Things Nobody Tells You About Your Wedding

Today is my second wedding anniversary. This means I have now been married two whole years, and I still haven't a) had my dress cleaned, b) written reviews for the nice ladies who did my hair and makeup, and c) put together a wedding album with all our photographs (although, to be fair, I have made wedding books for both of my grandmothers and my in-laws, plus I've framed a bunch of wedding stuff, blown up a few wedding pictures on canvas, and made a wedding video. Eh, I guess we'll call it even.)

Another thing I've been meaning to do for the last two years is to write a post about all the things no-one tells you will happen on your wedding day. And seeing as today is now the second anniversary of mine, it seems like a pretty fitting time to do it.

But first let's just look at a gratuitous wedding photo.

Okay, now we can get started. Here are all the things that no-one tells you will hapen on your wedding day. Feel free to add your own.

1. Things will go wrong.
Things will go wrong on your wedding day. You cannot control this. You cannot change this. Trust me, even if you have made seven separate Google spreadsheets (guilty) and planned for every possible outcome (guilty) and obsessed over every tiny detail (guilty), things are still going to go wrong. Do you know how many things went wrong on my wedding day? A whole bunch, up to and including:

a) the organist playing six verses of the hymn when we were only singing four, thus making for a very awkward two verses during which we all stood there in church and tried not to laugh while she played on and on and on and on

b) Sean being given the wrong cravatte at the rental store and not noticing and putting it on anyway (he was supposed to be wearing stripes and he was wearing something chequered!)

c) the rental bus parking right in my parents' driveway so that it showed up, not particularly attractively, in the back of all the pictures where Sean and I make our entrance as a couple for the first time

d) the battery on the Flip video camera not being charged enough so that it ran out mid-reception

e) my dad and I only managing to dance together for 45 seconds to "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds before it turned, unexpectedly, into "Rock Around The Clock" because I'd downloaded the former in advance without checking that the whole song had loaded

f) the ribbon of Sean's boutonniere coming untied towards the end of the night so that it looks like one of those weird skinny Vegas ties in any picture taken after 10pm

and g) the microphones conking out a minute into my dad's speech so that he, and everyone after him, had to deliver their speech sans microphone (which was actually totally fine—and actually a whole lot more personal—given that we were a fairly small group in a fairly quiet place, but still, it was unexpected.)

Whew. That sounds like a lot of stuff, right? It definitely looks like a lot of stuff when it's written out like that. And yet, guess what, none of it mattered. At all. None of it ruined anything. None of it even felt like it ruined anything. My wedding was still absolutely perfect. Well, to me, anyway. Probably not so much to the organist. I think she's still kind of mad about being interrupted.


(I'm sorry, I had to throw another one in there. It's called reminiscing.)

2. Not only will things go wrong, but things will go wrong and people will totally notice.
One of the things people love to tell you in the weeks leading up to your wedding, when you are a stressed-out mess obsessing over the color of the platters upon which you will serve your hors d'oeuvres, is that you're the only one who's going to notice if things go wrong. Trust me, this isn't true. People are totally going to notice if your organist plays six verses of the hymn instead of the four you were supposed to sing, or if your father-daughter dance is interrupted after 45 seconds by a totally new song (I swear, I think people thought for a few seconds that it was intentional and we were about to launch into some kind of choreographed routine.)

But guess what? That stuff is funny as hell. It makes for some hilarious stories. It turns your wedding from every other bland wedding in the universe into one where something memorable happened. There's no script at a wedding; you can't plan for every single eventuality, and when the unexpected stuff happens—providing nobody, you know, stands anyone else up at the altar or dies or anything—that's when your wedding day becomes an actual, real, jam-packed-to-the-gills-with-life wedding day and not some scene from a Disney movie. (Listen, even Prince William had a real-life moment on his wedding day, as the entire world held its breath while he struggled to get the ring onto Kate's finger. Didn't that kind of make you love him—and the whole Royal Wedding—just a little bit more?) 

Finally—and this really cannot be underestimated—there is really an incredible amount of goodwill at any wedding. People are so happy, and they're so happy for you. They'll forgive anything! They'll find anything funny! If you can't laugh at an unexpected situation when you're amongst all your closest family and friends, all of whom love you unconditionally and have flown many miles to be with you, then you've got an even bigger problem.


This was somewhere around verse five and a half. Note how I am trying to plead her with my eyes to stop, while the vicar attempts to stifle his giggles and my maid of honor, Anna, is just like "okay, on a scale of one to ten, how much are you freaking out right now?"

