So….. I’m getting married next year (June 12, 2010 to be exact).  I’ve planned all the big stuff  – venues (Basilica of St. Mary, then Interlachen Country Club), band (The R Factor), photographer (Graddy Photography), and videographer (United Video). 

But being that I have a long engagement and I’m a total planner (freakishly so, at times), I’ll be hammering out every single little detail over the next few months.  So what I’d like to know from all of you is:

What do you love about weddings?

My example: I love cocktail hour – especially when a ‘signature cocktail’ is involved.

What do you hate about weddings?

My example: The unity candle – just gives an excuse to make the ceremony longer and everyone has to listen to some lame N*SYNC song or, even worse, a country ballad (no offense to anyone who has done the unity candle, it’s just not my thing)

Any advice you have, do’s and dont’s, etc. 

My example: be sure to have a portable steamer, don’t eat shellfish the week of the wedding, etc.

Please call upon your own wedding experience, weddings you’ve been to, weddings you’ve been in, etc. 

Thanks everyone!!!!


8 responses »

  1. leDeb says:

    Bad N*SYNC songs! HAHAHAHAAA. Please don’t include those in your wedding.

  2. kirsey says:

    I’m at work, gitty with excitement to respond to this post, but don’t have time. I’ll report back later, but ditto on the unity candle, BLAH.

  3. ebats says:

    ooh! fun! okay, I have to come clean and admit that until recently, I HATED every wedding I ever went to. But that might have had more to do with the fact that the last spate of weddings that happened in my family was when i was all angsty and teenaged and introverted– not good for parties in general, weddings specifically.

    But my godmother (and youngest aunt) got married last November & asked me to be a bridesmaid, and her wedding kicked ass. This may have had something to do with the fact that I got a scrip for diazepam between the last wedding I’d been to & hers, but whatever.

    Here’s the stuff I liked:

    1. dunno what your bridesmaid situation is, but i REALLY appreciated the fact that my aunt picked her color (persimmon; it was surprisingly lovely, esp since all her bridesmaids had olive skin) and let us pick our own style of dress. We all got something we liked and we all felt comfortable and pretty and did not want to stab the bride for her choice of dress.

    2. the dude my aunt married is a DJ. And he set up a website to take requests for songs for about 6 months before the wedding. And the music ended up being totally danceable and awesome. You’ve got a band, so I don’t know if they have a standard repertoire or something, but keeping a list of music was a godsend for ceece’s wedding.

    Things I hated (at other weddings):
    1. Having to sit through a big long high mass instead of just a ceremony. Like, who the hell needs communion at a wedding?? Get me to the dancefloor, people!

    2. Having to watch the photographer take the pictures of the bridal party at the reception site while waiting INTERMINABLY for dinner and with no music or any kind of other entertainment. Oh god, it was so boring.

    3. Anticipated: My cousin is getting married in about 2 weeks, and, in addition to planning the MOST EMBARRASSINGLY EXPENSIVE wedding she possibly could (even though her parents are just normal middle class people who, due to her alarming excesses, will LITERALLY never be able to retire), put “black tie optional” on her invitations. This has caused no end of anxiety among everyone in our family, since we are all just normal, middle-class people. NOT THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO DO BLACK TIE. In my opinion, she’s putting on airs and ensuring that everyone is going to be uncomfortable and nervous about using the wrong fork or something at a party that is supposed to be a fun celebration of a marraige….not some stuffy affair. So, I guess my advice is to know your audience 😉

    Oh, I’ve just checked out your links up there & i am so envious!…your wedding is going to be beautiful!

  4. stephoh says:

    1. Midnight snack. I love when people bring out pizza or something late night.
    2. Cocktail hour with passed bacon-wrapped apps. (Signature cocktails a bonus)
    3.I LOVE when the bride and groom introduce (or have the DJ/ Emcee) the wedding party, I feel like one line like, “Kari was my captain on the Hornettes at Edina High School,” goes along way for guests who are a little more peripheral.
    4. When the whole wedding party sits together without their dates.
    5.Photobooths. Such a fun memory item! Gets peeps to actually sign guest book.
    6.Champagne toasts.

    1.W/ Ebats here, dress codes. I was just at a wedding that the bride wanted everyone EVERYONE to wear black or white. She was denied and “bridezilla” was a buzz word.
    2.First dance before dinner. I think it’s kind of awkward.
    3.Table seating that’s designed for people to get to know new people, no one wants to do that during dinner, that’s what the dancing’s for.
    4.Welcoming lines and/or the Bride and Groom letting everyone out of their seats after the ceremony, it takes forever and is SUPER weird if you’re introducing yourself to one of them for the first time OR if they can’t remember who you are because you just met them once and they’re currently trying to remember the names of everyone they’ve ever met at this very moment.

    Misc. Suggestions I’ve thought of
    1. If you want people to do toasts (like, in addition to best man, father of bride, etc.), set up boundaries like, “everyone is welcome to toast, please come up and say a brief something about us as a couple or how you always knew I was the kind of person who would meet my soulmate, that’s the kind of stuff we want to hear tonight” and ask certain friends and family members that you know would give a great toast to do so despite their not being in the wedding party.
    2.Have the DJ/Emcee shout out to the crowd something like, “Get your asses out here and dance with the bride and groom.” Especially for your wedding, Kari, people gots to dance.

  5. kirsey says:

    Ok, ok…

    Things I LOVE about weddings:

    -When you can just tell that the bride and groom are crazy in love with each other. It’s the best. So no matter what, remember to just enjoy the day, every second of the day.

