Wedding Wednesday: A Do-Over?

Wedding Wednesday: A Do-Over

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We had a perfect wedding.  Everything about it. 

I was one of those brides who liked being involved in every single decision (and probably took on a little too much work than I should have -- for my own sanity).

And I think it's pretty darn cool that I had a pre-Pinterest wedding ... I hadn't yet jumped on the pinning train when I was in the midst of all of that planning.  I did peruse some wedding blogs like Hey Gorgeous, Green Wedding Shoes and Style Me Pretty that were a big help.  But ultimately, I went with what I knew I loved: my favorite color yellow, a neutral gray that coordinated beautifully with the yellow, and vintage/heirloom touches.  I also needed a design vision that paired well with tartan plaid (which is more of a challenge than it may sound).

I'm still a wedding nut, and I love seeing some of the fun decisions that brides are making.  Even though I can't imagine our big day being any different than it was, there are a few tidbits that I like passing along to anyone who may be planning a wedding now or in the future ... things that, if I absolutely had to do it all over again, I'd do a little differently.

Videography: Make It Happen
Fact: weddings are expensive.  And while videography originally seemed like a "must" for our wedding day, I quickly found myself staring wide-eyed at a cost spreadsheet that didn't have any wiggle room.  What I love about film from a wedding is that it just captures so much more emotion than photos often can.  I'm not saying that I would have hired an $8k videography crew, but I would have at least asked for people to turn their cameras or iPhones from the photo setting to the video setting so that multiple videos could be compiled together after the fact into a fun montage.

Taking On Too Much + Procrastination
I mentioned above that I probably took on more than I should.  I had a truly awesome wedding planner who I used as more of a coordinator.  Reaching out for help wasn't something I did often, because I had really high standards and I was afraid they wouldn't be met.  Ask my husband about the night that I got upset with him for licking the wedding envelopes wrong.  And then I took him off licking duty and did it all myself, doubling my workload.  I'm not kidding, but I wish I was. 

In all honesty, though, he really was doing it wrong.  Ha!

The Divide + Conquer Reception Method
At our wedding reception, we made our entrance, had dinner, danced our first dance, and then looked around at a huge room of guests who we wanted to thank for traveling in for our wedding.  Holy moly, we were overwhelmed.  We decided to split up so that each of us could cover half of the room.  While this did end up working, we didn't get to spend as much time together at our reception as I would have liked.  More time on the dance floor, more time hand-in-hand, more time relaxing and soaking it all in.

Married ladies -- I'd love to hear your thoughts.
If you HAD to do it all over again, what would you do slightly differently?

Brides-to-be ... feel free to pin this post for your future planning ... I have a feeling you may get some really poignant advice!

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  1. YES! I would do it all over again :) Such a fun day! I don't remember being stressed at all - I didn't sweat the small details, just my dress, flowers, food, and live music were my musts! It was perfect (except the church's wedding director sent the bridesmaids down to the wrong song)..what can ya do?

    I didn't do a professional videographer, so I love the suggestion you have about the multiple iPhone vids!

    Might just have to go home and watch the (homemade) wedding video tonight :)

  2. Great post!

    This is sad to say, but I wish I hadn't bought my dress so soon. Of course it is one of the biggest things you look forward to in wedding planning, so I did it right away. As soon as I bought it, I was looking for a different one. I was THISCLOSE to purchasing a completely different one, and my Mom was so upset I couldn't do it. I also hated my veil and the placement of it. Like - I cringe when I see pictures. So petty but hey - you only get one chance to be the bride! I wish I had spent more time choosing my veil and placed it just high enough where pictures from straight on you can see a tiny bit of it on top of my head. The pictures just look weird to me - like my head is cut in half.

    And I agree with you - everyone needs to find a way to have a video. We have an amazing video that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. It's my #1 advice to people planning weddings. In fact a few months ago, I kept watching and rewinding, watching and rewinding to see the look of sheer joy on my Mom's face as we exited our wedding - it was the happiest I'd ever seen her.

  3. I have nixed a lot of stuff that, to me, is really stupid and a really big waste of time and money.

    Videographer is NOT one of those things.

