11 Wedding Planning Lessons I Learned (Part 2)

More wedding photos to come. Again, I'll keep you updated. In the meantime, you can see more of our wedding photos on my Facebook page. (Photo by Rod Veal)

More wedding photos to come. Again, I'll keep you updated. In the meantime, you can see more of our wedding photos on my Facebook page. (Photo by Rod Veal)

Here are the concluding lessons I learned from planning my (our) own wedding. If you missed the first part, click here.

6. Your wedding day will not go according to your perfectly drawn-up plan.

Case 1: We made a list and checked it twice of all the items to give to my brother and sister-in-law to take to the ceremony and reception site. (Side important wedding planning note: Make sure to designate someone to run this very important errand.) Somehow we still managed to forget two important items: the cake serving set and our personal champagne glasses we received as a shower present that I really wanted to use.

I didn’t realize we were missing these two wedding essentials until about 20 minutes before the wedding. Fortunately, our apartment is literally around the corner from where we were married. I was able to have a couple of my friends run and grab them. (Thank you again, guys!)

Case 2: We had made small goodie-packages (a print-out of the Google map we created for the weekend, water bottles with each of our caricatures printed on them, and a little candy-filled tote) for our out-of-town guests and those that helped us put up our reception decorations.

I’m pretty sure only half of the people intended to get the goodie-packages actually got them.

Some people stayed at different hotels than the main one where we dropped off the packages so the guests would get them when they checked in to their rooms. And as for my friends who helped decorate, I think (I hope) that I remembered to tell some of them that the extra goodie-packages were there for them. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure they forgot them at the end of the night or else the message didn’t get passed down the line.

Case 3: We also made our DJ (who is also our friend) a CD with all of our “must-play” songs. Mr. Man and I spent a lot of time on this and even got into a fight or two trying to merge our tastes and narrow them down into the few select “must-plays.”

We love our friend, and he did a wonderful job with timing of the ceremony music, queuing the speeches, announcing the wedding party, playing our cocktail hour mix, etc., but when it came to our list of “must-play” songs, they were more like “optional songs.” He had his own songs lined up — and they were all good — it’s just that most of them weren’t from our list.

The point is that these few things were small and no one else would ever have known if I hadn’t shared them. So when weird quirks pop up in your wedding (because they will), just go with the flow.

 7. You won’t be able to eat from the out-of-this-world menu you helped craft.

My favorite signature menu item from our wedding was the lollipop lamb chops with a mint yogurt sauce. I only got one. In fact, I only got one of each of the other spectacular appetizers: panko crusted feta cheese with tomato jam and phyllo triangles with spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and caramelized onions. (Side note: I just wanted to say again how much I loved our food and the service even though I didn’t get to eat as much as I would have liked. Iva Lee’s did a truly superb catering job!)

The best part is that after I ate the lollipop lamb chop, the peppercorns stuck in between my teeth. I’m sure there will be many photos of each of my bridesmaids and my mother attempting to pick the black specks out from my teeth.

We also had a cheese display with Peacock Brie, Humboldt Fog, Three Sister’s White Cheddar, Jarlsberg, Havarti and assorted dried and fresh fruits on banana leaves: I didn’t eat a bite from it.

Mr. Man and I were served our dinners even though it was a buffet to allow us time to actually eat. I probably ate half of what was on my plate, if that.

For one, when you haven’t had much of an appetite for two days, it’s amazing how fast you become full.

For two, the top of my dress had a lot of boning in it, and it was tailored to me very, very well.

8. You will barely snag a drink or two from the fully-stocked open bar you provided.

Forget cocktail hour: We were taking pictures the whole time. Once we were announced, we went straight to the dinner table where we had our champagne toasts. Then dinner was served with wine.

After dinner, I had one glass of wine and two cocktails spread out over the entire night. It seemed as if whenever I wasn’t engaged in conversation, our DJ was demanding our presence on the dance floor. By the time I would make it outside to cool off and head to the bar, I was paged to come back for a dance or the garter throw and bouquet toss, or the cake-cutting. I don’t mean this to come off as a complaint — obviously I would have much rather been chatting or dancing — but I wish could have tried one of our signature mojitos.

9. The wedding will go by faster than you thought was possible.

Everyone told me this, and that’s because it completely holds true.

The whole day was a blur that could be boiled down to getting ready, pictures, ceremony, pictures, dinner, dancing, after-parties.

The four hours of the reception seemed like one and the couple hours of the after-parties (oh that’s right, we closed down the first location, Del Agave, and had to spill the party over into a new venue – thank goodness I changed out of my dress or otherwise it would have been destroyed at Ole’s!) seemed like half an hour.

Every last minute was absolutely wonderful but much too short. (Insert dramatic, wistful sigh here.)

10. Schedule your honeymoon within three days of getting married but not the very next day. And if you were planning on putting off your honeymoon until later, treat yourself to a small weekend getaway: You will need it.

