June 17, 2004

Curious George - I'm getting married almost exactly a year from now and it occurred to me that I need to start thinking and arranging for things. Anyone with experience planning a wedding have advice? I have questions for guys and gals.

It's going to be a small wedding with about 40 or 50 people and we're on a limited budget. My mother is going to pay for the dress though (yay!). We have possible family issues--domineering mother in law, small = not a lot of extended family is being invited, I have a dad I'm not terribly close to and a step-dad I adore (who walks me?! eek!). What did your Maid of Honor do that really helped? Was there anything that surprised you about planning? Are there certain things I should be aware of early on? What things did you find were must haves and what kind of expectations did you have to let go of? Guys: how involved did you want to be in the planning, what kinds of things did you like to take care of? Thanks for your words of wisdom. They will be much appreciated.

  • first off, congratulations again you two. Are you going to be living in the area where you are getting married, or planning something long-distance? It makes a difference if you have to travel to make arrangements, but it can also enforce some efficiency by grouping things together and getting them taken care of in a small amount of time. In my case, I got married where I grew up (Denver) not where I was living at the time (New York). Had to rely on my mom to do a lot of reconnaissance work, which meant that she got a lot more input than she would have had otherwise. In retrospect, it meant abdicating a lot of little things to her, which was probably okay. Most of all, the thought that kept me sane throughout the process was that your wedding is just one day. It's the marriage that really matters. One of the things I did was delegate selection of the bridesmaids' dresses to the women in question - they figured it out amongst themselves, and sent me a picture of what they agreed on. They looked great and weren't stuck wearing some godawful thing that they'd never be caught dead in again. The rest of it is kind of a hazy memory at this point, but if I think of anything else I'll let you know.
  • Well, I can give you the guy side, and I'll leave the rest to our femonkeys: I enjoyed being involved in the decision making. However, the limit of my involvement was at the perfect level for a guy like me: discussion and approval/disapproval. This works well for my wife and me. She cares a little more about the minutiae than I do, so she loves doing the gruntwork and research, then letting me know what options she's happy with. We sit down, we discuss, we pick a finalist. It's the perfect system for us. Topics I was involved in were either general to the wedding or to the groom's side (I was completely in charge of tuxes, corralling the drunks groomsmen, etc.). I was in on decorations, reception, music, preacher, photography, all the big picture stuff. She did the dresses and flowers. Bridesmaids should be your wingpersons on this, seriously. Your maid of honor doesn't necessarily have to be the wedding coordinator, but she should make herself available to back you up (run errands, rub your back when you want to scream, etc) -- at least, this is my understanding. I won't pretend to know your family situation and won't pry, but I think your dad has to win by default. Your step will understand, much as I'm sure he loves you. Your father, though you may not be close, loves you too, I guarantee it. All things being equal, not giving him that privilege could further hurt things between you. But if he walks you (unless there's some serious hatred here you're too shy to mention), neither one of you will ever regret it.
  • Get one of those wedding checklist thingies. My sister's getting married in October and they haven't even sent invites yet, the dresses aren't made, the cake and flowers aren't booked although she knows what she wants, but they have booked the wet and dry weather venues and reception venue. Things tend to fall into place very quickly, so a year is a really long time that you can use to decide exactly what you want. Set your boundaries early on for parents' benefit. Tell them what you'll do and what they'll do and what input they get. Tell them in advance who else will be attending to avoid last-minute conflict but don't let them tell you who to invite. Your mantra should be "It's our wedding, goddamn it." As for who walks you down the aisle, pick the person you're closest to but give the other something important -- head usher or first speech or something. My sister isn't close to our stepdad or her real dad, so our baby brother (who's 19 but still a baby, honestly) is going to walk her. Families are the biggest stress during wedding planning. Another of my sisters is kicking up hell about the bridesmaids' dresses and rather than speaking to my sister the bride she tells me and expects me to tell the bride. Grr. At my wedding my mother kicked my father and half-siblings out of the reception without me knowing until after it was all over. Just remember: it's your wedding, and everyone else has to do what you say.
