Expectations vs. Reality: Nothing Is Foolproof

When we last left off, I expressed my disappointment in how some parts of our wedding were set up. For some reason it had never really crossed my mind that our wedding wouldn’t match detail for detail the plans that I had laid out. I guess I figured that with enough written and pictorial instructions that setup would be foolproof. Lesson learned: Nothing is ever foolproof.

I’m no longer upset about the failures, but it did take me months to get to this point. Now when I think about our wedding, I think about seeing my husband for the first time and looking out at our guests just before we said our vows. I remember dancing and singing to “Call Me Maybe” and climbing to the top of a human pyramid of groomsmen.


Wedding Guest Photo via Instagram

I don’t care as much about the failed escort cards and missing decorations; and the anger I felt toward our DOC isn’t quite so raw anymore. It helps that our photographer didn’t focus as much on the details and instead got some amazing candid shots of us and our guests. And frankly, these are the photos that will be hung on our walls to remember forever.


But let’s move on to the fun stuff, shall we?

Reception Tables





I had high hopes for our tables. They changed design direction about a thousand times leading up to the wedding and were finally solidified when I found these gorgeous Mara Mi napkins at Target. Sadly, it was really windy during setup and there was a fear that the bamboo plates and napkins wouldn’t hold even with a shell holding them down, so they were placed at the buffet instead. Obviously the weather couldn’t be controlled, but our tables ended up looking so bare! And I wish someone had thought to place the shells scattered on the table instead. I spent several weekends scouring our local beach for the perfect shells and picked and cleaned hundreds of them! (Our flowers looked great, though!)

Lantern & Table Scheme





The inspiration may be from our indoor rain backup venue, but it translated pretty well to the tent setting. Outside of the tables not being perfect, the only issue I had was that only about a quarter of my lanterns were hung. I had great visions of hundreds of lanterns in our tent, but most of them stayed boxed up due to lack of time during setup.

At the end of the day, nobody will remember all of the decorating mishaps. Given enough time, I may forget altogether too. Just a few months later and I’m already having a hard time getting all riled up about it. The truth is, if the worst thing that happened on our wedding day was that it wasn’t set up exactly the way I wanted it to be, then I think it was a pretty great day. And it really was.


Wedding Guest Photo via Instagram

(All photos by Abigail Scott unless otherwise noted)

Previously on the Rucksack Recaps:


Mrs. Rucksack

Branford, CT
Wedding Date:
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  1. Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1298 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:18 am

    I love your attitude! Again, so sorry that your DOC dropped the ball, and I agree that the seashells would have looked so cute!

  2. Guest
    Chloe Bellagala Intern, Guest @ 10:47 am

    I love this beachy wedding. The pyramid picture is so fun and unique. I especially love the colors of the flowers and balls at the reception!

  3. Member
    bmb5260 68 posts, Worker bee @ 10:55 am

    You should put all your seashells in a hurricane glass or vase and use it to decorate your house, that way they have a new purpose!

  4. Member
    Miss Filly 616 posts, Busy bee @ 2:40 pm

    You’re absolutely right – if the worst thing that happened is that your decor wasn’t 100%, then you had a pretty awesome day. And for what it’s worth, I think all the decor turned out really beautiful!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Bicycle 608 posts, Busy bee @ 2:54 pm

    Hey, life gets in the way sometimes, eh? Everything looked awesome, it sounds like your guests had a great time, and you got MARRIED! I would say Mission: Accomplished! If only people made delegating an easier task!

  6. Member
    Miss Wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:48 pm

    These posts are so helpful! Thank you for writing about how things don’t always turn out perfectly on your wedding day. I feel like wedding blogs pressure brides into thinking the day they get married has to be flawless. I appreciate you sharing the other side of things—and explaining it’s not the end of the world when things go wrong.

  7. Member
    Miss Pyramid 791 posts, Busy bee @ 6:15 am

    Those flowers and vases (weren’t they from Anthro?) turned out BEAUTIFUL! I’m glad you are able to not worry about it now. It sucks because you spent so much time on everything, but your wedding day was fabulous even without seashells on the tables. :) and who climbs to the top of a groomsman pyramid? Only a really cool bride!

  8. Member
    Mrs. Rucksack 492 posts, Helper bee @ 6:54 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: My attitude is much better now than it was when I initially saw the photos!
    @Chloe Bellagala Intern: Thanks!
    @bmb5260: That’s a great idea! So far I’ve incorporated them into all of our Christmas decorations!
    @Miss Filly: Thanks, Filly! In the end, we’re pretty lucky!
    @Mrs. Bicycle: Totally mission accomplished!
    @Miss Pyramid: Yes, I love those Anthro vases so much! And I’m still shocked at how ballsy I was in that gown!

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