Our wedding day was the best day of my life. The planning, the months, weeks and days leading up to it, the preparations, the celebrations and being surrounded by our closest friends and family will always be some of my best memories.
I would do it all again, almost exactly the same since it turned out even better than we imagined, but along the way I learned a few things that I’m passing on to other brides-to-be. Enjoy your day, hopefully you’ll only have one! And may yours be a spectacularly wonderful and memorable as ours.
No matter how flawlessly or far ahead you plan, something will go wrong.
I had over a year to plan our wedding, so I was sure our “hitching” would go off without a hitch. See what I did there? ;) Nonetheless, things that went wrong and were simply out of our control. Since our wedding was outdoors on our farm, tables, chairs, a dance floor… literally everything, had to be delivered. We had fantasies of setting up on Friday morning after deliveries, then kicking back on the porch, sipping wine as we patted ourselves on the back for a job well done and waited for everyone to arrive for the rehearsal. Suckers! The deliveries were late, late, late, and had us in a frenzy getting things set up. And while I did shower for the record, I still had sweat dripping down my back from the running around as I did my practice strut down the aisle.
Take a step back.
Our matron of honor gave us some priceless wedding day advice. She recommended that at some point in the night, my groom and I slip away by ourselves and watch the celebrations going on without us. It was already an emotional day filled with so much anxiety, love and excitement, but seeing our dearest fri =ends and family – all of our favorite people in the world – together dancing, laughing and celebrating, was a sight that took our breath away. My grandma getting a drink with a former coworker, my groom’s brother doing the twist with one of our bridesmaids, and my second grade teacher chatting with our best man. They’re all such great memories that we’ll always cherish, and I’m so thankful we took a moment to take it all in.
If you hire a bartender, enforce an empty bottle check station.
Our bartenders rubbed us the wrong way. They were late and that’s really all there was, but they through around their attitudes, and we’re highly suspicious that they stole bottles from us at the end of the night. But you know what? We didn’t count the empty bottles before they left, nor keep track of any that went out with the trash bags, so there’s nothing we could do. Frankly, we were a bit busy basking in our wedding bliss and dancing our faces off to be worried about some missing Crown, but it left a bad taste in our mouth from the experience, and we will not hire them again. So take a good inventory of what you have at the beginning, and ask a friend to check in with them mid-way, and again as they are leaving to make sure everything’s accounted for.
Keep the booze close to the action.
Our reception was held in a pecan orchard, just about four stair steps down into the field from our grass yard where the bar was staged. This gave us gorgeous, spacious place for the band, dance floor and tables under the trees, but created a disconnect from the bar and a huddle of people in the yard who stayed separate from everyone else on the dance floor. And you guessed it… most of those hanging around the bar were the guys avoiding their girlfriends and wives and trying to skate through the night without having to step foot on the dance floor. Few got away with it in the end, but if we did it all again we would have had the bar down with the rest of the celebration.
Whatever happens, your wedding will be perfect.
There are so many extra little details that I worked on… the burlap and lace bows that never got put up, the featured cocktail, an Emeril Lagasse tin can margarita recipe, that I never got to taste, and the adorable handmade reserved seating tags that I made to mark our parents and grandparents’ ceremony seats, which never got hung. But in the moment, during that day as I waited inside my parents’ bedroom, peering out as our flower girl stumbled down the aisle towards my husband-to-be and our friends and family who’d be standing by our side, I didn’t care one bit. All that hard work, all the preparation and the crazy planning was all fluff. The day would have been just as special without it all. It was the people that made it so incredible.