  • My best single piece of advice, based on my experience in planning events at work? You will always need more time and more hands than you think. Think of your wedding day as having specific parts: set-up (hours of it), the ceremony, the reception, and clean-up. Make sure all parts of it are well-staffed with people otherwise not involved in the actual wedding. You and your wedding party will not have any time to do anything other than get married on your wedding day. Seriously. I mean it.
  • Just remember: it's your wedding, and everyone else has to do what you say. Even jim_t?
  • On the budget front: you can save huge sums and pain with a little legwork. As a guiding principle, people in the wedding industry are money-grubbing arseholes. Work around them. Some specific examples from our own experience (all costs in NZD): 1/ The reception. We shopped around. Wedding venues cost a fucking fortune, typically from $80/head and up, for buffet food. We took over the best restaurant in town (Il Casino, for those who know Wellington) for $40/head. Wedding venues see you as a cash cow. Restaurants see you as a large booking, and many will actually think the idea of hosting a wedding is kinda neat. The food and service will most likely be much better. 2/ Flowers. Amazing. Who knew florists were such bloody brigands? My wife wanted a simple boquet with a few roses and was told it would be $200. By all the florists in town, who run a little cartel on "what weddings will cost". A flower wholesaler 30 minutes out of town does roses for a buck a rose. My father in law drove out the day before, bought 50 (instead of the dozen or so we were after), and we got fresher flowers in abundance. YMMV on this one. 3/ Photos. We got a very good photographer who had done weddings before, had a good portfolio, and was in her final year of design school, majoring in photography. Her hourly rate and processing fees were lower than a studio, and unlike established studios, she did not cop an attitude, try to force us into crappy shoots we didn't want, or tell us that we had to buy an album as arranged by them as an "extra" cost. Even more important, she was happy for us to buy the film, which means that (under New Zealand law), her work was work-for-hire and we own the copyright. This means we don't get locked into any of the horrors of incredibly expensive reprints, being unable to, eg scan our own photos and email them to people, or, in extreme and spiteful cases that I know have occurred, have the photographer go out of business and decide to destroy the negatives rather than hand them back to the bride and groom (as they are legally entitled to do if the hold copyright). We not only save a few hundred bucks, we got a very good photographer and full ownership of our wedding photos. Can't stress this enough. Some general notes: my best man and groomsman handled a bunch of stuff like making sure the right people went suit shopping at the right time, organising meetings and the like - not major things, but generally making sure that, as I like to joke, that being a groom is just a matter of showing up and being dressed - and the best man takes care of that. A friend organised the car (thanks, vitalorg...), and one of the bridesmaids organised the bride's car for arriving. My wife vetted the speeches to make sure nothing untoward was going to come up - and just as well, because the chief bridemaid's speech would have been a (well intentioned) disaster (wrong stories for the wrong audience); her second effort was wonderful. The best bit of advice we got, though, came from the guy who mnaged the wedding venue, when my wife was worrying about parking: "You have enough to worry about. That's the guests' problem. Don't try to manage everything." Take things at your own pace, in your own way. If your bridesmaids/matrons of honour are willing to pick up lots of stuff and you're happy with that, let them. If you're a planner/control freak, tell everyone else to butt out, as firmly as needs be. It's *your* wedding, not the mother-in-law or Aunt Jane's. My wife didn't want any "groom turns up to wedding late from stag night" or "hens' night with strippers" nonsense, and made it clear how unhappy anyone who tried that would be, "tradition" be damned.
  • And, when you get down to the wire, and everything seems to out of control, and turf wars start over details, and, at the last minute, there are so many last minute details to pay attention to, and the rehearsal seems way off ideal: It's a celebration, not a work assignment. The day, itself, will be perfect. And if it isn't perfect, you won't notice, cause it's the celebration that matters. And no one else will really care if perfection isn't met, 'cause it's a celebration for them, too. Everyone wishing you the best of everything and then going to a party. This isn't really practical help, but something to keep in mind as problems arise.
  • I've never run a wedding, but from seeing two brothers get married, my advice is, Take It Cool. Brother #1 stressed out about everything (including Brother #2's wedding, when that came around), so did the wife, both didn't sleep for two weeks beforehand, Brother #2 didn't stress about anything, neither did the wife, and everything worked out great (including some things that would have been terrible in Brother #1's wedding, like me giving my tux measurements in metric from abroad and getting a tux in inches when I came home), and happier memories all around, at least of the planning stage. Good luck (and great to hear)!
