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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Portraits at the Merrimon-Wynne by Julie Livingston from Erin and Sean’s wedding

While Rob and I are still drinking celebratory champagne and have enjoyed every second of our engagement celebrations, we also moved fairly quickly into thinking about those looming big details pretty soon after his proposal: budget, guest count, venue, and wedding date!

Even before the proposal, we had a general timeline in mind for our wedding, and we also knew we didn’t want a long engagement. As a wedding planner in Raleigh, I have an excellent grasp on what it takes to plan a wedding, how long I think I need to do so, and a good read on the venues and vendors in the area. With the weddings already on my calendar for 2017, we were thinking a late summer wedding – or possibly late spring – would work well. All of this, of course, depended on when he proposed!

From Sarah and Cam’s wedding by Robyn Van Dyke

Rob asked me to be his wife on October 1, 2016, and it just so happens that we’ll be married exactly six months later on April 1, 2017! (Yes, April Fool’s Day – we’re two fools in love, as he says!) Once we were engaged, we discussed the location and potential venues for our wedding. We easily decided on Raleigh, North Carolina, as it’s both of our home now, and will be after the wedding, too. I went to college just down the road in Chapel Hill, and Rob has lived in Raleigh since graduating from NC State. We also met and fell in love here, so it’s only fitting that we tie the knot in our great city!

We inquired about pricing and availability at only a handful of venues, keeping in mind a few things: our large-ish guest count, the ambiance and aesthetic we wanted, the budget we had in mind, and a location central to Raleigh. The Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown was our first choice from the very beginning! We quickly heard back from them that they had one available Saturday in a seven-month window of time in 2017, which just so happened to be April 1. After mulling it over and talking with our parents, we decided to go for it! Our engagement might be a smidge shorter than anticipated, but we feel so great about our decision and the venue that we’ve chosen! We’ve gone together to a couple events at the Merrimon-Wynne, and I love that Rob loves this gorgeous venue just as much as I do. We cannot wait to transform it in April for our wedding and tie the knot as this special place in the heart of our city!!

Portraits just outside the Merrimon-Wynne by Julie Livingston from Erin and Sean’s wedding

One of the other biggest decisions we made early on was our photographer. This was one of the decisions that was really hard in some ways, and really easy in others. I am so fortunate that many of my closest friends in the area are wedding photographers. Rob and I regularly hang out with and are dear friends with some incredibly talented folks, and I looked with trepidation to the day when we’d have to choose just one. However, I know our friends completely understand and support us, and they often joked about who we would choose. (I, on the other hand, used to joke I’d hire each photographer for an hour of our wedding so we could use them all!)

Rob and I are thrilled to have Ally and Bobby Willix as our wedding photographers! We made the decision together, as I want Rob’s input and opinion on every major decision. We talked through a lot of options, looked at pricing, looked through portfolios of wedding work, and envisioned who we wanted there on our wedding day capturing all of those intimate, special, wonderful moments. Rob and I came to the same consensus that our amazing – and supremely talented – friends Ally and Bobby would be the perfect fit. We are so, so excited about this (and we know they are too, based off of their reactions when we called to tell them the good news!). We celebrated with them over champagne last week, and had so much fun talking all things wedding together!

If you’re a bride-to-be or have already planned your wedding, how long was your engagement? And what were the very first decisions you and your fiancé made for your wedding? I’d love to hear!

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Shelby Vanhoy reply

    Love this Stephanie! You picked the most beautiful venue and Ally and Bobby will capture the most beautiful moments. So excited for you & Rob!!

    xo, Shelby

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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica has been blogging for us once a month during her engagement and we couldn’t be more excited to send her into married life with lots of love! In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Lisa

Y’all, our wedding is this Saturday! Zack and I are so incredibly excited that it is officially our wedding week! We thought it would be fun for our last blog post of our wedding planning series to be a reflection of what we are most looking forward to about our wedding day.

The element of our wedding day that the two of us are both most excited about is seeing all of our friends and family in one place for the first time. Some of our friends have met, and some of our family members have met, but we have never had our entire group of loved ones in one room! We cannot wait to be surrounded by the people who have made our lives so special and full of wonderful memories, and are looking forward to making even more memories with them this weekend. While our wedding day is about our union and the beginning of our family together, to us, it is also a celebration among loved ones! That is what has been the most important to us during our entire planning process.

One of the things I am personally looking forward to is seeing our wedding design elements come together at our venue. I know that when I see all of our design details, from the artwork I am creating to the fun surprise details we can’t wait to show our guests, to our flowers, and more, I am simply going to be blown away by seeing it all come together!

I am also so incredibly excited about our first look! This will be one of the only moments we have alone together, and I know it will be one that will be etched into our minds and hearts for years. I am not a happy crier, but I have a feeling that seeing Zack for the first time on our wedding day is going to bring a few tears to my eyes! It is also going to help us to both calm any nerves we have, and get us really excited for what is to come the rest of the day and evening!

Lastly, we cannot wait to let loose at the end of the night and dance at our reception! Whenever anyone asks us what our wedding is going to be like, we both say that we really want it to be fun! Dancing and singing along to our favorite songs with friends and family is going to be the epitome of fun, in our opinion.

There are a million other things I can think of that I am excited about for our wedding day, like getting pampered in the morning with my bridal party, our ceremony (of course!), my father-daughter dance, and more. As we lead up to Saturday, the two of us have let go of any of our nerves and jitters, and are simply looking forward to what is to come this weekend! We hope that any other brides and grooms getting married this weekend feel the same way!

Friends, I’d love to know: what were you or are you most looking forward to on your wedding day? If you had once piece of advice to share with us during our wedding week, what would it be? We are always so thankful for your love and advice!

See more of Jessica and Zack’s engagement session by Perry Vaile here! You can also find all of Jessica’s past posts below:

The Proposal
Choosing a Wedding Planner
Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Shopping for a Gown
Knoxville Wedding Venues
Attire and Colors
The Registry
The Details
The Cake
The Flowers
Bridal Style

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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