Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Would you have done anything differently?

Hi Newlyweds!! Congratulations!

I am a little less then 3 months away from the wedding. I was wondering if there was anything anyone would have changed about their wedding day. Anything at all, locations, food, dresses, centerpieces, vendors, guests, etc.
What were you not 100% pleased with?
Did you cut corners somewhere and then wish you hadn't?

Re: Would you have done anything differently?

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    As I imagine another wedding in the future...

    -I would spend more money on flowers and add more color to the aisle.

    -I would pick a flower and a flower color that isn't dependent on the seasons changing in a timely manner.  I would also have a very clear vision understood by the florist.

    -I would hire a better photographer, or at least relax more and have fun when taking pictures.  Cheese it up more with my attendants.

    -I would go with in-house catering because its easier for everyone.

    -I'd add a mirror under each lantern and mini tea light centerpiece, to keep wax away from the linens.

    -I would go without such a long, heavy train on my wedding dress, and not listen to those who say that as a bride I need a train. 

    -I would follow my own instincts and preferences and not follow conventions.

    -I would be VERY frank with the DJ and tell him up front that if we have asked for a certain song to be played during our garter toss, to not change it to a dated song we despise.

    -I would get my dress altered as many times as it takes to make sure it fits like a glove.  And ask the seamstress more questions and for more advice on how to use the right type of double stick tape.

    *sigh*  There are so many things that can go wrong, but on your special day, these things need to slide right off you.  I did that so the disappointment didn't show (esp when I saw my bouquet was more lavender than the deep, dark red I asked for).  I try to let these things go, but I remember them so future brides can benefit from my lessons learned.
    (6 years married but back on theknot because I'll soon be MOH and weddings are on the brain)
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    Our wedding day went wonderfully well, lots of stuff came off better than we expected it to.
    That being said, there were a few things that could have been prevented:
    - I would insist that I see the DJ we would be getting in action beforehand. We had only spoken to the owner of the company, and the guy he sent ended up being a terrible flirt who only played requests from cute girls. He did a good job once he hit his stride, but I was far more impressed with the owner, who we had seen on the job before booking.
    - I would make sure the florist understood I was after dark purple and blue, without anything that could be construed as pink.
    -I would have arranged for someone else to do fun photos, even an amateur, while the more serious ones were going on. We had a huge bridal party and there was potential for a lot of bored standing around. This one worked out fine for us, as our day-of coordinator got her hands on a really nice camera belonging to one of the bridesmaids and kept them busy, resulting in some really neat photos.
    - I would make sure there were far more fans in my Mom's (unairconditioned) living room, where me and the girls waited for an hour, pre-ceremony. 3 hours of pictures in the sun make 17 layers of tulle and a tight bustier feel like a big mistake :P 
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    I would have made more time for pictures, I feel as if we didn't have time for a lot of the shots I wanted.

    I would have ate more before the wedding. I felt really sick and almost passed out from the heat right before the ceremony started and I held everything up for a while. Not cool..

    I wouldn't have chosen my bridal party so far out from the wedding.
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    -got some more pics even though I feel like we have a good amount

    -our venue was really hot (or maybe it was just me) I was worried about our guests being uncomfortable

    -taken pics when we got our hair done in the salon the morning of

    Everything will be fine, just relax and enjoy it. It will go by so fast!
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    I would've insisted on a flower girl. We couldn't have one because my father in law refused to pay for them at the rehearsal dinner and didn't want us to pay either.  

    I would've stopped stressing out about the time on the day of the wedding and greeting all the guests.  We could've gotten more pictures and I could've relaxed more but I was worried about not having time to do a recieving line and greet everyone at the Cocktail Hour.  

    I would've never taken my dress to the seamstress I took it to.  She sucked and it didn't fit right. I would've just used the Bridal shop I bought it from.  I would've gladly paid three times the price just to get a dress that I didn't have to stress about falling over or tripping on.  