  • One other thing: there are creative ways around many family problems. One of my favourites is an ex's sister and her husband. Husband is part (Samoan? Tongan? I forget which), with a huge, sprawling family and cultural obligations to invite 'em all, even the drunks, freeloaders, and brawlers who had made a mess of other weddings - or he'd offend the members of his family he does care about. Well, he and wife a vegitarians and not much for drinking. Explaining to all the relatives that everyone would be invitied by the wedding would be dry and the catering vegitarian apparently cused all the troublemakers to mutter about it being a crap wedding and decide not to attend. All the rellies who they cared about showed, though.
  • After posting: as so often: what path said.
  • [throwing bananas] Congratulations! >"domineering mother in law, small" fyi, fwiw, per the etiquette books; the groom
  • >"One of the things I did was delegate selection of the bridesmaids' dresses to the women in question - ... weren't stuck wearing some godawful thing that they'd never be caught dead in again." Thought the horrible braids maid dresses where done to make the bride more better looking than them {sigh}. ambrosia, that was Fantastic of you.
  • It was my understanding that the role of mother-of-the-groom consists entirely of wearing beige and keeping her mouth shut.
  • "braids maid" = bridesmaids'
  • My mom wore grey both times, but yeah.
  • [tiptoes back into thread] Tracicle (wonderful sweet darling monkey that she is) is frightening me. Yes, it is your wedding. Yes, you are in charge and get to tell people how it's going to be. But please consider that there are other people involved who bring their egos and dreams with them. Your mother for example. She has been dreaming of this day longer than you, and is at least partially funding it. Please treat her requests with some delicacy, if you cannot accomodate them. Do not allow yourself to get so wrapped up in creating the perfect expression of your union that you alienate friends and family and leave hurt feelings in your wake. Resolve not to become Bridezila. In short, what path and PF said.
  • Ambrosia and tracicle have pretty well nailed it! One question--how formal is this going to be? I second the advice on bridesmaid's dresses. Vote on a color and let them chose the style--or styles. Unless this is so dang formal they have to be EXACTALLY alike, they'll be happier in something that they like. Nice to make it a happy day for everybody. It's your (plural) day. Remember to keep him happy--and what will probably keep him the most happy is to keep the fuss to a minimum. Honestly, if the color on the flowers is a tad off, don't drive anyone crazy about it--especially yourself. Guess what? Something WILL go wrong. Keep a major sense of humor and try to see the absurd. Remember, if it's REALLY bad, and someone gets videotape, you could win $100000 if you're willing to humiliate yourself on national TV. As far as who walks you up (down?) the aisle--what's more important to you? Things to think on: Is it a statement on whom "gives you away" or is it keeping peace in the family? Your dad loves you, and Love Understands. Will another job for your father be enough to keep cordial relations? OR you could opt for compromise. Have your father walk you out, and maybe even go up the aisle 1/3 of the way, then turn you over to your step-dad. Have your step-dad give you away. It worked in a similar fashion in real life, I'm assuming. If domineering mum-in-law appears to want to butt in, sweetly tell her that as a matter of Proper Etiquette, the BRIDE'S family takes care of the wedding and reception thenkewverymuch. Then put her in charge of the rehearsal/pre-wedding get-aquatinted dinner. Yadda yadda yadda how important/special it is to you. Let her work her heart out on that one. The GROOM'S parents do that according to PE. Then stick to what you told her. "Thank you for the suggestions, whatever; and how's your dinner coming on?" The other thing, if you're interested, is that you can go right to her and ask for her help on is the "borrowed, blue, old, new" thing. Tell her you want something small enough to carry up the aisle in your hand with your flowers. That limits the amount of ugliness she can foist on you. If you pre-empt her now by asking for help, then you can tell her later, "Thanks, no thanks, we've already got that taken care of." And she can't say you ignored her or are leaving her out of it.
  • Organise the reception at a Chinese restaurant and have a traditional wedding banquet.
