In honor of our first wedding anniversary on the horizon this upcoming weekend, I decided to reflect in a very different sort of way. Now that the confetti has settled after planning and living our wedding day, I can see things a bit more clearly.
Over a glass of wine the other night, my friends and I started talking about a phenomenon where we look at people's lives on social media and wish they were our own. We started calling it "insta-perfect"...and this thought could not be more true. The wedding world and all of our lives on social media seem so perfect, and I assure you...they just aren't that way in real life.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to take my previous post, "Best Decisions I Made On My Wedding Day" and flip it on it's head to show you that NO ONE is perfect, and neither is your wedding day.
#1 I Forgot To Bring A Garment Bag For My Wedding Dress To The Hotel
Are you getting ready at a different location than where you are sleeping that night? If so, this could happen to you! Let me set the scene for you. I got ready at my parent's house in my hometown the morning of our wedding day, which was so lovely. I hung up my dress near a window, knowing how pretty the photo would be at this very spot. I guess I kept the garment bag in the closet and completely forgot about it. I packed up my bags and had someone put them in an unknown car to bring to the hotel while I took the limo to the church. Fast forward to the morning after the wedding, I had no idea where my bags were (a friend had just left them in their car and was now sleeping after dancing the night away) and all I had was my wedding dress to my name! I finally got my bags, but there I was standing at valet waiting for our car holding my wedding dress over my arm. I really wish I had a picture of this moment to show you all how very un "insta-perfect" this moment really was! I remember saying to myself - why doesn't anyone tell you to bring a garment bag to the hotel?! So I'm telling you. Don't forget it!
#2 I forgot to Read the Note My Future Husband Wrote Me.
Yup. Completely didn't read his super sweet card the morning of the wedding. In all the excitement and confusion of the morning, I didn't even know about it. I read it the next day, but I am really bummed that I didn't get to read his note before I saw him. Maybe this is why I am such a sap every time I see my brides read their card now. So moral of the story? Tell one of your bridesmaid or your photographer ahead of time so that they know to remind you to take a second by yourself to read some sweet words from the person you are about to marry!
#3 I didn't make a sign that said "DROP YOUR CARDS HERE"
So, you know that really cool container you got for your guests to drop their gift envelopes in? I got one too. It was this really cool modern-looking lantern that I found at homegoods. I love it so much it's still in my house today. However, guests couldn't figure out that this wasn't a decorative element, it was for them to put their cards in! The only thing worse than guests awkwardly carrying around cards for too long, is for them to hand you cards while you are trying to dance on the dance floor! Unless your wedding dress has pockets, which is awesome. So lesson here? Really intense signage. Everywhere. You want your guests to sign a globe or place their thumb prints on a tree as your guest guest book? Make a sign. Your guests need direction!
#4 If you are going to thank all your guests for coming, don't do it after the cake cutting.
We wanted to thank our parents and all of our guests for coming, and in retrospect I think it would have went over better when everyone first sat down for their first course. By the time we cut the cake, no one was paying attention anymore. They were having too much fun! Lesson #4? If you are going to get sentimental, do it before the open bar gets really flowing.
#5 Don't skimp on the transportation AFTER the reception.
By the time Brian and I got quotes for shuttles back to the hotel, we were spent. Wedding planning wise and also financially. We chose to get one shuttle to make two trips (hotel was about 15 minutes away from the venue) instead of multiple shuttles to take one trip. I am not sure what would have been the better solution because we definitely couldn't have afforded multiple shuttles, but looking back, I would have saved more of my budget towards this part of the day. By this time of night, everyone is ready to hit the after party or go to bed. No one wants to wait around for the shuttle to come back for them! We did provide phone numbers for local taxi services and everyone got back to the hotel safe and sound to meet us for the after party, but I guess the bottom line here is to remember to save part of your budget towards taking care of your guests!
#6 I didn't Hire a Wedding Planner
I did all the planning myself. At the time I was starting my own business and I honestly had the time, but if you have a full time job... it is just so much to take on. I am not talking about the coordinator your venue gives you. He or She will be focusing on running the party and getting your food out on time. They will not be there helping in the morning and organizing all your other vendors!
The main reason I am wishing I hired a wedding planner is that he or she would have remembered my garment bag. She would have reminded me to read that note. I would have been blissfully unaware getting my hair done while she would have been chatting with my (amazing) florist who couldn't get the linens from my venue coordinator the morning of the wedding. She would have made the signs I needed. She would have gathered the cards from me that guests wanted to give to us in person. She would have warned me about when to thank my guests and how to handle transportation. Why? Because she's seen it all, and she's organized! Believe me, your mom is going to be a frantic mess. Your bridesmaids can help along the way, but they should be having fun as well! Hiring a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator would have made all the difference in the world.
Bottom line, I absolutely loved every single moment of our wedding day, and I really wouldn't change a single thing. You can plan until you are blue in the face, and something will not go according to plan. And you know what? It may just be your favorite moment of the entire day (mine was when we came out of the church...meanwhile it was an afterthought while planning!) So do the best you can, and then just live in every single moment because it's going to go by in the blink of an eye.