    Honeymoon:  I wouldn't have splurged on a Butler room at Sandals in Jamaica.  The butlers actually made our honeymoon kind of suck because they messed up on everything that we could've just done ourselves.  By the end, I was trying to do things myself and not interact with them but they still managed to mess things up anyway.  They were awful.  
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    I would have had more time in the day. The whole timeline was planned down to the minute and once we got behind schedule it was all thrown off. But we got it back together, I just had to let it go and trust in my coordinator.

    I would have listened to the DJ before we picked him. He came so highly recommended that we trusted his skills & that was a bad idea.

    I would have auditioned our pastors. We ended up with one that we loved, but he wasn't as professional as we would have liked.

    I would have finished all wedding DIY projects & planning the week before so we could have all had tons of sleep & had been able to relax at the rehearsal dinner

    I would have hired a second photographer to take fun shots. Our photographer is very skilled at angles & lighting, but we didn't have any funny shots.

    Other than that, it was great! :)
    Creating Our Happily Ever After Countdown Ticker

    Our Married Bio
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    I actually had problems before my wedding day, so my actual wedding day went perfectly- not one thing went wrong (I was owed this after the all the pre-wedding problems... that's another story).

    Anyways, I wouldn't do anything differently, but always tell other brides to invest in a quality photographer AND to have a videographer. So many people try to skimp on their photos- but you get what you pay for. Invest in your photos because these are your memories of the day. Look for a photographer that gives you the digital negatives/rights to your photos. And, as PP have mentioned, take fun pictures too!

    Also, hire a videographer. I originally did not want a video, but after talking to some co-workers, I decided to look into it. Videos now are REALLY cool- they can do a lot of neat things with their footage. We were able to pick all our music for the video and customize it for our personalities. Plus, having the video really allows you to relive your day. It's one thing to look at the pictures, but it's a whole different experience actually watching yourself on your wedding day. You might think you have it all in your mind, but there are so many moments that will be on the video that you may have missed. I am so thrilled we decided to have a video.


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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    -the heat...I can take southern summer heat, but this would be the hottest summer in TN ever! Yes, the wedding was outside! :) We actually ended the reception 45 min early because everyone was leaving.

    -because of the heat, I don't feel like we got as many pictures as I would have liked.  I'm sitting in our hotel room right now thinking about all the shots I wish we had gotten.  Thankfully our photographer is a great friend of ours and we're going to do a 'trash the dress' photoshoot later (when it's cooler) and I can get some of the shots I wanted (like I never got a picture of my wedding band on my hand).

    Really though, it was amazingly perfect and even though I had sweat running down my legs the entire day it was so much fun. 
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    I wouldn't have used Men's Wearhouse for tuxes. Other than that, everything went perfectly in my eyes!! What I am GLAD that we did was:

    -A sweetheart was nice to sit down with just my husband and have a chance to talk after the ceremony
    -A videographer...I didn't get to see a lot of what was going on, so it'll be nice to watch the video later. It went by so fast!
    -Choosing a venue with a day-of coordinator....We didn't have to worry about a thing! They just told us where to go and lined us up correctly.

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    We did outdoor only pictures and since it was a scorching 95 degrees that day (dropped to about 90 by the ceremy at 5), we rushed through them.  I know without even getting the photos back yet that we missed photos I wish we had taken.  The ceremony itself was outside and we had rented a tent to try and beat the heat for everyone.  But the tent wasn't anything pretty.

    My dress was heavy and it had rained the day before so my feet slightly sank into the ground.  Not just my heel, but my foot itself.  It made my dress seem longer and I so badly wanted to grab my dress and walk.  My father got really really nervous and only had one speed to walk... really fast.  I couldn't make him slow down!  And as a result I had to look at my feet a lot.  I laugh about it now but in the moment I thought for sure I would fall.

