i'm almost a month out from our wedding...and my husband (still seems weird to type) and i just recently had dinner where we talked about the wedding almost the whole time. as we were talking, i just kept thinking about how every part of it was perfect...for us.
now, if you've read my bio, you will know that i am divorced. my first wedding was your typical fancier, more formal, but still totally fun affair. to be honest, it actually turned out to be much better than the marriage. ouch, i know. i should probably refrain from saying that...but truth be told. anyway, the point is...i learned quite a few things the second time that i would HIGHLY recommend to anyone about to plan their nuptials.
so here they are. in no particular order.
- KEEP IT AS SMALL AS YOU CAN- this is definitely easier for some people and not others. if you have a big family, then yeah...you most likely will have to invite more of them...but in my case, i have a big family...but only invited those closest to us AS A COUPLE. the reason i highlight this part is because you (and your groom) don't want to spend your wedding night talking to Aunt Sally about her cats irritable bowels and her latest knitting project. you want to spend time with the people who have watched your relationship grow and nurture the formed relationships.
- DON'T HAVE ASSIGNED SEATING OR A FORMAL DINNER: i can't tell you how much pressure this takes off the bride. no creating a seating chart, no "head" table, no set time when everyone has to take their seats. it's just easier. and sooooo much more fun. what do we all do when we go to bars? we mingle and get to know other people, right? don't you want your friend from Australia who is a struggling artist to become friends with you friend from NYC who owns an art gallery? BINGO. let people mingle and eat whenever they want. this one is a game changer.
- MAKE THE CEREMONY AS SHORT AS YOU CAN: yeah yeah...this one could cause some controversy...but the shorter the ceremony...the better! sorry to burst anyone's bubble...but the only thing people care about during the ceremony is the proclamation and kiss, the grooms face when he sees the bride, and the vows. so, make it quick, friends...cause after is where the real fun begins.
WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS: everyone can recite "for richer for poorer...blah blah blah" but doesn't it make it more interesting when you admit little secrets about each other that people may find interesting...or at least cute?! i think so. and so did all my guests.
- HAVE THE SMALLEST BRIDAL PARTY YOU CAN, OR NONE: let's be honest...if you are in your 20's and you are a child bride...you may want all your sorority sisters in your wedding. but anything past your late 20's is pushing a bridal party at all. first of all, almost everyone has bridesmaids so the chances that your friends will have already been in one are fairly high. secondly, it's expensive for them AND you! if you don't buy their dresses, then they do...on top of other presents from your registry. which brings me to my next point.
- DON'T REGISTER FOR THINGS: we registered on a great site called wanderable. this site allows your guests to purchase events/items/trips for you, and the money goes straight from their credit card into your account of choice! it's great. the reason why i suggest this route is because your taste WILL change. i promise. even though in 2008 you really liked kate spade classic dinnerware (i have no idea if that's a real thing) you may want a mix and match set come 2015. but you can have the memories of your honeymoon or an an amazing dinner forever. think about it, people.
- GIVE YOUR GROOM THINGS TO DO: i'm usually sort of a control freak...especially when i have a vision of what it's "supposed" to turn out like in my head. but from the beginning, i relinquished control over the band, the photographer, and the guest book. although it can be hard to do this, it really benefited us. neither one of us ever felt overwhelmed, and he felt included by being in charge of those elements.
- DON'T SKIMP ON MUSIC: honestly, this is the place that i would put a BIG chunk of change when budgeting. we ended up spending about 20% of our budget on the band alone. also, there is something about live music that really makes an event. it's totally up to you, but this is one thing i say is a non negotiable.
- HAVE A FRIEND OFFICIATE: this was something that we knew would make the wedding that much more personal. we wanted someone to tell our story...that KNEW our story. although his english wasn't the best, and he got nervous...we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. perfection is over rated. people want the real, raw truth and a minister who says the same thing to every couple can easily take out the personal aspect.
- ENJOY EVERY SECOND OF BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER: take time to enjoy the planning. make it as easy or hard on yourself as possible...but remember that the end goal doesn't change. the end goals is that you are married. and that's the most important. take time during the wedding to look around and see everyone there gathered for YOU and YOUR SPOUSE. they are there because they love you and they see the love that you share. i know, sounds cheesey...but it's true. and then take time to reflect on that special day with your spouse and your parents, and anyone/everyone that wants to talk about it. if it was amazing (which yours will be) then you will want to talk about it all the time. that's ok. it only happens once (or twice in my case.)
and i think that wraps up my advice. i had a great time at my wedding, and would like to do it every weekend. but then again, it's special because it was a small snapshot in time, that is never to be repeated.
and if you are reading this and we were lucky enough to have enjoyed your presence on OUR special day...