Thursday, November 20, 2014


Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. I'm going to veer away from a traditional post about our anniversary and muse for a moment on what I wish I had done differently thirteen years ago.

Jeremy and I were engaged for only six weeks. I wouldn't change that, but I sometimes wish I had paid more attention to the planning of the wedding itself. At the time, I didn't really care/didn't have time to care, so while our wedding was lovely, I'm not sure that it was really my style. But I'm also not sure I really have a style. So maybe it was my style, in that I didn't have a style and neither did my wedding.

What am I trying to say? I guess I just mean that looking back, I wish that maybe I'd worn my hair down instead of up. I wish we'd left out all the traditional flowery language on our invitation about whose parents were giving away who to someone else's parents. I wish we'd have considered not having an awkward handshake/hug line at the reception, because who even likes those? I wish we'd eaten ice cream, or possibly ice cream cake, instead of delicious but expensive actual wedding cake.

That said, most of the details of our wedding day were just right - a small group at the ceremony and luncheon, a reception at home with real food, a honeymoon on the cheap at the Oregon Coast. And I am so grateful to my mom, who picked up the slack every time I couldn't be bothered to decide this or that thirteen years ago. I wonder if I'll get my chance to care about hair being worn up or down when it's Miriam getting married - is that how it works?

I also realize that the passage of time has an effect on these opinions. I mean, most of those women who got married in the late 80s/early 90s regret wearing those huge puffed-sleeve dresses, right? But that doesn't mean it was the wrong decision at the time. I suppose our weddings are the product of, you know, the era in which we got married.

Which for us, was thirteen years ago, today!

Have you ever thought about stylistic changes (or other, deeper changes - I don't know your life) you would make to your wedding day?


Glenda The Good said...

At my sister's wedding the matron came in and congratulated her for choosing to wear a temple dress instead of her wedding dress. I sort of laughed inside a little. I'm glad I wore my wedding dress...although that being said I now would probably pick a more simple style with a simple veil. I wish I would have done an outside in the mountains or a beach ceremony where my friends and family could have been and where I could have said to J what I wanted to say. Where I could have expressed myself not bound by a simple yes answer. I'm not saying I wouldn't still have gotten married in the temple...I just felt super constricted by the ceremony. J completely disagrees, he thought it was a sweet ceremony but maybe I'm affected by the fact that my mom was the only person I wanted there who could actually be there. I also would not have served cake and sweet deserts...just the sweet deserts. The cake was a waste of money. I wish I would have done my own flowers. I've done the flowers for both of my sisters weddings and they were so much better than the ones at my own wedding. I also secretly wish I would have ridden in on a horse...but maybe now I'm getting a little crazy ;)

Glenda The Good said...

Have a great anniversary!

Alanna said...

I would have spent more money on my wedding. Not a lot, but a little more-- just on the food and the flowers. My Mom wouldn't have minded a bit, so I don't know why I worried so much about keeping things cheap. And I would have done more pictures in other places (not just the temple grounds). My little sister had pictures taken on the ferry boat returning to our home (we live on an island near Seattle) and on the golf course and they were so lovely. Why didn't I think to do that?

And the bustle on the back of my dress was done wrong. I never saw it, so I didn't even know until months later when I saw the pictures, but I don't know why someone else didn't notice and fix it for me! I'm pretty sure it would have been simple to fix...

But those are pretty minor complaints. For the most part, I thought the day went about as splendidly as I could imagine.

Happy anniversary!

Jen said...

Happy anniversary, you two!!

I wish I'd scrapped the whole reception in its entirety---the whole kit and kaboodle. Instead, I should have had the wedding followed by a nice meal somewhere with a small group of loved ones. It's actually a big regret of mine.

AmandaStretch said...

I just wish I'd eaten some cookies! Or have someone save some for me! We had a delightful hot chocolate (with syrups to mix in), wassail, and cookie bar for our reception, and Costco cake for guests. We cut a teeny cake made/decorated by my BFF, and I did get a bite of that and some wassail that cooled before I actually got to sip. But no cookies. We had a great variety and I didn't have a single one. Only thing I would change. :)

Emily said...

Happy Anniversary! 13 years is amazing! Not only are you achieving what a lot of people aren't/can't, you're doing it with flair! Way to go.

So, you know me, I don't often comment, but this is something I have thought a lot about! I just felt like my wedding day was so stressful. I wish I could take that away and just enjoy it.