    I'm actually meeting with wedding planners on Monday and having them book a videographer for me. I know I'll be one of those newlyweds who curls up with my laptop and a glass of bubbly and watches it on repeat for a few months :p

  4. Would do it all over again too. Mine was waaaay before Pinterest (11 years next month) so I definitely would have done some things differently if I knew then what I do now.

    1. Would have done signature cocktails at the reception. Thought/idea never crossed my mind at the time and I love these!

    2. Probably would have personalized the wedding and groom's cake a little more. I pretty much went based on taste first and then just flipped the book and said "that looks pretty - good enough". Now I would want more personalized decorations or flowers on it.He could have cared less about the groom's cake so I did the same with that.

    3. Would have had a better or more special bachelorette party. We didn't have as much to spend back then and were paying for most of the wedding ourselves so the bachelorette party was more an afterthought - typical dinner and then bar hopping in town with the girls and nothing more. It was fun but I wish I could have had a special weekend away with close friends, bridesmaids and my sister and cousins. I don't even have any photos of my bachelorette party b/c it was so lame.

    4. Wish I had taken more time off work. I had just started working as an attorney at a law firm so I was freaked about taking time off. I got married on Saturday and worked until 5pm Friday (the day before, yes). Came back from our honeymoon the very next Sunday and was back to work on Monday morning (5 work days off - total). Stupid and no one at my office even noticed or gave credit for the small amount of time I used to get married and go on a honeymoon. May as well have taken a full 2 weeks and done a super awesome honeymoon and had more sanity the week before the wedding. This is my biggest piece of advice. Hopefully, you only get married once - take the time off from work to savor it, enjoy it and make every second count!!! Work will be waiting for you when you get back - I promise.

    Those are my 2 cents!

  5. The timing of your post is perfect as I just got married this past Saturday! I'm still basking in the glow of the wedding day and am not quite ready to dissect what I would and wouldn't do again.

    One piece of advice for couples who are trying to decide how to thank that room full of guests: a mini-receiving line between cocktail hour and the reception. As guests were making their way from the cocktail hour to the reception my husband and I were greeting and thanking them. That way we didn't feel pressured to go table to table and got more time together on the dance floor!

    We aren't leaving for our honeymoon until this Saturday which has given us a few days to catch our breaths, tie up lose ends at work and get even more giddy about a week away together.

    I agree that a video is a MUST. I am just dying to see ours and relieve the day!

  6. Love this! I had a pre-pinterest wedding as well 10.24.09. I agree with the divide and conquer opinion. We split up due to the large amount of people at our wedding. However, I wish we would have stayed together!

  7. Oh my gosh- was just talking about this this weekend. I would have gotten a videographer too. I have a shaky video that Joe's Dad took during our ceremony so at least we can relive that but wish I had more. I also wish I had a bachelorette weekend vs one night when everyone got in town.

  8. Love the idea of this post! Mine was pre-Pinterest as well. We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary last month. I will caveat my statements by saying that I absolutely LOVED how my day turned out and I wouldn't have changed the feelings or moments I now cherish for anything! There are a few details that I would do differently.

    -Like you, I took on too much. I am a perfectionist and had to have everything just so (aka...I did everything myself instead of asking for help!) Don't get me wrong, I love being in control, but I think there are several tasks I could have delegated so I wouldn't be so stressed during the whole process.

    -I had a videographer, but he wasn't a professional. It was just a family friend that volunteered to help out. It's a great video and documents what the pictures couldn't, but it's presentation isn't the greatest. I look at videos now from professionals of various wedding and they are out of this world amazing. I cry and I don't even know the people sometimes! Bottom line...spend the money and hire a professional.

    All in all, we had a great time and it is a day that will forever be one of my favorites! Thanks for putting together this fun post and allowing us to comment for future brides.

  9. I too loved everything about my wedding -- BUT I would have invited a few less people and made it more intimate.

  10. The only change I would have made would be to get the photographer to get more detail shots. I really loved everything else- it was very personal and just what I wanted. Of course, it was at my childhood home, so that helped, and it was pre-Pinterest so I was not too overwhelmed.

