Engagement Photos & Wedding Planning Updates

Happy Sunday and long weekend friends! We never took professional engagement photos and now that we are getting into the wedding planning stage, I wanted to take some nice photos for our save the dates that we are ordering this week with Basic Invite (a whole blog post to come on those once we receive them in the mail)! You don’t necessarily have to have a photographer to take photos to capture some nice ones for you! Being that we just bought our home in December, we are most definitely on a budget with the wedding and really looking to keep the entire event (from soup to nuts) under $10,000. That being said, we grabbed our iPhones, picked out the “nicest” thing we had in our closet and drove around until we found somewhere that looked appealing for photos. Luckily, we found this spot on our second try. The first was over at a local lake and because the sun was setting, they were coming out kind of hazy and foggy looking. This wasn’t how I had pictured them in my head. I knew we had to go somewhere that was in the shade (my best advice when taking your own photos so the sunlight isn’t in your eyes; it also makes for better lighting when editing). Anyway, I remembered a local church and we drove by and it wound up being perfect! Don’t get me wrong, having a photographer to take more “professional” photos would have been nice, but we didn’t really need to spend the $700 to have nice pictures. What really matters is that we can look back at these and smile for the meaning behind the photos! I thought it would be fun to do some wedding planning posts here and there with the progress on what we have done so far and my current thoughts on everything! I’m hoping to have EVERYTHING completed by June (the latest) to make sure this isn’t a stressful process. I always here people getting so stressed out over it and to me it just isn’t worth it! I want to enjoy this time together so I believe doing things early is always a good idea!

1. Venue/ Menu

We are getting married in September and there will be roughly from 50-100 people. We wanted to keep it super simple, laid back and close family and friends! We love the outdoors and the fall season so we thought September would be perfect! I won’t share the “venue” yet until after we get the save the dates in the mail but we chose somewhere  not so typical. We didn’t want a wedding hall with a fancy cocktail hour and a million apps, it’s just not us. Where we chose is outdoors, near a lake and surrounded by pretty greenery and overhanging lights! Like I said I will definitely share all those details soon :)! Choosing the venue AND the date is of course the first step so we could move on to ordering the save the dates! We went to the “venue” and in under one hour had the menu picked out and the date booked! We were so happy with how it turned out! We did this last Saturday and it was the first thing to check off on our list!

2. Guest List

As I mentioned above, we wanted to keep it small and with close family and friends so we took a good hour to make a list of who we truly want to celebrate our special day with! Don’t get me wrong, if we could invite more people we would, but at the end of the day, it still is a 5 hours party and to us, we want to be able to spend intimate time and have fun instead of not being able to really see anyone at our wedding. I’ve went to so many weddings where you see the bride and groom for only a minute. That’s not how I want it to be! I truly want to spend quality time with everyone there! I’m not using any special wedding planning app. I’ve downloaded a few and they are just TOO confusing for me lmao so I just opened up a new note in my notepad app and am keeping track of everything on there! As soon as I made the guest list, I texted everyone to confirm addtssses and added them to my contacts right away. This way, when I am getting ready to send out the save the dates and invites, I have them all set and ready to go!

3. Save the Dates

I was browsing through all of the photos I have of Joe and I and although there are so many amazing ones (millions actually LOL), I wanted something fresh and special to put on our save the dates! Basic Invite was nice enough to collaborate with me on this one so I will be doing a whole post on them once I get them (should be in about 2 weeks so stay tuned)!!! I’ll share ALL about them! Anyway, this resulted in us taking these photos! Now I can order them! Once I receive them, I’ll write out my envelopes to send them out!

4.  Wedding Bands

This is something most people probably do more towards the end of the planning process but since it’s fun we wanted to go and take a look at what our options were ! We custom designed my engagement ring at D’Errico jewelers (they have two locations one in Mount Kisco and one in Scarsdale, NY).  We had such an amazing experience with them the first time around so we knew we had to go back!  We were headed to the area anyway so it was the perfect time to make a quick stop.  Joe looked first at all of his options and it was pretty decisive on what he wanted, so she took notes down and put everything in the system, including his ring size and the colors he wanted along with the cut.  I knew I wanted something to match my engagement ring so they suggested to do custom bands to match (one on the bottom and one on top), giving the image of a triple band. I think it looks gorgeous!  Now that we know exactly what we both want and all the notes are in the system under our account we can order them whenever we want! We’ll definitely be putting in the order before May to give them more than enough time to complete it!

