#MeetTheMindells: Seven Months Out!
5 Secrets to More Color at Home

#MeetTheMindells: Seven Months Out!


Life has been so hectic since our last post that we missed eight months and are now just under seven months out from the big day! Pressure is ON folks! We’ve gotten a lot done, we’ve still got a lot to do, and of course I have another question for you guys! So grab a donut or that leftover Easter candy and hunker down for this epic wedding update!

Another bougainvillea shot from our venue. Isn’t it AMAZING!?!?!

What We’ve Done

-We have someone to marry us! Actually, this is the very first thing we had, but it slipped my mind to mention it because both Jeff and I knew long before we were engaged who we would ask…. Jeff’s Uncle Alan who is an officiant back in New Jersey! Before I even met Jeff, I knew I wanted a close family member or friend to perform my wedding ceremony, so I’m so happy and excited to have Alan officiating! As is Jeff of course. However, writing my own vows… oh how that intimidates me! But we’ll talk more about that in the HELP! section below…

-I got a DRESS!!!!!! I talked a bit about it here. And I’m dying to show you guys. UGH! I wish I could block Jeff from the Internet right now, but I’ll have to learn some patience and self control. In short, I love it but I never did have that crying “it’s the one” moment when I put it on, probably because I knew before trying it on that it was the one for me. I also got this sweater which I’m going to turn into a cardigan to wear over my dress during the reception.

-We finalized our save the date, it’s been printed and it’s headed our way! Eeeee!! This paper-lover is so excited to have this checked off and beyond anxious to get it in her hands!!! Now to fold and label 100 of them…! (ps That’s a hint!)

Ask Your Flower Girls with Bando

-We finally asked the bridal party!! We will have seven people on each side, including adults and kids. My family is largely responsible for that (four brothers and five nieces and nephews!), so it’s kind of like a Lanza parade, if you will. Ha! On my side: MOH goes to my best friend Lauren with my friend Janice, cousin Krista and Jeff’s sister Jen as my bridesmaids, my nieces Quinn and Kellyn as Junior Bridesmaids and my niece Ruby as flower girl! (Did you get all that?) You can check out how I asked the older girls here (free printable!!) and see how I asked the little ones above (more Ban.do and confetti, of course! I love a theme! I designed those printables based on Floating Specks’ design for the bridesmaids.)


Up there is how Jeff asked his best man (his friend Kayden) and his groomsmen (my four brothers: Jeff, Brett, Mark and John!). With this crew of men, beer was the only appropriate way. We designed and printed our own labels on adhesive paper and covered over the beer label that was already there. I came up with the idea to ask the junior groomsman (my nephew Harris) and our ring bearer (my nephew Jack, who will be barely two by the time of the wedding. He’ll steal the show and I am SO ok with that!) when I saw these balloon boats at World Market. We wrote out the question on the balloon, deflated it and sent it on it’s way! Luckily, everyone said yes! And we are pretty darn excited over this crazy huge bridal party of ours!


-We found a videographer! Videography was the one big item we were cutting for budget reasons, but the lovely couple behind Dewberry Cinema kindly got in touch with us and we are really excited to be working with them! Mostly I’m elated that we’ll have a video for our kiddos to watch someday, which is something I was really sad about not having back when we thought we weren’t going to film the wedding.

-We officially booked a DJ! We’ll be working with Gary of The Flashdance and we are SO excited. It’s funny, most of the weddings we’ve been to, the term “DJ” should be used loosely, as they are really just playing songs back to back. That is not the case here. We were so impressed with Gary’s mixes and can’t WAIT to dance all night to them!

-We decided on a caterer! MIHO will be catering the wedding and we couldn’t be happier! The food is delicious and the owners are the kindest! YAY!!!!! I think I’ve mentioned it before, but we are doing a Mexican inspired family style meal (think build your own tacos!) with some Armenian mezze for cocktail hour (Jeff is Armenian!). We wanted the meal to be fun, interactive and representative of us… and since the two of us could (and largely do) live on Mexican food, we knew that was the perfect fit.

Miho Gastrotruck
A snippet from our tasting with MIHO, via the MIHO Instagram!

-We started registering!! BAM! We’ve decided to go with MyRegistry for tangible things to register for, and a down-payment fund to help us towards our goal of buying a house. I loved reading all of your thoughts on registering for cash and totally saw where every one of you was coming from! We decided, after talking to our families, that this was the right thing for us, so we went ahead with it! On another note, anyone have interest in seeing some of the items on our registry? I’ve thought about doing a post, so let me know if that sounds appealing!

What We Need to Do

-Rentals. Oh, rentals. Eeeep! To say I have expensive taste when it comes to rentals is an understatement. You mean I can’t have the perfect wood tables, vintage-sourced pink glassware, gold flatware and custom chairs… Oh right. 😉 We’re currently working on getting rental proposals that serve a compromise for my statement pieces I want and some more practical pieces to pair them with. The big debate (in my head) is wood tables vs. linens. I want wood tables but I want the right wood tables. (Not too rustic is my major requirement.) And we haven’t found them yet! So if we don’t, we may go the linen route which would be a simple, drapey, neutral linen, and incorporate wood elements into the tableware itself.

