Starting from scratch

Before I got engaged, I hadn’t looked at any wedding websites or blogs. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true – I had been blog-stalking the pair who would be our photographers since Gawker led me to them via photos of Top Chef contestant Richard Blais’ baby (no, really, that’s how I found them), and I’d looked at a few wedding dress collections online when I was a bridesmaid a year or so earlier. But, for my own sake, I hadn’t really been looking because I hadn’t really anticipated our engagement just then. Of course, once I became a bride-to-be, I immediately purchased several bridal magazines and populated my google reader with wedding and bride blogs, among them EAD. I knew planning our wedding was going to be a lot of fun – after all, I come from a long line of excellent party-throwers – and I was eager to dive in.

While I didn’t have any mental images of my ideal wedding dress, reception venue or color scheme I wanted to work with, I had known for some time exactly who would be standing up with me. Choosing a wedding party can be a nightmare for some, but for me it was the easiest part of the whole thing, and the only aspect of my wedding I had previously envisioned.

I have an older sister with whom I’m very close, so it went without saying that she would be my maid of honor. From my larger group of eight elementary-through-high school friends, I asked three to stand up front with me; the rest of these girls participated in the ceremony in other ways. My freshman- and sophomore-year Northwestern University roommates represented my college years, and a friend who had also attended NU, but whom I only got to know once we were both in Atlanta after graduation, rounded out my half of the wedding party. Jon’s side was fairly straightforward as well: his younger brother would be the best man, and then he asked my brother, his step-brothers, his cousin and two of our grad-school classmates. Done and done. This group cleans up pretty well, don’t you think?

{Our Labor of Love}

The other aspect of the wedding that hardly needed a thought for us was that it had to be a Southern affair. We knew there would be a lot of folks coming in from different parts of the country, many of whom would be making their first trip to Atlanta, so we wanted to show them the best parts of our town – my hometown – and heap on the southern hospitality.

Most of all, Jon and I wanted our wedding celebration to represent us. What couple doesn’t want that? I feel incredibly fortunate that we both have parents who felt the same way about the affair; we had license to dream up whatever we wanted, as long as we stayed within the budget (and the boundaries of good taste, of course). Over the course of our 14-month engagement we did just that, and we did an awesome job if I do say so myself – I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as I did on our wedding day!

How did you choose your wedding party?