Wedding Diary #2 | Halfway There

Wedding Diary #2 coming in hot! When I wrote my first wedding diary pretty much immediately after getting engaged, I was SO ahead of the game. I felt confident, ready, and super prepared for pretty much everything. Well, that was 3-4 months ago at this point and I can tell you right now I am feeling the COMPLETE opposite. I feel really stressed, behind, and worried. Here is an updated checklist and a side by side comparison to Wedding Diary #1 update.

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

to purchase this spreadsheet, click here.

Ok, not side by side photos. You’d think if I have a blog that I’d be pretty tech savvy but it’s actually the complete opposite! Anyways, the first checklist is what I had crossed off this list back in September, literally 19 days after being engaged. You can read my first Wedding Diary here. The second one is my most recent checklist as of now, January 2019. It’s probably just me (since I’m such a huge planner) but I feel like I’ve BARELY got anything done since the last time I updated you guys! Hence why I feel really stressed out and also worried. Here’s the thing: holidays are great and all but not when you’re in the midst of wedding planning! All the festivities completely through me off my wedding planning train and now I’m just trying to get back up to speed. But for a type A personality girl, it feels like the end of the world!

Ok, ok. I can’t be that hard on myself, I know! Everyone deserves to celebrate the holidays and relax no matter what is going on. With that being said, I will give you updates on what has been crossed off the list since we chatted last about all things wedding.

Save the Dates

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Our Save the Dates are out! In case you missed it, I shared our cards in this blog post here, explaining the company we went with, and of course what they look like! Minus a few hiccups with getting those out, aka sending some to the wrong addresses, I was relieved to get those sent to all our family and friends. Which brings me to my next thing we crossed off which was…

Engagement Photos

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I was SO excited to finally get these crossed off, mostly because I just wanted to see what they looked like and show them off! Our wedding photographer, Dakai Reyes, BLEW us away with how incredible these photos turned out. It made me even more excited about the wedding since (to me) the photos are the biggest deal! Aside from of course getting married to Tim ;) Also side note: Dakai and I are NOT related, we just happen to have the same last name! I will be sharing a majority of our engagement photos on my upcoming blog post about Pre-Marital counseling, so stay tuned for that— but until then, here is a little peak!

Wedding Invitations

Along with Save the Dates and engagement photos comes wedding invites! I got a little ahead of myself, invites have not been sent out yet. BUT, the order is placed and I’m waiting patiently with our customized stamps ready to go and get them out. You’ll notice on the checklist that it says 2 months before, but we are sending out invites (hopefully, depending on when they get here) the first week of February so it’ll be 4 months ahead. With our venue, we need final numbers almost a month before the wedding, and you know there are always people who send the RSVPS in late so we need plenty of time to do all the logistics.

Hair & Makeup

Besides dress shopping, the engagement party, and basically everything else this has been probably my favorite part so far! My Makeup Artist is booked for the big day and after 2 trials we got the perfect look down. I shared it on my Instagram stories back in November I believe and I got SO MANY compliments. I was overwhelmed with how many replies I was getting to my stories, which just reassured me even more that the look was perfect for the wedding. As far as hair goes, my girls are booked! In two weeks Tim and I are taking a road trip to Arizona for my hair trial! If you’re on Instagram as much as me, you’ve probably seen a ton of this salon. Two lovely ladies from Habit Salon will be flying down for the wedding and I’m so stoked! I booked them before getting a trial because let’s be real… the work is amazing, I don’t need proof! But I’ll be doing a trial just to play around and finalize the style I want.

The Wedding Dress

I’m not going to go into a ton of detail because I’ve talked a lot about this already! I got my wedding dress and it should be here in less than a month. February we will start alterations and I get to try it on again which makes me smile from ear to ear! I’ve never felt more special in this dress you guys, you have no idea. I’ve been tempted more then a few times to post a picture of it but I know that is so bad. Instead I stare at it every night and just get excited! If you want to see and get an idea though, head over to this blog post to see what I look like in a wedding dress! Also, all of my bridesmaids officially have there dresses after going and trying them on so that is one more thing crossed off the list!

