Saturday, September 7, 2019 was the best day of my life. It’s the day I married the man of my dreams, my best friend. The day was magical beyond words and perfect in every way imaginable. But this is not to say that it came without struggles...
Today I’m letting you in on all of the exclusive nonsense we had to deal with since planning started in Fall of 2018.
1. First up, our original DJ bailed. Our wedding was on a military base, therefore all guests and vendors needed background checks completed in order to access base. We had signed our contract, the deposit was sent in, and when I reached out to ask for his full name and date of birth for background checks, he came up with ridiculous reasons for not being able to work our wedding. To my knowledge, the deposit payment was never processed…lets hope it stays that way. Nevertheless, that company is on our black list.
2. Next up, my original makeup artist bailed last minute. When vendors bail last minute, it’s difficult because most vendors are booked up to a year out for weddings. Luckily, we found another makeup artist who did a BEAUTIFUL job and will definitely be on our ‘must hire’ list.
Hek, she even let us load her car with decorations and drove them to our venue for us.
Lesson learned: if you aren’t comfortable with the vendor to begin with and your gut is telling you something isn’t right, follow your gut. It is right 99% of the time.
3. We redesigned my mothers gown that she wore for her wedding in the 80s. My mom found a seamstress in VT who could alter and redesign the gown for us. The process started in April 2019. The seamstress promised she was capable. The first time I met her, I knew something wasn’t right. From the way she spoke and her demeanor, to the unorganized and clustered studio she had. It just didn’t feel right. After traveling at least 2 times per month, 6 hours one way each time, and totally butchering the top half of my gown, she decided she was no longer capable of altering the gown.
At the beginning of August 2019, after hanging around her studio for over 8 hours for fittings, we took the dress and I was stuck deciding whether or not fixing the gown was possible and if I should be shopping for another gown.
Luckily, I found a seamstress 20 minutes from my home who was up for the challenge of fixing a disaster on a tight deadline. This was only after I called and visited a handful of other studios who declined to help.
After 2 fittings and weeks of stress and anxiety, I picked up the gown 1 week prior to our wedding. The seamstress pulled off a miracle! We are forever grateful.
Lesson learned: again, follow your gut.
4. After providing final counts to vendors, 1 week from wedding day, people started to decline. This is after we had paid vendors and all seating arrangements had been made. There was no fixing this, just disappointment.
Lesson learned: sometimes waiting until the last minute to provide payment can save you hundreds of dollars. We paid in advance to avoid waiting until the last minute and stressing week of to pay all vendors. But sometimes, it’s best to wait.
5. 2 days prior to wedding day, my father found out from the formal wear company that his suit was not going to arrive in time.
Y’all, as you can see, I had been putting out fires since the start of planning our wedding.
My beautiful and amazing sister, also my maid of honor, pulled off a miracle and found a formal wear company in town that was able to rush order a suit in my fathers exact measurements overnight.
Lesson learned: always follow up with vendors if you have not heard from them in awhile. There is no such thing as ‘too much’ communication.
6. Friday, September 6, 2019 was our rehearsal dinner. My father had pre-ordered pizzas to feed 70 guests. Because our rehearsal was prior to the rehearsal dinner and we wouldn’t have time to pick up the pizzas, my friend was so gracious and offered to pick them up for us.
Upon arrival to the pizzeria, she found out that the pizzeria noted the wrong date for our order and had not prepared any for pick up. Luckily, she convinced them to start making them immediately and she arrived just in time to feed all 70 of our hungry guests.
Lesson learned: repeat your order on the phone before hanging up and make sure they have noted everything correctly.
7. I rented a White Vintage Bentley, as a surprise for my husband, to chauffeur us around day-of our wedding. As I was getting my hair styled, I received a call from the driver. Their background check information had not been sent to Fort Drum and therefore, they were not going to be able to access base.
Luckily, we had some amazing groomsmen and a best man who took charge and ensured the driver was on base and staging in time for our first look so I could surprise my husband-to-be.
Lesson learned: cross all of your T’s and dot all of your I’s.
8. We purchased bouquets and boutonnieres from a local florist shop and purchased all floral for centerpieces from Sams Club and Whole Blossoms. 2 weeks prior to the wedding, I was notified via email that our greens from Sams Club would be delayed due to the Hurricane down in Florida.
We rescheduled shipment and 2 days prior to the wedding, Sams Club immediately cancelled our order. Talk about stress!
Luckily, our florist had extra greens in stock and was able to sell us an entire box of greens for our centerpieces.
Lesson learned: always have a back up plan.
In addition to all of these fires I had to put out leading up to our wedding, I also had ridiculous nightmares on repeat.
Nightmare 1: I would wake up and all of the diamonds in my engagement ring would be gone.
Nightmare 2: Our floral didn’t show up in time for our wedding and the reception venue was horrendous.
All of this is to say:
1. Our wedding weekend was BEAUTIFUL and everything worked out PERFECTLY.
2. Hire an event planner. End of story.
I was wedding planner AND bride. It was exhausting, it took a toll on my body (physically, mentally, and emotionally), and it didn't allow me to fully take in everything with my husband-to-be day-of our wedding.
I promise you this. If you are not fully present day-of your wedding, you will regret it FOREVER.
If there is one thing you invest in for your wedding, please make sure it's at the very least, a day-of coordinator. I promise you, it is money well spent.
From the new Mr. and Mrs.