Well friends, we are digging deep today and going back to my wedding for some much needed review. I remember when I planned my own wedding, I was really excited to finally experience the process from the perspective all my brides had had before me. To be in the thick of it, with color swatches, centerpieces and timelines.
First confession, I literally felt like a deer in headlights the first few weeks. Like, everything I had learned as a photographer went OUT THE WINDOW and there I was…as if Bambi was introduced to I-5. AH!
I wanted to go back and share the 5 most important lessons I learned from this process. Short and sweet and to the point. I’m sure we all feel we could write novels about these endeavors but alas…there is laundry to do.
1.You get what you pay for.
Tried and true, my wedding was no different. I went the extra mile and hired some of the BEST vendors I have ever worked with. My photographer was top notch (Rebecca Anne Photography), my wedding designer knocked it out of the park (CPJ + Co) and my catering was so delicious, I still dream about our pasta dish.
The one area I didn’t put forth my best foot…was my DJ. There was a large discrepancy between what I was offered/sold and what actually showed up at my wedding. And for the price tag, that should have been a red flag. I had worked with this company vendor to vendor and had witnessed a great performance so I had no worries walking into my own wedding with them. However, through miscommunication we were not given everything we needed for a successful DJ experience. When it comes to your DJ/MC, SPEND THE MONEY because this person will be the one to maintain the atmosphere and carry your party into the night.
2.Don’t listen to your family.
I wanted an intimate wedding. I wanted something so stylized and personal that it would whisk me and my few guests into another world. My parents and new in-laws saw it differently. My husband and I were the first children of each family to get married so it was “suggested” to have a wedding where EVERYONE WAS INVITED. I love my family (and my in-laws) but, looking back, it’s hard to have paid for such a large party for people who had never met my husband, nor did they even know our love story?
Whether you want the big wedding or something as small as an elopement on a mountain side, listen to YOURSELF and your fiancé. This day is 100% about you two and nobody else.
I suppose we will just have to do a gorgeous vow renewal at our 10 year ????
3. Thank your people.
I totally was the a**hole who didn’t send thank you cards. Right after our wedding, I was suddenly let go from a job and wasn’t quite in the mood for being gracious. Lesson learned. Lots of people took time out of their lives to support me, my husband and our dreams for our wedding. I should have done the DECENT thing and sent thank you cards. It might be old school, but in the era of digital, it’s a beautiful way to express gratitude for those who sacrifice for you.
To all my family and friends, I am deeply sorry for this misstep. Is it too corny to send them now? **walk of shame**
4.Take a deep breath during the day.
Make this an actual moment. Step into the corner of the room, grab your now husband//wife and take in the moment. See how all these people traveled near and far to be HERE in THIS MOMENT for YOU. It’s pretty breath taking, as I know for myself, my family will probably never all be in one place at one time ever again. Or until a funeral. Sorry, it’s just a fact.
We were able to do this (briefly) but it was such an amazing sensation.
5.Your pictures are all you have.
Yeah, I know, it’s cliché. But guess what, because I lived it, now I truly know. I still have my dress in my closest, my husband gets to wear his suit often and we have kept a few mementos, but our photos are the only thing that pulls us to remember each moment of the day.
I’ve sprinkled a few of my favorite wedding moments, but if you want to see the full gorgeous blog post, head over to Rebecca Anne Photography’s post.
If you liked these lessons, here are some articles to make sure you avoid my mistakes and take your day above and beyond!