There is something so awesome about an event that you get to design for yourself and your husband-to-be. When I was a fiancé back in the day, I was only 24 years old and at that point in my career I was really still figuring out my aesthetic. Luckily I still like a lot of what I was aiming for but there are just a few things I would change about what I planned and designed if I were to do it knowing what I know now. First I will start with the things I really loved about my wedding.
1. I loved that I picked a different format - I actually planned for my wedding to start at 7:00pm and end at 1:00pm. It was a black tie optional cocktail party. I was fortunate to have a venue that allowed me to go past 10:00pm with music, but seriously, EVERYONE stayed! It was awesome. It also alleviated the pressure of designing a perfect table to impress my guests with, and even though we had appetizers flowing and a pizza station for those who didn't get dinner beforehand, it was nice to just get married and start dancing pretty much right away (that is my favorite part of wedding receptions anyway!)
2. I loved having JUST my sisters as the bridal party. I have friends don't get me wrong, but even 5 years into it, the groups of friends have changed as I have moved and I have lost touch with more than I would like to admit. Friends come and go in life, siblings will remain forever. :)
3. I loved my hair and makeup. Dress styles these days are way more my taste, but I cut out the back of my dress and had a top hair stylist in the area (Skyla Arts) and lovely makeup artist (Taryn Warren) doll me up and I loved every single photo. Wirth every penny. In the same thread I also hired a trainer and lost 20 pounds.. he was amazing. also worth every penny.
4. First look was the best part of my wedding day. We both cried and had a really sweet moment together. I loved every second and it really is one of my fondest memories of the day.
5. Definitely would pick the same groom... but that goes without saying.
Now for the fun stuff, what would I do differently... ?
1. I would have let my sisters pick their own dresses, and then let them sit down in the front row with our parents. My poor sister in law had just had twins and I had picked a dress that was VERY tight in the top and through the rib cage... I wasn't thinking.
2. I would have budgeted for tips. A lot of vendors really stepped up to help me out and I took full advantage but I didn't think about tips.. and I still regret it. Luckily I can send them business but it isn't really the same. TIP YOUR VENDORS!
3. I wanted to have an attitude of "I don't care about the details, I just want to get married" because in my head that sounded so romantic to have that frame of mind. Turns out it led to failed expectations that I never vocalized and totally drove my family nuts because they knew I cared. A big failure on my part was not communicating the scale and colors of my bouquet well enough to the florist so now I don't like wedding photos of my flowers... so sad.
4. I would invite way fewer people. Sure I was happy we had a full dance floor, but I barely spoke to any of the 125 guests. And thats even less than the average I plan for these days at 150. True, I was the first of three daughters to get married, but I wish we could have scaled down a bit. I might even consider doing more of a weekend long event with less people just to stretch that time out a bit.
5. I would have done the wedding in early spring. I was already set on picking a venue I could take photos outside but do everything indoor because I had been in rough situations with wind and freezing cold/ extremely hot weddings. If I could change the date to when the flowers were prime and all the vendors were fresh minded and rested, that could have been better for everyone. Me included. I had 12 weddings before mine, and one after my honeymoon. what was I thinking????