Planning a Wedding

From Happily Single to Happily Married Series

As I sit here writing, listening to Frank Sinatra, I’m brought back to my wedding day.  The feelings, the music, and the happiness is all coming back to me now.  I’ve never felt more love than I did on that day.   Looking back, my wedding day was the best day of my life!  But boy, did it take some effort to make it all happen. Keep reading to find out all about how I planned my wedding!

So I guess I should start off by telling the story of how I got engaged…We were heading to Chicago, for what I thought was a little get-a-way before summer break. When we arrived at our hotel, I started feeling a little sick because we hadn’t eaten in a few hours. I really wanted to go get pizza, but Ross insisted that we had to go to the Sears Tower because he had already bought tickets. When we arrived, I was really excited to get to experience seeing the city so high above. However, once I was up there, I felt even worse. Being the brat I can be at times, I had to sit down and eat some food before we even thought about getting in line to take a picture. Ross told me we were part of the VIP tour, where they took us up to the front of the line to take a picture. After a few minutes, we were finally led by the security guard to the front. I started realizing something was weird when we were the ONLY members of the “VIP” tour. As soon as we got up there, Ross got down on one knee. I thought he was trying to take a funny picture, and of course was embarrassed, so I told him to get up because you know I wasn’t going down there. That’s the exact moment it hit me. He was proposing. I don’t even remember the exact words that were said, but I do remember he had to say it twice before I could speak. Once I said yes, the crowd of hundreds of people cheered and we were officially engaged. We spent the night calling family and friends, AND eating pizza!


After that night, the wedding planning had commenced. A couple of things you have to think about when you plan a wedding…

  1.  Venue
  2. Food
  3. Flowers and Centerpieces
  4. Music
  5. Theme?
  6. Friends/Family
  7. Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake
  8. Favors
  9. Dress
  10. Makeup and Hair

And not particularly in that order… 🙂

1. Venue-  Hilbert Circle Theatre- Downtown Indianapolis

I visited so many different venues that my mind was spinning. I had always pictured my wedding inside, so I didn’t stray from that.  The Hilbert was the furthest venue from my mind initially.  After some google research and 7 pages later, I found it.  Ross and I took a tour there and fell in love.  The theatre was 100 years old that summer and had seen some of the greats, including Frank Sinatra (that just made me happy).  The theatre had pink details everywhere (well played, Hilbert), plus knowing that we would be on such a famous stage for our wedding helped too!  I researched all of their concert backdrops and even though we weren’t offered a backdrop initially, I asked.  And guess what?!  They were able to give us the perfect backdrop.  That’s when we decided, The Hilbert Circle Theatre was going to be our new most magical place on Earth.  Look at the pictures below and tell me it’s not dreamy!




2.  Food-  Italian (pasta, breads, salads, sides, more sides, and even more sides)

We were super lucky to be able to have Ross’ family help us with the food.  His family owns a catering business, so they were able to give us an awesome discount.  We decided to go with an Italian food buffet.   We thought this was different and untraditional.  Many weddings give the usual chicken or fish option and that just wasn’t what we wanted.  The guests were extremely excited and thought the Italian food was a great idea too, considering we bought food for 300 (250 people showed up) and it was all eaten!

3.  Flowers and centerpieces (Roses & Hydrangeas- blush and white)

I wasn’t as particular when it came to flowers.  I just wanted blush and white in color.  My florist came up with a mixture of mostly roses and hydrangeas, my favorites!  I also added in my mom’s veil, grandma’s wedding buttons, and husband’s Rosary beads.  It was so meaningful to me to carry the bouquet full of love down the aisle.

We also decided on very simple centerpieces.  With it being in such a pretty, intricate place, we thought 10-12 candles of varying sizes would make it beautiful.  I was so pleased with the simpleness of it all.


4.  Music

Prelude:  We kept it very classy and went with songs from Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, and Granger Smith.

Grandparent Walkdown:  Because You Loved Me- Clay Aiken

Bridal Party:  Marry Me- Train

Bride Entrance:  Bridal March- Vicente Avella *This was my FAVORITE song of the whole night.  (My mom’s only request was that I walked down to something somewhat traditional.  I loved how this song was a mixture of traditional and modern.)

