best wedding advice

So…we’re starting to make plans! Yippee! Life on cloud 9 is so much fun.

And I’d love to hear from you.

Leave me a comment here and tell me:

  • What’s the best advice you’ve heard regarding wedding planning?
  • What do you wish you’d done, in retrospect, that you didn’t do when you planned your wedding?

P.S. Ok, so it’s now official that I have the best friends and family with the most wisdom ever seen. However, don’t feel like you have to “top” advice here to write something. I see your advice as a gift from you and want to hear from you. πŸ™‚

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36 Responses to best wedding advice

  1. Virginia says:

    First, I want to encourage you to make your day reflect YOU and SCOTT. Tradations are great…but this is about two people making a covenant between God and each other…the rest my dear can look like whatever YOU want!

    Second, Bathe the season with prayer! I promise to pray for your engagement season regularly. I will get you those books I was telling you about. And also have an Emily Post book on wedding ediquitte you can borrow. (I forgot to mention that on the phone today)

    Third, ask for help. I cannot tell you how many various wedding tasks I have helped with over the years. And for friends it is a JOY to serve. You have some great people in your life who will think it is a joy to help you too. I recomend that you don’t forget to ask for help with things that can be done by your girlfriends.

    Finally, ENJOY. It is always sad to me when I hear Christian brides to be complaining about the planning (espcially when parents are footing the bill). Yes it is a lot of work and can be stressful. But you only get this season once. So try to focus on the positive and what matters most– a life time with Scott in a Christ centered marriages. All the other detials are just that….details that many will forget after your wedding! So ENJOY! πŸ™‚

    Best Wishes friend,
    Virginia

  2. Sally says:

    In addition to Virginia’s great advice….I want to emphasize that the details are not that important! No one will remember the centerpieces, what top you put on your cake, what your unity candle looked like, etc.

    All that said:
    -if you have a dance, kids will have a blast if you have helium balloons free for the grabbing!!
    -make the wedding video – it’s fun to watch with your hubby after the big day! try to get a video/picture package – it’ll save some $$
    -if you can, try to make a to-do list with who is assigned to what. it will help minimize questions on your big day.
    -pamper yourself! have a massage a couple days before the wedding. get a manicure and pedicure. you won’t regret it!!!! treat your bridesmaids also if you want – that could be your gift to them!
    -Most importantly, remember this is about a RELATIONSHIP, so do what you can to prepare for the changes. Pray. (like I need to say that!) Read a book about marriage with Scott, if he is into that. Talk about expectations – who will do chores, who will cook, how to resolve conflict, how much alone time do you need, what are your ideas regarding date nights after marriage, etc.

    Congrats!! And enjoy this season – it is very special, along with the one to come!

    Sally

  3. caryn says:

    YAY congrats! brave girl asking for advice :).
    1. get a budget set. then prayerfully choose the 1 or 2 aspects of the wedding (location, # of guests, type of reception or food to be served, etc) that are MOST important to you, & be prepared to flex on the rest! for us, it was number of people: we decided it was most important to us that we could invite everyone in our lives (for some people it may be a higher value for the gathering to be very intimate)…. so, that meant an inexpensive venue & a very inexpensive reception (we could never have had 4 sit-down courses at the ritz with over 200 guests, though people did say they enjoyed the sonny’s bbq!)… you can’t eat your cake & have it, too — but you can pick the flavor!!
    2. take help from everyone that offers, BUT prayerfully find balance btwn getting help to save money & saving relationships… i wouldn’t say i lost any friends (or family :), but i do wish i would have spent a bit more money on certain things (like set up & decorating the day of) so that my mom (& other friends) could enjoy the day more & work less.
    3. if you have room for more reading, LOVE & RESPECT is a great book (it’s more needed for women than men, i think)… wish i’d have read it before my wedding day (&started appplying it :)…. a little respect for your man goes a long way to show your love for him & to inspire him to be the man God called him to be… and this book explained HOW to do this better to me than others i’d read.

