Friday, January 15, 2010

Pearls Events Favorite | What I Would Do Differently

In March 2008, I wrote about the things I would do differently for my own wedding. I got many great responses, and really loved hearing from former brides. I wanted to ask a new group of readers what they would do differently now that their wedding has come and gone, possibly helping out some current brides who are planning.

This time around, I also included the list of things I would do exactly the same - something I had not done previously.

What I Would NOT Change

1. The Guy - Greg is the only guy for me.

2. The Location - I absolutely fell in love with St. Cecilia's Music Society and I always wanted to get married in my church, which is conveniently located right next door to St. Cecilia's.

3. The Day - we were married on a Friday afternoon, and I loved having Saturday to relax, open gifts with our parents and pack before we headed to Bermuda for our honeymoon.

4. The Photographer - I still look at our wedding photos and cannot believe how much I love them. Jen is amazing and highly recommended in my book.

5. The Favors - I knew I wanted something edible, and something that added color to the tables. I got a steal on Jones Sodas from our local beverage distributor (88¢ a piece!) and had my sister create a custom thank you tag to hang around the bottle. We had a few extras, but enjoyed them the month following our wedding.

Okay, now for the things I'd tweak...

Same Budget

1. I would have chosen comfort over style in the shoe department. I decided to wear 3.25" Grace Bianca heels. They were gorgeous candlelight silk that matched my gown, and were tall enough so I didn't need to have my gown hemmed, but my feet were killing me. All night long.

2. I would have done a mixture of flowers, instead of an all-rose bouquet. The roses smelled great and all my life I thought I wanted to carry roses, but looking back at photos, I think mixed flowers would have been a better choice.

3. Even though we loved our cake centerpieces, looking back, I'm a bit bummed that I didn't do floral centerpieces. I am SO practical sometimes, and it was hard for me to spend all that money

4. I would have made more time for group photos. Our photographer did an amazing job with the time we had, but I wish I had more images of our gorgeous bridal party. I was adamant about our bridal party enjoying cocktail hour, and in hindsight, I wish we would have used that time for fun photos downtown Grand Rapids.

Dream Budget

1. I would have hired an amazing videographer. We had my cousin, a film student at the time, film a video for us, but if we would have had an extra $3000+, I would have hired professionals. Our video captured the day, but it does not look like a Hollywood production.

2. Gorgeous linens - I would have gone nuts with textures, colors and special touches. The all-white linens, with the brown runner were good in our venue, but I would have loved champagne, chocolate and ivory instead.

3. I would have added a Photobooth. I didn't even know this place existed when I was planning three years ago and our guests (and us!) would have had a blast!

4. Our honeymoon to Bermuda was relaxing and fun, but it would have been amazing to spend 4 times the amount of money and go to The Maldives or somewhere equally as exotic.

So, what would you do differently?
Please share with brides reading along. Maybe you will inspire them to tweak their plans.

[images copyright Jen Kroll Photography]

13 lovely comment(s):

Mindy Jan 15, 2010, 8:45:00 AM  

We would hire a *professional* photographer. Even 5 years ago I had no IDEA what wedding photography has become. It is so much more than lining people up and having them smile. I felt like a relative could handle that task, and the result is adequate but nothing special.

We would have spent less on the venue and more on the details that fill it. Our ceremony was outdoors, and beautiful, but the reception hall was a budget buster and we cut corners in almost every other area because we thought we HAD to have it this extravagant place. It was pretty, but a little much for us, and if we had put any effort into searching for another option, I am sure we could have been just as happy.

Amanda @ Ruffled Jan 15, 2010, 9:25:00 AM  

I would have looked further into buying a used wedding dress. There are so many high end wedding dress labels being sold for the same amount of money I paid for my wedding dress, and most of them were worn for just a few hours...

Dooby Design Jan 15, 2010, 9:27:00 AM  

Yes, I would have to agree with Mindy. I would definitely put more money into Photography. It's the only memory you have after the big day. I would also do a really cool video...I love this aspect of capturing the precious moments. The only other thing is I would have worn a veil instead a flower.

Alicia Jan 15, 2010, 10:03:00 AM  

Our wedding was perfectly imperfect. It rained mid ceremony, we had a DJ who mispronounced my name and it was 40 degrees by the time guests left BUT I wouldn't have changed a thing... well, maybe one. The amazing Jen Kroll also shot our wedding, our photos were spectacular!! I planned on us to taking photos during our cocktail hour however we missed mingling with our guests because we had so much fun with Jen (thus got incredible shots!). Seeing Kyle down the aisle for the first time was magical however, had I been more insightful I would have considered seeing him "before" the ceremony- giving us plenty of photo time AND time to spend with guests.

Daisy Jean Jan 15, 2010, 10:05:00 AM  

I WISH I would have...

- Ordered colored linens. They bring take the decor to the next level!

- Had rehearsal in the rain instead of stopping it short.

- Not made my BMs buy the same dress. Should have told them a color and let it go from there!

- Less time between ceremony & reception.

- Not let my wedding venue bully me.

