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Tidbits of advice from a bride/Part II: The wedding day

October 5, 2011

I have a confession: I’ve been putting off this post. And I don’t necessarily know why–sometimes personal posts are the easiest things to write. Other times, not so much. And writing about your wedding, well, there’s a lot of mixed emotions involved. Especially immediately following. OK, ok. I know it’s been a month. But you can’t rush these things. Sometimes you need time to process. And, honestly, I think that’s lesson no. 1. You need time to process. If you were like me and planned the whole thing, lived and breathed WEDDING for months on end, then you probably need A LOT of time to process. Because it was your baby. You created it. And then you lived it.

Overall, I was VERY pleased with the day as a whole. I loved our venue. I repeatedly said throughout the planning process that if I could live at the barn, I would. It just made me feel peaceful and calm. And it was so breathtakingly beautiful.

This doesn’t even do it justice

I loved our flowers, our decorations, all the DIY details we {and our families} worked so hard on. Everything came together perfectly.

Inside the barn
Guest book table
Seating chart
Gift table
Delicious pie table

And the day felt very much US, which was probably one of our biggest goals. We also wanted our friends and family to have a great time–which, judging by the comments we’ve heard in the last month, was achieved.They loved the food {who doesn’t love good ol’ BBQ?}, the dancing, the pies, the setting. Overall, it was a big success.

As for those inevitable something-will-wrongs, there were only a few and they added to the story of our day. Like when my veil flew off during the ceremony and floated gently into one of my bridesmaid’s hands {it added a touch of whimsy}. Or when a napkin caught on fire during the reception {it was immediately stomped out!}. Everything else went well–our first dance, the speeches, the general timeline of the day. Our vendors were completely on top of it. Except for maybe our DJ but he didn’t commit any real cardinal DJ sins so I have to be thankful for that.

So, why all the processing? Well, {again, inevitably} there were disappointments. And when it comes to something as HUGE as your wedding, full of a lifetime of expectations and months of planning, disappointments {as small as they may be} tend to take up a lot of space in your emotional memory. I suppose my disappointments had to do with the fact that I planned the whole thing so I didn’t feel as though the day was FOR me. It was about me, but not for me. Does that make sense? It felt more like a party I hosted for my family and friends than a party thrown for me, and my groom, in our honor. Although I had chosen a very capable day-of coordinator {a friend}, I still worried about the timeline and all the little tasks of the day. Perfect example: The moment before I walked down the aisle I noticed that a candle wasn’t lit and I asked our venue coordinator to light all the candles in the barn. Needless to say, I was distracted when I didn’t want to be.

But here’s lesson no. 2: Don’t waste time thinking about what you would have done differently. Maybe if I had hired a planner, I wouldn’t have worried so much on the day. Or maybe I would have. There’s no way of knowing. Anyway, I loved planning our wedding. Besides being a lot of fun, and something both my groom and I enjoyed doing together, it opened up a whole new world for me {hence this blog!}. Would I choose to take that away? NEVER.

There were other moments, too, when I didn’t feel as special as I had hoped. Let’s just be real–I didn’t feel as though I was the center of attention. Like when I was trying to put on my dress so our photographer could snap some photos and, in my mind, everyone else was busy doing their own thing. I wanted it to be this really special moment where everyone gathered around me but we were all trying to get ready so we could stick to the timeline. It’s just what happens on wedding days. Things get rushed, they get hectic. Lesson no. 3: It was only a minor disappointment in an overall incredible day.

Ultimately everything worked out just fine
And we had a lot of fun

I think there’s also an expected disappointment in the realization that it’s all over. Your wedding has come and gone. I really tried to soak it all in, pay attention to the moments as they were happening, but forcing your mind to take in EVERYTHING is an impossible task. I think I spent most of the day in a daze. It was just so overwhelming.

And, honestly, I spent a good couple of weeks silently–secretly–berating myself for not being more present. But then I realized it was MY WEDDING. Part of me couldn’t believe I was actually getting married. To the love of my life and best friend for that matter! So, obviously, I was in a daze. I was overcome by the reality of it all. And you know what? I think that’s a pretty lucky problem to have, don’t you?

So, tell me, dear readers. If you’re married, what were your greatest joys and disappointments of the day? If you’re planning, or dreaming of, your wedding, what are your expectations for it? Your overall, most important goals? I’d love to hear.


All photos were taken by friends & family.

{Update.} Oh, right. I forgot to mention that you can read Part I here. It’s all about The Day Before. Man oh man, was that a busy day.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 2:07 pm

    You really explained it all well here. In the end you’re going to have a blast no matter what. And the day goes by so incredibly fast…you’ll look back and wonder if it was a dream. Love your dress and the girls’ dresses btw!

  2. October 5, 2011 2:39 pm

    I love the part about your veil landing in your bridesmaid’s hand. Also agree with the ‘party for the family’ part. Come to think of it my wedding seemed like one big family reunion on both sides. . . . I do like how your bridesmaids were in different prints and textures. The whole wedding is very lovely . . .

  3. October 5, 2011 4:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your personal story! Being a designer, I always inform my clients we cannot control everything. We can only try to plan for the greatest expectation on their one special day! I think reflecting on the things that didn’t go the way you planned, allows one to appreciate life’s surprises. Sometimes we all need a good laugh or tear to be in the real moment.

  4. October 6, 2011 6:23 pm

    I love your honesty, and these gorgeous photos, of course! The reality of weddings don’t always match up the way it looks in other people’s photos or movies, but I’m glad your joyful memories far outweigh your regrets!

  5. October 7, 2011 12:05 pm

    Best memory of the wedding day: decor- friends- black and tans- sangria and late night craziness with our venue owner and the last 20 people at the venue.
    Worst Memory: the Dj and the photographer. Without a doubt, I still cry over it.

    For having spent only 4 months planning the entire wedding with ZERO stress, it was and still is one of the best weddings I’ve been to. πŸ™‚
    The only real regret was that we have no wedding pictures that are worth keeping- oour “photographer” referred to my dad by a friend showed up to the house with a point and shoot nikon and took the WORST pictures ever and even set up a picture station! Like at Prom! With the Background! AHHHH! Five months later gave us 2 cds of images; one with animated borders (really, I swear) and the other completely unedited. Super dark or overexposed- take your pick. But you know what? It was still the best day of my life. You’re right, it’s all about why you are there in the first place. πŸ™‚

    Love your images, loved working for you guys. my very best and most sincere love and hugs.

  6. October 7, 2011 4:27 pm

    Sigh. You looked gorgeous πŸ™‚ And we share such similar views on our wedding days. I loved reading your personal experience and feeling like I can relate so well to it. Hang in there girlfriend! Everything looked perfect and don’t be so hard on yourself. Months and months of planning can really make you feel like your in a daze on your big day! xo


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