    -Something besides the unity candle that brings the families together. For example, at our wedding, my whole family had pink roses, Ted’s whole family had orange roses and Ted and I had white roses. During the ceremony everyone came up whilte a song played and put their flower in a vase and we had a beautiful bouquet on stage for the rest of the ceremony.

    -On our RSVP cards for our wedding invites, we had people put song requests down. It was HILARIOUS getting the RSVPs back with what people wrote. Some were serious like “True Companion” and others were AWESOME like “Push It” by Salt-n-Peppa or “Baby Got Back” (that was the most requested song BTW!)

    -Limo for wedding party in between wedding and reception. I know that this is an expense, and I know that a lot of people get left out, but I LOVED having a little time to get away from everything and unwind with my best friend (ie. wedding party) on our bus full of booze and beer. Only suggestion, pre-plan where you’d like the bus to take you, don’t bet on the driver having any good ideas!!!

    -Writing your own vows. I know that in a Catholic Mass you can’t do this, but maybe you could insert a couple of your own words. Ted didn’t want to do this and after we did he was REALLY happy we did.

    -I love the first dance before dinner, that way your guests kind of have to look at you and sure maybe it’s awkward for some of them, but aren’t they there for you? I just get kind of annoyed when the first dance is after dinner and half your guests are at the bar not watching your first dance as husband and wife, but that’s my take on it.

    -I love cake, but I hate wedding cake. I am a huge fan when people do a little something different for dessert. We had ice cream with a sundae bar where people could add their own toppings. I love little mini desserts too, so you can choose to eat what you like, chocolate vs. fruity.

    -Do some traditional but do some non traditional photos as well. Laugh have fun and enjoy the photos, don’t get too worried about the posed ones, you’ll frame the fun ones every time!

    -Day after photos are SO FUN! We didn’t really want to get up the day after our wedding and me put my dress on, him his tux, but the photos we took are so amazing! We ended up doing snow angels, I mean snow angels in a wedding dress?!?! and those photos are by far our favorites. If you get a chance to do something fun in your dress take full advantage, it’s just not something most girls are willing to do the day of their wedding!

    Things not to worry about:

    -Centerpieces. I know that girls who are planning a wedding notice these, but does anyone else? Don’t worry about spending a crap ton of money on centerpieces because you’ll bring all of them home the next day and have nothing to do with them. They may make for a great couple of photos, but don’t stress about them.

    -Shoes for bridesmaids. I know that some people are very serious about having everything on their bridesmaids match, which is totally fine, but I had my girls pick out any silver shoe they wanted that way they could actually wear them again and everyone could choose their own style. I love the pictures with the different shoes even though the dresses and jewelry matched.

    -Bridesmaids’ hair. I’ve had to match every girl in the wedding party before and we ended up all looking awful. Let girls choose how they want their hair to look, everyone will vary but they’ll end up looking WAY better!

    -I love late night food at weddings. I had every intention of ordering pizza from a local St. Paul joint and totally forgot. Everyone survived, people were probably hungry and I felt bad, but if you run out of money that’s not a huge thing to cut back on, even though it is awesome to have.

    I know that I am forgetting a bunch of stuff, but when I think of more I’ll just leave more comments!!!

  6. karirockjuice says:

    I’m loving all of these comments! More, more, more!!!!!

  7. biguinberlin says:

    I like buffets. I am a hog, so I prefer having the option of going back for more (although the last buffet wedding I went to, I wanted to cry all night long because I had so many chicken skewers I thought my stomach walls might rip). If you want to have a formal time for people to do toasts, you can seat people at tables and serve a salad while toasts are going on. Then, as the servers clear away the salad plates, those tables can start going though the buffet. This also kills two birds with one stone, because if you leave the buffet open you don’t have to do the midnight snack.

    OR, you can serve the cake as the midnight snack. Honestly, who wants the cake right after a big dinner anyway? Not me, cause I don’t like to save room for dessert. I’d rather wait a few hours so I can pig out again. If your worried people won’t be around to witness the cake-cutting, just get the band to stop playing and announce it.

    I agree that bridesmaids should choose their own shoes and hair. They’re already spending a shitload on a dress they’ll wear once, so they deserve a little autonomy.

    My boyfriend just went to a wedding two days ago and, being a dude, didn’t notice any of the details (which I was dying to hear about). However, he did remember that he was annoyed by the candleholder centerpieces because he couldn’t see the person across from him at dinner, so I’m gonna agree with Kirsey that centerpieces are sooooo not important.

    Ditto on the photos while everyone is starving and waiting for the damn cocktail hour (er, reception) to start.

    If you give out CDs as your wedding favor to guests, keep it clean (perhaps involve StephOh when deciding the playlist). Do not include “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. I am saying this from personal experience. My grandma also attended that wedding and was so baffled when she popped that thing in her CD player. Honestly. TMI.

    I think that’s all for now, but I’ll let you know if I come up with anything else.

  8. ebats says:

    Kari! I just got back from my cousin’s weddingstravaganza, and it was over-the-top but also amazing fun. My uncle put 3 videos that he took of the festivities on YouTube, so I am e-mailing you the links. Dunno if it will help you at all, but I figure it can’t hurt to see some real-world footage. Plus, another cousin who is getting married next year commented that Jenn’s wedding pretty much had EVERY SINGLE THING she’s been reading about in bridal mags (as if J had approached the mags like a checklist… which she probably totally did); I figure it can’t hurt to see what it all ended up looking like in case you’re trying to make a decision on something specific.

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