  • Congratulations! A few things that I've learned from being in / attending weddings over the years; As suggested above, let the bridesmaids work out the dresses. That way they can set the budget they are all comfortable with without hurting your feelings. NO ONE will remember whether or not your bridesmaids wore matching shoes, EXCEPT for the pissed off bridesmaids who had to pay for them (via my cousin who was forced to buy $150 platforms, even though she is 5'10" and has no business on God's green Earth wearing platform shoes). Same goes for most of the details; get the look you want, but don't be too fussy about it - no one will remember the teeny details that you woke your fiance up at 2am fretting over. EXCEPTION: The photographer. These are the photos you will be looking at and sending out, don't save on your budget by scimping on the photographer. Interview several photographers, or better yet ask one or two people in your wedding party to interview several and give you their top three suggestions. This way you will get a good idea of what the differences are in terms of what you will get for what price. If you are looking over a photographer's sample books and you see all the same poses (esp. if taken at the same venue!) walk away and don't look back. That person is doing it by the numbers and you won't get anything personalized or reflective of you and your fiance's personalities. Second the suggestion above that your contract include that you own the negatives. Not only do you control reprints, but I've known two cases where the photographer moved his business - one could no longer be located, and the other lost the couple's negatives in the move. Finally, based on an article I read years ago, suggest you tell the place where you get your dress that your wedding date is actually a few days before the actual date. Reason being that legally the dress shop must provide the dress before the wedding, even if that means (as in the case of the article I read) that it is ready 35 minutes before the wedding, which is taking place two hours away. The bride lost the lawsuit on that one, because *technically* the dress was ready before the wedding. Oh, that's US law, by the way. Don't worry, these are cautionary tales but hardly ever happen. Just be proactive about it all. On preview and ref to path: A lot of times people like to say that a wedding is about the bride. Sorry, but that is simply not true. As path said, it is a celebration of two families coming together. It is your wedding, but be kind and give in to something your M-I-L wants. Or better yet, ASK her to have a special role (our mothers walked down the aisle together, up to the alter, and lit the side candles that we used to light the unity candle, before being seated). It's your day, but it belongs to others as well.
  • ambrosia: I'm glad you weren't ordering my Mum's role in our wedding. She picked a flattering purple/blue outfit, and the day before presented my wife with the only real piece of heirloom jewellery on her side the of the family: a pearl necklace (perfect match for my wife's dress) my labourer grandfather had managed to scrimp enough cash to buy his beloved wife during the depths of the Depression.
  • I meant that she picks ONE item in old, new, borrowed, blue. That way you get something from FOUR people who are/will be important in your life. Oh, sorry, forgot the congrats and bunch of bananas.
  • Rodgerd: It's not my rule, and in fact it wasn't followed by my mother-in-law, and that was fine. (She wore grey, like PF's mom, and she doesn't speak English, so the second part was basically moot.) It's intended to be more of a bright line to reign in the meddlers than a hard-and-fast rule. I've known some women who smile brightly at this because that means all they have to do is show up and celebrate.
  • Just don't send your guests one of those present checklist things where you choose the presents that they have to get. They suck, and are insulting. People who do that to me, I ignore it and get them a generic toaster.
  • dng, I meant 'you' the plural, honest! I have an insane family, so maybe I'm projecting a bit. But I've heard so many stories about brides whose mother-in-law or mother has a stronger personality and they alter the wedding to become something the bride didn't want. Maybe what I should have said is that your (plural) happiness is what matters over all. I'm in a bossy mood today. :)
  • Nostrildamus, I've never heard of a gift checklist before! Is it more restricting than a registry (which I have heard of but never tried)?
  • Congratulations Kimberly! I just got married last October. My hub & I went SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE. We did not want to spend huge amounts of money (we had just bought a house). We were very lucky to have people in our lives who were willing & able to make contributions to creating the event. not only did it save money but it made the day so personal & intimate. Stay focused on what you two want out of the day. You cannot please everyone, so aim to please yrselves. There are many aspects of weddings that I think are silly to spend lots of money on, but make sure you have a good photographer. I was in such a tizzy of excitement that day I dont remember a lot of the details so the pictures are even more special! Don't fall into the trap of having an agenda for perfection. Be ready to accept setbacks & mishaps as part of the day. Nothing is likely to "ruin" the day unless you decide to let it. Friends of mine had to delay their ceremony for nearly 2 hours as others drove the 45 miles to their house to get the rings, which the groom had forgotten!! Their wedding was gorgeous & the day was perfect, not to mention we still mock the groom for such a tremendous gaffe!! good luck, enjoy it & remember that it is the marriage that matters not the wedding. Medusa
  • Also, letting the bridesmaids pick their own, that might lead to them picking uniform, tasteful, subdued pieces, especially if a few if them know each other beforehand and there's one extrovert in the bunch. Worked once for my family. Well, for me, too much boob was showing, but then they had other duties, didn't they?