Cake for Breakfast

-Dessert! I know a lot of you probably think we’ll be doing donuts as our dessert, but believe it or not I love cake just as much as I love donuts! AH! My secret is OUT! We are looking to do several single-layer cakes and that’s about as far as we’ve gotten!

-Bridal Party Attire. Shew…. this is a doozy. For the girls, I’ve been thinking skirts. And for the little girls, I’ve been eying some cute options at Zara. For the guys we’re still wrapping our heads around this one so clearly this needs to be a major point of thought this month!

-Our engagement shoot and our website! This weekend will be a busy one! We’ll be finishing up our wedding website to share with you all and we’ll be meeting our wedding photographer, Katie Stoops, in Palm Springs for our engagement shoot! Of course, we pick a weekend with two huge events going on in the area but hey, we’re going to make it happen! If anyone has any fun/beautiful suggestions or Palm Springs backdrops for our shoot, let us know! We’d love to do something more mid-century, since our wedding will be more of the Spanish/European style.

Floppy Hat

How We’re Feeling About It

We’re continuing to ride the roller coaster that is wedding planning. Right now we’re just happy anytime we check a big vendor off the list! But I’ll leave Jeff out of this for a minute and talk about how I’m feeling. It’s been kind of jarring for me, someone who has literally had a dream wedding binder since middle school, that once it came to planning my actual wedding… I haven’t been as into it as I thought I would be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited, looking forward to it and humbled that we are lucky enough to throw such an amazing event, but I just haven’t felt the way I thought I’d feel about it. I think when I was wedding planning way back before I even met Jeff, I was just excited to throw a big ol’ party, and now that I’ve found “the one” I’m just excited for our marriage and ready to get the darn show on the road! I, and you all too, probably thought I’d have a zillion decor ideas or DIY projects in the works, but guess what? I don’t. Hoping once we get all these bigger items knocked off the list that my creative brain will start focusing its ideas on our wedding, but only time will tell!

Floppy Hat

Help! (Or, Questions for You Hitched Folks!)

This help request is really more for me. I want to hear about your vows! Jeff is adamant about writing our own vows. I agree that it’s definitely a special and amazing thing to write your own vows, except it completely intimidates and terrifies me. Even though I am, by trade, a “writer” I am not a very sentimental or romantic person, so writing down something like vows is just plain scary. It’s not that I don’t love Jeff any less, I’m just better at expressing it with fun, light-hearted sentiments than with deep, tear-jerking ones. (I’ve been known to give blank cards because I liked the card but didn’t know what to write! HA! I know. I’m terrible.) Jeff on the other hand is great at that kind of thing, so there’s that extra dose of pressure. I’m curious… did you guys write your own vows? And if so, did you set up guidelines with each other? Did you each read them over beforehand or give them to your officiant to read to make sure they were in similar style and length? Any tips for me!? Eeeeek!!!!!!

And there you have it! Another month, well two months, down.. seven months to go! I’ll be posting our finished website (!!!) soon, as well as a peek at what we’re registering for, if you’re interested!? Yay!


  • Kate

    I absolutely love myregistry.com! It’s super simple and great to have everything in one place rather than three different stores! Lol! Good luck on the rest of the planning, I’m sure your vows will be great, just speak from the heart and remember you’re only talking to Jeff. What the crowd thinks doesn’t matter, just him. 🙂

  • Alyssa

    You will have a beautiful wedding!

    My husband was also adamant about writing vows when I wasn’t so sure about the pressure of it.

    I put it off until I was sitting in the bridal suite waiting for the wedding to begin and came up with something light-hearted, funny and really sweet. No matter how hard I tried being super romantic and sappy I couldn’t without feeling like I was compromising my personality!

    Let your vows fit your relationship–it’ll be the most sincere that way.

    Oh, and it turns out–my husband decided to ‘just wing it’! Eye. Roll. But that, too, fits ‘us’ so whatever!

  • Mary

    Congrats on all your wedding planning progress! We walk down the aisle one month from today, so I can totally relate to the roller coaster you describe.

    Vows were super important to my groom (in fact they are the reason we are getting married in a field instead of a Catholic church), so I knew from Day 1 I had to bring it when it came to writing my own.

    Here are a few good tips I’ve heard:

    1. Prepare in advance.

    While it’s beautiful to speak from the heart and live in the moment, the best vows we’ve witnessed had evidence of at least some underlying structure. And having been the bridesmaid helping a last-minute bride through the “I haven’t written my vows” freakout, I highly recommend getting this done early. I started taking down some notes and organizing them into a structure about 4 months out, and I found that the things I wrote about actually guided my wedding planning decisions in a beautiful way.

    2. Agree to share them with a trusted friend or your officiant.

    I’ve been a part of weddings where the groom wrote the great American novel and the bride only had a sentence or two to say, and while it wasn’t in any way a disaster, it certainly lacked symmetry. I’ve also heard the bride and groom carefully prepare vows only to share a redundant anecdote from the same angle. Which on the upside at least shows they are on the same page, but I know they were bummed about it. That’s why I think it is so smart for both of you to hand over those vows to someone you trust who can read through both and make a few gentle suggestions if need be to make sure they are somewhat symmetrical. Plus it has the added bonus of forcing you to be prepared.

