#MeetTheMindells: Post-Wedding Recap
5 Secrets to More Color at Home

#MeetTheMindells: Post-Wedding Thoughts!


Palm Springs Wedding

Well, nothing like two long-winded posts in a row to see which of you guys REALLY like me here. πŸ˜‰ Jeff and I are 9 days short of our two month wedding anniversary (!) so I figured it was HIGH TIME I did a little recap! Sadly, I won’t be able to share the wedding photos or design/decor details for a little while here on the blog, but I thought I could share a few Instagram snaps and some thoughts on the highlights of our day so it doesn’t look like I just got married and then forgot about it and moved on! Here we go, our thoughts:

Click through for the full recap!

On the whole day

I was 100% convinced it was going to rain. But it didn’t. Guys, we had 100% the perfect wedding. Nothing, to our knowledge, went wrong. Sure, we had a few things go missing and started a bit late, but when that’s all you have to complain about? That’s a good thing, folks. Our vendors BROUGHT IT. The day was completely gorgeous. Bash executed every detail FLAWLESSLY (and there were a lot of details)! It was the perfect combination, of fun, quirky, classic and colorful. It was just “us.” We were worried about the night being too long, but we were dancing till the very end. (Gary Ames, by the way, KILLED IT with the music. KILLED IT!) Like everyone says, it flew by and we couldn’t believe it was over but it was amazing. We were thrilled, our parents were thrilled, our guests were thrilled. BA-BAM!

The Carlee Gown
Above two photos from Katie Stoops’ Instagram!

On what I wore

I can finally talk about my dress!!! For as long as I can remember (Like, since I was in 8th grade.), I’ve wanted a dress that looked basically exactly like what my dress looked like. Layers of structured but messy tulle and NOT strapless. I just happened to get lucky that Chaviano Couture designed one the same year Jeff proposed. I saw the dress from Elizabeth Messina’s shoot of it, floating around Pinterest, and was just like “Oh, ok. So that’s my dress.” It was the only dress I showed to each bridal store I went to (the one that carried the dress, Love & Lace Bridal Salon was our last visit) and several of the consultants at the other stores remarked “Oh, you want a very 2014 dress.” Frankly, it made me want to punch something. Leave it to me to get married the year the dress I’ve always wanted becomes “trendy.” Even though I did the whole dress shopping thing, I think I knew all along that that one was it, before I even tried it on. And no, I really didn’t have that “It’s the one! I’m crying!” moment. I just kind of knew, and that was it. The dress was what I called an “apricot” color and I loved that it wasn’t white.

SURPRISE! I broke my own rules and had two outfits for the big day. Though that decision didn’t happen until 3 weeks before we tied the knot! I never understood the people that had ” a reception dress.” Actually, it kind of irritated me. Like, really… you need TWO dresses? One isn’t good enough? But then, there I was standing in my gigantic dress for my umpteenth fitting and it dawned on me. “I can’t dance in this.” And I knew I was going to be “that girl” that had a reception dress…. except I chose a jumpsuit! Now, looking back, it was one of the best decisions I made. Jeff LOVED the jumpsuit and I was so comfortable dancing all night long, which is basically all I did. So my apologies to all of you who I secretly mocked for having a reception outfit. Good call!

Pink Wedding Flowers
Perks of being friends with your floral designer: I got to go over to Holly’s floral HQ for the weekend a few days before the wedding and see all the goodies she had picked for the day. It was heaven on earth and I didn’t want to leave!!!! I can’t WAIT to show you all the magic she + her team worked!

On not having a first look

I think I am still happy about this decision. We were very sad to miss our entire cocktail hour (especially the mariachi band!) but we know the photos will be well worth it. One major downside to this was that nobody got to see my gown outside of me walking down the aisle and back up it. Since we didn’t get to go to cocktail hour, nobody really got to see my dress as I had to change out of it before we were introduced at the reception. I totally didn’t think about this and I do wish I got to spend a little time mingling in my dress, but there’s only so much I could do with the time we had.

