For all of my friends out there who have gotten married already, I’m sure you are with me when I say I wish there was a list of things to expect that I’m not expecting. Well, here it is. For those of you who are reading this that are getting married soon or have yet to get to that part of life, trust me, you’re going to thank me later.
ONE // Not all insurances cover pre-marital counseling
Christopher and I found this one out the hard way when an $800 bill came our way. For some reason, the counseling service we used said that my insurance covered premarital counseling, but it turned out that they only cover marriage counseling, not “pre” marital. OH the specifics. PTL that Christopher’s insurance covered it and we only owed a small amount to cover the copay, but it was pretty scary to get that bill in the mail just a week after our wedding. So, moral of that, double, no, triple check with your insurance company before heading to any counseling and make sure you won’t be charged an arm and a leg.
TWO // At rehearsal, run through ALL of the ceremony & reception
I wish we would have done this in full detail. For the ceremony we pretty much went through everything and I knew what was happening for the most part because I wrote the ceremony script except for the message that our Pastor had prepared and our vows we wrote for each other. The reception was another story. I left this in someone else’s hands *cough Christopher cough* and it was a little less than organized. It’s not his fault–we just didn’t think that we would have had to go through everything for it and that it would have been common sense. Eat. Speeches. Dance. Party. Alas, it was not. There was a lot of waiting around until I told people what to do. I really took on the wedding planner title–even during my own wedding.
THREE // Type and print out all announcements and special songs for the reception
GAH. This one makes me have a mini heart attack just thinking about it. SO many disasters could have been averted if we would have just remembered to print out the dang paper. It was on Christopher’s laptop at the DJ table, but no one thought to acknowledge it.
I was super OCD and made different playlists for different times of the night, cocktail hour, dinner, special dances, dancing, etc. I had it all down. But, that wasn’t followed. It was kind of music craziness at one point until I went up and changed the songs. Oh well. Not the worst thing that could have happened.
As for announcements, no one was designated to announce tables for food or when speeches would begin, or anything–our DJ was my brother-in-law and we never went over these things with him–totally our bad. Learn from our mistakes!
My last vent–and hopefully it will save a special moment for you as well–during our first dance, we wanted our parents to come on the dance floor during the second chorus with us a symbol of the love they have for not only us as their children (and we for them), but for the love they have for each other. Chris and I are both lucky enough to have parents that have been married for a very long time 27 for his and 42 years for mine, so we wanted them to be with us in our special moment. Since we had no one announcing that, peeps thought it was an invitation to come out on the dance floor with us. Oh well, it gave us a few laughs.
FOUR // Practice your first dance
This kind of piggy backs on my last point. Practice it. Have an announcement made if you will be doing something non-traditional like we did. But, most of all, practice with your groom. Chris and I basically rocked back and forth (neither of us can dance at all!). Praise GOD that the video footage came out perfectly! But with all that said, take a dance class. Watch a YouTube tutorial, something!
FIVE // Have people designated to refill drinks & food
As you know by now, Chris and I had a very simple diy wedding. We didn’t have caterers that stayed on site to take care of the food and drinks if it got low. My biggest piece of advice is designate people you trust to help refill the drink buckets and the food when it gets low.
We knew that it is proper etiquette to tip delivery drivers as we had tipped the guys that delivered the tables and chairs, however, it completely slipped our minds to leave money with someone for the food delivery drivers. We had our local Qdoba cater our wedding (jealous aren’t ya?! 😉 It was amazing haha!) so it was easy to go back and get the tip in the right hands, but it would help a lot if you set this aside beforehand!
SEVEN // Do your RSVP’s Online
RSVP cards are the biggest waste of money. Sheesh. I cannot stress that enough. I so wish that we would have just done them online. We ended up calling and texting the majority of our guest list to see if they were coming anyways, because the RSVP cards kept getting lost. (You can read about that adventure in thispost.) Anyways, save yourself the hassle, the stamp money, and the printing fees and just set it up online. WeddingWire is an amazing site not only for planning, but for RSVP’s as well! The next wedding I’m involved in, I’m definitely suggesting this!
EIGHT // Get a day of Coordinator
I’m one of those types of people that are far too controlling to let plan my wedding (obviously). One thing that would have helped immensely would have been a day of coordinator. Their fees aren’t that expensive and they will save a lot of headache. I think if I would have had someone to pass the planning and details baton to, I would have relaxed a little earlier into my wedding and some of the finer details wouldn’t have slipped through the cracks. So, if you’re in need of a day of coordinator, I got you 😉
NINE // Get all of your family pictures taken before couple pictures
Ah. Yes. The pictures. The part of the wedding that I barely remember, because I was going crazy about everything else. The one thing that I wish would have gotten taken were pics with my Mom & Dad with just me. I’m a Mommy & a Daddy’s girl. I love my parents so much, but time just flies by so fast and things get forgotten, and this was one of them.
When my parents come up to visit in the next couple of weeks, my Mom & Dad are going to bring their dress and suit and I’m going to put on my wedding dress again and we are going to have our own little photoshoot. Plus, this just gives me an excuse to wear my dress again!
TEN // Review everything in detail with your groom
Men are men, no matter what. No matter how into planning the wedding he is with you, there will always be a set-back. He’s a dude and he hasn’t been dreaming of this day since he was five like you have. And hey, that’s okay. It’s not his fault. It just becomes your duty to train him on all of the research and planning you have done for the past twenty years.
Even though Chris was heavily involved in the planning, I took on planning our wedding basically as my full-time job. I was only working a few days a week, so I had plenty of time to devote to our special day. My best piece of advice is just go over every detail and write him a list if there are any items that you need him to do or complete.
All in all, our wedding day was a dream not only to us, but for our guests that attended. We had sixty guests attend our wedding, super small, and intimate, so no one had a clue that anything was wrong. They just went right along with it! I think the fact that they knew we planned everything in under seven weeks gave us some automatic grace. Just take my mistakes and lessons learned as your starting ground while planning your own wedding. You’ll be glad you bookmarked this for later. 😉
Any wives out there going YASS! I wish I had done that!? Haha! We’ve all been there. It’s all good. It’s like it’s a part of the wedding planning process.
What would be wedding planning advice that you have for others reading this post? Leave it in the comments!
In case you missed my previous wedding posts, I’ll link them for you below!