- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
To be honest, almost everything! The ceremony, having our favorite people there, and celebrating outside under the oak trees on a beautiful day were what made our wedding day so memorable and amazing. The vast majority of the details didn’t end up mattering. Here are some of the things I agonized over WAY too much while wedding planning:
1. Initially, the guest list. I wanted a very small, intimate wedding. My in-laws are from another country and don’t have any immediate family here in the US, so they wanted to invite all of their family friends who are “like family.” Their guest list was ~70 people, whereas DH and I only invited ~30 of our own friends and 25 of my relatives. I was so upset, especially because they even wanted to invite some peopel I had never met! In the end, they cut 5-10 people from their list and we invited everyone else. It turned out to be so much fun – every single guest danced, people mingled with other people they didn’t know, it was just this amazing party where everyone came together. So worth it, and I know it made my in-laws so happy.
2. DIY decor. I spent so much time looking at wedding blogs and pinning pretty little details that I wanted to copy/re-create for our wedding. I don’t even know how many hours I spent crafting, buying vintage decor, etc. Then the day before our wedding, when we were transporting everything from our house to the venue, I forgot about a couple boxes full of DIY crafts. Those things never made it to the wedding. It kills me that we spent so much time on them, but oh well – definitely didn’t ruin our wedding day!
3. Dress. I LOVED my dress and so did my DH and all of our guests, but I wish I hadn’t been pressured into buying a $1300 new dress, when all I really wanted was to buy a used dress and save the money. Plus I ended up spending $700 on alterations because I was too shy to speak up when my regular go-to- seamstress quoted me that high, once she had already pinned up the dress. So ~$2,000 total on my dress…I would’ve had a great time at our wedding no matter what I wore. I should’ve put my foot down and ordered a used dress and been done with it.
4. Thank-you cards. It was a hassle getting some pro pics as soon as we got back from our honeymoon so I could order fancy photo thank-you cards and get them in the mail as soon as possible. I should’ve just bought a few (cheap) packs of the cute thank-you cards at Target and called it a day. Then I could’ve started on the thank-you cards before the wedding, as soon as gifts started arriving.
Things I wish I had spent MORE time thinking about:
1. Cards for our bridal party and my family – I forgot to do this until the last minute, so the night before the wedding I was quickly handwriting cards for my bridesmaids, my parents, and my grandma. I wish I had done this a couple weeks before when I wasn’t in such a rush – they all really appreciated the cards, and my mom and grandma teared up – but I wish I could’ve spent more time really writing down all of my heartfelt thanks.
2. Paying our vendors – we made a couple changes to our contract with our venue the week before the wedding, and I owed them money the day of the wedding. I also had to pay the ice cream truck driver. I had to step away from our reception to go find my checkbook and write out these checks – wish I wouldn’t have had to worry about that. It also led me to agonize over the following week about whether there was anyone I had forgotten to pay, in all that chaos.
3. Clean-up – I don’t know how I could change this, but both of our families ended up staying a few hours after the wedding (i.e. until ~1 in the morning) cleaning everything up and packing up the gifts and decorations. I wish they could’ve just relaxed and gone to bed after such a long day. I don’t know, maybe I should’ve hired a couple helpers or something? Not sure what the solution would be, but I definitely feel some guilt about that.
4. Videography. Luckily, a couple weeks before the wedding DH decided that we should splurge and hire a videographer (we had been planning on asking a friend to record the ceremony on a flip-cam). At the time, it really hurt our bank account (we had to dip into savings that we really didn’t want to touch, for buying a house soon after the wedding) but it was so, so, so worth it. We watch our 20-minute wedding highlights video at least once a month. It’s very professional, quick and to-the-point and really helps when DH is out of town and I’m missing him, or if we’re feeling nostalgic. Some of our friends have major regrets about not hiring a videographer, so I’m glad DH arranged this at the last minute. We might’ve been able to get a better deal though if we had planned ahead and done a lot of research – we forked over $900, which is a lot.
5. DH’s suit. It took him all of 5 minutes to pick out a gray suit he liked from Men’s Wearhouse, and all of his GM rented the same suit. The suit turned out to be really really baggy on him, and it makes me a little sad when I look at our wedding photos – he’s got a great, toned body and his suit hangs on him in a weird, baggy way. We should’ve shopped around for sales during our 10-month engagement and bought him his own suit, so it could fit him just right (and so he’d have a gray suit to wear to other weddings – he only owns one suit).
6. Photos: we gave our photographers a list of family members and photo line-ups (i.e. all of the different combinations of family members, so we could get through family photos efficiently). But we should’ve given them a list of close family friends, too, because we never took pictures with some of our very close family friends, and several of them have expressed disappointment about that. I really do feel badly about that.
I hope this helps brides who are still planning! I’ll try to think of more…