On the ceremony

As you may recall, I really didn’t want to write my own vows. I finally wrote them, the day before the wedding, and wasn’t really too happy with them. When you google wedding vow examples, they are all so formal and heartfelt and deep and I am none of those things, really. So I just felt like mine were inadequate. Luckily, Jeff’s vows were very similar to mine (lighthearted, funny) and after hearing his, I felt at ease. His uncle did a perfect job with the ceremony and several people told us it was the best service they’ve ever heard. (Go, Alan!)

On our first dance

We didn’t tell a single soul, besides a few vendors, about our first dance. We always knew we wanted to do a crazy first dance, and we DID it and NAILED it! Other than the back of my jumpsuit flying open, but hey… at least I didn’t have a Janet moment. We had Gary do a mashup of five songs that had meaning to us:

1. Oh Happy Day from Sister Act 2: This is my go-to song I play (and sing to) anytime anything good happens (I even did a rendition in my graduation gown, which Lauren apparently has on tape somewhere.) and it was the perfect weird, slow song to throw everyone off.
2. Happy by Pharrell: We both wanted a 2014 song to be a part of the dance, and we both just love this song. We love the beat, we love the video (filmed in LA) and I just think Pharrell is the most awesome human. No-brainer.
3. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson: We both love MJ, and one of my favorite movies is Center Stage, which this song was in. I have literally DREAMED of Jeff doing some crazy leg move like Cooper does and he DID IT!
4. The Way I Are by Timbaland: This song just reminds me of Jeff. The beat is a very “Jeff” beat and it was released the year we met, so it brings back memories of our early days of dating. It’s also very true, if you actually listen to the words.
5. Forever by Chris Brown: Forever is the best song that ever happened to the universe. Don’t bother arguing me, ’cause that opinion isn’t changing. It is “our song” and we may or may not have a choreographed car dance for the chorus. This was always going to be the pinnacle of our wedding dance (can you tell we’ve been planning this for years?) and that it was.

This is definitely the most talked about part of our wedding. We spent about two weeks choreographing it (thanks to my sweet grocery-store dance skills and some Youtube videos) and snuck off to the hotel parking lot a few times the night before the wedding to practice it!

#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
My college roomies!

On Video

We got our wedding video back last week and I can’t even tell you how thankful I am that Dewberry Cinema stepped in to do a video for us. It was the very first thing I said “we don’t need” when trying to compromise for budget and I think that’s pretty common for a lot of brides out there. After seeing it, I can’t imagine not having it. While photos will be my pride and joy, and something we’ll hang on our walls, there’s nothing quite like being able to see video of yourself on your wedding day. And being able to share that with our kids someday makes me REALLY excited! If you have the budget, I highly recommend keeping videography in the wedding equation.

#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
This is the family Jeff inherited on November 15th. Lucky guy, eh?

On the Photobooth

The week of the wedding, we decided to book Smilebooth for the wedding. It was a last minute splurge and budget compromise (see my tips below) but it was another one of the best decisions we made. Guests LOVED it, it acted as an additional “favor” (We chose to have the printer, so guests could take their photos home right away) and we had a BLAST looking through all the photos online during our mini-moon. Several of our guests ordered prints of them and gave them as Christmas gifts, too!

On our Hotel Buyout

Most people get wedding room blocks at hotels. We did this as well, but we also rented out an entire small hotel (36 rooms) for our close family and bridal party. When you say that, it sounds really extravagant but it was not. We “bought out” the hotel, meaning that for the weekend, we were the only ones staying there. But each guest paid for their room, and got a great discounted rate since we guaranteed all would be filled. This was actually one of the biggest stresses of our planning experience, because we HAD to fill the rooms unless we wanted to pay for them ourselves, but once the weekend arrived it was so fun having a whole hotel to ourselves! If you have less family than we do, you could do the same by renting out a large Airbnb or other private property, too. It’s a great way to keep everyone together and, as the bride and groom, to get to see everyone a little more, since you sure don’t see much of anyone on your wedding day!

#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
Bridesmaids doing the most popular photo face of the weekend.. my “Blog Face”! Ha! Bridesmaids are wearing: Raspberry Skirt, Peach Skirt, Light Pink Skirt, Coral Skirt , ban.do poufs + Ivory Blouse

On “Would you do it again?”