3. There will be one picture from your wedding day that you will look at and wonder where you could have possibly procured that crack you were obviously smoking.
We loved our photographers, Erin and Court, more than anything in the world. They were absolutely wonderful from start to finish, and the images they took of our wedding captured it exactly the way we wanted it to be captured. I am totally going to hire them for my next weddi—wait, what?

But here is the thing. Your wedding is real life. And real life means people make weird faces. While 99.9% of the pictures of you on your wedding day will look like this:

There is going to be one where you look like this:

You will have no idea why, or what was going on, but you have to imagine that it was awesome.

(PS: Good photographers, like Erin and Court, will weed out all the less-than-perfect pictures before even letting you see the disc. They just threw this one in there for us because it was hilarious. And also still a mystery. Did someone fall in the pool? Invite Sean's ex-girlfriend? I honestly cannot remember what happened to prompt us make these terribly attractive faces.)

4. You will never be this skinny again in your life.
Seriously, this is probably it. Milk it. Take a lot of pictures. 

5. The day after your wedding is horrible
This is something that I was not expecting at all, and I feel like it's something nobody tells you, and maybe it's just because I'm a) a volcanic combination of terribly nostalgic and awfully sensitive, b) the idiot who decided it would be super romantic to leave for our honeymoon the day after our wedding and yet hadn't packed—or even thought about packing—at all, but, if you're anything like me, the day after your wedding will be chock-full of a panoply of emotions that you won't know how to process and you will be fighting tears every few hours.

You will be so incredibly tired and exhausted. You will be relieved that everything is over and everything went well and you will never in your life need to visit another Michael's craft store, and you will—this goes without saying, of course—be beyond excited to be married, but you will also be.....kind of down. At least, I was kind of down. But then I was the kind of child who was in tears by 8pm on Christmas Day because it was all over and I'd been looking forward to it for so long.

Other emotions you may be feeling very keenly—on top of the debiliitating exhaustion, let's remember, because maybe you stayed up until 3am with your new husband reliving every detail of the night—include stress ("have to pack! haven't packed! have to pack! taking an international flight in seven hours!"), regret ("all these people flew from all across the world to see me and what if I didn't spend enough time with them?"), guilt ("all these people flew from all across the world to see me and what if I didn't spend enough time with them?"), more guilt ("did I thank my parents enough? Do they know how grateful I am?"), and just plain old sadness ("it's over! It's all over! I don't want it to be over!")

I can clearly picture saying goodbye to my whole family in the driveway of my parents' house, the evening after my wedding, with Sean waiting patiently in the car so we could drive the two hours to LAX and catch our flight to Sydney. I was crying, my mother was crying, my sister was crying, and the whole thing just felt so heavy and momentous. And then my brother Tom looked at me, incredulous, and said "I don't know why you're crying. We all have to go back to work. You're going on vacation for two weeks!"

And then I felt a whole lot better.

6. It goes so quickly, you'll barely remember it.
Okay, this isn't one of those things no-one tells you. This is one of those things everyone tells you. But no matter how many times people tell you this before your wedding—and I have done my part and told it to everyone I know who got married after I did—there is simply no way to prepare for the speed with which your wedding will pass. It's like the entire day is on fast forward. You simply cannot process everything. It races by so fast and then it's over, and over time you only have a small handful of very clear moments you can call upon when necessary, and the rest comes from photos and video and other people's memories.

My very clear moment—my clearest moment—is the two minutes or so I spent walking up the aisle with my dad, when the doors to the church opened and I saw everyone I knew and loved in those pews and they were all smiling, smiling, smiling, and I thought I was probably the happiest I had ever been in my life.

Because this is the part nobody tells you about: it will be impossible to contain your happiness. You will be smiling like a complete idiot for the entire day, and you won't be able to turn it off. I remember thinking I was going to get in trouble for smiling so much in the church—like the vicar was going to think I wasn't taking it seriously or something—because I just couldn't stop. And even now, two years later, I only have to think of standing at the front of that church, with all those people looking at me with hope and love and excitement, all that good energy flowing forward towards me, and I still smile. And I guess, If I'm lucky, I always will.

1
Russell Hicks
Sep 05, 2011

Lovely pics, happy memories, congratulations!

Russell xx

2
carrie
Sep 05, 2011

ugh. you are so awesome.

3
Sarah
Sep 05, 2011

Happy anniversary to you both!
You're right about the happiness thing - I will never forget the smile that never left my brother's face on his wedding day.

4
*A*
Sep 05, 2011

I just wanted to comment that you captured the feeling of a wedding day so well. I got married in January and still haven't managed to write a decent blog post summarizing the day, partially because I think it's so challenging to capture all of the wonderful emotions. Also, I haven't gotten my dress cleaned either! Thanks for making me feel like I'm not procrastinating too badly!

