1. Seeing the Groom before the Wedding.
Although I am a stickler on wedding etiquette, I didn't fall for some of the old wives tales. We stayed together the night before, had breakfast together the morning of, and then saw each other before the ceremony to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and the wonderful light before our 6 pm wedding ceremony. I love the picture before, in fact we have this hanging in our bedroom, it is a wonderful reminder of the him seeing me in my dress for the first time.
2. Having Kids at the Wedding.
It was really not a choice for us for several different reasons. The first being that we love kids and all of our family have kids and we couldn't imagine them not attending. The second being that 90% of our guests were from out of town, and would you go to an out of town if you couldn't bring your kids? Also, why would you not want to see the kids dancing around like this?
3. Having it outdoors.
It's very risky, and I was would have been really upset if we had to go with our back-up plan, but the risk paid off. I am not crying in the picture before, it was really hot and that is sweat, I know much less romantic, but the truth.
4. Keeping the budget in check with my mad DIY skills.
I have a confession. I had a mini-bridezilla melt done while attempting to make the pew bows. Hubs, upon witnessing this, called the florist and asked them to do. I did however have some wins. I made all the jewelry that my bridal party, all the welcome bags and these nifty personalized water bottles.
5. Having the ceremony and reception at the same place.
As I mentioned most of our guests were from out of town, so it just made sense to not make them drive all over the place they were not familiar with. After the ceremony while we were making our dramatic exit, the staff of the venue was switching the ceremony site over to table and chairs, for the social hour, before dinner. It was awesome, we had a few minutes in the limo to relax and everyone was there when we got back.
6. Having only one hotel option for my guests.
It was so much easier. Everyone was in one place, and it allowed the reception to spill over to the early morning hours. The benefits we received we worth it for us and for our guests. The hotel run a shuttle all night, bringing guests to and from, the venue without them having to get stressed out about finding the place. It also made for a interesting reception since no one had to be the DD.
7. Unscripted Moments like this.
I am a planner by trade and by nature, so I typically do not do will when we go off script or plan. He will not admit to this, but he planned this. We sent out Christmas cards the next with this picture wishing everyone a "Smashing New Year" - check out the look my niece's face...