Finally jumping back into wedding planning as we approach the 1 year mark from the day Conner proposed 🥺❤️ (10/24/19). This year wasn’t what we imagined, but I’m convinced the happiness I experienced that night could last me a lifetime.
I remember 10/24 so clearly, and any time I’ve felt sad or stressed about wedding planning during a not-so-ideal time this year, I go back to those memories. I recently listened to a podcast about marriage that digs into what my ‘yes’ really meant that night. I wasn’t just saying yes to a wedding…there were countless yeses being said in that moment. Yes to growing up together, building a family together, and supporting each other’s careers. But also…yes to a lifelong commitment of navigating all of life’s curveballs together. We’ve had more time this year to truly appreciate and prepare for what we’re about to enter into together, and for that, I’m thankful. (Full podcast here if interested).
As most of you know, our original plan was to get married in Chicago on 09/26/20. We spent March, April, and May feeling ‘stuck’ about what to do. Not only were we worried about health, safety, and stability in such an uncertain time, but there was also the looming decision about what to do about the wedding we’d been planning since October.
Once we realized Illinois’ reopening plan wasn’t looking too promising for our September wedding plans, we knew it was time to make a decision. In June, we both felt convicted about cancelling our original plans and moving everything to my hometown in Indiana the following year. We knew this was the right thing for us to do. We were focusing on the positives and knew it would also end up saving us so much money that we could use to start building our future on, plus, it just felt so much more personal to us. Chicago would have been grand and beautiful, but Indiana just seemed more special. Just thinking about getting ready on my wedding day in my parents’ house with all my bridesmaids makes me tear up. Not to mention we’ve already locked in the day-after Rink/Hempel pool party in the backyard 😎. It all feels very ‘us’, and I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Planning With Big City Bride
Our FIRST (and best) decision when we got engaged was to hire my Aunt Susan and her incredible Chicago-based wedding team, Big City Bride. They have been SUCH a blessing throughout this crazy process of planning, postponing, and re-planning. Susan has kept us on track while pivoting quickly and professionally. I’m so thankful for all their hard work and can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have someone helping me navigate these crazy changes while keeping things fun. I honestly thought I would be much better at staying on top of all of the decisions and deadlines 😅 but turns out I haven’t been the best at wedding planning. There are some people who were totally made for this! But if you’re like me and need someone keeping you on track and pushing you along with all the decisions, a planner is so worth the investment for peace of mind. Whether it’s someone who guides you through the entirety of planning, or just handles your day of coordination, I truly believe in hiring a planner. I know Big City Bride also does month-of coordination…so you can get all hands on deck throughout that final month if that’s what you need 🙂
One game changer the BCB team has brought to my planning process is the introduction of their new Interactive Client Portal they offer to their brides. This is an entirely digital wedding planning headquarters that houses all your contracts, lists, timelines, design, calendar & financials in one place. Some of my favorite features are: the design portal (basically a more curated Pinterest board), the guest list management tool, the countdown calendar with payment reminders, budget tracker, and the drag and drop seating tool. My client portal is a completely organized world of all my wedding things and has been such a great resource and helped me keep it all together through all the changes. (More on my IG story about this tonight).
Big Things We’ve Nailed Down So Far:
The Venue: The reception will be in the historic ballroom of Palais Royale and is connected to cocktail hour is in the Grand Lobby of the Morris Performing Arts Center. I knew if I ever got married in my hometown, this was where I wanted it to be. The 1920’s elegance and dramatic architecture are a dream come true, plus it’s around the corner from my dad’s business and a short drive from my parents’ house.
Photographer: @Aesthetiica, obviously!!
Videographer: Reel Special ~ the sweetest husband and wife video team based in Lexington, KY. I actually “modeled” for a fake wedding video shoot with them when I was selling wedding dresses at Twirl back in the day and I’ve loved them ever since. They weren’t available on my original wedding day, so the change of date was a blessing in disguise before we even knew it! Ryan and Brittany’s mission is to capture love in motion and I think they do a pretty dang good job of that ~ check out their work on IG too 🙂
Band: The Barnstorm – based in New York City… and we are SO excited about them. This was high on Conner’s list, since they’re buddies of his he met through a work connection. They are a REALLY good time, and I love the personal connection we have with them. Fun fact: they recently played at Keegan-Michael Key’s wedding! Here’s their promo video on youtube if interested.
Rehearsal Dinner: Booked last week! It has a fun rustic vibe with a little bit of a Kentucky theme 🙂
Bridesmaid, Moms & G-ma dresses: Adrianna Papell. I’m so excited about these! The color scheme is my dream and the AP team are some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. Stay tuned for more deets!
Still in the process of working on finalizing: Hair/Makeup, Decor and Floral, Registry, Invites, Honeymoon, Cake…and obviously A LOT more, so stay tuned for more wedding content coming soon 🙂
To end the post, I pulled a little bit of inspo from my theme & design board on my BCB client portal! The theme we’re going for is vintage glamour, with a classic and sophisticated feel. A color palette of metallics, black, ivory, & dusty rose. Candle light, chandeliers, roses, champagne…and cue the Frank Sinatra / Etta James playlist 🙂 Hoping to give you some inspo if you’re planning your own wedding alongside me! Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments of my IG post tonight ✨ @oliviarink