P.S.-It's funny that walking down the aisle is the part of your wedding day that you remember the most, because I can barely remember the wedding ceremony at all. I mostly just remember looking at my husband immediately afterward and asking, "Did that really take half an hour?!" It felt like it had been mere seconds. I blinked and then I was married, basically.

5
Ris
Sep 05, 2011

Happy second anniversary! This is just lovely, and bookmarked for if I ever get married.

6
Julie Marsh
Sep 05, 2011

We'll celebrate our 14th anniversary in three weeks, and you brought back my own wedding day so clearly.

Such beautiful photos you shared. I do love that you and Sean are making similar faces in that one shot; it would be far stranger if you were aghast and he was beaming.

7
TJ
Sep 05, 2011

Happy Anniversary! BTW, The mystery surprised photo of you two is AWESOME!

Happy anniversary! Two years later, your pictures are still the prettiest ones I've ever seen.

9
Leanne
Sep 05, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! Our first anniversary is in a month, and I can finally look back on it without getting teary and breathy. I can't agree more on your last point-- I remember sort of coming back into my own mind during our vows. Thank God. It would be terrible not to remember THAT part. Here's to many more years of married bliss!

10
MS
Sep 05, 2011

Aw, such true sentiments. Happy anniversary!

11
Operation Pink Herring
Sep 05, 2011

Such a lovely post, and so very true! Happy anniversary to you guys!

12
Misty
Sep 05, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! My husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary in July. Your post brings back alot of happy memories.
On another note, I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I can't remember what made me type in "what is wrong with the world today", but the most memorable response I got was a picture of a foot covered in blue paint(I beleive that would be your foot) and I have been hooked ever since. Because I am a huge nerd, I have been going through all the archives trying to catch up to now. I'm still in 2007..lol!

13
Elizabeth
Sep 05, 2011

Happy Anniversary! You did an excellent job of capturing the moments and the memories of the day. My one year anniversary is a week from a Monday, and I have been seriously suffering some major nostalgia. No one tells you that time is going to fly so quickly once you're married, either! It's nice to know that there are others out there feeling the same way, and so happily wed. Many more joyous years together for you and Sean!
P.S. Love the awkward photo of you; my friend photographed our wedding, so I think she threw in more than the fair share of awkward face/pose pictures!

14
Amanda
Sep 05, 2011

Happy anniversary! What a beautiful post! My best friend just got engaged last week and I can't wait to share this with her.

15
Bopril
Sep 05, 2011

Happy anniversary to both of you! Lovely pics, and I agree completely with each item on your list.

16
Sensibly Sassy
Sep 05, 2011

oh how wonderful! I am getting married in april and I appreciate the advice.
But most importantly, Happy Anniversary!

17
Ari Marsh
Sep 05, 2011

I've missed your wedding pictures!

18
Pretzel Thief
Sep 05, 2011

Aw! So beautiful, Holly. Beautifully written, beautiful snaps; the whole deal.

Love the way you've captured it all!

One of the things that went wrong at my wedding last year was that the MC (the band singer doubling as an MC), when doing the intros, started improvising them by doing them in both English AND Serbian.

Yeah, you heard me.

For example, when my mum and her partner were next in line to enter the reception, he introduced my mum in Serbian, then introduced her partner in (horrible) English. ARGH!!

This despite the fact that I wrote out a specific running sheet for him, with the exact wording of how to introduce everyone...IN ENGLISH!!

But nooooo, he had to IMPROVISE LIKE A TOOL.

Ahem.

I'm, like, totally over it. But jesting aside, it's now a hilarious anecdote that my husband and I will just randomly bust out -- whether when alone or with friends -- then proceed to laugh like hyenas.

Awesome.

19
edj
Sep 05, 2011

I am so very happy that your photographers gave you that picture of you making faces, because it totally cracked me up!
I remember being so amazingly happy and in love on my wedding day! It sort of surprised me at the time, because I was so stressed during the build-up! :) And it did fly by, and things did go wrong, but it didn't matter because it was our day and the start of very happy marriage. (overall)

20
gillian
Sep 06, 2011

happy anniversary!

great post, especially as i just got married on saturday! i have to say though, that i don't think anything went wrong at our wedding, it was the most wonderful, beautiful, emotional day. we had a humanist ceremony in a beautiful hotel in scotland, on the banks of the River Clyde, looking out over the Kilpatrick Hills. everything about it was perfect. and like you, we too grinned like idiots all day, we still are!
and we are off on our honeymoon today! (to san francisco as it happens!).

