon for my bouquet: Oatmeal Lace, Etsy