Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brides Advice to Others

I can't believe we had our wedding, had our honeymoon and is about to be in the process of moving to Tennessee! It's insane how fast time flies! You plan so much for your special day, it comes and then it is over.  Our wedding was incredibly beautiful but I'm so glad that it's OVER (probably no other bride says that)!! Having a wedding and the whole process is so stressful!

Everything was (almost) planned perfect, but every bride knows that their wedding won't go as planned. The most important part of your wedding day is that you married the man you love. And guess what? You get to spend the rest of your life with him. That's what counts, and you will laugh about the little bumps along the way later on.

Even though our wedding was beautiful, there are so many things that I would have done differently. *Gasp* There was so much time, money and effort that went into the wedding, and there was so many mistakes that I did that would have never happened if I was better organized. It's nobody else's fault, except mine. It makes me so sad that it's not the day that I imagined to be perfectly honest. (You guys are probably all thinking that I'm crazy).

I really wanted a beautiful, outdoor, fall wedding. It didn't just rain our wedding day, it poured. Which everyone says that means it's good luck (hopefully that will be true). Our plans for the outdoor ceremony was canceled, along with our grand entrance of the horse and carriage. Thankfully, we had a back up plan in the local church nearby that I grew up attending. Although I wanted our wedding to be outdoors, God wanted it to be in a church. So at a church it was.

I'm hoping that you (as perhaps a bride to be) will learn from my mistakes. Maybe other brides wouldn't dare share this information, but I would not want brides to think that planning a wedding or having a wedding is all rainbows and butterflies.

*Don't be in the process of moving out of state when you're planning your wedding. We did too much all at once. We had to pack for things to go into the storage unit, winter clothes for Indiana, summer clothes for Hawaii, work clothes for Phoenix, things for a garage sale, things for Goodwill, etc. Point is, everything was scattered. We had important wedding paperwork that we had no idea where it was. So some of those things got missed, even though we had piles put together for Hawaii, Indiana, the wedding, etc.  

*Don't plan your wedding from out of state, unless you really know what you're doing. Planning a wedding out of state was (saying as it is) brutal. I was no where close to a quick drive home - everything was long distance. I'm so thankful that we had friends and family to help. Family did so much to help - putting together the centerpieces, getting the lights and fabric, and pretty much ordered everything. I just wish I could have relied on myself, rather than other people to get things done. Thankfully, everything got done that we needed to.

*Make sure certain things get practiced. We were so busy doing things, we didn't get to practice our first kiss as a married couple or our first dance. Yes, we got dancing lessons a head of time thanks to living social, however, we used it only once (we had 3/5 other times we could have used it) months ahead of time before the wedding, and it had no flow with what our first song was going to be (basically it boiled down to being a waste of money since they couldn't teach us a first dance without us having to pay an additional fee). However, I will say, I believe we rocked our wedding dance when we winged it, even Trav's groomsmen asked, "Did you guys take dancing lessons?" That made us feel pretty awesome. Not practicing certain things makes more things interesting.

*Make sure to put at least a whole day of getting stuff done for your wedding. Since I was in Phoenix for most of the wedding planning, the things I wanted to do were done last minute so I could do them with friends/family members (because we all know we need an honest girls' opinion about big things like your wedding) so I ended up shopping for everything last minute; including jewelry for the wedding, rehearsal dinner dress, shopping for my mom, etc. It meant so much that I could do it with people that I loved, but because I did this, I ran out of time being able to put stuff together myself for our wedding. I thought I would have plenty of time (which who am I kidding?). Don't wait till last minute to get things done.

*Check into vendors and make sure you get all the facts before making certain decisions. You learn more after the fact, but make sure you get all the facts about your vendors. 

Since we decided to have our reception at a park, we had to pay for extra everything: 

*Extra hours to set-up and tear down
*Extra hours for the reception to stay after the park
*Gate tally fee of every single car that came to our wedding. 

That's more costs, and for where we were renting:

*There was no heaters allowed. (Since it was going to be an Oct. wedding - it would be cold, which made my parents not agree with where we were having the wedding reception. They wanted the guests to enjoy themselves, not be freezing cold in the process. Instead, Trav and I didn't really consider this because we were just hoping it would be warm enough outside. It was cold at first, but when guests arrived, it warmed up quickly).
*No glass or fire. I love candles, so that was pretty hard. Although, I just decided to still have glass center pieces and we put fake candles in the center of them (which although didn't look at nice, they lasted the whole night & we didn't have to worry about much of anything)
*The bathrooms were outside (That probably didn't make it too impressive for guests having to walk in the cold to go to the bathroom, when it was pouring rain and the wind was blowing across their face.) 
*We had to decorate the entire barn by ourselves. Which at first I loved the idea, and trust me, everyone pitched in and helped and it looked BEAUTIFUL, however, to decorate a huge barn is sort of a big deal, especially when having to pay for every little detail.
*Everyone had to be out of the barn by 10 PM. And I felt like by that time, people just started to get up to dance the night away.

