Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wedding Overview

Well, it's finally over! I'm officially a married woman! And I have to say- it went really well. The reception was absolutely stunning, the food was delicious, and everyone commented on how beautiful and relaxed it was. We had no agenda, everyone was able to sit wherever they wanted, talk to whoever they wanted, and leave when they were ready. First off, here is a list of things I'm glad we did.

  • My husband and I were the first ones there. Technically since it's your party, you can kind of arrive whenever. Many brides and grooms come in late. I liked getting there first, because I was the first one to see the reception set up (which was very calming since so many things had gone wrong), I was able to go over some details  and answer questions, I had time to change into my dress and touch up my make up, and we were able to eat some food before guests began to arrive.
  • We kept the line short and sweet. First- I hate the reception lines that go on forever. I'm there to see the bride and groom. I don't know their mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc. And, that causes a problem for those who DO want to talk to those people, because trying will hold up the line.  Our line was me and my husband. That way everyone could talk to the people they knew and and wanted to talk to. Second- I had no interest in standing in one spot for three hours. It's a party! There's friends and family and food- I wasn't about to miss it for "tradition". We stood in line for probably twenty-thirty minutes, and then the flow of people coming in kind of stopped and we left our arch. We mingled with our friends and family- both together and separately- and ate some of the delicious food. As new people entered, I made a point to go over and say hello. It made everything feel so much warmer and more intimate, and I didn't feel so constricted. With all the weddings I've been to, I always feel kind of neglected by the bride and groom- So I'm glad I was able to act like a hostess and mingle. 
  • We had no program or agenda. I was at a wedding just last night where everyone was freaking out about being on schedule, and how so many things needed to get done. We didn't do any of that; and it made for a much better atmosphere. We didn't cut the cake, or dance, or do bouquet/garter tosses, or have speeches, or do a big send off. We just let people visit and enjoy each other.
  • We were the last people to leave. This one is definitely NOT normal, but I was glad. We weren't working or packing or anything awful- we were enjoying our friends. We sat and talked to people and ate food and didn't worry about anything else
Not everything went perfect though, and In retrospect, here is some advice I have to make the process go easier.

1.Lay out everything you will need to take with you. For me, there was a lot. I had my wedding dress, my temple bag/clothes, my luncheon dress, my makeup bag, my emergency kit, and my suitcase because we were leaving for the honeymoon directly after the reception. I thought I knew where everything was- but I didn't lay it out. So, the morning of, ten minutes before we are supposed to leave, I was outside in the moving van digging around for my bouquet and dress bag because my dad had packed everything without asking me (and called it "cleaning"). Also because of this, I forgot my garter, which I had custom made.

2. Go to bed early or don't go to bed. I went to bed around 12am, I had to be up at 2:50am. I pretty much wish I had just stayed awake. Sleeping in short bursts like that makes me grouchy- so I woke up feeling ill and cranky. Staying up would have left me in a better mood.

3. Make sure that you coordinate with your photographer on where you will meet. For about a month before the wedding, I kept trying to get a hold of my photographer and couldn't. On the night before my wedding she texted to confirm what time to be there. When my husband and I walked out of the temple, there was no photographer in sight. I called her, I texted her, I left answer.So I told my sister in law to take over. about an hour later, I tried calling again and she finally answered and was RUDE TO ME about how long she had been waiting; at which point I explained that we had been looking for/trying to contact her for almost an hour and someone else had had to take over.  To me, as a photographer, you should arrive early- maybe even before the bride, you should ask around to find the right party, and you should NOT go into the waiting room where no one can see you (unless you've already found your group)

4. Make 110% sure you have everything you need. After family pictures, everyone went home. My husband and I and my sister in law stayed to do pictures of me and him. After pictures were done, we went on our horse drawn carriage ride, and then suddenly my sister in law realized that she had put my husband's car keys into her father's pocket (without him knowing). We were stranded. We were two hours away from Orem (which is where we needed to go,) and the keys had already gotten all the way there. We ended up barely making it to the family lunch as it was time to clean up and go to the reception.

5.When things go wrong (and they will) don't freak out. I easily could have freaked about the photographer or the keys- but that would have just made me grumpy and ruined my day and no one would have been happy or able to enjoy themselves. Plus, those responsible already feel bad. Freaking out will damage relationships, handling the stress with grace will make them admire you.

6.Nothing will look the way you want it to. My hair was completely wrong, my makeup was wrong, the reception wasn't how I'd asked- but it was ok. It was all beautiful (except my makeup. my skin was having a huge tantrum that day) and I didn't need the extra stress of worrying about those kind of details

7. I bought way too much food. Which I should have seen coming, because I always do that...But I sent food home with my family, friends, and everyone who helped out and it was fine.

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