Wedding Highlights and Teachable Moments

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!

1796833_10152229306722398_549120236_o2) 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.

Dancing to Hava Nagila

Dancing to Hava Nagila with my mom and B on each side 🙂

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?  

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41 thoughts on “Wedding Highlights and Teachable Moments

    • Thank you so much!! Agreed, at least I have the experience of them attending… I still hope there’s at least one shot of each guest, though. 🙂

  1. Awww, too cute. So glad you had a beautiful wedding. Every marriage is different, but as long as you guys focus on enjoying each other and being honest I’m sure you’ll find your own version of what makes a happy marriage. =)

  2. Hooray! This gets me excited about planning mine again. Sort of. It still seems overwhelming. I can see how you had that “let’s just get it over with already” feeling.

    • Yes, get excited, I’m excited for you!! It can be overwhelming, but I just told myself handle one task at a time. I definitely got burnt out towards the end, but it was really worth it! Know I am here for you if you need help. 🙂

      • The wedding planning got stagnant and then last night he wanted to pick a date and narrow down our venue locations! I love when he initiates it 🙂 Thanks in advance for the help! Our current thought is to rent a big vacation house on the eastern shore of MD and have a backyard wedding with the families staying together since they’ve never met 🙂

  3. Sounds like an awesome time. So glad everything went well. I would suggest remembering this moment when things get tough, and remember you are truly partners now. Things will ebb and flow, and move from amazing, to bad, to boring, to good, and everything in between. And that is ok. A lifetime together is so much more than just a spark — it’s a long simmer!

    • I LOVE this Melanie – thank you!! I love the simmer analogy versus the spark. I hope we can be as happy and supportive to each other as you are with your partner!

  4. I’m glad you had nice weather and great bridesmaids that helped you through everything! Thinking about being a day-of coordinator as a side hustle sounds interesting. I imagine it might be more difficult to deal with bridezilla’s, though! My cousins are both Jewish and I remember the glass being broken at their weddings. They ended up on chairs getting passed along the dance floor later on in the night to that song, it was a lot of fun!

    • Thanks EM! I’m definitely worried about bridezillas, which is why I would be hesitant in going for it. I’m thinking maybe I can try to be an assistant to a coordinator first just to get my feet wet with it? I’ll have to see… oh my, people kept asking my dad about the chair! We went with flimsy and collapsible chairs, though, so we didn’t do it (thank goodness)! 🙂

  5. Sounds like such an amazing event! I think having that bridesmaid/groomsman there throughout the day just helps smooth everything over. I was the best man for my buddy at his wedding a few years back. It was so much fun treating him like a VIP and making sure he was calm and collected.

    • That is so kind, though not surprising, that you were an awesome best man. I’m sure your friend appreciated it, especially with something as hectic as a wedding!

  6. Pretty cool that you had both your parents walk you down. My wife says that if she could go back…she’d like to do that too. Glad the weather was nice on your wedding day…I was scared about the weather too because there had been some storms a few days prior to the big day. But it was a beautiful day.

    • Thanks Andrew! My mom was both my mom and dad for my formative years, so it wouldn’t have felt right not having her by my side. So glad to hear you had great weather for your wedding, too!! I’m sure your wedding was amazing, as well! 🙂

  7. So glad everything turned out so beautiful and it was an amazing day for you and B. And especially glad that the weather cooperated! 🙂 My best advice – always remember how much you love one another, laugh a lot, seek to understand (such a Corporate term but true) and be honest.

