Even before I got engaged I had heard numerous comments about weddings from friends, colleagues, acquaintances. These stories and advice ended up being extremely helpful, not only during the planning process, but also helping me getting the most out the actual day:
- Some (or a lot of) things will inevitably go wrong: all the horror stories I heard about vendors not showing, guests not showing up, family drama, and just things generally going wrong last minute really helped to keep my expectations low. Everyone kept asking if I was “excited about the wedding”, and I just responded by telling them how anxious I was about what might go wrong. But maybe because my expectations had been so low, I actually ended up being very pleasantly surprised at how well things generally went. There are definitely (little) things that did not go according to plan, or that I would have done differently, but overall I was very happy with how it went.
- Don’t forget to eat: one of the best advice I received. I told everyone there was no way I’d forget to eat because I’m obsessed with food, but I definitely see how I could have not eaten on the actual day had I not made that a priority. The wedding day is a very packed schedule. For us, it was non-stop from 10 to 10. I skipped lunch because I didn’t have time to eat and I was afraid I might not fit into my dress. By the time cocktail hour came around, I made sure to snatch a fair share of those hors d’oeuvres. That and sticking to mostly water probably saved me from headaches and light-headedness. So future brides, whatever you do make sure you eat.
- It goes by really quickly. It’s a big day, arguably the biggest day of your life (at least thus far). Months, sometimes years, go into planning this one day, and it can seem surprising that it all goes by in a matter of hours. Things that have helped me to prolong this always-too-short day:
- Investing in things to capture and save elements and moments of the wedding for later: we definitely wanted as much of the wedding to be captured in photos and videos. We also asked for toasts from our friends and family. While we ended up with more than we expected, we actually really enjoyed this part of our wedding. The booklets we made that contains the translations of the toasts, among other details, will serve as another memento for this special day.
- It’s been a few days since the wedding and I can’t seem to shut up about it (e.g. this probably won’t be the last wedding post lol). But hey, why not? I will be looking at our photos, listening to our wedding playlists, and generally reliving this day probably for a while 🙂
- I wish we could have eloped / had a smaller wedding. Definitely glad we had the wedding, and definitely glad we kept it small. We ignored a lot of traditions that didn’t particularly appeal to us and stuck to our guns when it came to the guest list. In the end, we are both very glad that we were able to make the wedding everything we wanted it to be, and not what others expected or wanted. Did we risk disappointing some people? Maybe. Do we have any regrets about the wedding? Not really. Did we absolutely love the day? Hell yes.
What I would have done differently. Even the best things could still be a bit better. Here are two very minor changes I would have made:
- I should have asked the florist brought our ceremony flowers indoors! We had two lovely flower pedestals that were used for the ceremony and would have looked really nice for the reception as well. But they were taken away sadly. Having paid so much for them, I would have really liked to see them for a few more hours. The upside is we did manage to save a few of the center pieces for our tables (which I loved) along with my bouquet, and brought these home with us to enjoy for a few more days.
- I should have asked the chef to save a few slices of both flavors of the cake. We had a two-tiered cake with two different flavors, and only the slices from the bottom tier were left at the end of the night. Sadly I only had a couple of bites of the top tier and really wanted some more of that the morning after. Luckily our baker has the recipe and even added it to the regular menu, but that also means I need to make another trip to Newport to get the cake 😦
Moms know best and how to be flexible. One of the best best tips I received was from my mom the day before the wedding. The forecast for Saturday had been getting worse and worse, and we were anticipating all-day rain. The weather on Friday, on the other hand, was absolutely gorgeous. As we arrived at The Chanler, my mom suggested that we do our photos that day, but I told her I didn’t have an appointment with my hair stylist or the photographer. But then I paused and wondered, well why not? Maybe I could make it happen. So we made phone calls to our photographer (Sara) and the salon, and managed to get a last minute appointment with the stylist. Sara graciously agreed to drive to The Chanler, which was an hour away from her, and take our first-look photos on Friday. I managed to do my make-up in 30 minutes, which was not the trail run I had planned, but worked out quite well. I ended up having full make-up and hair done for our rehearsal dinner, and we didn’t have to worry about photography in the rain. On Saturday, we got lucky, and the rain stopped for a couple of hours around our ceremony time, so we managed to get more photos with our families as well. Our videographer even mentioned that we should have called him up and he would have filmed our first-look on Friday as well.
Conclusion: Things probably won’t go as planned, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as amazing, or even more so. If this isn’t a good life lesson to remember, I don’t know what is 🙂