Post # 1
This weekend, SO and I went to our first wedding together! It was beautiful and so perfect for the couple, and it got us talking about what we would want for our day.
My question to you: What did you learn from other weddings before your own? Did you change an aspect of your wedding or planning after seeing it at another wedding? Add anything? Take something away?
For us, after the wedding this weekend we realized:
– We really do want a ‘party’ vibe. This wedding had an expensive cash bar (which I have no issue with, but can make people less inclined to really let loose), and had a 2 hour gap between dinner and dancing in two separate locations. Many people left during the break, and unfortunately the dance party was lacking because of it. We now know that we want to prioritize providing drinks for our guests, and having a flow that encourages dancing the night away!
– We want someone we know to officiate our ceremony. The couple had their wedding in a gorgeous church, with high ceilings and stained glass windows. They had a traditional Catholic ceremony, which clearly meant a lot to them. However, the preist was not close or familiar with the couple, and therefore the ceremony came off as very… clinical. It was not romantic, or personal, or any of the things we want our ceremony to be. Also, the priest had a VERY strong accent, and combined with the echo in the church it made it almost impossible to hear what he was saying. I focused on how happy they were, and that made the ceremony special to me. 🙂
– It really is about us. The bride of this wedding is the sweetest woman alive, and sadly was steamrolled by her mother throughout the entire planning process. While the wedding was beautiful, much of it was done to appease her mother and other family members. We realized that at the end of the day, it’s about us and what we want, and to try to keep as much of the planning to ourselves and allow or family to enjoy themselves as guests.
So tell me Bees, what did you learn?
Post # 3
@MissPoutine: Always provide a constant source of entertainment, whether it be food, dancing, or otherwise. Long speeches suck, save the sentimental shit for when you’re home with your close family. Do not tell other people what to wear. Avoid buying things on impulse.
Post # 4
That really the only things people remember are the dancing and music, if there was alcohol, and (maybe) the food!
Post # 5
Mine is photography. The last couple weddings I’ve been attended, I’ve been way too aware of the photographer. When every pair walked down the aisle, they had to stop and smile for the photographer. I found it very distracting during the ceremony. I want my photographer to be a ninja that no one really notices until after the photo has been snapped. 🙂
Another thing with photography. the couples and wedding party seemed to spend so much time during the reception taking pictures. I plan on taking more photos before the ceremony so I have more time to party.
Post # 6
I’ve been to quite a few weddings over hte years, and here are some of the take aways I’ve had:
1) The vibe of the night depends on the bride and groom. If the B&G are dancing everytone will be dancing; if they are at the bar, everyone will be at the bar.
2) Open bar = fun vibe. Make it a priority.
3) On the open bar side – doesn’t matter if you have a full bar or a wine/beer bar. Most people are happy as long as they’ve got something to drink.
4) One day will never feel like enough time with the people who matter most. Destination or semi destination is better for quality time.
5) Avoid having a gap between the ceremony & reception.
6) The more personal stories the better – bring on the speaches and the personal officiants.
7) Most people don’t care about the decor; don’t drive yourself crazy. The biggest impact you will have on the decor is your choice of venue.
Post # 7
Wow everything everyone is saying makes me feel pretty good about my planning so far 🙂 Yay!
From my cousin’s weddings, I definitely agree that people will dance if the bride and groom dance (I’ve seen it go both ways!)
I don’t remember the flowers at anyone’s wedding (except my mom freaked out over my cousin’s orchid bouquet because my mom is obsessed with orchids). Not making that much of a priority in my budget.
If you can have it in a fun place that is awesome! One of my cousins got married in Charleston SC so it was really fun taking some time on the weekend to sight see and try some great restaurants.
I very much remember when my cousin and her husband broke out of their slow dance into a crazy hip-hop dance they had choreographed themselves. The most EPIC wedding EVER! I don’t think we’ll be doing that, we are not the performing dancer types, but it was very memorable and I highly suggest it for those who are into it.
Post # 8
@MissPoutine: I learned that people aren’t going to remember the details. If you dress clashed with the tableclothes, if your programs weren’t just right, if you didn’t have eloborate centerpieces. They’re going to remember the emotion of the ceremony, and if the food, booze and music were good! My favorite wedding that I have ever been too was nothing fancy. But it was intimate, emotional, festive and fun. I think those are the most important things!
Post # 9
I attended a gorgeous wedding (my first as an adult) last weekend, and I really liked their wedding weekend, how little I was aware of the photographer, and how much it felt like the bride and groom had put little bits of themselves into the ceremony.
