I seriously can't believe I actually pulled it off...I had the wedding of my dreams!! All of my hard work was so worth it! For many months I felt like everything was out of control or something...I changed my colors so many times I didn't really have colors anymore, we were on a strict budget, I had multiple DIY projects going at once, half of my stuff was in Seattle and half in Michigan...I just wasn't sure it was actually going to come together, but it totally did!! If yo u have similar feelings about your wedding, don't worry, it will all work out :)
* We had PERFECT weather! It was 80 and sunny with a breeze and without a cloud in the sky!
* Our wedding was 3 hours from where most of our families live. As a result, our wedding turned into a weekend event! It was so great because we live in Seattle (wedding was in Caseville, MI) and we got to have some quality time that we don't often get with them.
* Getting ready with my girls was so fun! We went to breakfast in the morning and had mimosas mid-afternoon.
* The tent and all of the decorations turned out amazing! I seriously put HOURS AND HOURS into DIY projects and it all turned out better than I could have imagined.
* Just before walking down the aisle I had a giggling fit because I was so happy :) It was the happiest I have ever felt in my life!
* The ceremony was just perfect! Rounding the corner to see my husband's face was priceless! My uncle married us and I teared up as we said our vows without much fumbling and the microphone worked (after figuring out how to turn it on haha).
* Food was great, aside from one detail (see "the bad")
* We had the limbo and it was AWESOME! Everyone had a blast with it.
* The dance floor was PACKED from the time dancing started until the very end. Everyone started chanting "One more song"! And the dj played I Got A Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas.
* During that last song everyone was jumping in the air and singing with Dan and I in the middle and it was just incredible!! The dance floor wasn't even big enough to hold everyone! I started crying because the energy was so happy...I'm such a sap :) I can't wait to see the video.
* Just when I thought it couldn't get any better...FIREWORKS! One of the groomsmen timed it so that as soon as the last song was over he let off fireworks on the beach!
* When the reception ended at 11:30 there was a bar right on the property that was open until 2:00 am with a dj, so the wedding kept going and going! After that some people went swimming and some had a bonfire...we went to our room :)
* When we finally went back to our room, we found that my BM's surprised us with candles all over our room, flowers shaped in a heart on our bed, and a bottle of champagne! It was the sweetest.
* We nick-named the owner of the hotel where we got married the "Master Manipulator". He was horrid. I'll write about it in a review of the Bella Vista. An example is that he told us a mystery person bought us 2 bottles of champagne and led us to believe it was him, when actually it was my uncle. He also tried to coerce our guests into going into his bar to drink instead of going back to the tent during the reception when people went inside to use the bathroom. Ok, 1 more example...he told us he opened the bar for karaoke SPECIFICALLY for my friends and family on Thursday night to guilt us into going there when, in fact, there was a sign on the road that said "Karaoke Every Thursday!".
* There was no wine at the bar and when my MIL told them to put it out, he tried to charge us for it saying the wine wasn't included in the $16 per person alcohol cost. WTF??
* We got green beans instead of the broccoli/carrots/cauliflower mix. Minor detail, but it was super irritating because we had gone over the food choices at least 10 times...more work of the Master Manipulator.
* I had a ton of people to help me, but since so much of my stuff was DIY and had been shipped from Seattle to Michigan or packed in my luggage and transported to the wedding in 4 different cars, I was really the only one who could do a lot of the stuff. That was stressful because I had a million people asking me a million different things. I just had to take lots of deep breaths!
* We can't go on a honeymoon for a few months because I start my new job tomorrow.
Things I Recommend:
* Write a letter to each other and have them delivered to each other just before the ceremony. I loved reading my letter from Dan :)
* Take a moment to look at all of your guests while you are at the alter
* Get a videographer!
* Send or give the dj cd's with your songs and playlists. I did this and it ensured that he had our music
* Don't let anyone talk you out of things you want to do!
* Don't get mad at your FI for not noticing that you spent hours putting rhinestones on your butterfly escort cards haha
* Be firm with your vendors and GET THINGS IN WRITING!
* Expect people to ask you a hundred times what time they need to be ready for pictures and what time the ceremony starts :)
Tears, Tears, and More Tears:
I cried so many times in the 4 days...my stepmom gave me my dad's wedding ring (he passed away 9 yrs ago), my aunt gave me a diamond pendant from my grandma's wedding ring (she passed away 7 yrs ago), I cried because I love how the tent turned out, I cried because my DH kept thanking me for making our wedding amazing, I cried because my family is so loving and supportive, I cried from happiness, I cried from stress, I just cried a lot!!