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Making sense of what all you need to book can be overwhelming!  I suggest sitting down and making a checklist of your priorities to start with.  Wedding magazines and websites such as The Knot are also great resources with checklists to keep you on track. 
 
For us, the main priorities were the big items, florist, photographer and cake.  I started by talking it all over with my best friend that had just gotten married in June and other friends that have been through this already.  Positive word of mouth is the best advertisement!
 
Bridesmaid tip:  Share helpful hints with the bride on selecting vendors…what you liked, what you didn’t, etc.  Hearing first hand experience is the absolute best.
I started out by booking our floral designer, Resa Browning.  Resa is a wedding coordinator and floral designer in Georgetown and did a wonderful job with Nancy’s wedding.  She was absolutely wonderful to work with and I knew we would be on the same page with the style of flowers we wanted.  I LOVE pink peonies and want them incorporated all through the wedding.   While there are many fabulous florists in Lexington, Resa does this as a side job and is more affordable for the budget we are working with.  I am meeting with Resa in January, so I’ll do another post on what we come up with!
 
 
Next we conquered the photographer.  I absolutely love photography, so this was a key component for us.  These are the pictures that are going to capture every detail and moment of the big day and I want them to be perfect.  I was fortunate to become good friends with Melanie Mauer at the Holly Day Market this year.  She is phenomenal and gave me the advice to make sure I feel absolutely comfortable with the photographer I choose since they are going to be with you ALL day long.  Since we are getting married on a holiday weekend and Melanie was already booked I knew it was going to be challenging to find someone with an opening. 
 
So I started Googling wedding photographers in Lexington…wow…I had no idea there were so many!  I started going through websites to see which styles I liked best.  I didn’t want anything too contemporary, I am more of a classic girl.  I happened upon InRetrospect Photography and found some photos they had done at The Carrick House.  Beautiful!  I called to check on the date and set up an appointment to meet.  Cailyn and I immediately clicked and sat and talked for almost an hour!  Needless to say I felt very comfortable with her and have no doubt we are on the same page.  She has a partner in the business as well that will be with the guys on the wedding day, so they can capture every moment.  Cailyn just got married in October so she knows just what we are going through.  I am so excited to do our engagement session!!
 
On to Brandon’s favorite…the cake!  I personally have a big sweet tooth, so the cake had to be yummy!  I met Martine Holzman at a networking lunch for wedding industry professionals back in November.  When the time came to think about the cake she was at the top of the list.  I had heard of her reputation previously and knew she would be wonderful.  We set up an appointment with her last week and Oh. My. Gosh. fabulous!  We had the best time meeting with her and sampling her confections.  Martine is originally from France and everything she and her team makes is from scratch.  Her chocolate is imported from France and every bite melts in your mouth! 
 
We really didn’t know what style cake we wanted, so we looked through some books and combined a few elements of different cakes.  We chose 3 different flavors because we couldn’t decide from the samples she served us!  She also sketched out the cake for us so we could see just how it will look (picture below).  She also sketched out Brandon’s groom cake.  I cannot wait to cut the cake on our wedding day.  I think this cake is way too good to be smeared on anyone’s face…don’t you, Brandon??

Sketch of our wedding cake and groom's cake by Martine

Up next – selecting the bridesmaid dresses and colors!

Brandon and I are truly blessed with a wonderful group of friends and family.  We have both kept in touch with friends from elementary school and made even more along the way.  Once we were engaged we started discussing how big we wanted our bridal party and named off who we would each like to ask.  We settled on 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen and also have a group of friends that will be readers, greeters and ushers.  Perfect! 

As I mentioned in a previous post, my best friend is Nancy and we have known eachother since 7th grade.  We have been through good and bad together and couldn’t be more alike, yet polar opposites at the same time.  I have always known she would be by my side when my wedding day came.  When the going used to get tough with boys (and it often did) we always saidwe had been blessed with the perfect best friend and we had to have faith that we would eventually be blessed with a man just as perfect some day…and now we both have.  Nancy married her perfect man this past June and I was honored to be a part of her big day.  So, naturally, Nancy is my Matron of Honor!  She also told me on Friday night that she has had her speech written for my wedding for 5 years now:) 

Ty with 3 of her bridesmaids, Carol, Nancy and Hillary

Carol and I have known each other since 4th grade, but started becoming inseparable in 7th grade with we were cheerleaders.  We had lots of hair experiments together (mayo in the hair does NOT help condition it) and lived, worked and were in the same sorority together in college!  Hillary and I became good friends in college when we were “Tri-Dent” buddies when we were pledging our sorority and our friendship has continued to grow over the years.  

Ty with Deanna & Katherine

Deanna and Katherine are two more dear friends I met in the sorority.  We had so much fun together in college…Spring Breaks, date parties, random nights in the sorority house.  There is never a shortage of laughter and fun with these two girls around and I also know that either of them would be there in a heartbeat if I ever needed anything.  Last but not least is my wonderful sister-in-law, Jodi.  She has somehow survived 6 years of marriage to my brother and has 2 beautiful children who will also be in the wedding!  We grow closer each year and I am so lucky to have her. 

I wanted to do something different to ask my girls to be a part of our big day, so I had a friend who makes stationery do some personalized “Will you be my bridesmaid?” cards for me that I mailed to each of them with a note inside letting them know how special they are to me.   It was a fun, personal way to ask instead of a quick phone call. 

The card I sent the girls to ask them to be in the wedding

Bride/Groom tip:  When thinking about who to ask to be in your wedding think about who will help celebrate every moment with you and support you and your fiance throughout every step of your wedding.  I think it is also neat to have every aspect of your life represented…from childhood to now. 

