In the midst of getting used to my new last name, snacking on leftover wedding favor espresso beans, writing thank-you notes, and – who am I kidding – still organizing wedding gifts, I’m taking the time to reflect back on what I learned through the whole process! My hope is that all the time and energy I spent months ago can be of some benefit to you today! :)
Missed Part 1? Click HERE to catch up!
Keep building your future relationships. Not just with your husband-to-be, which is important during this engagement time too! Stay in touch and spend time with your siblings, your parents, and your future in-laws! Remember that you are marrying into a family – you and your hubby are not going to float off into a private world built just for the two of you! :) This is real life. Relationships, though they can be tricky, are a gift and they are crucial. And you will now have two families in your life, regardless of where you live – enjoy building a long-lasting relationship with these special people! After all, they are the ones who either raised or grew up with the handsome man who holds your heart. :) I consider it a huge privilege and a sometimes-overwhelming blessing to have married into the family I did. God knows what He is doing and I am so grateful.
Don’t smush the cake in each other’s face! This may seem like a lighter topic, but it’s still something we felt strongly about! (And we’re not the only ones – we have friends who feel the same way!) Your wedding day is supposed to be a time where you treasure each other and show the world the amount of trust and care you have for each other! Therefore, you probably shouldn’t start off your life together by trying to mess up the other person’s face on this special day. You’re a team! Don’t deliberately make the love of your life look bad!
Don’t forget about Etsy! Etsy has so many great products, mostly vintage and homemade. I bought my bridesmaids’ necklaces from a shop on Etsy, and we were so pleased with them! We used a personalized stamp from Etsy for our wedding favors, which was so fun and added a fun personal touch! I also gave my bridesmaids hangers I ordered from Etsy with their names bent from the wire! :)
Consider having a private bride & groom dinner. When asked what our favorite part of the day was, Bjorn and I find ourselves fondly remembering the private dinner we had! This was seriously one of the best decisions we made while planning our wedding!! We arrived at this decision because we knew we didn’t want to have a super long receiving line after the ceremony; instead, we wanted to go around and greet one table at a time at the reception. Our reception venue actually suggested setting up a meal for the two of us upstairs in a private room during the cocktail hour. It worked out PERFECTLY and it gave Bjorn and I almost an hour alone (on our wedding day!) to enjoy our meal as a couple since we were at the reception early (obviously, because we were the first ones to leave the church!). Bonus: we didn’t have to talk to a bunch of people while eating our meal, which was really nice! I really, really recommend this idea if you’d like a different way to greet people or if you actually want to eat a meal on your wedding day instead of picking at a salad while talking to guests!! :)
(A special side note: during our private dinner, we actually pushed aside a couple tables in that quiet room, pulled up our first dance song on his phone, and practiced our first dance together…(Cue sappy sigh here)…Having that TRUE first dance together will forever be one of our most precious memories!)
Pause during your wedding day to SOAK IT IN! This advice was given to my best friend before her wedding. Take time throughout the day to stop and actually comprehend what is going on!! It makes it all so much more real and meaningful. This sounds like obvious advice, but it requires conscious thinking and pausing on your part – otherwise, everyone and your wedding day timeline will simply rush you along. When you’re standing at the back of the church, right before you begin to walk up to your groom, stop and tell yourself, “I am walking down the AISLE…in my wedding DRESS…on my wedding DAY!!!!” Yay!! :) I am so glad I did that because it helped me solidify that moment in my memory. :)
Get a good photographer AND videographer!! No matter what, the day is going to fly by and you’ll be left with a blur of memories! To make your wedding day something you can literally look back on in the years to come, INVEST IN A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you end up with blurry or yellowy pictures just because you found an amateur willing to snap a couple shots, you will regret it. I did a ton of research and I met with several photographers in person, because I was very serious about finding someone who would capture our day in a way that matched our style. I decided on Carissa Christine Photography because of the beautiful, authentic, soft, photojournalistic feel of her work. And I couldn’t be happier with the results! (To anyone in MN, I highly recommend working with her!)
At first, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of having a videographer. Was it just like hiring another photographer? Would it be worth an additional investment? But in my research, I quickly began to see just how wonderful and important a videographer was as part of a wedding day.
I found A.B. Rich Films and was very impressed from the get-go with them. They were extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. During our wedding day, Brad was always behind-the-scenes and out of the way, but somehow always captured those perfect special moments! We’ve now got stunning footage (like movie cinemetology, seriously) of Bjorn and my first look and what we said, our vows, our kiss, the guests dancing, the speeches, the whole ceremony, the first dance, and more! A.B. Rich Films also made a 3-minute wedding trailer for us, which captured our day like nothing else could. It’s been watched over and over again by family members and friends – and the “there-in-person” feel of a video makes us tear up all over again. :)
Our Wedding Trailer: http://vimeo.com/90695331
Decide what your “priority spending” will be. My priority investments were photography and videography. Besides the fact that I love photography, my reasoning was that a skilled photographer/videographer can make even a not-great gown or simple centerpieces look amazing! :) I think that being able to capture life so personally because of technology is one of the greatest blessings we have in our generation. For some, a “priority spending” category may be food if you’re a huge foodie, the best DJ around if you love dancing, a stunning vintage getaway car, or a designer wedding gown. Whatever you do decide on (and it shouldn’t be all of them, haha!), make sure it’s something you won’t regret spending money on!
That’s all I’ll leave you with for now! Keep an eye out for Part 3! :)
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