It all started on Christmas Eve about ten years ago: boy meets girl and instantly they have a special connection. Fast forward to today; after countless years of life, love and partnership he takes her to the top of a mountain and gets down on one knee asking, “Will you be my wife?”
That ecstatic girl is me. After all the tears, congratulatory phone calls, messages, and well wishes, reality begins to hit: this moment I’ve waited for my entire life is finally here. Yikes, now what the heck do I do?
First and foremost let me introduce myself. My name is Amanda Shallow, I am the fashion and beauty blogger for Wed in Milwaukee. I am also a Milwaukee native and owner of Naturally You, a Milwaukee-based beauty company that offers hair styling, makeup artistry and organic/vegan (yes, I said vegan) airbrush tanning. My wedding date is exactly 365 days from today (October 3rd, 2014) and within the next year I am going to take you with me on my adventures in planning a wedding in Milwaukee, from my engagement to the honeymoon and getting back to reality. I’ll include you in my process of designing and creating a one-of-a-kind custom ring, looking at every venue possible, save the dates and invitations, dress shopping, wedding shows, flowers – everything that has to do with planning a local Milwaukee wedding.
The first thing that everyone (and I mean everyone) will ask you is, “Have you picked a date”? In “Small-waukee” that is a very hard thing to do. It may have seemed like the first thing to do 10 years ago but now you have to find what date is going to work with the chosen venue. We initially had a date picked but as soon as I started seeking out venues I realized the “my date” was everyone else’s date as well.
Piece of advice: Sit down with your fiancé and choose a couple dates, that way you will have some options and flexibility. If you are not partial to a Saturday wedding, remember that select venues may give you a discount for off-season dates and Friday or Sunday weddings. It’s good to keep your options open.
After you have established a few dates, where do you go? One of the first things I did was sign up for a wedding website. The knot.com, weddingwire.com and mywedding.com are some of the more popular and user friendly sites. These sites were created to have a virtual planner at your fingertips.
Or, research real wedding planners. There are plenty of options in Milwaukee. You can hire them for the entire process or, if you are like me and enjoy planning, you can have them come in on the day of to make sure that everything is running smoothly. These companies are here to help make your life easy and to have your process be stress free and fun.
For someone who works well with you and your budget to get exactly what you want with all the glitz and glam you desire, try the fabulous trio Sarah Dahmen, Katie Carlson and Casey Fluellen at Golden Chic events and consulting.
If you want to skip all the latest trends and instead create one of a kind “do it yourself” projects that lets you and your personality shine meet Anna Margaret from A.Styled Event.
Take a look at our complete list of local wedding planners.
At this point everything may seem very overwhelming. One of the biggest pieces of advice is…STAY ORGANIZED! Make sure you keep all of your information together and organized. I suggest stopping at your local Barns and Noble or jumping on Amazon.com and ordering a wedding guide book that will not only help you with timelines but you can write in and jot down notes while you are meeting with all your prospective vendors.
Now that we are organized and have the tools and information to get started, I welcome you to follow my process on the day in the life of a Milwaukee bride. Everything local and everything Milwaukee! Stay tuned!