  • Dunno, tracicle.
  • 2 Comments, on Maids of Honour, and Stag/ette Parties: If your Maid of Honour is willing to help out, then definitely take advantage of it, but make certain she's okay with that. My partner and I have worked our butts off keeping weddings running for those we really cared about, but the effort of those weddings completely turned us off of accepting any responsibility at weddings for those we weren't quite so close to. I have also known many women who were downright annoyed when asked to take command of certain wedding details, and put in a mediocre effort as a result. Despite the wondrous reputation that Stag/ette parties seem to enjoy, I have never heard a good story out of one. Now that may simply be an example of how good news goes unheard, but I would suggest that if either bride or groom isn't really pining for a party, don't force one on them. Or have a relaxed, family-rated bash for all friends involved in the wedding. And definitely no parties the night before the ceremony - on that path seems to lie only disaster. One last snotty comment - get a completely separate, reliable third party opinion on a wedding dress. It always amazes me how many women can't recognize when they don't look good in something. Perhaps it's because they have an image in their mind of the dress they always wanted, without ever realizing how they'd actually look in it.
  • Since beforehand parties have come up, let me summarize the one got thrown for Brother #2: First, a game of Foosball - gather all males involved in the wedding (brothers, cousins, friends, no Real GrownUps) in a large room with No Important Breakables, with four or five rubber dodgeballs, seat them around the room, kicking and punching the balls is allowed/required, so long as the ball stays in motion, hang targets (chains, light bulbs, stuffed monkeys) from the ceiling, don't stop play until all targets are gone. Then, go to Undisclosed Location, where Tiki Torches are already burning, Initiate Groom-To-Be into adulthood and marriage thus: have him Take an Oath, have him Pass Seven Tests (throw fruit at him and have him Cleave it in the air with a Sword; have him Swear His Love with appropriate Test Questions; have him Recite Poetry; other Appropriate Measures; at the end, have him sworn in with Yeas all round), then have Sharing Time where each person (in voluntary order) tells how great Groom is, how wonderful his new, full life will be. Friends of jim_t, if you're reading, take it under advisement. I'm kind of far too jizzed about this than is appropriate for a couple monkeymonths of online relationship.
  • Gosh, all these lovely comments and wonderful advice. If you will permit, I'd like to play devil's advocate with these predictions: 1) All your planning will go along swimmingly, until, as the date approaches, first one plan and then another will get out of control, taking on lives of their own as your enthusiastic family and friends try to help, and you will spend the final weeks trying to keep the event from running berserk, and comparatively little on your own preparation. 2) At least one person dear to you will become extremely unhappy about something done at your wedding. There will be nothing you can do to prevent it. 3) No matter how carefully you plan and budget, the whole thing will end up costing quite a bit more than you were expecting. And my advice: 1) As the event draws near, be absolutely sure to plan time for you and your intended- days off or away to help restore your sanity- and include him in as many aspects of the wedding as he can stomach. 2) A wedding is not a theatrical event, but many people confuse the two. Please do not make this mistake: if the ceremony seems to getting complicated or requires choreography of any sort, it's time to simplify. Do not hesitate to toss out any so-called 'tradition', unless it has sentimental value, and be firm with anyone who questions your decision. Almost all wedding traditions, at least in America, are of fairly recent origin, and you don't have to do any of them. 3) Talk to your future spouse about eloping. Seriously; see what he says. Consider that the cost of a wedding might be better spent on an amazing honeymoon, or down payment on a house, and you could still have a splendid reception for everyone later. If he's still eager to have a ceremony, then proceed accordingly. And a final word, as you're on a budget. One of the nicest weddings ever had the bride and groom, brides maids and ushers simply wearing their best gowns and suits; no special clothing was needed or wanted. The effect was enchanting; everyone looked different, and they all looked their best. Oh, and congratulations and blessings for both of you! Mazal Tov! Advice from an old guy who has performed a wedding or two, if that counts for anything...
