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Q: What is the first thing you booked?

A: PHOTOGRAPHER + VENUE!!! I’m weird and have known exactly who/where I wanted for both of these for years so literally the day after the proposal I contacted @aubreebellephotography + made our official appt at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island.

Q: Tips for THE ACTUAL DAY of & getting ready?

A: Our morning getting ready was so light and just good vibes. We had a breakfast buffet, coffee cart with “Hailee” named drinks, massage therapists, and good music playing.

I really only started to feel the nerves right before seeing KW for the first time and exchanging our vows. For tips, I’d say to try to be over-prepared prior so you can just enjoy the day of. Put on good music, surround yourself with your people, and just enjoy it.

Q: Your registry must-haves?

A: SUCH A GOOD QUESTION because a registry can make you feel so lost - here are some of my absolute favorites we received as gifts (all on amazon) -

Q: What do your wedding guests remember / mention the most about your wedding?

A: The two things all of our guests CONSISTENTLY bring up is how much they loved our live band (Emerald City Band out of TX) and the surprise midnight snack (Chick Fil A)!

Q: where did you get your dress?

A: My wedding dress was from the designer Pnina Tornai (STYLE: 4794) which I said yes to at Kleinfeld Bridal in NYC!

Q: favorite part of engagement season?

A: Honestly my favorite part of being engaged was having a long engagement (1 Year + 4 Months) - we had time to really enjoy that season of life. Looking forward to our day, planning my dream wedding, and having celebrations. It was just so special and my favorite time in our relationship.

Q: Did you wait and see each-other for the first time at your ceremony?

A: No - we did a first look privately where we exchanged our vows. It was sooooo special and definitely my favorite moment of the day. We both cried and then it started to rain as we finished.

Q: To spray tan or not to spray tan?

A: GET THE DANG SPRAY TAN! If you want to look tan and you want the spray tan, get it. I was sooooo on the fence about this and scared it would bleed during the reception or stain my dress. Day of - it didn’t, and I was just happy to be tan and glowing (thanks to @glowmobiletans).

Q: Thoughts on plus ones?

A: I HATE THIS TOPIC more than anything when it comes to wedding planning. Only brides will understand - but in my opinion, don't do it. Only give "plus ones" to people traveling alone or who might not know a single other person there.

When it comes to boyfriends/girlfriends - we kinda based it on if we knew them well enough to have them at our day, and if we did then yes they were invited themselves, not as a plus one. Don't let anyone intimidate you into inviting someone, it's YOUR day and you are the one paying for them. Also - it's just rude to even ask. And that's the tea.

Q: the 3 most important things when planning your wedding?

A: This is a tough one and I think it changes depending on the bride and your priorities/wishes - mine were probably -

  1. Prioritize what is most important to you. I made a list of top 3 things I REALLY cared about, and made sure those were done as “perfectly” as possible before worrying about the other smaller things.

  2. Have everything prepared + planned, so that day of you can live in the moment and be present. My team did a great job of letting me just enjoy my day and not stress about any of the little things.

  3. Just have fun and do everything in your power to enjoy the whole process (and especially the day) and to memorialize it with lots of pictures and video so you can relive it over and over.

Q: Something you regret doing or looking back, would’ve not done?

A: I stared at this question for a while and can really say there's nothing I regret doing. Maybe inviting people or having people in my wedding who weren't in my life for the right reasons? But that's never something you can predict and I don't think I regret ANYTHING about our day.

Q: Something you were so happy you did?

A: A little something special we did was place a white rose with a name tag on the chairs of mine and Kyle’s passed grandparents who were not with us physically on our day. It was something small, but meant so much to us, and even more to our grandmas. Both of them came up to us after, holding the roses with tears in their eyes - letting us know how much it meant to them.

Q: DAY OF GIFTS? Who do I get them for / what are some ideas?

A: Such a good question!!!! Here’s a list of “day of gifts” I gave my people:

KW (the groom) : I gave KW a pair of blacked out Jordan 1’s to wear at the reception and a little ~just for him~ boudoir album.

Bridesmaids : Each bridesmaid got a silk personalized pajama set, fuzzy slippers, a hangover kit, and a Wilkes wedding tote.