    Our officiant was extremely soft spoken and had no microphone.  No one other than us and my maid of honor heard her.  And my parents video camera didn't catch it either.  Even the best videographer would have missed it.  I'm mad because while I have the ceremony recorded, you can't hear anything she said.  Including one of the most special moments of when I gave my step-daughter a necklace as token of my love and our new family's union.

    I didn't hire a day of coordinator and ended up having to pack up everything with just myself, my new husband, and 3 others.  My own bridal party ditched because was they drunk minus one bridesmaid.  My feet were killing me and I had to pick up 50 candle holders and put them in a box.  In the rush to pack everything my mom's heirloom wedding cake topper (now my cake topper) was broken.

    I wish I would have been more conscious of the choices I was making with my bridesmaids.  I would have picked more responsibly and not based on length of history.  That way the one girl who stayed with me and helped me pack the favors until 11 p.m. the night before the wedding rather than getting drunk with the boys would have been my maid of honor.  My maid of honor was MIA the whole planning process since she was so far away.  When she was finally here, she didn't do ANYTHING other than flirt with my brothers friends.

    Overall I am still extremely pleased with my wedding.  I had 100 things go RIGHT for every one thing that went wrong.  It didn't rain, my dress fit right, the food was great, the cake was phenomenal, and everyone has told me how much fun they had.  There are so many things that you CAN'T plan for.  So take it in stride and when your day comes and people ask you questions adopt the phrase "Don't know, don't care".  It was the one thing that saved my sanity.  Oh, and ditch your cell phone.  Important people should already be with you, not calling to find you.

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    Oh, and when it comes down to choice, price does not mean quality.  We ended up going with a cheaper DJ and not only did we save money, but he helped us out in a 100 ways.  He even gave us a cd of our selected songs at the end of the night with our photo Light Scribed on the CD itself and on the cover of the cd case.

     Our cake baker was cheaper and tasted 100 times better.  She was building a client base in a new location.  She also did his grooms cake for free when I told her we didn't have the money left for it.

    Our ceremony/reception site was a country club with a small reputation that I found by chance.  They were reseasonably priced and overly accomodating.  He would randomly call and verify that all details were correct and see if I need to make changes.  On the day of we asked for a few different things and they did it without hesitating.  The bigger more expensive country club started off by giving me a packet that included two pages of rules.

    Don't be afraid to speak your mind about your vision.  Being silent will mean no one knows exactly what you want.  Don't be afraid to ask for things, you'd be surprised how far people are willing to go for a friendly bride.  Demanding will get you no where.

    Okay, I'll stop now :-)
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    my wedding was beautiful.  the only thing I would have done differently if time allowed was to make better notes for those helping out and setting things up.  The biggest woe was that my delicious strawberry cream filled layer cake didn't get cut because my friend cut the almond sheet cake and thought it was all the same flavor :-( 

    I also regret a few pics that didn't get taken.  Not many of family, not many of entire bridal party, none of my with the friend who caught boquet, etc.  But we took a lot of time for pics of just us and they were great.  There just isn't enough time for everything!
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    I had an outdoor tented wedding and large BBQ the night before.  I would have sat down with my mom ahead of time and drawn out the layouts for the tables and chairs for both events so that everyone helping to set up could have followed the drawings instead of waiting for her or I to give them directions.  I would recommend this to anyone who wants their reception area set up a certain way.

    We didn't go on our honeymoon immediately but I took the Monday after the wedding off from work.  I would recommend this to anyone not immediately going on a honeymoon. I was exhausted from the weekend.

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    I would have hired a lot more professional help!! My dad (who is a chef) cooked all of the food, but he did not have enough help and didn't really get to sit back, relax, and enjoy. We should have spent more time trying to find hired help. Also, I would have spent the extra money on a real professional photographer as opposed to a semi-professional, I was dissapointed in the photos.

    Oh, yeah, and maybe a wedding planner!! So much work to do by yourself!
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