Also, they told us:

*They were going to have a shelter built next to the barn with a lovely garden during the summer and not to worry because it was going to be done. That way when the guests walked to the bathroom, they would have something nice to look along on their way. When arriving, they had orange cones EVERYWHERE, and although the shelter was built, we could not use it. With rain and dirt everywhere, it made for a very muddy area. 
*They also said we were going to have french doors by where our table would be sitting. There was no such thing.

I loved the inside of the barn, it could fit how many people we wanted, that we could decorate it ourselves, and it was close to home. I just wish I would have looked at further locations to see what other available sites to see what they would have provided. A reason why we chose that barn was because of how many people that we were inviting. Although I will say anytime I see the barn, it takes my breath away because it is so beautiful.

*When you get a bad feeling about something, just don't do it. You can skip this last rant if you'd like to. We made a play list, and was just going to play it with an ipod, but we figured that having a DJ he would have more of a flow, and he could direct us in what we were supposed to be doing, so it would be one less thing to worry about. We found, DeeJay Ott, through our friends wedding. He seemed to be alright then, and although he didn't play the music where everyone was on the dance floor, he claimed it was because of the music that the bride's father wanted.

Our DJ was AWFUL!!!!!!!! Every time I think about him I want to cry from all the stress that he caused us and because I don't remember our wedding the way I should have remembered it. First of all, he had no communication with us, but at the time we already signed the contract right away with him. We would call him weekly, and he would not answer. The time he finally started somewhat talking to us was a week prior to the wedding - when we called him and told him that we were looking into other DJs. And what happens? He actually called us back. That should have been the warning sign right there. He never signed his portion of the contract, which I don't know if it's legal or not, but we were scared he was going to sue us if we chose another DJ because although he didn't sign the contract, he did mail us a copy of the contract (like 4 months later after we signed the contract). He also charged us more than other DJs. If we would have just looked around, but we thought since my friend didn't have any issues with him, we wouldn't either. Wrong. 

Should have guessed even more that our DJ was even more unprofessional after we found out that he lied to us. He told us that he wasn't booked for a wedding in Vegas the days prior to the wedding because I was worried about it (this was in the very beginning and was thinking we should have booked someone else) and told me point blank "Not to worry." Well that's not what his facebook status said the day or two before the wedding, where he was partying it up and gambling. Also, because he was in Vegas, he was unable to make it to our rehearsal like he said he would be (he'd only be a little late), but instead, his phone went immediately to his voice mail because he was on the plane (I'm assuming). Travis told me not to worry because Travis had faith in him, but my uncle was already looking for another DJ for us the day before the wedding. 

Also, when you have  a song list that you want to have played, make sure he is on the right track. I was too scared to tell him that I wanted music that was on our play list because I thought he would just up and leave (even though I should have said something because how horrible would he would have looked if he got up and left). Instead, he played for the most entire night club music (even played some songs that isn't wedding appropriate). 

Not many people danced at our wedding except for our generation which isn't too bad, but I was hoping that most of the people would have danced and we were going to have a mix of songs, not just club music. And yes, we know you can't please everyone and not that many people dance. We did request dance music and told him to play what he thought he should have played if our songs didn't go with the flow, but we thought he was going to play more music of where he was getting everyone up to dance as "dance" music. He finally started playing music that was on our list, at the last half hour of our wedding. Our photographer left early through the night, and she could have gotten so many better pictures of the people dancing at our wedding (young, old, etc.), if he would have played the music that he played at the end (the songs where everyone was dancing) at the beginning. I believe many people left our wedding early because of this reason. [Later to find out our Photographer asked for his name, because she has seen many DJ's and wanted to know who not to recommend to other brides since I had so many headaches].

He even brought his girlfriend to our wedding. This is supposed to be professional, and you never even asked us if it was even okay. Not professional at all.

The whole reason for having a DJ was for the fact that he could direct us. Yah right, we didn't have our toasts until halfway through the night (way after dinner). Things seemed very unorganized. Also, he told us the day before the wedding, that he would have to break down 45 minutes prior before the time he had to be out of the reception hall. This made our party end even earlier than what we were planning (and yes, and DJ would have had to break down earlier, but he should have let us know since our party ended at 10 PM, ending a wedding at 9 something is sort of a big deal and not something we would have thought of. To make up for the time difference, we could have started our reception earlier, if we knew that in advance. Lesson learned the hard way.

