Names: Jareesa & William
Occupation: Supply chain project manager & statistician
Wedding location: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis, MN
Wedding Date: March 14, 2015
How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding was pretty traditional but we incorporated elements of our nerd personalities to make it our own. I also had my youngest brother do a reading of my favorite poem.
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Getting married of course! Celebrating with our friends and family is a close second.
What did you splurge on? Our venue and catering — our venue uses an exclusive caterer that is pretty pricey, but our food and cake were delicious! People are still raving about it.
What did you save on? Our stationery. I ordered our Save The Dates and invitations from MagnetStreet, a BAB partner. Our day-of materials (table numbers, escort cards, programs, menus) were designed and printed in my company’s print shop. They only charged us $70 to design and print all those items!
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have listened to my fiancé more and just trusted my gut. I started second-guessing myself thanks to too much Pinterest and Instagram, and I worried my wedding wouldn’t measure up. In the end, it was perfect, but I wasted time being worried about the wrong things.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? Definitely managing my anxiety! The closer we got to the wedding, the more my worry got out of control. I worried about everything — the weather, that people wouldn’t come, that it wouldn’t be pretty. You name it, i worried about it. In the end, it wasn’t even necessary because everything was beautiful.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Figure out what’s really important, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
1. Marrying the most amazing guy ever
2. Celebrating with my friends and family
3. The amazingly delicious food! I’m still dreaming about that wedding cake
4. Getting a chance to socialize with all our guests individually, having that time made our wedding feel so intimate and personal
5. Seeing our guests react positively to our nerdy touches. Everyone really loved it and said our wedding felt authentic to our personalities.
Top 5 least favorite?
1. I was pretty stressed right up until I reached the suite to get my makeup done. At one point I turned off my phone because I needed a break from the calls.
2. By 11:30pm I wanted to keep partying but I was just so tired! Some of our guests had an impromptu after-party but all I wanted to do was get in bed.
3. I can’t think of anything else!
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?
I got a lot of unsolicited advice about everything — where to get married, the size of our wedding, what we should serve, etc. It especially came from people who didn’t know us!
The best? Several people told me to try to “be in the moment” and enjoy every moment of the day. I had that in the back of my mind and I really tried to be present for every moment. I’m glad I did, because now I think back to our marriage and I remember so many touching moments.
Any other bits of wisdom?
- Premartial counseling is totally worth it. We wound up finding a relationship therapist, and even though we communicate well already, she helped us learn things about each other and ourselves.
- HIRE A COORDINATOR! We hired an amazing coordinator who made our desire to be guests at our own wedding come true. We could relax and socialize with our guests without worrying if things were going according to schedule, and that helped us enjoy the day immensely.
- Don’t do things just because you think you “should” — figure out how to have the wedding that is authentic to the type of people you are. For us, that meant having a nerdy wedding, and for me, wearing my glasses. I couldn’t imagine NOT wearing my glasses because I wear them everyday, and I’m so glad I did.
Budget breakdown?* (These are all very approximate)
Officiant: Shon Crowley – $0 (friend who gifted his services)
Photographer: Studio 220 Photography – $2,000
Venue: McNamara Alumni Center, University Hall package – $1,800 ($1500 standard fee + $300 room flip fee)
Catering: D’Amico Catering – $7,000 (included limited bar, cocktail hour appetizers, plated dinner and wedding cake)
Day of coordinator: Ask For The Moon Events – $550
Grooms Outfit: Men’s Wearhouse – $100 (free tux rental, purchased shoes & tie)
Wedding Gown: Luxe Bridal Couture – $400 (alterations only, gown purchased by mother as a gift)
Flowers/Decor: Festivities – $1650 (includes all flowers, ceremony & reception decor)
DJ: Instant Request – $595 (reception only)
Hair: LocStarz Natural Hair Salon – $60
Make-up: Creative Beaute Agency – $80
Save the dates: MagnetStreet – $170
Invitations: MagnetStreet – $340
Favors: mini-pies from Cossetta’s in St Paul, MN – $170