Well...we did it. This Totally Awesome Boy and I got hitched on Oct. 23, after more than five years of dating, 10 months of being engaged, and 5 months of wedding planning. Just like everyone suggested, the day flew by and I could hardly sleep the night of the big day because all the memories kept replaying in my head, like mini movies. For being a small, intimate wedding with 30 guests, it had all the power and gusto of a big soiree. And it was a lot to take in.
But in the week following, as life returned to normal, I realized that I learned a lot during our big day. Some things surprised me, and some things turned out better than I ever could have imagined.
Relaxed does not mean boring
We had a relaxed reception with an iTunes playlist, no seating chart, and no bouquet toss or garter dance. We got up and kicked off the first dance when we felt like it, and there was no pressure to follow a specific timeline (other than when the food was ready.) We just went with the flow. And honestly, people enjoyed it. I think the schedule offered people a chance to loosen up a bit, as opposed to feeling uptight.
Goof-ups mean memories
After I walked down the aisle with my father, the officiant introduced me as "Chrissy," which we think was a combination of my name and Chris' name. As everyone stood there in awkward silence for a moment, trying to process what exactly had just happened, someone piped up and politely corrected him. We all awkwardly giggled, but then we moved on. I told Chris later that "Chrissy" was just our new celebrity romance name.
Old school beats all
We wanted to try a little bit of everything at our wedding, so we put out
disposable cameras and a selfie stick for our guests, since we weren't
sure which would work better. Later we realized one group used the
selfie stick (after we had to show them how to use it) and we still
haven't seen the one picture that was taken with it. After we ordered CDs filled with our disposable camera
photos, we realized we had more than 100 goofy photos of guests
dancing, holding signs and just having a good time. Those photos are an
True family and friends will always have your back
had a lot of laidback, DIY elements to our wedding, which required some
assistance. Luckily, we had help. We had friends playing our playlist
on time, collecting autumn leaves for our scrapbook, and more. Family
parked our truck (since we couldn't afford a car and driver,) helped do
the bustle on my dress, and helped us clean up and carry everything out
of the venue once the party ended. It really surprises you (and feels good) when people
step up without even having to be asked.
Just be yourself
Chris and I were so happy for that day, mostly for two reasons: We had a small, intimate day with less than 30 people because we invited only who we really wanted there, and because we had worked hard and saved up to pay for the majority of the day by ourselves. So when the day finally came, we really wanted to enjoy it with genuine smiles on our faces. And we did! We smiled, we danced and we laughed the entire night through. To our surprise, one of our bartenders commented to a family member of ours that they had worked at a few receptions and we were the happiest couple they'd ever seen. That meant a lot to us.
The biggest lesson I learned, though? Have a wedding that suits you. Our small, low-key, intimate day was exactly what was best for us, so we had a good time.
Just a few of our disposable camera gems are below. Also, check out Melissa Blake's post about our big day here! It's a beautiful post.