21
Mert
Sep 06, 2011

Oh, I love this post! I had lots go wrong on my wedding day too-but most didn't notice, and what was noticed was hilarious! Like when the DJ introduced us for the first time....using the best man's last name! You can bet the entire guest list yelled back the correct one at him! hehe. I still want to send it in to America's Funniest Home Videos! Glad it all worked out for you too-and congratulations again!

22
Natalie
Sep 06, 2011

Beautiful and true. Happy anniversary!

23
Locusts and Wild Honey
Sep 06, 2011

Awww! I love this post. And I'm so insanely happy for you guys. Happy, happy anniversary to my favorite pals.

24
Amy
Sep 06, 2011

Thank you for this. As someone who is not enjoying the wedding planning process so far, you just gave me a lot to look forward to. Also, Happy Anniversary!

25
jasmine
Sep 06, 2011

this is, without a doubt, one of my favorite posts from you. it deserves an award. what a great way to remember the best day of your life! and what a great excuse to have a chance to show off those photos again ;)

26
Jen
Sep 06, 2011

What a beautiful post! My friend (who was the maid of honor in my wedding a few months ago) sent this to me. I love it! I was guilty of all the same things, worrying, stressing, over-planning, obsessing, until the day off. My photographers actually told me that I was the best bride they had and jokingly asked if I would be their bride every weekend. I got to the point of what's done will be done and there is nothing I can do to stop it (that and my MOH was FABULOUS!). People were asking if I was freaking out or what if xyz happens. I just looked at them and said, it doesn't matter because today I marry Steven; that is all that matters!

In the end, things do go wrong, but none of it is important because you're marrying your best friend!

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

27
Nolita
Sep 06, 2011

Happy Anniversary! You look so radiant! I recently posted about my decision to have my dress made (15 years ago and I never had it professionally preserved/cleaned - it's been in the basement for the past 6 years and it looks A-OK to me) and it brought back a lot of memories of that time period. I probably should document it while I still remember them, huh? All of this was sparked by your post on the gallery wall, specifically framing your invitation. I looked all over for our invite and found pictures of the inspiration dress, etc instead (still looking).

28
Julie
Sep 06, 2011

We got married in a teeny, tiny chapel. Just one large room, basically, except for a tiny office off to the side of the altar. Right in the middle of the vows, the phone in said office started to ring. And ring. Finally, one of my bridesmaids went to answer it.

29
Heather
Sep 06, 2011

So good to know I'm not alone! I've been married three years and still have not had my dress cleaned or created my wedding photo album, even though last year I purchased a pretty sweet Groupon for one. Thank you for making me feel like less of a slacker.

And we had something go wrong at our reception that, if not for the quick feet of an usher, could have been a huge disaster. The tissue paper in a gift bag caught on fire and went up in flames. While decorating, someone had placed a large cylinder vase with a floating candle on the gift table. I noticed it, went to move it, but didn't want to be that bridezilla who was all, "Who put this here?! This does not belong here!" Then during our first dance the tissue paper got a little too close to the flame of the candle and, poof!, went up in flames. I had my back to that area at the time and didn't see it, but my husband did, and he danced in the same spot and refused to let me turn in case I should see it and freak out. Luckily, an usher grabbed the burning bag, sprinted to a nearby exit, and then hurled the gift outside. He and another guest then stomped out the flames. Good news? The present (a large, decorative apothecary type glass jar) did not break!

30
jill
Sep 06, 2011

Happy anniversary! This was lovely! And the photo of the crack faces? Awesome. A total keeper. And everything you said is true. My wedding day started out beautifully but then an epic storm hit halfway through the ceremony and truly everything became a disaster. No power, no plumbing, and no band. Cut to twenty years later—it's the day everyone talks about, my photos are still in a box, and I'm the happiest girl in the world.

31
cassie
Sep 06, 2011

Happy Anniversary! I love your wedding pictures.

Things that went wrong at my wedding:
1. The limo driver got lost on the way to the church and I was late to my own wedding.

2. My husband's grandfather didn't want his boutinniere (sp?), and the labels for all the others were in the box. My mother-in-law saw the "groom" label on the other boutinniere and swapped out my husband's so his flower is different in half the photos. I still get a teensy bit mad when I think about it. Not at her, she was trying to be helpful (although, REALLY? The ceremony was over, at this point, what he was wearing is what he was wearing. LEAVE IT), mostly at my husband. He was THERE when we chose the flowers. HE CHOSE HIS. WHY did he let his mom change it? Someday I will let this go. I think.

3. My husband got no cake. They cleared his piece before he had a chance to have a bite, somehow.

4. Several people did not show up, but all happened to be at the same table, leaving the husband of one of my bridesmaids all alone.