We are so blessed to have such dear friends be a part of our big day!  Up next…selecting the other vendors! 

-Ty

So last week I mentioned that Brandon and I took our time deciding what style of wedding we wanted to have, and I highly recommend doing so to make sure you get exactly what you want.  We decided we wanted everything to be very comfortable and laid back, yet stylish…I started calling it “Southern Chic”.  We are both very laid back people (him more so than me) and we want our personalities to be reflected in our special day.   

After tossing around several scenarios, we decided it was important to us to have the ceremony and reception in the same place to make it easy on our guests.  We also decided we are going to take the risk and plan an outdoor ceremony.  From there, we felt the end of May would be the perfect time in Kentucky for a comfortable outdoor wedding.   After doing some scouting online we selected a few venues to visit and ended up choosing The Carrick House (www.thecarrickhouse.com)  in Lexington. 

The Carrick House

The Carrick House just felt right as we walked through and visualized how the reception would flow and had that Southern charm we wanted.  The caterer is exclusive to the venue, so that was one more thing checked off our list.  They also provide floor length linens and silver chiavari chairs in the rental and have a ton of other options you can add on as well.  It fit into our budget and provided a gorgeous backdrop for the outdoor ceremony we had in our mind.  Another key component…it is large enough inside to be able to accomodate the ceremony just in case it rains. 

Bridesmaid tip:  If your bride is having a hard time making a decision on the venue…sit down with her and make a pro/con list of each one she is deciding between.  Help her visualize and make the decision on what best brings out the couple’s personality.   Even if she is the most decisive person normally, the wedding brings on a lot of pressure to make lots of decisions at once.  You know her best and can help her rationalize what will work best.  My friends were great at listening to my rambling and I will forever be grateful to them for it!

Up next…selecting the wedding party!

Now that you know the story of how Brandon and I met and how he proposed I will share a bit about what happened next.  Since the proposal took me by surprise, it took me a day or so for it to really set in that we were getting married.  It was important for me to share the news personally with family and close friends, unlike Brandon that decided texting was the best method of spreading the news, while I spent several hours on the phone.  Girls would just not take to hearing that type news via text message!  That is the phone call we dream about making to our friends for years!  We called our parents first…followed by the future bridesmaids.  My best friend since 7th grade didn’t answer for a few hours and it was killing me that she didn’t know!   We waited a few days before making it “Facebook official” just to be sure all close friends found out first hand.  What next??

The best advice I have to anyone is to take a few days to enjoy the engagment…the newness of it all, the sparkly ring, calling one another “fiance”, enjoying telling the story of the proposal before delving into all the plans.  We enjoyed taking our time and really talking out what we wanted the look and feel of our wedding to be like.  The best advice I have for all of the friends out there is let them enjoy the first few days without asking for details yet…celebrate with them!

Ty and her best friend, Nancy

Bridesmaid hint:  One of my favorite memories of the first few days is when my best friend called and insisted that we go for a manicure to get my nails worthy of the gorgeous new ring on my hand.  She came to pick me up and brought me a goodie bag filled with a planner just for wedding purposes, a sweet card and jewelry cleaner to keep my ring sparkling.  We then went off for a relaxing manicure and girl talk.  It was just what I needed!

Remember this is one of the happiest times in your life.  Take time to savor and enjoy it with those around you.  Up next…selecting the date and venue!

-Ty

A sneak peek of Jenny Yoo’s Spring 2010 collection is currently at Twirl Lexington this weekend only!  Call 859.309.2493 to make your appointment now.  The collection will only be at Twirl Lexington this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (December 11, 12 and 13) so we hope you can make it in this weekend.  The dresses are fabulous and highlight all the upcoming bridesmaid trends!

Any new Jenny Yoo orders placed this weekend will receive a 15% discount (may not be applied to orders already in progress).

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

-Ty

Welcome to Tuesdays with Ty!  Look for my post every week for updates as I plan my own wedding.  I thought I would start this week with my story so you have a bit of background.

I am 29 years old and over the past few years have successfully married off almost all of my friends, thus why I have been in 8 weddings!  Being the only single gal was hard on me, but I made the most of it and kept living it up.  I started becoming content with my single life and bought my first house…things couldn’t be better…or so I thought! 

I had started a new job in the corporate world and there was a cute guy that sat only 10 feet away from me, but I wrote it off and didn’t want to mix my professional life with my personal life.  So much for that theory!  Only a few short months later we started dating and now a year and seven months later we are engaged!

Our first picture together at the horse races at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

I totally did not expect the proposal.  We had talked about getting married in the future and I thought it would be sometime next year…after I got Twirl Lexington up and running for a while.  I had been out at a photo shoot for the store and was on my way home.  I talked to Brandon on the way and we decided to go out and get Mexican food for dinner (one of our faves).  To my surprise I opened the door to my house and all the lights were off and there were candles everywhere!  I looked up at the staircase and there were rose petals and candles all the way up the stairs.  I started freaking out and knew this was it!  He had put little notes on every other step with sweet quotes and verses on each card.  To be honest…I didn’t really read them all at that moment!  I kind of skimmed them all so I could get up the stairs faster!  I found my sweetheart at the top of the stairs down on one knee with the most gorgeous ring.  By this point, I was crying and he asked me to marry him.  I said yes, of course!!   

 We waited on my parents to arrive to surprise them with the news and then finally went to get our Mexican fiesta and margaritas to celebrate.  It was a perfect night! 

Twirl Lexington Opening Day

Come back each Tuesday for the wedding plans as they progress:)

-Ty

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