Chraela Wedding Planning: One Year Out

Today is a very special day for Chris and me – it is February 2, 2017, meaning we are officially ONE YEAR away from the Chraela wedding!!! *insert iOS 10 confetti* I am SO thrilled that we’ve finally hit the year mark… our -1st anniversary, if you will! Today I thought I would share where we’re at in our wedding planning process. We don’t have much yet, but we do have a few things nailed down and ideas for mostly everything else. I can’t wait to kick planning into high gear and create our perfect wedding in just one year!!

I figured I’d divide this into categories and I could check back in periodically throughout the wedding planning process with updates! It will be interesting to watch how things come together over time and see what we still need to do. I have a million checklists and ideas and a MASSIVE spreadsheet laying it all out – here’s where we’re at in our planning:


our ceremony space is so beautiful!

Our venue is booked!! We officially booked our venue back in October. It was actually only the second place we visited but we both immediately fell in love when we walked in. It’s got a beautiful indoor/outdoor space for the ceremony and a huge ballroom for the reception. It’s also super affordable and they offered us an amazing deal that covers pretty much everything we need, including a day-of coordinator – something I was really stressing about finding! AND we already got approval for Teddy to be in the ceremony 🙂 he’s going to steal the show!! I’m glad we got this booked very early and I hope we can continue the trend of being way ahead of the game as we get closer and closer to the big day.


I BOUGHT MY DRESS! I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this on here, but if you follow me on instagram you’ll know I put down a deposit on a dress back in December!! I did NOT expect this to happen so soon – it kind of happened on accident actually. My parents came to visit for Christmas and I really wanted to be able to go dress shopping with them. So I booked an appointment on a whim at the Alfred Angelo store near us. I had no intention of buying a dress during this visit – I literally just wanted my parents to be able to see me in some wedding dresses and get as much of a wedding planning experience as they could living far away.

my dress is somewhere in this store!!

I had previously visited David’s Bridal with friends just to get some ideas, but nothing there really stuck out as THE dress to me. Alfred Angelo was only my second dress shopping trip and I actually only tried on four dresses there before I found the one. I know Chris is reading this and he doesn’t want to know ANYTHING about my dress until he sees me walk down the aisle, so I’m not going to give away any details about it….but I’m absolutely in love with it and I cannot WAIT to wear it again ❤ It’s scheduled to get here in May and I can’t wait to get alterations and everything done!! I’m so happy to be done with such a BIG and exciting part of planning!!!!!

That’s literally the only work we’ve done on anybody’s outfits though haha. briefly looked at menswear online but haven’t done any in depth research, and we’ve kinda looked at bridesmaid dresses but haven’t nailed anything down yet. That will come shortly, I’m sure!

Bridal Party

We have narrowed down our party but haven’t officially asked them…but I’m sure those who are in it have figured it out by now 🙂 We plan on officially asking everyone soon now that we’re a year out, so keep your eyes peeled because I’m sure there will be some cute instagrams soon!


We’ve decided where we’re registering and are looking forward to picking everything out! We’ve chosen to go with a honeymoon registry as our main choice. I know that this is a very iffy subject and can be considered tacky by some people, but in my opinion it’s not any more tacky to ask people to buy a fun activity for us to do together than to make a detailed list of absolutely everything we want or need and tick them off the list as people buy them. Idk. The idea of wedding registries as a whole is pretty tacky, isn’t it? Regardless I don’t really care what people think because this is our wedding and it isn’t even about the gifts, it’s about us. If it really bothers people that much then they don’t have to get us a gift ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

we are using Zola to register for our honeymoon!

I didn’t mean for that to turn into a rant so sorry about that haha but we are registering at Zola! It’s a really cool site that you can use to register for honeymoon funds or activities as well as regular items like kitchen items, bedroom essentials, etc. We’re using Zola only for honeymoon items and then we are also registering at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond for some home items. I’ve always read that you should register at 3-5 places to give your guests choices, so we’re going with one honeymoon registry and two regular stores. By the time Chris and I get married we will have been living together for over 4 years, so we won’t need too much stuff!

Invites & Stationery

This is something major on our to-do list right now, even though we won’t need them for a little while. Our friend Ana has graciously volunteered to design our invitation suite for us, which we are so thrilled about!! When I wrote a wedding inspiration post a while back I linked to some beautiful purple and grey invitations I found elsewhere and I’m sure we will take inspiration from those when designing our own. We also have been pondering the idea of save the dates but I’m not sure how much effort we’re going to put in those – to me, save the dates have honestly always felt kind of like a waste but most people for our wedding are going to be coming from out of state, so it may be nice to do them. We’ll see about those!!


We have chosen a photographer and are in contact with him, and I think we’re close to booking! I am so thrilled because he’s a family friend and we’ve worked with him before so he already knows us and we’re so excited to work with him again. Writing this reminds me that I have to email him so let me go do that haha

Flowers & Decorations

these flowers are so stunning in our colors!

This is something that’s pretty much completely up in the air still. We definitely want flowers but they’re not something that we want to spend TONS of money on, and from my understanding it’s something that is unfortunately very easy to spend tons of money on so we’re trying to avoid that! We are looking at the possibility of doing the flowers ourselves rather than going through a florist…it’s going to be a lot of work but I think we might be able to pull it off. I’ve heard many success stories from brides that got their flowers online or from somewhere like Costco, so I have hope! Our venue will provide a lot of the decorations for us – they have a huge variety of centerpieces and containers for us to choose from, so we don’t need to worry about those (thankfully). As for other decorations, the jury is still out…we’ll have to do some more brainstorming to decide how much we want (or don’t want) to decorate.

Food & Cake

We are very fortunate in that our food is actually all done in-house by our venue, and they have several award-winning dishes which is obviously awesome! We get to go back for a tasting down the line to decide what we want, but everything on the menu looks amazing and we’re really excited about that. As for cake, we are looking into doing something on the cheap, to be honest…the cake isn’t truthfully something that’s vitally important to either of us so it’s not something we feel the need to spend tons of money on. As long as we can find something that looks and tastes good we’re fine with it! We’re looking into getting prices from the bakery at (again) Costco or Publix!


we are SO thrilled to vacation to Hawaii, a new place for both of us!!

I mentioned this briefly in my travel bucket list post, but we have decided on a honeymoon location – we’re going to Hawaii! We plan to do 1-2 days in Disneyland first before hopping over to the islands. We want to do more than one island so we can explore and see more things and get a richer experience. Right now, the plan is to do the Big Island for a few days before hopping over to Oahu, spending some time there and then finishing up with the Disney resort, Aulani. We wanted to tie in both Disney and non-Disney destinations for our honeymoon, so we decided to do Disney “bookends” with Disneyland and then Aulani. Chris and I are both SO excited for our honeymoon. We have a whole separate spreadsheet for it!!

Odds & Ends

As for everything else, we’re kind of all over the place! We haven’t nailed down many details yet but we know certain things we definitely do or do not want – like, there will be absolutely no unity candle or sand or anything like that at our ceremony haha. We also need to start researching music and other entertainment options, and we also have to book an officiant (or find a friend who is ordained and wants to do us a favor). And I have to find an outfit for Teddy to wear also hahaha

And that’s pretty much where we’re at right now for planning! I literally can’t believe that in just a year we’ll be getting married…it feels like we still have so much to do and somehow it feels more real now. I am so excited to keep planning this amazing day and even more excited that I actually get to marry Chris in just one year. It feels like just yesterday when he proposed to me at Epcot ❤

I hope you enjoyed reading about our planning process and what we still have to do! I can’t wait to see how everything comes together before the big day. Thanks for reading as always! ❤ Kaela

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