Babydoll Weddings is excited to introduce Alan and Adrian. We are delighted to provide hair and makeup services for their entire wedding party this coming January, 2018. We fell in love with them instantly and were beyond thrilled when they agreed to let us share their love story with you. Alan will be taking over our blog for a special series “Alan & Adrian Get Married” sharing their wedding planning experiences as a newly engaged couple planning a same-sex wedding. We hope you love them as much as we do!
Weddings can be an overwhelming experience with a lot of details being thrown at you from left and right. So what do you do? Some couples decide to hire a wedding planner to help wrangle all the numerous details and vendors for the day of, while others decide to plan their wedding themselves.
Wedding Planner Pros
If you decide to go with a wedding venue that isn’t all-inclusive then I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner. The wedding planner becomes the main point of contact for all your vendors. She/he will manage every detail for you which frees you up to simply enjoy being engaged. We learned early on that planning a wedding and coordinating with the many vendors is time consuming. For these reasons and more, hiring a wedding coordinator is worth the money.
Because Adrian and I chose an all-inclusive wedding venue, we decided to forego a wedding planner. We chose a travel themed wedding and we’re so thankful that our venue has a lot of decorations already on hand (and very tasteful too) so we don’t need to worry about setting up or taking down any of the decorations, which gives us one less detail to worry about. We do still need to work with the vendors in terms of selecting the meal options, cake details, and other customized requests, but the venue will handle the same details a wedding planner would (arrival times, liaising with vendors, etc).
One of the things we love about Aldea is that they will schedule various meetings to keep us on track including a decor meeting to review decor options for the ceremony, cocktail hour, the reception, and a final meeting before the wedding to go over what you need to bring the day before so they can set it up ahead of time. What’s also nice about Aldea is that you can go into your decoration meetings knowing exactly what decorations you want where, or you can completely leave it up to their discretion. They let the couple be in control which certainly alleviates a lot of stress.
There are many websites out there that are helping plan the other details of our wedding, but the two main ones that I’ve focused on are theknot.com and pinterest.com. While we all know Pinterest can store visual details, but I took it one step further. I use Pinterest to pin all my ideas that I need to narrow down, and then I unpin the ideas that I don’t want there anymore and keep that one idea that I’m going to go with. For example, if I’m trying to decide on dresses for my girls, I’ll pick all the different styles I like and then I’ll start to remove all the dresses I’m not a fan of until I finally find a style that I like and then I leave it there in it’s own Pinterest board so it’s sectioned off and kept away from my other ideas.
The Knot has been the other great asset when planning. Not only does it create your wedding website, but it keeps track of the budget, the guest list and the RSVPs, and also has it’s own set of design ideas. Need a countdown calendar and checklist to help you keep track of your to-do list? It’s here! I can honestly say we’d be all over the place and very confused if it wasn’t for this website.
The Decision is Yours
No matter if you decide to leave everything in the hands of a wedding planner, or decide to take the bull by the horns and plan it all yourself, do what you think will cause you the least amount of stress because it’s your special day and the only thing you need to worry about is proclaiming your love to your spouse to be.
In my opinion, having a wedding party that consists of your closest friends and family makes the wedding planning process less stressful. Not only are they your support system in difficult times, but more importantly they are there to help you with whatever you need to celebrate one of the most memorable days of your life. Not everyone picks their wedding party the same way. Some make it all family members; some perhaps choose childhood friends. Adrian and I had thought about who would make up each of our sides, but we couldn’t have been happier when we nailed down the final list of names. Now that we’ve secured a date at our dream venue, it’s time to put together each of our parties and turn up the creativity juices on how to ask them!
Deciding Who To Ask
My party consists of 4 guys and 4 girls. A good majority of them are friends when college while the rest I’ve known since living in Arizona. I wanted to put together a group of my closest friends that all have a similar personality as I do because if I’m not allowed to lift a finger on the day of the wedding, I needed a team that all share some form of my type-A personality. This is the most rock solid group of friends I could ever ask for, especially if I’m going to frequently throw spreadsheets, timelines, and Pinterest boards at them for ideas. Each member of this group knows how to keep me calm and prevent me from stressing out. I can honestly say that not many people have been able to do that with me and I am forever grateful for my A-team (get it, “A”-Team?).
Adrian lived in Arizona for about 18 years and has developed some many lifelong friends here. His party also features 4 guys and 4 girls and are the tightest knit group I’ve ever seen. While they may not have type-A personalities like my team, they know how to have a good time and make sure Adrian feels special on the big day. Since the majority of his group lives in Arizona, they’ve been with us on many day trips, parties, and even there when we got engaged! They would do anything for Adrian and I’m so happy he’s got such a great group of friends to be by his side on our wedding.
