By Juliette

Update on Wedding Planning (…And How I Got Over No Elopement)

Portugal Engagement Photoshoot

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve given a little update about our wedding planning so I wanted to drop in and catch you all up! If this topic isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to skip this post. I’ll be back next week with a travel guide for Lisbon!

After a couple of slow months on the wedding planning front, we’ve jumped back into it as our August date seems to be fast approaching! We’ve had a couple other major life events that’ll I’ll share in due time that have caused all-things-old-new-and-something-blue to take a backseat. Luckily, we booked the venue, photographer, DJ, and, most importantly, *the eats*, early on so we’re getting down to the final details at this point. All thanks to Dan who, turns out, is a true wedding champ! It might be his project management background, but his ability to do a million things at once (and be successful at all of them) never ceases to amaze me.

I was super pumped to be able to combine our love for travel with our wedding planning when we were on our most recent trip to Portugal. After a fun-filled day of sightseeing in Lisbon, we headed back to our hotel (the only place I had wifi) when I noticed a DM on my instagram. Now, not all DMs can be a good thing but, wow, we got lucky! Another Washington DCer was in Portugal and wanted to know if we could meet up! Even better, this new friend happens to be an incredible photographer who offered to take some snaps for us through the gorgeous streets of the Alfama District. And. Wow. Not only are Candace’s pictures out of this world, but she is a blast to work with. All of our giggly happy pictures are so genuine because she made us both crack up continuously. We spent a gorgeous evening shooting throughout the nooks and crannies of Lisbon before we shared a meal together and, obviously, concluded with some traditional ginjinha shots. As one does. I hope she knows that I plan on booking her for all of major life events! Please do yourself a favor and check out her work here. She is located in Maryland but does a ton of destination shoots. I definitely didn’t just spend the last hour going through her photos from my favorite country ever….(Oh Iceland, I love you). Combining our engagement photos with one of our favorite trips made me even more excited for what was to come!

Portugal engagement photoshoot

So as of now, wedding planning has been lots of smiles and we’re so looking forward to a party with all the people we love most, and some we don’t even know #becauseweddingsareweird. I did want to touch upon how I’ve been able to change my attitude towards nuptials-and-beyond since planning a wedding you never thought you’d have, or want to have, is a bit odd. I’ve recently been amazed at how my feelings have shifted towards the big day and wanted to jot down my thoughts.

If you remember, I was all #TeamElope since, well, ever. Being the center of attention scares the bejeezus out of me causing my anxiety to skyrocket. But, I’ve slowly adjusted to the whole wedding shindig by having such wonderful support and guidance from both of our families. If anything, having a reason to get together with all of our parents has been more than enough incentive to don a white dress.

Though, it was easier said than done. It took a little (re: a lot of) soul searching to finally get my head and heart pointed in the same direction. Apparently my perfectionist tendencies combined with wedding planning are a match made in hell…and I needed to get over that. I had a habit of revisiting friends’ weddings whose I thought were so stunning and beautiful…and then putting the same pressure on myself to live up to their magical dreams, even if it didn’t quite align with my vision. It became harder and harder to pick out what I wanted when I was so flustered with the double-edged sword that is the world of Pinterest.

I was so concerned with disappointing one person: the future me. What if I hate my dress when I look back on it in 50 years? What if the flowers don’t match and we shouldn’t have gone crazy with lemon-blueberry cupcakes? What if I flip through our photo album and continually ask myself “what was I thinking?”. And then I remember, I was thinking that this is what we love in this moment, and this moment is the only one that matters.

Portugal engagement photoshoot

I was beating myself up about something that didn’t even exist, creating stress rather than getting rid of it. I finally had a wake up call when I was looking through shoes to wear during the ceremony. Getting married on grass raised all sorts of walking concerns but I was so set on fitting the ‘bridal image’ of high heels that I was going to put up with it. I mean, obviously, that’s what would look the most classic in years to come! But it didn’t feel right. In fact, I can’t even recall the last time I put heels on. Do I even own them anymore? I decided to throw out the image of how I thought things had to look and go with what felt right in my gut. Thanks to a little pushing from my mom, I’m now pumped for the most glitzed-up Keds ya girl has ever seen. I’ll probably totally forget about the shoes in the long run, but at least I’m not going to remember being uncomfortable and hobbling around like a newborn fawn after an hour.

Instead of asking myself if I going to regret this later on, I have moved forward and decided to ask myself “what is it we love now?” So far, so good. And hopefully we’ll have a good laugh when mason jars and cupcake towers are as dated as shoulder pads and fluffy bangs.

Cheers to another four months of easy decisions and finger crossed for a good hair day.

How do you feel about weddings? Do love planning events? (Halllpppp mmmeeeee).


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