I am so excited to start my guest blogging series! Here is a new post by an Ali B Bride! Brittney and Sean will be getting married this coming December on Cape Cod and I can not wait! We had so much fun during their Boston engagement session. You can check out their engagement session HERE.  Huge THANK YOU to Brittney for taking the time to blog this subject! I know there are so many other millitary brides out there who will love reading this! Feel free to comment if you have any questions, myself and Brittney can answer them the best we can! 🙂

I first met Sean in 2012 through a mission trip our church organized. On the first day of the trip we did an ice breaker exercise to all get to know one another. The first thing Sean told me about himself was that he wanted to join the Air Force and my first thought was wow, that is going to be so hard on his future wife. Well, here we are 7 years later and I am the future Mrs. Donovan! 

Sean and I have been together through all of college, through ROTC, and are now living in DC with Sean stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Throughout this time, I had somehow convinced myself that Sean would never deploy. This was such an unrealistic mindset but it was the way I stayed positive through the uncertainly. Sean and I got engaged in September of 2018 and his first deployment was scheduled for shortly after. I had mixed emotions about the deployment and planning our wedding on my own. I was happy for Sean as this opportunity was what he had always wanted but of course I was hesitant.

Now, on the other side of our first deployment, I wanted to share some tips and tricks with my fellow military brides on planning a wedding with your person being on the opposite side of the world and still making the process what you always wanted it to be.

#1. Tip number one is include your family! I never would have gotten through wedding planning without my amazing mom, step-mom, future mother in law, my sisters, and all of my bridesmaids. Everyone stepped up in the most amazing way touring venues with me, stuffing save the dates, and planning. It was not only helpful but it was fun! My mom and I split too many bottles of wine to count talking about color schemes, wedding dresses, flowers, and more. I missed Sean during the planning but he was still able to be a part of it. We made every decision together and FaceTimed during venue tours. This way he still was able to plan his own wedding even from thousands of miles away.

#2. Tip number two is to talk to your vendors and your venue about military discounts. I am never one to ask for a military discount but I made an exception in this case! While not every vendor is able to offer for a number of reasons it NEVER hurts to ask. Additionally, ask about a military escape clause. As we all know, the military is unpredictable and if you have to move your wedding for one reason or another you do not want to deal with the cost of transferring the date for your vendors and venue. All my amazing vendors gladly offered this clause, and if someone isn’t willing to, they likely are not the vendor for you.

#3. Tip number three is to stay positive and enjoy the process. There were difficult days and moments throughout the planning process where I missed my fiancé and wanted him with me for cake tastings, venue tours, and everything else we had planned on doing together. I stayed positive mainly by keeping Sean in the loop always via our weekly FaceTime dates. I also leaned on the amazing people around me and took them up on the help they offered. I was beyond thankful that so many people stepped up, it is not something I will soon forget.

I’ll never forget my first reaction to hearing Sean wanted to be in the Air Force back in 2013. I laugh when I think about it now because my perspective is so different. Being a military spouse is an adventure, it takes you to places and cities you have never seen, it pushes you to be independent and self-reliant, and it strengthens your relationship making you stronger as a couple and individually. I feel lucky to become a part of it and become an Air Force Wife. 

I want to thank Alex for allowing me to write this piece to share our story! We feel so lucky to have her as a part of our day and our lives! Always proud to be an Ali B Bride!