Alan’s Colorful Cases
Adrian and I decided that our wedding colors will be navy, grey, and peach. I wanted to incorporate those colors throughout my ask gifts as much as I could so I started with 4 wooden boxes from Michaels and the first letter of each of the girls’ name. To incorporate our color palette, I painted the box navy and grey and painted the letter peach, which I then placed on the top of the box. Next I filled the box with navy tissue, peach nail polish, a silver/grey compact mirror, a ring pop, a bottle of peach scented lotion, peach schnapps, color swatches of the wedding colors, and a pair of earrings (each girl getting a different navy set of earrings that fit their personality). I also put on the inside cover of the box “I found my man, but I still need my girls, will you be my groomsmaid?”.
The men were a little easier and I decided to get them each custom engraved silver tankard (that famous glass that’s held in Samuel Adams beer logo). After everything was sent, I asked if they’d videotape themselves opening their gifts. Seeing their reactions was a very memorable moment for me knowing that they are excited to share our big day with us!
Adrian’s Personalized Pouches
Adrian took a different approach for asking his girls. Instead of a box, he went with a makeup bag with each of their initials sewn on them. He then stuffed the bag with items personalized to their taste, like a Harry Potter bookmark for one of the girls, or items that are Disney themed. He did include color swatches, a ring pop, and nail polish for all the girls. For the guys, he got them a personalized engraved glass decanter.
With regards to selecting our best man/maid of honor, Adrian decided that he will have a maid of honor since he’s known his best friend for so many years, and I chose to have a best man because he has been a major rock in my growth and development not just professionally, but also socially as a gay man.
Don’t Forget the Little People
In addition to our rather large wedding parties, we are also having 2 Jr. grooms maids, a flower girl, and a ring bearer. We kept things simple and asked them by giving them massive amount of candy (who can say no to candy).
We are so excited to share our big day with are wedding parties. They’ve been there for us whenever we needed them, and to have their support on our wedding day means the world of us. Hold on tight everyone let the wedding planning commence!
introducing Marjorie and Giovanni – Read about their love story!
What is your name and your groom’s name? Marjorie and Giovanni
What was your wedding date?February 24, 2017
How did you and your groom meet? We met in the first grade and have been friends ever since.
We are dying to know, how did he propose?! He took me back to our elementary school playground and proposed there.
What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? We chose pink and navy blue. I love pink but Giovanni didn’t want a pink wedding so I added navy blue to contrast.
Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my dress at Azteca Bridal in Phoenix Arizona. It was easy for me if I didn’t like it, it would go back but if I loved it i would try it on again and again.
Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)?The ceremony and reception took place at DoubleTree Hotel and Suites in Phoenix Arizona.
What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? I love roses and chose to carry a bouquet of pink roses.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Our wedding cake was chocolate and vanilla!
What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? Our grandparents passed away and we both wished they were there with us soI pinned a picture of my grandma to my bouquet and I pinned a picture of Giovanny’s grandpa to his boutonnière. It was nice to hold their memories close on this special day.
Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they? All our guest received bride and groom candy boxes. Our families received personalized bride and groom candy bags.
Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day?My favorite moment was listening to the toasts. It was great to hear how everyone felt about our union as a family and their best wishes for us.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? We enjoyed some much needed beach time in California!
What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?Not everything has to be perfect. Things happen that you can’t control but if you don’t sweat the small stuff you will enjoy the major things on your day like most important marrying the love of your life.
We are fortunate to have an amazing tribe of vendors that we work with to create dream weddings for our clients. Every other Friday we will spotlight one of our vendor friends, or friendors. These amazing artists are in the trenches with us. They battle deadlines, work in the blaring sun, walk an average of ten miles on event days and more. We do this because we all love making people’s dreams come true. When you need of a photographer, caterer, florist, planner, venue, videographer, etc. we hope you will entrust one of our amazing friendors. We think they are rather spectacular!
What is your name and the name of your business? My name is Andrea and I am the Account Manager & Event Coordinator at the Elegant Barn, an Event Venue in Gilbert, Arizona!
How long have you been in business?The Elegant Barn opened in February 2013, so in 2018 we will be celebrating 5 amazing years!
What is your favorite part of your job?My favorite part of my job is organizing each event. I love working with each couple, meeting with them, helping them find the best vendors from our list that match what they are looking for, what fits their budget, their style & making sure their day runs smooth so they can enjoy every single moment.
“Celebrate Your Unique Love”
What is your favorite par of the wedding industry? My favorite part of the wedding industry is seeing family & friends come together to celebrate each couple’s unique love. Every couple is different, every background is different, ever family is different, but I love seeing one day where everyone supports them & is a part of sealing their commitment to one another.
What is your favorite memory being in business? My favorite memories are made by working with the staff & vendors at the Elegant Barn. I have been at the Barn for about 4 years and everyone that I work with is family. We have fun with each event, learn from each event, and all work together to make sure each event is exactly how the couple pictures it. We have had some stressful times, heartwarming times, & some pretty hilarious times. But together it feels like home and we hope that each couple that books with us, feels that connection and comfort as well.
Is there anything new or on the horizon for you? We have an Open House on Tuesday, September 12th from 5-8 pm! We are going to set up the barn with a clean & modern farmhouse look. It will showcase a lot of the rentals we have to offer to each couple who books with us. We hope 2018 will bring in some changes to the Venue as well! You will have to follow us on Social Media to make sure you find out what those changes might be!
