Are you one of the many brides getting engaged this holiday season?! We’d like to celebrate YOU and three of our Hitch employees who also got engaged the last couple months! Each of these brides has worked for Hitch Studio at one time or another, and now each is engaged! Read through their answers to these engagement questions as they help navigate the process and prioritize in their own way. They’ll reveal secrets, tips, and the tough stuff they’ve learned along the way! We’ll also give you sneak peek of what married life is like from two previous employees as they share what they’ve learned through the process of getting married in the past year!
Allow us to introduce you to Abbi, Danielle, and Kayla B., the three engaged employees at Hitch:
Here we go! Here is the Q&A from our engaged employees as they navigate the process of being engaged:
1: When did you get engaged and when is your wedding day?
Abbi: I got engaged (amidst a blizzard) on Friday, November 20th, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa surrounded by some of my best friends in the world! We are excited to officially get “hitched” on Saturday, August 12th, 2017!
Danielle: Jordan and I got engaged on 12/13/16. We haven’t picked a date yet, but we are looking at early spring of 2018!
Kayla B.: We got engaged on December 8, 2016 and the wedding will be August 19, 2017.
2: Why did you choose the engagement length that you did?
Abbi: In my opinion – November is an awkward time to get engaged (don’t tell my fiancé that 🙂 ). If you want the full year for planning you need to have a fall wedding. If you want that early July date amidst the summer fun – then you have just over half a year for planning. After discussion and the “pros and cons” of a few dates we were looking at – we figured August 12th would be a great date! It is just as the summer activities are winding down, and the school year is gearing up. It also gave us a good 9 months for planning and preparations while not flying through the butterflies of engagement.
Danielle: We chose that engagement length because I will graduate next December.
Kayla B.: Because I didn’t want to wait until another year!
3: In one word, how are you feeling about the wedding planning process right now?
Danielle: Excited 🙂
Kayla B.: Excited!!!!!
4: What have you learned (good or bad) about planning a wedding?
Abbi: First off – just breathe and take it all in! Immediately once that beautiful ring is on your finger – the questions start flying in. “Have you set a date? What does your dress look like? Is there an open bar? Are all the bridesmaids going to match or wear different dresses?” Whoa there, didn’t I just get engaged yesterday? With all the questions comes all the excitement though! With a little over a month of engagement under my belt, I have definitely learned A TON. I’ve learned that you need to keep an open mind with dates. Sit down with your fiancée and pick out at least 3 or 4 dates that you are happy with. From there you can contact the church, venue, photographer, and videographer. Create a spreadsheet and fill in what services are available on the dates you are considering – the date that fits the most is the winner! Another big lesson I have learned is that don’t worry about others so much – make sure you’re satisfying yourself too! I was so worried about dates that worked for others, the dress that everyone liked, etc. At the end of the day, it is about YOU (well I guess your fiancée too). Make it the day you always dreamt of, and it will all fall into place.
Danielle: Since we got engaged last week, we haven’t started planning too much. I guess the good is that there are a ton of people supporting us and willing to help. The bad is that Jordan doesn’t have too much of an opinion, especially when I want it. His response is usually, “whatever you’d like honey.”
Kayla B.: It’s a lot of work!
5: What are you finding you need the most help with right now?
Abbi: Now that we have our date set, I found my DREAM dress, and the church and venue is all ready to go – I have realized I need help with details. How do I know how many people to invite? What cake should we serve? Who is a good make-up artist? Do we do wedding favors? What should my engagement outfits look like? These are questions that I think every bride has – so what better than seeking out help from past brides? I have found it so helpful to be able to ask my sisters, future in-laws, and friends questions on what they did or what tips they have. I really appreciate all of the support and I know that they will continue to be a great resource!
Danielle: The most I need help with right now is mainly setting a date! It’ll just be communicating with both families to make sure there are no major conflicts.
Kayla B.: Researching locations and vendors
6: Did you decide to have a large wedding party? Why or why not?