Groomsmen : KW picked out the cutest socks for each groomsmen and koozies with their names/the date on them.

my mom : a frame with our favorite quote and a picture of us / a mother of the bride robe

my dad: an embroidered gators handkerchief with a message from me on it

KW’s mom (mother of the groom) : a mother of the groom robe

Q: Where should I shop for outfits? Specifically honeymoon / bachelorette trip?

A: Oh girl - I’ve got you covered. Here is the link for my “For the Bride” blog with links and picks for everything from bach trip, to honeymoon, to showers, and more.

Q: What song did you dance to? Walk down the aisle to?

A: Looooove this question because these little details are so meaningful.

first dance - Georgia by Vance Joy

down the aisle - A Thousand Years instrumental by Christina Perri

+ then my best friend sang our "highschool" song for a slow dance at the reception

Q: How long did you give yourself from engagement to wedding to plan?

A: I didn’t necessarily give myself a specific allotted time, but instead chose when I knew I wanted to have my wedding (the fall) and chose a date in November! I ended up having a year and a half to plan and enjoy being engaged, which was perfect!

Q: Rehearsal Dinner musts? What was yours like?

A: The rehearsal dinner was so special to me - every part of it was romantic and intimate and just what I wanted. We had a guitarist playing while everyone had cocktails and chatted, and then a sit-down/plated dinner followed by a slideshow (I cried) and so many toasts (I cried more).

The toasts were the best - so special and heartfelt, I'll never forget them. After speeches, we all went outside to the patio for a dessert party with a smores bar, mini bonfires, and a bubble bar.

Q: Did you plan your bachelorette trip? Did you pay for anything?

A: I chose the location and the "theme" but then my Maid of Honor and mom did all of the planning/gifts/surprises. I didn't pay for anything - I understand this isn't always realistic but I think it's important to have the Bride pay for as little as possible.

On the other Bach Trips I've attended, we all paid for the bride's food, drinks, gifts, and even the place we stayed so she was expense free! It makes it more special for her in the end.

Q: Did you do a sendoff?

A: We didn’t do a traditional “sendoff” - instead we decided to keep everyone partying on the dance-floor and at midnight they shot off huge white confetti cannons while we danced and fountain "fireworks" shot up! I absolutely loved this - it turned into the best photos and video and was such a fun end to the night.

Q: Who planned your wedding? Did you use a day-of coordinator?

A: My wedding planner was Nicki Korman of Collins Korman Events and her amazing team! We also had a coordinator at the Ritz who was great in working with us / our planner. My wedding scale DEFINITELY needed a full planner, not just a day-of coordinator!

Q: Little details that really stuck out to you?

A: Ask anyone - I was ALL about the little details. Sharing some of my favorites below.

- the Welcome Gift for all our guests (every single piece in it was personalized and a part of me + Kyle - my best friend even handpainted our lovestory timeline)

- using my Grandma + Grandpa's cake topper from their wedding

- our custom neon sign above our cakes (we kept it and plan to put it in our new house)

Q: Were your dogs included? I know you love your fur babies!

A: YOU KNOW IT! Not only did they all walk in the ceremony - we also had 3 signature drinks, each named after them + mini statues of each of them on the grooms cake. They were a hit (the drinks and the pups)

Q: Bridesmaid proposal gift ideas?

A: I actually have an entire video about asking my bridesmaids to be in my wedding in the most HAILEE WAY ever. I show all their gift-boxes and where everything is from. Linking it here!

Q: On the design side - what was most important?

A: The florals!!!!!!! 80% of my entire design and vision was white roses - I wanted a very elegant / classy, fairytale vibe that looked crisp and modern. It was so beautiful and romantic. It could not have been more accurate to what I dreamed up.

Q: Your favorite moments of the night?

A: There were too many. a few that stand out are --

- my private moment + first-look with KW

- my bestie surprising everyone with a Dear Evan Hansen performance

- the cake reveal (in the most dramatic fashion)

- singing our "sister song" at the top of our lungs with a killer performance

- my 90 year old grandma on the dance floor at midnight

the link to our wedding video is here.

xx Hailee

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