Things I will do differently:
- I will absolutely request that people not photograph the ceremony. My MIL thought that sticking her camera out into the aisle was an awesome idea and could not be convinced otherwise. Many people were taking photos with their phones above their heads. I have no idea how the bride and groom felt about it, but I definitely don’t want it at my wedding.
- Slow songs–they played mostly pop and 80s/90s hits, which was great, except my SO and I aren’t big dancers. We totally would have gone out for slow songs, if we had the opportunity. Same with the middle aged folks, I assume.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
1. Invitation Cards
I was a bridesmaid for a wedding; the bride did two sets of invitation cards (Chinese in red & gold; then another set in white & navy), but she didn’t end up using all the cards. (Somehow, navy blue is the colour of mourning in Chinese traditions).
I will choose a colour appropriate card, whereby it isn’t 100% white nor black, but it won’t be a traditional Chinese wedding invite. I could have the option of writing Chinese calligraphy on each card vs printing from my PC, but we’ll see how much constrained for time I would be.
2. Kids not welcomed
My FBIL and his wife had to leave early right after supper and before dessert; my other FBIL was baby-sitting their kids. So, it creates a lot of hassle for closest family members when baby-sitters are hard to find (they’re related to the groom/ 1st cousin).
I am having a kid-friendly destination wedding. There is a water-slide at the hotel. If kids want to show up to the ceremony in swim-suits, go for it!! Also, I’m on the look out for craft-supplies from thrift stores & garage sales. FBIL’s wife offered to babysit a group of kids cos she loves crafting with kids. I want them to have fun — remember FI and my wedding as the most fun wedding they’ve been to as kids.
3. Being late for your own wedding is kinda a big no-no
The bride and I, along with the rest of her bridal party were half an hour late getting to her wedding. There were some things that were left last-minute on the day of; e.g. programs weren’t printed. The officiant/registrar was threatening to leave in 10 minutes if we weren’t there.
I’ll probably have to work out the logistics for getting ready. Have a list and pack at least a week before-hand.
Post # 12
I learned that light-colored chiffon bridesmaid dresses at a summer outdoor wedding = sweat stains and embarrassing photos. Seriously think about the fabric choices of bridesmaid dresses and if it will look good – not just in the portraits and walking down the aisle, but after an hour or two of dancing.
Post # 13
I’ve really started to look at weddings differently (read: more critically) since being engaged. I openly admit I’m a picky pain in the ass…Since we’ve been engaged, we’ve been to 4-5 weddings of relatives/friends, and we’ve collectively decided:
1-No matter what, Adele is never, ever, ever, okay to play at a wedding. No remixes, not during dinner, not ever. No.
2-Our photographers must be as close to invisible as possible
3-We are both reluctant to dance unless it’s music we really love, and so selecting our DJ was a huge deal. We know we need a lot of hip-hop and house music for us to enjoy our wedding to the fullest
4-We’ve decided that typical ceremonies we’ve been to are too generic, and that we wanted to take a bigger role in creating our ceremony.
5-We want to customize our venue as much as possible. We’ve been to a lot of weddings where not much was done in terms of decor or accessories and we felt like the reception rooms had no “feeling” to them.
6-We will have table service for drinks in order to avoid a cluster f*** at the bar all night
7-I realized I absolutely despise the look of someone in formal wear holding a beer bottle……all drinks will go in glasses. No bottles.
8-I really dislike when guests take off their shoes, so we will have baskets with flip flops to avoid this…I never thought that people would utilize the baskets, but lately, I’ve been to weddings where everyone who would normally be barefoot, was in flip flops.
Post # 14
@jdhall89: I’m with you on the guests photographing the ceremony! My SO and mom ried to pull out their cameras and phones while she was walking down the aisle and I was like “PUT THAT AWAY!!” haha being on the bee and knowing people in the wedding industry has made me so much more aware of these things!
Post # 15
@jdhall89: Oh my god!! I forgot about personal photography at the ceremony! That has to be my biggest pet peeve! Can’t believe I forgot it.
Post # 16
@cbgg: I love your list! I totally agree about the open bar- normally I love to drink and dance, but it made me think twice when SO had to pay $8 for a drink!
It was also strange to me that the groom who does not drink alcoholic beer was charged MORE than if he purchased regular beer- he ended up running to the grocery store in the middle of the reception to buy some non alcoholic beer for himself! No groom (or bride, or anyone) should have to do that! That was obviously a venue thing moreso than cash bar thing.
And gaps can be a killer. There was a 4 hour break between ceremony and reception, then 2 hours between dancing and dinner. We left at 10:30 and the cake hadn’t been cut! Timing is definitely importat for the feel of a party