13 December 2007

to have and to hold... but where?

The first decision I attempted to tackle when I started planning my wedding was where to have it. That decision has haunted me since. It wasn't until two weeks ago did I decide where to hold this blessed event. I spent time on the phone, touring facilities, comparing contracts, square footage and catering policies. I changed my mind more than a couple of times, and when it finally came down to it, I ended up right back where I started - with my first choice.

This hurdle alone can be enough to drive you to Vegas. However, I have since learned that it probably doesn't have to be as hard as I made it. Like everything else, it just has to be broken down. Once you have an idea of what kind of wedding you want, the location will be obvious. The first question you have to ask yourself is what area of the valley suits you best? Are you a downtown dweller or a canyon creature? Do you plan on seating 300, or is it simply close family and friends?

Downtown Salt Lake City is an underrated commodity. With your choice of restaurants, bars, hotels and art galleries, it's easy to find a spot for a hip, urban wedding. Pierpont Place is the newest addition to the list of wedding venues downtown. Housed in an old brewery building, the space offers a blank canvas of exposed brick and concrete floors. Planning on a large group? They can seat up to 350 for a cocktail style reception. For a smaller gathering, check out Nobrow Coffee and Tea Company, or the Jeanne Wagner Theatre located inside the Rose Wagner Center.

Tourists and locals alike will agree that the best part of living in Salt Lake is that you are never more than 40 minutes away from beautiful mountain destinations. For those that love the feel of the mountains, but want to maintain that urban style for a wedding, Park City is the best of both worlds. The Kimball Arts Center is located directly on Main Street, within walking distance to restaurants and hotels.

If your interested in taking advantage of all that the local canyons have to offer, take a trip up Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon and check out the beauty that is our ski resorts. Solitude, Alta and Snowbird are three distinctly different resorts that offer the same gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony. With all the ceremony, food and beverage services offered on site, as well as lodging within walking distance, this is a great alternative to destination weddings. And for those planning on having a summer wedding, it's an easy way to escape the triple digit heat - your wedding party will thank you.

Planning a wedding is all about breaking it down into steps. Even though this one might seem like a giant leap, there are plenty of options to choose from to capture the mood of your wedding day. I just have to hope that now that this decision is made, the rest will fall into place.


12 December 2007

Dirty Dancing UK - Julia and James First Dance

I may be jumping ahead a bit, but I can't resist. Maybe it's the holiday season, maybe it's the end of the semester. Maybe it's the little jig my dog does after she pees. Either way, I find myself lately with the urge to dance. For those that don't know me, the mere mention of the possibility of me dancing is enough to envoke laughter. Oddly enough, I seem to remember a time when I used to be quite graceful - I may have even won awards for my dancing skills. This, of course, was before I turned 13, at which point my "long limbs" turned into 6'0" of gangly awkwardness. Yes, puberty is a magical time...
But I digress. The point is that this new energy, this sudden need to shake what my momma gave me, has got me thinking about the best part of any wedding - the dancing. More specifically, that special moment that is the first dance. We've all seen it before: the hushed audience, the spotlight, the bride and groom rocking back and forth while turing in a circle. Now don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of the first dance. So much so that I have been keeping my ears open to possible "first dance songs" since I was 15 years old. Having said this, I know how bored I get watching these events take place. I know I'm not the only one. So the question is this - is there a way to share this time with your guests without boring them out of their skulls?
Although your wedding day is all about you, it's also a time to give back to those who traveled to see you, who bought you gifts, and who have supported you with their love and well wishes. It's not a time to bore them with Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Throw a little bit of modern style into this classic tradition. Don't be afraid to make it your own, it's a great opportunity to step (or dance!) outside the box. Take a cue from Julia and James, and give your guests something to remember. After all, you will never forget your first dance as husband and wife - why should they?

06 November 2007

it starts

In August of 2007 my boyfriend proposed to me on the streets of downtown Chicago. Being new to this, I have since spent many hours flipping through magazines and browsing websites (the knot is a great starting reference), taking mental notes and forming pictures of what I hope my big day is like. I've been to weddings before, I've even been a bridesmaid. And although my part was pretty small - show up, sign a book, eat some food, and try not to make a fool of myself on the dance floor - it seemed to me that planning a wedding wouldn't be all that hard. Ah yes, ignorance truly is bliss.
Since my planning began, I have changed my mind on, in no particular order: my dress, the location, the colors, whether or not to have a line, who to have in my line, photographers, caterers, wedding planners, florists and date. Apparently planning a wedding is no slice of cake. Who knew?
So here I am, ready to share my stories of success and frustrations. Living in Salt Lake City, I have learned that sometimes resources can be limited. Planning a wedding that doesn't take place in a Temple involves thinking outside of the box. Luckily, from intimate backyard gatherings, to destination canyon weddings, the city has more to offer than meets the eye.
They say planning a wedding is supposed to be fun - it is after all, all about you. From the dress to the flowers, from the food to the photos, and every detail in between. I promise you'll change your mind, I promise at some point you'll have no idea what in the hell is going on, and you may even shed a few tears. But, from what I hear, it will be one of the greatest moments in your life.
Here's to planning a wedding, and the inevitable insanity that comes with it.