Oh I love this post idea that I have shamelessly stolen from Brooke. She wrote a great post about what she loved what she would change about her wedding, and ten years later, I have a few ideas, too.
My huge poufy silly dress. I went shopping with a grad school bestie JUST TO LOOK and fell in love with it and bought it on the spot even though it meant I missed the iconic dress shopping with my mom. Then I lost so much weight that instead of altering it, I exchanged it for a dress 2 sizes smaller. And then! Instead of hemming it all the way, I doubled up on crinolines. Double awesome.
My pink satin Kate Spade shoes. They were such a splurge at the time, but I wore them for 10 years almost. They broke on my birthday this year when I teetered drunkenly across the golf course on the way home from my party.
Our invitations. They were black and white with a picture of a 50s-era couple dancing with lampshades on their heads. We got matching Thank-You cards, too. I LOVED them, but at the time, I was really annoyed that I didn't get engraved ones and had to settle for letterpress (LOL). We had a calligrapher do the envelopes, too, which was a lovely touch I am still happy about.
Our vows. We wrote them and they were funny and made us both cry. And! We were married by a judge my mom knew.
The level of total debauchery at our reception. Open bar, FTW. Of course, it was at a hotel. If I had drunk 11 vodka tonics anywhere else, I would be dead. But at my wedding, I was bubbly.
Our post-reception activities. No, not THAT. We went to our suite and ordered a pizza from the bar next door and opened all of our cards and gifts while soaking our feet in the hot tub and pulling eleventy billion bobby pins out of my hair. Our friends kept partying-- a couple even got engaged on our wedding night, which is pretty awesome. But Ben had been out late the night before (members of his bridal party thought he was dead when they couldn't find him based on his condition last time they saw him, and he was hungover until he started drinking again before the ceremony), and we didn't eat much food at the reception even though the prime rib was as good as wedding meat prepared by a hotel catering staff can be, so we opted for pizza and presents.
Our morning after. We met our families and close friends at our favorite college brunch spot before going to my parents' house to open even more presents and then heading to Chicago to spend the night near O'Hare so we could fly to Cancun the next morning.
Our flowers. All pale pink roses and calla lilies. (Our colors were pink and green).
Our guestbook. People signed a mat that we later put around a picture of us from the wedding.
Our post-wedding horse and carriage ride. Duh.
That we put disposable cameras on all the tables. Oh my goodness, those pictures are THE BEST. My favorite was how my sister-in-law and brother-in-law took a selfie (before that was even a thing) on every camera.
That the whole night was a gift from my awesome parents. Enough said.
Our photographer. My dad and I looked at a bunch, and these guys had a lovely portfolio. We got married in 2005, on the cusp of digital photography. These guys used film, and we didn't realize how much that would really suck in just a few short years. Plus, they closed up shop and moved the China, and Ben and I cheaped out and didn't buy our negatives. AND! The reason their pics looked so great in their albums was because they staged EVERYTHING. We didn't know that and insisted on a more photojournalist approach-- we didn't even want to see each other before the wedding, and they were used to staging that big reveal. And so, they kind of hated us/me.
Our programs. My mom and I made these using clip art and had them printed at a local place and tied them with green and white polka dot ribbon, and they were cute, but now that we have Pinterest and Etsy, I bet they would have been even cuter. My mom painted and decorated a white basket for them to be passed out in, and that was adorable and I would not change it.
The Venue. We did the ceremony and the reception at the same hotel. It was convenient because a lot of people were also staying there, and I think that's partly why the night was such a glorious drunk fest. BUT there was a way nicer hotel down the street that was booked on our day, and we just couldn't stop acting like babies enough to think about changing our date. We also probably should have gotten married outside at the botanic gardens instead of under the world's ugliest chuppah, but who knew it would be 80 in AUGUST? We were banking on sticky and 106 in the shade. BUT, the drinks were plentiful. The food was delicious, and the whole day went off without a hitch, so it was a win.
The hair. We booked a hairdresser for my room for me and a few girls and then also sent some of the girls to the hotel salon, and nether of those options produced good hair. If I had it to do over again, I would take everyone somewhere better (even though my trial run hair was super). I kind of freaked out because my day-of hair looked so shitty, and one of my bridesmaids (a high school bestie) was finally like, "I don't know what you want me to say. I am not going to redo your fucking updo." So I got drunk and yanked on my hair to make it look messy. It was fine. I heard that other girls sobbed in the bathroom of their rooms, and others ALWAYS untag themselves from the FB pics I nostalgically post every August 6, so I was not the only unhappy customer.
The DJ. He did a great job (the night ended with everyone swaying back and forth in a huge drunk circle to Piano Man), but a band would have been even awesomer.
There were also some things that seemed like a huge deal at the time-- engraved invitations, chair covers for the reception, bridesmaids' tan lines, what everyone did with the pink shawls I made them buy with their mint green satin dresses, that everyone purchase their dresses at the same time so they could be dyed from the same lot of dye-- that obviously were shitty to get bent out of shape about. But weddings can rob even the most practical people of their priorities, and I have never been accused of being the most practical of people.
I am sort of glad that only 1/4 of our kids is a girl because we will for sure pay for her wedding, and I hope it's as wonderful as ours was.
ETA: THESE right HERE were our invitations!!