I just read a funny post about having a wedding do-over from Cup of Jo. Everyone goes a little nuts planning for that big day, checking every little detail and agonizing over how everything must be perfect. Ahem….
|Elizabeth & Phillip 1947|
|Ken & Barbie|
|Her wedding was lovely!|
These come pretty close but in retrospect, I’ve learned no wedding is perfect, there’s always a glitch, tiny or enormous but I understand now to stop sweating the small stuff. I know it was nerves in my case and having the feeling that you are the star of a play and all your family and friends are watching you perform. We missed most of our rehearsal due to the lovely California traffic on the beach in the midst of a perfect summer day so we spent approximately 2 hours sitting in traffic on Pacific Coast highway and 15 minutes of actual rehearsal time *which is why I requested our wedding party to stay at the hotel for our wedding so no one would be late the day of the event* before we had to hurry across the street for our rehearsal dinner reservation. I may have had a few mini meltdowns and what felt like a disaster turned into my favorite story to reminiscence about when our trolley got stuck in the sand while shuttling our guests from the parking lot to the beach ceremony. I can now laugh it off but during that moment, I was furious *insert an image of me stomping down the street in my wedding dress with fire in my eyes*
|The genius trolley driver tried to drive the guests to their seats|
If I could have a wedding do-over, I would have definitely rented a photobooth. They are my most favorite things in the world *I totally plan to have our own photobooth in our next house* I got married back in the stone age, and we were on a meager budget at the time. Back then I thought spending $15k on a wedding was pretty average *it’s not even close* but I came down with a case of serious sticker shock when we got the total cost of our photography package which didn’t include the additional $900 wedding album *pre-digital age* It sucks we can’t afford to rent one for Liv’s birthday party but unless it was an event like our wedding, I can’t shell out $1500 for it *do you blame me?*. On a side note, Aimee, Antz and I kept calling our photographer George Papadopoulos *from Webster* the entire night, poor guy.
|See him back there photobombing?|
While I’m dishing out photography advice, go for a 30/70 percentage of posed portraits vs candid. The candids are most memorable and prettier pictures than the stiff typical
posed ones. I brought a binder full of magazine photos of the shots I wanted to the photographer during our consultation and they joked that this was the first time a customer brought a brochure with them. Here’s my posing idea.
Here’s the photographer’s posing
|We look like we are conjoined|
|Candid *I was in my twenties, I can say I did one thing that was stupid and reckless*|
|Posed, I always joke how much I look like a real estate agent on a bus bench|
Now obviously my biggest mishap was the trolley getting stuck in the sand *for 45 minutes* I was pretty bummed our timeline got thrown off. I had every second timed so the delay caused us to go overtime taking pictures on the beach while the guests were being shuttled to our reception. Which meant I missed the entire cocktail hour and the yummy sushi I spent extra $$ for. That’s another thing I strongly recommend to any future bride, my piece of advice to you on your wedding day is schedule a massage the morning of your wedding, have a glass of champagne at arm’s length at all times and SMILE. My second piece of advice is important. Are you listening?
“Eat on your wedding day!“
It will be the most expensive meal you have ever had in your life and you need to savor every last bite. After missing the cocktail hour *and making our poor guests wait an hour for us to arrive* we were starving when we arrived but since I missed the opportunity to greet my guests during the scheduled cocktail hour, as planned, I spent most of my dinner time walking around saying hello to folks and taking pictures. I only remember Aimee feeding me a bite of mahi mahi fish. I do remember chugging wine from our wedding glasses all night long.
|I do wish acrylic nails were not the trend back in 2002. I wince when I see those
Let me also interject the one thing you may not remember to pack for your wedding but you’ll thank me for reminding you is a pair of comfy dance shoes. There is no heel out there that will withstand hours of dancing in a wedding dress so I was grateful I wore my platform flip flops on the beach.
However, we didn’t anticipate Antz flip flops breaking on the beach but luckily we had a spare on hand. My point being, always have a back-up!!