Rehearsal Dinner

It’s going to be a big one! As most of you know, our bridal party including flower girls and ring bears is quite large. We’re at over 30 people which means more at the rehearsal dinner! We got this set and booked at our venue the night before and invitations for this have also been ordered. I’ll be sending these out in April/May and they are literally just waiting in a box to be delivered, ha! Mexican food is my comfort food and also my favorite, so we’ll be having a fiesta the night before to get ready for the big day.

I definitely didn’t touch on everything that has happened since my last diary, but I wanted to make sure I touched on the important stuff that has since been planned. The point of these diaries was to keep you all updated on the wedding process, how things have been going so far, and also as something to look back on for me that will forever be here on my blog. Since our engagement is a total of 9 months, I’m rounding up 4 posts and it is hard to believe that this is my second one. In other words, this means I’m halfway done! Which also means, we’re halfway to the wedding. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again- I’ve been dreaming of this day for a long time. Now it’s here and happening. No more wondering on who I’m going to marry— it’s Tim! And wedding details, no more wondering and worrying because it’s being planned and it’s also happening! In the midst of being stressed and worried throughout all of this, I try to remember these little details and how I really am going to miss this so much. So if you’re engaged or about to be married, my tip for you is soak it in- the good and the bad! It’ll be over before you know it. So cliche, but after hearing it a million times I finally understand it.

Another wedding diary will be coming around March or April, so stay tuned! Until then you can follow me on Instagram here and be on the lookout for updates.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Our Save the Dates

Ah! I can’t believe it. The time has finally come. Our Save the Dates have been sent out and friends and family are receiving them. It’s so exciting to get pictures from people and sharing the excitement with everyone we love. It makes it real now that everyone is (sort of officially) invited! No turning back now ;) Of course though, I wanted to keep all of you updated on this since these play such a big part in the day of! I’m giving you all the information in today’s post including the company I decided to go with and why! Without further ado, here they are…

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Aren’t they just so pretty?! I’m SO happy with how they turned out. Like I mentioned in my first wedding planning blog post (if you missed it click HERE), our wedding colors are very Spring! All the pinks, blushes, golds, which is my favorite. I’ve wanted a Spring wedding from the start because those are just my favorite colors since they’re all so light, bright and happy! Our Save the Dates reflect the gold wording which is the extra touch I was looking for. I’m the type of girl that’s been planning her wedding from a very age young, so of course before we got engaged I REALLY started looking at things, not just pinning them. And by that I mean really focusing on brands. I knew the look I was going for for invitations so I actually started comparing prices and seeing what was out there that was similar to my style. It came down to Basic Invite and I had chosen everything before we even got engaged, ha! So when they reached out to me saying they wanted to collaborate, I sent them the LONGEST email ever about how much I loved them and how I was already planning on using them. It was seriously the greatest day ever when this happened, ha! Aside from getting engaged of course. ;)

Now to break down and get into specifics on WHY I chose them. The number one thing I was searching for was a variety of colors for invitations that came with a good price. A lot of the invitations that I liked only had a few colors to choose from, and none of them met my needs for being exactly what I wanted. The second thing I was looking for was also price. Our guest list is quite large (we’re at over 200 guests if you can see the stack of those envelopes!) so I knew my order was going to be big to begin with but I didn’t want the numbers to be big. Basic Invite met all these requirements and even more, like these:

Custom Samples

I’ve ordered 3 cute wedding invitation samples so far just to make sure I’m getting it right. I’m exploring all the colors as well as all the add-ons, wording I’m using, etc. The samples are a VERY decent price so I’ve been able to try anything and everything.

Over 40 different colors of envelopes

I’m sticking with plain white, but I thought I would highlight this for you guys. If you want to choose a different envelope color other then white, they have a ton. This would be great for someone trying to mix in multiple different colors or going outside the box!

Over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets

I was on Basic Invite for no joke 2 hours when I first started looking. I was browsing through a TON (900 to be exact) of wedding sets because there was just so. many. options.

Free Address Collection Service

This played a HUGE PART into why I chose Basic Invite. Since our guest list is big, I was dreading writing down so many addresses. And Tim doesn’t have good hand writing (sorry honey) so I knew it would be all on me. I spent just an hour entering in the addresses to my guest book on Basic Invite which were saved to my account and then when it came time to order I just hit “select all” and was able to have them all nicely printed and I didn’t have to pay a PENNY for it.

