So I’ve seen a list of Wedding “do-overs” before, and I decided that I wanted to make one for myself. Because the list that I saw helped me when I was planning my wedding, and if this helps one person, then it was totally worth writing!
1. The venue. When Dustin and I picked the venue, we envisioned an outdoor ceremony in the mild winter weather that Houston has. Unfortunately, there was a 40% chance of rain and it was 38 degrees. I searched nearby stores for big white tents to shield everyone from the rain…and for $800, I decided against it. At the last minute, we planned for an indoor ceremony but the venue was essentially a one room building with no other area for a ceremony other than where the reception was. Everyone sat at their tables assigned for the reception (which actually worked out great!) but beauty was serious lacking during the ceremony. Instead of weeping willows painting the ceremony backdrop, it was stucco, windows, and even the appliances in the kitchen were visible! After all of the weather drama…it didn’t even rain.
2. Have a photo booth. Seriously! How fun are these? Especially for the bride and groom to look at after the wedding and see all their friends and family making silly faces in ridiculous props! Photo booths have become extremely popular at weddings and for a good reason…they’re a blast! They are definitely worth the splurge.
3. Be more selfish by taking more time with Dustin to take photos. Okay, so I know I already complained about how cold freezing our wedding day was. After the ceremony, the bridal party and our families went outside to take photos us. We got some great shots, but t-minus 15 minutes into the photo sesh, I was DONE. I had approximately 3 more minutes of tolerance in me before I got into a bad mood (sad, but at least I admit this about myself!). Dustin and I got very few photos together because I wanted to get back inside. I wish I could go back in time, have a glass of wine, chill out (no pun intended) and continue taking photos in the freezing cold. There were so many cute bride and groom pictures I saw on pinterest and we did NONE of them. Maybe for a one year anniversary…
Things I would do all over again…
1. Include my man in the wedding planning. I can honestly say my husband was included in nearly every aspect of the wedding process, from choosing the venue, picking out linens, cake tasting and design, the invitations and save-the-dates, choosing the food, and everything in between. If he didn’t help plan it, I asked him for approval…with the exception of my dress
2. The cake baker. My wedding cake was from Cakes by Jula, as was my graduation cake, my sister’s graduation cake, birthday cakes, and random cupcake pick-ups. With the help of Dustin and his mom, we chose White Almond Amaretto, Pink Champagne, and Marble. De-lish! And they decorated it EXACTLY as I had imagined…coated in white sugar to create a “snowy” look, fondant snowflakes and chocolate pinecones.
3. The food. Houston’s own Kelly’s Country Kitchen was the saint behind our food. Honestly…who doesn’t like this place? Sure, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not wearing pants with an elastic waistband but c’mon people, cheat on those diets with Kelly’s! We chose cornbread stuffing, turkey, brown sugar baked ham, green beans and mashed potatoes. Wedding guests were going back for seconds…heck, if I could fit any more food into that tight dress I would have gone back for seconds too! And no other restaurant or caterer came close to Kelly’s prices. After the wedding shenanigans were over, we had leftovers for days. YUM!
4. Our photographer. We had an amazing, talented and super sweet photographer named Jessica. Jessica is sincerely one of the nicest people I have met. She also took my bridal pictures and they turned out phenomenal. The wedding pictures were equally stunning (no easy task considering we did an indoor ceremony…don’t get me started on that again). Jessica also was my sister’s wedding photographer prior to my wedding, and when my sister got sick on her wedding day, Jessica was there at the venue helping my mom out with whatever she could! She then photographed my brother’s wedding, and she will also be photographing pictures for our Christmas cards. You cannot find a better, sweeter, and more creative photographer than Jessica…especially for the price!
5. Day of wedding planner. I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for our wedding planner, Kimberly. Everything went so smooth on the day of the wedding and I didn’t have anything to stress over or think about. This woman knows how to run a wedding! She told everyone where they needed to be, what they needed to do, and was sure that everything took place in a timely manner, and it helped that her husband was the DJ. Talk about two peas in a pod! At the end of the night, she made sure all my gifts, cards and personal items were secured and packed away. If you have any extra money in your budget, get a wedding planner for the day of. You won’t regret it!
6.Our wedding party. We had the most amazing wedding party on the planet (but I’m sure your was/will be equally amazing!). My sister was the matron-of honor, and I chose three close friends to stand by my side as bridesmaids. I danced the night away with these girls, goofed off with them, and they took care of anything I need that night. Seriously…best. bridesmaids. ever.
7. Decorations. So who cares if my mother and I completed separate transactions two times per week to use our 40% coupons at Hobby Lobby to buy wedding décor? It may have taken a few months to complete our industrial sized collection of crystallized tree branches, vases and other wintery odds n ends, but we did it for 40% less than we could have! I loved my vases filled with the wintery branches, and Epsom salt to look like snow. If you hadn’t guessed by now, our wedding theme I was aiming for was cozy and wintery. I wanted more rustic winter wonderland, less Christmas with the Griswolds. We also made a candy buffet, lanterns with tea lights, had a Christmas tree…it was perfect.
8. Beverages. From the get go I stated “I’m not paying for people to get wasted at my wedding”. Those were my guns and I was stickin’ to ’em! Dustin and I got a keg of Blue Moon (with orange slices, cut up by yours truly), wine and champagne. We also gave the men in the wedding party flasks filled with Seagrams 7. Other than that, we didn’t have liquor and everybody lived. We had plenty of beverages to go around, and even had a full case of wine left over (which took me a month to hunt down who took it…which ended up being my own brother! The only person I forgot to ask!).
9. Music. I already mentioned how great the wedding planner was and how her awesome husband was the DJ. Many of our guests complimented how good our music was. I created a list of “must play” and “play if you have time” and told the DJ to play whatever people seemed to be in the mood for. My father and I danced to “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash…best decision ever! People loved how it wasn’t typical, it’s our favorite Johnny Cash song and I’ve heard him playing that song since I can remember. If you’re having a tough time deciding what to pick for wedding songs, don’t be afraid to stray outside of the box for a meaningful song to you. After all, it’s your wedding and the guests will appreciate songs that aren’t predictable.