I can’t believe I’ve been married two whole months already! It seems like just yesterday Liam proposed and we started planning our wedding. Or should I say “I” started planning our wedding? Liam was great about it though- he said “the engagement was mine- the wedding is yours.” (To plan that is!)
My wedding was magical. Everything that dreams are made up to be! I spent 20 long months planning our incredible wedding. I know you are thinking, wow 20 months- that’s a long time!- and yes it was! Trust me- I know! We got engaged on February 2nd, 2012 and everyone who knows baseball realizes that Spring Training was looming right around the corner. We had so much stuff to think about with baseball that we knew we couldn’t take on the task of planning a wedding. (And some background information- I’m a Virgo… this wedding had to be pure perfection.) We talked about getting married that following January but Liam wanted to wait a bit to enjoy our engagement. I knew he had a lot on his plate with baseball so I made the choice not to fight him about it and just go with the flow. (For a Virgo- that’s a tough thing to do.)
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During baseball season in 2012- we decided it was time to pick a date. With Liam being from Australia and most of my family being from all over the USA, we knew we needed to pick a date so they could book their flights and accommodations. We landed on November 23rd, 2013. We figured that it was a little more than a year and a half away at that time. Figuring out a date was pivotal in our wedding planning so that we could book a venue, hire a wedding coordinator, and all of the other craziness that comes with planning a wedding.
We both knew we wanted to get married outside. So much of our life revolves around baseball and being outside, we had to incorporate that into our big day! We also decided not to have a destination wedding- which we were looking into at the start. We figured- “hey! We live in Florida… that’s a destination in itself!” It was also a grand idea so that I could be involved in the actual planning and not talking to someone over the phone in Hawaii. I could be wayyyy more hands on! (That’s a Virgo’s dream,btw.)
We finally narrowed down our decision between the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club in Naples Florida or the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs Florida. We liked a lot about both places. If we got married at the Yacht Club, we could have a gorgeous view over the Harbor and arrive by boat. The only downfall was the fact that there was no hotel on the property and we would have to contract out with a nearby hotel and also rent shuttles throughout the night to haul guests back and forth. If we got married at the Hyatt, it was at a hotel to begin with so no shuttles would be necessary. They also had gorgeous outdoor areas to choose from in which we could have our ceremony.
We decided on getting married at the Hyatt. Not only was it more practical for all of our out of town guests, it was just more “Liam and Kristi”. We live in hotels throughout the baseball season- so why not tie that into our wedding as well. 😉
I met with Mike Dolch- who is the man to hire at the Hyatt if you are planning a wedding there! He was able to walk me through the property and give me different options for my big day. Would I choose the banyan tree area or the tall hedged area as an outdoor space for the ceremony? Would I want to do a cocktail hour at the ceremony site or a different space on the Hyatt grounds? Would I want to do an indoor reception in the ballroom or would I want to do it outside by the fountain? What I loved so much was the fact that even though I was doing every part of my wedding on the Hyatt grounds- it would be like a different location/design for each mini part of the event. And that is exactly what I did.
I chose the tall hedged area for our ceremony. It was a little more private and provided tons of gorgeous greenery for our ceremony. I had the fountain area for the cocktail hour and I had our reception inside in the Estero ballroom. The best part was knowing our guests could party as much as they wanted and just go upstairs to bed. No driving involved. Plus- the resort is stunning. Click the link below to see our wedding location!
I can’t wait to start posting more about my wedding! If you are planning a wedding or just love a good story, I hope you follow my blog to learn more! I will post about finding the best wedding coordinator, decor inspirations, my dress, and much, much more in blog posts to come! Also learn about how we landed an episode on Say Yes to the Dress: The Big Day! (Coming to TLC this summer!)
Photo Credits: Zesty Photo
Listening to: Royals- Lorde
*** Update from the bride… click HERE!