Sometimes, as a married woman who happens to plan weddings, people ask if I would do anything differently, given the chance to have a wedding "do-over." I obviously am madly in love with everything that my wedding ACTUALLY was (primarily because of my fantastic husband who would've made even the tiniest courthouse affair the most perfect wedding ever). But from a wiser, SLIGHTLY more grownup perspective, there are definitely things I would elect to do differently given the chance.
Take into consideration while planning your own nuptials!
If I got to marry DREW all over again, I might do these things differently:
List out invitees clearly on my invitation envelopes. Despite the fact that I didn't go the traditional two-envelope route, I still opted to write out the invitees the formal way (i.e., only naming the formal head of the household) on my envelopes… Which resulted in VERY confused (and several displeased) family members and friends. People felt slighted or excluded even when I INTENDED to invite them, because I wasn't very clear on who exactly I was inviting. And some people even ended up bringing extras because they didn't get the picture, either. To avoid all that mess, I would definitely be clear and list out EVERYONE invited on each envelope if I did these over again!
End the evening at midnight rather than 11:15PM. While I was absolutely thrilled that our dance floor stayed packed until we departed, since we only started the wedding at 7PM, that meant the whole shebang was barely over 4 hours total. We didn't get to see as many people as we would've liked (I'd say we MAYBE saw 1/3 of the guests, total, all night!), and extending the hours might have allowed us a little more mingle time. [Note: As much as I would advise brides to invite fewer guests to avoid this dilemma, I'm a prime example of having so much family that it's virtually impossible to decrease the crazy Southern wedding guest list after all. So I empathize.]
Demand that a couple of slices of wedding cake be reserved for us to eat post-wedding. We didn't have a single slice of cake leftover from our reception, which made us so sad! We were starving by the end of the night and would've killed somebody for some cake. Instead, we ended up eating a $25 chicken club sandwich at the hotel from room service. BOO. I would DEFINITELY explicitly tell our coordinator to save us a few slices of cake if we did it all over again!
Host the wedding at Green Door Gourmet rather than The Livery Stables. Honesty time -- we had such a miserable experience with our wedding venue that we DEFINITELY would've paid a little more and had our wedding at a nicer barn (with WORKING air-conditioning) with nicer owners. I discovered Green Door Gourmet last week at a Nashville Wedding Planners Group meeting, and it would've been the perfect spot: close enough to my parents' home for us to still get ready there, not terribly far from Nashville or the interstate, secluded enough to be private and picturesque… so many reasons that would've been better. Ah well!
Play something classic instead of "funny" for our special songs. I thought, for whatever reason, that "Pour Some Sugar On Me" was the perfect cake-cutting song. Turns out, it was kind of awkward and the intro is so long, you didn't even hear the sugar reference until long after the cake was cut. I think charming songs like "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Sugar Sugar," and "Runaround Sue" would've been a little more timeless for our tosses/cake cutting.
Wear a darker pink lip color and a looser, more vintage-inspired updo. I had always wanted something classic and Grace Kelly-esque for my hair. While I love our wedding photos and the way I looked that night, I still think something more like my initial vision would've been stunning. And the lip color I wore was really pale pink -- not as beautiful and classic as I like. I'm such a red lipstick girl! [Note: We got to do a six-month-after shoot in January and I wore the red lips and vintage hair, so I did get my fill -- no worries.]
Make calligraphy table numbers rather than my glitter scrapbook paper DIY ones. Honestly, there wasn't remotely enough time to do all the projects I wanted for our wedding. Table numbers got demoted to week-of-the-wedding status, so two sweet bridesmaids saved my butt by making them for me the day before our rehearsal. Looking back, it would've been easier and less time-intensive to just print out some calligraphy font table numbers on pretty pearlized paper.
Spend a little money to have my servers wear pretty pink ties and little aprons a la Calder Clark weddings. Hillary, my wedding fairy godmother, had suggested this idea to me the month before our wedding, but at the time I just couldn't bear to spend more money on something superfluous. I definitely didn't mind that our servers wore traditional black and white attire, but it would've been a beautiful and cohesive element to have them match the color scheme.
Choose a different scripture verse to be read during the ceremony. I wrote our ceremony script just a couple weeks before the wedding, and used several pre-made scripts to come up with everything. One of which was Snippet & Ink's ceremony, which had a scripture reading from Ruth that I copied and pasted, intending to change up once I talked to Drew and had his input. The opportunity to revise that never actually came up, so we just had our reader use that verse. Unfortunately, that verse happened to be very dark and mentioned the Lord doing "terrible things" to me if I ever leave my husband. Which I don't necessarily disagree with, but isn't the lighthearted, beautiful, lovely kind of scripture I'd have preferred to go with for our wedding ceremony. Whoops.
Serve LaMarca or Cupcake Prosecco instead of Korbel. Champagne was another low-priority item on the laundry list of wedding details. As someone who has, over the past year, developed a fine appreciation for good Prosecco and tasty sparkling wines, I cringe a little at the thought that we were toasting with Korbel. At least it was pink (to match the colors)…
Attend our cocktail hour rather than having a moment to ourselves upstairs. I know this is a little odd, but Drew and I are so social, we probably would've enjoyed hanging out with everyone and having a few more minutes to mingle than we did just hanging out alone upstairs. I didn't feel like we were split apart all evening (like some brides complain in hindsight), so I think that extra thirty minutes or so would've been nice to see our guests. We did get to spend eleven days in Mexico together the week after our wedding, anyways.