Our wedding day was perfect. Literally, perfect. But would I do it again? 100% no. Even with wedding planners taking care of the research, the correspondence, etc…. (Thank goodness!) wedding planning was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. There is so much emotion, so many opinions, and so many decisions that go into the day and I don’t care to ever revisit those. The money is another hard pill to swallow. A few months after getting engaged and kicking off this process, Jeff and I realized our priorities lied in our future (a house, babies!) and not in a big party, but we continued and a big party we did have. If I could have my wedding day without the time, stress and money that went into it, hell I’d get married every day!

On “Is it different?”

This answer would be a big fat not really! Since we’ve been together for so long, and already share a home, not much has changed other than I now call Jeff “husband.” For the first few days, it felt pretty surreal but now we’re just back to our normal (now-married) life. The only thing that’s really changed is he can’t up and leave me when I throw confetti all over the floor. At least, not without a lot of paperwork… πŸ˜‰ I still haven’t been able to officially change my name (Thanks California!) so I haven’t fully adjusted to calling myself “Kelly Mindell” yet but when people call me “Mrs. Mindell” it definitely makes me feel OLD!

#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
Mini bridesmaids, also doing “Blog Face” Girls are all in Hucklebones. Most are sold out, but the gold skirt is here + polka dot shift dress here in a few sizes! Cardigans are from H&M!

On Changing My Name

A lot of people were surprised I was changing my name, since I’ve established myself in the business world as Kelly Lanza. To me, having the same last name as my future kids is more important than the merit my maiden name gives me in business so I never once doubted changing it. Slowly but surely, you’ll see all my accounts, features, etc. refer to me as Kelly Mindell and I just hope it will be a smooth transition!

On What’s next?

For those of you who are also married, it’s kind of mind blowing how quickly you get the “So, when are you having kids?” question, isn’t it? Ha! It still shocks me each time. But, if you’re curious. Yes, we do want kids. Lots of them. And yes, we want them sooner than later. I told many people that we got married to have kids. (Ha!) We’ve been together almost 8 years. Time to get this show on the road!

#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
#MeetTheMindells Photo Booth
I’ve managed to make four of my closest friends through blogging, and we managed to each live in a different time zone? Bad planning. Having everyone together was a blast! Especially when said friends have such sweet dance moves. Lookin’ at you, Ash, Britt and Lex! (Chelsea was there in spirit while she awaited this cutie!)

My tips to you engaged folks?

1. Get your priorities in order. Not your wedding-day priorities, but your life priorities. Everyone has a different financial situation and each wedding is unique in who pays for it. But think long and hard about how important it is to put money into your wedding day, or to store money away for your future home, kids, travel, whatever it may be. Once you get started in a wedding, you can’t turn back. So I urge you not to make our mistake of getting too caught up in newly-engaged excitement to keep the rest of your life in mind. I will treasure our wedding day memories forever, but I will also perpetually be working to swallow the giant pill of how much it all cost.

2. If you go the wedding route, consider a short engagement. I wanted a year long engagement because “oh my gosh! I’m only engaged once! This is so fun!” Being engaged is really fun. Talking, for an entire year, only about your wedding, is not. Don’t be afraid to have a shorter engagement. If you can still book the vendors you want, I’d recommend six-months engagement MAX. Fact of the matter is, you are going to be rushed in the last few months whether you have a six month engagement or a two year engagement, so if you can swing it, just bust it out. (All wedding planners are currently cursing me for this “tip.”)

3. If you can’t do a honeymoon (immediately, or ever) do a mini-moon in the same city you get married in. Both Lauren (in Chicago) and myself (in Palm Springs) did this and it was perfect. We were able to go straight from wedding mode into relaxation and decompression mode without worrying about car travel, air travel or any other hassles that come along with either. We picked up and moved to a hotel away from our guests and never looked back. It was pure bliss.

4. Tell all vendors your budget is 10-20% less than what it is. Budgets get blown, that’s just how weddings work. Unexpected costs creep in, or you make “just one budget compromise” that turns into 15 and suddenly you’re in too deep. I recommend pretending like 10-20% of your budget doesn’t even exist at first, so it becomes your emergency fund instead. Believe me, you’ll need it.

