Hi everyone – I hope life has been treating you well and that you’re staying warm if you live in colder climates! Life for me has gone from boiling with a flurry of activities to a mellow simmer adjusting into married life, which has been quite a relief. I do feel that in terms of personal finance, though, I started embracing the ‘we’ factor a lot more, which I’ll discuss more in a future post. But before that, here’s some wedding highlights and teachable moments:
1) We lucked out on the weather! There were quite a few storms these past four days, so we were all the more grateful that during our wedding weekend, it was gray on the actual day, but really sunny the day before and after. This turned out to be great, since the photographer said that gray days are better for pics (better clouds, less glare), and our out of town guests got to experience Cali in all of its sunny glory!
2) The walk down the aisle was even more amazing as I thought it to be. My parents walked me down the aisle, and it was an incredible experience not only seeing all the guests beam happily at me (I heard one kid say “there’s the princess!” haha), but my extremely handsome groom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I started tearing up after seeing his watery eyes and huge smile, and once I glanced at my bridesmaids who were all tearing up, I cried quite a bit! The priest (his family member) was so funny, though, and gave a great Mass.
3) I had the BEST bridesmaids ever! The best thing that worked out perfectly was a bridesmaid that flew in from the east coast on Friday and never left my side. I was so stressed out with all the DIY projects and coordinating with people the week of (and when I stress I completely shut down and get creepy quiet), that by the time she got there, she had me laughing and mellowed out for the rehearsal all the way through getting ready for the wedding. She stayed with me at the hotel, and the morning of the wedding, she ordered breakfast for me, helped me in my dress (along with other bridesmaids) and shoes, and shoo’ed away any guests that tried to make it about them. After the ceremony and before the reception, they were all constantly feeding me and putting a Jamba Juice straw in my mouth before asking, that I felt like a prized fighter or something. They also all gave amazing speeches that had me both laughing and crying. If there’s one take-away from all of this, is to be sure to pick bridesmaids that make it all about you for your special day, because I’ve heard way too many horror stories where bridesmaids make it about them. I am eternally grateful for my girls.
4) The reception was absolutely amazing!! The entrance was so fun and lively, everyone loved the stations idea and said that it was delicious, his dad and the best man (his brother) gave such a heart-warming speech that made me feel really welcomed into their family, and the dance floor was packed the whole night thanks to lively kids and a bunch of friends and family that love to boogie down (though open bar probably helped, too)! My dad (who is Jewish) had B break a glass and had the DJ play “Hava Nagila” with the whole crowd which had everyone dancing and participating, which was so much fun since I’ve never experienced that before. I was pretty bummed, though, that I didn’t get to have as many meaningful conversations with everyone as I would have liked (though I hear this is normal for weddings, I still feel really bad!), and I now wish that we did rounds with every table since I’m not sure if I have a picture of everyone that attended. I guess we’ll see when the pictures come!
5) I seriously got my money’s worth with the DJ, florist, and day-of coordinator. I found the DJ and florist at less mainstream bridal bazaars, and they did such an amazing job and were so hands-on! Also, the day-of coordinator was extremely helpful and not once during the event did I have to think of logistics, plus, she took the time a few days before to meet with me regarding setting up for things which turned out more beautiful than I could have done, and at the end everything was all packed up for us, including food. She executed all the plans perfectly, and if you have a fairly big wedding, I think a day-of coordinator is pretty key so that you can truly enjoy yourself at your wedding. I’ve pondered whether I could do that as a side hustle since I loved it so much, and kept in touch with the DJ to get her take on things (plus, she’s just a cool person all-around, anyway).
6) In terms of wedding costs/gifts, we did really well and, not counting my parents’ contributions of roughly half, balanced out and then some (do people care/want to know what the actual costs are other than my national average remark?). I also plan on reselling my dress while it’s still in style, as well as some accessories and centerpiece items that should reduce my costs by a little. However, the entire experience was extremely worth it for both of us, and we both agreed we would have done it all again in a heartbeat.
Next project now that the wedding is done: Building a great life together!
Do you have any tips for newlyweds?