Although our wedding was already over a year ago, I thought perhaps it might be helpful to pass along some tips, tricks and strategies we learned while planning our big day.
When you are engaged for 14 months you have A LOT of time to plan and strategize how to make your day absolutely perfect. I also do highly recommend ordering this wedding planning binder that The Knot created, it really helped me to remember all of the little things as well as keep me on task and not let me forget the “little things” which were all very “BIG THINGS” to me. When we first began planning, I found it very helpful to focus on the THREE of the biggest details right off the bat.
- Venue (picking your venue will help you determine the date based off of their availability)
- Catering (caterers can get booked out far in advance, so I wanted to make sure we nailed this down before someone “stole” someone I wanted)
- Rentals (Plan this step early to make sure you get exactly what you want – even if it means 20 farm tables)
Deciding on your PERFECT Venue
The husband and I wanted to choose a venue that felt like “us.” Seems like a pretty difficult task, but when a Facebook acquaintance happens to get married at a beautiful farm wayyyyy before you are engaged, trust me and “like” that venue’s page on Facebook so when your time comes, you have an option.
We were married at Jacobs Family Berry Farm which is located in the small Nevada town, Gardnerville. The farm house, the berry farm, and the huge barn were all the perfect setting for our day. The location was also rich in history and had other small buildings on the property including a dairy, a bunkhouse, a Victorian home, an INCREDIBLE historic barn, etc., etc….
Not only did we love our venue, but our venue also came with an INCREDIBLE wedding planner, Brooke who works out of My Wedding Library in Reno. Part of the contract with the venue was using Brooke as the pre-wedding planning & the day-of-coordinator, which was phenomenal. Brooke new the ins and outs of everything on the farm, which made planning SO easy! Although I did most of the planning with my Mom, I would say that Brooke helped all of our ideas come to life – she was incredible and was there the entire day of our wedding. Dear Brides – please DO hire a DAY OF coordinator so that you can enjoy your day!! And on the day of your wedding, just let it go and remember, it is what it is, you (and maybe your mom) will be the only people who know if something is not just right.
We could not have picked a more perfect place for us – the location reflected our love story and also provided a lot of the “decoration.” We wanted the farm to be the most central piece of our wedding (besides ourselves, ha!) and our decorations that we added, we only wanted to enhance what was provided at the farm. It didn’t hurt that the owners of Jacobs Family Berry Farm are also some of the kindest people – I feel like after all of our planning, they are like family!
Choosing a Delicious Caterer
At first we wanted to go with straight BBQ, but they we sat back and thought about how we wanted the ambiance of the day. This was such a special and nice event, we wanted people to have a lovely sit down meal where they were worried about BBQ sauce splattering on their nice clothes/eating with their hands.
For our wedding, we had Magic Mountain Catering serve our absolutely delicious meal. We checked a few other caterers in the area, but this company is actually a company my family had worked with in the past. Here is a peak at our menu….
- Ensalata Caprese bruschetta. Mixed early girl tomatoes layered on grilled sourdough with fresh mozzarella and basil.
- Spice rubbed Filet of beef tenderloin on roasted garlic crostini with gorgonzola and herb crème fresh.
- Smoked chipotle, red wine and olive oil marinated Flank steak skewers. Flash grilled and presented with honey, lime and chipotle sauce.
- Alder wood smoked Beef Brisket, dry rubbed and smoked. Thin sliced with our wet green jalapeno and pablano sauce.
- Seared breast of chicken marsala.
- Farmer’s market grilled baby vegetables.
- Steamed organic Couscous salad with lemon basil vinaigrette. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted sweet peppers, green onions, and baby spinach and crumbled goat cheese.
- Warm bow tie pasta. Farmers market tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, chiffonade of basil, steamed spinach, smoked gouda. And roasted artichokes.
Although scary to eat in a white wedding dress – I didn’t spill once and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!
And of course, I have no pictures of the food because I was… you know, BUSY!
Finding Rentals that compliment your Venue & Theme.
Once you have your venue and date nailed down, the rentals really help you to form what you want your event to look like. When you have a longgggg engagement, you can reserve what you like early so 1) you get what you want 2) you can create an image in your mind of how your day will look right off the bat.
Our goal was to bring a lot of “wood” tones and spring colors enhance the venue rather than cover it up. For the ceremony we went with crisp white folding chairs on the lush green grass under the apple trees. For dinner we went with Farm tables and wooden chairs. We topped the tables with floral antique china to add a splash of color, lace table runners to allow the wood to be front and center and simple silverware with light pink napkins. We topped the plate with the gift for our guests, a jar of jam from the venue which is insanely delicious.
Our goal was to enhance the surroundings by incorporating both a simple design & decor for the day. And… since we book rentals SOOOO early, they had all the farm tables available that we would need!
Although these were my top 3 items, there were MANY things that followed that were absolutely just as important, you just have to have a moment to step back and tackle your top priorities.
I will be posting a whole lot more about the wedding day, but I figured I better start somewhere!