Wedding Planning Guide from a Groom-To-Be

So you’ve read lots of articles about planning a wedding written by brides and brides-to-be… but what about the groom’s perspective?  Today’s blog post is written by Jim Wilson, who is marrying his fiancee Kim at the Agora Grand Event Center in September.  (If you’re looking for wedding planning from a bride’s perspective, one post is here and another is here.  And here’s a post with information on planning in a destination wedding in Maine.)

How did you pop the question?

It was New Year’s Eve and we were at a local bar to celebrate. I purposely made plans for just the two of us rather than with a group of friends, however I was hoping to catch the moment on video and not sure how I was going to accomplish that. Fatefully, a friend of mine, Keith, sent me a text wondering what we were up to and he happened to be across the street at another bar. I told him to come over and once he got there, I texted him to make an excuse and meet me in the bathroom in 5. I then told him my plan and asked if he would be the videographer and he obliged. As the whole bar began to countdown to midnight, and I nervously prepared to drop to my knee, I noticed the bar was counting down out of sync with the countdown on the TV (no one else seemed to notice). Once everyone got to zero I got down on my knee, only to have the entire bar realize it was not quite midnight yet and begin the countdown all over, leaving me stranded on one knee until the count once again reached zero. I was then able to continue my proposal and she said YES!

[By the way, here’s the super-cute video of his proposal that he described above.]

Agora Grand Wedding Castle Lewiston Maine

What was your biggest challenge in wedding planning?

The biggest challenge was planning a wedding that takes place 2,000 miles away. We live in Texas, but are from New Hampshire and the majority of our family & friends are in New England. Unable to meet our vendors, we had to go off online reviews and recommendations.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?

We are most looking forward to being surrounded by friends and family. Living in Texas, we rarely have an opportunity to see most of them let alone all in one room.

What was especially important to you about planning your wedding? 

It’s really hard to pinpoint one thing that is more important than another. For me, it really comes down to the details for each piece. I want our wedding to be a memorable night not just for us, but for all who attend, from the food, to the décor, to the memories that will be captured.

What are you planning to do before your wedding to make sure you’re relaxed and fully present on your special day?

Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it, but I suspect a good night’s sleep the night before will be in order. Also, making sure everything is in place and ready to go so that we can enjoy our day, worry free.

Who helped you in the planning process?  

My fiancée and I are doing most of the planning ourselves, with the help of Kim’s Maid of Honor Darlene, and a good friend of ours, Gina, who is a Wedding Planner but helping us out in an unofficial capacity.

What surprised you about the wedding planning?

Cost and the amount of things that need to be in planned and in place. There were a lot of working parts that I didn’t even think about (thank God for my fiancée).

Did you stay within your budget?  If not, what were some of the unexpected costs?

I honestly did not come in with a set budget (shame on me), however I did have an idea in my head of the max I wanted to spend. We have almost doubled that. Little things like linens, center pieces, invitations, etc., add up and we splurged on other things that weren’t quite necessary, like an open bar, so that our guests can have an enjoyable and memorable experience.

How many venues did you look at, and why did you choose the Agora Grand?

We looked at several venues online and Kim planned a trip back to New England with her Maid of Honor to visit a list of them that we narrowed down. Kim wanted a rustic barn wedding, and honestly, Agora Grand wasn’t at the top of our list because it was not a barn. Agora was the second venue they visited (the first was a barn) and Kim called me immediately after to tell me she found our venue.

What are your honeymoon plans?

We plan to take our honeymoon the following summer, somewhere tropical. No definite plans just yet.

What one tip would you offer brides- or grooms-to-be about planning their wedding?

Get started early and don’t procrastinate on all the small details. There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding and there is never enough time, but if you get a head start you’ll have a leg up.

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