My husband, Matt, and I are coming up on our 15th wedding anniversary. (Now is when you say, "How could you be married for 15 years? You don't look a day over 27!" Thank you, thank you! Ha! All kidding aside, we've seriously grown up together. He jokes that we had to get our parents to sign our permission slips when we got married.
I heard a song on the radio just the other day and it hit me pretty hard. The same song that had played at our wedding for the "older people" suddenly, and out of nowhere, applies to us! It's absurd, I tell you. How did we so quickly go from the couple on the center of the dance floor proclaiming that we "Could Not Ask For More" to being one of those people dancing the anniversary dance for like a really looooong time?
What would I (I mean, we) have done differently.... pretty much everything. It was a lovely wedding don't get me wrong. It was everything exactly as I wanted it at the time. Today, with almost 15 years of perspective, there would have been a lot of differences. I'm sharing this with you as that "voice of reason" that you would often hear if I were your wedding planner.
Firstly, that pesky guest list. There were 185 people at our wedding. I've probably not seen 85 of them since our wedding. Of the remaining 100, I'd probably cut that down, too, to the people that I truly believe support our marriage. Not that many people don't support it, just that most of those people, I think, are kind of indifferent when it comes to someone else's marriage. How many weddings have you been to that end in divorce and your final thought on it is, "well, that's a shame"? You don't immediately jump into action to save the marriage; you simply feel sorry for those going through it. I think if we focused our list down to those who really, truly care, we could have one heck of a bash for a lot less cash.
Secondly, our ginormous wedding party. Picking 1-2 people to stand by your side on your wedding day is more than enough. It cuts down on not only your expenses - flowers, hair, make-up, gifts - it cuts down on the stress of the day, too. Coordinating 1-2 people on the morning of the wedding besides yourself vs. sharing a room with 14 girls all destined to be the belle of the ball. You choose. Also, formal pictures flow much more smoothly and quickly the smaller the size of the bridal party.
Our wedding colors. I chose red. Nothing about me is red. My sisters look gorgeous in red and would be welcome to wear it to my revised wedding, too.... but I'm more of a blush and bashful kind of girl (comment below if you got the movie reference...bonus points). Seriously, walk through my house, scour my closet, go through my picture archives, I don't do red well, at all. When my clients tell me their color palette, I make them sell it to me. I want there to be a good reason behind the color choice. Colors and scents stay with you in your memory for a long time. Make them meaningful.
Hair & Make-up. I've said it before, "All I really cared about on day-of was marrying him." It's true. I had done a hair trial with a ton of long, really long, cascading curls, but on day-of, I went with a classic chignon and a tiara. As for make-up, I did my own and not much of it. By the end of the ceremony, I essentially had none left on. Did I pack a touch-up make-up bag? No way. That wasn't on my non-existent checklist. On the redo, I think I would have a softer, looser updo and professional make-up. Those MUAs really know what they are doing.
Photography. Budget mattered, and matters, but we had a family friend do our pics for us. He did a wonderful job, don't get me wrong, but we didn't sit down beforehand and compare photographer's styles and pick the one that fit our vibe as I always tell my couples. Our pics, again, are wonderful cherished memories, I just wish we had sit down and discussed a little bit more.
Videography. Again - budgets drive these decisions, but looking back, I would have liked to have had a videographer to capture the live moments. Pictures are priceless, but I'd give anything to see some of the guests who have passed on enjoying themselves again, or to be able to hear him say again, for the first time, "I marry you."
Venue. I'd probably add to my grey hair and plan an outdoor wedding. We had a lovely ballroom reception and everything was perfect. But, we're outdoors people. We live for sitting on the patio, hiking, going to the beach. I just think that would be more us. I'd strongly follow the advice I give my clients and make sure the wedding and all its details reflected who we are as a couple.
After changing out all of the things, one thing would remain the same. I'd still be the happiest girl in the world to walk down the aisle to see him standing there waiting for me. After hearing Alan Jackson's "Remember When" earlier this week, I'm certain I'd be crying my eyes out thinking of all the things we've been through together in our journey so far. "There was joy, and there was hurt....remember when?"
So stick around, friends, family and distinguished guests... there just may be a fancy wedding invitation showing up in your mailbox sometime soon.
PS - I'm certain we'd still enter our party to "Livin' on a Prayer". Something's never change!