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The only issue with not doing any type of first dance is that people may not feel comfortable dancing since it is traditional for the couple to "open" the dance floor. We had a first dance, but only danced alone for the first quarter of the song and then the band invited everyone else to join us.
Just saw that you upgraded- good choice!
I would quite literally be camping myself out at the freaking store until they were so tired of seeing my face that they would be rushing to get the dress in my hands. It doesn't take a year to get a dress made!!! Gahhh I'd be freaking out! I'd would certainly be looking for a back up dress and threatening to call the BBB if they refused to give me A. the dress in a week or B. a full refund.Definitely make a photo list. It doesn't have to be overly specific "Picture of the bride and groom under a pear tree holding a Mr.&Mrs. sign." (knew someone who was truly this specific and the list took forever and the pictures ended up pretty boring because they didn't let the photographer be creative), but just make sure you get the groups of people you want pictures with. I wanted to make sure there were pictures of us with my grandpa, with my grandpa and parents, with my parents, with his parents, with his parents and his sister, etc.
My standard wedding advice from anyone who asks is "If you take your guest's comfort into consideration, you'll have a memorable event. This isn't about you, it's a party hosted for others." Unfortunately, I'm afraid most people, even my own friends and family who attended our wedding and liked it enough to ask us for advice, don't really understand what that means.All of those details you listed are about you and you alone, so honestly, they aren't very important. We used the same glasses as everyone else to toast with and I never thought anything of it, nor did anyone else. Guest books... I don't know a couple who really looks at those again and guests usually feel awkward and obligated to fill them out. Programs aren't needed either- none of your guests really care who your attendants are. Serverware for cakes- does another actually do that??? I have no idea what we used to cut our cake. I suppose the venue just gave us a knife.If you feel like you need to add details, do things for your guests who took the time and money to come see you get married. Try to make a good time flow for them, make sure they have plenty to eat and drink, have a good flow for dancing, etc. If you have extra time and money for planning, focus on those things.
For me it was far cheaper to buy candles on my own. I bought them and the holders at Ikea and saved a bundle. I still have the holders- great for dinner parties.