  4. Jamy says:

    Hey Angie,
    Here are my favorite tips:
    ~~get a personal attendant for whomever will be helping you the most and a personal attendant for you. I know my mom was so thankful that another mom stepped up to the plate and helped her with all the running around and loose ends the 2 days before the wedding and the day of the wedding
    Some cool things I have seen at weddings I have photographed:
    ~colored sand in vases that you combine together into one vase for a beautiful keepsake rather than a unity candle…it symbolizes how once you become one (married) you are mixed together and how much pain and effort it would take to seperate each grain of sand (this can be said much more eloquently)
    ~If you have a reception with some of the traditional stuff and you don’t have a D.J. , make sure you have a friend or family person in charge of announcements and keeping the events happening…you don’t want to worry about that and with all the guests you are likely to forget
    ~chocolate fountains are always fun for something different than the traditional cake…feed each other a chocolate dipped strawberry
    ~on you guestbook table have pictures of all the couples that came before you….seeing those generations of love is fun and inspiring and very artful too
    ~create a scrapbook of favorite photos and verses of you and scott and then have people sign that rather than a guestbook you will probably never look at again
    ~have people sign a matt, rather than a guestbook
    ~If there are lots of kids invited have a kid corner with a small table and activities for them at the reception
    ~everytime someone taps their glasses for you to kiss, you pick a piece of paper out of a basket with another couples name on it and they must first kiss before you will…this was a great way to include others in your joy. (of course the basket of names is done by you ahead of time)
    ~when your dad gives you away take the time to thank both sets of parents
    ~remember this is your day…delegate any work or details to other people so you can relax and enjoy and be the princess for the day
    ~enjoy it and don’t stress over the planning at the end of the weekend people are likely not to remember the food, flowers, decorations and at the end of 5 years you won’t remember the flowers, food or even some of the people you talked to (I know from experience)..so make sure it is about you, Scott and Jesus
    I am not suggesting you do all the ideas…I am just brainstorming from what I see on a weekly basis as a wedding photographer

  5. Kourtney says:

    My two best are the following:

  6. Kourtney says:

    oops…

    1. Wait a few days before leaving for your honeymoon. Stay somewhere wonderful for your wedding night and then enjoy your out of town guests before they leave (i.e. we had a wonderful breakfast with everyone Sunday morning) and decompress from the wedding. It gave us time to wrap up last minute details and leave well with our family and friends that would never all be in the same place at one time again. We chose to leave for our honeymoon a week later. We could truly be “there.”

    2. Continue your premarital counseling for the first year of your marriage. This was by far the best advice we received from several really wise people. Once you are married the real challenges set in. We loved being able to connect with our dear friend Jean and continue our PMC once a week for the first year and process through life. It made our first year so fun and wonderful!

    xoxo

  7. Erik says:

    On our honeymoon, we took a fiction book and read it out loud together. It doesn’t sound it, but this was very romantic. I highly recommend it. It was like seeing a movie together but much more interactive: a shared experience

  8. Krista says:

    I have to agree with Sally – don’t fret the details. I have known couples who spent thousands and thousands of dollars to make sure everything was just ‘perfect’ and impress their guests… but the day should be about the marriage, not the over-the-top centerpieces and complete 20-piece live orchestra… that said…

    -if you’re home sometime between now and then, you should DEFINITELY take a trip to Wahoo to find a wedding dress. There’s a store there that is PACKED with gowns, and they’re all $300 or less. I think nearly every female in my extended family has gotten their dress there (including a cousin from Ohio). Anyway, if you haven’t found a dress yet, it would be worth a trip there if you’re home over Christmas.

    -when you’re ready to pick out jewelry for yourself and/or bridesmaids, consider Premier! πŸ™‚ I’d be happy to help you out with a home show sometime you’re in Lincoln or with a catalog show! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

    As for something I wished I’d done, but didn’t do, I don’t have any thoughts. After 11 years of marriage, it all seems to be a blur… the wedding day came and went, but the marriage remains, and that’s the important thing.

    Best wishes, and have fun registering for gifts! Make sure to register for fun stuff too (we got lots of IBC root beer out of the deal when we registered – meanwhile, our fancy china has only been used 3 times in 11 years)!

    Krista

  9. Mary says:

    Yeah!!! Again, I am so happy for you! Here are my wise words of advice πŸ™‚
    1. It is about YOU and SCOTT – the whole thing: who is there, what it is like, where, etc., etc. This is the first official time where you both are united as a couple/family even with differing opinions that come up with your 2 families.
    2. I got good quality/special time with a few key family members and friends before the wedding – i loved that for me.
    3. use the knot.com for help. Budget is a big deal – decide that first so you know up front what you are dealing with and that will help you determine location, number of people, etc. and ultimately will dictate a few of the big decisions.
    4. Think honeymoon! πŸ™‚ Now that you are engaged, I wouldn’t wait forever for the big day!
    5. I don’t really know what else other than enjoy this time, these moments with Scott, with your family and friends. Marriage is amazingly beautiful as a reflection of what God designed it to be . . .