    • Love your advice, thanks so much, Shannon! I’ve never actually heard of the seek to understand part, but I can see how it definitely applies to relationships. 🙂

  8. Sounds like an awesome time! Yes, having good bridesmaids is so important and mine were extremely helpful both leading up to and on the day. I wish I done the day of co-ordinator though because to have someone not in the wedding party to help move things along and make sure people were where they were supposed to when they were supposed to be there would have been very helpful. We also didn’t get photos with everybody either. We went with friends as photographers and while their pics turned out lovely it wasn’t well organized and they wouldn’t even take a photography list from me. I should have pushed more because now I have to live with the pictures. For advice, I’ve learned that just because you’re right about something doesn’t mean you have to constantly remind your spouse about it. Resentment can fester and get ugly. Have open and honest communication sometimes things will sting but will heal faster 🙂

    • Thanks Morgaine! Oh no, hopefully you have a few pictures that turned out nicely, though? I love your words, too – I agree that it’s not always about being right, but just being heard or understood for the most part. We don’t agree on some things, mainly political, but we can still say things to each other with respect, even if we disagree. Hopefully it’s something that we can keep on doing for our many years ahead! Thank you for your advice, it means a lot to this noob. 🙂

  9. Congrats! It looks like an amazing time. It’s great you got to feel like a princess, and actually be called one as well! I know there are a few things I would have changed about our wedding, and I think having both parents walk my wife down the aisle is probably something she would have loved as well.

    • Thanks so much!! Haha, I never really thought I would be into the princess thing, but I admit it was so adorable when the little girl thought I was one. 🙂 I hope we can be as happy in our marriage as you are in yours!

  10. Hooray! I’m so glad your wedding went off well, and that you now have all those memories to cherish. Congratulations, Anna!

    • Thanks, Mr. DbF! Agreed, the memories will be in my mind for many years to come – now it’s all about building a sustainable and strong life together! You and the Mrs. are great role models in this respect. 🙂

  11. Aww Anna, your wedding sounds awesome! I am so glad you had such a great day! Your wedding dress is absolutely stunning and so are you! Enjoy the married life and I hope we will soon be reading about mini A’s and mini B’s 😉

    • Thank you so much Eva!! Haha, in the rehearsal dinner speeches, my mom and a couple of bridesmaids made the same comments about mini’s. 😉 Hopefully that’s in our cards!! Hope you’re enjoying your Dirty 30’s, my friend. xo

  12. My advice is good communication! Husband and I were already talking before marriage about everything from finances to goals but keeping up that communication is key, along with sharing goals. I am the one with the larger college debt but he’s 100% of putting his income towards paying off my grad school debt because he knows that the sooner I’m free from that, the sooner we can have financial freedom together. But we always talk frequently about our finances and/or goals. Also, I really recommend reading Getting to 50/50 whether or not you’re planning on having kids soon. It’s a great read for non-children couples as well as couples preparing to have kids (or already parents).

  13. I’m all late replying because I haven’t been reading blogs for over a week. yikes~
    Congratulations once again and you’re right. You need bridesmaids that know it’s to support you and bless you. I didn’t have a horror story, but it’s because I didn’t ask for help and did most things by myself to avoid any possible push backs or drama.
    I am definitely curious about your actual wedding cost. I’d like a detail one if you’re ok with that. I still haven’t posted my actual wedding cost part 2.
    The first comment you ever made on my blog was that we’re pretty much the same except the married part. So now we are pretty the same. haha~

  14. I’m late to the game, but that looks and sounds awesome. I love all the pictures.

    My friend intentionally did the rounds both themselves, and the photographer separately so that everyone was documented, and chit-chatted with. I can imagine though could get a little daunting.

  15. Sounds like everything went as planned and that you had a beautiful wedding! You can’t ask for anything more. I think it’s always impossible to spend much time with everybody when you’re the belle of the ball. And everyone understands that too! Best wishes to you and B for a happy life together!

  16. Oh, Anna, it sounds like the perfect day!!! So very, very happy for you guys. My best newlywed tip: make a commitment now to always show love to each other in some form, and to always make sure to approach life with a team attitude. Doing stuff for yourself is important, but doing stuff for the “team” of your family is even more so.

  17. Sounds like everything went off without a hitch (which is a big feat when you’re having a large wedding). Sounds like you have amazing friends. If I were to have a wedding I’d probably have my best friend and my step-sisters be the bridesmaids. I’m sure the “next chapter” will be a beautiful one.

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