If this blog post didn’t sell you on using Basic Invite then maybe this will: customer service. I’m a very visual person, hence why I’ve ordered multiple wedding invite samples. Every time I hopped online a member would be available to chat and I loved having that. At this point I know all of them by name and I think they recognize me too! All my questions have been answered which is what I need, and I need details!

We will be sending our super cute wedding invitations in February which means we’re about two months away from ordering those! Basic Invite has so far been a dream to use and it makes me even happier that they wanted to work with me! If you have any questions or anything that I didn’t touch on— please let me know. Until then, early 2019 I will be revealing our invitations!

Thank you to Basic Invite for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Wedding Dress Shopping with Essense of Australia

Ugh, what a dream! I’m so excited to share today’s blog post with you guys because it's all about, WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! Two weeks ago, Sydney and I drove up to Upland to check out Deborah’s Bridal and try on some wedding dresses by Essense of Australia. First of all, I can’t believe the time has finally come! I’ve walked past countless amounts of stores and day dreamed about the day when it would finally be my turn. Now, we’re eight months away and the countdown has begun! I tried on a handful of STUNNING Essense gowns, that I’m going to show you today and I’m so excited to see which dress style is your favorite. I tried on everything from long sleeve, to ballgown, to mermaid style. Deborah’s staff pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and really embrace the feeling of being a true bride. I tried on styles that I never would have if I would have gone on my own, and they made sure to make me look picture perfect! We had so much fun accessorizing the dresses, and dressing them up to make it look like the real thing.  This really helped me picture what I will look like on my big day, and it made it that much more special. Enough chit-chatting, let’s talk wedding dresses!

Style D2388

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This Essense of Australia gown captured my heart the moment I tried it on.  The elegance of the color and little design was breathtaking in my opinion. And the train… I’m a sucker for a good train.  If you look closely at the back, you can see the detail that creeps up my shoulder. So dainty and feminine, even in the front! I tried an updo with this dress to feel out the different looks that would compliment it.


Style D2520

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I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this on because I thought it was gorgeous on the hanger, and I loved how it looked on. My favorite thing about it was the layers— it just added a little more personality to the dress and made it that much more dreamy.  I mean look at me, I was having a Cinderella moment FOR sure. If you asked me what my style was, this wouldn’t come to mind. After trying it on and having my princess moment, my horizons broadened and I entered a whole new world. My self confidence was boosted from “only one style looks good on me” to “I can try new things and see what works”.


Style D2471

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Similar to the dress prior, this one was also one of Essense's ball gowns. I had another moment dreaming because this dress was PINK! In bridal terms, it was a light blush.  But in case you haven’t seen the colors of my blog, then you know I’m a pretty big fan of this color. The top part of this dress was truly highlighted when it came to the design. The beading, and sequins, was stacked onto this dress.  So much I felt like I was glowing from within!


Style D2548

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When I think of different dress styles that come to mind, this isn’t something I think of.  But after putting it on… it was more my style then I ever thought it would be. All of us had too much fun accessorizing with the added headpiece, I was feeling major Great Gatsby vibes! I’m a huge lace lover, so the beauty that this dress holds from head to toe is mesmerizing.  I keep going back and looking at it because it is just SO pretty!


Style D2475

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This dress tied with dress number 2 for first place. I have a lot of dress trends that I like, some of them being lace, open backs, strappy backs, trains, the list goes on.  Since this dress was different then any of the others I tried on, I felt like this one really stood out to me. It gave me the real bride feeling with the full bottom and then adding the flowers. Just seeing myself in these photos gives me the chills because I really WILL be a bride in just a few short months!


What I like so much about Essense of Australia is the wide variety of dress styles they have.  As you can tell from my pictures, no two dresses are the same.  There is something for EVERY girl. Whether you want a stunning ball gown, a long sleeve beauty, or a unique mermaid- they have it all. And for one second, let’s talk about prices. All of these wedding dresses were so decently priced. I see it on TV, or I see it on the internet, that to get “the perfect dress” you need to give an arm and a leg just to buy it.  Trying on these Essense of Australia reassured me that I don’t need to SPEND a million bucks to FEEL like a million bucks. Whether you’re a bride-to-be, or dreaming of your big day, I encourage you to visit one of their retailers and pull some Essense of Australia gowns off the racks. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed! Comment below what wedding dress is your favorite-- I’d love to hear!


