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Faith4Keep's Wedding Review | Reflecting on Engagement & Planning

I'm going to do this a bit differently than other folks have done, this way you can sort of follow along with how we pieced everything together and I can rehash every moment of the weekend :)

Our wedding took place on Saturday 2/7/15. We are from Atlanta, GA and brought about 40 guests from around the country in to Las Vegas. Our budget for the wedding was ~$15,000, which does not include my engagement ring or honeymoon, but did include his ring, my wedding band, and a scouting trip. I haven't reviewed all finances yet, but I think we probably ended up closer to $20,000 as we forgot to include things like meals and gambling in our scouting trip & we made a few last minute upgrades, like an amazing hotel suite.

Wedding date did not have any significance to us other than being one of the first weekends we could realistically get married and have people we wanted there. It ended up being a GREAT time of year to go: Superbowl was the Sunday before, and Valentine's day is the weekend after, which made for a very quiet weekend on the Strip. We also had no problems getting venues we wanted or competing with other couples for time slots. Weather was perfect - 70s all weekend. One downside was that none of the pools were open, which would have been a nice activity for guests.

Our engagement was short, only ~5 months. Looking back it was the right amount of time for us for many reasons, mostly because I don't like to be fawned over by strangers and bombarded with a million questions. Another reason was we both wanted a "on the simple side" wedding and I knew the longer I was engaged, the more things I'd see on pinterest and here on TheKnot, and I'd want to add to our wedding.

We got engaged 9/13/14, sent out Save the Dates about a month later in mid-October. Our Save the Dates were digital from Paperless Post. We paid about $30. I would absolutely have done it again exactly the same way. First, we were able to get the date out immediately. Secondly, when guests received the e-mail, they were prompted to give their address, which meant we didn't have to do ANY tracking down of addresses for any of our guests.

Our single scouting trip was late November over Thanksgiving. I had three appointments set up: Tropicana, Cosmopolitan, and Aria. My scouting trip review is here: (http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1046216/scouting-trip-review-wicked-spoon-tropicana-aria-cosmopolitan-chateau-at-paris-with-pics). I would change a lot of things about that trip looking back. First, knowing our wedding date already, we should have gone immediately as soon as we know we were doing the wedding in Las Vegas and had a date. We did not solidify venues and send invitations until early early/mid December...which is really the busiest time of the year for some people. The declines came in too late for us to send out a second round of "B" or "C" list invitations, and since we were keeping the guest count very small. Second, I would have packed that weekend full of appointments, even for venues I felt "meh" about. I loved all 3 venues from photos, but not in person, which caused a last minute scramble. I encourage you to do as much in your scouting trip as you can!

Speaking of invitations, we used Minted.com for the invites and spent about $100. We took RSVPs via e-mail instead of by mail and got responses much faster.

During the planning process I spent a lot of time worrying about things like flowers and cake and programs. When it came time to walk down the aisle, my flowers honestly could have been ANYTHING I would still have been a beaming happy bride. I know from experience that none of you will believe me, but seriously: pick one or two things to REALLY obsess over, and let the rest of it go. Pick what you like and move on. No need to agonize. My things I actually cared about were my photos, my hairstyle, and food at the reception. Also, we chose a few key moments to really add our personal touch, which made more of an impact than customizing everything IMO. We used "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News to exit the ceremony instead of our string trio, which was a surprise to all our guests. Also, we had a custom cake topper that everyone LOVED (see here: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1050026/cake-topper-custom-made)

I really think we did all we could do in preparation for the wedding weekend, and I felt VERY prepared and wasn't worried about much for the weekend because of it. My husband did a lot of research prior to proposing. He create an account on The Knot for us, and created a wedding e-mail address so that both of us could see and respond to all e-mails. Also, we got hundreds of junk/promo e-mail that didn't come to our personal e-mail addresses. We also created some google documents and "shared" them between his personal e-mail, my personal e-mail, and the wedding e-mail so we could always see them. My favorite ones we had were wedding weekend itinerary (edited & referred to constantly), a need to buy/acquire list, and a packing list. Anytime I remembered something I needed to bring I added it to the list. I only forgot one thing at home, and it was something we did last minute so I forgot to add to the packing list :)

OK - so after this I'm going to post day by day run thrus of itinerary & vendors!! So pretend it's the night before our 9am flight from ATL > LAS!

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