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Diary of the Busy Bride-Myja Kjaer

 

What is the definition of a busy bride?? One that has a life to attend to whether it be a career or a business of her own, but still needs to plan her wedding.  

These days we all have a different sense of style so it doesn’t matter if you are a traditional bride or in love with a farm wedding with rustic touches, the average wedding takes over 200 hours to plan!  At the end of a year that is equivalent to a part time job.

Words can not begin to express how Myja has touched our heart at Visions.  She is such a joy to work with and more so getting to know her not as a bride but as a person.

We first met in the fall of 2012 and instantly knew that we would be a good fit with each other for her March 2013 wedding at the Adler in Chicago.  We have assisted in piecing together small details all the way to vendor recommendations to match her preferred style.  We were to come on as Day of Coordinator’s but I feel like we have been there in spirit much longer than a month, as we prayed for Myja during the difficulty of loosing her father.

As a Chicago Wedding Planner I  consider my brides more friend than client.  I am here to be the best friend that may be out of town, the listening ear to a sister that can’t be right there with you.  I don’t just plan weddings, I help brides get through those months leading up, by being there for them in a way that goes far beyond contracts.

As you read Myja’s interview of how she has managed career and wedding, please hear the sincerity in her words.  She wants to be a vessel of hope for another bride facing the same obstacles.

Photo Credit: Brian Kinyon

Visions: How did Amit propose, what was your initial reaction?

Myja: I think my reaction was both surprise that Amit had pulled off such an elaborate proposal and a sense of amazement that someone would make me feel the most special, loved and cherished I’ve ever felt in my life.

Amit managed to catch me completely by surprise after a lovely dinner out (he didn’t lose his cool at all at dinner…except stealing my wine at dinner and gulping it).  After dinner, Amit had me convinced that we were meeting a friend who was staying at his old apartment (which Amit had moved out of a few weeks prior) at his old apartment, then headed to somewhere in the neighborhood for a charity event his friend was involved with.

Instead, I walked into a candle-lit apartment with a rose-lined path leading to several of our travel pictures to India, Mexico and beyond.  Amit had hired a violinist to play some of our favorite songs and a photographer to record the event.

Amit very sweetly reminded me of some of our favorite memories, including our first date where he kept blowing out the candles on the restaurant table because he was gesturing and talking so much in an effort to “say everything he could to make me go out with him again,” and the ones we can expect to look forward to in our lives together.  And then, on one knee, he asked me to marry him and I, of course, said “yes.”

Visions: Your wedding day is less than a month away, how are you feeling?

Myja: Panic.  Well, I was feeling panic until you guys stepped in to take over a lot of the details and planning.  There is so much that goes into planning a wedding that I had no clue about.  I’m also getting excited to have a great time at the wedding, see family and friends and, of course, marry the man I love.

Visions: How did you end up with a decision to have your wedding at the Adler Planetarium?

Myja: That was actually Amit’s decision.  I was researching venues after we got engaged and found out that we might be able to pull off a wedding, budget-wise, at the Adler since we were marrying off-season if I otherwise stayed in a budget Amit and I had set for ourselves.  The second I told him that we might be able to pull off a wedding there, his face lit up…Amit loves everything space related.  I was sold at that point without even seeing the venue in person because I knew he would love it so much.

Visions: What stresses you most in the planning process?

Myja: Staying within budget has been a challenge.  It is easy to see a great idea on the internet or a great vendor and say “just this once” but all those “just this once” moments add up to “holy cow.”

Visions: How has having a wedding planner helped you in planning your big day?

Myja: Hiring Visions and working with Jenee (and Tiffany) has been the best-spent money in this process hands-down.  From giving us inspirations about details, connecting us with great vendors, following through with all our vendors, creating probably the most detailed time-line I’ve ever seen and being wonderful, organized, calm and loving people…Visions took my stress from 100 to 10 the second I conceded that I needed help and couldn’t do this on my own.  Having experienced a big personal loss in my family the month or so before the wedding, I can’t tell you how supportive and helpful Visions has been as a business but also how loving and kind Jenee has been as an individual.

Vision: What has been the most exciting detail you’ve planned so far for your wedding?

Myja: Well we have a bit of a secret that I don’t want to give away in case anyone that is coming to our wedding reads this pre-wedding.  How about I come back and share the video afterwards? J Other than that surprise, I think we are both excited to have successfully combined our two respective cultures (Indian and Danish-American) throughout the wedding both in the ceremony itself and with little details like Asian inspired elephant place card holders, a duo of Indian and Danish cookies wrapped together as our guests’ favors, multiple kinds of cultural food, etc.

Visions: For newly-engaged brides, what advice would you offer to them as they start their planning?

Myja: Excel is your friend…start creating spreadsheets when comparing vendors and, once you decide on vendors, create a master spreadsheet with all of their contact information and detailed “to do” lists.  I can’t tell you how many times I was searching back through contracts/emails for this information and if I had created my master spreadsheet earlier and updated it daily, it would have made the early stages of planning much easier.

Also, understand what is really important to you and your fiancé jointly and find a way to compromise with one another.  My fiancé could see how stressed I was getting wedding planning and trying to make everyone else happy and suggested daily status meetings to discuss where we were with our wedding projects and who needed to take what tasks…those meetings were really productive.

Visions: How are you managing the stress of planning along with a career?

Myja: It hasn’t been easy and I’ve definitely relied on Visions for help.  Whether it is taking my lunch hour to look at a venue or researching during the weekends/late at night.  Planning a wedding and being a full-time lawyer has been difficult but, thankfully, I’m pretty organized and good at time management.  My fiancé has taken over some of the tasks as well, like planning transportation, planning men’s attire, going to tastings, etc. And, of course, Visions has been incredibly helpful in giving me ideas, setting me up with great vendors and taking over a lot of the planning/follow-up with vendors.

Visions: With experiencing a recent family loss, what advice would you offer to others in the same situation?

Myja: Loosing my Dad to a year-long battle with cancer a month ago, when I know how much he was looking forward to the wedding…there are no words for the pain, emptiness and anger you can feel.  I’ve learned that that’s ok.  Its ok to go through each of those emotions, as well as the happy and excited ones in planning to marry the person you love, and to neither push those emotions away nor let them control you.  I’d advise someone going through the loss of someone so key to their lives so close to their wedding to ask for help and build a great support network around you, to lean on others and not take everything on yourself, to be sad when you need to be sad and to be happy when you are happy (and to not feel a sense of guilt in either emotion).  My Dad knew I was happy with Amit and very much approved of our future marriage.  While Dad would have loved to walk me down the aisle, he’ll be there in my heart walking with me that day.  I’m sure it will be an emotional day for me as well as Amit and our families.  It will be day that is exciting, bittersweet, sad and happy… but that’s life’s journey too and I’m very blessed to have Amit at the end of the aisle to go with me on this journey.

Are you a Chicago Busy Bride in need of a professional Chicago wedding planner?  Visions is here to help, no matter where you are at in your planning.

About Jenée Strickland | Lead Visionaire

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