Mar 15, 2007
Reflections after the Wedding:
I loved reading reflections and advice from other brides, so here are some of my thoughts after the wedding.
1. I worried too much about my vendors and was unsure of their competency. I hired them because of their good reputation, but still I had some doubts about things going wrong. Before the wedding, I would probably call myself a micro-manager. I tried giving the vendors very detailed instructions or calling them to make sure things are on track. I wish I did not worry as much. All of our vendors came through on the wedding day and did an exceptional job.
2. I don't know how, but on the wedding day, I was very relaxed and was able to enjoy everything. I'm usually shy and don't like to stand up in front of people, let alone speak in public. But surprisingly, I played out the role of a bride very naturally. I was not nervous saying our vows or cutting the cake; everything came naturally. I think a big part of it has to do with being mentally prepared and knowing what is coming and another big part was having a DOC, which helped out tremendously. I have given Allison (our DOC), the timeline and everything else, and she pretty much told us what to do during the wedding. I did not have to worry about anything. I definitely recommend working with a DOC.
3. I really wish I ate more at our wedding. The food was amazing, but for some reason I was not very hungry. Also I bleached my teach the day before the wedding so they were super sensitive. I don't recommend anyone do this right before the wedding. I love chocolate, but I only had one cream puff dipped in chocolate. I wish I tasted some of the other dipping items. I'm glad I at least ate two pieces of wedding cake.
4. In terms of decorations, my observation is that nice linens and chairs can transform a place far better than flowers and they are also cheaper, so it is a better way to get a visual appeal from a small budget. I have seen reception halls decorated with great flowers, but if the linens and chairs are ugly (like polyester linens with plastic chairs), no one will notice the flowers even if you've spent thousands of dollars. I recommend renting linens and chairs and spending less money on flowers and getting something simple if you are on a budget.
5. I wish we had spent more time with our guests. By the time I looked around, people were already leaving and saying bye. I had imagined that people will stay around longer so we can mingle after the dance floor opened, but people started leaving right after dinner and so we did not have time to talk to them. Perhaps, we should have walked around during dinner, but then I would be afraid to bother people while eating. The people most important to us stayed till the end, so we had time to spend with them.
6. The biggest advice I have for future brides is: select vendors by recommendation only. All the major vendors I worked with were all mentioned on the Knot and have gotten great reviews.
7. Also, DO remember to remove the stickers off the bottom of your shoes. I never remove them and forgot on the wedding day as well and they show up on some of the pictures :(
Info on DIY flowers:
I decided to do my own flowers. I could not bring my self to spend thousands of dollars and for the amount of money I was willing to spend, I wasn't sure what kind of results I would get. One florist quoted me $15,000; I did not want to spend more than $1500, so I decided to DIY. I get a B because I don't think I did a professional quality job, even though I tried. The minute we brought all the Costco flowers in the house and put them on the kitchen floor , I had this horrible feeling that this was a big gamble. But it was only Thursday and I had plenty of time till Saturday so I was optimistic. As time went by and I was not making as much progress as I wanted, I became more worried. My sister and my mom were helping me, but it still took a very long time. I have to admit that doing the flowers myself was very stessful and I'm not sure if I would do it again. I have practiced earlier with the same exact roses and carnations and knew how to make the buckets and the centerpieces. The problem was that the roses started looking less fresh and their outer pettals looked bruised, even the ones we kept in the refrigerator. I spent hours going through all the arrangement and pulling out damaged petals until every single rose looked perfect. It was a pain! On a positive note, I had plenty of rose petals, enough for the isle, flower girl baskets and cake table. In fact, I had 3 large garbage bags full of petals.
Here is some information about arranging the flowers. I used a strainer (or any round shape bowl)
to get the shape of the bouquets and centerpieces perfectly round. I created the bouquets upside-down in the strainer, tied them with wire and then with flower's tape. Then I used a knife to cut the stems to the right size. Later, I tied the ribbon around and used nice pins to pin the ribbon. All the flower containers I used had ice in them to keep the water cool. The most important piece of information I learned about roses is that the rose head is the most important and delicate part, the stem is not as important. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the rose head cool, away from sunshine, and away from anything. It is important not to touch the rose
heads or even keep them on their side on the counter because their petals get bruised very easily. The good part is that even if some of the petals get bruised up, you can just remove them and the rose will look fresh again. I did that, and collected all the rose petals in a plastic bag, and then used them on the runner/ceremony and on cake and guest book tables. You can sprinkle them anywhere you want, they look really good.