  11. I dont know where to begin in terms of what I would have done differently, but I do have a lot to say in terms of what you are in control of at your wedding and what you are not..I think I had a perfect plan, but NOTHING ended up going according to it! For example, I found out my wedding was double booked 3-weeks beforehand and having to basically redo my vision in no time at all! (Benefit - got half my reception paid for and ended up with a wedding more beautiful than I ever could have imagined!) But holy moly was it stressful. I wouldn't have wished it on my worst enemy! I dont think I ate or slept for those 3 weeks!

    That being said, the best and only advice I can give is to remember what it is truly all about at the end of the day - and as long as you marrying the right person, it doesn't matter that you had to get a lawyer to represent you against your country club, that you had to squish people into a smaller area than planned, that you had to worry about the weather (even when you swore you wouldn't have an outdoor wedding because you specifically did NOT want to worry about the weather), that you had to redo all of your flower arrangement plans within 2 weeks of your wedding, that someone spilled red wine all over your guest book, that somehow the party favors never made it to the guests and picture boards you spent weeks on ended up in area where no one saw them ... and yes, that did ALL happen to me and it was still the best day of my life! :)

  12. You know what is so funny, is that we had a pre-Pinterest wedding too and a relatively tight budget (husband was in law school and I was teaching). But, with all that said and done, I love our imperfect wedding. With that said, I would have probably spent more on videography too and not stressed so much about everything. Looking back, even just a few years, I realize how little I knew what I was doing.

  13. Loved this post! :) I agree with with the videographer 100000%! I loved everything about my wedding, but wish we had gotten one. Other than that, I have no regrets! :)

  14. I'm quite the control freak and very particular, so I think I'm going to have a hard time not taking on too much and allowing a planner to help!

  15. I completely, completely agree with everything you said! I quit my job less than a month prior to the wedding, which proved to be exactly what I needed to tie up the loose ends, but still, my number one regret was taking on too much by myself. When people say they want to help, they truly meant it and I wish I'd known that!

    I was so caught up in ensuring everything was perfect that I wound up so stressed and upset that I didn't get to enjoy the day like I should have. I had a complete and total meltdown when it rained at ceremony time and I'm so sad that I acted that way. But hey, there was no videographer, so there's no evidence of it, right?

  16. Don't get me wrong, I adore out wedding- but being a pre-pinterest bride myself, I wish I had seen even more of all of the ideas out there today. Also, that might have saved me probably $500 on wedding magazines! Don't get me started on our videographer- pretty much a joke! Our video is cued to a bob marley song, so not what was played at our wedding! Hah :)

  17. Ah, I think I've talked about this with my husband at least at every anniversary, but probably even more often than that! I loved our wedding day, and we did hire a great videographer, but we did not have them edit it (just raw footage). Our plan is to have them edit it for our five year anniversary, but from what I've been told from friends it's probably going to be nearly double just due to their price increase over the years! Oh well.

    Of course there are things I would add now or take out, but overall I loved our wedding day. We conquered the room together and per the suggestion of our coordinator, we set a time cut off to just go have fun ourselves. We didn't talk to everyone in the room, but it was fine. No one seems to mind when we run into them today :)

  18. Thanks so much for sharing about your big day! I have less then 6 months until my wedding, so these were perfect things to think about. We have been going back and forth about a video since they are pricey but I think you convinced me :)

  19. It was so interesting to read not only your tips but these comments. Especially with our wedding getting closer. Even though our planning process is during the time of pinterest, we haven't used it at all. I think with all of the ideas on there, it would just stress me out more, lol.


  20. My husband and I always say that we wish we could do our wedding all over again - exactly the same - but attend as guests :)

  21. I just don't know how you're supposed to get by to thank all of your guests if you don't do a receiving line. We did our entrance, first dances, and then I started (with Brandon) to go around and talk to everyone. We were at the same table, but talked to people individually. By the time I got through speaking with the people on one side of the tent, I was ordered (by my 7 months pregnant bridesmaid) to sit down and eat something. Yes, ma'am. haha But after that, everyone got up, dancing started, and we didn't make it to the other half of the room. It's been almost a year and I still feel bad about it. I think things like this are just bound to happen. You're only one [two] person and can only do so much while still enjoying your day!


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