  10. Gina says:

    The best thing you and Scott can do during your wedding day is to STAY TOGETHER! Casey and I did this from the moment of the ceremony until the end of the reception- we never left each others’ side, so we really enjoyed and soaked up the day together. If you split up, even for a second, people will pounce and will wrap you up in conversation so much that you will barely get out! But if you stay together- and better yet, on the dance floor so that people will have to come dance to talk to you- you can get through any conversation and still enjoy each other’s company! πŸ™‚ And I, too, loved theknot.com! It links all of your registry info from different stores so it’s easy for your guests. And if you send save-the-dates, or even a little extra info with your invites, you can refer guests to your wedding website- it will save lots of phone calls and questions for you AND your family!
    AND HAVE FUN!!! You only do this once, girl! Enjoy it!

  11. Rick johnson says:

    Realize that love is not an emotion. Love is a commitment.

  12. Amanda Stephens says:

    Hey Ang! So excited that the planning has begun! We are all so happy for you! As I reflect on our wedding day, I think a couple of things that stick out to me have to do with just enjoying the special day. I would suggest working as hard as you like before the weekend of the wedding, but once the festivities begin, go ahead and turn a corner mentally and emotionally. Try and think of everything that you need to do beforehand, but once that big day gets here, let it all go! I worked so hard the week of the wedding, but when I got up on my wedding day all I did from then on was have a good time! One of the best pieces of advice I recieved was to take mental snap shots of your day. I had heard so many brides say that the wedding just went by so fast and they couldn’t remember anything. Don’t let that be you! Take in everything. Remember what it feels like to have your father walk you down the aisle. Remember Scott’s face as he watches you approach him. Try not to be nervous during the ceremony, but be emotionally present at everything you do. During our ceremony, I blocked out the whole church. To me, it was like it was just Larry and I at the altar. I was saying my vows to him and remember to this day alot of what I said because I wasn’t freaking out. For me, it made all the difference to just let all of the details go and just enjoy everything. When you get to the reception, take in all of the family and friends who are there to celebrate you two. I can remember Larry and I driving to our hotel right after the wedding and we just relived the whole day together and talked about how much fun we had! Also, one thing my family did was we gathered to pray right before the ceremony started. It was only my immediate family in the bridal room. We gathered in a circle and my father led us in prayer. It truly set the tone for the day and in my heart. Here are a few other things that came to mind:
    –Cut out any pictures that you see of poses that you like and show them to the photographer so he/she will be sure to capture them on the wedding day.
    –Be sure that you put someone else in charge of the wedding day. You do not want to be the one to keep things together. You want to enjoy it and to just be told what to do! If it’s possible, I would also suggest someone other than your mother and the bridesmaids. Let them enjoy the day, too, without having to be caught up in the details.
    –Expect that there will be hiccups along the way and just go with it. Nothing ever happens perfectly and those things will give you much to laugh about later on.
    –I agree with everyone who says that getting help from others not only keeps the bride sane, but is also fun! Most girls love contributing to wedding planning. I have great memories of you and I filling cones with coffee beans for my wedding! πŸ™‚
    –Pray and ask the Lord what He wants your ceremony to be like. I put a lot of time into planning this aspect of the wedding. Be sure that it reflects your values, faith, but also some lighter elements of just who you two are. For our wedding, I knew there would be people there who either didn’t really know me or didn’t know Larry. I think it’s kind of fun to include some elements in the ceremony for people to get to know the couple more.
    –Be careful with the whole kid issue. I’m pretty sure I already shared what my experience with that is.
    –The guest list has the tendency to be one of the most stressful parts of the planning process. Between friends of the family, coworkers, and acquaintances the list can get out of control. The ones who definitely need the invite are those who you would be really sad if they weren’t there to witness your special day. Everyone else can see the video.
    — It’s pretty true that around 20% of the invited guests will not attend so always invite more than you think will come.
    Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your special day! Praise God for His provision in your life! πŸ™‚ Love, Amanda

  13. Congratulations to you both Jim and Sheri says:

    It will soon be 40 years since our wedding and the wedding is a blur but lots of memories in the 40 years.
    One piece of advise from us to you two would be: Never go to bed upset with each other, always talk it over and resolve the problem first.
    The weddings that we have been to lately we have helped with and the couple has given us a work list or “to do list” That really helps us and we never had to bother to ask questions as to where something was and were it was to go to. The information was all there on our instruction sheet.
    We would be happy and honored to help in anyway we can!!
    I read through everyones comments so far and I cannot think of any new ones. You have a great support group of friends that will help you by the sound of all the comments so far. God will be the one in charge I am sure, and everything will be heavenly.

