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Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Best & Worst

Hi Brides!

I still have 5 months to go and I'm seeking out your expert opinions on things that you would or would not do if you were to redo your wedding?  For example, I really want to speed up the dinner process, so I thought to have the salad course already on the table when guests take their seats.  However, I recently went to a wedding where someone did that and the guests ate their salads throughout the toasts.  All I could hear was the clanking of silverware & I thought to myself "thank goodness I'm finding this out NOW so I can make sure to not do this at my wedding".

Re: Best & Worst

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_best-worst?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:12Discussion:d95efbf7-8eed-42f7-a1f6-aa05e9be92b5Post:3006ccb3-f6a3-497f-954b-ac9abd535004">Re: Best & Worst</a>:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, if I were to redo my wedding, I'd have gone to a JOP with my immediate family and then spent a disgusting amount on a very nice dinner for all of them.  BUT.  For the wedding I had, the two biggest lessons I learned that I haven't seen repeated frequently are to 1) wear sunscreen if your wedding or pictures are during the day (pink bride is not a happy bride)  and 2) <strong>make sure you have a space set aside for your bridesmaids or mom or DOC or whomever to bustle your dress, rather than having to do it on the porch of the reception venue because you didn't think of that.</strong>
    Posted by kwitherington[/QUOTE]

    <div>DITTO. We bustled my dress directly in front of the men's bathroom. Ugg.</div><div>
    </div><div>For our reception, we intentionally had toasts while people were eating. As a guest, I don't think it's very fun to sit around hungry listening to people talk. Better to get the two done at the same time, so we can move onto the dancing! </div><div>
    </div><div>I wish I would have told our coordinator to let our guests eat first. He tried to have us go through the stations first, but we were so distracted (bustling my dress, saying hello, communicating with the DJ) that we held up the line. </div><div>
    </div><div>I also wish I would have told the staff to leave glasses on the table if they weren't actually empty. Someone kept stealing my water and booze. </div><div>
    </div><div>I love that our DJ had a schedule with times, so he could prompt us onto the next thing. He didn't actually follow the schedule exactly, but it worked out well in the end. </div><div>
    </div><div>I actually list a bit of advice on my Married Bio in my signature, but I can't think of all of it right now. </div>
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Jager1219 that was such a good question! Please, more responses!


  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2012

    consider the length of your hem on your dress. My dress was hemmed for the heels that I wore during my ceremony. (4 inch heels) So when I got to the reception and switched to flip flops my dress was dragging. The seamstress told me this would happen and she also told me to get Rocket Dog flip flops to wear (they are super ugly platform flip flops, about $40) And I said hell no was I wear such ugly shoes. So my dress dragged all night. I should have bought the platform flipflops, they are ugly but comfy and no one would have seen them.

    Also, during alterations practice walking on what where type of flooring you will have at your ceremony/ reception sight. I had to get use to how heavy my dress felt when I was on carpet.

    Google how to pee in a wedding dress. Esp is you have an A-line or Ball gown. Seriously.

    Give your DJ/ band a do not play list. I think this is more important than a must play list.

    I am a huge fan of getting your make up air brushed on if you can. Mine was sweat proof with SPF in it and last 18 hours.

    Do a first look. It saves so much time, you have less nerves and you get to go to your whole reception.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • To Do/To Have:

    *Take a ton of pics - with your OWN camera! Well, okay, maybe not the BEST thing to do, but my friends and family know that I am a photo freak, so I kept my camera with me and took my own random shots with my friends (holding up the camera and smiling :) Facebook -style! lol) and took odd fun shots throughout the reception..made for more "personal" shots and a whole lot of Facebooky pics which my photographer wouldn't have caught!

    * IF you are having a photobooth at your wedding, make sure to have a place where people can put their pics..I had a "vintage-y" suitcase with a frame which suggested for people to drop their photos in it..made it so much easier to tote them home afterwards :)
    Also, have a mini whiteboard and pens so people could leave a message for you - I had one, along side a framed paper which read "Leave your well-wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs." - we received a lot of fun photos with that idea!

    *Sharpies. You never know when you might need one that day. No joke.

    *A smile. Enjoy your day :)
  • When it comes to your dress and accessories, go with your vision and not someone elses.

    When I was shopping for a wedding dress, I never wanted a train. I found a great dress, that had a train, and asked the shop if they can remove it. The shop said yes. I was so disappointed when the shop told me later that I can't remove the train because it was against their policy. Meanwhile, the shop and my family and friends said they really loved the train, and I should keep it. I tried on the dress again with the train, and hated it. (I was thinking about getting a new dress because I was so unhappy with this one.)

    I called the shop and told them if they don't cut my train that I'll find someone who will. They immediately call me back and told me to bring my dress in. The shop finally cut my train off and did an amazing job. I was so happy with the results and fell in love with my dress all over again.