If we had had to get up and make a plane the next morning following our wedding, we would have been screwed.

The brilliantly sunny morning after only brought throbbing headaches and flashbacks of, “Dude, where’s my car?” as we were supposed to deliver all the audio equipment back up to Irvine by 11 a.m. Yeah, that didn’t happen until the afternoon.

Granted, many of our friends had to make flights the next morning, and they did it, but they were none too happy about it.

We still had to clean up, help other friends find rides to airports, entertain remaining guests, organize, and pack. Fortunately, we had a couple days before we left for our honeymoon, and those days in between proved priceless to getting all those things accomplished. One full day alone was devoted to cleaning our apartment and getting it back in order.

But all the hectic last-minute demands are worth it once you’re on that plane speeding toward your much-anticipated romantic getaway.

11. You will have more fun than you ever imagined. (Seriously, it’s like Christmas, your birthday, Halloween, and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one sprinkled with glee.)

A wise woman (my sister-in-law) advised me to remember to stop and take lots of mental snapshots while The Big Day was in motion. I’m glad I did my best to do that, and I highly recommend brides (and grooms) everywhere do the same.

It was the most joyous experience I’ve ever had: I literally had all my favorite people in one place at the same time. The chances are high that I will never be able to duplicate it.

So soak up every last drop because there’s nothing quite like a celebration of this caliber. 

Goals Update:
I accomplished my two of my three most important things from, oh, last Monday:

  • I exercised: I went to yoga class.
  • I wrote some thank you notes.

Rather than do a “3 Most Important Things” list for tomorrow though, I think I’m going to leave that off for a while.

Quite frankly, I’m burned out. I’ve worked my butt of practically non-stop for two years now, and I need some time to flake. (Or if I want to spin it in a more positive light, “I need to take time to recharge.”)

I’ll still write at least one or two posts per week, if not more, but mostly, I want to use my summer to veg out.

I want to get back to the point where I do my hobbies because I genuinely want to not because I feel as if I have to. (See where I’ve talked about this concept before.) In fact, that’s the main reason I’ve been so inconsistent with my posts: I know that now that the wedding is over, there’s nothing I have to do (other than my main job, of course).

  • I don’t have to write thank-you notes. (I will eventually; that would be terribly rude not to.)
  • I don’t have to go to the gym or run. (Granted, I didn’t have to before my wedding either, but yeah, right.)
  • I don’t have to put every last spare penny into our savings account. (And oh man, has that felt amazing! We have our lives back!)

Again, I give my apologies for not updating as regularly, but it feels wonderful, so I know it’s the right decision for me at this time.

Anyone else taking it easy this summer?

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9 Responses to 11 Wedding Planning Lessons I Learned (Part 2)

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your wedding day tips. My sister just got engaged over the weekend and I am soaking up everything wedding-related right now hoping to make it a perfect (or nearly perfect) day for her. Your picture is beautiful!

  2. Full speed ahead for me this summer–I’m currently writing novel number 2, I’m working on a writing productivity book (which Joe is helping me write), I’m designing my author Website, I’m getting ready to start the second round of edits on novel one next month, and I’m blogging 3 days a week…as well as doing marketing for all this AND doing my day job. 🙂 Busy summer!

  3. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Holy crap! No — wow — you are doing anything but taking it easy this summer! I’m so proud of you — and very happy for you!

    I don’t think my “lazy days” will last all summer, but a month or so will be nice.

  4. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Congratulations to your sister on her engagement! That’s really sweet of you to be doing all you can to help her. It definitely takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I can’t emphasize enough how much The Knot helped me. Tell her to start there!

  5. Crys says:

    I’m seriously taking notes from your notes. We already decided that we want to do our photos before the wedding since we don’t have time to do them after. And! Thanks for the tip on making sure to at least take a weekend getaway. Since the boys will be in school we obviously can’t just pack up and go somewhere for a week. But I hadn’t thought to try and take a weekend off to try and wind down and enjoy some down time. 🙂

  6. Timory Wilson says:

    I did get some water and candy from your wedding, but I am pretty sure Kristin and Katie ate most of it, haha. Thanks for the wedding breakdown. I keep sending your posts to my two engaged friends. They really enjoy them!!

    I’m glad you are taking it easy this summer. 🙂 We need to catch up on the phone soon! Miss you!

  7. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Wheew! Glad you guys got some of the goodies! Yes, we definitely need to catch up soon, like this weekend. I said the same thing to Krystle.

  8. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Yes, seriously, make sure to at least take a weekend getaway that is for just the two of you. Your wedding will be absolutely amazing, but it will require recovery time. And you want a little time to yourselves to enjoy being newlyweds and reflect on how awesome everything was!

  9. Crys says:

    I’m just looking forward to being able to spend some kid-free time with my Mr. Man and embrace what we’ll have together. I hardly get that as it is now and I totally jump at any opportunity that I can get.

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