Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Been There, Done That Bride: Heather Walrath

I've had such a blast working with our Been There, Done That Brides thus far, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when a DC Bridal Blogger Heather Walrath, of Bicoastal Bride fame, reached out to us.

Brides can get handed all sorts of interesting challenges so you can only begin to imagine what it would be like to plan your wedding from across the country. Not only did Heather do it, but she did it with style. And without further ado, here's Heather:

Why are you a “Been There, Done That” Bride?
I call my wedding-planning blog Bicoastal Bride because that’s exactly what I was! Following our engagement in April 2009, my fiancee and I spent over a year planning our wedding in my hometown of Thousand Oaks, Calif., while juggling our busy lives here in Washington, D.C. Stressful? Sometimes. But by working together, staying organized, and relying on the amazing help of our families and friends, we were able to create a fabulous day that was fun and memorable for everyone.

What surprised you most about your wedding planning?
Going in, I knew that planning our wedding would be exciting, but I never dreamed it would become the most enjoyable time of my life. Through blogging and sharing my experience with other brides, I discovered so many great ideas to enhance our day and make the experience even more incredible than it already was. The support and positive energy I found in the wedding community were huge sources of inspiration throughout the entire process, and I’ve just loved sharing my own ideas and advice, as well.

What caused you the most stress during your wedding planning? How was it handled?
Though the seating chart is definitely in the running, I’d say the biggest stressor came about a week before the wedding, when we had to lug my gown through a total of three airports on our way out to California. Flight cancellations, delays, gate changes, and tiny storage spaces only added to the frustration throughout that long day. I would have been lost without my selfless fiancee, who lovingly carried the heavy gown from one terminal to another without so much as a single complaint. And when he saw me on our wedding day, he was the first to tell me that it had all been worth it!

What could you have absolutely not lived without during the planning?
Exercise! Though I used to be a complete couch potato, I took up running and strength training while planning the wedding. It made a huge difference, both mentally and physically. I found myself less frazzled and so much more energetic. Plus, I felt fit and beautiful on my wedding day. What could be better than that?

What would you have done differently?
This is a tough question, because even when things went wrong or didn’t work out quite as expected, I always learned from the situation, or at the very least came out of it with some funny and memorable stories!

If I had to change something, though, I might have built in a little more time for our “first look” before the ceremony to spend alone with my fiancĂ©, just trying to relax and take it all in. Though I felt very calm throughout the morning, the fun but frantic pace had me feeling a little nervous by the afternoon. Seeing Stephen and sharing that special moment really did wonders for me, and having been able to stretch it out a few minutes longer would have made it even better.

If you had one piece of advice to share with our brides, what would it be?
Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it can also be tons of fun, if you choose to focus on that aspect, instead of letting the little things get to you. No matter how much you prepare or plan, I guarantee that something will go wrong on your wedding day. But as with so many other areas in life, it’s how you choose to handle it that makes all the difference. You can get worked up and let it ruin your day, or you can instead just focus on how happy you feel and how much this day means to you and your partner. Stress and mishaps will happen no matter what, so you might as well just roll with them.

Heather took what could have been a very stressful situation, and turned it into the wedding of her dreams. You rock on with your bad self, Bicoastal Bride. :)

Interested in being featured? Simply email me at meghan {at} ofdconsulting {dot} com. Have friends trying to plan their Big Day? Then join us August 15 at Wedology 101!


Meghan Ely is one part of the Wedology 101 team, and owner of OFD Consulting, a niche Marketing/PR firm servicing the wedding industry and the Managing Director of the Richmond Bridal Association. She is a contributing writer with Virginia Bride magazine, and has been published in Premier Bride Richmond. She and Jennifer write a Wedology 101 column for the Richmond Times Dispatch's Celebration section. She loves late harvest sauvignon blancs, letterpress anything and cakes shaped like Death Stars.


  1. Thanks for the awesome feature! :) Wedology 101 sounds like an amazing program that will be so helpful to brides.

  2. What a great interview! This is great for many brides to read and learn how to turn stressful moments into helpful and fun ones. Having been a recent bride myself, I know how much it can take out of you to plan a wedding, but you always remember the bigger picture and that its all so you can marry to wonderful man of your dreams and be a family! :) Congrats Bicoastal!

    Great idea to post interviews with real brides! :)