Long before Noir existed, I drafted a post for my personal blog, Affichomanie, about what I would do differently and what I'm happy I did for my own wedding. I'd like to think the advice could be valuable to a few brides + grooms out there. So, here are my thoughts speaking as a former bride instead of an event planner.
I Would Have...
1. Chosen different entrees for dinner. Food is very important to me and my husband. As vegetarians, we worked very hard to find food that was delicious, satisfying, and aligned with our beliefs as vegetarians. We chose an incredible gnocchi dish and an outrageously good ratatouille (which was also gluten free). Our tasting was incredible...lots of mind-blowing food. We couldn't wait to treat our friends and family. But when the entrees were served at our wedding, they were suspiciously small and, frankly, didn't taste at all like what we'd been served at the tasting. It was a huge disappointment and I still question whether or not choosing different entrees would have made a difference.
2. Embraced the full bridal gown shopping experience. I bought my wedding dress pre-big girl job so my funds were quite lacking. I also had a silly, but serious aversion to the idea of a dress attendant seeing me in my full glory and forcing me to try on dresses that wouldn't work for my particular set of body issues. I purchased my $1,300 Alvina Valenta gown online for a mere $700 and was thrilled with the purchase. Unfortunately, I wasn't as thrilled with the dress itself. It worked. It was the style I wanted. But not only did I not feel this was my dream dress, I deprived myself and my mom of getting that experience.
3. Saved that bottle Veuve Clicquot the hotel gave us instead of opening it for a couple of sips before falling asleep. What a waste. (The things I worry about years later are outrageous, I know.)
4. Done my own makeup. I love the person that did my makeup and she did an amazing job with my eyes, but I'd like to think I'm pretty okay at doing my makeup. I didn't need to spend the money on it. And I feel I would have had the kind of foundation coverage that I prefer if I'd done it myself...I mean, my foundation looks better TODAY than it did for my wedding.
5. Made sure someone was designated to get me drinks and save some cake for later. Here's what I drank all night: a few sips of water at dinner, two sips of wine during cocktail hour, 3 sips of G&T during the reception. Here's how much cake I ate: 3 bites. You know how they say to make sure you eat at your wedding because you'll be so busy? It's not so much being busy as it is feeling too excited to eat. I still daydream about eating more of the cake three years later...
6. Waited to pick our bridal party until closer to the wedding. Don't get me wrong, I love my bridal party to death and have no regrets about who stood next to us on our big day. We had a 2 year long engagement and, in that amount of time, a lot can change in peoples' lives. Where we all lived, what we did, and even our relationships with each other changed. I think if we had waited a bit longer to make that decision, we may have avoided some uncomfortable situations with people who didn't end up next to us that day.
I'm So Glad I...
1. Skipped the garter toss. It's just not my style.
2. Had most of our photos done before the wedding. We were actually able to mingle with guests during cocktail hour!
3. Hired incredible vendors that I truly trusted. Colette, my homegirl, couldn't have done it without her. Daniel LaBelle was my incredible photographer, Andrew Quella rocked my wedding video, Sound by Design got my friends dancing, Wood Violet delivered gorgeous, locally grown flowers, and Karl's made rentals easy.
4. Didn't invite everybody and their brother. Our wedding was quite small--only about 70 guests--which meant I was actually able to say hello to everyone. It saved on cost and, for the most part, there wasn't anyone there that I didn't know. I loved every single person that was with us that night and, being the introverts we are, that was very important and special to us.
5. Wore a veil. I was pretty dead set on not wearing a veil until my Maid of Honor and I wondered around the shop where my dress was being altered and found an incredible veil. It is definitely my favorite thing I wore that day and I still cherish it.
6. Didn't feel the need to offer several reception activities. Do you know how many guests leave right after dinner?! If I'd done what I had wanted (cigar + whiskey bar plus champagne + perfume bar plus photo booth plus...) I would have spent a ton and half of money on entertainment for very few people. Everyone was perfectly entertained by the open bar, amazing DJ, and DIY trail mix bar. That's enough, I tell you!