(Closed) What did you love? Hate? Wish you had…

posted 9 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
3098 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Definitely, the DJ makes the largest impact. Our crowd didn’t really want to dance, but he made sure that they did. He DID tick me off once, though. Overall, I’d say everything we spent time on was noticed by someone – we had plenty of comments on stuff so I know it was noticed. I’m glad we didn’t do programs, our ceremony was too short for them. I wish I had eaten during the day and been a little more relaxed so I could have gotten more pics. I also wish I had asked to see some of the photographers shots after she took them, because when I received them I realized there were people in the back of our posed shots. She didn’t even ask them to move! Had I realized that, i could have requested that the shot be retaken. Over all, I think the DJ and the photographer are most important. 

Post # 4
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m *so* happy we eloped. Having four guests of our choosing was perfect. Like, Laylabelle, I wish I had thought of bringing some water with us! Thankfully there was water in the limo our friend surprised us with, but before that I was pretty parched!

Post # 5
1356 posts
Bumble bee

I am so happy I didn’t stress that day. Yes, there were little things that may not have been EXACTLY as I had pictured them, but who cares? I would have been the only one stressing out and it wasn’t worth it. The only thing I stressed about what the dance floor not filling up immediately. Silly me. After about three songs that floor was packed and everyone talks about it being the most fun wedding they have ever been at. The stress just isn’t worth it – enjoy every moment of the day!

Post # 6
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m happy we didn’t spend money on a huge, elaborate cake or a DJ (so I’ll have to disagree with laylabelle). We got a really small simple cake and we only saw it twice during our reception (when we first entered and when we cut it) before it was cut up and eaten by guests.

Also, we used our MacBook as a DJ, and we saved so much money by doing this. Our DOC made sure the first dance, family dances and last dance cues were on schedule, and other than that, everyone danced and had a great time. No one even noticed there was no DJ.

I’m glad we spent money on chivari chairs. It was a big cost because they’re about $7 a pop, but our venue came with the ugliest chairs and I just couldn’t stomach them. The chivari chairs transformed the room. We also didn’t get floral centerpieces and did branches with tons and tons of candles, and I honestly think it made more of an impression that any lavish centerpiece. The room literally glowed and exuded warmth. It was amazing.

I would think that anything that allows your guests to have fun and makes them feel appreciated is worth the money. Anything that’s extra decor, while nice if you have the time and engergy, is probably the stuff that gets overlooked. That’s not to say you shouldn’t create those lovely details, but it terms of what should take priority … you get my drift.

Post # 7
30 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

People definitely notice the “little things” in the sense that guests pick up on what’s important to you. In other words, we spent a lot of time making pinwheels and the guests noticed – not necessarily because they liked pinwheels or they are cool, but because we spent time on them. That being said, you tend to have a lot of left-overs, so my biggest piece of advice is to offer 60-75% of everything – cake, programs, favors, etc…I also think music is very important and whatever you choose to do (DJ, band, iPod), realize that there are 3-4 sections to a wedding (cocktail, dinner, all guest dancing, the dancing that happens when the parents go home…) and plan music that cultivates different moods to match. Have someone take your cell phone from you on your wedding day…you need to focus on yourself and your husband. Communicate what photos you want to your photographer (detail shots, group shots), and make sure that their style matches your aesthetic. So this was more of an advice post than what you wanted…At the end of the day, my guests have told me that they remembered the time I spent with them, not the funky escort cards or favors. So yes, don’t sweat the “small stuff” or details unless it’s actually fun for you. If it doesn’t get done, it wasn’t important. The bride and groom are like celebrities at the wedding, everyone wants to spend time in your glow. Focus on that.

Post # 8
2143 posts
Buzzing bee

I wish I had an outdoor sound system of some sort. I’m not sure if our guests could hear us during the ceremony since we were outside and sometimes there was a noisey motorcycle… I also kind of wish the ceremony was longer, but I don’t know what else I would have added. I guess it was just my favorite part of the whole day and didnt want it to end! I would have gotten a 2nd dress for the reception. We didn’t have a long reception, and no dancing or anything, but the corset of my dress was really squishing my ribs so by 9pm or so I was just wishing people would leave so I could get out of my dress (reception was at a bed and breakfast and hubby and I stayed there for the night)…

A DOC would have also helped, or at least someone designated that you talked to and knows the entire game plan and doesn’t have a problem kind of bullying people a little bit. Some of our stuff never made it to the reception which stunk (nothing important, just meant some wasted money), and some of our guests were drinking the champage during cocktail hour BEFORE the toasts resulting in there being none left by the time hubby and I came in (not really sure why it was out already anyway, but oh well. at least they didnt eat our cake!).