I also was engaged for a short amount of time (34 days, although we did date much longer than that) so I didn't have much, if any, input to my wedding plans. I didn't ever even go wedding dress shopping. Talk about low key bride! I'm sure my mom asked me what I wanted, but I didn't know what I wanted, so whatever she suggested I took. Looking back, I would change a few details about my wedding, but they didn't really bother me at the time.

I would change my flowers. I had silk flowers that were more Easter colors than anything else. We were married in August. I would change my hair and my makeup.

On the other hand, our receptions were great. We had one a week before, and one the following day.

So, there were a few details I would go back and change, but the biggest thing I wish I could go back and fix would be the atmosphere. I felt so stressed out because "This is the biggest decision you'll ever make". Which, it is, but that decision was already made, so can't we just enjoy it now?

At least I have a few girls at my disposal to try my best to let them have an amazing day!

Hope you guys do something extra special for #13! Like, maybe put the kids to bed early and eat some ice cream :)

Jessie said...

Happy anniversary! My entire wedding was planned around trying to avoid anything trendy. I wanted to love my wedding photos just as much in 20 years as I did the day I received them from the photographer (instead of snickering with my children over fashion/color choices years down the road). Mostly I think I succeeded except that my dress had cap sleeves which I fear will always date me as a 2000s bride.

We had no cake. Best decision I ever made.

Nancy said...

We were only engaged for a short time as well. And I mostly didn't have opinions about anything. My wedding dress is my temple dress—my friend's mom made it for me. It's simple...but that's me. Poofy dresses aren't my thing.

I would like to redesign my wedding invitation. Andrew's mom did them...and they're fine. But our picture is super saturated (I think Andrew edited it) and I think there's comic sans on it!! But I didn't care at the time.

We didn't do a line. I hate those things. But I did keep getting called over to talk to people I didn't know anyway. But at least we were milling around.

I don't think I ate anything at my reception. I'm not even sure what food there was. So I guess I don't care about that. :) I do remember that my friend made me my wedding cake as a gift (and I told her to just do whatever she wanted) and then my family ate THE WHOLE THING while we were on our honeymoon. So the only bite of that that I got was when we cut the cake. :)

I also wish we would have gotten married in a more digital age. My cousin took our pictures and I think we have the negatives somewhere...but I do kind of wish we just had digital—not scanned—copies. But I suppose that would have required getting married a few years later than we did.

Eevi said...

My wedding wasn't really "my style wedding" but like you, I am not sure what would have been my style wedding. I wish we hadn't done reception line and invited a whole lot less people. I think a small wedding is very nice..but we did the traditional American mormon wedding thing (invite everyone from the ward and parents' friends etc). Our Finnish reception was very nice as it was a sit down dinner with family and close friends.

We were adamant about having a chocolate fountain, it was the COOL thing when we got married and we barely had any chocolate at all. I would also make sure to actually eat the food at the reception!

My advice to my kids would be too keep it small and spend the money on your honeymoon.

Tia said...

I had absolutely no say in my first wedding. With that being said, this second time we just did the justice of the peace, yet we are planning a beautiful ceremony next summer. This way we did things the "right way", and still have time to plan exactly what we want. Simple and fun. A lot of traditional aspects will not be included.

Happy Anniversary.

Bridget said...


Crys, that is funny the matron said that. And probably against protocol. I definitely do not wish I'd gotten married outside, but I can see the appeal. As for invitations, I did the invitations for my sister's wedding a year ago and I also think I liked them better than my own! Part of that is because times have changed - you can do so much more digitally now.

Alanna, photos, yes! I love that Jeremy and I did our major photos the day *before* the wedding. And we do have some great candid shots from a family friend - I'm so glad for those.

Jen, I can only imagine the incredible food that would have been available at the gathering of loved ones. I can taste your baked mac and cheese RIGHT NOW. Except I suppose you wouldn't have been the one doing the cooking...or would you have???

Amanda, cookies and hot chocolate sounds divine! I second your advice to tell the bride to eat her own food. Because it's usually delicious.

Emily, you make up for rarity by the amazingness of your comments when you do pop in! I am fascinated by your comment and I identify with it quite a bit. I also laughed at your last sentence. You have a good memory. We got a sitter and went out to breakfast this year! Hooray!