    On my wedding day, my dress felt so light, and I could easily dance it in without me or guests stepping on it or tripping over it. I was so happy that I listened to myself and ignore other people's opinions on my dress.
  • *My biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you give a list of must-have shots to the photographer. I only told her about a couple of pictures but unfortunately she didn't capture all the ones I really wanted. SPEAK UP!
    *Make sure to eat enough (I didn't have a problem with this, but I was definitely pulled in a thousand different directions that night so I can see how it would happen).
    *A do not play list is just as important if not more important than a play list. Make sure to get that for your DJ!
    *The first look was an awesome time for me and H to just take in the moment without everyone else looking at you. I was BAWLING down the aisle, so I am so glad we did that. We got some great pictures from it, too!
    *HIRE A DOC. YES. DO IT. We would have never had the wedding we did without one. The day before we had to move the wedding indoors, and she was on top of everything. She sent out DETAILED emails to all of our vendors on what has changed and what they should expect- everything ran on time and worked out amazing the day of. BEST. DECISION. EVER.

    Besides that, just enjoy the night. Take it all in- it did not go by fast for me because I was just taking the moments as they came, and I had an absolutely amazing time.
    Planning/Project Fit

    "Sounds of laughter shades of earth are ringing through my open ears inciting and inviting me"
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2012
    I would have made sure someone was in charge of or that everyone who was getting some kind of flowers knew they were getting them. My dad came up to me a few minutes before the ceremony without his bout on, and I asked him about it. He said he didn't know he was supposed to have one. So then I was worried other people didn't have their bouts and corsages, either. I knew my bridesmaids knew to go up to the florist and get theirs. I had just assumed that anyone who was getting flowers knew they were and/or the florist would know who was to get them. Fortunately, it all got sorted out. It wouldn't have been a crisis, but it would have been money wasted if not everyone had what they were supposed to!

    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Ditto with a shoe situation. I ended the night dancing barefoot, and I wish I would have packed flats or SOMETHING to dance in. But most everyone else was bare feet, too. It was a concrete floor venue.
    I can't recommend a first look enough. It was special, calming, and a great way to spend some time together on our wedding day! Plus we got tons of great pictures.
  • Make sure that what you negotiated/agreed upon with the venue is what is in your contract.
  • Here's my "list."
    1. Hire a DOC or wedding Coordinator. About 2 months before the wedding, I just felt overwhelmed with details that I wanted nothing more than the wedding to be over. That's where Marcia came in. I made a comment at church to someone who asked me how the plans were coming along. I told them that I was exhausted and my mind was frazzled. Then they recommended Marcia, who is a member at our church. She loves organizing the details of weddings, and she took the biggest weight off my shoulders. The best $300 I've ever spent! Don't think you can't afford one, just ask around for someone to take some of the weight off your shoulders for those last couple of weeks and the day of.

    2. Hire a videographer. I can honestly tell you that I barely remember a single thing from that day.  Even my parents commented that the entire weekend was a daze.

    3. Don't worry about centerpieces, food, etc. So many people get worked up about the little details. That their centerpieces won't look perfect, or will look cheap.  How many weddings do you truly remember the centerpieces from, or exaclty what you ate? The only ones I remembered were my own and a couple I went to while we were planning our wedding.

    4. Make a budget and stick to it! It is so easy to get wrapped up in what you "want", or the whole, "it's the biggest day of my life."  It is, but after that day, you have each other.

    5. Do premarital counseling.  My husband and I will tell everyone over and over. The best decision we made about our wedding was choosing to do premarital counseling. The marriage itself is more important than any part of the wedding.
  • Hrm, there's not much I would change, as I obsessed over ever detail prior.  However there are one or two tweaks:

    Had I to do it over again, I would not presume my magical competance at going to the bathroom by myself.  I scared myself half to death by almost falling twice.  All in the name of pride :P.

    I also would have taken a moment to refresh my makeup before the reception, or at some point in the night.  I was so busy enjoying the whirl of things that I missed out on re-powdering, and I really should have done it.

    That's about it.  My wedding was one of those disgusting ones that had barely any hitches.  Which boggled me because that's really not how my luck usually goes. Maybe I was hoarding it all for one day :P.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten



  • edited December 2012
    I would not have worked so much on a timeline: didn't even really need it.

    Nor would I have worked on vows or written thank you speech: I just let my thank you speech come from the heart and was too emotional to even really say much at the ceremony.

    I would not have overthought so many little details.  In the end, the wedding was exactly what we wanted and then some: the ceremony was perfection.

    One vendor I was not too thrilled with: my DJ.  He played reggaeton (my do not play list) and barely played any of the songs I worked on for my play list extensively.  people loved the music and danced though.