Thank you to Essense of Australia for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Wedding Diary #1 | Let's Get Planning!

I know you all have been dying to read this post and I thought about posting it sooner so many times, but was able to hold it together! Can you believe that? Immediately after we got engaged I was brainstorming ideas of blog posts and what to share with you guys along the way, thinking about if I was on your end. Asking myself, “If I was following a blogger who happened to be getting married at the same time as me or before me, what would I want to see? What would I want tips on? What could help me?” My blog is used by other people daily, but I also like to look at it is as something I can go back to later when I want to read old memories. I’ve decided to start a series called “Wedding Diaries” to go over some key points. Where I am in the planning process, sharing with you what we’ve done and BTS, and some things I’ve learned along the way. With that being said, even though we got engaged only a month ago, I have A LOT to share with you guys, so keep reading if you want the scoop!

Schlueter Wedding

Wedding Date: June 8th, 2019

Countdown: 245 days

Checklist

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As you can tell, quite a bit has been accomplished! I didn’t hesitate to start and one of our registries was done the day after we got engaged. I was at Crate & Barrel as soon as soon as it opened and you bet I didn’t hesitate! One of the reasons I’m super excited is because I feel like all of the “work” is done. Not really, but you know, the hard decisions you have to make. Whose going to DJ, what flourish do I like best, the list goes on. Now all the fun stuff is waiting for us both- bachelor party, bachelorette party, shower upon shower, wedding dress shopping, etc. I know what you are thinking… she has everything done, but she hasn’t gone WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING?! Don’t you worry, I’ve already done enough stressing for the both of us. I have 8 people (only family believe it or not) that I wanted to go dress shopping with me. That is moms, sisters, and grandmas only. Trying to work with those schedules, on top of bridal salons schedules… was kinda hard! I grabbed the first available date for everyone and I got October 7th. We’ll be heading to two salons and grabbing lunch on Sunday, and I decided to make a makeup trial appointment BEFORE shopping so it would help me better get an idea of what I would actually look like on the day of. Now, I only scheduled one day for wedding dress shopping and I’m honestly hoping that I can find it on this day. It’s safe to say I’m a risk taker ;) But really, cross your fingers for me or else you’ll see me on news for a 24 hour shopping spree trying to find THE dress. Luckily the style I want, isn’t too unique so both places should have it.

Besides the wedding dress not being bought yet, I feel like everything else is under control. Since you made it this far (congrats!) I decided I’ll let you in on a little secret. We booked the venue before we got engaged, which means we also booked the date before we got engaged. June 8th is our anniversary, and it isn’t on a Saturday again until 2024. Neither of us wanted to wait that long! We loved the idea that our dating anniversary could be our wedding anniversary, so we just did it. “That is terrible luck!” “Omg she is crazy!” “What were you thinking?!”… Silly you, I didn’t ask for your opinion. ;) In all honesty though, the amount of people that give their opinions when you start wedding planning, is kind of unreal. When I ask for people’s help, it doesn’t bother me at all and I feel relieved to hear other peoples experiences sometimes. When I didn’t ask, I’m just telling, and people all of a sudden start saying how they would’ve done it if they were me… you’ll see me leave the conversation before they can even finish. I have a feeling this is what parenting is like when you’re a new mom…

I know a lot of you wanted to know where to venue is, but since most of our wedding planning is super public, I decided I’m going to keep the venue under wraps until it’s time for the big day. I will tell you though, it is in Orange County and it is BEAUTIFUL! Since my venue is known for having weddings, they have planners on site which has been really helpful. We’ve had multiple meetings thus far going over the big day, plans, vendors, and them helping me make decisions that I couldn’t do on my own! I’m sure when you saw the checklist you probably thought to yourself holy cow, it has’nt even been a month and this girl GOT IT DOWN. Yes, I do, thank you very much. ;) But, there is still a good amount that needs to be done but what we have left is the fun stuff.

Like I said, tips and tricks are here for you! Here is stuff that I have personally done so far that has made a world of a difference, and that I highly recommend to you brides!

Tips & Tricks

  1. Make a separate email account for your wedding

If you’re like me and your inbox is a disaster, this would be a smart idea. You will be emailing important contracts, payment methods, and chatting with your vendors throughout the process, so you don’t want ANY of these things getting lost. I chose an email address that we could use after the wedding as our family one to be shared for the future, because I know I’ll need that too. Doctors, buying a house, kids information, etc.