  14. Traci says:

    Great advice from all above.
    It’s been 5 years for Armando and I, and this is what we remember most:
    1. Regardless of how smooth things go on your wedding day (even if it rains, nobody shows up, the cake tastes awful, etc), remember the bottom line is you will still be married….and that’s the most important thing!
    2. For budgeting, pick the 2 or 3 things that would really make the day special and spend the money there. Don’t worry about the other 10,000 little things that aren’t as important to you.
    3. I love the idea of hanging out at home a few days before the honeymoon (we waited 2 weeks). It’s great to be able to spend extra time with family and friends who have come from out of town. And you will be so busy before the wedding.
    Congratulations Angie! Marriage is truly an incredible gift from God and we’re so excited for you two!
    Love,
    Traci and Armando

  15. Kristina says:

    Wow! You have such wise friends!

    I had forgotten until I read your responses, but have to wholeheartedly agree with these:

    1. Wait a few days before leaving for your honeymoon. We loved having time to unwind and destress after the busyness of the final week before the wedding.

    2. Put other people in charge of details for the big day. We asked close friends who weren’t in our wedding party to do various things. Big ones were setting up table decorations for the reception, and “announcing” for us during the reception since we didn’t do the whole dance/DJ thing. I would even have a few “gophers” on hand during the last week before the wedding when you realize you’ve forgotten about something.

    3. Take a fictional book to read aloud together during the honeymoon. It was sooo much fun. This is where our love of Harry Potter began πŸ™‚

    Other things I’m so grateful for (maybe more unique to me):

    A professional videographer friend filmed our wedding for free. I love the quality of our wedding video. Our pastor was mic’d, so you can actually hear him. We watch this video every year on our anniversary. The girls are starting to get into it too πŸ™‚ It was also great to go back and watch it right after our wedding b/c the day was such a blur, so surreal, that it was hard to take it all in at the time. I was so glad we had it captured on film.

    The same guy put together a “slide show” of sorts on video for us. We used similar photos of similar stages of life. It told our story, at least a little of who we were and how we met. We also watch this every year on our anniversary. I think it would be fun to do one again for major anniversarys and leave them as a legacy for our kids and grandkids.

    Outdoor pictures. I just think that outdoor wedding photos are so beautiful. Of course, everyone has their own preference, but you just can’t beat natural lighting and natural scenery. I think it makes them more timeless.

    Anyway, it’s your wedding, so it should be uniquely your day!
    I think it would be fun to see some of your writer/jazzercise qualities incorporated into your day somehow. πŸ™‚

  16. Deb says:

    The best advice, I’ve heard, is to put a notepad and pen by your bed so that, before you go to sleep, you can download your brain so you don’t forget all the details.

  17. Doris J. King says:

    Angie, how do you expect me to know anything about this subject. I have only been on this trip for 60 years. There is a lot of common sense on a day to day basis which is needed and you have that…You need to love this guy more than you love anything that you want for yourself….You are already on the Perfect Road and He will give you the message of what, when and how to take care of the unknowns (to you).

  18. Amy Reeves says:

    Congratulations again, Angie!

    Here are my two cents…

    1) Take your honeymoon, don’t put it off for later. I’m always sad when I hear people say “Well, we think we’ll save up and go in a few months.” Our honeymoon was a great in-between phase where we could learn what marriage was like before getting plunked back down in the real world.

    2) We read this in a preparing-for-marriage book by Dr. Ed Wheat (paraphrasing) This marriage is for you, especially in the first year, don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that take the focus off your spouse and growing your marriage. He even suggested getting rid of your TV for the first year. (We ignored that part!) Living in KC, away from friends/family did force us to become reliant on each other in ways we wouldn’t have done if we were in a familiar setting.

    3) Do some sort of premarital counseling. Brian and I did our own with a book/workbook set we bought at the Family Christian store and then met, once, with our New Orleans minister the morning before the wedding. (He was awesome! We were so lucky.) Even though we had been dating for 5 1/2 years, having context to formally discuss things like household duties, financial styles, expectations of one another was good for us.