I absolutely LOVED having a few minutes alone with my husband right after the ceremony to just take a deep breath and bask in all of our joy (and admire the new bling :p). We hopped in our horse and carriage for a ride around the subdivision before going back and getting the rest of our pictures with the bridal party, but you can do it anyway you’d like probably.


I know my post sounds like a lot of complaining, but honestly, it was still one of the best days of my life (I’m still not entirely sure if the day I got married or the day I was proposed to was better). Just try to relax and enjoy it. If your limo is white and not black (like mine) don’t worry (unless you paid extra money or something) because nobody else will care and it still gets the job done. Also give yourself plenty of time, more than you think you’ll need, so that you don’t have to feel rushed (it took me maybe 35-45 minutes to get into my dress when my mom thought it would only take 15. glad I gave myself the extra time anyway!)

Practice the ceremony kiss (I have no idea why that thought never crossed my mind) so that you can kind of get good angles for pictures. Not romantic and passionate I know, but our first kiss pictures didn’t turn out so well because my husband was basically enveloping my face lol (not in a gross too much pda way). Also, practice cutting a cake maybe? We had a hard time with that. Partially because the cake topper was in the way and partially because it’s kind of hard to hold the knife and control it with two hands on it lol


phew. that was longer than I intended… lol

Post # 9
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I totally agree with laylabelle — DJ is key.  Our crowd would have danced regardless, but he did a REALLY great job.  Probably my favorite vendor of the whole wedding, actually.

I’m glad I ate.  Oh man, having some bagels and food to munch on while we got ready was critical. 

I’m also really happy with all the stuff we decided to cut, actually.  We approached the whole thing with the mindset of “We are just throwing a huge party, that’s all.”  and it kept us sane in the week leading up to it.  I know a lot of brides have an incredibly insane week before their wedding, but ours was just gravy.  We had plotted out all of our tasks and got so many things done ahead of time that come that week, there was almost nothing to do.  It was awesome.  We got to focus on really just enjoying ourselves with everyone.  THAT was the most important thing 🙂

Post # 10
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Love these posts!  I have to start off by saying, I stressed hardcore the 2 days before the wedding…but the day of, I was 100% cool and calm, no nerves at all until I heard everyone stand when the pastor said “please rise.”  Then I was like HOLY CRAP that was a LOT of people!!!”  But that subsided after about 4.2 seconds.

Im Thrilled about:

Making sure we kept with our only rule for the wedding – Not stuffy, the guests need to have a LOT of fun, and so do we.  We didnt want any of our decisions to make any guests feel uncomfortable.

doing a first look.  We did a first look 3 hours before the ceremony.  This resulted in ZERO stress and INCREDIBLE photographs.  We had all the time in the world (ok well 3 hours, which is a TON of time) to get photos of just the two of us, our Bridal Party, and family.   I still had time to steam my dress and retouch my makeup prior to the ceremony.  Also, we got to enjoy our full cocktail hour.

I took time to do little things to make the guests feel special – individual flowers at each place setting, naming the tables after things that were special to us and our guests (they noticed,) collecting wine corks for the place cards and putting a funny thank you note to our friends on the seating card table for supporting a habit to create our dream, special songs, etc.

That we decided to have a photobooth – hugest hit EVER.  Ditto with the candy buffet.  We also had a Football Room where we projected the Ohio State vs USC game.  Half of our guests were OSU alumni, we figured it would be a good outlet for them.  Really, not many people were in there all night, but they LOVED that they could pop in to check the score and see the highlights.

That we really focused on a great menu for our guests.  People are still raving about the food at our wedding.  I want someone I know to get married there so I can appreciate it as a guest, I was NOT hungry at the wedding!  As a reuslt, I am REALLY happy I asked the wait stafff to box us up some plates to bring home.

We kept the wedding about US – minimal tradition -no bouquet toss or garter toss, no group dances, no sand, etc.


First and foremost – HIRE A DOC….I was mistaken in thinking that my on site coordinator was the same thing – but she wasnt and that was MY mistake.  My BMs and family stepped up and ran things well, but the day of it was kind of a CF to be like “who is doing this, please be here at this time, meet at the Bridal Party limo at this time,” etc.  A DOC would have HUGELY helped.  Some things got missed, but it wasnt a huge deal.  There should have been a large floral arrangement on the seating card table (brought over from the church) but the person that brought it to the reception didnt know what it was for and left it on the Bridal Party bus.  Oh well…

Not focus so much on the wedding cake.  Seriousy.  Id fork out the cash in a HEARTBEAT again for my husbands grooms cake (3D model of the Ohio State Stadium – he and all our guests loved it) but our cake?  Meh.  A sheet cake from a grocery store could have been better.  That and the baker blatantly disregarded what I asked him to do because he felt that it looked “too spring garden party and not enough wedding.”  Lame.  Delicious, but overpriced and I was pissed that when I walked in, he had totally disregarded our instruction.

