- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
I just got married last weekend in my hometown of Austin, Texas! Here’s my worth it/not worth it break-down:
We got a great photographer who came with a second shooter and an engagement session. I felt great knowing that everything was going to be captured, and also knew that the photographer’s work would be excellent because we’d seen out engagement pictures!
-Day of Coordinator
We found a brand-new DOC starting out who charged us only a much-smaller-than-usual fee for this service. She even hired a friend of hers (a former Anthropologie window designer) to decorate our reception for next to nothing! It was wonderful to have someone else running the show and handling stuff. At first I thought this service was not something we needed – and really, you can get married without it – but it made everything flow so smoothly, and I had no worries. Just got to enjoy the day. Vendors told me that it was the most relaxed wedding they’d been to!
-Wedding Party App
This app is amazing! Our bridal party used it and it has been wonderful to see and share some pictures from the wedding in advance.
We had our reception at a restaurant that also makes wedding cakes. We didn’t have to arrange and coordinate multiple vendors for food, bartending, cakes and furniture – they did it all, and they are experts in using their space. Things ran so smoothly, and it was wonderful that my parents, bridal party and friends were able to get up at the end of the night and leave (OK, well, the DOC packed up and the restaurant staff loaded the few bags of decor into my parents’ car, and then they left. STILL!)
-Naturally beautiful venues
We had so little decor, because our venues were beautiful, and we saved so much time and expense and headaches by only doing a few DIY projects and decor items.
– Skipping the dancing after dinner
At most of the weddings I’ve been to, the majority of guests dash after the cake is cut and served. I have heard other couples say they regretted that more people didn’t stay to party. Our reception started at 4:00 PM with a cocktail hour, and guests were starting to leave after finishing their cake around 7:15 PM. Our DOC let everyone know quickly that we would be doing a grand exit through the courtyard so everyone stayed for that. It was the perfect amount of time for me and my husband (who doesn’t dance!). Afterward, we walked to the downtown bars with our bridal party to drink, dance and hang out! We stayed out for hours and had a blast.
My Father-In-Law called our seating arrangement, “highly socially engineered.” Everyone had a great time, and several new connections were made that night. We made certain that everyone could sit with their dates and people that they knew, as well as folks we knew would get along (similar age/background/interests, etc.)
-Tailoring wedding traditions
We cut out wedding traditions that were too difficult, expensive, or didn’t fit us. I didn’t do the “somethings”, bouquet toss, or garter. Instead, we did a French ribbon cutting, which I loved as well as our guests. We also nixed the guestbook and had a wedding certificate for all of our guests to sign than we will frame and hang in our home.
– NOT having fancy transportation
We saved so much by just renting a normal car for the wedding and having a friend drive us. We used the same car after the wedding for the honeymoon in Big Bend!
-Taking a honeymoon, even an inexpensive one
Coming back to work from your wedding is hard. You need some time away to process and celebrate with your spouse. I had April Vacation the week following the wedding, because I’m a teacher. We didn’t have a ton of money, but we knew it would be hard to get a week off together. So, we drove 8 hours from Austin to Big Bend country and stayed in a vacation rental. We had a wonderful, relaxing time, and although its not the exotic trip or European vacation I’ve dreamed of, we can always take a big vacation later!
-Smaller Dress for a semi-destination wedding
I had a full-length, all-silk Ivy and Aster dress with a train. It was so light, and so easy to take with me on the plane to Austin! No worries about broken beading or other mishaps, easy and quick for the cleaners’ to clean and press. AND it was only $40 to alter!!!
NOT WORTH IT
We spent hours designing, printing, reprinting and agonizing over these. They all ended up smudged in the mail. We probably ended up spending as much as if we had simply ordered them, and the time and headache wasn’t worth what we saved. If I had to do it again, I’d order a pre-made design from 123 Print, Vistaprint or WeddingPaperDivas.
-Wedding Mad Libs
I had these printed on a last-minute whim to give our guests something to do during the reception. I thought we’d get some heartfelt notes, but for the most part, people either tried to see how ridiculous they could make theirs, or how bawdy. Others might be into that – not certain I’d do it again.
-Children in the wedding party
We initally thought we’d have a flower girl, but stopped ourselves. It just makes the bridal party too big when you include the families of the children, and kids are unpredictable. Not everyone will agree, but that was my take.
-Mis-matched bridesmaid dresses
While I LOVED the way these turned out, but it was a lot of work to manage and troubleshoot. I had a pinterest board that I pinned dresses girls could choose from, but then 3/5 wanted exceptions. If I did it again, I’d either pick out one dress or have everyone wear a black cocktail dress.
-SIL as bridesmaid
I don’t regret this, per se, but I’d do it differently. I originally asked her because it’s traditional, I wanted to include her, and friends had told me that it could start life-long family drama if I didn’t. However, she had literally nothing to do with the wedding preparations, and I had to hound her – gently, politely – to do the one thing I had asked: get a dress. She only finalized her dress a week or so out from the wedding, which was a little nerve-wracking for me. She made good effort over our wedding weekend, but otherwise, didn’t get involved at all in the lead-up. Looking back, I think we may have both been acting out of a sense of obligation. I should have approached her told her we’d love to have her be involved as a reader, bridesmaid, or something else, and asked what she’d be comfortable with.
I didn’t love our cake, but I did love how it tasted. However, the cake disappears pretty quickly, and mostly, guests just care about how it tastes.
-Spending months looking at wedding blogs
No one at your wedding is comparing your wedding to the blogs. Your wedding is going to be lovely, no question. I wish I had not spent so much time looking at these, and that I had quit earlier in the planning process. The bar they set is a little unreal.
Overall, I had so few disappointments with our wedding. It truly was the best day of my life, and everything was wonderful!