A FEW POST-WEDDING WORDS ON “MARRIED LIFE” & THE WEDDING DAY ITSELF.
Brian and I have now been married for a little over two weeks, and in the past two weeks, the number one question that I have gotten is “HOW IS MARRIED LIFE TREATING YOU?!?” Uh, fine. Brian and I have been together since 2011, and have lived in our current home since 2012. I “jokingly” say “It’s not really different, I just have another ring I have to put on.” But really, it’s not a joke 😉 All the clichés you hear? Probably true. The day really does go by too quickly; you really don’t have any moments to truly appreciate all the work you put into the tiny details (centerpieces, favors, menu options, table arrangements, you name it); you really can’t do it all by yourself; MANY THINGS WILL GO WRONG; but you will let the little things go because you’re having way too much fun.
I wanted to take the opportunity to get some of my thoughts, feelings, and memories documented before too much time passed. The photos are from various sources (a few are from my bridesmaids or myself), but 99% are from my photographer Scot. He was able to put together of few photos from the day as a “preview” and I was able to piece together almost this whole post from just those. Let me tell you, I cannot wait to see the whole batch when he’s done 😉
The Week Of
I took the week off of work to wrap up last minute things, and it wasn’t even close to enough time. Weddings are ridiculously involved! I worked on the programs mostly because it was taking me FOREVER; thankfully Brian pitched in and started to run the little errands and things I couldn’t get to (like dropping off my Amazon returns three days after the deadline that I had missed; or going to by untold amounts of fabric; or decorating the ceremony site). Man, he’s a keeper ♥
I hired a day-of coordinator who was also a tremendous help. She picked up our cupcakes on Friday, set up the reception stuff on the day-of (cupcakes/stand/cake, favors, signage, etc.), kept everyone on time, and probably ran interference with things I know nothing about…
THE WEEK OF was the first time I had tried on my dress since we picked it up. I am a procrastinator in every sense of the word. So glad my shoes were a good height. With some last minute help from Brian’s mom, and their family friend Maria, they were able to alter it to be bustled as well as alter my maid of honor’s dress. Turns out, Maria is secretly a wizard.
I was able to squeeze in getting my nails done on Friday, but I had wanted all of my girls there too as a thank you for their help. Unfortunately, my sister (MOH) didn’t get my text about the appointment and wasn’t able to make it, and another bridesmaid had already had hers done. Oh well, my sisters-in-law were still able to get theirs done (for the first time?!?!) and that was fun!
The days leading up to the wedding were threateningly wet – it was likely going to rain on Saturday. Brian rented a tent that week and it was to be put up on Friday. The tent didn’t come until right before the rehearsal. And it couldn’t go centered on the “wedding arch” so
we I had to completely revamp the ceremony. We would no longer walk up to and stand under the arches naturally formed by the building; we would instead walk out of the building and stand at the end of the tent.
I wrapped up a few things at home, like printing photos of Heidi for a locket to put on my bouquet, and then I ran around town trying to do some last minute things, like pick up prints and flower girl baskets. There’s definitely not enough time in the day! Hair & makeup was scheduled to start at 9:30a, & I was there at 10:30a… Two of my bridesmaids had left for whatever reason, but I took advantage of it and had them pick up some things for which I didn’t have time, like bagels and easels. My maid of honor didn’t set an alarm and was also late (she was supposed to help me run the errands in the A.M.). I had one bridesmaid on time and on her game haha! She was in makeup with hair done when I got there. As the morning went on, people came and went.
While all this was happening, Brian and his guys were at the ceremony site setting it up. THEY DID SUCH A FUCKING AMAZING JOB. Words cannot express how appreciative I am of everything they did to make it turn out the way that it did. Yes, we had this monstrosity of a tent, but it still look FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.
Later in the morning, they came to the house to get ready downstairs while us ladies finished up.
I got my hair done rather early, but failed to start makeup until it was almost WAY too late. I had a hair stylist at the house, but my mother-in-law made an appointment at a salon for herself; two bridesmaids went back and forth about whether they were going to do their own hair; and my mother was nowhere to be found. I had requested that everyone be at the house “unready” and GET READY at the house. I had purchased silk robes as gifts for all the girls and mothers so that I could some cute photos out of it. Apparently, my mother is the type of person that does what she wants without regards to other people… She was not at the house in the morning and wasn’t answering any phone calls. She showed up with barely a minute to spare. Running out of time, I scrambled to get robed-girls in shoes with hair & makeup done for photos, while she asked one of my bridesmaids if she knew how to do smokey eye (to which the ‘maid replied “You needed to be here a long time ago for that, girlfriend”). Complaining that she had no makeup on and was still wearing her pants, and her shoes weren’t on right, my mom was almost not in the pictures. This was easily the most stressful part of the day for me, because I HATE being a pushy person. I hate having to raise my voice. And I hate sounding like a bitch. I like to just say “hey, here’s what we’re doing” and just do it without being on everyone’s case about it.
Then it was time for everyone to get dressed including getting me into my dress. It is a laced dress, and I had hoped to get some shots of my mom helping to lace it. She was nowhere to be found. After about twenty minutes, my photographer said we’ll just fake it later. But, ABSOLUTELY no fault of his, there was no later, there was no time. I had also wanted to get the robes hung with everyone dressed in front of them. I nixed that too.
The First Look/Pre-Ceremony
Brian & I did a “first look” before we left for the ceremony. I had also intended to sneak away with Brian to have just a moment of only us two, but with time constraints, we had to just pile on the bus and go.