    4) Run away to New Orleans and get married in a fancy old restaurant on Bourbon Street. Take your parents, brothers and sisters and enjoy the heck out of not having to plan a big wedding! We (and our families) have never regretted it!

    Wish I would have done:
    Spent more on a photographer. Ours was crummy. I also have a thing against my dress, though–to be fair–it wasn’t bad. Those were two things that I have always regretted “going cheap” on.

  19. Nikki says:

    YAY!! I just wanted to send my congrats all the way from E. Asia!!

    The couple of things off the top of my head-

    1. Repeat to yourself, over and over, “there is no perfect wedding” (add “there is no perfect wedding dress, there is no perfect bridesmaid gift, there is no perfect wedding cake, etc…adapt as needed πŸ˜‰ ).

    2. Have a “point person” on the day of your wedding that is the person people rush over to when things aren’t going exactly as planned; if things went wrong on the wedding day I didn’t have to hear about it, I was free to enjoy my family, bridesmaids, and of course my new husband! We still laugh at the stories of things going wrong that we never knew about until months later.

    3. One of my favorite parts was before the ceremony, my bridesmaids and I took a break from all the busyness and the pastor had them share with me what I meant to them and why they were standing next to me on this big day. Then we ended the sweet moment in prayer. It would have been easy to skip this part in the rush of all the things going on, but its one of my most cherished memories.

    4. We left later the next day for our honeymoon (even though we did have out-of-towners)…both of us being around 30, we couldn’t wait to get to enjoy all the benefits of marriage we had been waiting for. We were definitely WIPED out the next day from all the months of wedding planning…and just trying to adjust to sleeping in bed with a boy! (I was not used to sharing the bed with another person- you might buy a set of earplugs if you’re a light sleeper).

    5. Pause throughout your wedding/reception and take it all in….it goes by SO fast. One of my favorite moments was stopping before we drove away and seeing all these people that loved us so much waving good bye and smiling. I told Brian that wouldn’t be happening again until our funeral :-).

    6. Premarital counseling was awesome- but I think continuing it for the first year is great advice. Brian and I read “The Mystery of Marriage” and there’s a line in there that says something like, “a 30 year old man is like a well built city. Things have to be demolished to make room for something new”….getting married older can be an occasion for demolishing our well built single lives. Its quite a ride!! (If you all are dating long distance like we did, living in the same home can have some shockers; so don’t be surprised at the amount of conflict you need to work through to get adjusted to each other.)

    7. At our reception- we had a “Sweethearts Table”; at first we were afraid it would seem a little “exclusive” with us sitting alone, but it actually allowed people to come up and say hi and greet us. It really took off the pressure of making sure we make the rounds and talk to everyone…and get exhausted in the process.

    What I wish I had done…

    Written notes to my bridesmaids before the big day- I was so rushed that morning!

    Not much else….I was surprised how at peace I was on my wedding day. There were things that didn’t go exactly as planned, but I was just excited to get to spend the rest of my life with Brian!

  20. Suzy Waldron says:

    First of all, congratulations Angie!!!!! I am so happy for you! I didn’t read anybody else’s advice first, just so I could be sure this was all me speaking πŸ™‚ Anyway, my biggest piece of advice is for you to do all you can to plan your wedding out as best as you can, and then on the day of the wedding, relax and tell yourself, something’s probably going to go wrong, but it just doesn’t matter. I won’t let it bother me. I’m going to focus on what REALLY matters- God uniting me with my perfect mate. This is the beginning for us to start our lives together.

    In retrospect, I wish we had done a receiving line. We had wanted everyone to eat right away and not wait for the receiving line before they could eat. So instead we went around to each table after we ate (or what I would rather call shoving food into my mouth at break neck speed) to visit with everyone at each table. It sounded nice at the time, but instead I felt so much pressure to get to every table and couldn’t talk like I would have wanted to to certain people. We hadn’t even finished visiting every table before we had to cut the cake. With the receiving line, there’s pressure on everyone to move along quickly, which is nice. And then you can spend more time with people you really want to later. That way your grandfather’s brother’s nephew’s cousin twice removed gets his quick “Congratulations” to you and then moves on.

  21. Tosca says:

    Angie,

    Congratulations!!!! Well, if I could do it all over, I would have a private ceremony–just my belolved, a close friend or two and closest family–so less than like, 10 people! And then I’d have a reception or party afterward. But so much of the solemnity of the ceremony gets lost in the planning, and then you’re basically putting on a show for people and it’s hard to just focus on the moment and on each other. Protect the moment!

