Today instead of sharing inspiration for our wedding I wanted to do a little check-in of sorts on where we stand in the whole wedding planning process. It’s been exciting for me to see how many of you are planning your weddings at the same time and all your feedback has been a huge help to me on everything from bridal accessories and floral inspiration to bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen attire. Because we’re having a longer engagement (21 months total, with 15 months to go) our timeline is a little more flexible than most of the guides I’ve seen online but I thought it might provide fun insight into what we’ve been up to!

sankaty lighthouse nantucket

What’s been done: 

  1. First things first: we chose a date! Getting engaged in December would have made it too stressful (for me personally) to plan a summer wedding on Nantucket and since we’d always known that’s where we’d be married, pushing the wedding to the next summer was a no-brainer. So we contacted our preferred reception venue and made sure they were available on the same date as the chapel. Having our pick of dates was definitely a huge advantage of a longer engagement and I’m so happy with where we’ll be celebrating that everything else feels like the icing on the cake!

a & be bridal shop dallas

2. We asked our bridesmaids and groomsmen. I can’t imagine our day without all of our closest family and friends! You can see how I asked my bridesmaids here.

3. I said yes to the dress! This definitely didn’t need to happen so soon in the process but I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to dress shop when my mom, dad, Grandy, future mother-in-law, sister, and cousin/bestie were all in town on the same weekend (that literally never happens!). I didn’t feel like I absolutely needed to find my dress that day and I think that mindset made the whole outing stress-free and all about fun… which in turn made the serendipity of finding my dream dress a day I’ll never forget!

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4. We had an engagement party in Dallas, hosted by Will’s parents’ friends and attended by all my family members listed above! It was such a magical evening and the first time we got a taste of how it will feel to have all our favorite people together for one weekend next summer… I get teary just thinking about it! I polled you all about which engagement party dress I should wear and ultimately decided on this one with these shoes. And I had too much fun to stop and take a single picture… Oops!

5. We found our photographer! Cameron & Kelly Studio photographed our friends Jane and Scottie’s wedding in Lyford Cay two summers ago and their photos turned out so incredible (and they raved about the process of working for her!) that this massive decision actually wound up being pretty easy! I couldn’t be more excited to work with Cameron to capture our engagement pictures this summer and all the little details leading up to the big day next summer.

design darling how to ask your bridesmaids

What’s a work in progress:

  1. We’re thisclose to booking our band and videographer. These vendors, along with the venue and photographer, are a top priority as they can only work one wedding on a given day (unlike the vendors responsible for flowers, paper goods, the wedding cake, etc.). I will definitely be breathing a sigh of relief once we cross these off the list!
  2. Speaking of other vendors… I’ve begun looking into florists and stationery designers and am a little overwhelmed by both. Definitely a work in progress!

design darling kitchen

3. We’re hoping to help family and friends book houses around the island instead of doing a traditional hotel room block. We’re hoping this will save our guests money as hotels are pretty pricey during the peak season and it’s already a long haul for some of our guests to get to Nantucket in the first place. That’s definitely a downside of planning a destination wedding but as my family has always said: the juice is worth the squeeze! (Which could be taken pretty literally as an ice cream cone from the Juice Bar is always one of my first stops upon arrival.)

club monaco april pumps

What’s left to be done (narrowing it down a little because, umm, everything!!!):

  1. Put together our wedding registry. I might be the only person who finds this more stressful than fun so I’d love any words of wisdom you might have!
  2. Find bridesmaids’ dresses. I ordered swatches after last week’s post and am feeling super optimistic!
  3. Find hair and makeup people for the day of.
  4. Take our engagement pictures — this is happening in August and I can’t wait to share more!
  5. Send our save-the-dates (hopefully in September post-engagement photos!).
  6. Plan our bachelor/bachelorette weekends.
  7. Find wedding shoes. Not to give too much away, but unlike with most wedding dresses, you’ll totally be able to see my shoes underneath my dress so they need to be just right!

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And a million more things that I’ll spare you today as this post has become a novel and I’m sure you all have things to do today! 😉 Thank you for reading and sharing in our wedding planning process — I can’t wait for more exciting developments in the months and weeks to come!


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  1. Hi Mackenzie– love following you on IG, congratulations on your upcoming Nkt. wedding! (My hubby and I were married there as well). If you’re still on the hunt for stationery, please give our website a quick peek Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have about our papers or planning an island wedding! 🙂

  2. Re #3: Definitely check out the social media posts for any hair/makeup artists; most of them have an Instagram or Facebook account (or both), and you can see what kind of general looks they do best. My sister’s hair/makeup people (2 very talented women that I’d recommend if they traveled from NYC to Nantucket) showed us Instagram photos of previous brides and bridesmaids, and I knew they wouldn’t overdo our makeup (I’ve been painted orange before as a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, and I’m also a redhead) or give us prom hair.

  3. I just got married on June 4 and reading this is making me a bit nostalgic- enjoy every minute of the planning process! We had a 16 month engagement and while it felt like FOREVER at the time, retrospectively it went way faster than I thought it would.