Ceremony Song:  Once in a Lifetime- Landon Austin

Leaving as Man and Wife:  Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison

Cocktail Hour and Dinner- Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, and Granger Smith

First Dance- I Can’t Wait- Ben Rue

Mother/Daughter Dance- You Can’t Lose Me- Faith Hill

Mother/Son Dance-  I Hope You Dance

And then the party started!  We mixed in classics with hip hop, jazz, rap, and of course Spice Girls.   Spice Girls have their own musical category.


5.  Theme?

I struggled with this.  Did I want a theme? I ultimately decided against a theme, per say.  I decided to go with classy blush/white/gold and candlelight.  I could not have been happier with the outcome.


6.  Friends/ Family

We ended up invited about 275 people, and like I said earlier almost 250 came.  Most of our family and friends were from Indy, so they were easily able to save our date. We were so grateful for everyone we loved being able to share these special moments with us.  Ross and I always talk about how cool it was that day to have everyone we loved in one spot.  We will never be able to share in that moment again.  It brings tears to my eyes even thinking about it.  It really was the best feeling in the world.


7. Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake

Yes, I was all about that cake.  Actually, we played the song, Birthday Cake by Rhianna.  Ohhh yes, we did.  My friend, Meredith, gave me the idea and we HAD to play it.  We obviously went with the clean version, but ALL our friends went crazy, and hey, the older folks didn’t seem to mind either.  I had to show my fun spunky personality in my wedding a little and this seemed like the perfect time.

Anyways back to the cake!  We got a 4 tiered cake that had layers of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and yellow cake filled with raspberry.  We topped it off with buttercream icing.  It was dreamy.  We did try to keep the top layer to have for our anniversary, but left it in our hotel room.  Oh well, we will just order another cake from that wonderful baker right before our anniversary! I’ve heard it tastes better fresh, anyway. 🙂


8.  Favors

This is another thing I struggled with.  Should you give favors?  Do people actually want a favor?  How much do you spend?  We came to the conclusion that people don’t care much about favors. In fact, many people just throw it away at the end of the night, sadly.  So we wanted to do something more meaningful.  We decided to donate money in our guests name to Best Buddies of Indiana.  Fun Fact:  I was Purdue’s chapter president of Best Buddies for two years.  My heart and soul is Best Buddies, and we decided to honor our guests by donating money to the foundation.  If you are debating favors, I suggest picking a non-profit close to your heart and donating money in your guests honor.


9.  The Dress

Oh, the dress!  Before going to my appointment, I pinned a few dresses to my Pinterest to show my stylist.  I also went into the appointment with a budget.  The ladies at Marie Gabriel Couture in Indy were fabulous.  They respected my budget, and I kid you not, the first dress I tried on was the dress that I wore on my wedding day.   I tried on a few wedding dresses that day, but ultimately went back to the first one.  My mom cried on that one, so I knew it was the one.

Funny story-  A week before the wedding I had a minor freak out and went to try on different dresses.  I thought I might like another one better.  After trying on about 10 dresses, I actually felt a sense of calmness again.  The dress that I had was the one after all! And Ross was going to love it!



10.  Makeup and Hair

Okay ladies, I have to say this was my toughest and my most thought about detail of the wedding.  I am SO particular about makeup and hair, and knew that on this day, I was going to be 100 times more picky.

I ended up doing some trials with a few different hair stylists and make up artists until I found my perfect matches.

I found them both on Instagram.  I swear, hashtags saved me here.  #indyhair #indyhairstylist #indymakeupartist Those were what I used to find my hair stylist and makeup artist.

For hair, I went with it down and to one side.  It was curled and had very soft waves.

For makeup, I went with big lashes, contoured cheeks, pink blush, and a smokey eye.

I was so grateful to these ladies for making me feel beautiful on my special day.

Even though the list stops here at ten.  There were so many other details that went into wedding planning.  And, as you can see, wedding planning was so much work to do.

I did meet with a couple wedding planners, but could not afford it in my budget.  Which meant more work for me.  But you know what!? I loved it, every minute of it.  Every minute of the smiles, laughs, and tears were worth it.  I am now married to this wonderful man and we couldn’t be any happier.  He is the man of my dreams, and even if my wedding hadn’t been as perfect as it was, it wouldn’t have mattered.  Because at the end of the day, all that matters is love.