*Make sure someone is moving you along. This is where I wish we did have a wedding planner telling us times of what things needed to happen and to make sure we were on track. I never got married before, so I wasn't sure on how/when things should have gotten done. 

*Make sure you have all your lists with you. Make sure you have a list of vendors phone numbers, time schedules, back-up time schedules, have someone in charge of communication (call this person if you have any questions instead of calling the bride/groom), etc. This will save you so much time and so much more headache and stress. When plans change, def. make sure you have a schedule for that. Also, make sure that you have a list of photos of things you want taken during your ceremony/wedding. Our photographer did ask, but since we were in the process of moving, I figured that I would just remember. Haha, reminder never rely on my memory for anything. We missed out on photos that I would have loved to have.

*Assign People to Jobs. Don't be afraid of this because you might sound too bossy. It's your day and it's better to have others rely on certain things to make sure they get done. Make sure to give your photographer a list of must-have pics, or at least give it to someone (a bridesmaid) a list of photographs that you want. We missed out on important pictures that I will never be able to get again: ushers walking down some of our guests, photos of our parents emotions of when we were getting married, our friend playing the guitar when I was walking down the aisle, of us doing O-H-I-O (which is something that is very important to us). Don't rely on your memory, you will be having other things to worry about. Have someone walk around and ask to sign your guestbook. We had hardly people sign our over 20 page guestbook and I had to take it around to get it signed after the wedding. Make sure other people take pictures that your photographer may have missed. Our photographer, was so busy with other shots, took zero group photos of people at the tables or other people in action or toasting their glasses. I'm so glad that we had some guy that was gusty enough to walk around to random people and ask to take their picture because other wise we wouldn't have them.

*Don't let others talk you into things and do the things you want to do. It is your wedding. Don't let people walk all over you and think that it their day. You plan in on how you want it. People wanted us to have our wedding reception area, wanted different food, wanted this and that or they didn't want certain things. The people that did our wedding invites thought that the colors we chose weren't going to look good together. They were beautiful. The same with our florist because she didn't recommend roses and lilies together. Don't downsize your guest list because you think that too many people will show, because in reality, only maybe half show up. We did't get to invite all the people we wanted to because we thought it would be too expensive since we thought all these people (including in town family members would come to our big day).

*Try not to get too upset, it's only a one day thing. Okay, so our wedding didn't go as expected but it was still special to us. 

-Some people will not show up to your wedding after they RSVPed that they were coming. I know some things come up, but you will find out some will have not have any good excuses. The thing about it is that  you have already paid for them and expect them to be there. You want to see them. 
-Some people will leave early. No matter how awesome the party is (I've seen this is at a couple weddings - not just ours), they will make their way out.
- Family that you think matters, won't RSVP or even acknowledge your special day. I will not even go into this, but I will say, I will remember.
-Some will wear something inappropriate to your wedding. It will be okay.
-We missed important pictures that I wish we would have taken. The video camera was misplaced. Little things ended up being big things. It shouldn't be that way. However, you might have some awesome people that realize that you need the most help you can get. Grandma  R. even remembered about decorating the bathrooms! Someone will grab a pen for your guestbook, and write on the chalkboard that you meant to write on that you forgot to. Things will be taken care of.

*Lastly, don't be a bride like me. Note: Enjoy you're wedding, you look beautiful, don't worry about the things that should have been or what went wrong. Nobody else will realize the things that you did or didn't do.


  1. Oh my goodness I had no idea your DJ was such a hot mess!! I'm so sorry you had to deal with so much stress on your wedding day. If it's any consolation...in the photos I've seen so far, you look absolutely happy and in love and like you don't have a care in the world!!

    And at the end of the day - you got a husband :)

  2. Oh honey, your wedding WAS beautiful! It made me cry:) Kara is right-you got an amazing hubby! And later down the road-ya'll can renew your vows and change things if you want to! Yes, it was cold, but this IS Indiana-we all knew it was a possibility lol! And the Dj-omg I wanted to punch him and his little gf. She kept giving people dirty looks. SO UNPROFESSIONAL!! That's the thing you SHOULD be upset about for sure! BUT, I love you! I can't WAIT to see the professional pics! You were amazingly gorgeous!! Picture perfect for sure! <3


Thanks for being so lovely! :)

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