- Gave my florist more specific instructions instead of trusting her artistic vision.


Glad I splurged on,

- Hired pearls events to make everything perfect the day-off.

- Had a great photographer.

- Had a mini-destination wedding. Jan 15, 2010, 10:50:00 AM  

Not to be a broken record, but Adam and I have family all over the US, so instead of having them take time off to spend in boring Zeeland Michigan, we got married in Vegas, so they could all have a lot more to do with their time off.
I wouldn't change that part, but I DEFINITELY should have found a photographer I loved and paid for them to come out with us and photog our wedding. My pictures are terrible and I am already planning a rocking vow renewal ceremony just to get some pictures that really capture the celebration of me and Adam spending our lives as one.

Unknown Jan 15, 2010, 10:52:00 AM  

I hate to restate what other people are saying...but yeah, I would also have spent more on photography and I really wish I had a wedding album (when I got married though I thought that was so old fashion and lame).

I also think I would have selected a different reception location. We felt limited because we were planning our wedding from another state and needed a place that could do a lot of the work for us (no setting up tables ourselves). But in restrospect I wish we had a more casual wedding at a beautiful locale like a barn or b&b.

Lindsey Nartker Jan 15, 2010, 11:24:00 AM  

I, too, would have hired a professional photographer. I was married at a resort who insisted that we use their in-house photographer. Bad decision! I wish I would have snuck in someone I knew... it makes me jealous every time I see stunning pics from my brides!

I think I would also have used a microphone for the ceremony. Pretty silly, I know... but no one could hear our vows over the waves and wind. The ceremony was the most important part of our wedding and we weren't able to share it with our guests!

Lindsey Jan 15, 2010, 12:52:00 PM  

While I absolutely loved our wedding, there are definitely a few things I would have changed:
I would have not had all-floral centerpieces (although the pieces created by our florist were absolutely stunning). I really wish we had somehow incorporated fruit or feathers into the centerpieces, or I could have made them, then some of the floral budget could have gone elsewhere.
For photography, I am in love with our album. Our photographer did an amazing job, but there were shots I had envisioned (like the back of my dress as I was walking down the aisle)that didn't happen, simply because I didn't ask for them. Advice for brides - make sure you pay attention to the "must have" photo list you should get from your photographer - don't be afraid to add things! They just want to make you happy.
The only other thing I really regret is not having a videographer. In my mind it would just be a grainy home movie with random background noise that we would never watch. Had I done my homework, I would have realized that wedding videos have come a long way, and can be edited to and set to whatever music you choose.
I miss my wedding! It was so amazingly fun to plan.

Kristin Jan 15, 2010, 9:03:00 PM  

What I wish I would have done differently....
*I would have hired a videographer! My husband and I both say that was the one thing that seemed "unnecessary" at the time, but it's the one thing we regret now.

*More colorful flowers - I wanted a very simple and clean look, so I went with all white with silver touches - looking back, pops of color would have been gorgeous.

What I am glad I splurged on...
*the venue
*Photo booth and candy buffet - both were huge hits!
*the meal - we didn't go with the low-end option, and we received so many compliments, and the hot passed hors d' oeuvres were a really nice touch.
*the right DJ - he was more $ but so worth it!

Kathleen@PlushPaper Jan 16, 2010, 12:47:00 AM  

I wish I would have given my bridesmaids the option to choose their own dress. Looking back, choosing one dress style for seven grown up women just seems absurd. If I could go back in time, I would give them the option to choose from a handful of selected styles and colors that would coordinate as we whole. They would have been so much happier, and it's a great look as well.

I am MOST thankful that we...

...splurged on a great band. They were incredibly talented and entertaining and had everyone young and old on the dance floor.

...decided to hire a videographer. I am really happy with our wedding photos, but there are emotions that I feel and re-live as I watch our video that just can't be compared.

...received our wedding photos on a disk. Someday somehow I will sort through the thousands of photos and create the perfect wedding album :) I love having the ability to do what I want with the photos, now and in the future.

Anonymous Jan 16, 2010, 12:54:00 PM  

1. Bought one less wedding dress!! :-)
2. Spent less money by sticking to a budget instead of not really having one. (I am still paying for our wedding)

Best day of my life!! I wish that I could go back and experience it all again! I am still so thankful that Aletha from Pearls Events was there to take care of everything!! I did not have to worry about a thing and was able to enjoy myself and our guests!

Laura Sartorello

andreajoyce Jan 18, 2010, 12:56:00 PM  

How fun! I love your cake centerpieces!

My wedding was low-budget. I mean, really, really low. There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently now that I know what I know now.

I wish things would have been more fluid. My wedding was a hodge-podge of things I love. My colors were grand, but there was no coherency through the rest of the reception.

I would have ditched the DJ and gone with an iPod or a laptop. With a higher budget, I would have had a band.

I would have ditched the girl who stood up for me as my maid of honor and just stuck with my original idea of having my best friend be my "man of honor."


Keeping? My hubs! My dress, although now my tastes have changes and I think I would like a dress without as much "poof." I would keep our venue, our cake and most certainly our photographer!

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