5. Another bride staying in the same hotel decided to hang her wedding dress on the fire-alarm sprinkler head in her room, which was above mine. It broke in the middle of the night, triggering the fire alarms. Firefighters were knocking on our door all night to check and see if there was damage and then, once they had finally left, the hotel started ripping out the carpet and generally banging around in the room above us. I got about 10 clippings of a newspaper article after the wedding because all of our out-of-town guests stayed there and this was their lasting memory of my wedding.

But, we got married, and that's all that mattered. I was insanely, stupidly happy the whole day. And very grateful that it wasn't ME who hung her dress on the sprinkler. (it was tempting. There's nothing else in the room high enough to keep a wedding dress off the floor).

32
sarah
Sep 06, 2011

as always i am quite obsessed with the way you put everything.
Thanks for your honesty.

Also,

your wedding was a few month before mine and was such an inspiration to me. And I'd say after reading countless wedding blogs and posts, yours is still my all time favorite.

anyway,
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Holly & Sean!

love,
a total internet stalker/someone you kindly emailed to use a clarisonic and it changed my wedding day for the best.

xo

33
Starla
Sep 06, 2011

Two years already! Gosh that's flown. This is lovely.

Happy cotton/paper/china wedding anniversary Sean & Holly!
(Which one is it?!)

34
Courtney
Sep 06, 2011

Oh, yes. Ditto #1, #2, and #6 especially. We had a lot go wrong--I got a huge zit on my forehead (which my makeup lady covered, thank God), my slingbacks kept falling off so I had to do our choreographed first dance barefoot, but I think the biggest one (that people noticed!) was that our musicians never played the entrance. They kept playing the song we had picked for our bridesmaids entrance, and never switched over to the Bridal Chorus (you know, Here Comes the Bride?). I didn't really care, and I ended up entering to Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers, but afterward my friend's dad came up to me and said, "So what happened to Wagner?" Uh . . . shut up?

And as for #6--I swear, as soon as my husband and I did our exit, I turned to him and said "Can we do it again?" And I was so smiley, too. My photographer kept wanting me to do some serious, thoughtful (sexy? I don't know), non-smiley photos, and I just could. not. do it. It was too much fun! I'd do it again in a heartbeat if we could afford it.

35
TheGirlWho
Sep 06, 2011

Lovely post, yes, but I just wanted to say that I really think your dad is THE cutest man alive. I really do. The pictures of him with you when you were small, all the other cute stuff he does and then these, the ones of him proudly walking you down the aisle - I just adore your dad.

36
Andrea
Sep 06, 2011

Uh, definitely four out of the seven things that went wrong were because you didn't hire professionals, and certainly not experienced professionals, to handle your event.

If you had, you WOULD HAVE BEEN TOLD about these very common things that come up on wedding days. For sure, things always go "wrong," but typically professionals can solve these problems in a matter of seconds because we've seen them all before. If you bothered to even meet with, much less hire EXPERIENCED event professionals any ONE of them could have warned you about the pitfalls of using an ipod instead of even the cheapest DJ in your town, using a flip video instead of even an uncle with a cheap $200 camcorder operated with batteries and/or a power cord, and not knowing to have backup equipment or extra BATTERIES to cover your audio/video "equipment" for the entire wedding day. Seriously, anyone who owns a flip video could tell you the battery would die only after an hour or so.

The problem with your supposed excessive planning is, you're starting from the ground floor when you do a DIY wedding. Even if you've been to many weddings before, it is a whole new world to understand how they actually work. It is not realistic that you would ever have a clue about the little problem areas that pros know to look for because we do this week in and week out, and the best ones do it for 5, 10, 20+ years!

This blog post should be titled, THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT DOING A D-I-Y WEDDING, because this stuff, even your weird photos with the bus in the background, handling the groom's clothing problem, and even the ribbon coming off of the boutonniere would have been taken care of within 30 seconds by any seasoned photographer, coordinator, catering manager, videographer, dj, etc.

It is clear you chose to do most of the wedding planning yourself and cut corners by using inexperienced newer people for the services you did obtain. You really can't complain when things go wrong if you don't bother to hire experienced professionals who know what they are doing, and can take care of these basic problems that come up in a snap. This isn't new to us, just you.

37
Stacey!
Sep 06, 2011

Oh, lovely! The happiest of anniversaries to you!

I found your blog around 2007, and I proceeded to go through your archives and read every single one of your posts. I think you're absolutely marvelous. I especially loved all of your wedding related posts; my husband and I married shortly after you guys did (October 2009). This post was brilliant, and upon reading it I immediately sent the link to my cousin. She's getting married next year. I'm her Maid of Honor, and we've already gotten so much inspiration from your absolutely gorgeous wedding. I hope that you and Sean have a fantastic anniversary!

