In an effort to help future brides, here are a few things I would recommend.
1. Have a Coordinator (or two)
-This doesn't mean hire someone. I asked brother's girlfriend and my mom's best friend to be those people. I gave them lists with all our vendors and their names and phone numbers, I gave them lists of what needed to go where. There were a few decorations that were used at both the ceremony and the reception and we knew we'd need someone we trusted to transport them. Thankfully we had those people to do that.
2. Flexible Timeline
-We did a first look so we could get all the wedding party/bride and groom pictures done before hand. This was key! We allotted the time between 12:30 and 3:30 for getting ready, our first look and group pictures. We had plenty of time and some leftover even though we didn't get pictures started until almost 2 p.m.
|(If you zoom in on the gray sheet, you can see the timeline I gave to everyone in our bridal party, parents and coordinators)|
-Not kidding I'm a perfectionist and a control freak. I wasn't a bridezilla, but I wanted it to just go how I planned. Rehearsal dinner was a reality check. The guys were goofing off, the girls weren't there on time, the mics weren't working so we couldn't hear the pastor's instructions, etc. Just bad thing after bad thing after bad thing. It sobered me up and I realized: this is not going to go as I planned. I also realized: that's okay.
4. Unity Cross
-I talked about this in last week's post, but I loved our Unity Cross. It was my favorite part of our ceremony and it was unique. It's not like unity sand or a unity candle that's just kind of there. This means something and every time I look at it I am reminded.
-The bridesmaids dresses were Henkaa dresses and they were a great success. Each girl had the same dress but tied it a different way, however they were most comfortable. For my bachelorette party they all brought their dresses and decided how they'd be tying them for the wedding. Some of them were too long still so we just used a good pair of shears and cut the bottoms. My sisters each wore big necklaces to signify that they were maids of honor.
|It was colder than Antartica, pretty much.|
-Not for actual emergency, but wedding-type emergencies. I bought bags from this Etsy shop and filled them with stuff. The bags were well priced and great quality! And I got them super quickly because I kinda decided to do this last minute. Q-tips, tissues, safety pins, straws, snacks, water bottles, nail files, wipes, hair spray, bobby pins, band aids, stain remover, static remover, and more things of that nature I can't remember. I gave them to them the night of my bachelorette stuff along with a bracelet for each of them to wear for the wedding. Also, instead of having the bachelorette the weekend before we had it two weeks before. This was a lot less stress and gave me the weekend before to work on last minute stuff.
|A crappy cell phone picture from the bacheloretty evening. My cousin was sick hence my sister holding two bags.|
-I wasn't sure if it was worth the price, but I'm so glad we hired a videographer. My parents told me that's the one thing they wished they would've had, so that pushed me toward the yes side. It was a little less than my photographer so basically it was paying that fee twice (ouch). But the way I saw it, those are the things you should splurge on because the photos and video are all that's left after the wedding day. Our videographer did an awesome job and we love our video. We got to pick our music and the package we wanted, just like with a photographer. We chose the package that did a little pre-wedding, the whole ceremony, then a mix of the toasts, dances and party stuff at the end. It suited us perfectly and the end product was a little under two hours long. Definitely recommend!
|Our photographer taking a picture of our videographer. How cool is that?|
Our wedding video trailer. We got this before our actual video as a little preview.
8. Soldering Rings Before the Ceremony
-I chose two wedding bands. I liked the idea of a wrap that went on both sides of the engagement ring, but I couldn't find one I liked so I sort of made my own. Typically you put the wedding bands on at ceremony, but we just put on the whole set. It doesn't really matter either way. Plus, since we left for our honeymoon the day after the wedding, I didn't want to worry about keeping track of three bands the whole trip.
9. Instagram Hashtag
- I know the hashtag thing can be really overused. For us, it was awesome. We used our usual, #freedatlast14 (freedatlast was taken by people posting about getting out of prison...awkward). We got so many cool photos from Instagram shots our friends uploaded! It was lots of different angles and things the photographers didn't get to see. Plus our friends were there later
for when things started to get a little weird.
|My talented little sister made a bunch of these chalkboard-like signs out of cheap 99-cent Hobby Lobby foam poster board, chalk board markers, and a Hobby Lobby empty frame (use those 50% off sales!) we painted silver.|
10. Favor Donation
-In lieu of favors, we made a donation to my best friend's memorial scholarship fund in honor of our guests. Instead of food or some little trinket people probably wouldn't even use again, we felt this was a good way to make some actual use out of wedding favors. On The Knot I actually read posts from wedding guests who were angry the bride and groom donated in their honor. First, it's their wedding. Second, quit being selfish. The fact that you are expecting a favor is wrong to begin with. Just be grateful.
Of course, I learned not to do a lot of things. Post on that coming soon :)
PS- have I mentioned how thrilled I am to finally be sharing this stuff with you? Five months is a LONG time to wait for pictures (I didn't want the posts to be boring) and I'm probably forgetting a lot because of that time.