Abbi: I would say that our wedding party is more on the larger side for sure. I am going to have 9 bridesmaids and 2 personal attendants. My fiancée will have 9 groomsmen and 2 ushers. Right now I have like 10 little girls who I want as my flower girls, and the same goes for ring bearers – how do I decide? They’re SO cute! Darn Pinterest. In reality we chose a larger wedding party because of the size of our families. I have three sisters alone, and my fiancée has a sister as well. I wanted to include all of them while still making my best friends from high school and college a part of our big day since they were such a big part of our relationship. I am SO excited to have them all by my side. 🙂
Danielle: We haven’t set an actual number yet, but I know we will be having a large wedding party. I have two sisters, then will be wanting some of Jordan’s family members and a few close friends. Jordan also has some family members and some friends he is going to want in the wedding.
Kayla B.: Yes, because I have a lot of very special people in my life.
7: What kinds of things are you doing/planning to help personalize your wedding? (Do you love camping, fishing, outdoors, pizza, craft beer, etc? Have you taken a special vacation that you want to highlight? How did he propose? What’s going to be special for just the two of you as part of your wedding?)
Abbi: I have always been a really girly, “princess-like” person, and that is hopefully what our wedding will incorporate too. I love little dainty teacups especially. I’m not sure why, but I have always loved them. My mom, grandma, cousins, and I have been looking for and saving vintage cups for quite awhile (yes – even before the ring sealed the deal). We are going to incorporate vintage teacups, strings of pearls, and my grandmother’s handmade doilies into center pieces. I LOVE it! We are also having a popcorn machine at our wedding – which is SO me. Any close friend of mine knows that I LOVE popcorn. I’m actually obsessed with it and consider it one of my main food groups. Essentially we are going for a big, fun celebration with family and friends. My fiancée and I value our family and close friends so much, and it will mean so much to us to just be able to join as one family and celebrate the right way. TJ even incorporated our close friends into the engagement (when I was definitely not expecting it at that moment). It was simple, sweet, in front of the best pals, and with “Pumped Up Kicks” playing in the background. Yes, I know that is not a romantic song but it the song that brought us together and for that I am so grateful. We are just excited to be husband and wife. Marriage is a beautiful thing, and something that brings two people closer together in their faith. Our faith is a big part of our relationship and the foundation its laid on. August 12th is going to mean not only a step forward as a married couple, but together we will be one step closer to living the way our Lord wants us to live – in union with each other.
Danielle: Haven’t quite gotten that far yet! We both love fishing, so I am sure we will tie that in somewhere. He proposed on our second anniversary after a movie date! I know we will find something special for the two of us as part of our wedding.
Kayla B.: I think this is a great idea, but I haven’t quite figured out the perfect plan yet.
8: Did working at Hitch help prepare you for any of this?!
Abbi: Hitch has definitely helped ease my nerves about the planning process. Watching Renee and Carrie tackle events and tasks each day is inspiring to me. It makes me believe that I can do it – but that I don’t have to do it alone. I am always asking Renee questions about weddings she has planned and been apart of. She is SO creative and detail-oriented. I also really enjoy the Hitch Studio website. They have an awesome album where you can see different color pallets and corresponding Hitch decorations. It helps me to know what to look for, but also gives me ideas I have never thought of.
Danielle: Hitch definitely prepared me for this! I don’t feel too stressed out yet and think that is because I have been submersed in the culture for the past year.
Kayla B.: Absolutely!
9: How do you feel about using Pinterest as an idea-generator to help plan your wedding?
Abbi: Pinterest is life for me! I have always been pro-Pinterest, but it has been especially useful during our engagement. I love to see how weddings look when they all come together, but how did they get there? How did they know it would all blend and compliment each other? Pinterest helps produce those “light bulb” moments. It is also a great resource for DIY projects you’re planning with your wedding. I have always been a big do-it-yourself kind of girl, so it has been really useful in helping me to visualize what I can truly do myself.
Danielle: I have to admit that I am a Pinterest addict. I love using it as an idea generator. It’s fun to be able to pick and choose and piece ideas together that makes our wedding completely unique.
Kayla B.: I think it is a great tool. It gives you ideas that you may have not thought of otherwise.
10: What advice would you give other brides at this stage of their engagement?
