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Friday, September 5, 2008


Recently, at work, I showed our wedding pictures to some of the ladies I now share office space with. From there, we got into a conversation regarding decisions made for our weddings--what we were so happy we did, and what we wish we would have done differently.

Since then, I've been thinking about things like that, and I figured I might as well write them down and share them with all of you, since many of you are still planning. So I'll get right to it.

I'm SO glad we:

1. Ended up hiring a videographer. We originally weren't planning on having one, but about three months before the wedding, I started freaking out that maybe we would regret it. After a bit of discussion, we decided to look around for one.

We hired one a short time later, and we are so glad that we did. There are so many things that I would have been devastated to never get to see/hear again (i.e. our fabulous toasts given by Lindsay and Justin). And there were many things I didn't see on the wedding day that were captured by the videographer (i.e. Michael's grandmother dancing up a storm).

If you're wavering on this decision, I'm telling you... DO IT. If you've decided against having one, I urge you to reconsider.

2. Planned it so that we would NOT miss our cocktail hour. We owe some of the credit to our photographers, who were extremely efficient taking pictures between the ceremony and reception. We said from the very beginning of our planning that we DEFINITELY wanted to be at our cocktail hour. Our thought was, we're paying so much money to throw this party--we want to be there to enjoy every single minute of it. And we did! The Krackes got us there on time (we may have even been a few minutes early!).

We had that extra time to walk around and relax, mingle with guests, enjoy drinks, etc. I also had a few minutes to go in the bathroom and have a friend fix my hair, have Lindsay assist me with going to the bathroom, etc. :) It was a great decision.

3. Involved our families so much in the wedding. Both of my parents walked me down the aisle, and I'm so glad that I made the decision to do it that way.

My brothers were groomsmen; Michael's sisters were bridesmaids. We were SO happy to have our siblings with us every step of the way. Although, I am misleading you... I act like this was a conscious decision we made. It wasn't. From the very beginning, it was never a question. Even before we were engaged, I always knew that when Michael and I got married, my brothers would be groomsmen and his sisters bridesmaids. It was a given.

We always looked at it like the entire bridal party was ours. I would never have chosen anybody to be a bridesmaid that Michael disapproved of, and vice versa. I hate reading on The Knot when a bride says she excluded the groom's sister, or that her groom is excluding her brother, because "I'm not that close to her" or "It's his side so he can choose who he wants; he doesn't want my brother." I'm sorry, but that is bullshit. That's your future husband's sister, and unless she's a crackwhore or an uber bitch that your fiance doesn't even talk to, she belongs in your wedding party. Period. And if your fiance is excluding your brother and you want him to be in it... you need to speak up. It's family.

We also chose family members to do readings. Michael's uncle, my cousin, my brother's girlfriend (who is now his fiancee). Great, great decisions. No matter what happens in life, these people will always be our family.

4. Chose to do a sweetheart table. Sitting down quietly to dinner with just my new husband was a fabulous part of the evening. We were able to have a few minutes just to ourselves, and we had fun chatting together for that time. The day goes by in a huge blur, and much of it was spent apart (as silly as that is). I'm glad we at least had that time together. Plus we got to do a little trash talking about the no-show guests!! :)

5. Listened to the recommendations of professionals. The big one that comes to mind is our florist. I went into the florist meetings with an open mind because I wasn't quite sure what color flowers to pick for the aqua blue bridesmaid dresses we picked out. When she first suggested hot pink and orange, I thought to myself--gross. I even said to her, "I like the idea of the hot pink, but I am not sold on the orange." She asked me to trust her and I did.

The ladies at work said they would have vetoed her, and said what a shame that would have been. They would have missed out on a BEAUTIFUL color combination! I loved the way the hot pink and orange popped against the aqua blue. Fantastic.

6. Had a morning after brunch, and waited until the Monday after the wedding to leave for the honeymoon. It was nice to get an opportunity to see a lot of our guests again the next morning. Everyone was still on a high from the fun of the night before, and we got to reminisce about things while they were still fresh in our minds.

But man, were we exhausted. I'm not sure I have ever been so tired in my life! We really needed a day at home to recoup and regroup before we left for our honeymoon in Hawaii.

Speaking of Hawaii...

7. Splurged and went to Hawaii. It was amazing, and we're not sure when we'll have another opportunity to 1) take that long of a vacation, and 2) spend that much money on one. We're looking at kids in the next few years, and once that happens, lord knows we likely won't have the chance to go again until several years down the road.

I think that's it for now... if I think of anything more, I will put together a "Reflection: Part 2" post! As for things we wish we didn't do... I honestly can't think of anything. I don't think we have any regrets.

I hope this "advice" helps people. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Great advice! We've gotten lots of mixed reviews on the videographer, but i think we will definitely go for it. I've yet to hear someone regret getting one...those that didn't or thought poorly of having one regret it now!
I do disagree on the wedding party. I don't think intimate moments like the shower and bachelor/ette party should be spent with people that you aren't close with. I think by nature if you do have an amazing relationship with the inlaws, then it goes without saying that you would be close with the siblings and include them.

Heather said...

Sorry, Anonymous, but that reasoning (re: the bridal party) doesn't make any sense to me, either. Showers and bachelor/ette parties are hardly intimate. There are usually many other people invited besides the wedding party.

So you're saying that if you weren't close with your future sister-in-law, you wouldn't even invite her to your shower or bachelorette party? That's even worse.

For me, with his sisters, it wasn't about me. Yes, I had a good relationship with them, but even if I didn't... if HE did, then yes, they would have been in the bridal party anyway. I think that kind of compromise (or sacrifice) goes a long way toward a successful marriage (and a successful relationship with your in-laws).

I did forget one situation in which I consider it an exception--if there are TONS of siblings. Obviously, if you're marrying a guy with four sisters, that situation is a little different.

An Atlanta Bride said...

I'm in the midst of planning my wedding, and like you, I wasn't going to have a videographer since we booked a top photographer BUT to relive those moments, and to be able to hear the words to those special moments, we decided it was a must.

Dana said...

I have been following your blog for sometime. I have thought about alot of the items that you have mentioned. I am having a sweetheart table. Our photographer has been great in working with us on the time line. I am having a friend record our wedding.
In our wedding party is full of my sorority sisters, my best friend, my step-daughter, my cousin and his fraternity brothers. I am having a family member do a reading.
I think that I am going to have my parents meet me half way down the aisle and I am going to me them. Not only are they giving me away but I am giving myself to my future husband.
Please check out my blog I left a gift for you. Thanks for th advise..it is helpful as aways.

Sara said...

thanks for all of the great advice! I agree with you and it was no question for ys that his sister would be one of my bridesmaids and my brother, a groomsman.

Heather said...

I wish I could say that I didn't have any regrets. But they were all little things.

Plus I had many people tell me that I should become a wedding planner. So I guess that makes up for it. Plus no one noticed the little mess ups that I did.

Pretty Bride said...

Great advice... thanks so much!