When people find out I'm in the wedding industry, they like to ask about my own wedding, assuming it was this big, epic thing. After having been through a ridiculous amount of weddings, and after being knee-deep in the wedding industry for the last few years, I've learned a lot. It's not that I didn't like our wedding. I loved it, and given where we were in our lives, everything that we did made sense. But if we were to get married all over again, there are a TON of things that I would do differently. Hopefully this will help some of you in the planning stage!1. I would ditch more traditions.
We got married young - we were both still in college - and at that point, I hadn't even attended more than two or three weddings, total. Neither of us has ever been a super traditional person, but there were a lot of more traditional elements that we included "just because". In my mind, the white cake, the white dress, the standard tuxes - those were all elements that made a wedding a wedding. It never occurred to me that I didn't have to do them!
If we were to get married again, I wouldn't be afraid of being my offbeat, weird self. I would include some awesome statement jewelry and some bright color. There might be vegetables in my bouquet. I would ditch the stuffy updo, I might not choose a formal white dress, and I definitely wouldn't wear those fancy white heels that I wore :) Those things are just perfect for some people, but I did them just because I thought that's what was most "appropriate" for the occasion and not because I really, really loved them for myself.
2. I would be more laid back.
I wasn't SUPER stressy about the day, but I definitely had my moments. I think more than anything it was a sort of performance anxiety - I'm not used to being the center of attention and it made me feel pressured and a little uncomfortable to know that everyone was looking at me all day. But now that I've shot so many weddings, I know that once the walk down the aisle is over, any nerves will disappear, worries will be gone, and the day will dissolve into an awesome party. I would do everything in my power to focus on having an amazing time, and worry less about things going according to plan.
3. We would do something different with the bridal party.
Again, we went way traditional with this one - guys on Zach's side and girls on mine, in equal numbers. If we were to do it again, we either wouldn't have a bridal party at all (way too many special people to include!) or we would have one big group standing up there with us, together. Back then, and even more so these days, there aren't "my friends" and "his friends" - we're lucky enough to get along well with, and have a shared history with, all the same wonderful people. It would be so hard to make them choose a side!
4. We would invite fewer people. Or more people.
I would have loved to either have a much smaller group of 50 or so of our friends and closest family, or a GIANT party. Or, maybe both. Which ties into the next point...
5. We probably would have a destination wedding.
Where? Dunno. But somewhere awesome. In thinking about doing it over again, we would have probably had a very small, laid-back destination ceremony and then have a huge party once we got back home. In my mind, fewer guests = less stress (and for an introvert like me, fewer people watching me walk down the aisle would also be way less intimidating). I've found that I love shooting smaller weddings, because they're so much more relaxed and intimate. You really get a chance to be with the people who are most important to you, rather than being forced to say hello to 400 people, including your older brother's college roommate's drunken girlfriend or whatever. Again, this is just me, but I love the smaller ones :)
Hope this helps! If you're looking for more ideas, feel free to check out:
My Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/cedarhouse/wedding/
Offbeat Bride: http://offbeatbride.com/
Small Wedding Style: http://smallweddingstyle.com/
Intimate Weddings: http://www.intimateweddings.com/