So if you didn't already know by the oodles of save the dates and invitations flooding your mailbox, wedding season is upon us. Fun fact for ya, I got married at age 21 to my grade school sweetheart. Which meant of my friends, I was pretty much the first one to get married. Plus Pinterest really didn't exist yet, so I didn't really have much to compare it to. I am EXTREMELY organized and paid for a good portion of our wedding, so I knew the ends and outs of how this day was supposed to go to a T. I made lists, and schedules, and timelines galore. We had a ton of help from friends and family, which was HUGE in cutting on cost and still being able to get everything done!
It was seriously the perfect day. Even with it storming, close to all day, it managed to be sunny long enough for some outdoor pictures! The biggest thing that surprised me was how calm and relaxed I was throughout the whole morning. I basically was throwing the biggest party of my life, and I couldn't be on site to coordinate! Don't ask me how, call it love, but I was so go with the flow that day it was almost eery. Especially if you know my OCD tendencies.
However, nothing goes a 100% according to plan so I thought I would share a few of my flubs, in hopes that you can avoid them!
1. Not hiring a day of wedding coordinator
Or even getting a close friend to help check things off of the list you can only do the day of would have been great. My family really pulled through for me, and I had checked on everything 100 times the week before, but things like picking up the flowers, or having the cake dropped off, or setting up the tables were all things I couldn't do.
2. Not bringing a curling iron and hairspray to the church
So did I mention the weather the day of our wedding? Is rained all morning, was muggy as hell, and then thunderstormed during the ceremony. None of that really mattered except for the muggy. Spent way to long at the hair salon that morning to then take tons of outside photos (while melting), that then made my hair go straight. Luckily, one of my bridesmaids happened to have one with her so we were able to fix everything before the ceremony.
3. Putting on the garter at the very beginning of the day
Dumb. It seemed like when I was getting dressed that this was the obvious choice. Not true. For one, are you used to wearing a rubber band around your leg? Me neither. It was all I could think about while I had it on. And two, it's not like it's going to stay put all day while you're running around getting ready and taking photos. Put it on after the ceremony, so you don't have to worry about it falling down. Don't know if that is breaking tradition or not, but it seems like the better way to go.
4. Not scheduling hair appointments early enough
Even after having a trial run for my hair, you just simply don't know how long it will take for you and whoever else is with you to get your hair done. It goes slower when there is more of you and day of you are going to want to get everything exactly right. Give yourself a GOOD amount of wiggle room that way you aren't rushing around to everything in between.
5. Have a bottle opener nearby or have someone pre-open the bottle you are toasting with
This was interesting. Luckily one of the daughters of a friend helping with the wedding was standing nearby after we cut the cake. She ran and got us a bottle opener, but once all eyes were on us it wasn't like we could exactly go run and get one. She hustled and it worked just fine, but felt a little awkward while everyone was staring and taking photos of us holding empty glasses doing nothing lol
6. Have someone get you cake!
The only cake we had at the wedding was the bite we traded with one another. I guess people kept talking to us right after we toasted, that by the time we turned around it was gone! We had someone in charge of making us a to go box of food (which I so 100% recommend) but we didn't think to do it with the cake.
7. Approve all bridal party wardrobe choices even if they are just coordinating
You have a vision in your head on how everything is going to look. Your bridal party may not have that same vision. Don't go Bridezilla on anyone, but really try hard to think about what will bother you if someone shows up in something that wasn't what you had in mind. Shoe details? Facial hair? Jewelry? Know what will bother you and what won't. Because day of there isn't much changing of anything.
8. Have your dad help you pick out what the guys wear.
If you are having a semi formal wedding, which is I guess what ours was, have a man help pick out the clothes. I managed to pick out a good outfit for Aaron and the groomsmen's outfits weren't horrible, but the ushers and father of the groom outfits probably could have used some color other than all black. Aaron didn't really have any opinions, and I didn't know what in the world I was doing. It sounded good on paper, but seriously. Have someone help and make someone try it all on together.
9. Maybe have the bar tender monitor if someone has had too much
To be fair, people will drink before, in between, and/or during, bring their own drinks, ect. but some sort of monitoring of how much someone has had might be a good idea. That way you can avoid someone doing the worm on the floor with a dress on or even choosing to maybe relieve themselves in less than desirable places. Not that this happened. Just that it could.
10. Inform who you want photos with after the ceremony to stay.
I gave the photographer a list of everyone I wanted photos with at the church, all of the breakdowns ect. But I failed to mention it to the people I wanted photos with. So when the preacher said family stay for photos, some stayed and some left, unsure of if they would be included or not. Struggle. It was okay because there are too many posed pictures before the reception anyhow, but it's hard to get a photo with everyone you want!
I hope these got you thinking!
It was such a fun, happy day and I couldn't be more pleased with how everything went. We did just about everything ourselves, from my dad's friends making the delicious food, to peeling wine bottles for center pieces (over a 100, I'm now a pro), to flower arrangements and decor. Yes it would have been great to just pay someone to do everything for us, but it was also so much fun for me to plan every detail. It really was a fantastic day, and it's so much fun to look back at the photos and remember everything! But the beautiful part is that while it was only one day, it was the first day to the beginning of our marriage.
It's been fun taking what I learned from our wedding, and what I've noticed attending other weddings since, and really getting the hang of coordinating details! I've helped out in a few weddings since, and even coordinated one by myself and it's amazing how much goes into everything! Hope these tips gave you something to think about as you plan your big day! And even if something does go wrong (oh I wish I could share some of the stories) it truly just adds to the happy laughter of the day!