Decisions I'm Glad We Made
- To have a small-ish wedding. We had about 84 people and it felt huge. I didn't get to speak to many guests, so I can't imagine if you had more people than that, how you would get to speak to anyone!
- Splurging on the venue. Gunners' Barracks was our only choice. We felt it we perfect the moment we saw it, months before we got engaged, and it made our wedding just magical.
- Choosing a great photographer early on. We knew we wanted Vincent Lai also well before we got engaged after we saw photos he took of a friend's wedding. As soon as we had a date, we locked him in - and were prepared to be flexible with the date if we couldn't get him. The photos so far have been stunning, and he was a dream to have around on the day.
- The "thank you" sign I ordered from Etsy.com and made Alec and my mum assemble for me. It made for great photos that we are using in our thank you cards.
- Spending the night before at my parents' house and the night after at our apartment. It felt home-y and comforting.
- Going straight from the ceremony into the reception. It was great having everything in the one place and knowing the portrait photos were all out of the way!
- Having a small bridal party and involving our friends in other ways. Our bridal parties organised our hens/bucks events and helped support us on the day, while our other close friends were our emcee, made our cake, read a poem, performed as usher, sang a song at reception, took care of music, etc, which spread out the ways people could be involved and let them showcase their talents more than if we had a just huge party instead.
- Asking friends for help and entrusting them with the details. I'm a control freak, so letting go was hard for me. Once I did, it was magical, and our friends all came through in the most amazing way. It also meant the day was really filled with love, as every detail was either made by hand by me and my parents, or by our friends.
- Organising a wedding in five months. The insanely short time period meant everything was full-on from the engagement onwards, but it also meant no time for dilly-dallying with tiny, insignificant details. I didn't have time to change my mind multiple times about things or fuss over things like flower arrangements. It was a simpler process as a result and didn't mean the entire year or longer was consumed with wedding planning.
- Keeping a blog and scrapbook of the whole process - I love having these to look back on. I'm getting my blog printed and bound into a book.
- Getting gorgeous shoes - surprising how many people commented on my shoes!
- The dress - it cost a small fortune but was totally worth it.
- Choosing a local florist. Kat from Petals and Leaves lives near my parents. She did an amazing job at a great price and we got fabulous service which we didn't get when trying to get quote from other, bigger, florists.
- Cutting costs on things we could make ourselves. The DIY projects cause a lot of angst, but were totally worth it. I love that we made all of the stationary (with some help from our very good - and patient - friend Sally). Even though it didn't look especially professional, it really summed us up.
- Ditching hire cars and using the vintage Chrysler. Rental cars cost a bomb and are no-where near as fun as the road trip we had across Sydney in the Chrysler with the "suicide doors". That's right. Need to be careful as to where one puts one's elbows in a car with suicide doors.
- Including my bridesmaid Rosalie's three-month-old baby, Chiara, in the ceremony as our flower baby. She wore fairy wings and stole hearts. The perfect beginning to our ceremony.
- Holding a pre-wedding brunch for people involved in the day. It enabled key people to know each other before the wedding.
- Engagement photos. Vincent also took these a few weeks before the wedding. It was great to have the dogs involved since they couldn't be involved in the wedding, and the photos looked amazing framed at the venue. Plus, now we have really gorgous photos of our little family framed on the walls at home!
- Spending a few days up the coast at Nelson's Bay after the wedding to unwind. We were exhausted. Mentally and physically wrecked, so we spend four days sleeping, eating, then sleeping some more. Our honeymoon is in April, which gives me something else to look forward to, and as a result, I'm not feeling any post-wedding blues. Hooray for holidays!
- Creating a wedding site to give guests info and using a Google form on the site to collect our RSVPs. Made it all very simple to organise.
What We Could Have Done Without
- The "just married" sign I bought from Etsy.com and had placed on the back of the car. I don't think anyone saw it and it was a hassle for the best man to get on the car in time for our exit.
- Trying to be creative with sparklers when we were leaving the venue with the idea of getting a cool photo out of it. Better off letting everyone just enjoy playing with them and heading straight to the car in retrospect.
- Family drama. It was minimal in comparison to what it could have been, but zero drama would have been better.
Things That Surprised Me
- How much people wanted to help us plan our wedding. It made me feel so loved to know we had such amazing people in our lives who loved us so much.
- I was sad that the wet weather meant our ceremony had to be held on the terrace instead of the lawn, but when I look at the photos, it looked amazing!
- How great our dads' speeches were. So funny as well! Nice job, dads.
- The fans and tea cups we provided guests with were popular. I thought for sure we would be left with a legion of fans and tea cups to re-home, but they all vanished!
- How glad I was when it was over and we were married. I felt so much happiness and contentment the next morning knowing the next step of our lives was now on its way.
Cutting the giant cupcake Julia made for us. Don't the cakes look amazing?