    Tosca

  22. Sadee says:

    Hillarious! I LOVE that you are doing this – but you know I miss a lot of details! Are you sure you want my advice? πŸ™‚
    I wish that I would’ve considered AVR more when we got married. I believed the whole “the wedding is about the bride” deal and I don’t think that’s true….Looking back, I would’ve had a smaller, simpler wedding that would’ve reflected the man I married more.
    I didn’t do a receiving line at all – I thought I wouldn’t be able to “keep it short” with people. Bad idea. People kinda formed lines to wait to talk with me at the reception. I really didn’t get to spend much time with AVR there…..very sad.
    Pay money to have a good videographer.
    Buy a perfume that you will wear for your wedding and on your honeymoon. When you smell it later, it will totally remind you of the special day. Use it on your anniversary and special date nights.
    Listen to just a few cds when you’re driving on your honeymoon and just hanging out. We took 3 cds with us and to this day, when I hear those cds, they melt my heart.
    Pray more and speak less – this is good marriage advice to anyone who considers themselves a “gifted communicator.”
    I’m so thrilled for you, Angie! Celebrating with you!!!!
    Love,
    Sadee

  23. Sarah says:

    Smile. Breathe. Don’t lock your knees. :0)

  24. Cherilyn Lundell says:

    HI!

    I don’t know if you remember me, I used to work with Worldwide Challenge in the photo department. Anyway, I wanted to say congratulations to you!!! I also wanted to share some wisdom that I have aquired during my engagement period, be sure to keep the lines of communication open and don’t be afraid to talk about things, especially the hard stuff like past hurts and finances, etc. Also, taking some sort of prep for marriage class and pre-marital counseling are a must and soooooooo helpful!! My fiance and I just finished a course at First Baptist of Orlando and it was so great, I wish that we would have done it a year ago.
    Anyway, may the Lord bless you in this new and exciting phase in your life!!! πŸ™‚

    Love In Christ,
    Cherilyn

  25. jennifer says:

    Oh Ang! Congratulations! Yippee for you!

    I almost didn’t respond because we all know that I have never been a bride. However, I as a seasoned wedding participant (attendee?) I do have some thoughts and ideas:

    ~On the day of the wedding before you walk down the aisle, pray with your wedding party. It’s a fine way to start the wedding and it’ll create lasting memories.

    ~Have the photgrapher capture the candid moments like that.

    ~ At my sister Suzy’s (who wrote something above, go Suz!) wedding, everyone danced! It was such a fun celebration. The reason everyone danced was the DJ did the snowball at the beginning. (He brought up the wedding party. We danced. Then when he stopped the music we all had to ask someone else to dance with us.Then all those people had to ask someone. It was similar to spiritual multiplicaton.)

    ~ One friend of mine wrote her fiance a bunch of cards prior to the big day. Then throughout the wedding day she had someone deliver them to him. It was romantic. (I’ve also heard of mailing your fiance some stuff in the mail before the wedding to build anticipation.)

    ~ Have someone else be the point person at your reception. At one wedding, the toilet was overflowing. People wanted to rush to tell the bride. Have them rush to someone else so that you don’t even have to know about that until you return from the honeymoon.

    ~ Keep Christ the center of your day.

    ~ Attend a FamilyLife conference either before or shortly after the wedding. They are WONDERFUL!

    ~ Something I enjoy seeing is when couples honor their parents at the ceremony. They read a note or give them a flower.

    ~One friend planned a brunch the morning after her wedding for all of us out-of-towners. When she and her husband arrived at her parents’ house the next morning, they were tired, late and wishing that they hadn’t done that. It was also a bit awkward (as you can imagine). Instead of a brunch, another friend’s parents hosted a cook-out at their house the Thursday night before the Saturday wedding for the out-of-towners. That was a blast. Plus, we weren’t feeling sorry for the newlyweds to have to be there.

    ~Register at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Apparently they are the easiest store to work with. Not only will they give you cash back when you return gifts with or without a receipt, but they will give you 20 percent off of everything left on your wedding registry. I suppose it is an incentive to register for everything there. (Sadly, I’ve heard that Target, my favorite store, may as well be a wedding crasher, it is so difficult to work with.) Maybe ask stores what their policy is in that regard.

