I'm Tonie - my hearts desire is to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair!


My Fairytale is No Fairytale Part II //Deciding on an International Wedding//

May 15, 2014

Hey there and welcome back! If you missed the first Installment of this series, I suggest you read that first.. so go see it HERE…

Now, Eric and I left our engagement in Hawaii on cloud nine! We were so thrilled to be engaged and I had already been spotted in Rite Aid on the floor scouring Bridal Magazines when our flight home delayed, ultimately about 4 hours, into the wee hours of the morning. (HEY! No judging! When you are finally the bride, you get to not feel guilty about buying those darn things!)


But I will say this.. cloud nine was quickly diminishing as we dove head first into wedding planning. I was scared to “set a budget” and felt like we were pulling random numbers from nowhere and saying “I don’t want to spend $2,000 on flowers so let’s set our budget for flowers at $300….”  I could see E getting frustrated with the fact that I was being so frivolous when it came to actually planning the budget and I knew something needed to be done to make sure we both got our “dream wedding” – and yes, I had far more “dreams” than E did, but he still had lots of opinions and wanted to be very involved! More involved than I thought a guy would be, and honestly that made me REALLY happy. I bought at CV Linens a cheap table runner, my first shopping for the wedding. I’m so excited!!

So… we did the hard thing and set a budget. A budget we BOTH felt good about and honestly I wish I could say I did research on what a good budget would be, but I didn’t. We just set a number we both felt good about spending on “one day” and went from there. At some point (actually fairly early) the idea of getting married overseas came up (specifically Ireland because I have family friends there). WE QUICKLY jumped on the idea and started to talk to family and friends about it…. YIKES BAD -FREAKING-IDEA!!!! My biggest wedding planning lesson came right then… DO NOT share ideas if you DO NOT want everyone else’s opinions on your ideas 🙂 Plain and simple… we had some people SO SO excited about the idea it shoved me RIGHT back up on cloud nine…then I would be RIPPED down to the hard ground of earth when others would literally squash my excitement by making negative comments and stating all the bad parts of getting married away from home. The last straw came right before thanksgiving when I was in tears and Eric and I had a 2 hour drive ahead of us. Before we got in the car E just hugged me and stepped up and said we  should just decide  at the beginning of the drive that we were not getting out of the car until we had decided 100% what we were doing for our wedding. GOOD IDEA BABE! We had a budget of what we were going to spend and we realistically could NOT plan an overseas wedding on that budget unless we had connections. Thankfully, the more we talked about the two wedding ideas, the more one was pushed into the light as being her PERFECT choice for us.

Here’s a glimpse at what we did:

We did “At Home” wedding as Option A then “Ireland Wedding” as Option B. We listed the costs of a venue we liked at home.. (a CHEAP ONE!) food, flowers, photography (which indeed would be a BIG expense because I KNEW I wanted great photography) and everything else that goes into a wedding that we could think of.  Then we did the same thing with an Ireland wedding. Since the bigger ticket items like venue and amount of guests were already “taken care of” (by getting married on my family friends farm for free and obviously the guest list would be hugely cut if get married out of the country) we started to realize that we could include all of our travel, airfare, cars, food, and EVEN the honeymoon AND the at home reception we knew we would throw, int0 the budget we had set for a “one day” at home wedding! Would there be extra costs that maybe we were not thinking of, sure! But we had a small amount of money budgeted in for those things as well!

As we were nearing the end of our car drive, the more we talked about the at home wedding, the more we realized we were not NEARLY as excited talking as we were when we thought of ideas and cost-cutting ways to make Ireland happen! So, true to my female colors I set out to “test” Eric. I looked at E after about a 2 min silence and said “Ok Babe, I’m just deciding.. let’s get married at home and just do a more traditional wedding.” He turned and looked at me and said “Well… ok, I mean we can totally make that work..” I sat there… kind of proud, kind of shocked but ultimately really excited as I waited out the next two minutes of silence as I watched him ponder my statement when I finally said ” Well gosh, babe! Let’s just do it. Let’s get married in Ireland.” I did not have to wait a millisecond to hear him say “Yea?! Let’s do it!” and I laughed out loud and said DONE! It’s a DEAL! He ACED that test! HA! – I’m terrible.

The coming days were not perfect as we began to spread the news to close family and friends that indeed we had made our decision. We were to marry in Ireland. A few friends and family had a hard time with it and ultimately came around and got excited with us but I will say this: If you are considering a destination wedding, the decision cannot be for everyone else. We knew we were making a decision that had and affect on close relatives and some friends, but ultimately we made the choice and knew it was for us and the way we wanted to start our lives together. One fun part was finding a cute way to announce it on Facbeook! (I love this kind of thing!) So we sat in my parents living room and I made E get all cutsey and mushy as my mom took iPhone photos to share with the world our decision! Here are those photos:

TonieChristinePhotography.SeattleWeddingPhotography_0106TonieChristinePhotography.SeattleWeddingPhotography_0107TonieChristinePhotography.SeattleWeddingPhotography_0105I began planning and figuring out what I was supposed to do in order to plan a wedding about a billion miles away… Sheesh! If you are following along reading these posts and have made it this far I am seriously impressed! I’m kind pumped to share these and am so thankful for all your comments and thoughts! If there is something you want to know just leave a comment or question at the bottom and let me know you made it though the post! Seriously makes me smile so much! I will try to touch on people’s questions as I go!

Lastly, one FUN part of planning was getting to tell our story to the world through a non-traditional SAVE THE DATE! No printed cards with photos on it for US ! Our amazing videographers created this “Save the Date” video for us to invite friends to join in the celebration with us and to politely tell the world that not everyone was invited :/ (hard,  but this video made it easier and eluded to the idea that an invitation was in the mail for Ireland and also for the at home reception!) It was a GREAT way to capture our story and something I often watch just to remember how exciting being engaged really is! Something our kids will for sure see!  I totally recommend this to ALL brides!

Hope you enjoy!  Special thanks to First and Foremost Productions for this STELLAR video!

TONIE + ERIC // SAVE THE DATE from First and Foremost Productions on Vimeo.



  1. Trina Fisher Williamson says:

    Love, love, love!!!!!

  2. Amy Syverson says:

    I love to read these. I’ve seen the amazing pictures and it’s fun getting to hear the details behind it.

  3. Kelcie Lomas says:

    Love your whole story! So amazing and romantic! Thankyou for sharing!! 😀

  4. Stephanie Hansen says:

    OH MY TONIE. You just light up my life, just by your blog 🙂 Love you, my friend.

  5. Elaina Trostad says:

    I loved watching your save the date video again!!

  6. Krystal Woods says:

    Im a total hopeless romantic and love reading your story! Happy almost one year

  7. Keith Greenawald says:

    Happily ever after! Love it! Makes me super excited and happy that I have found that special somebody to share our lives together, Jessie landeros

  8. Keith Greenawald says:

    Us as well! U do incredible work and I want that day to be amazing for her!! She deserves nothing less!!!

  9. Adrianne Amundson says:

    Love following along!!

  10. BonnieandShea Miller says:

    LOVE the save the date, very original & creative! never have seen a video.

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