    I ended up changing stuff last minute to make things simpler and it made for a more fun and laid back night.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • work in time for things to go wrong... our rings weren't brought which delayed the ceremony by half an hour, which led to a really rushed reception. I wish we could have had a longer reception and had people actually dancing since we'd been putting together our awesome playlist for days :)  We only had a couple hours and couldn't afford the place any longer than we had booked it for.

    be very direct with what photos you want. We had a list, certain things were on the list, those things were not photographed. If you are giving your photographer free rein during the ceremony, make sure they know it :)

    designate someone to collect your important things (champagne flutes, cake cutters, etc) and take them to your house.  I had a total freak-out when after coming home from the honeymoon,  my grandmother's silver flutes and goblets were missing along with the topper and cutter, it took forever to track down who had packed them up and where they were put ;)  
    Be a gracious and thankful bride for the help you get, it goes a loooooong way when you say thank you and please even if you are stressed out :)  

    If you have friends that are awesome enough to help out with clean up and everything, plan your timeline to make your exit before they start.  Talking to people while having tables broken down was kinda sad :/ 

    be prepared for people not to show up, it almost always happens, to different degrees, some will give lame excuses the day of on facebook (like you're going to have time to look at that!), some won't say anything after being so super excited when they got the invite. We had over two dozen say they were coming and not show up.  Just know the important people will be there and try not to dwell on it :)

    On a somewhat related note, try not to be too disappointed if you don't get the gifts you're hoping for.  We got very few, even fewer from our actual registry (even with plenty of very inexpensive items), and it kind of stung a little when it clicked that that was it, but we got over it.  

    Try not to watch too many bridal shows.  They can get your expectations really high and you can get this grand idea in your brain that's just not going to happen, it can bring you down.

    and lastly, find yourself a new hobby after everything is said and done to throw all your energy and tons of spare time into :)  

    We paid for the majority of the wedding ourselves, some parents weren't able to help much but did what they could, others felt it wasn't 'their job' to pay for certain things, all in all I felt we had a beautiful wedding, but wished it could have been stepped up a few notches.  I liked my dress but didn't LOVE it, but it was what I could afford. We (with the help of family) made almost all the food.  We had only 44 people in attendance. We had a rushed reception. But, we had perfect weather, the omportant ones were there, the cake was awesome, our food was awesome, and if you look at the big picture it was a great day :)  Try to focus on the good parts and learn to let go of the less than perfect parts :)  I wish you lots of luck! :D
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Ooh! And here's a post I did after being at my friend's wedding... more what not to do, but still advice ;)  I love her dearly and found most of this pretty funny ;)

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Even though the day was perfect, ther are a few things I wish I would have done differently.
    1) My dress was too long. I tried it on after having it hemmed. But I was extremely careful and so it was not until the day of the wedding when I started to walk "naturally" I realized it was still too long.
    2) I did not explicitly tell the reception site staff to save the top tier of the cake. I assumed they would know and they cut & served it thinking we were saving the groom's cake for the anniversary.
    3) Have someone responsible track your belingings and try to keep them in a purse or something. My MOH took my phone from the church and we did not figure out where it was until the next morning.
    4) I wish we had been more specific with the DJ. We told him what genres we wanted & I gave him a list of songs we wanted to hear. But, he played them during dinner and played more pop type stuff ofr dancing so it was hard to get people on the dance floor becasue many did not want to dance to nightclub type music.
    Overall, these things do not matter and they did not ruin my day. Just make sure you enjoy every moment becasue it is over so fast!

    Anniversary PersonalMilestone
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_best-worst?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:12Discussion:d95efbf7-8eed-42f7-a1f6-aa05e9be92b5Post:dd9cc294-0299-4a62-b2f5-9e5a31f3c190">Best & Worst</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi Brides! I still have 5 months to go and I'm seeking out your expert opinions on things that you would or would not do if you were to redo your wedding?  For example, I really want to speed up the dinner process, so I thought to have the salad course already on the table when guests take their seats.  However, I recently went to a wedding where someone did that and the guests ate their salads throughout the toasts.  All I could hear was the clanking of silverware & I thought to myself "thank goodness I'm finding this out NOW so I can make sure to not do this at my wedding".
    Posted by Jager1219[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>1) I wouldn't have any vendors that I didn't know for a fact that I could pay the full price for. I still owe a debt to my wedding photographer ( five months after my wedding). It sucks...</div><div> </div><div>2) I would've had a timeline to give to my photographer, there are so many pictures that I missed taking that day, that I can't get back.

  • We had a terrible time with our photographer.  The pictures are. . just. .bad.

    Make a list of the pics you want and bring it with you.  Talk to your photographer about which photographer is actually going to show up.  We booked a husband and wife team with years of experience and who showed up?  Two youngsters who could barely work their cameras and had absolutely no ideas for pics.  

    Encourage your guests to take photos.  Lots of photos.

