At the time I worked as an event coordinator, and my husband has a career in live production, so in many ways we were a dream team for wedding planning. He had connections to the hall where we got married, and they treated us like family. My keen eye for detail and organization ensured that no stone was left unturned, no detail left hanging. He had special touches created, including a lighting template that shone our names and wedding date on the wall, adding to the overall atmosphere. We had a great playlist of music, and people were dancing until the wee hours of the morning. We were well supported by family and friends, and we approached everything calmly, realistically, and with our budget in mind.
But in retrospect, there are definitely a few things that I wish I had known then.
- Guests will remember the way your wedding made them feel. I was concerned with having the perfect bombonierres, a menu that would suit every taste, and beautiful looking invitations. What I know now is that over time, most people forget the details. What they remember is the warmth they felt in the room, the sincerity demonstrated as the couple said their vows, and the fun they had while tearing up the dance floor. Those are the elements that truly make the event special.
- You won’t see your partner much, apart from your time together at the altar. Looking back, I really didn’t spend much time with my new husband on our wedding day. We spent the morning apart, each of us getting ready (me enjoying immense pampering with the girls!). Though we met up at the altar to say our vows, and spent time having pictures taken after that, apart from our first dance I didn’t see him much at the reception at all. There were so many people to chat with and the night flew by in a matter of moments. If I could do it again, I’d make sure to take some time away with him so the two of us could have watched our special day unfold together, if even for a few moments.
- Don’t be too concerned about the food suiting your tastes – you won’t have a chance to eat it anyway! I remember attending my food tasting, and being quite particular about the feast that was chosen. Though my seal of approval was on everything, none of that mattered as I flitted around the ballroom that night chatting with everyone who had taken time to take part in our special day. I do remember my husband asking me to come sit at the head table at one point, because apparently the servers had just delivered my third plate of food, wanting to ensure that it was hot for me when I finally got to it. I popped over, had three bites, and off I went to chat with the next guest. In the same vein, I never had a bite of my wedding cake. Hopefully it was tasty for those who had some!
- Get what you want with photography, and don’t be afraid to tell your photographer your requirements. This was a bit of a regret for me. I LOVED the images my photographer took, but he charged WAY too much, I didn’t get any images on CD and he didn’t take many of the pictures I wanted (including pics of my bridesmaids and I, or the groomsmen with my husband). I certainly regret not having more variety of images. In fact, I had to argue with the photographer on the day of my wedding to get him to take a picture of Cal and I with our two brothers, a shot that should have been a given, in my mind. So, if I could do it again, I’d perhaps look a little more in depth for a photographer (there are so many out there), and I would provide him or her with a clear shot list to try to ensure I wasn’t missing anything when all was said and done.
- Your entire wedding day – and the whole planning process for that matter – will pass by in the blink of an eye. So don’t get caught up in making sure everyone in your extended family is happy, and getting worked up about the stress that naturally comes along with planning. Take a deep breath, enjoy the process and you’ll be able to look back at it with fondness too. It’s meant to be the happiest day of your life, so enjoy it!!