I can’t wait to finish off my series by writing about the actual day!  Here I will tell you all about how the wedding day went hour by hour and the feelings I had throughout that amazing day.  There were so many funny stories, and some not so funny stories that happened. 🙂

If you’re in the indy area and want to get more information on makeup artists, hair stylists, flowers, cake, anything, let me know and I can give you those contacts.

One make up artist who is incredible and in the Indy area is @Brittbehindthescenes.  She was actually a bridesmaid of mine, so I couldn’t ask her to do all the girls’ makeup that day as well as be a bridesmaid too.  Although, she ended up helping many of them, anyway.  She even touched up and helped me with mine.  She’s an amazing friend AND makeup artist!

The biggest piece of advice I can give to all those brides who are planning a wedding is to do what YOU want.  I was fortunate enough to have the most supportive friends and family throughout the process and didn’t have multiple people telling me what I should do.  However, I have known many brides that have felt that way.  Just try to remember, it is your wedding.  As long as you and your significant other are happy, that is what counts.  After all, the wedding is all about the love between the two of you.


At the end of the day, remember not to get too caught up in wedding planning and how you’ll look, because ….

“Every bride is beautiful. It’s like newborn babies or puppies. They can’t help it.”

Until the next post,


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  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    What an amazing post Katelyn! Your wedding looked amazing and your pictures are great!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Thank you so much Nicole! That means the world to me!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    You looked amazing on your wedding day. Wedding planning can be so strenuous, but fun too. I remember planning my wedding and was very detailed about how I wanted things to be done. First on the list as you said was location, next time of year (of course this goes before location), theme, colors, time of day then dress as those all determine what style of dress to wear. I’m a bridal fashion stylist too by the way. Ha! Thanks for sharing your lovely wedding story with us. Continued blessings to your union. Next up, baby shower planning tips right?!? Xoxo

  • Reply
    Iryna Arevalo
    January 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Beautiful post Katelyn!!! Makes me thing back to my wedding day and all the wonderful memories … so lovely ❤!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Iryna!

      I know, isn’t it funny any time someone mentions wedding, it takes you right back to yours. It’s funny, I always go back to the same memory too. Thank you for reading!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    I love this post so much! What a beautiful wedding!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      Love your name by the way! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading it and commenting. You made my day!!!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Such a beautiful wedding! You look amazing, the dress, your hair just like princess. Congratulations dear

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks so much, Jenny! Your comment made my day! You definitely feel like a princess, that is for sure! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Such a beautiful wedding! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Helena Marz
    January 8, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Kate! That was a cute story on how he proposed and romantic at the same time! You looked gorgeous on your wedding day and I totally love the style of your wedding dress!❤️ xo

    • Reply
      January 9, 2017 at 11:59 am


      Thank you so much for reading! He is an overall romantic guy. I can’t complain about that. Thank you for all of your kind words! You’re amazing!


  • Reply
    Debbie Savage
    January 9, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Katelyn! Oh, I love this post so much! You have such a beautiful love story! Your husband is the sweetest man ever (next to mine)! You guys are a match made in heaven! I love all the planning he took for the proposal. Your ring is gorgeous! The entire wedding looks amazing – so much joy, love and beauty! Congratulation again my love — on finding your eternal love!
    xo Debbie |

    • Reply
      January 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Debbie!

      Thank you so so much! Hehe, you’re right, it looks like we do have ourselves some good men.

      I felt so loved on my wedding day, and I hope that for everyone. Thank you so much for reading! 🙂


  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Aw what a sweet post and your wedding looked beautiful! I’m so glad you shared this as I can say that wedding planning is a job in it’s own right. There is so much information out there and I think you’ve captured it all very beautifully. Your day looked beautiful.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thank you so much Kristina! Wedding planning really did feel like second job! That means a lot to me. There is a lot of information, but I feel like a lot of wedding planning information gets jumbled together. I hope this post helps a lot of brides!

  • Reply
    Azanique S. Rawl
    February 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I love your engagement pics & the last shot of you getting ready. Such a beautiful time 🙂

    – xoxo, Azanique

  • Reply
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