38
Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 06, 2011

Oh, Andrea. I fear you have missed the point entirely.

39
Tammi Marie
Sep 06, 2011

I really enjoyed this post! (happily married for 7 years)

40
Anna K
Sep 06, 2011

Andrea, schätzschen, you might want to read the post again. Your comment is a little incongruous. And bitter, but that's by the by.

41
Nicole
Sep 06, 2011

Andrea,
Why do you even read this blog? Without knowing Holly in real life, the DIY thing is kind of her schtick. Also, maybe your Flip is a piece of crap, but mine lasts more than an hour (I filmed a 26 minute ceremony of a friend and still had plenty of juice for the reception). Lastly, even if you're not, you come off as a jerk. That's not news to us, just you.

42
S.
Sep 06, 2011

Hahaha. Holly, I absolutely love your response to Andrea.

I also love this post, and no doubt will refer to it when writing about our one year anniversary. It's so true - the overwhelming happiness and joy of the day is something I was totally not expecting.

43
dani
Sep 06, 2011

I got married last summer and here's a pitfall of hiring a DJ instead of putting an iPod up: they can drink. And if the bartenders are willing to serve him, he will. He might even get so drunk that he hits on the best man's fiance. And then he might keep drinking and not be able to google the song that your new husband wants to play as everyone leaves the reception. He'll probably be so drunk that he'll rush you through the cake cutting and all first dances. Even non-DIY weddings have things go wrong, Andrea.

Holly - great post and all so very true. I keep telling brides: if you end up married at the end of the day, it's a success.

44
Heather
Sep 06, 2011

Don't worry about Andrea, Holly. She's just disgruntled because she's realizing that creative, clever people like yourself don't buy into the belief that if your wedding doesn't cost a billion dollars, then your marriage isn't even legal. And she's probably losing business because of it.

Also, please. I've seen my friends married in all manner of ways, from the top of the line everything to totally DIY original and multiple things go wrong at every single one. The line that a seasoned professional can actually prevent such events is just ridiculous, because no one can.

The only wedding that didn't have anything go wrong was my own because it happened in about 5 minutes with Elvis officiating. There wasn't enough time for things to get screwed up!

Happy anniversary! I just love your photos and your wedding was beyond beautiful. They make me so happy to look at.

45
Brad
Sep 06, 2011

Wonderfully written. Happy anniversary! I hope we have as much success with ours (next July) as you did with yours.

46
jonniker
Sep 06, 2011

Happy anniversary! Oh, lovely.

And oh, um, Andrea. How special. I hired professionals to do my wedding, mostly because I am not nearly as crafty as Holly, and the list of Shit That Went Wrong dwarfs hers by about a million. Including a cymbal crash during the best man's speech by my DJ, who did NOT understand my explicit instructions to do no such thing. If I'd only used a freakin' playlist, I wouldn't have dealt with THAT. Unfortch, I married in 2003, before such things existed. Am dinosaur.

So. HAHAHAHAHA, God. Way to just be douchey and agenda-pushing without any real purpose.

I could relate to so much of what you wrote here...the pictures, yes the pictures...but the faces are priceless. While your organist went on and on...my minister had me repeat part of my vows and completely forgot the other part. In hindsight...very funny! And the weather turned chilly in the evening...trust me, nothing is better than the pictures I have of myself in my beautiful dress with a heavy blue fleece jacket over it! :D

48
Bellie
Sep 06, 2011

Andrea- you're a mean person who is obviously very unhappy in life.

Holly- you look STUNNING in these pictures and your wedding sounds so special. Congrats on 2 years!

49
yours truly, melissa
Sep 06, 2011

I loved your wedding photos and found it such an inspiration when planning my own DIY wedding this past February. I even did a blog post and used one of your photos (giving you credit, of course.) I loved your turquoise shoes and searched high and low to find a turquoise pair for my something blue on my special day!

Happy Anniversary! Hope your celebrations are fantastic.

50
Misty
Sep 06, 2011

Andrea - Wow, could you be any more rude?!

51
liz
Sep 06, 2011

OMG you didn't hire a Professional?! for shame. your wedding was absolutely lovely, and I ditto the sentiments of the commenter before Andrea up there...your dad is just adorable. I wish I had one just like him.

52
Marcheline
Sep 07, 2011

Obviously, not only has Andrea never been married, it's been a looooong time since she's been shagged. Cut down on the caffeine, chiquita.

