11 July 2012

WW: The Good & Bad "Tips"

The Good
"Take time to enjoy each other."
I've heard time and time again that the day goes by so quickly.  I was so afraid of that.  Some people talked about planning just time together.  I tried to do that, but things never work out the way you plan, right?  But I do remember this one moment just after Communion.  We were so happy and wanted to pray together before the Mass ended and things got crazy.  So we did.  We prayed outload together.  We were so thankful for all our blessings.  It was a private time between the two of us, so private that I'm not sure if anyone even know what we were doing.  I'm glad we had time to stop and thank the Lord and our Mother, but also to have our first prayer together as a married couple right after we took Communion in our Nuptial Mass.

The Bad
"You have to do a first look."
No, you don't.  So many people made me feel bad that we weren't doing this, but it's not for everyone.  Many people have great experiences and great pictures from first looks.  But Duncan said he did not want to do one, and I was "whatever you want to do" when it came to them, and I'm so glad he chose to wait to see me when I walked down the aisle.  It is one of my most cherished memories of that day.  He was turned facing the altar until just before I processed down the aisle.  I loved that moment so much.  We just stared at each other as I walked down the aisle.  He had on his "drunk / baby Duncan smile."  You know, that smile you seeing from ear to ear, something I see in all Duncan's baby pictures and the occassional times he gets just a little drunk and everything is funny.  I almost started crying right there.  Some people said to look at everyone else as you walk down the aisle, but all I wanted to do was see his expression.  It was a beautiful moment.  I'm not saying this can't be done with a first look, because, hey, we didn't do one.  But we love our Catholic faith so much that I'm glad the first look was during the processional and in front of the altar where we would be married.  And you know, it was just me and him in those moments.

My Personal Advice

Put aside your type A tendencies.
You've done all the planning.  The day has arrived.  Now let all the rest of it go.  Yes, things didn't happen the way I planned, but things were beautiful.  I really didn't care.  There were even quite a few bigger mess-ups.  But, it didn't matter.  They were going to happen.  Even my type A personality knew it didn't matter.  And I'm so thankful that God graced me with patience and understanding (for the most part) that wedding weekend.  We really felt so blessed and loved that weekend.  We really did.  We both thought it was such a wonderful weekend from start to finish.  How much better could that get?

Make time before the reception for just the wedding party and family.
After the ceremony, we all had formal pictures, right?  Just like normal.  The photographer let people head off when they were done with pictures.  It ended up just Duncan and myself with the photographer.  When we left for the reception, we joined the families and wedding party in a little room separate from the guests.  We had some toasts, ate some hor d'oeurves, said some thank yous, and just spend 10-15 minutes in there with everyone.  It was awesome.  We love the rest of our guests, but these people stuck with us from way before the wedding weekend, showers, bachelor weekend, bachelorette weekend, the rehearsal dinner, and now such a big event as our wedding.  It was so wonderful being able to have a few extra moments together.  But, it was also a great time for Duncan and I to kind of rest before getting in to the craziness of the reception.  It was the first time I was able to eat since breakfast (Church didn't allow food) and I was able to sit!

Have an after-party. 
The reception was crazy.  I should have done an extra hour because by the time we were done eating, I was trying to beeline it to the lawn games.  I never made it.  I was sad.  I had to thank everyone for coming, but still didn't get to everyone -- which we both hated.  I got to the point where I was like, "Are you going to the after-party?  Yes?  Okay, I'll see you there! BYE!" I needed to get to the people who weren't able to go. 
After the reception, we made it to the hotel, got changed, had to deal with a major unfortunate issue (it didn't involve the two of us we were just the only ones who could deal with it), then headed down to the hotel bar where we joined some of our nearest and dearest.  For four hours, we talked, ate, drank, and just had some fun with such lovely people.  No worries, no drama, no small details to take care of, just real good fun.

Talk to Me

Friends, I planned everything.  Yes, I had a wedding planner, but she was essentially there to deal with vendors, streamline information and tasks, and deal with things I didn't want to on the wedding day.  I did the research, I was at all the appointments, I made / arranged all the decorations,  I chose the colors, I handmade the save-the-dates and invitations, etc, etc, etc.  Why?  I wanted to.  Of course, Duncan helped, but he's a boy!  And I had the time, at least in the month leading up to it.  My goal: I so desperately wanted it to feel like an intimate wedding.  And you know what?  Everyone felt that way! 

So, if you have any questions, ask me!  I'm sure many brides may be willing to help.  I learned a lot from the wedding process.  Some things I wish I had known prior, but being the first to get married, there was no way I could have known!  (Duncan's parents were married in Africa, my parents had a small wedding, we are the first of our siblings to get married, we don't have any other close family members that have gotten married, and we are the first in our friends to either get married or do the whole wedding ceremony and reception thing!)  Just send me an email if you have any questions or anything and I would love to help you!


  1. I love your tips/advice. I totally agree with you too. We had time together after the ceremony. We ate alone in my bridal suite while everyone else ate ate in the reception room. It was a wonderful time for us to spend as husband and wife together. Plus that way we had no interruptions and were actually able to eat. We didn't do the first look. Part of me wanted to because of the amazing pictures you get (I'm a photographer so that was really important to me), but my husband really wanted our first look to be when I was walking down the aisle. So to compromise we did a picture before the wedding where we held hands and kissed with our eyes closed. We stood on either side of a column. Those pictures turned out great too. Great advice!

  2. Your day looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing!


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