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  • Writer's pictureAlwaysAlinaAnn

A Breakdown of Our Happily Ever After!

Behind-the-scenes of my wedding in Dallas, Texas.

 

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect a global pandemic to hit and completely altar (spelled incorrectly on purpose) my wedding day... A day that I had dreamt of my entire life that was supposed to be absolutely perfect!


Despite all of the craziness going on in the world, November 28, 2020, was still the most magical day in every sense of the word. We were so incredibly lucky to celebrate with our loved ones and felt truly blessed with all of the support we received. I will forever relive this weirdly beautiful fairytale and Sean and I's happily ever after each and every day.

I’m breaking down all of the vendors, planning and basic deets of our Dallas-Fort Worth wedding below!


 

Do I need a Planner?


Wedding planning is not for the weak. Where do you even start?? I quickly realized that I'm the kind of person who likes things to be done a certain way, so my mom and I took on the task all on our own! I'm not going to sugar coat it... Planning an entire wedding required a ton of organization and a lot of tears were shed along the way. But there are so many resources online that helped to make sure we were planning things on time and staying on track!


We did end up hiring a day-of coordinator, Alexa Kay Events, who worked with all of our vendors and made sure things ran smoothly on the actual wedding day (because, surprise, you'll be slightly pre-occupied then!).


Book as soon as possible if you are interested in a planner.


Finding the Venue of your Dreams


When you get engaged, one of the first things you're going to want to do is tour alllll of the wedding venues. Like literally all of them. We started off by looking at a ton of places in Illinois (where my family is from), but, unfortunately, there wasn’t one the worked out with the dates we were looking for. So we moved on to Sean and I's home in Dallas-Fort Worth and found The Olana shortly after! It ended up being easier to plan things while being in Dallas every day, but a lot of tasks still required me flying back home to Illinois too.


The Olana is the prettiest wedding venue I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few in my days). When I walked through the doors for the very first time, I felt like I was literally Cinderella walking into her castle. I couldn’t have pictured up a more stunning place for our reception!


Book 1+ year before the wedding.



Snapshots of the Day


When people say that photography and videography is where you should spend your money, you better believe them. You’ll look back on your photos and/or video for the rest of your life, so you want them to be amazing! After months of searching for the perfect vendors, Emily Chappell and Panther City Media did not disappoint. I mean, just look at these stunning photos (thank you for making us look good, Emily!)


Book 9-12 months before the wedding.



The Pretty Little Things

I love flowers (as you can probably tell by what I wear every day). Even if you love flowers too, I promise that you truly don't know how many types of floral arrangements are humanly possible to create. After selecting our colors and general look and feel, Coco Fleur did the rest for us! They put together the most beautiful arrangements and even helped design our tables with lots of candles and pretty gold decor. The only rentals we needed to bring in ourselves were a dance floor and chargers, all from Big D Party Rentals! We also brought in little things on our own such as signage, place cards, a card box, dessert display items and champagne glasses.


Book 6-9 months before the wedding.



The Things that Make you Feel Pretty

Is anyone else weird about someone else doing their hair and makeup? I’m so set in my ways that when someone else does it for me, I'm worried that it won't look like me! And honestly, I've never learned how to apply eyeliner myself, so I look weird in it. Marcela Aubrey Makeup and Tousled Hair Studio made me look and feel like a legit princess on my wedding day - I wish I had them to do my hair and makeup every single day!


Book 6-9 months before the wedding and schedule a trial run.



Let There be (Cup)Cakes!


Ah yes, dessert! Sean and I embraced all of the cake tastings and finally settled on Bird Bakery! Can you really make a bad decision when it comes to cake? Our mini cupcake tower was the cutest, and we also had a small cake that we cut into and saved for us to enjoy on our one-year anniversary. Since I graduated from TCU and Sean from the University of Kansas, we thought it would be fun to have some cookies with our rival schools too and added that to the dessert table (they just so happened to play each other in football that very day, and TCU won!).


Book 3-5 months before the wedding.



Dance the Night Away


The band or DJ debate was a huge thing for my family. We eventually decided on a DJ, and I’m so glad we did! DJ Bradford knew exactly how to keep the party going all night long. I had worked with him before, so I knew his personality was a great fit for our day (which is super important)! I also made a list of some of the songs I wanted played, and I of course loved having that extra bit of control.


Book 8-10 months before the wedding.



Stationary

For our Save the Dates, we ordered a pretty number from Minted and sent them out after the venue/date was booked. For our actual wedding invitations, we wanted to be able to physically see them first, so we shopped at a local store in Illinois, The Paper Merchant, and built our own! Hustle & Scribe was our amazing calligrapher and helped to make everything over-the-top pretty.


Send invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding.



The Dress of Dresses


Ok so this requires a whole blog post by itself (and I'm going to make that happen soon). After trying on what seemed like hundreds of dresses and going to stores like Kleinfeld in New York City, I fell in love with one at a small store in Illinois, The Crystal Bride! It was the ultimate princess dress.


Purchase your dress 9 months before the wedding to allow for alterations.


 

It's funny how the littlest things make the biggest of differences. In the end, our wedding was a lot smaller than we pictured it to be, but we wouldn't have had it any other way. We got to celebrate with some of our closest friends and family and had the very best time. Best. Party. Ever.


Thank you to all of our amazing vendors for helping Sean and I start our happily ever after!


Always,

Alina Ann

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