    3. Think about if you want a common element or structure.

    My finance and I will both be using a “I love, I promise” structure for our vows. So for totally made-up example, I might say “I love how you encourage me to expand my horizons, to try new things from salsa dancing to Indian food I can’t even hope to pronounce, and I promise to keep saying yes to these adventures even when I’m a little scared of them because it’s how you spice up my life”

    I’ve seen other couples not use the same structure but conclude using the same phrase to bring things back around which also works really nicely.

    4. Trust yourself.

    Vows are important, but it sounds like you have the right partner and the right outlook on this wedding planning stuff (it’s awesome and fun but mostly about the marriage and family). I’m sure whatever you come up with blow your future husband and your guest away.

    Best wishes!

    • Kelly

      These are amazing tips, Mary! Thank you so much!! And best wishes to you two as well!

  • Samantha Peterson

    I was the same way about planning my wedding, which is only a month or so away! I was so excited to start the process prior to getting engaged and now I’m just ready to be married to my man! Especially hard when I love planning fun events and DIYs. It’s hard when you are your own worst “client”. But bottom line – it’s all about your loved ones coming together to celebrate you and the big dance party to celebrate! 🙂

    • Kelly

      Right!? It’s so hard! But I agree… I’m excited for that dance party at the end of this tunnel! 😉

  • Laura

    Sounds like you guys are in great shape! On your question of vows, we definitely did not write our own. Neither of us are people that do well in the spotlight, so it felt too personal for us to share something we had written in front of everyone. We looked at several vow versions with our officiant and pieced together vows that felt meaningful to us. Above all, my best advice is to do whatever makes you feel comfortable and don’t stress about it being perfect! How you treat each other during your marriage says more than the sappiest vows ever could 🙂

  • Tamika

    My husband and I didn’t write our own vows but ironically I just spotted these tips on Once Wed today – maybe this will help – http://www.oncewed.com/wedding-ideas-blog/a-guide-to-writing-your-perfect-wedding-vows/. Good luck with everything and just remember you can be as goofy or as syrupy as you want – have fun with it – when you’re up there before the priest, you’ll forget everyone else and focus on your hubby so think of your vows as just a private, intimate conversation between the two of you about what you want for your future.

  • MH

    About how much is your dj costing? I’m getting next year in LA and trying to find a good dj.

    • Kelly

      Hi MH! I don’t know that it’s my place to put our DJs rates on here, but you can get in touch with The Flashdance collective through their contact form here: http://www.theflashdance.com/index.cfm

      They are great and have several DJs at all different rates! (And congrats!!)

  • Jess

    My tip on writing vows is you can write something and also incorporate a poem or blurb from a book where someone else (ie. professional writer!) has written your thoughts exactly. Takes a lot of research and you’d still want to incorporate your own words, too – but might take some pressure off.

    Congrats! And have fun – being engaged goes by SO fast…

  • Megan Sybrant

    Honestly, I started my vows off in a funny matter. The first few lines were, “I promise to support your addiction to coffee, and to spell check everything you write. I promise to always carry gum in my purse and to laugh at your funny mannerisms, and to comfort you in sad times, including bad Eagle’s seasons.” and then I got super deep and sappy. I just thought that part of love is being lighthearted and recognizing the small things. Plus I felt like my vows needed to be personal to who my husband was.

    Honestly, from a writers mind, just write how you feel about him and what you see through your eyes. then go back and add all the beautiful language.

    • Kelly

      I love that! Mine will definitely be a little more lighthearted than the typical vows!

  • Daniele Kaufman

    I just LOVE the wedding updates on the site. So exciting!

    Joe and I did write our own vows (mostly because I pushed for it) Joe is also a much better writer than I am, so I was nervous to see what he would write. We both wrote a few things we loved about one another and some promises we had for the future, because after all that’s what vows mostly are. We just agreed on a length in time and that was it. We didn’t share or show anybody before we read to one another.

    Just write whatever you want! Joe was more serious, I was more funny, but in the end we actually ended up telling each other the same things. Good luck! And don’t stress. I wrote my vows the morning of and I wouldn’t have changed them! 🙂

  • Mary Costa Photography

    Um that photo of Jeff kissing you under the hat is AWESOME. Love it!!! xo

  • Kristy

    If you need some good rustic tables try Designer Event Rentals. I’m not affiliated, but have worked with them before. Best of Luck!

  • Kristina B

    I love that you are more into your marriage than the wedding day 🙂

    It’s sad that is not always the case.

    Congratulations!!! Can’t wait to read more!!

  • Jaymee

    My husband and I got married last September and we actually wrote our entire ceremony. As for the vows we wrote them so our officiant would read them and we would each repeat after him so there was no pressure for us to memorize them or read off a piece of paper.

    • Kelly

      Ooh, I like that! The memorizing part is definitely intimidating! (p.s. Congrats!!)

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