    Have your MOH bring a bag to the hall and keep it under the head table.  It should contain lipstick, powder, gum, etc.  All little things you don't want to run around looking for.
  • 1 - Follow up & confirm orders with all your vendors the week of the wedding
    2 - DO NOT PLAY list for DJ
    3 - Have an MC
    4 - Bring a change of shoes
  • I learned:

    -I would never DIY food for a wedding ever again
    -I would hire a DJ
    -I would do whatever I could to aquire air conditioning or be in a temperature controlled environment
    -I would never spend as much money on a dress ever again (what a waste)

    I agree with a PP though - bring your own camera and ask family/friends to snap some pictures throughout the day. My friends took my camera around the whole day and I got hundreds of pictures on my camera, so I was able to look through them right away. My friends got some great shots to supplement the pro shots.
  • The only thing I would have done differently was explain to my mom a little more how many pictures we were going to do in between the ceremony and recption since she got a bit stressed during the cocktail hour when we didn't show up right away. I didn't realize I hadn't been clear and it stressed her out.

    The best... 

    We had goody bags for all the kids waiting at the reception and a kids play area inside. We had 1/5 of our guest list was under 12 so it was fun for the kids to have something to play with plus during the cocktail hour it gave the little ones something to do.

  • Our wedding day was absolutely perfect... although there were small snafus I didn't even realize it until days later and the things that caused night mares pre-wedding, suddenly didnt matter when the day came.  

    A little piece of advice, I was obsessive with every little detail but it is important not to forget what the day is really about and remember that no matter what happens or doesn't happen you are marrying your best friend that's whats important. If you remember that then everything else is just extras, fluff and won't change your love for one another. 
  • kipnuskipnus member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited January 2013
    Our actual wedding day went pretty smoothly. I got up early and went for a short swim in the morning, then came home for breakfast. My sister did my hair for me and I did my own makeup. It ended up looking really natural. I didn't want to look like someone else on my wedding day.

    Also, we had a ton of lists--all of the must-have photos (I even did up a Pinterest board with some ideas for our photog), who was riding to the church and to photo sites in which vehicles, what food was going out for the reception, last minute tasks, things to take to the church with us...it was easy for anyone to look at our "master notebook" and see what needed to be done.

    One thing I wish I'd done differently was the invitations. We ordered invitations from the U.S. and they looked great, but the shipping and C.O.D. added sooo much to the price! It would have been cheaper to go to a local print shop and have them do up something custom.

  • Try not to be robot when it comes to planning and delegating. I tend to get into a serious, theres work to be done mode and especially when I am stressed out it gets worse.... I was gracious to everyone who was helping out but do remember to be polite, smile, be kind, say thank you a thousand times over because I know with my own mother I got pretty snappy because I was shooting off what needed to be done and when and how , etc. Instead of being all giggly and excited I was more like a drill sargent with her crossing to-do's off a list.

    Make sure you eat and try not drink too much until a certian time at the reception. I was extremely nervous for the ceremony in a I don't like to be in front of a lot of people way that I didn't eat for days leading up to the wedding day. THEN I got on the party bus after the ceremony; sipped on a beer and was LOADED before we got to the reception. I did NOT want to be buzzed much less more during the dinner, etc but it happened and now it's hard to recall a lot of what happened early in the night. IMO pick a time, say 9:00 or after the dance starts to start drinking.

    Make sure to politley ask someone(day of coordinator if you can afford one...I had a cousin who said she would love to help make sure everything goes smoothly but then was MIA when I needed her) to work out kinks at the reception. The microphone volume was too low and people couldn't hear the speeches. Both sets of parents were hosting the reception and greeting guests and we didn't  have someone to say Find the venue coordinator, call the DJ, please find out why didn't they serve the extra leftovers as agreed upon, etc. Since we were busy ourselves with talking with the guests a lot of issues never got worked out.

    KNOW in ADVANCE things MAY go wrong, not as planned. Let it go. I think from week 4-2 prior to the wedding I was just a tizzy tying up lose ends and planning everything down to the minute, all my ducks in a row and then BAM the week of the wedding guests started calling to tell us they couldn't make it, the limousine broke down and we had to opt for a party bus, the tuxedo's were in and after trying them on for a 2nd time the fit wasn't great, etc.
    I think 3 days before the wedding I decided to let it all go, and whatever happens happens sort of attitude. My two older sisters that know me to a "t" banked on me being this crazy bridezilla but they both admitted they were blown away to see me relaxed and calm and enjoying myself.

    And if you TRULY are a perfectionist personality don't be hard on yourself when the wedding is over and you find out a few things weren't planned out correctly or went wrong. I think that was the toughest part was to admit to myself and just to say hey you planned and paid for an entire wedding for 200 people from start to finish and yea there were some problems but the guests had fun and enjoyed themselves and now your married which is ALL THAT MATTERS now.
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