All Wedding Photo Credit: Stephanie Michelle Photography
I had the pleasure of meeting Mady during an initial consultation about a Maggie Sottero lace wedding dress she was considering wearing for her wedding. Sometimes life throws you a curveball and there is nothing wrong with that! Instead of having a year to plan her wedding, Mady set her new wedding date on December 20, 2015. With less than 30 days, what Mady did can be described in two words: SIMPLIFY and DELEGATE.
Follow Mady's journey below to learn how this amazing Mrs. planned her wedding in less than 30 days. Since we are not talking man-to-man but talking bride-to-bride, I decided BRIDE-to-BRIDE TIPS would be more appropriate. It is possible to have to an amazing wedding dress and wedding when you know the right contacts and have the support from family and friends.
My favorite takeaway from Mady's experience?
"Don't stress out about what others will think. It will just ruin the whole experience! Pick what is important to you and DO IT! No matter what anyone says or thinks.... It's YOUR day."
It all started when Mady met Mike
Mike and I met at Quad City Crossfit. I first noticed him when he was doing the Crossfit Open and thought he was a total hunk! Our paths cross again at Rock Church of the Quad Cities where we both started our acting careers in the Easter production. :) Although our acting careers did not take off, there came a point where I think we both just knew that we were going to be together for the long haul. Mike proposed while we were on a hike in Colorado. Not only did he coordinate to have his friend photograph this special moment in our lives, but we were fortunate to celebrate with friends, Mexican food, and margaritas. I replay that day in my head all the time!
With 30 days to plan, what was your focus on? Did you have to keep reminding yourself to stay positive throughout this process?
When our wedding date moved to December 20, 2015, I felt a burden lifted. Our guest list went from 300+ to about 45! Since the guest list included our closest family and friends, I did not feel the overwhelming pressure to impress everyone. It was such an intimate experience when you are literally surrounded by those closest to you. If something stressed me out, I didn't do it. It was important to me that I was not stressed on my wedding day.
BRIDE-to-BRIDE TIP: I would recommend a small wedding to anyone who wants to enjoy every magical second of their day without the stress of a big wedding. Don't spend time worrying about what everyone else wants. It's your day and it goes by REALLY fast! Pick a few MUST-HAVES that are important to you and put your time, money, and energy into those parts of your wedding.
When your wedding timeline went from twelve months to 30 days, what were the first things you did?
I picked three things that mattered most to me and put my energy there. Any other little details I delegated to loved ones. They were so happy to help!
My three things were:
1. Our Guest List.
Since it was just those closest to us, we decided to individually call everyone. This saved us money and made this moment very personal. Expensive invitations were not important to me and therefore I didn't do them.
2. Our Location
We wanted a place that really represented us as a couple. Mike and I both love coffee, wine, and intimate atmospheres. We wanted our guests to also enjoy these things at our wedding. We visited Bar 129 in LeClaire and instantly knew this would be our ceremony location. December was the perfect time to get married since Bar 129 had all their beautiful Christmas decor. We did not have to spend time or energy in wedding decor for our ceremony. We also got married on a Sunday which was budget-friendly and allowed for a flexible schedule.
BRIDE-to-BRIDE TIP: If you can find a venue that is already beautiful and doesn't need a ton of work to make it "wedding-day ready" then book it! It saves so much time, money and stress.
3. My Dress
Like most little girls, I have spent my whole life dreaming what I would wear on my wedding day. I wanted a dress that matched our relaxed wedding vibe, but a dress that made me feel like a princess. Do you ever hear people talk about being in the right place at the right time? That was my wedding dress experience. Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal & Alterations shared that a new bridal boutique, La Belle Vie Bridal, was opening in November. With only 30 days to find a dress and get it altered, my experience started out a little stressful. La Belle Vie Bridal was so accommodating. I'll share more about my amazing experiences below.
BRIDE-to-BRIDE TIP: Find the right vendors that are about the customer. All my vendors worked with my condensed timeline and truly made it all about me. Special shout out to Betsy Francis, La Belle Vie Bridal; Caitlin Elizabeth, Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal & Alterations; Jordan Rivera, Haus of Heir; Stephanie Peterson, Stephanie Michelle Photography; and Tifani Gocmen, Make up.
What advice can you give in regards to having a good support team during your wedding planning?
Having support for your wedding is so important!! I would not have been able to enjoy the planning process without my support system. My entire family was so supportive and I am so thankful for each and every one of them. My husband, Mike, was my biggest supporter. He kept me calm and reminded me of what was truly important every time I started to freak out. He even surprised me by making Christmas ornament wedding favors - with my sister-in-law's help. He is truly my better half!
Would you recommend La Belle Vie Bridal to other brides searching for their dream dress?
Absolutely, my experience was amazing! La Belle Vie Bridal was very personable, which is something I would not have experienced at a chain store. The moment we walked in we were greeted, but not bombarded in an aggressive way. We didn't have an appointment but Betsy, the owner, was so accommodating! They had a beautiful selection and the consultants found six dresses that matched my style and budget. I liked them all but was absolutely in LOVE with the Wtoo Agatha gown. After trying it on three times I said "yes". I shared my short deadline with Betsy and asked if she could help me. She typically does not sell her sample gowns, since she just opened, but was able to help me with my situation. The whole experience was so intimate and personal. It's a beautiful boutique with the perfect mix between modern and chic!
What should other brides know about the alteration process with Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal & Alterations?
Caitlin Elizabeth was truly a miracle worker! When Betsy shared she would let me purchase the sample dress, I wanted to purchase the dress immediately. However, I was so nervous I wouldn't have enough time to get it altered. As many brides will experience, the bust area of most wedding dresses can be awkward. The dress was made of delicate lace and soft netting, so I needed someone I knew I could trust. I called Caitlin Elizabeth that day and she was so excited to help! If you have the opportunity to work with Caitlin Elizabeth, you willsee her passion and expertise for the bridal industry! She completed my bridal alterations within my condensed timeline. I was so impressed! We did three fittings, an initial, intermediate, and final fitting. At each fitting her attention to detail really shined! She gave me so much confidence from the very first consultation that my dress would be perfect, and it was! Her studio is adorable and she knows how to make a bride feel comfortable at each fitting! It really added to my "wedding" experience!
BRIDE-to-BRIDE TIP: When it comes to bridal alterations you do not just want to go with anyone!! Do not forget that you have other options than the in-house seamstress at the bridal boutiques. You want to find an expert, like Caitlin Elizabeth, who specializes in bridal alterations. Since going to Caitlin Elizabeth, I wouldn't trust anyone else to do my alterations! She was easy to communicate with and was really good at responding to my questions and emails. I'd recommend her to any bride!
Quad Cities Wedding Vendors:
Photographer - Stephanie Michelle Photography
Bridal Alterations - Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Venue: Bar 129
Hair- Haus of Heir
Makeup - Tifani Gocmen
Florist - Julie's Artistic Rose
Sharing my bridal expertise one blog post at a time. As always, thanks for reading.