9 On Your Side reporter Ally Kraemer got engaged in November. She will be writing about her wedding planning experiences until her wedding on Aug. 19. Expect to see the good, the bad and the bridezilla. (Just kidding!)
CINCINNATI -- I’ve been in a few weddings, and I was in a sorority in college.
My girlfriends are abundant, and I have the greatest girls by my side.
My maid of honor, Taryn, was my college roommate. We’ve been best friends for nine years and are pretty much soulmates. She also has been in a lot of weddings, so she knows her stuff.
I also asked my sister-in-law, Moriah, who married my older brother over the summer. She had a wedding organizer ready and waiting for me after Jake popped the question. She keeps me sane.
The rest of my bridesmaids are all Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters. We lived together in college, we travel together every year and now we’re scattered across the country. Weddings are our favorite reason to get together. They’re beautiful girls with big hearts. I’m lucky to have them!
Jake’s best man, Curtis, is actually one of the guys who introduced us. I knew Curtis long before I even knew Jake. It’s fun to have someone who has watched our relationship develop since Day One. Curtis and his fiancee, Alex, are getting married two weeks after we are. We’re experiencing wedding mania together!
Both of my brothers, Andrew and Harrison, made the cut as Jake’s groomsmen. They all go hunting and fishing together and get along well -- no threatening older brother situation here!
The other groomsmen are a good mix of friends who are all from Cincinnati. One is flying in from Puebla, Mexico! Our wedding will be the first time we’ve seen our friend Héctor García-Pekel in more than a year.
Asking the bridal party
Asking people to serve as bridesmaids and groomsmen in a creative way is a thing.
I sent my girls (who are all out of town) personalized tumblers from Sugar Water Lemons on Etsy.
These cute cards from Marry Grams are also a pretty way to say, “Help me keep my sanity.”
Is it dorky to send your groomsmen the same sweet cards? According to Jake, it was unnecessary, but I made him do it anyway.
He wrote to my little brother Harrison: “I hear there’s going to be a lot of single bridesmaids.”
(There are not.)
To his best man, who recently grew a ponytail: “You can be in the wedding if you cut your hair.”
(We know he won’t.)
We paired those dorky notes with a small bottle of Jack Daniels and a Coke and called it a day.
If you haven’t heard by now, my niece Kylie means everything to us. She is 3 years old and pretty much the cutest flower girl ever.
I made her a “Flower Girl” shirt with a basket of petals. She practiced throwing them for about a week until her mom had to hide the basket. (Picking up 300 flower petals every day is a nightmare. We’ll practice when the wedding gets a little closer.)
I don’t have a ring bearer. My nephew Andy will be 11 months old, so we’ll put a bow tie on him and maybe his mom and dad can carry him down the aisle. Or maybe he’ll be with a babysitter -- sorry, Andy!
Kids at a wedding is a topic for another time.
Now I’m searching for the perfect dress. It’s not something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl, so I’m starting with a blank slate. Next week I’ll show you what I’ve found so far.
I’m always looking for advice! If you have some to share, send me an email at email@example.com.