wedding planning from abroad: four months to go

i’ve only been to about five or six weddings in my life. because of this, it’s strange to plan something that i have so little experience with. on one hand, i am able to create a vision of my own that doesn’t exactly follow all of the normal traditions (mostly because i don’t even know what they are!) but on the other hand, some things are kind of baffling.


the dress
we are now into the fourteenth month of our engagement. i bought my wedding dress online at about month three. it seemed like a fine idea to me… however, people have since told me i am absolutely crazy for buying a dress without trying it on first. (am i?) i figured i’d have to take it to the seamstress anyway to get it altered in one way or another. but of course, after paying +9,000czk (at the time, over $400!) extra in customs fees because i had such an expensive item shipped from the united states to the czech republic (pro trip: never do this), my dress was sadly much bigger on me than anticipated. i was a bit irked by this as i had painstakingly taken every measurement, and it seemed to perfectly align with the size chart. but alas, it was big.
fortunately, a student of mine has a good friend who happens to be an excellent seamstress and got on the problem right away. she is a miracle worker! i was so worried about finding a seamstress with my limited language knowledge, feeling like i was going to have to do all of this stuff on my own. i can’t express how grateful i am to have people who are interested in helping me with all of these necessary preparations. it just goes to show that if you open up a little bit about what’s going on in your life, there will likely be people who want to help you!


the venue
i am also pleased with my decision to have the event near my island hometown in northern washington state, because my mother has really been able to assist with those “on-the-ground” details with various vendors: caterers, venue/accommodations, and the tents, chairs, and tables (already all booked and good to go) as well as hunting down my various decoration requests from thrift and craft stores. i believe the success of this event will be due to her invaluable help during this preparation period.

the rings
i am pretty excited now that i’ve decided to buy our wedding rings locally in české budějovice. but i am a little baffled… this is definitely the voice of inexperience talking when i ask, “what the heck is a wedding ring even supposed to look like?” i’ve never really had an interest in oohing and aahing over peoples’ rings before, and unfortunately that is hurting me a little bit here because i never took the time to really notice anyone’s rings. (that sounds terrible, but eh) now that my interest in wedding jewelry has exponentially increased, i really wish i would’ve paid better attention! 

i have a certain pair of (almost matching) rings in mind for us at this point… time will soon tell if these are the ones. i like the idea of having almost matching rings. it’s kind of like having one of those BFF necklaces… of the “till death do we part” persuasion. if you are married, how did you decide on your wedding ring? (below, last winter with my gold/onyx engagement ring that previously belonged to alex’s mum)


bottom line: a year and a half long engagement seemed like the longest wait of my life at the time. (i kept writing 2015 on everything, even on this blog!) but now i realize how important this time was when planning a wedding from abroad. so far, i haven’t felt rushed at all. i only hope i can maintain this level of zen after i touch down on american soil and have exactly two weeks until the big day!

next on the list to figure out: shoes, the invitation situation, alcohol selection, groomswear, & bridesmaid gifts. wish me luck!


(a lot of general scheming going down recently on my wedding pinterest board– maybe you can get idea of my general vision!)