#MeetTheMindells Photo BoothShout out to my parents for making this day possible! My mom is wearing a J. Crew bridesmaid dress and I highly recommend the line for mothers of the bride who don’t want wear the bedazzled taffeta evening gowns they are often offered.

And questions for you married folks….

What were YOUR thoughts post wedding? Was it the best day of your life? Or the most stressful? Both? Would you “do it again”? Did it feel any different after you were officially husband and wife? TELL ME YOUR FEELINGS!

Pattern PartyOur rehearsal dinner outfits of choice! On me:Β Shabby Apple skirt, Emily Green necklace and a fuchsia cardigan! Jeff’s blazer is from some random store across from my studio in DTLA!

The whole thing was quite a trip. I felt like a crazy person for a year, like I was on top of the world for one night, and then everyone just kind of went back to their normal business and there we were… husband and wife. No more wedding emails, no more writing checks. I must say, I FREAKING LOVE being on the other side. Being a wife is DA BOMB! I’ll be doing several more posts throughout the next couple months and eventually I’ll share all the goodness of the photos, details, GALORE! But for now, at least I shared our life-altering first dance, eh? Thanks for listening! Over and out!

Check out all of our monthly wedding posts (+ more!) here!


  • Molly yeh

    i could not agree more with ALL OF THIS! i was reading along and nodding the entire time. especially the part about doing it all over again and changing names. i can’t wait to see the rest of your photos!!!!!

    • Kelly

      RIGHT!? What a whirlwind it is! And CONGRATS again!! Your photos were AMAZING! Makes me want to get married in the snow… except oh right, I don’t plan to do this again. πŸ˜‰

  • Kari

    WOW!!! This looks like the most amazing wedding filled with lots of love and laughter!! Can’t wait to see more and you guys killed the first dance!! Congratulations!!

  • Megan Welker

    Oh man, this was SO nice to read!! We are doing a VERY SHORT engagement and your tips were totally helpful! Can’t wait to chat more about all of this in person soon!!

    • Kelly

      I’m so glad you’re doing a short engagement! You will be happy you did! Can’t wait to hear about your plans!!!

  • Mary Costa Photography

    I love this recap and all of your honesty!! Thank you so much for throwing such a gorgeous, ridiculously fun wedding. Truly, one of my favorite memories from 2014! You two are the best!!

  • Kristina B

    WOOT! Well I have to say I’m so sorry your day was born from so much stress because it looked G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S.

    I would do my day over again in a *snap SECOND and I plan to. I got married about 3 years before Pinterest and oh MAN I would change everything except the groom. I was the first of my friends to get married so all I had were magazines to help me and all the ideas in there…CHA-CHING! So yes. Do it again fo SHIZZ.

    Also my husband and I still lived at home so everything was new and we were totally “those people” all moony-eyed and dopey on our honeymoon, sure to drop “we just got married!” into EVERY. FRIGGIN. CONVERSATION.
    “Hi! Table for 2?”
    “Can I start a fitting room for you?”

    It’s been 10 years and we are happier, stronger together, and more in love than ever. Remember that you and Jeff are ALWAYS on the same team and never stop communicating. You’ll rock out this marriage thing no problem.
    Congratulations again!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Kristina!! Ha, sometimes I feel like getting married would have been way less stressful pre-Pinterest! And I think that’s a right of passage on the honeymoon! I was walking around the hotel screaming ‘HEY HUSBAND!’ at Jeff! πŸ˜‰

      Happy 10 years to you and your hubby!

  • Hanna

    I got married in August, and I would say I had a somewhat different experience. I don’t remember being stressed out at all. We had a fairly short engagement, and all the pieces kind of just fell into place. It was not an over-the-top wedding, but it was everything I ever dreamed of, so to us, it was perfection. I’d do all of it again and again if I could. And I love being married! Cheers to you, Mindells!

    • Kelly

      Thanks amazing, Hanna! And congrats on tying the knot!! You deserve a round of applause for a stress free experience! Being married is the best!