I passed out bridesmaids gifts on the bus because, again, of time; and I didn’t even get to hand out my parents’ gifts (I gave my mother-in-law hers the next day when I went to pick up my stuff from her house; my parents still haven’t received theirs). Brian almost left his groomsmen gifts behind, but was reminded when I started handing my gifts out on the bus, so he ran back in to grab his.
It didn’t rain on Saturday (until after the reception), so in the end, the tent was unfortunately unneccessary. But I didn’t mind. The “new” ceremony game plan was great. I liked being able to have the bus drop us off behind the building and sneak in through the back. It gave me a moment to use the bathroom. When I asked my day-of coordinator if I could, I could tell she honestly preferred if I waited… I’m glad I didn’t because we didn’t “stop” and I wouldn’t have had another chance for another four hours at least… She did have to have, like, three people stand in the doorway though, so the guests wouldn’t see me sneaking from the back room into the bathroom HAHA!
Hiding in the back, I didn’t get to see any of the processional. Fortunately, there’s video (I don’t have it yet, it’ll be a couple months for it to be edited). The bridal party walked out to Kongos’ “This Time I Won’t Forget”, & my father walked me down the aisle to Ewan McGregor’s & Nicole Kidman’s “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge.
Our friend Brandon got “Internet Ordained” so he could officiate the ceremony. I am so happy that we had someone we know and love there for us.
Brandon wrote the majority of the ceremony and ran it by us beforehand. Brian & I were supposed to write our own vows, but neither of us did for one reason or another (mine came down to time), so those were choppy and probably embarrassing. I was determined not to cry, so I was awkwardly choked up the whole time.
There was confetti passed out for after we were announced husband and wife, so I waited for what seemed an eternity for someone to start tossing it, and when it didn’t happen, I internally panicked and let out a “Woo Girl” “WOOOOOO!” *eyeroll* Oy. Thankfully, someone threw some confetti at me. The recessional was to LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.”
Inside the building, I dumped about a pound of confetti (not really because I only ordered off of my train. Then we signed the marriage license before we gathered everyone for family pictures.
Post-Ceremony & The Reception
After we got the immediate family photos, we let everyone go to cocktail hour at the reception site. The bridal party got back on the bus to drive over to the grounds at the reception site for photos of just us.
We only had a little bit of time before we had to go to the reception. From there, we did a grand entrance – the bridal party to Kongos’ “Come With Me Now”, and Brian & I came in to Deadmau5’s “Ghosts n Stuff” before we went into our first dance to Muse’s “Madness.” Then my dad said a few words before dinner was served. Brian & I then snuck out with the photographer/videographers to get some photos of just the two of us (it was supposed to be with the sunset, but it was overcast all day).
The Shoe Game was so much fun and from the feedback I’ve received from guests, I highly recommend it! My sister was the one asking us questions (that was put together that morning, as she had left her list at home!) and from what I hear, our opinions didn’t differ very often (I heard maybe four questions at most) haha!
We did our parent dances afterwards – I danced with my dad to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” (Side note, we were heaps in conversation while dancing that when there was a lull in the song we both thought it was over and started to leave HAHA); Brian and his mom danced to Van Morrison’s “Days Like This.”
Then the DJ opened up the dancefloor and got the party started!
We rented an “open-air” photobooth and it was SUCH. A. HIT. My only regret with it was that Brian & I were only able to get in it with just the two of us once & we got photobombed =/
As close to the end of the night as my time allotment with my videographers and photographer were allowed, I made an “announcement” that there would be late night snacks momentarily, but really, it was so I could have the whole room join me in wishing my father a happy birthday (it was Sunday) and put a sash on him. I think he secretly loved it. And Kelsi (my niece/flower girl) grabbed the mic to say happy birthday too and get everyone to sing the Happy Birthday song. TOO PRECIOUS.
The reception is where time really started to SPEED UP and suddenly I heard them announcing Last Call. I was soooooo bummed that it felt so early. I barely got to talk to ANYBODY! Every time I had a moment to go visit guests, I got pulled aside for one thing or another, and there were a lot of people I wasn’t able to even say “hi” to! [This is why couples carve out time for that with receiving lines or whatnot, but every wedding I’ve gone to, that seems to be the time that gets reallocated to other things.]
After all is said and done though, I am happy. The day was for all intents and purposes, perfect. There were a few annoyances, yes, but nothing that was a tragedy. Sunday, Brian and I watched a few “wedding fails” on YouTube (I didn’t want to BEFORE and give myself that extra worry HAHA) and I have to say that we are very fortunate that our day was so fantastic!
Weddings are such chaos and it is so difficult to coordinate all of the players. If I had to pass on one bit of advice to future brides it would be to HIRE HELP. I was shocked at the price of a wedding planner initially, but after getting to the month-of the wedding and realizing I needed more hands to help, the price difference between a day-of coordinator and a full wedding day planned out is not that big. JUST DO IT. And if you
wantneed, you can still be a control freak like me too. No worries. (And if you want more than just one bit of advice from me, let me know and I’ll be happy to grab coffee with you!) I’ll be compiling a list of all my wedding sources for a future post. Depending on photographs available, I might have it up before we leave for our honeymoon in a week.
When I get a full set of photos from Scot, I’ll be putting them on Brian’s and my wedding website October12016.com so be sure to keep an eye on that for those as well as honeymoon photos!