  • Thing the Maid of Honour can do that will help - put them in charge of running as many things as they can handle (assuming they are so willing, see earlier comment). By this I don't mean they plan the wedding. I do mean plan the wedding yourself, let them know they'll be in charge the 'day of', then sit down with them a week before and let them know what's been planned. Make sure of course that they're someone actually reasonably good at running events. Be sensible and get at least a groomsman involved as well, as there will be things that need more than one person, or people in two places at once. And don't be afraid to rope the wedding guests into helping out with set up, etc. The most fun weddings I've been involved with were low budget affairs where many of the younger guests helped set up the reception hall, organize and distribute the food, and then break things down after.
  • Yea, IMHO stag/stagette parties are usually very tasteless and can lead to disaster, in some cases. Also, please don't shove cake in each other's face. It's really tacky.
  • No booze on the bach party, I forgot to mention. Another bachelor party I attended that worked out well, even with copious Jameson's, I pretended to be the groom and danced with the stripper and licked whipped cream off her while the bride and bridesmaids were still in attendance and all had good fun, and there were popsicles in the shape of cocks and one big giant inflatable willis and lots of pornography, and condom water balloons.
  • PF: WAY TO GO1
  • oh I don't know BlueHorse I think the cake smooshing ceremony can be fun if it doesn't get out of hand...
  • Coincidentally seeing a photographer for my wedding this evening, he's is now so going to get the 3rd degree on everything mentioned in this thread, Thanks a lot all.
  • History of a Mystery,II: Ok, I posted a comment to this list some time after 3AM UTC. When I did so, there were 44 comments. Now there seem to be 38 comments. Speculation: Something has been GNAWING off the tails of comments made between 3AM and 8:30 when lloyder's comment went in... Or time has finally begun marching backward.
  • *whimper*
  • I made a comment around midnight EDT. And it disappeared too. It was the most insitefull comment EVAR too!
  • Two of my jingles have been snatched by the goblin or whatever benighted boggart took 'em. Also took away best wishes to Kimberly and JIm, which I also would like to see back in the thread. *buzzes furiously*
  • Keep it simple. Of course, things will get complicated, anyway. Bridesmaids? Who needs them? Just the three of you up there will be enough. Have an informal party the day before, so all the family and friends can talk and mingle. There may not be time for this on The Day. If you order good food for the reception, you may want to have someone save some for you. I ate it, but didn't taste it, because I was buzzing. In advance of The Week, address Thank You notes to those who have already given gifts, or you expect to. This way, you can promptly complete the notes and put them in the mail. This is important, because the givers deserve thanks and you may have a case of the guilts if the task gets put off. Park your car where your friends can see it. They will decorate it for your. Park another car around the corner. That is the one you will escape in. Don't drink too much. Or too little. Accept help from your friends.
  • Hi EarWax: Welcome to the Haus. Any distant relation to ol' Beez over there? Have a 'naner. My Brave, Bold, Beeswacky: We've lost some of your dee-vine poetry??? Say it ain't so! THIS HAS GONE FAR ENOUGH! Somebody call the Posting Police! *holds out smelling salts for the Bees
  • I've been maid of honor in 3 weddings. I've hosted showers, addressed invitations, loaned out my best necklace and kept a general lookout during the reception for any problems that might crop up. But I also brought THE BOX on the big day. THE BOX has basically a whole mess of things you never think you'll need. Until you see a bride on the verge of tears because she needs a safety pin. Or a groom in dire need of Mylanta after downing greasy chicken wings on a nervous stomach. THE BOX was a lifesaver. Give your mother-in-law some project to work on for the duration. If she's crafty, you've lucked out because she can handle party favors, decorations, altar coverings, etc. Basically, keep her busy doing something that she might enjoy. Ambrosia had it nailed in the first comment. The marriage is what you spend a year preparing for, not the wedding. If you spend a year preparing heavily for one day, you're going to be in for a giant letdown after the honeymoon. Also, when all the things you have to remember to do are driving you batshit crazy, please keep in mind that the only thing that matters is that you two are there to get married. The rest (and I do mean all of it) is optional.