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile

    Perfect timing! Our one month engagement-iversary (is that a thing?) is tomorrow and we’re getting married in July. We’re about to book our venue and order our save the dates and I’m already feeling the financial pressure! Why does everything “wedding” cost so much?! Anyway, I hope our day is half as beautiful as yours! πŸ™‚

    • Kelly

      Sounds about right! I think it was one month in that I was like “OH WOAH! This is no joke!” Good call on the shorter engagement though, and congrats!!! I agree, it seems like anything with the word “wedding” automatically triples in price! Crazy!

  • dakota barber// state & occupation

    As always, I love your honesty! Your wedding looked perfect and I’m pretty convinced you and Jeff ARE perfect for each other.

    Happy new year, now DIY us some babies to oggle over! πŸ˜‰

    Dakota Barber

    • Kelly

      Aw thanks, Dakota!! Hopefully there will be some mini Mindells running around soon! πŸ˜‰

  • Gilit

    I sort of want to go on and on about how much I adore your wedding but let’s just say I’m OBSESSED with EVERY detail and could stare at photos all day every day.

    I love your lessons! We had a six month engagement and it was the perfect amount of time for us.

    That being said, I would TOTALLY do over our wedding because it didn’t feel much like our wedding at all.
    We have SO so so much family (who I love) but it meant we had to have a HUGE wedding and we really didn’t want one. I also really wanted a wedding with more personal touches that really felt like us and so we could save money for our future but I was so young and naive (almost seven years ago!) so whenever my mother in law suggested something I was just like “oh yes, let’s do that!” and was scared of giving my real opinion. Which is ridiculous. And so unlike me.

    The thing is, even though so many things didn’t turn out the way I wanted (my dress was a mess, the photographer was rude, the florals were not at all what we discussed) the day of, I was just happy and excited and didn’t notice or care about any of it. (Looking at photos after was another story, guess we have to have a vow renewal!)

    I looooved being on the other side and starting our life together as husband and wife! Everyone would always tell me what hard work it was, and it is, but it’s also wonderful and fun (though being called “Mrs. Cooper” still weirds me out.)

    Happy Mindell-ing!

    • Kelly

      Hehe thank you!! Sometimes I can’t believe it was mine (ours), the decor was like a dream come true for me!

      I also 100% understand how hard it is to balance families when it comes to this! We both have big families too and if we had held the wedding on the east coast (where we’re from), it would have easily been double the size. The destination factor definitely worked in favor of us having a smaller wedding, even if we were sad a lot of family wasn’t there with us! I had high hopes of making things and adding more personal touches to ours too, but like you said, it’s hard when so many decisions and opinions are happening not to just roll with it! I think you summed it up great though, that no matter what it was just an awesome day because you got MARRIED! And married life is where it’s AT (in my opinion ;)!

      • Gilit

        Dammit, we should’ve had it on the West Coast! Next time then (since I insist that my husband re-propose to me at least once a month)

        I’m so glad you’re loving it.


  • Jeaninne

    Love your blog! Your wedding looks amazing! I’m getting married in May and loved reading your thoughts, lessons learned and advice. Where did you get your cheese boards that you used as a charger? That is such a great idea!

  • Stacy Able

    Not going to lie, I loved reading your updates through the year. The end result– of course amazing, stylish, and creative!! I can’t wait to see the full published version in an amazing magazine, blog, or all of the above ) πŸ™‚ I also want to buy a polka dot skirt because of your rehearsal dinner outfit. You two are just too cute! Welcome to the married club! xoxo

  • Lauren

    Gosh that dress and those flowers are to DIE for!! Can’t wait to see more shots eventually. πŸ™‚ I’m also so envious of your convictions to go ahead and make choices that were unconvential but so you. I’m in the middle of planning my wedding right now (and you’re right, long engagements are for the birds … 6 months down, 8 months to go), and every time I suggest something even slightly out of the ordinary (read: traditions that exist for no reason) my mother looks at me like I have five heads. Sigh!

  • Kira

    Kelly, I loved reading about your wedding and I can’t wait to see your photos and video, which I’m sure will be amazing!! We decided to go with videography as well, and despite the huge bite it took out of our budget, I know the results will be worth it, as our team is super DUPER talented. Let’s be honest, our budget is COMPLETELY blown out of the water at this point, but you only get married once, am I right? I have to say though, a long engagement (like a really long two year engagement) is still working for us at this point. We just reached the six month point and I am in shock!! Time to really get to work! Congrats, guys, I’m so happy for you!