5. Cake

We booked our appointment this week with one of our favorite bakeries to do a cake tasting on March 9th! I’m excited to eat cake for breakfast since it’ll be at 10AM ;). I think I’ll take you guys along on Instagram stories and show you the works! This should be so fun! We both LOVE carrot cake, but know it’s not a very popular dessert amongst the crowd so we’ll probably go with something more simple ; not sure yet so I guess my taste buds will do the decision making that day! I already browsed  Pinterest and pinned cake ideas that I want! We are going with a Bohemaian theme (not sure if I mentioned that are not) and it is very natural looking so I want lots of greenery around the cake! Once we do the tasting, we will put the order in!

6. Florist

This week my mom and I went to a local florist to show them some ideas I had pinned to Pinterest re: what type of bouquet I want! I wasn’t sure if the name of the flowers, but as soon as I showed them the photos they knew exactly what I was going for! Very light, airy & natural looking! They suggested eucalyptus (which I already knew I definitely wanted), dusty miller, garden roses, ranunculus, plumosa and a few more! We also spoke to them about ordering some eucalyptus to add to the centerpieces. We didn’t put the order in, but now they know exactly what to get so they are ordering some samples for me to go look at.

7. Centerpieces

Once again, I browsed Pinterest until I found what I was looking for. It was easy for me to do because I knew what I wanted, I just had to see it! I’m going with lanterns (which I found on sale at Walmart for $5 each so snagged a bunch) and then putting pretty pillar candles inside, with eucalyptus and tea lights around them!

8. “Photo Booth”

Because we are on a budget, we won’t be ordering a fancy photo booth. Instead, I purchased a pack of cute wedding photo props from Michaels and my mom and I are making a pretty backdrop filled with lots of greenery (I can share us doing the DIY on my stories when the time comes). I also plan to place my instamax camera around so people can take their own photos! I’m making a really cute wooden board and having rope go from one side of the other with pins so people can pin their photos up that they take !

9. DJ

We haven’t fully decided if we will have a dj or not. I’ve made some calls but am still contemplating if. I’ve also thought of renting Dj speakers and a microphone and making the playlist ourselves to play on the speakers. They are just as loud and will keep us way under budget! I’ll keep you updated on the decision we go with on this one!

10. Marriage License

I know this gets done within 60 days before the wedding, but I made some calls to get all the facts in order! Also, because we aren’t getting married in a church I had to make some calls on how we can have someone come to marry us at the location we chose. I also forgot to mention we were doing the ceremony and reception in the same place.

11. Favors

I knew from the beginning what favors I’ve wanted! I don’t want to share yet because I really want it to be a suprise for our guests, but here’s a little tip! You don’t need to spend tons to have a cute wedding favor! If you are crafty and good on the computer, you can use the “Canva” app to create a template with you and your fiancés names and the wedding date on it, along with whatever saying you want to print out and put on the favors! You can change the font, size, colors etc and print on any paper you want! Easiest DIY idea!

That’s about all the planning we’ve done so far, but I’m happy with the progress and really don’t think this has been stressful yet. We all have such different lives and ideas on how we envision our wedding and none of them are wrong! As long as you are both happy with the process and the outcome, that’s all that matters!! I really hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun writing it (currently 1am laying in bed with Joe’s elbow in my face lol). I can’t wait to share another once we have more progress!

Should I start sharing more on stories when we head out to do wedding planning?!? You can also follow the hashtag #DeBellisRinging for updates on Instagram! For those that don’t know, Joe’s last name is DeBellis, so I think it’s catchy🤓

You can also following my Pinterest board called “Wedding Inspo” to see more of my visions!

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