Make my florist do a mock up – my centerpieces were ALL WRONG.  I gave her a picture, said “copy these” and she gave me the info – price, dimensions, etc.  We got there and they were only about 8″ across when they should have been like 24″ to 30″ and were arranged jsut all wrong.  Ugh.

I still love all of the paper products I made myself (most of them 2 layers and embossed) – the menus, programs, seating cards, thank you notes, “in memory of” signs, “reserved for” signs, Bride & Groom signs, my hand drawn maps for the invites, etc.  In the end, mine were so intricate I’d have just paid someone to do them for me with my template.  It was a HUGE headache and big time consumer. 


Im sure there is more, let me think!!

Post # 11
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman

Just don’t put stuff off till the last minute.  I didn’t have a choice because I was sick with walking pneumonia up until a few days before the wedding (finally had to get steriods from the doctor to make it go away!).  But I wish I could have spent the few days before the wedding when people were starting to get into town NOT doing last minute stuff.

Post # 12
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I know that this isn’t probably exactly what you’re looking for, but I’m glad that I spoke up on matters that really mattered to me. For instance, I had an outdoor wedding and on either side of the archway, there’s an open field area on one side and a stone pathway on the other. Everyone assumed that I would use the open area for the wedding, but I’m so glad that I spoke up and went with the pathway instead, because that was what I really wanted and it ended up being gorgeous.

If you have any ideas that just drive at you, go with them if you can. I had an idea about putting up curtains in our colors in the archway. It involved having to buy the material and staying up until about 3 the morning of the wedding sewing them, but it was one of the prettiest decorations to me.

There really wasn’t anything that I didn’t like, except that some of the songs that we provided the D.J. with didn’t get played. The worst was that they would start to play some of them and then stop. The music part that bugged me the most was when I started hearing what I consider to be typical wedding songs after they mentioned that they had ran out of my music. I used to be in the wedding videography business, so I had just grown tired of a lot of them, but I had never mentioned any particular song that I didn’t like, nor did they play ones I loathed.

I wasn’t really too thrilled that the closing song ended up being ‘We Are Family’. I can’t stand that song and I’ve heard it at way too many weddings.

I’m also glad that we didn’t do any of the traditions. There was no candle lighting or sand mixing, bouquet toss or garter toss. None of them were really us and it left us more time to do things like eat and be able to have fun with our friends. We had people travel from Texas and Wisconsin to Indiana for us and I loved that I was able to actually spend time with them.

Post # 13
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m adding another comment, since my first one was rather specific to me and not very helpful to you 🙂

Being stress-free was a very good decision. Don’t worry about looking like a bridezilla, having to please anyone, or fussing with ribbon. It’s your wedding day and the only thing you have to do is get married. Someone else took charge of my clutch – thank you – because I didn’t keep track of anything the whole day. I just held my husband’s hand and floated through the day. I didn’t even keep an eye on the time or when we had to get to the ceremony. Someone else took care of that. Delegate and then trust your friends to make it happen.

First look: wonderful and relaxing. It’s very nice to go into a marriage together and going to our ceremony together was a way to do so. It does not diminish the ceremony in any way. It was very sweet to be together before the ceremony and to look at each other realizing that we were about to marry each other.

Photographer: one you trust to get the photos you want. My husband and I are terrible at posing in photographs, so we choose a photographer who gave very clear directions (and was sassy too!). My point is that I didn’t have to think about it, stress about it, be responsible for the photography.

What I said about eloping was pretty brief before. What made it good: complete control of the guestlist, no drama, no fussing over extraneous ‘details’ that don’t really matter, choosing to have the elements of a wedding we wanted (formal attire, bouquets), privacy (this was important to us two introverts). 

Little things don’t really matter and here I’m going to break a cardinal weddingbee rule: shoes don’t really matter as long as they’re comfortable. Buying something for a single photo… not the main point of your wedding day. The Something borrowed, blue, new thing? Cute, but again, not that important. Feel beautiful and like a bride however you do that (veil? dress? special lipstick? go for it) and marry your love in the ceremony you want surrounded by the people you want there. 

