The wedding may be over, but that doesn’t mean I’m finished here quite yet!
My tablescapes post featuring my type-A Photoshop skills was surprisingly and flatteringly popular, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at how the actual wedding day outcomes stacked up against my visions.
Truth be told, I was actually pretty disappointed in parts of the setup. There were a lot of factors that led to things being not quite as I had hoped. Some had to do with weather, some with our caterer, and many were due to our day-of coordinator. Sadly, at the three month post-wedding mark, I still get peeved when I think about the issues. You may remember that I tossed aside quite a few projects for the sake of my sanity, so the ones that I did spend time on were important to me. To see that they were handled poorly, or not handled at all, makes me sad. If I had known that the signs I painstakingly designed and cut would never be put up, that the escort straws I spent forever on would be useless, or that the hundreds of shells I collected from a local beach would stay in a box inside the venue—well, frankly I just wouldn’t have bothered.
I owe a million thank yous to my family, especially my mom, aunts, and cousins who saved the day when they arrived at the venue an hour before the wedding to find that nothing was set up yet. They moved tables, set up chairs, put out décor, and managed the event staff. My poor Auntie America was working right up until the start of the ceremony. She loves me.
I’m really worried about coming off as ungrateful or whiny in these. I hope you guys know that’s not how this is intended. The truth is, I was/am pretty disappointed with how some of my visions turned out. I planned a lot. I had ideas. I paid a lot of money to make sure that they were carried out in a certain way. At the end of the day, our wedding was amazing. I married my best friend surrounded by the people that we love most. And we threw one hell of a party.
So my reason for writing these isn’t just to complain. (Of course, it’s nice to get some things off of my chest!) It’s also to show you planning bees out there that things don’t always work out the way you planned. Sometimes things even turn out disastrously. (I’m looking at you, escort cards.) You may spend hours of your life devoted to a craft that nobody will ever see. It will suck and you may want to cry or yell at your coordinator/caterer/anybody who is willing to listen. But then your new husband will say “Yes, it sucks. But what do we always say?” and you will say “eff it” and move on. And the rest of the night will be incredible, regardless of how un-Pinterest-y your tables ended up.
Let’s start off with the ceremony.
This one came pretty darn close to my vision, however, I can’t for the life of me understand why there were just two rows of seats. A couple of guests said that they couldn’t hear anything because of it and people ended up standing in the back just because it was a better place to see and hear. I was also a little disappointed that my reserved signs didn’t end up on the chairs because the DOC forgot to bring tape. Not the end of the world, so overall I was happy with the outcome.
Next up, we’ll look at the “Relief Station.”
This is the only photo I have of the relief station and, from what I can tell, it looks pretty great. Since we got married on the beach, I wanted to provide our guests with items to make them comfortable at the ceremony. The relief station had bottled water, sunscreen & bug spray, cold lemon scented washcloths, fans, and the biggest hit of all: sunglasses!
Right after the ceremony, the guests hit up the escort card table to grab some champagne and find their seats.
I’m actually happy we don’t have a real photo of this because it was a total disaster, but here’s a mock-up of how it turned out:
The first thing I noticed after I kissed my husband and walked back up the aisle was the escort card table. It took everything in me not to go and tackle our caterers for bringing the wrong glasses. Not only that, but our DOC decided to de-alphabetize all of the straws that we had separated for setup ease and had thrown them all into one giant bucket. Not only was there chaos with getting people seated (I actually had guests coming to find me during pictures and in the back room while I was hiding out waiting to be announced because nobody knew where to go), but I spent hours of my life making those straws. If I had known it wasn’t going to happen I would have done something simpler.
Card Table & Guest “Book”
This table turned out pretty well! And our DJ did a great job of making sure everyone signed our guest print. (He was the best.)
Looks pretty good, right? The bar was obviously a huge hit and the bartenders were the greatest. Unfortunately, the menu that I created doesn’t at all match what was provided. Annoying for many reasons including: 1) we were pretty specific in the drinks that we wanted, 2) our venue did not allow glass and I specifically said canned beer only, 3) again, I feel like I wasted my time creating a menu that was completely useless, 4) we also agreed to have a case of cider hidden for me since it’s one of the only things I can drink. That was extremely disappointing.
There’s more to come in the next installment of Expectations vs. Reality!
In the meantime, how did your expectations match your outcomes?
(All photos by Abigail Scott unless otherwise noted)
- I have ALL the feelings
- I admit that wedding planning kind of sucks
- We run a million errands
- We practice how it’s gonna go down
- We have a big fat Italian rehearsal dinner
- A little rain won’t get me down!
- The girls get pretty
- The guys do whatever guys do
- I hang out in the hotel bathroom and make a bunch of bouquets
- I get my bride on!
- We exchange kisses and gifts during our first look
- I’m a runaway bride
- The bridal party processes and the ring bearer gets distracted
- I take my final steps as a single lady (and get stuck on a rose bush along the way!)
- We kick off the ceremony with some sweet words from The Princess Bride
- We share our love story and get our hands blessed
- We do!
- We miss cocktail hour for the sake of family photos
- We get everybody to join our first dance
- We frolic on the beach at sunset
- We have a beach-side ’90s dance party
- We eat cake and auction off our single friends
- We end our reception with a romantic private dance
- We brave fire for a sparkler exit
- We pack up all the little details