At the Cummer Museum of Art gardens in Jacksonville, October 2009

Tyler and I have been engaged for one week, so I decided to check in on the checklist at We created an account the day after we were engaged, because I think it’s a law or something. At any rate, they have a ton of info, and after one week, I was able to check these things off of this month’s to-do list:

  • Have engagement portrait taken and submit announcement to newspapers. We had the portrait taken at the Sears in the Orange Park Mall last Saturday — which I do NOT recommend, but we got a good photo out it. (Be warned, if you go to Sears for a quick photo session, they will make you do all sorts of lame poses, like both of you looking at the ring and both of you staring into space.) We submitted it to our hometown newspaper and the one where I work, although I was tempted to take my friend Kelsey’s (joking) advice to run it in every newspaper where I have ever worked (four total).
  • Contact the church where we want to get married. I did this on Wednesday; the pastor returned my call Thursday; and on Friday, I received the forms to fill out. They won’t book the church more than a year in advance, but I figure it can’t hurt to be on the ball.

At first, I was a little shocked by how much it will cost to use the church — $500, which includes the pastor’s fee and fee for using the sanctuary — but after consulting with four newly married brides, I discovered that that is actually reasonable, especially considering we are not members.

I am on the hunt for ways to save money without compromising style, and my friend Teri suggested Seal ‘n’ Send invitations. The name might sound cheap-o, but I think they’re the perfect solution for me. I was agonizing over invitations because I am a stationery freak, but invitations are expensive and most people just toss them. I wanted them to be nice, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune, so I think something like this would work well for us.

I am agonizing over two things at this point:

  • Color palette
  • How to ask my bridesmaids to be in the wedding

The color palette is tricky because I love color. I love bright color and lots of it, which is one reason a summer wedding is perfect. But I don’t want my wedding to be garish. I’m loving the orange and fuschia look, but I’m worried it’s too trendy. I was also thinking of raspberry/fuschia, teal/peacock blue and lime green.

I know both of those combinations sound garish. But I’m determined to make it look fun and fabulous, not hideous.

The other factor in chosing colors? My mother and I have very different taste. But two different brides told me this week to stick to what I want or I’ll regret it (within reason and budget). But color does not cost money, so this is probably the one area I will stand firm on.

I also want to come up with a fun and creative way to ask my bridesmaids to be in the wedding, but it also needs to be inexpensive. Taking each girl to lunch is a financial and physical impossibility. I’m leaning toward making small photo albums of photos of me with each girl, with the last page left blank for a photo of us at the wedding.

As vain as it is to give a picture of yourself, I love having lots of photos of my friends around. I can’t remember which Web site I read the idea on, but I like it.

Ideas? Advice? I am all ears!