As wedding photographers who are 7+ years out from our own wedding, we thought it would be fun (and hopefully helpful) to reflect on our own wedding and what we wish we had done differently looking back, and also what we are glad we did and would keep the same. Ultimately, we don't have huge regrets over anything we did or didn't do, but looking back we recognize that even though our marriage is WAY more important than the wedding day itself was, it's also a once in a lifetime celebration!
Here's part one on what we would change from our own wedding, collaborated by both of us!
We wish we had done a first look. We were one of those couples that went the "traditional" route and did not have a first look. Nick especially was adamant about being traditional and thought he shouldn't see me until I was walking down the aisle. We did meet up with Nick blindfolded, prayed together, and exchanged letters, which was all so sweet. But now, both from a photography standpoint and from a personal standpoint, we wish we had done a first look. Why did we spend the majority of the day apart from the person we loved the most, on our special day - the day meant to celebrate our love and commitment together? Seems kinda crazy now that we look back on it :) It was also just a stressful day for both of us, and we think that a little extra time together would have been really good and beneficial for us! Lastly, we can't help but wonder if the aisle moment would have been enhanced by a first look. It might have allowed it to sink in a little more, and rather than approaching it with a bundle of nerves we may have been more relaxed. Oh - and also we would have had even more time for photos ;)
We wish we had planned out our reception better. We put a LOT of thought into our ceremony (and I'll talk about that more for part two), but our reception kind of just got thrown together without a good schedule or flow. Now, our reception was very low key in the first place - outside in a park shelter, desserts and light snacks only, and no dances. But there were still a few things that we had planned that just weren't very well executed because of a lack of organization. Looking back we wish we had created a reception that gave a better experience to all of the special people that joined us to celebrate our wedding!
We wish we had given ourselves a little bit bigger of a budget. We had a very, very small budget for our wedding. We're talking well under $5,000. We think in the end we spent just a little over $3,000. Weddings are expensive, and our very small budget meant we did A TON of stuff ourselves. Now, there are some pros to us having done this too, which we'll talk about more in the next installment. But giving ourselves a bigger budget would have taken a lot of stress off ourselves to allow us to outsource more. We also just wish we had let loose a little bit more for the sake of celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime celebration!
We wish we had been more true to ourselves. Pinterest really took off not long before we got married, which was both good and bad. Great for finding all sorts of ideas, not great because it was easy to get sucked into the most popular wedding trends. Now, it's pretty hard to stay completely away from trends. Popular colors, hairstyles, etc are always changing. But I think it's safe to say we probably would do a lot differently now in the matter of our wedding style. We fell into the more rustic theme, but really for the longest time Molly always imagined a more classic wedding, and now wishes she had stuck with that concept, or at least closer to it. She also wishes she hadn't chosen the color yellow for one of her main colors. It's just not at the top of her list for favorite colors.
We wish we had done a husband and wife dance. We didn't have any dancing at our wedding, which was totally fine. Most of our family members probably wouldn't have been into it, and our reception spot wasn't exactly ideal for a dance. But we do wish we had at least done a husband and wife dance. Picking a special song to dance to as husband and wife is such a sweet concept. Us being the hopeless romantics we are (okay, especially Molly), there's no doubt we would have danced to that song every single wedding anniversary ;) We still have a lot of special songs to us, but man that would have been extra special!
No wedding will ever go perfectly, or at least it's very rare ;) There will always be things that will become outdated. And we are *BIG* proponents of putting more preparation into the marriage than the wedding. But we hope this list helps those in the process of planning their wedding to think through some of these specific elements.
Other married couples, what would you change about your wedding day if you could do it all over again? Leave a comment, we'd love to hear from you!
Photos by Annie Crawford - an aspiring photographer at the time, and now an owner of her own photography business: Crawford Photo Co. :) Go check out her recent work to see how far she's come! And I apologize some are blurry :( Couldn't find my CD of pictures in time to publish this, so these are all downloaded off of Facebook. *Insert guilty look*