Jocelyn's Monday Report #4

September 24, 2012 - Chicago

Destination wedding?  Check!  Location?  Check!   Date?  Umm well let’s see.  After careful thought, Fred and I simply decided to select our dating anniversary, October 28th, which serendipitously fell on a Friday the year of our wedding.  At that time, 11/11/11 was all the rage in wedding date land but we figured going with 10/28/11 instead of some arbitrary date that sounded cool would mean more to us in the end, and it would be easy to remember.  Double bonus!  So wedding date?  Check!
After we confirmed these details, I started the not-so-glamorous nor exciting research process.  I basically oversaw this process because I consider myself to be the queen of research.  I can toot my own horn a bit right?  I began with wedding venues narrowing down the list to my top three selections based on budget, locale, staff helpfulness, reviews, online photographs and miscellaneous perimeters.  I even emailed a few Maui brides to get their personal feedback.  There is nothing better than talking to a bride about her unique experience at the venue you are considering.  You get the “no holds barred” advice without the fluff ; the good, the bad and the ugly.  I highly recommend doing this to those currently planning their weddings..
Once I gained more prospective on venues, I explored hotel options in close proximity to my top spots.  Fred and I had a laundry list of wants, which included a resort that was inviting, relaxing, reasonably priced, and full of activities and amenities, basically what one would imagine a Hawaiian getaway should be. 
After all of the research I did, reviews I read and the photos I poured over, I still didn’t feel completely ready to pull the trigger on making final decisions.  So we decided to make the extremely tough decision to plan a site visit to Maui.  This was indeed the most difficult part of my wedding planning.  I’m sure you caught the sarcasm there.     I can’t wait to share the adventures of our site visit with you next week!

Jocelyn's Monday Report #3

September 17, 2012

by Jocelyn Delk Adams

“Aruba, Jamaica, ooo I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama…” well you get the gist. There are endless locations available for the picking for destination wedding couples. Fred and I researched all of the typical spots like Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and even Las Vegas. So how did we end up choosing Hawaii, you ask? Have you ever heard the saying “Good things come in threes?” Well, this story gives credibility to that saying. Good thing 1: Exactly one year before Fred proposed, I received an email about Maui vacations. The picture in the email was so striking that I immediately did a quick Google search on traveling there. Something just drew me to South Maui, and I quickly fell in love with the Wailea area and knew I just had to visit one day, perhaps for my honeymoon. Good thing 2: A few weeks after I got engaged, I started chatting with my co-worker and good friend Leslie about potential locations for my destination wedding. She mentioned a once in a lifetime trip she took with her family to Maui. The way she spoke about her stay at the Grand Wailea was so magical, and the stunning beauty of the online photographs enchanted me. We literally stared at my computer screen with our mouths hanging open. It was all so breathtaking, and the thought of marrying there instantly calmed me. I was immediately reminded of my research on Maui vacations the year before. Good thing 3: Every potential setting for our wedding seemed a bit “blah” to Fred until one particular evening. On one random night following my conversation with Leslie, Fred blurted out “What about Hawaii?” He had no clue about my conversation with Leslie or my secret desires of going there. I asked him why Hawaii, and he said because who doesn’t want to go there? Such simple and true words spoken from the fiance’ himself. So I quickly jumped on board saying we should do it. When he asked which island, I already knew the answer.

Jocelyn's Monday Report #2

September 9, 2012

by Jocelyn Delk Adams

Making the decision to have a destination wedding definitely came with its pros and cons. It was the year of my 30th birthday, and I was long over the childhood dream of a lavish ballroom wedding with hundreds of guests reminiscent to a Platinum Weddings episode. Fred and I discussed that a smaller, more intimate, wedding with our family and closest friends was our preference. It would be nearly impossible to have that vision in Chicago because my mother would invite the entire city to a big bash filled with people who only met me once in my entire life. Having the wedding in another location seemed like a sure fire way of avoiding the hoopla. Though a destination wedding seemed like a great option, I admit, in the beginning, my type A tendencies got the best of me and caused a bit of destination wedding anxiety. I realized I would have to give a lot of trust to my vendors especially because I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of whatever location we would select. This was terrifying. I am an event producer by trade after all! The hard part would be finding vendors that respected my professional background, sometimes lofty ideas and desperate need to be heavily involved and hands on. Typing this now, I am utterly apologetic to my amazing vendors and husband who had to deal with my severe control issues and bitter fits of rage when I didn’t quite get my way (just kidding about the bitter fits of rage part). At the end of the day, I did compromise, and Fred and I made the decision to have a wedding that would best fit “us” and our lifestyles. While I am definitely a bit flashier than my husband, we overall are pretty simple people with relaxed lives. From these ideals, our destination wedding plan was born. We just had to figure out where to have this wedding. To be continued…..

Jocelyn's Monday Report #1

September 2, 2012

by Jocelyn Delk Adams

This is the story of an urban city girl who had the Hawaiian wedding of her dreams…. with a few twists and turns along the way. I’m Jocelyn, an events and media producer from Chicago, Illinois who loves life, the arts, movies, traveling, anything fun, and my day job planning a huge yearly festival at an arts college.   When I’m not working, you can find me glued to—and often screaming at–the television while watching the NBA, or indulging in So You Think You Can Dance, Shameless and Top Chef marathons.   I achieve my ideal state of zen in my condo’s cozy kitchen, whipping up delicious treats for family and friends as they lounge nearby to taste-test.

One could say I have never had a problem with work/life balance because I truly “carpe diem” everyday!  What I never found was that idyllic balance for myself in a life partner, well that was until I landed at a video production job seven years ago that introduced me to my better, and more calming half, Frederick.   I’m the creative social butterfly, and he’s the levelheaded introverted counterpart.  As cliché’ as it sounds, the “opposites attract” notion has never been so true.
So fast-forward to five years after meeting Fred and somewhere in between two career changes, a kidney transplant and a lovely engagement that was just so “us”, we were in the midst of wedding planning.   Going from planning events to planning a wedding is not as seamless a transition as one would think.  Each Monday, I will share with you our wedding planning journey and provide you with inspiration and tips for planning a wedding uniquely your own.   Stay tuned! 
*editor's note:  we are SO EXCITED to have Jocelyn sharing her experiences with us, and you!  
Jocelyn is an events and media producer from Chicago, IL. For more information about Jocelyn, visit her at http://www.jdelkadams.com/ or on her Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/GrandbabyCakes and http://facebook.com/HighArtCreative.