A good house isn’t a structurally sound house unless it has a concrete foundation to support all the many details that go into making it a home. The same can be said about planning a wedding and deciding what are the basic elements that are important in order to plan one of the most important days in your life. For some people, it’s finding that perfect date or an ideal location, but for us, we decided to focus on both since they go hand-in-hand.
The Perfect Date
For our wedding, it was already tricky enough that we have family and friends all over the country and in order get most of them here comfortably, we knew that the date was the important factor in the beginning steps of planning. We researched that Sundays and winter months are usually cheaper with wedding venues and wanted to make sure that we planned out the event far enough so that we can save up accordingly. We decided on January 14, 2018 because it was on a weekend where our guests didn’t have to take too much time off of work before the wedding, AND it was the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day which gives a holiday buffer for those that need to fly home.
East Coast vs West Coast
After we decided on a date, we began to check with venues to see if they had it available, along with the other must have’s in our wedding that meant a lot to us. Looking at both the size of our families and friends as a whole, the majority of the guests live in Arizona so thus it was important that we find a place in Arizona that’s not too far of a drive for everyone. While Boston has so many amazing coastal venues with picturesque views, we knew it would have been difficult to for our Arizona friends and family to fly so Arizona was the ideal location. Besides, who wouldn’t want to fly from 20-degree weather in Boston to sunny and warm Phoenix where it’s 70 degrees in January?
With a date in mind, and knowing the venue has to be in Arizona, we were off to search for a venue and sign a contract. Arizona has so many wonderful options, but just like finding your significant other, trust your gut and when you come across the right venue, you’ll know that it’s the one.
This Real Bride Series edition introduces Dallan and Travis. Read about their amazing proposal!
Dallan’s Love Story:
What is your name and your groom’s name? Dallan and Travis
What was your wedding date?Saturday, March 18, 2017
How did you and your groom meet? Travis and I met through online dating, but from the moment we started talking we clicked and got along very well. We are both major star wars fans.
We are dying to know, how did he propose?! He took me on a secret get away to this beautiful resort in New Mexico called Inn of the Mountain Gods and we water out on the lake on a row boat. Right as our time was up at sunset he said he had something he wanted to give me. He got down on one knee, which made the row boat move like crazy and had me scared, told me he loved me and wanted me to spend the rest of my life with him and if I would Marry him. I started crying the moment he got on his knee and when he pulled out the ring box I lost it. I was crying so hard but it was so beautiful and during my favorite time (sunset) which made it unforgettable.
What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? Our wedding colors were Coral, Royal Blue, and Gold. Coral is on of my favorite colors. Travis is from Kansas and he has made he a Kansas City Royals fan and on of there colors is Royal blue, so it was a color to remind him of home. Gold was suppose to be a accent color but we ended up loving how everything looked in gold and we both just really like that color.
Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I bought my dress at Barb’s Bridal Boutique. I had already been looking for dressed online and at David’s Bridal. David’s bridal had beautiful dresses. I went with my mom and sister in law and wedding planner/ bridesmaid but the dresses my mom liked were out of my price range and after trying on dress after dress I was exhausted and broken because I didn’t feel like a bride in any of them. We ended up leaving with a promise to come look later.
I decided to go dress shopping with another fellow bride who is getting married in November 2017 and, along with my bridesmaid, we went to several different shops but I couldn’t find anything I liked until we arrived at Barb’s. The moment I walked in I felt a different atmosphere. Nobody was trying to pressure you into buying a dress and you got to look through the racks at all the dresses and I ended up finding three dressed I liked. I knew I found my dress the moment I put it on. I remember walking out showing my friend and telling her I don’t ever want to get out of this dress. It was a journey but I am so happy with the experience.
Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)?We had a small out door rustic wedding at my parents house in Queen Creek. My parents offered theIr home to us because they wanted their only daughter to be married in their home and have great memories to last a lifetime.
What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? I ordered my bouquet off Eco Flowers. I love the idea of flowers made of recycled materials but it was a hassle getting the bouquet on time. The bridesmaid’s carried pink and red carnations wrapped in twine with baby’s breath.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Our wedding cake was chocolate and vanilla with dinosaur cake toppers!
What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? We had Dinosaur cake toppers which you don’t see very often.We also didn’t have the traditional wedding march. I ended up walking down to the Imperial March (yes, Star Wars!). Our ringholders were bride and groom figures made from Legos.
Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they? All our guest received bride and groom candy boxes. Our families received personalized bride and groom candy bags.
Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day?The most memorable thing would have to be when Travis walked out on the dancing floor on his own and dancing the jitter bug with me. He doesn’t like dancing but he did it for me.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? We have not taken a honeymoon yet as we are saving some money to go on a Caribbean Cruise.
What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?Do not stress out over everything. Everyone around you is helping you; accept as much help as possible. You will enjoy it more. Also make sure to take a moment at your wedding and stop and look around.