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29 November 2006 @ 05:42 am
Pictures, Advice, Kudos and Goodbye!  
First of all I want to thank this community for being so supportive and offering such great advice and ideas. It really has been a pleasure to be here and cheering you guys on! Our wedding was on October 14, and we just got our pictures back from the photographer. Our photog's own wedding was two weeks after ours, so she was a little busy to get our pictures to us sooner!

Second of all, Here is a link to some of the professional pictures. Click on View Slideshow.

And third...my recap and advice.

My day really did go off without a hitch. I couldn't believe it! I can think of nothing that went wrong on the day of. The two days before, we had problems with two bridesmaids stranded in Chicago and one groomsman stranded in Hartford. But on the 14th, the only thing that was 'off' so to speak was my migraine, and I think that was due to lack of sleep and stress. (By the way...that Head On stuff...works)

Anyway...I think everything went well because I had planned it well, made many many many lists...and I counted on a lot of people that came through...

**Rely on, exploit, and use your friends and family! A lot of people will probably want to help you out in some way with your wedding. Don't turn them down! If people you know have certain talents, contacts, anything that can save you money or time...use them. Some examples from my wedding:
-My Maid of Honor is very creative. She did all the flower arrangements. All I spent was $250 on the flowers from Sams Club and 2G Roses. Hand tied bouquets, corsages and boutennieres are very simple to make.
-Husbands aunt is an excellent seamstress. She made my dress for me exactly the way I wanted it as a gift to us. All it cost was the $100 for material.
-I did freelance work for a videographer years ago. He shot and edited my wedding for me for free. He shot it in high definition too!

**If you can DIY your wedding, do it! You do NOT have to be a Martha Stewart to add some really nice, personal touches to your wedding that can also save you a TON of money. I DIY'ed a lot of the wedding. Well...pretty much all of it. I spent very little money but you couldn't tell. A lot of people complimented me on how well our personalities showed through in everything.

**Shop around for bargains.

**If you are not superstitious...take pictures before the ceremony. Work with your photographer to make that moment when you first see each other special (ours had us meet privately outside), but do it. It saves so much time. Your hair and makeup are fresh. And it cuts down on that time between ceremony and reception where you sometimes have guests twiddling their thumbs. Our ceremony was over at 4:20pm. Cocktail hour was at 4:30pm. By the time guests got through the receiving line, they could just head right over to the reception and start the party!

**Chose people for your bridal party that you can depend on. I don't know what I would have done without the people that stood up with us. My bridesmaids...wow...they took care of EVERYTHING the day before and the day of the wedding. I didn't have to worry about anything at all. They worked their butts off for me, and I can never begin to express how grateful I am to all of them.

**Eat!!! I see this a lot in advice posts...and I'm sorry to say I didn't take the advice. With my migraine, I was really nauseous all day. I couldn't even imagine eating anything. My bridesmaids literally forced me to eat crackers before the ceremony. I felt a little better. And once we ate dinner (and take the time to eat your dinner!) I felt great!

**Have fun at your wedding. It's hard, because you really should mingle and see as many of your guests as possible. But make sure you do get out there to dance (if you're having dancing) and goof around and be silly. You will really love your memories a lot more.

**Think outside the box. When you do this, you make your wedding a little more unique and memorable to your guests. We did some non-traditional things, like a handfasting ritual (I'm Pagan) that none of our guests had ever seen before. Our officiant was very cool with my Maid of Honor doing a Pagan ritual during our ceremony. That added an extremely meaningful and personal touch to the ceremony that everyone loved. We also did something a little different for favors. I potted up lucky bamboo and had one at every place setting. Even the staff of the reception place was begging me for any extras I might have. The point is, you don't have to have a cookie cutter wedding...

I got married in Michigan, and posted a Vendor Recommendation in mi_weddings, but there were a couple of national vendors/websites I used that I'd like to recommend.

-Sams Club Online and their bulk floral. I ordered 80 stems of Gerbera Daisies (around $50) and 100 red roses (around $50 as well). Shipping was expensive...but worth it. That was enough for my bouquet, 5 bridesmaids bouquets, 12 boutennieres, 6 corsages, flower cones on the aisle for the ceremony, and random flower arrangements (not the centerpieces). The flowers arrived in perfect condition Thursday before the wedding.

-2G Roses. I actually only ordered greenery from them, because Sams Club had the better deal online. I ordered Bear grass...basically a long blade of grass...and something called smilax, a greenery garland type thing we draped the head table with.

-Kaptiva Imports for their bulk Lucky Bamboo. The stalks arrived in perfect condition!

-Paper and More. I used them for all my stationery needs. I made my invites, my programs, placecards, tags for the favors all from paper here. Always fast delivery and pretty good prices.

-VistaPrint. I know they get recommended here quite a bit, but I really did have two great experiences with them. I ordered my save-the-dates as postcards through them...as well as my RSVP postcards. Both experiences were great!

-Greenfield Paper. I bought a few sheets of plantable paper from this site. If you looked at my pictures and saw my placecards...the base of the placecard is actually a plantable paper. Guests could take their placecard home, plant it in a pot, and it will grow wildflowers. It was a cool idea and the paper wasn't that expensive at all.

-ECOBags. I bought bags from here and used them to put the bridesmaids gifts in. They can use the bags at stores to carry purchases home in instead of wasting paper and plastic. The girls loved them! I just filled the bag with goodies for them, but they can at least reuse the bag too!

And now that I'm no longer planning a wedding, I think it's time for me to pull up stakes in this community. If anyone wants to friend me, I'd like that! Thanks for everything!!

x-posted in a few places....
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