So if you have read any of my previous posts you will know I am a newlywed. I got married January 28, 2018 after a 19 month engagement. I planned my wedding from beginning to end with the gracious help of my wife, my family and my bridesmaids. So being that I survived and had what was in my opinion the best wedding ever!!! I’d like to share some things that really elevated my day and made it that much more amazing!
DON’T GO TO YOUR COCKTAIL HOUR
So Megan and I were insistent on going to our cocktail hour! The venue where we had our reception had the most amazing cocktail hour spread! Four stations that we hand chose, passed hors d’oeuvres, cheese and meats and fruits and veggies anything you could imagine! We told our photographer that it was super important to us (and because we had an AMAZING photographer) he made it happen. We finished our photos in time and we walked our newly wedded behinds into the gorgeous cocktail hour room… for about 5 minutes! We quickly realized that everyone wanted to talk to us (which in retrospect seems pretty obvious but we did not think about that ahead of time) and it was so overwhelming!!! We retreated to our bridal suite and boy am I glad we did! Our AMAZING bridal attendant brought tons and tons of foods into the suite where we were able to relax regroup and get ready for our party!! I highly, highly recommend spending your cocktail hour with your partner it may be some of the only time you get together all night!
Have A Backup Plan
What I mean by this is be prepared! My wedding day unfortunately started with a rainy morning. Because I got married in the winter we had to do a first look so that we were able to take photos outside and capture the sunlight before my 5 o’clock ceremony. I had originally planned to have our first look outside at a local park in a gazebo (dreamy I know :)) however that clearly was not going to work in the rain. Luckily I had decided on a back up plan days prior and was able to calmly make a sound decision that morning along with my wife and my photographer. A few days before the wedding my wife and I visited the hotel where we were going to be getting ready at to check out potential first look spots, and we were able to use a beautiful spiral staircase that I absolutely loved. Had we not been prepared who knows if that morning anyone would have known there was this hidden gem for us to use as our backup!
Book Off Season
Guys… this is HUGE! I could write a post entirely about the perks of having on off-season wedding! But truly this was one of the best decisions I made. Like many couples now days my wife and I paid for our wedding ourselves. This can be a tremendous burden on a couple. Also like many engaged couples Megan and I were renting an apartment, had 2 cars, a pet, student loans the list goes on and on. We had originally hoped to get married in the spring ( I mean who doesn’t love a spring wedding?!) however once we discovered the cost that comes along with a beautiful lush spring wedding we realized that may not be in the cards for us. Growing more and more frustrated we decided to open our minds to a wedding during a less optimal time of year. When we toured the venue we ultimately booked with it had a super romantic feel with stunning Christmas lights strung outside that made the trees sparkle. Megan and I knew that we were willing to compromise the date to be able to afford this magical venue. And omg was it worth it!!! Our catering manager gave us an incredible deal that not only fit in our budget but completely surpassed our expectations! We were able to have add on’s that during peak season would have never been affordable for us. At the end of the day I know it can be difficult to stray from a vision, however I would absolutely suggest at least entertaining the idea of an off-peak season wedding. For me it was the difference between a fairy tale and a huge headache!
Rent A Photo-booth
Alright before you judge me and tell me how “over” this trend is let me explain… Originally I wanted NOTHING to do with a photo-booth, I too thought that it was completely over done and often times cheesy. However both Megan and my mother were super insistent that we have this at the wedding. I did agree to at least look into it and see what it could add to the reception. Megan and I booked our DJ pretty much right after our venue after meeting them at a bridal expo and having a great meeting with them (spoiler alert I was NOT happy with them after the wedding) and this particular DJ company offered several types of photo-booth packages. One of the options was for what they called a “super booth” which was a large screen tv that was completely interactive with lights, music, fans and props. It was a completely new take on a photo-booth and made it much more interesting for me. Well my guests absolutely loved it! The best part is that we got a disk with all of the pictures taken at the booth… omg I have never laughed so hard! It was a fun different element that made my guests happy and really elevated their experience!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
This is probably some of the most basic advise I could give you but if you take only one thing away from this post let it be this… do not panic! Things WILL go wrong. Hopefully nothing too major but even so do not let circumstances out of your control ruin your wedding day. At the end of the day you can only plan and predict so much, do yourself a huge favor and go with the flow. If it rains go with plan B, if your flowers are ivory instead of white roll with it, if your limo shows up late take a deep breath and remember why you are doing this in the first place. In 20 years you will laugh about those mishaps but you will always regret not letting it go and having the time of your life!
Hope this helps!