As promised, here are a few wedding photos. For more photos, click HERE. These are 95% candid shots from our guests’ cameras and a few from our photographer. We’ll get the rest of the shots from the photographer in the next couple weeks.
Here what I’ve learned after having my first and only wedding (these are in no particular order of importance)…
Lesson #1: Bridal Party. Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen carefully. I know we did and I’m so happy! Two days before my wedding, I was getting a manicure and there was another bride sitting next to me doing the same thing. Naturally, we started talking wedding talk. During the course of the conversation she told me what a horrible time she was having with her bridesmaids. Not helpful. Didn’t care. Selfish. Unsupportive. DRAMA. At one point, I thought she might start crying. It’s such an important day and you need all the help and support you can get, especially from your bridal party. Derek and I couldn’t have asked for a more hands-on, engaged and thoughtful group.
Lesson #2: RSVP. People are rude and don’t RSVP. It’s absolutely horrifying.
Lesson #3: Mothers. Nobody cares about your wedding as much as your mom does. Everyone is helpful, but nobody reaches the same level of helpfulness as your mom. My mom was A-MAZING. She was hands-on, supportive and involved, but never pushy. Embrace it and love it. You only get to do it once!
Lesson #4: Spend your money where it counts. If you are on a budget (which I think most of us are), then you need to identify the areas that are MOST important to you and spend your money accordingly. For us, the most important things were: 1) ceremony and reception at the same venue (ie more $$ spent on the venue). 2) The vibe to be more of a fun cocktail party, and less of a stuffy wedding dinner (ie more $$ spent on a band and the food stations). Of course things like the flowers, cake, and videographer were important to us, but not AS important, so we focused less of our funds in those areas.
Lesson #5: Gifts. I know it’s very crass to talk about gifts, but I can’t help it. I have to say, this one took me by surprise in both directions. We had guests who absolutely shocked us with their generosity. Especially people who couldn’t even make it to the wedding! Then, there were people who came to the wedding (didn’t bother to RSVP) and didn’t get us a gift. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t burn-my-ass a little bit. Not because of the gift, but because it’s just rude. Who goes to a wedding and doesn’t give a gift? If people are in a financial pinch, I can totally understand and respect that. Just write us a card or pull us aside to let us know! But to completely ignore the situation seems shady. Did you think we wouldn’t notice? Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Kindra, technically guests have 1 year to buy the couple a wedding gift. I know. And I think there are a few people who will fall into this category, so I’m not talking about them. BUT, I know that about 50% of them won’t bother. I know it’s very uncouth to talk about gifts like this, but it was on my mind, so I felt the need to share. I certainly don’t want the few bad apples to overshadow all the wonderful and generous gifts we DID receive.
Lesson #6: You are not alone. Delegate to your fiancé. This is a wedding for two people – not one. Make sure that the groom-to-be is equally involved. Naturally, a lot of planning falls on the bride, but make sure to delegate some tasks so that you aren’t carrying the load by yourself. Derek was a huge help to me and I couldn’t be more appreciative. He was stellar!
Lesson #7: Be flexible. Things will go wrong – they just will. Accept. Get over it. MOVE ON. When you are faced with these obstacles, you need to be flexible and to make decisions quickly on the fly. We weren’t planning on having a receiving line – but it just happened and before we knew it, we were 45 minutes behind schedule for everything. As the night went on, Derek and I made the decision to cut the slide show and the bouquet/garter toss. Everyone was having such a good time; we didn’t want to interrupt the fun! Let the good times roll!
Lesson #8: Time. Everything takes more time than you think. A hundred people must have given me this advice, but I didn’t heed their warning. It’s true. Put some time buffers in your schedule.