  • Jessica Brown

    Love Love Love the details you’ve shared so far! I definitley agree with everything you mentioned, especially the videographer. Hands down the BEST decision we made. I’m still getting used to the whole “Mrs.” thing and I’ve been married a little over a year! I was with my husband 7 years before we got married so even though nothing has changed, I love having his last name and calling him my husband. Welcome to the club!

    PS- Your dress was gorgeous and timeless!

  • Catherine

    I love your tips!

    Even though we’ve been married almost 9 years your first tip was the most important to us. We wanted a marriage not a wedding, it was all about the future – our future!

    Also my husband is an engineer and project management comes so naturally to him that he planned our wedding!

  • Erin Maree

    I am not engaged (I don’t have a boyfriend either but that’s fine as I am 20 so still a baby in terms of things) but my parents have told me and my sisters to have a short engagement I like the idea of a 3 or 4 months engagement just because I could skip a lot of the minor details due to time constraints. I love your bridesmaids outfits and they can totally wear them again as they are separates rather than a dress!
    I was told that when you are planning a wedding never mention to a vendor first up that its for a wedding as they will often have a “wedding price” and a “normal price”.
    I have already decided that instead of a wedding cake I will instead purchase cakes that me and my (future) fiancΓ©e like and have some sort of meaning behind them. For example my Grandmas loves princess cake (a traditional Swedish cake made with layers of cake, jam, custard, cream, butter cream topped off with pale green almond flavoured fondant) so I will have that and then I love this chocolate cake at a chocolate cafΓ© so we will have that and a few others as it will be way cheaper and I honestly just care about the taste. I figure put some cute toppers of them to tie in to the wedding theme and that’s enough. Honestly in the scheme of things its just one day and as long as you get married that’s the important thing.

    • Kelly

      Your parents give good advice!! =) I love your cake idea!!! It’s similar to what we did, actually. We have a favorite place we always grab a slice of cake when we’re in Palm Springs, so we just ordered several of their 9″ round cakes and had those! Everyone LOVED them and it was WAY cheaper than a wedding cake!!

  • Monique | WritingMonique

    I really waited on this post! I was dying to see your dress! And it is so pretty, you look absolutely gorgeous! I love it! And your first dance: incredible!

  • Gucki

    Super post! Everything was perfect and really in your style (as I learned loving your blog daily!). I am on the “other side” too and I am pretty sure that the really stress of a wedding day it’s the “before”!
    I was totally in love with my light bouquet: http://gucki.it/2014/12/03/happy-anniversary-to-us/
    And now, after 3 years, this is normality but I am thankful everyday for calling it “normality”!


  • Claireabellemakes

    MASSIVE congratulations!! You two are my favourite people on the internet right now. You KILLED IT with the dance! It reminded me of that instagram dance party you posted ages ago in your hall way. You captured that essence perfectly. I think sharing your thoughts on the wedding day is awesome and I love how honest you have been. Personally I’m not fussed about getting married (been with my bf for 12 years) but I would love to just have a massive party like that ha!

  • samantha

    Wow, congrats. Your dress and flowers are absolutely stunning!

  • Lexy | The Proper Pinwheel

    It’s okay that I totally cried while reading this recap, right? It was the dance movie. I get chills every time! You’re the greatest. So was your wedding. Love you BOTH! And Bella! πŸ˜‰

  • David Fischer

    Just have to say that the bridesmaids with the pink penguins is just perfect! Great post.!!

  • Somerset Wedding Gal

    That dress is absolutely wonderful, it honestly looks like a Disney Princess dress, but not too stereotypically wedding like!

  • Patrizia

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful wedding with us! I really looove the pictures. How did you get everybody to pose that funny?

  • Lisa

    Hello! I was wondering if the wedding photos were posted somewhere – would love to see them!

  • Sourav Haldar

    You have really such a nice wedding post here.

  • shubhashis kar

    Awesome! Really very nice wedding post..

  • Rahul Singh

    This is really an awesome blog post, thanks for sharing this.

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