I still can't believe it's been well over a year since the guy I've had a crush on since my freshman year of college got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife (after putting the ring on the wrong finger, of course). Ever since that fateful day in September last year, my world has been a whirlwind of parties and planning, coordinating and researching with the help of all of you!
While I put the final touches on my DIY crafts, select important songs for our ceremony, and enjoy the last few days of being engaged, I'm trying my best to soak up every moment and look back on all of the fun I've had throughout the entire planning process.
When Jon and I got engaged last year, I had NO idea just how much would go into planning our 140 person party. Having worked in the wedding industry for years, I figured I had it all figured out. I mean, I knew I wanted lots of candles, the perfect dress, and plenty of food to keep the party going all night long. It never occured to me that there was a whole lot more that goes into the perfect event.
That's when I started reaching out to the Revelry family. Every Sunday you could catch me on our stories, where I'd ask questions, discuss planning, and figure out solutions to any and all wedding problems we had! With an ever-growing to-do list, I never thought I'd be done (and I'm still frantically wondering if I will be). But with just seventeen days until our wedding, it's time to crack down and check off those last few items on my list!
From linen companies falling through, to guests not receiving their invitations, there's plenty that can go wrong when you try to throw a huge event. In the past thirteen months, I've learned just why some brides decide to skip the whole thing and go elope -- wedding planning can be stressful! But time and time again I come back to the same thought: It's all about love. Whether you're hosting an event with hundreds of folks, or you and your partner are sharing private "I dos," the one thing that remains consistent is that this day, this ceremony, and this moment is all. about. love.
That has, ultimately, been the most beautiful part of being engaged -- for me, at least. I've had the chance to reconnect with friends and family I hadn't spoken to in ages, and celebrate something truly beautiful in the world. I've leaned on friends (and asked them to come over and spend all night putting pamphlets together for me) and discovered what it really means to have amazing people by your side, through every walk of life.
From my coven-themed Try-On party, hosted by Revelry's CEO and head designer, Michelle, to my Hogwarts bridal shower, to my New Orleans bachelorette party, having strong, beautiful, supportive women by my side to celebrate has truly been the icing on the wedding cake.
And while I wish I could gaze into my crystal ball and will the rest of my to-dos away, there are still quite a few final touches I have to complete before I'm ready for my "I dos."
- Write my vows!
- Finalize all music with DJ
- Coordinate all details with family and wedding party
- Ummm... ORDER LINENS!!!!!!!!!
- Send all vendors contact sheets
- Send day-of coordinator floor layout
- Finalize ceremony
- Finalize ceremony readings
- Make day-of emergency kit
- Pack up all decorations
- Make master decoration list
- Finish learning the Thriller dance (can you say, "wedding flashmob?!")
- Pick up wedding dress
- Confirm catering menu
- Maybe like, get a massage?
- Soak up every. last. wonderful. minute!
So, as I try to keep breathing, laughing, and enjoying the last few weeks of being a "miss," I couldn't be more thankful for such an enlightening engagement. It's easy to feel lost or stressed when you take this step forward, but together, with your friends by your side and your family at your back, you'll find your happily ever after, whatever that looks like you for! Join us as we put the finishing touches on my big day, then travel to Florida to party like it's going out of style. Cheers to finally, FINALLY being the bride!
Be sure to follow Rachel's journey on our Instagram and catch new episodes of Finally The Bride every Sunday on our story!
Try-On Party Photography: Madeline Harper | Bachelorette Photography: Andrew R Simoneaux | Bridal Shower Photography: Black Pineapple Photography | Engagement Photography: Brandi Allyse | Makeup: Cristina Montemayor | Try-On Party Planner: Lauralee Baird | Bridal Shower Planner: Jennifer Henthorne | Bride: Rachel Varina