    Something I found really helpful when registering was to start the process with online retailers well before people would be looking for it, so I had time to go back and remove or add things as we entertained or just went through our daily lives. For instance, I’d originally registered for an upgraded food processor until I realized that I rarely use my old one as-is! Additionally, don’t be afraid to keep the registry on the small side and add things as necessary throughout the engagement. We only registered for what we really needed/wanted, and then as all that stuff got purchased closer to the wedding we added some fun extras like throw pillows and seasonal serving dishes. That kept us from having incomplete sets or not receiving the items that were most important to us. Hope that helps!

  4. Such exciting updates! If you’re looking for hair and makeup on the island, I just had my wedding in June there and had Yolanda (yg makeup) do my makeup and it was incredible! Highly recommend! We also had RJ Miller salon do our hair and they were great as well :)! Good luck and can’t wait to see more about your Nantucket wedding!

  5. We are using Zola to manage our registry (I’ve been meaning to do a post about that…) and it’s been a wonderful experience! Three key reasons: 1) It allows us to register items from anywhere– whether it’s two items or twenty items from a store. We even registered for a menorah we found on Etsy! 2) You control shipping. We are moving on Monday and didn’t want any wedding gifts rolling in before we’re in our new place, so we’ve been able to pause everything. 3) You can change your mind! If you end up not wanting one of the items you had originally added, or deciding you want the blue instead of the red, you can just swap it out before you have it shipped and your guest will be none the wiser. We also appreciate that they have a pretty robust selection of items on their own, and that they have a registry planner that tracks everything you’ve added so you can see if quantities and price points are making sense. A little confusing at first, but I recommend it!

  6. Hello Mackenzie – Looks like you are in great shape planning wise! My words of wisdom for the REGISTRY are twofold – don’t register with only your current life in mind, but also what the next 10, 20, 30 years will bring – you may not be hosting a formal Thanksgiving dinner for 25 tomorrow, but you will want those options in the future for family gatherings! SECONDLY, I would suggest with your mother (or another likeminded cook/entertainer in your life) go through her kitchen cabinets & dining room buffet with her, and compose a list of what’s important to have (and not important to have!) Subtract the items you already own, and then find the best version of each item using the AMAZING reviews on Cooks Illustrated and The Sweethome websites – no one store will have all items so I suggest Amazon registry. Hope this (long winded!) advice helps – best of luck with the remaining planning & congrats!

  7. As someone who also has a long engagement and a wedding to come in August of 2017, it’s good to see that we’re in about the same place in the planning process. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy this time and find the best things for our day rather than having to rush. Good luck in your continued planning! 🙂

  8. So exciting to hear these details. I’m getting married Sept. 3 of this year and can’t believe how quickly the whole process has flown by!

    The registry was a huge stressful situation for us. We decided to just make a list of things we really thought it would be fun to receive and stood firm on the stuff we didn’t need, or wanted to purchase ourselves.

  9. Thanks for sharing some of these exciting details, it sounds like everything is coming together beautifully! Are there any special family traditions you can share, I always love hearing what unique and special for each bride and groom. Also, what about “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” (or Navy for you? haha!)

  10. You aren’t the only person who finds registries stressful! We didn’t do gifts. Obviously, it was unconventional (and I totally support people who do gifts!) but we put a blurb about no cash/boxed gifts on the website + the invitations, and made a registry for a charity to drive the point home that gifts were not expected.

    The result: about 80% of the guests totally listened to us and didn’t give us a gift/cash. (Many commented they thought this was classy, and some donated.) About 20% brought cash/check in a card, so we had a card box because we thought that might happen. Then there were a few people – parents, sisters, a couple aunts, who did get us gifts, but gave them before/after wedding.

    Obviously this approach is not for everyone, but for me, it made things simpler. (I didn’t have a bridal shower at all, much to my delight.) It’s an example of my favorite piece of wedding advice: Everything is optional! If something is stressing you out, you always have the power not to do it 🙂

  11. You should ABSOLUTELY check out for invitations! She blew us away (we just had the perfect invitation suite custom made by her for our VT wedding this fall) and I think she fits your aesthetic nicely! Her process (antique letterpress!) is also super neat. In addition–she is the absolute sweetest! Hope you take a look at her gorgeous work 🙂

  12. For your registry, consider adding things that aren’t *things.* While it’s nice to stock your home and kitchen with new items, I’ve seen really great ideas such asking for gifts towards a 1-year anniversary vacation, date night dinner’s out (who doesn’t love a chance to try a nice new place?!), sky diving lessons or some sort of subscription that you’ll use and love like Blue Apron or a wine club. I’d much rather give the bride an experience that she and the groom can enjoy instead of another set of dishes that will hardly ever be used 🙂

  13. I’m also in the middle of a longer engagement (although less than a year away now) and it’s been so nice to be able to take our time making decisions with vendors! I also just started a registry on Zola- which I’m loving so far. We want to do a mix of a honeymoon fund and some necessities/upgrades for our home, since we’ve lived together for years and don’t need all new things, and their site is so clean, easy and they work with a lot of great smaller companies on top of the major ones to choose from. I’m also a stationery designer so I’d be happy to chat with you about any questions you have regarding save the dates and invites- it can definitely be overwhelming!