A few weeks ago, I shared with you some high school yearbook-style superlatives! There were too many to put in one post, so here’s a part two!
Biggest worries about stuff I could do nothing about (a tie!)
Weather. November weather in the DC area is quite pleasant, but folks tend to forget that. But there are, of course, cold snaps here and there. So, we knew we were taking a chance by having an outdoor wedding in November (with indoor backup locations of course). Our wedding day was a definite cold snap. Luckily we didn’t have the rare October snow that fell just two weeks before our wedding, but our wedding day was the coldest day that entire week! In the end, I think it worked out just fine. I don’t think it was any more inconvenient to our guests than what it would’ve been if we had an outdoor wedding on a sweltering July day, something brides and planners never even bat an eyelash about.
Losing my job. Back in August, the organization I work for announced its intention to conduct a Reduction in Force (that is the new agey term for layoffs). This was a fairly significant worry for me especially because i was spending so much money. Luckily I wasn’t laid off so all is well!
Most awesome decisions
Most frequently second-guessed decisions
DIY Wedding day makeup. I’m pretty good with makeup, but realized that I should probably have it done professionally for my wedding day. Then I had a terrible hair and makeup trial back in September. I knew I had to get my hair done professionally, but I’m pretty good at doing my own makeup. So, I found a great hair stylist for my wedding-day hair, but opted to do my own makeup. Even until the week before the wedding I was second guessing this decision! But, based on some of our guests’ photos, my makeup looks great in the pictures!. Phew!
Self deejay. This is a really big risk/reward decision. The risk, of course, is that everything could go wrong, the equipment could malfunction, and then you’re left with a music-less wedding. But the reward is saving a significant chunk of change. The cheapest deejay we found in the DC area was $1100 for 4 hours of music. So, we decided that we’d self-deejay, even though I had some second thoughts for a while. But then once Ken started showing me how all the equipment worked to iPod our Wedding, I felt a lot better about everything! Our self-deejaying went off without a hitch! Ken even got the equipment set up in less than five minutes!
Whether to get ready at house or at hotel. I went back and forth on this decision for a LONG time, and first articulated it back in March. Our house was about a 20 mile drive to the wedding venue right down I-95. However, that stretch of I-95, even on weekends and holidays, ALWAYS has traffic. Seriously, I have never once been on that stretch and not sat in traffic. The heaviness of the traffic, however, varies. Sometimes we could get to the venue as quickly as 30 minutes, sometimes it could take well over an hour. So, I was panicked that traffic would be extra heavy on my wedding day and thought it would be better to get ready at a hotel near the venue. On the flip side, I wanted to get ready in familiar surroundings, and not worry about forgetting anything. As I write this, I realize it’s a longer story than I expected and probably needs its own post. But in the end, I got ready at the hotel. It went fine, but I did forget my personalized wedding hanger.
Most involved groom EVER
Ken, of course. Seriously ladies, I was so lucky. Ken took on SO many wedding-related projects. From programming a lighting scheme, to figuring out and buying and setting up all the deejay equipment, developing a DIY photobooth, making an incredible custom slideshow that incorporated both photos and home videos, tweaking our wedding invitations to make them look even more awesome, and figuring out the best way to incorporate LED lights into my dress, he was a super groom!
Biggest guest annoyances
Buying items not on registries. Seriously guests, there are three appropriate gifts for a wedding. 1) An item that is on the couple’s registry, 2) Cash or Check, 3) A gift card to one of the stores they’re registered at. That’s it. Ever. It was a huge waste of time returning gifts we didn’t want. (Extra Tip: If you DO decide to be “that guest” and buy a gift that’s not on the registry, please, for the love of G-d, provide the receipt!)
Not RSVPing on time. I was prepared for this, but still, I was shocked at how many people were so late with their RSVPs and had to be hounded to return them.
Most unreasonable fear
Getting sick or hurt before the wedding. I’m not sure why, but I had this terrible fear that I would fall down the steps and break my leg or that Ken or I would get into some horrific car accident right before the wedding. Although I only work on the 2nd floor in my office building, I took the elevator almost every day in the six weeks or so leading up to the wedding.
Most unwittingly involved wedding helper
Thank you, UPS man. You delivered so many of our wedding purchases and wedding gifts in such a pleasant, timely manner!
Regularly-watched TV shows. By the time Ken and I started watching our regularly-watched TV shows again after the wedding, we were at least seven or eight episodes behind on the TiVo. We’re still catching up!
Most awesome newly discovered website
Most epic fail
Remember that post from the summer in which I outlined non-wedding activities I would do? Ummm, it’s confession time. I didn’t do a SINGLE ONE of those activities. Oops.
Lamest excuse for a guest not attending the wedding
“I’m really broke and can’t afford the gas for a 40 mile trip.” They told us this about 20 hours before the wedding. (seriously, just lie or just say you can’t make it)
Most surprisingly easy wedding tasks
Virginia bureaucratic processes, including applying for a liquor license and a marriage license. Our venue required a Virginia liquor license if we planned to serve alcohol. I applied and was approved for a Virginia liquor license in less than 24 hours. I applied online for the license on a Sunday night. By 11AM on Monday morning, I had a voicemail from a nice lady at Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with further instructions. I called her back, and she was so pleasant and helpful! The license was e-mailed to me on Monday evening!
Applying for our marriage license was also a very pleasant experience. Virginia requires that marriage license applications be submitted in person. We went to the local county courthouse about a month before the wedding to apply. There were no lines, the clerk was super friendly, and we were done within about five minutes!
Most blatantly copied wedding ideas
Our wedding card box. Seriously. With the exception of color and some additional lighting, we copied this idea almost exactly. Ken had a LOT of fun with this one. He used it as an excuse to dabble in case modding.
Biggest “bride brain” moment
I had to pick up some items from Costco the Monday before the wedding. The same Costco I have been to probably dozens of times. With my brain in Bride mode, I drove more than two miles past the exit for Costco before I even realized what I had done. All of a sudden I was like, “Wait, why am I in the car again? Where am I even going?” Don’t drive distracted!
Biggest “whoa, I can’t believe I almost just did that”
You can read more about this in last week’s Wedding Recap, but I walked out the door the day before the wedding without anything to wear to the rehearsal dinner!
ooooooooomg I 100% hear you about the gifts. We got some of the most horrendous (non-registered, no receipt) gifts ever. Mexican ceramic plates, very, very funky candle stick holders, and some wooden “hearth” ornamental piece that we literally just threw out. Most of the stuff is still sitting in our basement, or has since been donated to good will. No one on Craigslist even wanted these things … I just don’t get it …
While I don’t expect everyone to follow Miss Manners’ pronouncement that registries are pushy and rude and that gift cards are lazy and thoughtless (I think both are a convenience for guests), it is a widely accepted precept of etiquette that registries are not a mandate. Guests are supposed to get a gift that they think you would like or find useful and that they can afford. That’s it. If you don’t like it, then yes, suck it up and take the half hour to return it to the store or donate it. But complaining about it is the etiquette fail here.