Abbi: Like I said earlier – step back, relax, and take a moment to just breathe and take it all in. This is the most special time of your life – so let it be. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from those around you – you definitely don’t have to do this alone. Heck ask your fiancée! My fiancée has been great about being involved and giving his opinion. Lastly, take time to journal. I want to look back on this time, and remember how exciting it was. I want to be able to remember how I felt at month 2 or 3 or 4. Was I anxious, overwhelmed, or just excited?! I bet its all of the above, but by writing it down my future kids and grandchildren will be able to read about this special time. I’m all about the moments in life – and this is definitely the biggest for me. 🙂
Danielle: Enjoy it! There is no need to stress out about every little detail right now. Just be engaged and live in the moment for a little while. These memories are the ones you will be looking back on and telling stories about for the rest of your life.
Kayla B.: Ask for help!
And now for a little inside into our married employee’s tips and responses to these questions. Take it all in — it’s advice from two newly married past Hitch employees!
1: When was your wedding day?
Natalie: July 16, 2016
Kayla H: June 4, 2016
2: Why did you choose the engagement length that you did?
Natalie: A couple of things; first working at event venues in the past I knew most venues book about a year or so out so the venue was one factor. I also had one year left of college so I wanted it after graduation! Last, I knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony so I wanted to pick a month with the least possible chance of rain for a summer wedding; with that I narrowed it down to late July or early August. I knew what town I wanted to get married in so I checked with 3 different venues and after comparing the 3 (prices and amenities), I set my dates based on the availability with the Venue I chose.
Kayla H: We wanted to have a summer wedding after I was finished with school. We were engaged for a year and a half.
3: In one word, how do you feel now that you’re married?
Natalie: Blissful- seems cliché, but so true!
Kayla H: Happy! I don’t really know how else to put it!
4: What was the most stressful part of planning your wedding?
Natalie: Collecting the addresses & getting RSVP’s! Another odd thing that stressed me out was deciding what the men (Groom, Groomsmen, Ushers, Dads) were going to wear and coordinating my wedding colors with their choices. I also spent a lot of time stressing about small decisions and would question myself repeatedly about the same things after deciding. I should’ve went with my gut decision the very first time because that’s usually what I would end up deciding.
Kayla H: The guest list was definitely the most stressful part.
5: What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?
Natalie: I loved working with the venue and deciding the layout for my wedding. After seeing so many others’ weddings, it was fun to put all my experience and knowledge into action and think about the flow of my event; where to place the guest book, beverages, gifts, head table and such!
Kayla H: I loved picking out all of the details, from cake to decorations. It’s the one day in your life that you get to design how you’d like, and I thought that was a lot of fun.
6: Did you take a honeymoon? Why or why not?
Natalie: We did, we left for the Dominican Republic one week after our wedding! We wanted to have a little time in between the wedding and honeymoon to be able to enjoy the wedding completely, go home, refresh, and look forward to the trip. Our honeymoon was 7 days (Saturday-Saturday) and it seemed like the perfect length! The first couple of days we just took it easy and relaxed a lot and then we did a couple of excursions and went out the next couple of days and by the end of the week we were ready to be home again. I would recommend doing a honeymoon for sure! It was so much fun to finally have time with my spouse and reminisce about the past year! There was so much wedding talk and decisions to be made prior to the wedding and I missed just going out on dates and talking to my fiancé about life, so the honeymoon gave us that chance. We also got to talk about how fun our wedding was!!!
Kayla H: Yes, we left for our honeymoon the Monday following our wedding. We went to the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya. I think it is so important to take a honeymoon as it gives you time together to rest and relax after a very big day.
7: What kinds of things did you do to help personalize your wedding? (What was special for just the two of you as part of your wedding? If nothing, why?)
Natalie: There were specific things I knew I wanted that I hadn’t seen at many weddings so my big thing throughout planning was to stick to those things and not let anyone limit me.
- We didn’t want a sit-down dinner because we always want to mingle and talk to everyone we haven’t seen in a long time at weddings, so we did a late ceremony and all appetizers for our reception with lots of cocktail tables, some round tables with chairs but lots of room to mingle, but not enough seating for everyone. Our dance started shortly after everyone arrived so guests could eat, dance, drink or talk as they wished!
- During our ceremony, we signed our marriage license which was something I wanted done in front of all our guests.
