- 4 years ago
I just had my wedding last weekend, and it was awesome. We had our ceremony in a historic one-room church and the reception at a Civil War museum just down the street. I had expected to run into problems based on all of those wedding planning shows I watched, so I overplanned for a lot of things (armed with a giant Excel spreadshee). But overall almost everything worked as planned. My vendors were wonderful.
Here are a couple of things that I’m glad that I did and others that I would change:
- Non-floral centerpieces – I went this route because I was going the DIY route to save money and didn’t want to worry that the flowers would wilt. I chose glass bowls filled with apples and pine cones. Each table had a different type of apple. It was very easy to set up and pack ahead of time, and it looked great.
- My DIY programs, menus and table numbers – Along the way, I became obsessed with designing my stationery and card stock. I did find out the hard way that my work printer prints slightly off center when printing on card stock. Keep that in mind!
- My Excel spreadsheets – I don’t know how people plan weddings without hardcore OCD to-do lists. I even created itineraries for my vendors and wedding parties. The caterer offered to set up my decor, so I packed each box with lists of what was inside each box and how each item needed to be set up. The wedding party itineraries were useful because some people neglected to bring addresses and directions on the day of the rehearsal or wedding.
- My iphone DJ – There were some drawbacks to this, but it worked for our small wedding. I’ll cover that in another post.
- Pre-wedding cocktail parties – We had family members over at our house on Thursday and Friday night before the wedding. Although it added to our workload, it was great being able to meet and have meaningful conversations with our guests who had come from far away places. That way, we didn’t feel as rushed at the reception.
- My DIY bouquets – I ordered 4 different types of bicolor roses from Global Rose. I had practiced doing bouquets beforehand, and my bouquets ended up looking great. However, not all of the roses were easy to work with. One variety had very thick stems that weren’t easily arranged because the stems weren’t so bendy.
- Lying! – I told my bridal party to be at the wedding an hour before they actually needed to be there. They would have been late otherwise. I would have been late too because I forgot my veil at the hotel room. Having that extra cushion of time made things less stressful, and the salon was able to start our appointments early and get us done early.
- Not finishing DIY projects before guests started arriving in town – When family started arriving on Thursday for my Saturday wedding, I still needed to buy things, put together my iphone music, centerpieces, flowers, etc. But that became increasingly hard to do the cloeser I got to the wedding. Our Friday night cocktail party lasted til midnight…and I ended up staying up til 3 in the morning after that assembling my bouquets. I wasn’t going to sleep anyway, but I wish I had already gotten that taken care of. Also, I was going to use the extra flowers for a ceremony flower arrangement, but I used more roses on the bouquets than expected and didn’t have enough for the ceremony piece. Had to run to the grocery store at 8 in the morning to buy one…but I lucked out with getting a huge autumn-themed flower arrangement for only $50.
- Not alloting enough time for pictures – I thought one hour was enough time between the ceremony and reception. It wasn’t. I didn’t realize the cat-herding frustration of dealing with a group of people. It had just stopped raining right before my ceremony ended, and it was cold. My wedding party and parents and other guests didn’t want to stand around in the cold mist for pictures, or drive anywhere. I had forgotten to tell them that we might go somewhere for pictures after the ceremony, and so many of them had parked down the block. By the time I gave up trying to coral them and decided to just go with my husband and I, we had already wasted 25% of our picture time. After my husband and I got pictures in the park down the road, we got stuck behind a scenic railroad train, which wasted another 15 minutes. We ended up being about 15 minutes late for the reception. No biggie, but I wish I would have planned better for this.
- The rain – Every day before and after my wedding was beuatiful – warm and sunny – but it was cold and rainy on my day. Mother Nature screwed me, but fortunately my photographer outfitted me with a trash bag that helped me get from the hotel to the reception without my dress getting soaked.
The biggest mistake is expecting perfection. I spent countless hours planning and obsessing over every detail of my wedding, but there were still some things that I overlooked or forgot. And I didn’t realize how other people would affect those plans. But I just rolled with it and had a great time despite the last-minute grocery store runs, late-night flower arranging, disorganized friends and family, and trash bag wearing.