You couldn’t have asked for a better day. Everything was perfect. It was mid June and not too hot yet and the sky was bright blue and for the most part my nerves were not shot by the time my son walked me down the path to marry my husband.
While I’m happy to never have another wedding of my own, I do know a few things now that I wish I’d have realized when I was planning my wedding last year.
For the most part everything went off without a hitch — well almost everything. Here are a few things I didn’t realize until it was too late. Brides, if this sounds like where you are headed on the big day, take heed.
Most of my mistakes had to do with communication — either not stressing what needed to be done enough to my “crew” of volunteers or not conveying to guests what the expectations were.
For starters? Mountain relaxed. Guests RSVP’d yes and then no-showed and a few invited themselves. All of which worked out in the end, but at the same time that does mess with food and beverage estimates.
Don’t skimp on food or servers. It might look like you have too many, but really you can never have too many. Also if you are serving a yummy vegetarian option, remember the meat eaters are likely to eat their dish and treat the vegetarian entrée as their side so plan accordingly.
I elected not to have live music and got a great Bluetooth speaker to do the trick. Awesome! But I forgot to have a designated person hit the music queued up on my phone — which means at the last minute my kids’ godfather agreed to stand there with my phone a few times only I forgot to turn the pass code off so that had hiccups as well.
Also remember to tell said music point person that if things are running late go to playlist 2, go to playlist 2! And fade out the walk down the aisle song.
We elected not to do the dancing or toasting, but there were a few awkward moments where we didn’t have something in place to take the place of those social traditions. If you’re going to have a void, make sure you come up with a way to fill it.
We had glass cups that said “thank you” on them that we meant for guest to drink out of and take home. Most did not realize this because I didn’t spell it out. Make sure guests know that they can take home centerpieces and gifts at the table. Guests! I washed them and they are now at thrift stores around the county.
Don’t do what I did and tell your photographer to just go for it and take photos randomly. At the time I was speaking with her, I didn’t think through everything. She took wonderful photos and I’m not much for firing squad line up family portraits so I elected not to do them. But this also meant she wasn’t completely sure who the most important people to photograph were. I wanted less of me and more of the crowd. I didn’t get a shot with my grandmother — who died two months later — and I could kick myself for being so blasé about directing the photographer. Entirely my fault.
My husband and I had assembled a volunteer crew (family and friends) to set up and take down tables and chairs and I thought to help with clean up — but I didn’t convey that strong enough either nor did I have a paid cleanup crew because I didn’t realize I would need one. Hear me out. I put on a good deal of events and I usually am the cleanup crew. I started to clean up and was ushered away by various people to start being the bride and less the event planner. So I left and found out a few days later that all my crew had left, too. Ugh. Make sure you have a designated person to be you in your absence and to organize the cleanup.
Lastly, too all the big girls out there — make sure you’ve settled on what’s going to look best underneath long before the wedding day. It was a little hotter than I planned so I decided to forgo the planned Spanx so there are some unflattering moments to the day.
I’m glad we kept the honeymoon simple — Monterey, Big Sur and a drive down the coast — but who was the crackhead that packed for me? I was so intent on the wedding and fun items (bathing suit, lingerie) that I completely forgot I planned on hiking down to a beach and that the coast gets cold in summer. So there I was in a quaint bed and breakfast walking down the road to a thrift store to find sneakers and a sweater.
Moral of the story is keeping in solid communication with your crew, vendors, friends or whomever is helping out with your DIY wedding and most importantly even if you try to do it yourself, remember to let go and realize maybe you aren’t superwoman and can’t do it all on your most important day.
But eh, my mother and her friends were well juiced with the champagne so all of them claimed it was a fun wedding and they noticed none of the glitches mentioned above.