Wedding Sparklers Blog

Wedding Planning Series: My Proposal

March 4th, 2016

By Laurel Critchfield

I've been writing the wedding blog for for about a year now. I've always loved weddings and everything that goes into them. And now I get to plan my own!

As of October 25, 2015, I am engaged. Since the proposal I've done a lot of research about what I need to do first and the planning process in general. I've found a lot of checklists and blog posts about bits and pieces of the planning process, but I couldn't find any blogs that followed the journey start to finish. So that's what I'm hoping to do. I want to take you on my wedding planning adventure with me. You'll see the ups and downs and everything in between.

Now for the proposal. I knew it was coming soon. I had been with my boyfriend for almost three years and we had talked a lot about the future and getting married. He had mentioned to me in August that I should start thinking about keeping my nails done. That was one of my stipulations for when he proposed, because I wanted my nails to look amazing when I put my ring on for the first time. So around the end of August, I started getting gel French manicures every two or three weeks so they would be ready when he was ready.

One thing you have to know about my relationship is that I am the planner. The majority of the time that we go on dates I schedule them. I have always been the person who brought up the future in conversation. So when my boyfriend planned things I would tend to get a little suspicious. About a week before it happened, my boyfriend told me that he wanted to go on a picnic the next Sunday. He told me it was because the fall leaves were going to be at their peak. (Both our favorite season is fall.) But I knew something was up.

That day I had to work in the morning so when I got home I called him and he told me to ‘dress cute' and he would pick me up in about an hour. This wasn't out of the ordinary because we really like to get dressed up for dates.

An hour later he picked me up and we drove to the spot where he wanted to have the picnic. I had always thought that he would propose in one of two places: the big tree right outside of town where we had our first date or the breakfast diner downtown where he asked me to be his girlfriend. I realized a couple minutes in that we weren't going to either of those places - so I started to doubt that it was actually going to happen.

We parked in a gravel lot right outside of the state park in our town and grabbed the picnic basket and blanket and headed down a path. He picked what he said was the perfect spot and we laid the blanket down. I had just started to sit down when he told me to stand back up. He got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. He told me that he loved me and he couldn't imagine spending his life with anyone else. Then he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes.


He put the ring on my finger. It was at this point that I realized that he had invited our two best friends and that they were hiding in the bushes taking photos the whole time. The came out of the bushes and joined us for lunch. My fiancé had packed lunch for all four of us and I hadn't even realized.

After lunch, our best friends took engagement photos for us. They turned out amazing!

We are planning to get married in June of 2017. We have a lot of time to plan, but we are really looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to documenting the process. I hope it can help someone!


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Wedding Venue Questions

October 15th, 2015

by Laurel Critchfield

Photo courtesy of SMS Photography

When you're planning your wedding there are a lot of questions. Everyone will be asking you questions, as the bride. You should be asking a lot of questions. You should have questions for each and every person who plays a part in your big day. Here are a couple of questions you should have about your reception venue.

1. How many people can the venue accommodate?
This is important when determining your guest list. You definitely don't want to be over capacity, but you also don't want to be crammed in the space. The venue will have a fire code number, but they should also have an idea of the number that will be comfortable in the space.

2. What kind of services do you provide? Who will be on staff the day before and the day of?
Some venues provide food and drink for an added fee. Some require you to find your own caterer. The same goes for the DJ. You may also want to check to see if tables and chairs are provided. Most wedding venues have them, but some (especially unconventional wedding venues) do not. Another question is who will be your point person at the venue to help and answer questions the day before and day of. Some venues will provide this person, some will not. You have to ask in order to find out.

3. What are we allowed to and not allowed to do decorating-wise?
For my friend's wedding, she wanted fairy lights all over the reception venue, but they asked the venue and they did not allow tape on the walls at all. We had to connect the lights to the ceiling tiles using paper clips and to the walls using pushpins. Had they not asked this question, and if we had used tape, they would have lost their security deposit. There are lots of little rules and regulations that you should find out before you accidently break them.

4. What is your inclement weather policy? (For outdoor venues)
This is very important, for obvious reasons. Some venues will have their own policy - like a building on property or a sister venue. Some venues do not have a plan and you'll have to make your own plan.

5. Are we allowed to have fireworks or sparklers?
If you plan on having a sparkler or firework exit, you'll have to check with the venue to see if you can conduct that on property. Some venues will allow sparklers, but not fireworks. Some won't allow either. Make sure your venue knows that you are planning on using fireworks or sparklers.

If you have any other questions about your venue, don't be afraid to ask. The people running your venue are there to help.


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4th of July Wedding

June 22nd, 2015

by Laurel Critchfield 

For military couples or couples who are simply very patriotic, an America themed wedding may be the best option. This would work very well for weddings held on or near July 4th!

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4 Things to Splurge on for Your Reception

May 29th, 2015

by Laurel Critchfield

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The Perfect Toppers for Your Wedding Cake

April 17th, 2015

by Laurel Critchfield

Your cake topper is a great way to show of your personality. It can range from serious to totally goofy and generic to completely personalized. People can get to know you and your significant other as a couple, just by looking at the top of your cake.

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