There are a few things that are still bothering me about my wedding, even two months later. Especially today since I just had a fight with my brother, who was one of the biggest offenders at the wedding....
I had a small "casual" wedding at a cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. We did almost everything ourselves. My husband's family loves to drink and party...... they were the biggest offenders of all of this. I had no idea they would act like they did and I was not properly prepared. (My small family is a bunch of fuddy-duddies and they don't party. haha!)
1. If you have guests in town prior to the wedding, block off the reception site and do NOT let them in while you are setting things up. I had to move all of the tables and chairs back to their original places the morning of my wedding bc there was a party at my cabin the night before (I will get to that in a moment!). I also had to redo ALL of my music playlists bc someone accidentally erased them. If you are using an ipod or laptop for your DJ, password protect them or put an armed guard on them. People felt it was ok to walk right up and change the song or skip a song they did not like (until I put a password on the laptop and roped off the area!)
2. Guests who arrived early expected us to feed and entertain them. (Even though I provided them with a list of things to do in this tourist town and told them when we would be having events at our cabin.) They just showed up at our cabin (even though they had their own) and asked for food and drink. (actually, they TOOK it.) They helped themselves to anything in our fridge, including my special bottle of wine that I brought for MY wedding day. They also got mad when I did not have juice for their kids. Fortunately, my husband hid the tap for the keg that was for the wedding day or we wouldn't have had any beer! And the bulk of the wine had not arrived yet, or I'm sure they would have helped themselves to that, too.
3. Don't use the word "casual' unless you really mean it. Even though I stated on our website what to wear (and clearly said "please no jeans") people still showed up in jeans. Those that didn't left the reception early, went back to their cabins, changed into jeans, sweats, and pjs, and then came back to the reception. AT MY WEDDING RECEPTION WEARING PAJAMAS!!!! I refused to put any of these photos in my albums and halfway through the evening I had to ask my photographer to try and NOT photograph those people. Looking back on it now, since all of them had cabins in walking distance to the wedding site, I wish I had someone ask them to go back and change and dress appropriately for a wedding. Showing up in jeans was very disrespectful and leaving and coming back in PJs was worse.
4. This kind of goes along with number 2 -- HIDE anyting you do not want your guests helping themselves to, or at least clearly mark it "do not touch!". CLEARLY mark areas you do not want them in. I don't know why our guests felt that anything and everything was for them and that they could do anything they wanted. It seemed like all common sense and reasoning went right out the door. Do not assume ANYTHING! Apparently when people show up for a wedding they laeve their intelligence at the door.
5. Be prepared for drunk guests. My brother and SIL got so drunk it was very embarassing. I wish now that I had asked them to leave before it got as bad as it did.
6. Assign a friend to be your day of coordinator, or hire one. I could not have done it without my best friend! She was my savior the whole day!!!! (too bad my drunk [and married] brother hit on her!)
...I saw other destination brides scheduling every moment of their wedding weekend for their guests an thought that it wasn't necessary. I thought "we're getting married in a tourist town! They can go and find fun on their own!" I wish now that I had over-scheduled them so they would be forced to behave themselves!! I really was shocked at the impromptu parties that just showed up at our cabin and the drunk people that did whatever the hell they wanted to do.
Over think things and treat them all like children and you will have a successful, casual, do-it-yourself wedding!
Oh, and BTW - it certainly was not all negative! We had PERFECT weather and an absolutely beautiful wedding!! It's just that the negative things really stick with you after and all of the "I wish I had done this differently....."
Oh, and one more thing -- when the day actually comes, you won't give a flip about your centerpieces, monogrammed napkins, and other details that you are obsessing about right now. My helpers set up my centerpieces wrong and I didn't care. They forgot to put my moss letters on my cake table and I didn't care. The cake table was not set up at all like i had planned, and I did not care. Had I known I wouldn't really care about all of this on the day of, I could have saved a lot of time and money and planning for these things!
Good luck and CONGRATS ladies!!
MARRIED 10.10.10 !!
October 2010 Siggy Challenge - walking down the aisle!