Only stay at our wedding night hotel on our actual wedding night. We wanted to stay two nights since everyone advised us not to leave on our honeymoon until the Monday following our wedding (rather than the day immediately after). If we had actually slept in that Sunday morning, maybe it would've been worth it, but since we got up early to eat the complimentary fancy breakfast at our hotel, we were still exhausted and then bored once we had a full day to just hang out. (Our hotel didn't have a spa, pool, or anything really do besides lay around in bed all day.) We ended up getting Drew's dad to bring us a vehicle (since we were stranded) and then went over to my parents' place to pack the honeymoon necessities we forgot about and had dinner with family that was still in town before we spent the second night. It would've saved us a few hundred bucks to just stay with them that night. [Note: I know that sounds terribly unromantic and I promise I would've scoffed at myself if I'd read that before we got married, but seriously. A little extra time and money and not feeling guilty over "wasting" a perfectly good luxury hotel room in favor of seeing your family that is only in town for your wedding would've been legitimately worth the sacrifice. ESPECIALLY when you have an 11-day honeymoon starting the next day.]
Speaking of which, we'd also Only honeymoon for 6 days, total. So, I know what you're thinking. Really? She's complaining that her honeymoon was TOO LONG?! And that's not it. Listen here -- we planned an 11-day honeymoon in Mexico (at two separate resorts). Which was SUCH a blessing, we were and are so grateful for that opportunity, and it was really a wonderful trip. HOWEVER. If we did it all over again, we would've cut the trip short to six days total, because that was the timeframe we enjoyed the trip the most. By Day 7, we were ready to go on back to Tennessee and get packed up and ready to move into our new home together. Unlike many other newlywed couples, Drew and I didn't live together prior to getting married, and we didn't even move any of our things into a new home until the DAY after we got back from Mexico. So as much as we wanted to just bask in the Mexican sun and chill and relax, the pressure starting rising as we got closer to our big move day. It would've been nice to have a couple of days at home to leisurely pack and get all ready to move (since we didn't do anything for it pre-wedding -- no time!) before just getting thrust into the craziest month of our lives immediately after an international late-night flight. And honestly, our second honeymoon resort experience (the last three days of our trip) was just absolutely horrific, so nothing could've made us WANT to stay there a day longer. No joke!
Write my wine box letter to Drew BEFORE the wedding. We did a wine box ritual during our ceremony, and sealed up letters to each other along with our bottle of wine to age. I procrastinated writing his letter until the morning of our wedding, which was a huge mistake. I didn't get to put in all the time and love and MEANING that I would've preferred to, since I was trying to rush to get it written before my hair & makeup started. Struggle. At least he got something I wrote on our actual wedding day, I guess!
On that note, I also would Create my seating chart and finish escort cards before the wedding day. Why did I procrastinate everything? Maybe it was that people were still calling me THE DAY OF OUR WEDDING to change their RSVPs and ask to add their plus-one's (AHEM), but I didn't get around to finishing making our escort cards or seating chart until NOON of our wedding day. I snapped at a bridesmaid that morning I was so on-edge from trying to get everything done last-minute. What a struggle bride.
So, with all that said, I really wouldn't change a thing. (Ok so yes I obviously would, but you know what I mean.) Just because I would do a couple things more efficiently/timelessly/grown-up a year later doesn't mean our wedding wasn't 1,000% perfect and stunning and lovely and makes me weep watching our video a year later. I have eighty zillion wedding photos framed ALL OVER OUR HOUSE that attest to how much I'm obsessed with it. I just wanted to say these things to give you fabby brides a little insight from my own personal experience and hopefully grant you a little wisdom in making your own wedding planning decisions.
As an added bonus, here are just a couple more funny "oops" moments of ours that will ensure you that SOMETHING will go wrong on your wedding day but it's really okay:
1. I'd cut my father's suit jacket stays, since they were still stitched in our whole wedding day!
2. I'd remind Mom to pick up (my niece) Poppy on her descent down the aisle, since she forgot to grab her!
3. I'd make my brother-in-law set eighty alarms that morning so he wouldn't have MISSED HIS FLIGHT to our wedding. (He didn't make it. My sister/MOH was NOT happy.)
4. I'd hot glue my cake topper groom Ken (of Barbie & Ken fame) to his sturdy base, since he kept falling off all wedding day long when my coordinator stuck him into the frosting by just his feet.
5. I'd have worn some kind of non-scented (or at least nice-smelling, if that exists) bug spray before stepping into my wedding dress. I had the HUGEST welts on my arms and back from the insane Tennessee summer mosquitos just from taking photos with Drew for our first look, and it took icing them down for twenty minutes before the ceremony to even get them to look somewhat okay. (You can totally see them in our video. It's so gross!) YIKES!
It's y'all's turn now! Married folks, what would you do differently if you could marry your spouse all over again?! Would you do the whole thing differently, new color scheme and gown and details? Or were there just little things that would've made it more personal/sweet/fun? Weigh in below! :)