The Bridal Babe Blog
Amanda Middleton Pt. 2
The Planning Process
From the moment Matt took me to look at rings and asked my dad for his blessing, on Christmas day 2019, I began wedding planning. Before the dreaded Covid became a household name, I had big plans. I needed to get things moving fast because Matt was working in Washington, D.C. still and we were only physically seeing one another about once a month at that point. Although Matt had yet to propose, we toured venues because we both knew it was only a matter of time. Giggling about dates as we drove to various hill country venues for tours, we realized April 3 was on a Saturday, and it was the perfect date. 4-3-21, how symbolic!
Boom, just like that, our date was set! After losing out on the first venue due to a mishap with scheduling, we looked some more. I toured places with my parents the first weekend of January. We all fell in love with The Milestone- Legacy Hall in New Braunfels, Texas. Matt was touring on facetime with us, and my parents took care of the deposit. Knowing it was only a matter of time before we were officially engaged, I made plans to attend with my mom. It was magical. We left that day with bookings for a DJ, a videographer, a photo booth, and content hearts.
Yes, before we were engaged, we had our venue, date, DJ, videographer, and a photo booth secured. Despite all of this, I still had absolutely no idea when or how Matt would propose. On February 29, 2020, Matt popped the question (see our last blog on how and what he did)!
Saying Yes to the Dress
I applied to Say Yes To The Dress the night we got engaged but still decided to schedule a few appointments to take my family on before I went with my bridesmaids. The first dress outing was the first Monday of spring break, only ten days after we were engaged. I intended it to be a fun first attempt at finding a gown with my mom-Kathy, grandmother-Rose, two of our closest family friends-Marcie and Linda, and my Matron of Honor-Bonnie. It didn’t go as I planned. It was BETTER! The first gown I tried on was a dream, but I didn’t cry. I tried on four more dresses, still not quite “the one.” I started to worry that I may have difficulty because I am a pageant girl and have worn so many incredible gowns. I loved the sixth gown, but it still wasn’t perfect. I joked to Elizabeth of Brides By Elizabeth, “I wish I could take the top of the first gown and the bottom of this gown and put them together to make my dream gown.”
Like a true fairy godmother, she said, “actually, I think you can!” With that, she checked the designers, ran through my options, took my measurements, and put me into both gowns to show me what I was going to get. It was PERFECT. Everyone was crying! 6 dresses, a fairy godmother, my mom’s credit card, and two veils later, my dream gown was off to be made, and I was completely over the moon!
The Perfect Vendors
Remember me mentioning being a pageant girl? I already knew who I wanted to do my hair and makeup and take our pictures. I reached out to Jade Wade of Jade Wade Beauty, who is a literal goddess and one of my close friends. In addition to being insanely skilled, Jade is a sweet soul and selfless friend. As a wedding gift, she would do my hair and makeup at no charge and my bridesmaids with a generous friend discount. I was so grateful she made herself available because of her schedule.
Next, I reached out to my favorite photographer, who also takes all of my headshots, Grant Foto (Houston, Texas). Grant and his wife Ronnie are a wonderful couple with unparalleled talent and are equally as fun! I booked our engagement shoot with them as well. The pictures, well, I think they speak for themselves. There is no one else I would trust or want beside me on this special day for such essential parts of my wedding for hair and makeup and photography. As luck would have it, Grant Foto Wedding held a giveaway for free bridals, and I WON! I can not stress the joy I felt and the tears I cried because I never win anything!!
After going through our checklist, we realized we didn’t have a cake vendor! Oops! We reached out to Cake Couture New Braunfels and visited them over the Thanksgiving break. If you have not been there, you’re missing out; their cake is divine!
The Parties before THE Party
Destin, Florida, sounded safe and fun for a bachelorette. My Maid of Honor, Caroline, took the lead on this. Sadly, our first date in January had to be postponed because of a few Covid scares in our friend group. February 19, we were all set with a beautiful house and yacht. Then, Snowvid occurred. Tears were shed, and money was lost. We are still in the process of planning my bachelorette party for the third time, but I remain hopeful and know my friends will make it a fun weekend, no matter what we do or where we go.
The world was still shut down, which made planning other things quite tricky, but I did it with a smile on my face and hope in my heart. May rolled around and my first fur son, Heath, passed away at 12 years of age. It shattered my heart. In an attempt to heal my heart, we started fostering puppies through San Antonio Pets Alive (SAPA)! Admittedly, we adopted (foster-failed) two puppies, and now we have three puppies and an adult dog. My sister-in-law Bonnie and I began planning my shower when the idea struck me. I wanted to make this a fundraiser in honor of Heath.
We met with Jennifer Lauzon at the Dominion Country Club. The venue was a dream! Her attention to detail was captivating. Before long, we settled on the perfect date and theme, white and gold. As any Covid-Bride can attest, most of those special moments with family and friends gushing over wedding details and your ring were not happening because we were not gathering to keep our loved ones safe. I decided not to let that get me down. Instead, we were going to go all out and make this shower bigger and better. My bridesmaids took the reins, and although I don’t have every detail yet, I do know there will be fancy chairs, fantastic company, fundraising for SAPA, laughs, and love in a safe and socially distant way.
The Lessons Learned
If I have learned one thing, it is that most things will not go as planned. Rolling with the punches is a true talent, but it is possible with love and support from your fiance, family, and friends. I leaned on Matt a lot through the process, and he never failed to share a kind word and give his support. My sister-in-law (and MOH, Bonnie) and mom helped with a loving ear and moral support when I was in tears, fearing we would have to cancel the wedding because of Covid. Caroline helped me dance and sing the blues away with impromptu karaoke nights. I hope that every bride-to-be takes time to breathe, reflect, and do something that makes them happy. I highly recommend an over-the-top shower to help raise your spirits and make a positive impact somehow, be it assisting small businesses or raising money for a great cause. Stay optimistic and be the change you wish to see, don’t dwell on what you can’t control, and focus on what you can!
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