MEET BRIDECHILLA EMILY
My life is an open book, and I'd be excited and honored to document the highs, lows, and everything in between for the benefit of Bridechillas everywhere.
Bridechilla Emily says that she is 'obsessed with the idea of the Bridechilla Blog and she thinks that her fellow Bridechillas are really going to benefit from these blogs!'
(I do too!)
'Since I'm right at the beginning of my wedding planning journey (just got engaged in June, and started listening to your podcast less than 1 week later) I would like to volunteer as tribute to share a diary style blog over the next year. Some unique angles, she will be bringing to the table: planning a wedding remotely (we live in NYC and are getting married in Chicago, IL), DIY/creative/$-saving ideas, and incorporating non-traditional elements into the big day and months leading up to it. Bridechilla Emily and her fiancé, Mark, have been dating for 7 years and waited to get engaged so they 'could really do this thing right'. Emily says that they've always talked about creating a day that's just an explosion of fun. She's sure that other themes will emerge as she blogs along, but because she's still in the baby bride-to-be stage, she's not sure what to expect!
WHEN ARE YOU GETTING HITCHED?
ANY WEDDING DEAL BREAKERS AND NON-NEGOTIABLES?
These are still emerging for us, but right now I would say our biggest non-negotiable is having a karaoke after-party.
ANY TRUTH BOMBS AFTER GETTING ENGAGED?
As far as truth bombs go, we kind of underestimated the potential for external drama/judgment seeping in, especially from well-intentioned family members. Luckily for us, Mark and I are super aligned and are exercising our drama-dodging muscles together.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST WEDDING STRESSES SO FAR?
My mom has severe multiple sclerosis, which is already impacting the wedding planning. She is wheelchair-bound and has been on a steady decline for a few years now, with my recently-retired dad serving as her primary caregiver. She's really stressed out about not being able to participate fully in those moments we've been anticipating since I was a little girl -- dress shopping, planning and throwing the wedding shower, and even the big day itself. Mark, my family and my bridal party are already thinking of creative ways for us to work around the disability and allow her and I to share those mother-daughter moments we've been looking forward to for the last 28 years.
ARE YOU HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER OR COORDINATOR?
Nope! Our venue is a beautiful 100-year-old refectory and is a blank canvas which I'm very excited about. I'm happily doing the bulk of the coordinating and I have an A-team bridal party at the ready as well. They all have different titles and roles ("Maid of #Goals," "Maid of Big Little Things," "Maid of Getting Turnt," "Maid of Wedding Wisdom," "Man of Soul Stuff," "Maid of TLC," "Maid of the E-Hive") and are genuinely pumped to be actively involved over the next year, thank goodness. We are 99% sure that we'll hire a day-of coordinator just to keep things drama-free and on schedule.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE WEDDING SUPPLIER SO FAR?
Thumbtack (thanks to Aleisha!!) is AMAZING. We found a talented up-and-coming photographer in the NYC area who is working with us on an insanely cool engagement shoot for a beyond reasonable price. We received several quotes from photographers on Thumbtack, and I can't even tell you how much stress this saved us. Our photographer will be doing a day-in-the-life engagement shoot with us next month, and has agreed to spend 5 hours shooting in our tiny NYC apartment and around our neighborhood and the park where we got engaged.
BEST WEDDING HACK?
Set up an email account just for the wedding. Mark and I created a shared Gmail account just before digging into our venue searching, and it is THE BEST. We can both manage emails and replies, track orders, and we use the calendar and Google doc apps to keep track of appointments and build our budget and guest list. The best part is that all wedding-related emails go straight to one place and don't clog up our personal emails. We're also using this gmail account as the login for our wedding accounts on sites like The Knot, etc. which makes for super-efficient planning sessions. I know we'll be using this email even more in the next year for RSVPs, our wedding website, and more.
WHAT IS THE BEST BRIDECHILLA ADVICE THAT HAS REALLY HELPED YOU OUT DURING YOUR WEDDING PLANNING?
Again, we have yet to dig in to the meat of planning, but so far I've personally benefitted from your approach to creating a truly authentic day and not giving a shit about others' expectations. I especially loved the Feminist Bride episode, and the Groomchilla and I are already incorporating non-traditional elements into the wedding, some of them inspired by that episode. Your podcast has already supported us in building a vision for our day that is 100% us.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY ISSUES THAT HAVE AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP DURING YOUR WEDDING PLANNING JOURNEY?
So far so good. Hey, we're only on month 2!!
BEST BOOK YOU'VE READ THIS YEAR?
This last year I re-read the book Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert and HIGHLY recommend it to the Bridechilla community.
Elizabeth Gilbert studies the evolution of marriage throughout history, and also travels the world and interviews married couples everywhere -- from Hmong women in Vietnam to modern couples in Iran. It really gives perspective on the institution of marriage, how it's evolved, and the role it plays in our lives today. Love, love, love.