- One of my favorite moments was during the ceremony we had a prayer with just the two of us. We had a song played and the two of us stepped under the arbor and prayed together; for each other and our marriage, it was so special!
- I made 2 slideshows: One of my family and I and another of my fiancé and his family to be played during the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. I didn’t want to only single out the father of the bride and the mother of the son but wanted to incorporate our families and it was so special to have family photos of us growing up in the background during those dances!
- One of my brothers is a fashion designer and made my wedding dress, so that was extremely unique and special to me!
Kayla H: My little sister sang at our ceremony. I don’t think I realized how special that would be until it happened. It really meant a lot.
8: How did you feel about using Pinterest as an idea-generator to help plan your wedding?
Natalie: Pinterest can be overwhelming! I had so many wedding pins saved from the past few years of getting ideas so when it came to planning my wedding I found I didn’t refer to those pins very much because they were generic ideas and weren’t specific to my exact theme/colors. What I would do is have a focus of what I was trying to get ideas for (center pieces, head table, backdrop, desserts, beverages) and then search for very specific ideas (colors, themes, etc.) and then I saved those all in a word document and printed the pictures to put in my wedding binder because I am a very visual person and needed physical copies. Pinterest was nice for when I had ideas narrowed down and could search for specifics, but otherwise it was overwhelming.
Kayla H: Pinterest can be your best friend and enemy when it comes to wedding planning. You can find great ideas but it can become overwhelming. Once you accept the fact that you can’t possibly incorporate every Pinterest idea into your wedding, it becomes a little less stressful.
9: Did working at Hitch help prepare you for any of part of your wedding?!
Natalie: It did! Getting inspiration from actual weddings was huge for me! Seeing how other weddings went helped me to catch the little things and pay attention to them during my planning. Having the chance to work alongside Hitch ladies with decorations was a huge help too, because I could use my knowledge from that while decorating my own. Observing weddings also helped me to see what guests cared about and didn’t even notice and I could use that information. It was overall an eye-opener for me to get to work with the Hitch girls and all those weddings!
Kayla H: Absolutely! I was so lucky to have worked for Hitch before my wedding. I got to see so many ideas come to life for different brides. I also learned about the little details that are often missed or forgotten such as invitation etiquette. If you have any questions about a wedding, Hitch is the place to go!
10: What advice would you give to the four brides listed above (and other brides!) as they plan their weddings?
- If you know you want something, don’t let anyone tell you no! It is your day not theirs, so don’t let them plan it (unless that’s what you want). Weddings are so fun because they can be unique and special to that couple! Make it as unique as you want and don’t try to make your plans fit into a venue; find the place that is right for your Wedding, not the other way around!
- Don’t stress that your fiancé isn’t helping make the wedding decisions! It’s only going to stress you out and it most likely not going to faze them. I found that I would ask my fiancé the same question repeatedly because he never gave the answer I was looking for (which was usually because I had already decided), which would leave him super frustrated and make no one happy.
- Make planning fun! If you don’t enjoy it yourself, find a friend or even a wedding planner to do it for you. Planning a special day should not hurt, find a way to make it fun. Maybe you like talking ideas but don’t like making the decisions, that’s what a maid of honor or bridesmaid is for! Or if you like making decisions but aren’t good at finding inspiration… bridesmaid duty!
- Let your friends spoil you! You can do it for them one day, so let them throw parties and showers and have wedding shopping days because that year goes so fast and soon you won’t be “the bride” anymore. Soak it all in while you can.
- Don’t be overwhelmed with all the “Wedding checklists” and “Wedding Timelines” out there. I found that these were helpful but I had to make my own because not every wedding is the same and all those lists had things that either I didn’t want to do or just didn’t even relate to my wedding plus I had extra things to add. I would recommend to follow a timeline of some kind though to keep you on track!
Kayla H: Enjoy it! This is such an exciting time in your life. Don’t stress over the little things because your day goes by so fast! Just soak it all in!
We hope this helps you answer some questions you have (or will be having). You’re not in it alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact Hitch for help! If you just need help with one part (wedding decorations, wedding invitations, save the dates, etc.), Hitch can help with that too. Contact us with any questions and best wishes during your engagement!