Another wedding do-over I would love is easing up on my no-kids policy. Prior to being a Mum, I had a low tolerance for children. Yep, that was me rolling my eyes at your kid at the movies or on a plane being noisy. I liked kids back then, as long as I didn’t have to go home with them. I kinda told my guests to leave their children at home in my
many one Bridezilla *click at your own risk* moments. However, my cousin Delcie came in from out of town to be at our wedding and she brought her nine year old son. My sister in law couldn’t find a babysitter for her son since her entire family was coming to the wedding so she brought him too. Aimee’s son Holden *who was seven at the time* was on vacation in Hawaii with her sisters but I am sad he wasn’t there. One of my favorite moments was dancing with *then two year old* Justin on the dancefloor. Kids are awesome at weddings, but I totally get it when we’ve been asked to find a sitter for Livzilla. If you do welcome the tiny people hire one of your older cousins to babysit them and put together activities to keep them busy during the hard to sit still moments *dinner, toasts, etc* to give the parents a break to enjoy themselves.
|He even wore a Hawaiian shirt, super cute!|
|My dance partner|
My last wedding do-over would be to invest in a florist. I was motivated to stick to our $350 budget so we went to the Downtown LA Flowermart two days before our wedding and grabbed as much as we could fit in his tiny Ford Focus. The downside was, as much as I adore peonies they weren’t in season in August so I couldn’t find any. I also didn’t research the flowers that much so when we were there I felt overwhelmed by the vast selection and didn’t know which would hold up in the summer heat *Gerbera daisies don’t* We got a good deal on bunches of seasonal flowers and just threw them in vases without any editing so they looked meh with our color palette *too bad succulents weren’t all the rage ten years ago* Lucky for me, my rad cousin Aleida put together my bouquet and it turned out lovely. Even though I was sure I couldn’t afford a florist at the time, Antz’s lei wouldn’t have wilted *which annoys me in our photos* and we would have had fewer Bandaids from removing rose thorns.
|Aimee’s bouquet looks sad, like I bought them from the nearest grocery store, yikes!|
|Not to pull a Madonna but I would never in a million years choose these flowers now.|
|See that gap in his lei? I should really photoshop that!|
There are some things I cheaped out on that I stand behind. We didn’t hire a professional videographer so we enlisted our family member to use our Sony camcorder. The footage is a mess, blurry and the battery died at our reception. No biggie, he got most of the ceremony and we have just enough to laugh when we watch it. We interviewed a bunch of DJs but most of them were super cheesy and had close to nothing in their playlists that we would have enjoyed. I obviously had to play Björk and we went from jazz to rap to country at our reception. I burned 6 CDs *which I still have* and we played them on a speaker system, pre-ipod days. I also love that I played the Nutcracker suite during our ceremony. It may seem Christmas-sy but I love the Sugar Plum fairy waltz, it really made me feel like a princess in my dress.
I searched high and low for sparklers that summer but so many were illegal in Los Angeles so we had to use a safer version but they did the job.
I am happy we didn’t rent the $400 stretch limo to drive us the 4 blocks from our reception to our hotel suite like we planned to. If you must go that route, I would suggest a vintage car like my friends Carlos & Stephanie did but I think it’s adorable that we drove off in our own car that our bridal party lovingly decorated.
We spent so much on our wedding, we depleted our honeymoon fund. Fortunately for us, all of Antz’s siblings pooled together and surprised us with a week in Vegas! What a pleasant surprise and thoughtful gift! We are glad we didn’t go into debt paying for a honeymoon when we had a blast in our suite at what turned into our favorite casino, The Palms. We learned how to play roulette and saw Cirque du Soleil O at the Bellagio.
I’ll tell you something, I am soo happy I am not getting married now, it
would take me years to plan our ultimate wedding with all the wedding
blogs, etsy and BHLDN. The one thing I love most about our wedding is our marriage. It’s the most fun, commited and rad part of my life. I’m totally cliche but I did marry my best friend! This guy really fucking completes me! and Liv does too.