DH and I were married on January 4th, at a lovely venue in Burlington, ON, Canada.
It was a great day! Everything went off without a hitch, no major issues, timing went well and all that. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves (DH and I definitely did!). The ceremony was beautiful (to us), and lots of guests commented on how much they enjoyed it. We went right into cocktails followed by dinner (everything in the same room). The food was good and the dance floor was kept going.
We did have a high decline rate, as the wedding was near our hometown and we now live in a different province, so many of our friends in our current town were unable to make it, but we were so glad to see everyone who was able to come. I was actually glad we kept to a smaller guest list because I feel like we got to talk to everyone twice (once in the receiving line and at least once during dinner/dance) but I still felt myself thinking after the fact, "did I talk to so-and-so enough??". There were also some guests that we invited whom I'd never met/ fiance doesn't keep in touch with (friends of his mom) whom I was hesitant to invite, but I was glad we did because they appeared to really enjoy themselves and mingled with a lot of our other guests.
The weather was pretty good for a winter wedding. Not too cold. Though our venue is situated on the lake and we had hoped to do a bunch of photos on the waterfront. We went down with our bridal party and it was SO windy it was freezing so we abandoned that idea pretty quick.
I did have a wedding dress fiasco that I do not entirely want to get into, a lot of it my own fault, but also Canada Post. Anyway, I ended up borrowing a dress that fit me very well without alterations. One of my friends who attended and also came to help me pick out my wedding dress didn't even pick up on it not being the same one. I have been more than awed by the support of others during that time. Friends and family willing to help me out in any way they could, other women, some of whom I had never met before, willing to let me try their dress on. It was very touching, and once again I am reminded that there are many good people in this world
We did our first dance to start off the reception. DH and I have been taking ballroom dance lessons so we did a foxtrot. It was less than perfect, I stumbled on my dress a few times, but no one was any wiser and guests enjoyed it. I also loved the toasts made. Not too many, and they were kept short, but so touching
For our bouquet and garter toss we also opened it up to anyone who wanted to participate and offered a gift card for each toss as we have very few single friends. We had lots of guests participate and the gift cards were a hit.
I had taken 2 weeks off of work for the wedding, but since the wedding was OOT for us, we headed back early before the day and stayed a few days after. We stayed at a lovely hotel for the night, but then didn't really go on a honeymoon and chose to spend the time with our families before returning home. We plan to go away this coming fall, most likely to Arizona.
So for any brides still planning, a summary of some of my post-wedding thoughts that are hopefully helpful:
- When posters say that what guests care about most is good food and drink (enough), having a chair, and good music, it is true. Think about what is TRULY important on your wedding day. Guests commented most on the lovely ceremony and how good the DJ was. No one cares how much money you spend on your centerpieces, linens or flowers (I loved my flowers, but they were not too expensive and we only used flowers for the bouquets/boutonnieres), what shoes or jewelry your bridesmaids wore or what hair style they all had, how many extra decorations you had, etc. There are some details I thought were important, but looking back I can't even remember what they looked like! At the same time, make time for what is important to you- taking time for photos (make sure it is hosted time though or before the ceremony!), having that special first dance, etc.
- We could have used more hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour from what my mom says (we didn't see much of cocktail hour because we were doing photos), so discuss how much will be provided per guest count.
-Late night buffet was a hit. It doesn't need to be anything fancy (we had pizza squares, some nachos and fixings when the pizza ran out and pastries), but guests appreciated it. I would recommend if you are having a late night reception.
- Candy buffet was also a big hit.
- Check your sound equipment out first. For whatever reason, spoken word didn't carry as well to the back of the room.
- This was passed on to me by a friend, as it is often recommended to remove your card box and gifts from the gift table early in the night to prevent theft, at the same time do not put these items directly into a vehicle in the parking lot as there are those who know it is a wedding venue and will watch the parking lot for someone carrying out gifts or a money box. We left our money box and couple of gifts at the front of the room under our head table.
- Leave yourself lots of time during the day of for things to take longer than they should and give yourself time to eat and relax.
I think that is all. Thanks for listening
P.S. I wanted to post a pic or two, can I do it directly into TK or do I need a hosting site such as PhotoBucket?