    ~ My married friends say they received way too much lingerie, and wished they received more practical pjs and stuff. If you think you’ll want less lingerie, tell your friends.

    ~ I always have to look this up, so here it is: Scott is your fiance. You are Scott’s fiancee’ (two E’s). The man’s title has less letters, just like his role in the wedding planning–less.

    ~ Have fun! You’re only getting married once! Create memories that you can tell your kiddos about some day.

    No matter what you do, it will be a marvelous celebration of what the Lord has done. Surely you will run into glitches or not please everyone, but in the end, you’ll be MARRIED! Woo hoo!

  26. "Cousin Jane" says:

    Angie,

    It’s been a “few” years since I have been involved in any wedding planning although I have played for a few weddings recently and have worked with the brides in finding the music they want – which really varies according to the bride’s tastes.

    But the one thing I regret about my own wedding was that I was fresh out of college and thought that those college friends would be around for a lifetime. I put them into too many positions that should have been family members. Within a few years of our marriage we had lost touch with many of those “lifelong” friends as we all went our separate directions.

    Enjoy this very special time in your life!

  27. Janice Westburg says:

    Hi Angie and Congratulations to you and Scott. We know exactly where you got engaged on the Plaza in KC. We grew up in KC and know that area very well.

    I purposely did not read all the advice/suggestions so I would not get any new ideas. We got married in 1964 and weddings were much simplier and not the huge productions that many are today. So my suggestions are – keep the wedding simple and concedntrate on preparing for the marriage, make as many decisions as possible about your wedding together so it is meaningful to both of you. That is my advice for the moment. I’ll let you know if I get any other good ideas.

    Our best wishes to you both. Stuart and Janice Westburg

  28. Liz Folland says:

    Leave rooom for the spantaneuos and just remember it is a special day but it is just the first day of your marriage. The marriage is the miracle not the day. Congrats again from Australia.

    Oh ya, Australia is a great place for a honeymoon!!!

  29. Matt says:

    My advice isn’t for you, but it definitely affects you:
    Hello Mother and Mother-in-Law. It’s wonderful that Angie and Scott are getting married, isn’t it? I know you want their wedding day to be special and that you’d do anything to make your child happy. But you know what? They will enjoy the day more fully if you let them make their own way. They do cherish your input and advice – they really do! – but sometimes they’ll want to do something (with the decorations or the food or the music or whatever) that you know won’t be best. But let them do it anyway. Let them begin to discover what it’s like to truly be one together. Let them out from under your wing. Give them great advice – because they know you’ve been there – but let it be their day. That way, years from now, they will look back at their first day as Mr. and Mrs. and remember both their good plans and their goof-ups, and they’ll smile and laugh as they reminisce about how the two of them began this Great Adventure together on that day.

  30. Anna Pratt says:

    Wow you have lots to read thru already! I’ll say this:

    I really agree with what Amanda S. said about taking mental snapshots of your day. She told me that, and I think someone else shared something similar. I did my best to put it into practice and was very happy I did!

    I also agree with the kids’ activity table idea, if you’re having kids come to your reception. We had one and it was a big hit. We also invited the kids to come up and dance the chicken dance and that went over well too.

    There was quite a bit of lag time between the wedding and our arrival at the reception, so we had dance lessons for our guests at the reception hall to pass the time. I obviously wasn’t there but I heard it went well!

    I agree with what somebody said about not leaving for your honeymoon right away, and seeing people the day after. I didn’t think I’d want to see people… I thought I’d feel awkward. But there were several people who came from far away, and we wanted a chance to see them again. So we decided to name a time and place to meet up for lunch the day after. We didn’t invite family, just friends — that was my preference. It was very enjoyable and I was really glad we did it. I didn’t feel awkward! (We left at about 5pm the day after the wedding for our honeymoon, which was a really good time. I did feel like I wanted to get away after the wedding, but it was nice not to have to rush out the door.)

    Yes – Bed Bath and Beyond is great! They do give cash when you return stuff!! Their customer service is good and thorough, and can be a little slow. You will spend a lot of time there returning and exhanging, but it will be worth it.

    Chris was great about making lists and typed-up instructions for people who were involved. (For the ushers, for other people in the wedding party, etc.) If you’d like him to forward you any of that stuff, just drop him or me an email.

    My gift to bridesmaids and other close friends involved in the wedding was personalized stationery. I ordered it online and it made a really nice gift.

