|Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography|
We sat down over dinner one night and talked about every detail we could remember and anything we wished we could have changed. We debated little things, like our guest book and cake flavors, and big things, like whether or not we should have hired a videographer. We agreed that adding a Midnight Snack or Food Truck would have been fun, but it wasn't something we felt we absolutely needed and we definitely didn't have the budget for it at the time.
I wondered if we should have gotten all of our stationery from the same place so that it matched perfectly. Our invitations and menus both came from an Etsy shop, but everything else, from signage to programs, was a mix of DIY and contributions from family and friends. When I started looking back through pictures, I realized that I didn't care that each piece wasn't identical. I loved that they were all made by different people and had their own story.
I remembered that shortly after our wedding I was a little disappointed that I didn't do anything with my bouquet. I had seen a cool piece of art that incorporated preserved wedding flowers and wished I had at least considered that possibility before leaving mine on the kitchen counter when we headed for our honeymoon. That disappointment didn't last though. I must have mentioned it to Rob at the time, because it inspired a perfect anniversary gift for me. Every year, he has our wedding florist recreate my bouquet. It has become one of my favorite traditions and it probably wouldn't have happened if I had preserved the original.
In general, that's how I feel about most of our wedding-related decisions. Maybe we could have added this or changed that, but every choice we made led us to a day that was pretty special, so why nitpick? And who knows if those changes really would have been for the better?
In the end, Rob decided he wouldn't have done anything differently. I settled on two simple things that wouldn't have changed the look or feel of our wedding, but would have had a positive impact on our experience without costing a cent.
I would have taken off the entire wedding week instead of just two days before. From the start of our rehearsal on Friday to the end of our reception on Saturday, I was calm and happy. The week leading up to the wedding was a different story. We still had a lot of last minute things to handle and between that and work, the stress and frustration levels in our house were way higher than they needed to be. If I had just taken a longer vacation, I could have enjoyed that time a little more and I probably wouldn't have been alphabetizing place cards at four o'clock on Friday afternoon.
I also would have added a few more group shots to our "Must Take" list. Rob and I wanted to enjoy our cocktail hour and didn't want to spend the whole night posing, so we took a limited numbers of photos with our immediate family before the ceremony. While I don't regret that decision since we really got to enjoy our reception to the fullest, there are a handful of extra shots I should have asked for. A few special people didn't turn up in any of our professional photographs, and as time goes by, I wish I had made a point to have a quick picture taken with them.
It's easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of "what if's", especially since I've attended and helped coordinate some really beautiful weddings with amazing details. But I always try to remind myself that everyone's wedding is different and that's how it should be. I'm just glad that three and a half years later it's a lot harder to remember what we got wrong than what we got right.