Jessie, I actually thought of you as I wrote this post: "I bet SHE had an awesome wedding style." Looks like I was right. Interesting point about the photos. I think I have that feeling, except for the photographer himself. I mean, he did a good job, but not a great one. A big issue was that when we (or my mom, let's be honest, because she is awesome) was looking in to photographers, we wanted one who could get the whole temple in one shot (it's quite tall, as you can see). He said he could. And he could, BUT, it was using a fish-eye! We didn't realize that until after the fact. My brother/SIL had a photographer who could get the whole thing in for real, and her pictures are better, in my opinion. These days, I'm sure we could get truly awesome photos because so many more people have great cameras.

Bridget said...

Nancy, I have the same feelings about the digital age, but yeah, that would have required waiting for digital cameras to become more awesome and more ubiquitous. I love so many of the wedding photo shoots I see coming out these days. And the invitation creation process can be so much more personalized. I remember actually going into a printing shop and flipping through a book of template/font/design choices. And that was it! Very limited.

Eevi, I'm not connected to the Mormons-getting-married network right now. Do you think the huge reception trend has changed? What is the tradition in Finland - a dinner, like you said?

Tia, I'm glad things are going better the second time around. I can't wait to see pictures of your summer ceremony.

Aimee said...

Happy Anniversary!

I planned my wedding from out if town, I knew what I wanted and the rest of the details didn't bother me. I found my wedding dress on the rack. It was a display dress so I paid $150 and had if sized down. We got married in a ballroom that then became the sit down dinner followed by a dance floor. We danced until they swept us out (literally were sweeping the floors! The wedding coordinator was 9 months pregnant and rather AWOL. I wish she had been around more to control the flow better. I didn't get a picture with my Auntie (grandma's twin and closest thing to a grandma I had left) and I still really regret that and wish I or the photographer had noticed since he had a list of pictures I wanted. Mostly, I loved my wedding and had a great time! My husband and I joke it's the best party we have ever thrown! (We aren't the party throwing type).

Amira said...

I don't think I have any regrets about our wedding. I never cared about weddings or thought about mine before I got engaged, and I'd already survived three of my sisters' weddings so I didn't want much. We got married early in the morning (8 AM or something like that) at the Timpanogos Temple, because Timpanogos is my mountain, and went to Thanksgiving Point for breakfast. That was it and it was lovely.

My step-mother-in-law told me I'd regret not having a cake, and lots of people though the no reception thing was weird. My husband designed our invitations and I wanted certain flowers for my bouquet, but that was it. We did some photos but I've never done anything with them.

My sisters and I all sort of wore the same dress. My second sister made my oldest sister's dress, then she redid some parts of it for her dress. Then my third sister wore it, then me with a new bodice on it, and my youngest sister wore it too, although I don't know if there were any parts from the original dress by that time. :)

Liz Johnson said...

I wish I would've eloped - informed our parents and siblings that we're getting married in two weeks somewhere, and if they could be there, great, and if not, oh well. And then I would've had a big, informal BBQ after we got back and a bit settled for friends and other family. I would've gone somewhere for my honeymoon other than a quick weekend to Vegas (which probably means I wouldn't have gotten married in the middle of a semester right after starting a new job). I just really hate that I did things that I didn't really want to do (the big reception, etc.) for no reason other than they were expected.

And I would NOT have had those stupid pumpkin centerpieces. I got talked into them and have regretted them ever since. In fact, there would be no centerpieces at my informal BBQ reception. There would be plastic table cloths and plastic plates/utensils and I would wear jeans and a t-shirt with my veil (I really hate dressing up). And there would have been MARIACHIS. And a piñata.

I kinda want to renew my vows so that I can carry out this dream.

Merkley Jiating said...

I read this post to Sam. He asked me what I would change and then he said, "Let me guess. The groom." Nope. That's one thing I did right. The dress, ring, reception, open house, tux, shoes, and bridesmaid dresses are another story.

Jennifer said...

So interesting to read this post and the comments! I think it is so interesting that we (ok, our moms) plan our weddings when we are so caught up with the being-in-love-engagement period of our lives. That is usually thrown on top of school/work/etc so it is hard to carve out time to really put a lot of time into the planning. Then of course, we look back on it for our whole lives. I'm pretty happy with our wedding. I liked having a line at the reception--a much more organized way to greet everyone--but it was in a separate room than the party that everyone else was at after they said hi to us. I would have loved to be in that room, but there wasn't really space. Anyway, our caterer packed up a bunch of the food and cake for us to take with us when we left the reception and we chowed down on it after we left.

By the way, Jeremy and you are such a cute bride and groom. :) Happy anniversary!

Señora H-B said...

