Hi ladies!!! Tonight I'm going to take the time to write a super long recap of my wedding, including my advice to future brides!!I was so fortunate that I had the wedding of my wildest dreams. I've heard it described with words like "epic" and "the best I've ever attended" and that means the world to me. I kept telling myself in the weeks leading up to the wedding that I had to lower my expectations a bit and realize that no wedding could live up to 5 years of planning, anticipation, and imagining what my "perfect" day would be like, but the reality of my day was beyond all my highest hopes. Ok, enough gushing. The highlights and lowlights:-My mom forgot to pick up my flowers, so they didn't arrive until about 20 minutes before I was set to walk down the aisle.-Our officiant forgot his dress shoes, so he wore white sneakers with his suit. My brother (a GM) also forgot his dress shoes and wore brown hiking boots with his black suit.-When the officiant asked the best man for the rings he made this crazy exaggerated face like he didn't have them, even though he did. He says he just made the face because he was still trying to recover from our vows and he wasn't expecting to have to give both rings at once or something, but it looked like he was trying to be funny, and everyone laughed. - I didn't make it through my vows. We had agreed to memorize them but DH was not confident that he'd remember them all on the spot so he printed off a cheat sheet. When I was reading my vows I got very emotional at one point and had to fight back the sob that caught in my throat. After that I mixed up a part of my vows and got a little flustered and said "ok, I need the cheat sheet now" loud enough for everyone to hear.- DH tried to put the ring on the wrong hand because I'd moved my engagement ring onto my right hand so he could put the wedding band on my left and he got confused.
- My photographer had the misfortune of accidentally seeing my uncle's manhood because he decided he didn't want to wait in line for the bathroom and went to relieve himself behind the lodge. In a moment of genius he decided to go facing the building and when my photographer rounded the corner looking for more picturesque places to photograph, there he was in all his glory. Poor Tess... - My MOH's toast was awesome, a total tear jerker. She gets to the end and says "so here's to Liza and Sean and picks up her champagne glass... and it's empty. So she finishes her toast with "and we don't have champagne in our glasses" which got a lot of laughs. The best man's toast was surprisingly hilarious and very touching. Perfect all the way around.- My mom, MIL, and aunt got together and made a DVD slide show of pictures of Sean and I from infancy thru adulthood. It was shown about halfway through the reception with a captive audience of at least 50 people. It was a huge hit, but unfortunately in a lapse of bad judgement on all their parts, they decided to include a picture of me KISSING one of my first high school boyfriends. It got some laughs and I tried to act as composed as possible about it, but I was not impressed. - DH has an aunt that we didn't expect would make it to our wedding. Last Thanksgiving she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer that had spread to over 75% of her body. She was given 6 months to live at best, but she has defied the odds and seeing her at the wedding, you'd never even know she was sick. She wrote us an incredible poem as a wedding gift and read it at the end of dinner, and preceded it with a tear jerker of a speech about how blessed she felt that she was here to see our wedding. Incidentally, this aunt was the first person to tell Sean he should marry me at the first family function he brought me to 6 years ago. He mentioned that in his vows which was also a really special moment. - I fell on my butt trying to do the Electric Slide (which was referred to after that as the "Epileptic Slide").- My dad got pretty intoxicated, but this only resulted in him being unusually effusive about how much fun he was having and how much he loves my DH. He also requested his favorite song, Teenage Wasteland, which was a huge hit on the dance floor, and I'll never forget watching his exuberant air drum and air guitar performances in the middle of the dance floor.- I knew that my wedding was a success when I walked into the main reception room and saw that there was not a single person sitting at a table or standing in a corner looking bored. Everyone was on the dance floor or outside socializing and enjoying themselves. And like I've already mentioned, the dj had to finish up at 11 and at that time, 7 hours after the wedding began, more than half our guests were still there. - After the dj left, my brother and his roommate played guitar and sang for 2 more hours and they were incredible. Nearly 40 people stayed until 1am to listen to them. What I learned:- Video tape the ceremony at least!!! We didn't and this is my one and only real regret. My inlaws had said before the wedding that they were packing their video camera and would find someone to record the ceremony but in the craziness of the day before and day of, this detail fell through the cracks. The thing we got the most compliments on from our wedding was our self written vows which we are told left not a dry eye in the house, and I would so love to see them as they happened, but I guess I'll have to get over that.- Know your limits. I picked a venue that was completely do-it-yourself. We rented our for Friday morning thru Sunday afternoon, but it was basically just a huge private home, so there was no one affiliated with the place there to help or oversee anything. It meant A LOT of work for us and all our family members and friends. It also means no one telling you when to quiet down or tell you not to bring your drink on the dance floor, or enforce a specific event end time, so to me it was completely worth it, but there were several extremely stressful moments, which leads me to my next point...- Delegate, delegate, delegate. You are the bride, this is (hopefully) the one time in your life that will be the case, so act like one. Make someone else deal with stressful things when you can. I finally got the hang of this about 3 hours before my wedding started, but I wish I'd figured it out wayyy earlier. I was running around like a crazy person the day before and even the day of my wedding. When I finally got my butt planted in a chair to have my hair and make up done, my mom comes up and tells me "Liza, the dj just showed up and he thought he would be in the same room with you guys and now he doesn't know what to do about the light show he brought" My response to this was "Mom, I can't think about this right now. He has to be where we made room for him, I told dad to let him know that he would probably be in a different room when he first booked him, a light show is not that important to me, find someone else to deal with this." I actually got applause from the few people who heard that since I'd been reduced to tears over much smaller snafus over the course of the previous 24 hours. - Make your ceremony your own. Some people hate public speaking and want to say as little as possible. That's totally fine, but try to find some way to personalize your ceremony. My DH and I wrote our own vows, and all night we kept hearing that they were the most romantic vows anyone had ever heard. Hearing every one of my FI's tough guy groomsmen including my too-cool little brother admit that they had at least teared up if not full on cried was really touching. - Expect that some of the last minute details will seem less and less important as the zero hour approaches. I wanted to have a ceremony program, but I never got around to it. I wanted to have a "signature drink" but it never got made. I wanted to tell my photographer to take a picture from the rooftop deck of the whole group of guests with us and the bridal party immediately after the ceremony, but I completely forgot. I wanted to take pictures with my ceremony musicians amazing classic car, but I forgot about that too. None of these things took away from my amazing day, and no one would know they were missing except me. - Have a bridal emergency kit!!!! One of my coworkers was sweet enough to get me one containing soooo much stuff... a sewing kit, safety pins, febreze, hairspray, deodorant, shout wipes, those new Wisp one time use toothbrushes, a lint roller, gum, bug spray, a first aid kit, tylenol, tissues, a box of goldfish crackers and a rice crispy treat, and probably more things that I'm not remembering at the moment, but we used nearly all of that. Thankfully we didn't need the bug spray, but pretty much everything else went to good use. In fact, DH's grandmother ended up hemming 3 pairs of pants with the sewing kit since a few of our GMs didn't realize their suit pants were left unhemmed so they could have them tailored to fit properly. - Don't underestimate the love and support of your friends and family. I have never been more grateful for all the love in my life than I was on my wedding day. It still makes me tear up just thinking about it! I'm sure I'll think of wayyy more to add but if anyone has actually read this far, I'm shocked and amazed. It was kind of nice though, to just get it all out. And I know I've loved reading about everyone else's weddings in detail. I was going to put my vendor reviews in this post, but it's already probably the longest post this board has seen this year, so I'll do that separately when I have more time!