I first met Kristi at the end of the summer. She had contacted me not many weeks before her wedding looking for “wrap-up” assistance. I instantly knew this girl had it together as she whipped out the most gorgeous (self-made) vision board I had ever seen. Seriously, it looked like something straight off The Perfect Palette. She proceeded to tell me about her DIY black and white striped runners, gold glitter table numbers, garland tassels, and unique guest book – all which I later discovered looked exactly like their inspiration photo (a rarity with DIY wedding décor). When their wedding day finally came, I know all these little details made it especially memorable for them. I knew I wanted to interview Kristi for Beyond Bridal because she has such an amazing testimony on hiring a wedding coordinator, and thankfully she agreed to share that story with all of you!
Who you are: (where you live, what you do…)
My name is Kristi Gordon (Robertshaw). My husband Andrew and I live in St. Peters with our 2 dogs; an attention seeking Dachshund, and a rambunctious Staffordshire Terrier Mix. In my professional life, I am a Business Development Strategist for Staples Promotional Products and a freelance graphic designer. My husband is an IT Implementation Project Manager for Enterprise Holdings. On weekends you can find us renovating our home during the day and trying out new restaurants at night!
When you first got engaged, how did you envision the wedding? What changed through the journey?
When we first got engaged, I had visions of grandeur – as I assume everyone has! I started Pinning all of the things, and pictured an event comparable to a Hollywood A-list party. And then I saw how much it would all cost! Now, working at a florist in high school prepared me for the cost of the flowers, but I was astounded at the prices for things like offering a choice of food or covering a chair. From there, I began to scale back the unnecessary elements and chose to make a lot of our décor myself!
How did you include your groom in the planning process?
I am admittedly very Type A and handing over any decision making was a bit of a challenge for me. Especially when my jokester fiancé suggested a version of Nintendo’s Duck Hunt set up at the classy reception I pictured! With that said, he supported my décor ideas entirely and really just wanted a nice location (“not old or dingy”) with good food. Together we chose our reception site and had a great time at our tasting trying out all of the delicious food! Andrew also helped me out enormously with the DIY projects; spending nights sitting on our couch punching out hearts and glittering votives – he’s so crafty!
Favorite element of the day?
Am I really expected to pick just one?! Well, even though we had a bit of a mishap with our transportation company (that Megan handled expertly, by the way), resulting in a bit of a timeline crunch; the wedding party all took a trip to Tropical Moose for some shaved ice in between the ceremony and reception. It was a great time to celebrate and spend time with our closest friends – relaxing and enjoying the day.
Something you wish you could have done differently?
My favorite part of the day was also something that I would have done differently. That day, we had a problem with our transportation company that resulted in about an hour delay to our schedule. Nonetheless, we still made an effort to stick to the original timeline, which included the trip to Tropical Moose. The consequence was hardly any time to spend in the special “wedding party room” that we loved so much about our location when we first chose it. Had we been more flexible to change, we would have been able to enjoy the room while still spending that quality time with our friends.
What has changed now that you’re married?
I get this question a lot, and I can honestly say nothing really. Andrew bought a house before we met and we lived together before marriage so there was no big move or home buying stress. If anything, I have a lot more free time now without having a wedding to plan!
Advice to pass on to other brides?
- Be flexible. If something goes awry, just roll with the punches and be open to change. I was always told, “Something will go wrong” and thought, it won’t for us. It did. It wasn’t a big deal and it was fixed quickly. But, if something happens that throws a monkey wrench in your plans, consider changing it up and going a different route.
- Take more pictures than you think you need & try to withstand those long photo sessions! We have thousands of pictures from our amazing photographer. But is it wrong that I still wish there were more? Towards the end of our photo session I was getting antsy and felt guilty for keeping everyone so long – but I shouldn’t have. Had I stuck it out a bit longer, I’d have more pictures to cherish.
- Hire Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Events. While planning the wedding I read countless articles, “You Need a Wedding Coordinator” or “A Wedding Planner is a Must” but I glossed over them every time. Reasoning that there was no room in my budget for a wedding planner. I thought: I am a project manager and a designer, surely I can handle coordinating my own wedding. Oh how wrong I was… While our reception location provided an event coordinator, she wasn’t able to help me with my timeline weeks prior or be there with me the entire day. Having Megan there as an advocate allowed me to truly enjoy the day. I didn’t have to worry if the candles at the ceremony were lit or if the runners were all aligned at the reception. I also didn’t have to fret about our limo bus breaking down halfway through the day. Instead I was able to really focus on the most important part of the day – marrying my sweetheart!