I thought I'd post a few thoughts and photos of our wedding in case anyone stumbles upon it. If you ever have any specific questions for me, go over to my "regular" blog and send me a comment. Happy Wedding Planning!
My top wedding day tips and lessons:
1. Totally bake your own wedding cake! It turned out awesomely despite my fretting. But make sure you have good friends to come over on the wedding day and do the last minute frosting and decorating. (thanks ambee!)
2. There won't be any time on your wedding day to do anything remotely useful. What's done is done, so step back and enjoy the day. Surround yourself with people who love you, let go of the control (that's a hard one for me), and you'll find that things just fall into place perfectly.
3. Give a toast! I am so glad that I prepared a short toast to our family and to my husband. It made me feel like I could properly acknowledge them, and also like I was a powerful woman speaking my own voice, rather than the meek bride quietly sitting to the side while the menfolk speak.
4. If you're having a backyard wedding like me, have the rentals delivered as early as possible on the day before the wedding. We were lucky to have ours arrive Friday morning at 10 am (earlier than expected!) Having that entire day to set up the tables, get the place settings ready and organized, and set up the chairs for the ceremony made me feel so much more relaxed. I am a control freak (I'm working on it), so being able to know that the things that still needed to be done on Saturday were pretty much fool proof allowed me to sleep much easier.
5. Trying to save some money? Consider using talented friends as your wedding photographers. My aunt was responsible for shooting all our ceremony photos and they turned out so lovely. The SLR cameras that so many people own these days are great quality and easy to use. A friend or family member may love to feel useful and give their time to you as a wedding gift.
6. Put some personality and thought into your wedding. I received a lot of compliments on our homemade jam favors, and it was also a wonderful way to bond with my mom over a common task.
7. Oh my gosh, get yourself a band! This does not have to blow your budget! We booked a blues band (Third Degree Blues) from gigmasters.com for less than $500 (for 6 hours). Cheaper than most DJs, cheaper than the cost of my invitations after my thousand trips to Paper Source. AND THEY ROCKED IT. Seriously, they were so amazing. Keep in mind that there are so many bands out there trying to make it and develop a reputation or may just want to play for the fun of it.
8. Discover Etsy if you haven't already. I got my beautiful lace bolero, custom bow ties for the ring bearers, custom handbags for bridesmaids gifts, and my gorgeous flower hair piece there. The site is a-maz-ing.
9. If something doesn't go exactly as planned, trust me- you won't give a hoot. See that handsome guy over there across the room? Yeah, you're marrying him, so what could possibly go wrong?