2. Start planning your bridal shower and bachelorette party immediately

Believe it or not, trying to work 8 girls schedules is pretty hard. After getting all of my bridesmaids availability back from the months of January-June, there was ONE WEEKEND where everyone was available to go away for the weekend. ONE, I kid you not. Even though your bridesmaids might say they’re pretty open, they very possibly could be. But also, depending on your number, you’re going to have to work with MULTIPLE schedules, especially if you want everyone to go. The further ahead you pick a weekend, the better! That way everyone has it on their calendar and you can let it go until it comes time to picking a location, theme, etc. Same goes for the bridal shower- try your best to do it right away so everyone can plan around it!

3. Buy A Wedding Planner

As you guys know, I love my planner! So I had to buy a wedding planner of course. This came with a lot of note pages, and then a checklist of what I should be doing leading up to the wedding! Not to mention the monthly calendar which was really helpful to use when planning a weekend for my bachelorette. Some other helpful things it has is a place to list measurements, a place to put vendor contact information, the list goes! This is keeping me organized throughout the process so far. Along with a file notebook to keep contracts in!

4. Get ready to defend yourself

A lot of people had a lot to say when Tim and I got engaged. Don't get me wrong- we got showered with love and it could not have been more perfect! But, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the “talk”. So many people have told me how they think I should do things for MY wedding. It kind of gets to a point where it gets old, and also irritating. Being the person that I am, I’m a huge planner. I’ve been planning this day since I was 4 years old. I have answers to mostly everything, but thats because I know what I want and I know my vision. If you’re someone who hasn't even begun thinking about what you want (which is 100% normal and ok), get ready to be on defense. Once people hear that you aren’t sure about things, or what you want, you will get a downpour of opinions, comments, and even some rude talk. It hasn’t even been a month and I’ve already just learned to nicely say, “I’ll take that into consideration”, and walk away. Which has put things into perspective for me, and now I try to be much more aware of what I am saying to newly engaged girlfriends and brides to be. The process is overwhelming enough, just let us vent unless we ask you for your opinion.

18 days in and I’d say I got myself a good head start! I will be doing a total of 4 diaries, and my next one will go live when we get to the halfway point! I’ll be checking in to let you know what else has been crossed off the checklist, more tips & tricks (hopefully), and how everything is going thus far! I bought that checklist HERE off Etsy to get you guys a good visual of what is done so far. Vendors and everything you can think of will be shared after the wedding of course! Thank you SO much for reading and happy Wednesday!

XO,

Danielle Alana


Our Engagement Party: I Do BBQ

First off, I can't thank you all enough for the overwhelming amount of love that we have received. So many messages from friends, families, followers--everyone! I've honestly never felt more loved and I'm still on Cloud 9 from this Saturday.  It really was the proposal and engagement party I've always dreamed of. Now to the fun stuff...

After sharing some shots that Sydney took of our party, SO many of you had questions as to where everything was from. I'm sharing all the photos today as well as linking everything I can as far as party decor! As always, feel free to contact me with questions. Scroll for some major inspo on how to get the perfect I DO BBQ!

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LINKS:

INVITATIONS

Personalized Candy: M&M’s

BBQ: Tulsa Rib

Dessert Table: Haute Sweet Baking Co.

Fruit Set Ups: Edible Arrangements

Table & Chair Rentals: All American Party Rentals

Flowers: Flower Market

She Said Yes! Napkins

I DO BBQ Banner

Photo Booth Frame with Hashtag

Photo Booth Props

Photo Booth Backdrop

I Do Crew Banner

anything that is not linked was either purchased at a local store, Hobby Lobby, or Home Goods.

Hands down the party was amazing, and it looked amazing! Thank you so much to Rena, Becca and my Mom for helping make this party happen. It was better than anything I could’ve dreamed of! I LOVE pink so I got my girly part inside the house and we carried out the theme through the outside. Also before I get messages, I wanted to let you know that I will be doing dedicated blog posts to our wedding party! This will most likely publish shortly after our wedding, and I’m already so pumped. Eek! We have a lot of bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bears, and flower girls so they will all be getting a dedicated post! Can’t wait to share with you all.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Thank you to Sydney Bliss Photography for all of these photos!