Holly - totally there with you on the things that "go wrong" and how they make up the character of the day, give it real life, and end up being great funny stories later. I also had a "DIY wedding", and some of the best memories resulted from it.

1. The videographer caught a conversation between the photographer and me, where Mr. Photo watched me cut a piece of wedding cake and said, "Gee, that's a big piece of cake!" and I shot back at him, "I haven't had cake in three months, sir, and I'm going to have a BIG PIECE OF CAKE!". I also gave him a huge helping of side-eye. Funny stuff!

2. The videographer also caught a clip of me hiding behind a large shrubbery while my mom's friend, a seamstress, fixed the train-holding mechanism, which I ripped off when I stepped on my hem while swing-dancing. I said "Into each life a little train must fall." (Blame the mead.)

3. The CD-changer was way up on the top floor balcony of the barn... and the guy helping us with the music accidentally hit the "repeat CD 1" button instead of "repeat all"... so at reception time we got to listen to three renditions of "I'll be with you in apple blossom time" by the Andrews Sisters before I pinned him down and told him to FIX THAT. I have to give my guests credit, they just kept on dancing to the same song... ha!

Thanks for sharing your day with us, the good, the bad, and the downright funny!

53
Heather B.
Sep 07, 2011

Happy Anniversary you crazy kids! xo

54
Jamie
Sep 07, 2011

My wedding is in 3 short weeks. I *so* needed to read this, thank you thank you for posting. Happy Anniversary - and many more to you!

55
Alexis
Sep 07, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!
You are totally right with everything in this post!

I had quite a few things go wrong during my wedding this summer but I must say, the one that takes the cake is....(drumroll please)....

Your mother falling two nights before your wedding day at a family dinner and breaking her knee cap in half causing her to be in extreme pain and delusional enough to still wear those Manolo Blahniks.

As mom said, "I'm still wearking my freaking Manolos down that aisle. Pictures are forever!"

The wedding was still fantastic & she was somehow able to have fun. Probably due to the wine.

56
Ellyn
Sep 07, 2011

Yes, yes. I agree on your list!
Some of the things that went 'wrong' are the parts that no one will ever forget. For example, we got married outside, in the woods at 9300 feet altitude. Our celebrant (non-religious wedding) was talking about partnership or something, and no one was listening! Everyone started whispering and talking! How rude! But then we turned around, and there was a herd of ten bull elk, antlers all in velvet, walking up to our ceremony. We all stopped to watch them walk around our group of 55 people, before they moved into the meadow below us to graze. They stuck around, and everyone got to see them again while walking down to the reception. Our photographer got lots of pics. We then kind of forgot what part of the ceremony we were on.. but it was fine!

We had hired someone to deal with booking room reservations for all the guests, and deal with finalizing the food and making that run smoothly day-of. Funny, those were the things that went most wrong, and that I'm STILL mad about, and that will never really be funny! For example, I ended up having to take calls from every. single. one of my out of town guests about the 'non-existence' of our wedding and room block, and then call the lodge (where we got married! It was all at the same damn place!) and place everyone's reservations. Individually. A month before the wedding. With a lady who was computer illiterate. And the appetizers were all half-way gone (note: not all the way gone) when they were removed by the one hired professional and thrown away. Basically I paid $100 for a chicken skewers platter which was half eaten and then thrown out. I think 6 people got to try it. Times 5 more appetizers all with the same result. Awesome. I'm just glad my aunt was watching and told me so that I could get a refund later.
So just maybe, Andrea, people aren't hiring you because you a bitter know-it-all to the point of not actually doing a good, individualized job for your clients. That's what I got from my planner: "I've done this all a thousand times, and I know everything, and you are just the dumb bride." But since I don't know you personally, or even in an 'online' kind of way (this is a hint that your comment was so off-base on Holly's blog you should probably crawl back under your rock now), maybe you are an okay planner. Not that anyone here would hire you. You've convinced them all that you are not worth it.

57
Saucepan Man
Sep 07, 2011

Oh dear. Is there anything worse than a keyboard warrior? It has to be a keyboard warrior, named Andrea, who doubles as a wedding planner and comes on like the Wicked Witch From The North in someone else's blog post.

I think we would all be more impressed if you chose to leave your professional name and contact details on this thread so others reading the post who are planning to get married can snap up your essential services...?

Andrea, you sound so very foolish. I was there. It was brilliant.

58
kage
Sep 08, 2011

Oh man....our 1 year anniversary was Sept 5th. One year and about 10 lbs later. I don't even know how it happened, but thank god for all those skinny wedding photos!

