- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
I cannot believe how smoothly our wedding went! Darling Husband and I had anticipated that, of course, something beyond our control would go wrong. Not so! Here’s what went so well:
– We had zero no-shows. Aside from one friend who was quarantined with pneumonia, all guests who RSVPed yes showed up. We were astounded that there were no empty chairs. I am still stunned.
– We had time to visit with every person who came to our wedding. With only 66 guests, we had the luxury of time to visit with each person.
– The toasts were lovely! We had no wedding party and instead asked six friends to give toasts. We felt so loved by their stories and wisdom.
– Everyone loved the reception music! We didn’t have a “dancey” crowd, but we received so many comments on how they loved the music. The playlist ran the gamut from Big Band Glenn Miller to Rihanna. My parents hadn’t danced together in 35 years, and we got them on the dance floor. DH’s parents, who are similarly uninclined to dance, joined us, along with two other couples (the oldest couples at the wedding!) to dance to “Shout!” We were the only eight people on the dance floor, and it was awesome. Given that the group was, on the whole, not into dancing, the DJ did a great job getting people on the dance floor for the points when it really mattered.
Besides having awesome friends with whom to share the day, here’s how we planned. I think these steps contributed to having a seamlessly awesome day:
– We started our planning process by asking ourselves which elements were most important and thus which elements we were willing to sink the most money into. This translated into food and photography.
– We set a budget and stuck to it. I think we landed within 3% of our target number. It was a large chunk of change, but at no point did we feel like we were hemorrhaging money.
– For the day of, we delegated specific tasks to a handful of friends. The result: We had zero worries on wedding day as to whether the flower arrangements would make it from the ceremony to the reception. We also gave a bunch of “organizational” responsibilities to a friend; it was great to have a non-family member acting in this role to get to the church early and play ringleader for the ceremony coordinator, florist, photographer, etc.
– We hired vendors with whom we were 100% relaxed and who would respect our goals for the day. DH, who hates being photographed, was so comfortable around our photographer. Our photos look great! We were lucky enough to end up with a caterer who could set up all our reception decor. That was one less thing for us to worry about.
– We put together a comprehensive list of the photos we wanted. On wedding day, there was no last-minute panic of, “Oh dear, we didn’t get XYZ group of people when they were all together.”
– We put a lot of thought into our guest list. We ultimately limited the guest list to people who had been in our lives for a long time and who we anticipated would stay in for the long haul. As a result, we felt so comfortable around everyone! (Side note, Darling Husband hadn’t met some of my extended family/friends, and vice versa. It still worked out great!) DH and I were so awkward during our first dance (we’re not dancers!), and guess what? It was fine because we knew we didn’t need to impress anyone. Our ceremony included several very personal elements (passing the rings throughout the congregation, asking the congregation to make a verbal affirmation of support for our marriage), so inviting only the nearest and dearest was a good move.
– For each element of the whole day, we asked ourselves, “Are we doing _____ because it is tradition/we’ve seen it done at every other wedding we’ve attended, or are we doing it because it is meaningful to us?” Honestly, this initally created some power struggles between Darling Husband and me (he is much more traditional than I). We opted for no wedding party but made a point to involve our closest friends in the “getting ready” time and photos. We decided we wanted to have pie, so we offered our guests a selection of cakes and pies. We decided that an anniversary dance would go over better for our particular group than would a bouquet/garter toss. We ditched the typical ceremony mechanics and instead had our immediate families stand at the front while Darling Husband and I processed in together. Our parents wrote blessings which they read in the ceremony. We signed our marriage license during the ceremony. DH and I each gave short thank-you speeches at the reception.
– We took our own comfort into account. Our ceremony was at 1:30 with photos beforehand, so we made sure to have lunch available for ourselves, our families, the officiant, and the photographer. We also didn’t want to be that couple that doesn’t get to eat at their own reception. So we vowed to eat our entire plates of food first before circulating around the tables to greet our guests. We’re so happy that we did this.
– We took our guests’ comfort into account. While we didn’t go overboard with food/drink expenses (e.g., no open bar), we did make sure we had good quality wine and beer available along with equally attractive non-alcoholic options. We made sure the carnivorous AND vegetarian entrees were delectable. We asked ourselves which weddings we had enjoyed the most and what had made them so fun. This point especially played into our reception music selection. We had a variety of ages and didn’t want to exclude anyone’s tastes while remaining true to our own like/dislikes. We found a DJ who respected this, and as a result we had a range of Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Journey, Neil Diamond…you get the idea.
– Darling Husband and I made a pact that we would periodically throughout the day pause and just savor the moment. The day flies by, and these memories are so precious.
– Finally, after all the planning, we told ourselves that we would commit to having fun on the wedding day no matter what. If there were small mishaps, it would be OK as long as we were married by the end of the day. Once Saturday morning arrived, our sole goal was to enjoy the day. This was perhaps the most strategic “plan” that we made.
What about you? What did you do to ensure that you would love your day?