  • A good bachelor party arrangement: Liquor's fine, as long as nobody's driving. AND make sure that it's not the night before. I had mine two nights before my wedding, and wasn't functional until about an hour before the rehearsal. Come wedding day, I was fresh as a daisy. That way his buddies are getting him loaded if they want to, and it won't mess up the wedding.
  • Ironically, *my* comment disappeared too. Lame! We'll see if this one sticks around: First of all, Thank you! This was exactly the kind of info I was looking for. It's nice to have a wide array of experiences to draw from--especially since I've hardly even attended any weddings and I've never participated in a wedding party. Second, it's going to be very small and informal. I'm only inviting my closest friends and family and I will have one attendant, my best friend (Space Kitty). She'll be the Maid of Honor. My two biggest priorities are having the people I love around me on this day and having a gorgeous dress. A third priority would be lots of good liquor at the reception. I'm hoping it will be as fun and relaxed as possible. I'm moving to Denver (ambrosia we must talk!) in August and that's where the wedding will be, so I won't have a ton of time to scout locations if I want to get them reserved for June. We actually think we might have found a place already though--a gorgeous victorian house where I would enter down a stairway and get married in the parlor.
  • Kimberly, my comment was "disappeared" into the ether too, but feel free to e-mail me. I'm happy to help.
  • Mickey is so right about the box! Among other things, we brought a small cooler to the church, where we dressed. It held water, sodas, and protein bars, and we were glad we had it because some people forgot to eat breakfast (don't do that!) and it was a long time to the reception. Also, may I suggest that there is nothing glamorous about a drunken bride (or groom, or wedding party, for that matter). All things in moderation, monkeys. Same goes for smoking - nothing glamorous about a woman in a gorgeous wedding dress smoking. If you smoke, try not to do so in front of your guests. IMHO.
  • Waterproof mascara!
  • One thing I heard, um, somewhere... When you book your venue, order flowers, etc., *don't say "wedding."* Say it's for a party. They jack up the prices for weddings. If you leave out the exact nature of the events, you'll get their normal price.
  • I know I'm coming late to the party (ha!), but I'd like to offer a suggestion regarding walking down the aisle. It seems to me--considering your dad/step-dad dilemma--everyone involved in raising you should walk you down the aisle (dad, step-dad, and mother). At the last two weddings I've been to, the groom walked down the aisle with his parents and was followed by the bride walking down the aisle with her parents. They all meet at the front of the church, the parents shake hands or hug, everyone kisses the bride and groom, and then the bride and groom walk forward to the officiant and the wedding begins (fwiw, these were very traditional Catholic weddings). This seems--to me, at least--to be a really really good way to go. It updates a tradition, your dad still gets to give you away (in a slightly modified sense), your mom gets to be involved, and the groom's parents are recognized for their contribution to their son's upbringing, as well. It's also very and immediately symbolic of a joining of families while celebrating a new partnership. The focus then shifts from 'giving away' to joining together. And, of course, congratulations!
  • That's a fantasic idea, lumiere. Hadn't thought of that.
  • Yes, Lumiere! Wonderful idea.
  • I was talking to my mother and a solution about the whole aisle thing presented itself. My step-dad has been playing the piano since he was a kid (he had to choose between being a professional pianist or a chemical nuclear engineer and he picked engineer but he still plays the piano) and I asked him if he would play the music for the procession. He was touched that I asked. So my mom and my dad are going to walk me down the aisle, and my step-dad is going to play the music. VOILA!! Also, this weekend I went to take a peek at wedding dresses and I BOUGHT ONE! The designer of a line I really liked was in the store and he picked out a dress for me and it's PERFECT! Woohoo!
  • WoW, Kimberly, sounds like it's all pulling together nicely. So, you promise to post pictures, right?
  • Well I *would* except that my fiance reads this. And he doesn't get to look. I'll email you though :D~
  • Me too!
  • Me too!
  • Hey Kimberly, feel free to email me about Denver stuff.... email is in the profile.
  • Hey! No fair peeking, jim-t!!!! (nice try, though)