Raise your hand if most of your weekends this summer and fall will be taken over by at least one wedding! ‘Tis the season, everyone. You can’t deny that your inner romantic screams when you see the perfect floral arrangement, watch the groom see the bride for the first time, or get the best wedding favor at the end of the night (mini hangover kits, anyone?).
We might be biased here, but our favorite weddings are the ones when a Skedaddler ties the knot. And that’s exactly what’s happening later this fall when our IOS Developer Mike marries his fiancé Kelsey, a Senior Analyst at IBM. We got to sit down with the husband and wife-to-be and ask them some questions about their wedding before they say I do! Enjoy, and definitely blame ‘allergy season’ on the happy tears you’ll be crying at your desk.
Before we jump in...
1. A quick recap of how they met:
Mike and Kelsey met in August 2013 at their shared place of work. The pair became fast friends and spent the first few months working together and getting to know one another. After some time, Mike finally asked Kelsey out on their first date of getting coffee and viewing the tree at Rockefeller Center. Each year on their dating anniversary they go back to the same coffee place and recreate their first date together.
2. The proposal story:
Over three years later, Kelsey and Mike were inseparable. They quickly knew they were meant to be together and on May 12th, 2017 Mike proposed to Kelsey on the Hoboken pier overlooking the beautiful Manhattan skyline. It was a total and complete surprise. Obviously, she said yes - and then proceeded to burst into tears (see photo below, taken moments after the proposal while on the phone with her mom.
And now for the fun stuff...the planning process...
3. Did you have any ideas of what you wanted before starting to plan?
Mike: It was pretty hard for me to think about what I wanted since all I had on my mind for so long was the timing of the proposal. Once that happened, it made it a bit easier for me to focus on syncing up with Kelsey to get an idea of what she wanted and from there, make some decisions together. What I will say is that I always knew I wanted to make sure of 2 things – a great cocktail hour and an awesome wedding band!
Kelsey: I was all over the place! I think the hard thing about not being super picky is that at first, it’s very hard to focus. I was seeing different things on Pinterest or from other weddings Mike and I attended. Attending other weddings was probably the most helpful - I took pictures (in secret, since Mike and I weren’t engaged yet!) of details that I loved. Something from the ceremony or even the place cards. In addition, I knew I wanted a fall wedding. It’s our favorite season and I envisioned being able to go outside and take pictures with beautiful changing trees in the background.
4. How did you choose the location?
Mike: The most difficult task of any area of wedding planning is figuring out how to narrow things down. This goes for the venue, food, or dare I even say [gulp] the guest list! We had a good idea of what kind of scenery we wanted and it became easier to narrow down once we had a good idea of budget – that can change everything instantly. More important than the venue itself was our goal of trying to accommodate family members coming from both New York and New Jersey. We wanted something that was a short train or bus ride away to keep it reasonable for everyone.
When we visited The Palace at Somerset Park, it had everything we were looking for and the October weekend we wanted. Everything just fell into place.
Kelsey: Mike proposed to me on my graduation weekend from Columbia Business School. As a result, I had about a month and a half before a started my new job where I literally had no other responsibilities except to plan the wedding! I made it my goal to find a venue before I started my job so that I could have flexibility in driving to different locations throughout the week. I relied heavily on The Knot to filter wedding venues that had indoor/outdoor space, was a comfortable price point, could accommodate what was going to be a pretty big wedding, and were close to public transportation for our NYC friends. Let me tell you- some venues had great pictures and then when you get there it’s not what it seems. On two different occasions, I drove away from a venue before I even walked in (guess I became pickier than I thought!)
Mike and I visited The Palace at Somerset Park together. It has a beautiful first impression, amazing location for the ceremony, and is close to the train. It was easy to know it was “the one!”
5. How big is the bridal party?
Mike: My sister Jackie is my “best man” and I have 6 Groomsmen.
Kelsey: My two sisters Katelyn and Kendra are my Maids of Honor, and then I have four Bridesmaids.
6. What’s been the hardest part of the process so far?
Mike: The most difficult thing that people kept warning me about was that wedding planning comes in waves. You do a lot in the beginning and once the big pieces are sorted out, you go through a dry spell of not doing all too much until it gets close to the wedding day. In our case, we got engaged in May 2017 and are getting married in October of this year. That’s a pretty long engagement. I will say it’s been nice to plan things out and really soak in the process instead of things being so hectic all of the time but I’m sure that day is near...
Kelsey: Keeping track of all the details! Mike and I were really proactive about booking the big stuff quickly - I think we had the venue, band, flowers, and photographer booked within the first two months of being engaged. Now it’s about following up with everyone to make sure everything is on track, making small decisions that impact the ambiance (my mom has been obsessing about the ribbon for the wedding favors for weeks) and planning for the inevitable time-crunch that will come when the RSVPs come back!
7. Conversely, what has been the easiest?
Mike: Picking a band was the easiest thing ever. I think it was just a matter of luck. A groomsman of mine connected us with a wedding band that he knows personally and we saw them perform a showcase in the city and knew we wanted them about 2 songs into it! With all of the tough decisions that go into wedding planning, it’s nice when some of it sort of falls into your lap.
Kelsey: The engagement photos! We were stressing about it like crazy because we had to cancel our local engagement shoot due to bad weather. As a result, we kept delaying when the save the dates would be able to go out since we wanted a photo of us on the front. Coincidentally, Mike and I were in San Diego when we spotted a couple having an engagement shoot done overlooking the beautiful La Jolla beach. We enviously commented how lucky they were to be able to have weather and a view like this then Mike said well, why don’t we book a photographer while we’re here?? So we went on Craigslist, found a local photographer, and had our own photo shoot in the same location three days later!
8. What are you looking forward to the most on the day of?
Mike: The first time I get to call Kelsey “my wife.”
Kelsey: The moment I get to walk down the aisle and see Mike for the first time.
9. Where are you guys honeymooning?
The Cayman Islands! We can’t wait!!
10. Any advice for newly engaged couples just starting to plan?
Mike: Focus on the important things! The venue, food, music, and alcohol selection are typically the things people walk away remembering. If you get caught up in all the little things, the process might start to seem less enjoyable. Most importantly, have fun doing it!
Kelsey: Add a couple “wild card” venues to your list - you may surprise yourself with what you do and don’t like. Also, whether you have a long engagement like we did or a short engagement, you will be talking about and planning the wedding the whole time. Make sure you make time to step away from the craziness to truly cherish the fact that you’re going to marry your best friend.
Oh, and you may have guessed this, but Skedaddle is the perfect solution for all of your wedding transportation needs. Get instant prices on our site, compare multiple vehicle types, book shuttling- professional driver included.
Don't worry about how your guests are going to get from your reception to the venue- free up that brain power so you can obsess over the important things like what color the edible flower in your signature drink will be.