    I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned this — but I think it’s a great idea to talk about and plan the wedding night. Of course plans can be subject to change depending on how both of you are feeling; but I think a plan helps cut through some of the initial awkwardness.

    Oh I also agree with what Jennifer said about lingerie vs. pajamas. I have TONS and still haven’t worn some of it. Maybe if there’s stuff get and you’re not sure about, leave the tags on so you can exchange later. Also keep in mind that your tastes in night-time attire might change as a married woman. I bought myself some nice new pajama pants, cuz that’s what I always slept in before, but now I can hardly wear them cuz I get too hot in bed when there’s a man there too! πŸ™‚

    Okay now I’ve added to all of your reading… I didn’t mean to do that. Have fun and let it be your special season. I’m very happy for you!

  31. Amy Christmas says:

    Have fun, celebrate the day however you think is best, register for every last thing you can think of, ask for help, go to Bridal expos to get the free stuff, let someone else be in charge of the details on The Big Day and do not let anyone bring you down…You’re engaged and one way or another, you’re getting married!!! Everything else is cake:) BTW…just so you know, I hated being engaged. Seriously. You’re not supposed to say it, but…I just did! Married life is spectacular, but being enaged, for me, was for the birds. If you feel this way do not panic — you’re so totally normal! A lot of people feel this way, but do not say it because they fear being labled “bridezilla” or something. So just in case…It gets better — really! I’m so happy for you — he seems like a gem:)

  32. Linda says:

    It isn’t the size of the wedding party that counts, nor the amount of money spent. It is the meaning of the moment that is of greatest importance. Dwell on that, and all the rest of the days of your life together. From your wedding night forward, hold hands and pray together before falling asleep. It take three to make a marriage…God, husband and wife! May He guide you two always!

  33. Alison says:

    hi friend! sorry it took so long for me to respond!!!

    1. it is YOUR day. a day that is about you, scott, and the amazing God that brought the two of you together. of course you don’t need to be bridezilla about it but i think the one thing i regret most is that i felt in a way my day was robbed from me because other people’s agendas got in the way. none the less, do keep in mind that it is only one day of the many you will spend together as a couple. even if everything doesn’t work out the way you had envisioned, you will still be Scott’s wife! Yea!!! πŸ™‚

    2. one thing andy and i did was we each wrote a lil’ bit about how we met and incorporated that into the ceremony. it added a nice personal touch and made the ceremony a lot less structured and fun.

    3. if your gonna splurge, i say spend it on the pictures, video, and honeymoon.

    aw, i am soooooooo excited for you!!!! it’s been awesome to see God bring you into this wonderful season of life. please let me know if i can help in anyway, and know that as i have prayed for your relationship before Scott even entered the picture, that i am praying for you both now!

  34. Lara Redmond says:

    A few tidbits from my experience:

    As you enter the chapel and are being escorted down the aisle, for the perfect photo, make sure you make eye contact with the photographer who should be at the end of the aisle and give you a signal you that the photo has been taken. Otherwise, if you are walking down the aisle making contact with everyone else instead of the photographer, you’ll have googly eyes in your photos.

    It is fun to put disposable cameras on the table or ask people to send photos they took during the day.

    When you buy your dress, discuss the alteration pricing so you’re not surprised by an unexpected bill.

    I thought a receiving line was too formal and now I think it’s a good idea because it can become difficult to remember if you said hello to everyone during the reception or spend equal time with your guests.

    Do everything you can to pre-plan for the wedding day, but a pick a day or week ahead and just let it go. If something happens not as planned and it usually does, it will make for a great story down the road.

    Most importantly this is the day for you and Scott. You have been blessed with each other and GREAT advice and ideas from everyone.

    Remember….How can two imperfect people form a perfect marriage? With God all things are possible!!! Thank you for including me. I’m so happy for you and Scott.

    Love,

    Lara

  35. Sarah says:

    Hey Angie,

    I may be repeating others because I didn’t have time to read through all of the great advice that you have already received. πŸ™‚ Congratulations and best wishes, again!!
    Here is one piece of advice– for those you ask to help you…don’t assume that they are on the same page that you are. If you care about something, make sure to give careful instructions or ask the right questions.

    And do all that you can to make sure you are rested and emotionally “present” on your day. It goes by fast!!

    Enjoy…and blessings on your upcoming marriage.

    Sarah

  36. Ingrid Peck says:

    Invite who you want, if the list gets to big, then maybe some of the people the parents want to invite that you don’t know have to go. Not to be mean or anything.

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