Before I got married, I was fixated on getting some things just right – like the borrowed, blue, new thing. I fussed like heck over my veil. I worried that each detail, if not perfectly right, would ruin my wedding day. It’s not true. I was comfortable in my wedding dress and shoes, I was happy with my wedding guests and ceremony, and I was happy with the man I was marrying. That’s all that really mattered. There was nothing left to be stressed about (even when my photographer stepped on my train, leaving a big black flipflop mark ;-))


Post # 14
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I agree with Layla that the DJ was really important.  Though mine annoyed me as well.  I didn’t want him to play every single group dance ever made like he did because I didn’t mind if people were dancing the entire time or night. 

I also loved having a first look.  It gave us a little time together and made it a lot less rushed after the ceremony to take pictures of us together.  Plus it allowed us to get away from our location for a little while to get some of the pictures from the wedding that we love the most.

I regret that I didn’t have a lot of time to DIY for the wedding.  It sort of makes me sad seeing how some of the bees go crazy with DIY!

Post # 15
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I was happy I appointed one of my Bridesmaid or Best Man to the specific task of fixing my veil after my dad lifted it off my face. There’s only one picture of my veil looking funky.

I also agree with the whole dj thing. Ours was fantastic and made for a rocking party.

Another part I was really glad my hubby found and researched was our limo. I know this isn’t important to a lot of people but ours was fantastic.Except ours was a stretch so it could fit the entire bridal party.

We were also happy we didn’t go blowing up our budget on anything. If we couldn’t afford it, it didn’t matter. (well I had to convince myself of this.)

Our ceremony was awesome, we had a band play worship songs after my dad gave us away and that made our service so unique and everyone loved it, I am so happy I pushed to do this, eventhough a lot of people tried to suggest other things.

Don’t worry about font or having things matchy matchy, no one notices this. My invite font didn’t match my programs and such, and it didn’t matter one bit.

Don’t worry about anything the morning of. What’s done is done what’s not can’t be finished without a ton of headaches, so just let it go. Make your moto that day I don’t care and tell everyone who asks you annoying questions that day to decide for themselves.

One thing I highly recommend doing is going around to your tables super early. We went right after our first dances and toasts. I was so happy we did. It helped in a number of ways. 1. almost everyone was seated at the tables at that point. 2. Most people were still sober. 3. You can move more quickly because people haven’t started to dance yet, so your not being grabbed by people walking by. 4. It actually left us time to sit and eat once the dinner came out! 5. We could party, cause the obligation to say hi and thank you was out of the way!

I don’t know what else, this post is long sorry. Just remember to stop and take notice of everything. Don’t let the day pass you. I was very consious of this and it made me be able to remember everything that happened.

Really try to focus on your vows. This part was the only part that is a little foggy for me because I was so nervous and shaky and on the verge of tears. So really try to concentrate on the words your husband is promising and on your promise to him.

Last piece of advice, BREATH!

Post # 16
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

Things I loved!

My photographers! I had 2…one main, and he chose a second. Your photographer can’t be in 2 places at once which is why we chose to have the second. They both were amazing and we have over 700 fabulous pictures from the minute I got to the salon until we were getting into the shuttle at the end of the night. By far the best investment I ever made! One thing to keep in mind about your photographer – let them do what they’re paid to do. Try not to dictate every photo they take. You hired them for a reason. Also – don’t let them take up too much of your time. A good photographer will make sure you get the photos you want while also allowing you to attend as much or as little as your cocktail hour/reception as you want. Make sure they aren’t monopolizing your time.

Our band/DJ – they kept everyone on the dance floor. A good band/DJ can make or break a night. We were at a friend’s wedding in March, and the DJ was awful. Needless to say, half of the wedding left shortly after dinner.

My brothers and SIL. They kept everyone who was stressing me out away from me throughout the night. They were the 3 most amazing people at my wedding aside from my husband. I’d recommend having someone like that!!

Things I would do differently:

I wouldn’t have let my mom stress me out so much. She tied me into knots the day of my wedding. I couldn’t relax until they got into their car and drove home. I let out a huge sigh of relief at that moment. Unfortunately, my wedding day was the most stressful day of my life thanks to my mom. Don’t let anyone stress you out. It’s your one and only chance to enjoy your wedding, and I’m sad to say that I was worried through most of it. Luckily, like I said above, I had my brothers and my SIL who wisked her away anytime they saw her complaining to me about something else. I couldn’t have been more thankful for them!

One last thing! Take a few minutes to stand with your new hubby and look around at all of the people who are there celebrating you! My hubby and I did this and it’s an overwhelming, emotional feeling that everyone is there b/c they’re celebrating your marriage. Awesome!

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