I really wish we had just had our sealing and then gone to dinner with family and friends. I remember so little about who came to our open house reception, just that I was really stressed out by my husband's SUPER dramatic family. He was also really sick and we had just checked into our 2nd honeymoon hotel, which was a huge disappointment (it smelled awful). We checked out early and went home the next day instead of two days later.

However, if we had to have a reception, I really don't regret ours. We spent our money on food and photography. I don't regret the food. I feel meh on the photography - I'd rather have fewer pictures and less debt. We had heavy appetizers and a dessert table - no cake. We didn't eat any of the food, but our friends are still talking about how delicious it was 6 years later.

We DIYed or cheaped out on everything else. My husband did a playlist of our favorite songs including Ozzy Osbourne ballads (him), Journey ballads (us), and cheesy country music favorites (me). It was very personal. We also did a scrapbook guestbook (just engagement pictures on plain paper), which I enjoy looking back at. I also made our invitations with a color printer and pre-printed products from JoAnn. I did my own hair. I did have two wedding dresses - an eyelet lace one that I wore to the temple and a two-piece ivory bridesmaid's dress that I wore to the reception. We still spent less than $500 on our attire, including a new suit for my husband. I did my own flowers too, and they were all silk, but you totally couldn't tell. I had a bouquet (just pink hydrangeas) and then my parents, his parents, his grandma, and he had flowers. Our centerpieces were thyme plants in terracotta planters. I made our table runners and we rented table cloths. We didn't have to decorate much since the venue was an old mansion in my husband's home town.

All in all, it reflected our style and I don't regret anything except the cost. Oh well.

Sara said...

I think that those of us that got married before pinterest existed should get to have another wedding. :) Rob and I dated for 3 years (eternity in the Mormon world!) so I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted. I still like most of what was done - the dress, flowers, decorations, cake (it was pricy but delicious!), etc. I wish we had more pictures with various family members and that the photographer was a bit more creative. One of my younger sisters got married last year and they had much more creative shots.

Susanne said...

I remember being incredibly thankful for the sweet people who helped with our wedding. One lady made our cake as our wedding gift. Her daughter - a local florist at the time - did our flowers for almost nothing. Our friend caters weddings, and did ours for only the cost of the food. Others did so much for us. I am actually so glad of this post so I can remember all that now!

It was fun reading all the comments on this post. If I had to do anything over it would probably be more to do with the actual ceremony. Traditional wording and all. Seems so silly now.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post for months. My wedding has some unhappiness connected to it because of me and my folks being different religions. There were disagreements. My folks were adamant about serving liquor at the reception (that's what was done in their world) so I said if you do, I won't be there. And they didn't.

Mom was a very traditional Easterner, I grew up in the casual West. I gave in on many things but I chose and paid for the invitations I wanted. My biggest regret is that my folks didn't hire a photographer. I cared nothing about serving food and all that, but wanted decent photos, because that's all there is down the road. Snapshots were taken by Mom's friend, and they're crappy.

Can't change any of it now, and none if it really matters 40 years later. Just got to thinking about it and how decisions we make when we're young aren't necessarily the same ones we would make in later years.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I should comment about your wedding. We had 6 weeks to plan, so yours was largely a no-frills celebration. What I loved about your reception was having it at home. I break into a cold sweat thinking about having to decorate the cultural hall. Home was simple and comfortable and pleasant.

If we were doing yours now we could create our own invites on our own printer. It was a hassle to find some that you liked and then pay extra to have them overnighted (6 week engagement, remember), and then THEN, the "anthrax in the mail" crisis descended on us and the USPS was threatening to shut down, so we rushed the invites into the mail at marathon speed. And during all this the bishop called me to be RS president and I told him of course, but please delay till after the wedding because I just didn't have time to think of anything else. He wasn't a happy camper but delayed the change anyhow.

Your wedding was the first digital one that photographer had ever done. He certainly had challenges given that it was mid-November. Karen saved us by graciously letting us tramp all over her mansion to get some nice bridal photos.

I do like having a line. When I attend a reception where there isn't one, I never get to talk to the bride and groom. They are monopolized by their friends when they should be greeting their guests.

If we were doing yours now I would make it more fun. For instance, at Steven's reception we made over 300 cake pops and they were a super hit. Forget the expensive wedding cake.

One amusing story about your wedding occurred a year later when Ernestos called to see why we hadn't shown up for the wedding luncheon. How that got on the calendar for a year after the fact, when we had shown up and enjoyed a great lunch, is beyond me!


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