59
honeypops
Sep 08, 2011

this post just melts my heart! what i would do to have your wedding, mess ups and all :) happy anniversary to the loveliest couple!

60
Carolyn Arthurs
Sep 08, 2011

I'm a wedding planner in New Orleans and I love your post! I do my best to warn my brides as much as I can of what to expect, and having a planner does eliminate a few of the things you had to go through, but some things are just unavoidable. Its so true that you need to keep that attitude of what a great story it will be later.
Thanks for the insight and best wishes on your second anniversary!

61
Angela
Sep 08, 2011

Your wedding sounds like a fabulous time and well worth it! My second husband and I got married at the JP because we didn't have the money and decided to just do it. Funny that even at a 10 minute JP "ceremony" things can go wrong! My husband didn't know how to stand, so he stood there with his hands in his pockets looking at the justice during the vows! I never thought I'd have to TELL him to look at me and hold my hands while we were getting married, that actually still makes me mad. After that we went out to eat with our families and the big news was that the police were on a car chase near us. Ah well, been married five years now!

62
Roxanna (miguelina)
Sep 08, 2011

Holly, this is a beautiful post. Has it really been two years?

I had all sorts of professionals for my beautiful wedding (back in 2004!) and we had all sorts of things go wrong. As you say, in the end, it was perfect.

63
alison
Sep 08, 2011

Two things:
1. I've been married for three years, and have yet to get my dress cleaned. It's traveled the world in its hanging bag, which at this point I'm a little afraid to open.

2. My husband's great-aunt did a 'traditional Japanese' magic show at our reception. Yes. Her reasoning was that 'it will be interesting for the foreigners.' I was just happy she didn't do her trick involving live goldfish.

64
Alexa
Sep 09, 2011

Now I loved our wedding, but #5 is totally true- we actually warned multiple people about this - its an exhaustion I've never felt before. And you're right, not only did I never want to see the inside of another craft store I also never wanted to go inside a Paperzone again!

65
Emily
Sep 09, 2011

Oh Holly! Reading this makes me soooo happy! Number one, for you, of course. Number two, for me! I just got back from holiday and now realize that I got engaged on your anniversary (in a castle in England, no less)!

Happy anniversary to you and Sean!

66
Katie
Sep 11, 2011

Aw, thanks Holly. This was really beautiful! Happy Anniversary and cheers to smiles for miles and miles! :)

67
Daisy
Sep 12, 2011

Although I didn't hire a wedding planner (which was out of our budget because my husband and I paid for the entire wedding ourselves), I still hired professional caterers, florist, DJ, and things still went wrong, despite my many spreadsheets.

And for the record, there are some things that a professional can't fix. I tried on my dress with my shoes and walked up and down the hallway during my fittings. What I didn't take into account was that the ceremony was on grass next to the beach.

When I walked down the aisle, I somehow stepped on the front of my dress (leaving a huge grass stain which is still visible because, like Holly, it's been two years and I still haven't had my dress cleaned) and tripped. I just laughed...and then did it AGAIN. Of course it was all professionally videotaped so I can relive it!

There's nothing anyone could have done to prevent it from happening or magically undo the moment, and it was totally fine. As OCD as I normally am, I knew I just had to let the day unfold and not get upset about whatever happened.

For the record, my dress is still hanging in the bag in my closet at my parents' house. When I visited them last month, I unzipped the bag, took out the veil, and pranced around the house in it, which made me think I should start wearing it all the time. It definitely made packing a lot more fun!

As Holly said, things will go wrong and people will notice but it's not the end of the world (and this is coming from a huge control freak). All that really matters is that you're marrying your best friend in front of everyone else that you love. I was grinning like a crazy person in all our pictures because I was so happy!

68
NGS
Sep 12, 2011

The moment we got into the car at the end of the night, just the two of us together, in total silence, was magical. I want to get married again just for that moment.

69
jill
Sep 14, 2011

I could still look at your wedding all the day long... You've made so many perfect points!! 8 years later and I'm still upset that the Caterer at the B&B where our reception was held actually thought it was a good idea to use MAROON and GOLD table cloths on the tables where the buffett of food was displayed. Seriously lady? In what universe does MAROON and GOLD go with Peacock Blue, White and Pink...? I was mortified and am still not laughing on that one.

I do laugh though when I think of how during my 1st dance with my hubby I guess nobody realizes and they encourage my dad to go and "step in." Whaaaat...? How could I say no to my dad? I just die laughing every time I think of he and I dancing to Babyface...

Great post and I will be sending along to a dear friend who's knee deep in the planning stages!!

70
Misty
Sep 17, 2011

Ok, I feel very dorky right now, but I just got to the point in your archives of your wedding. I totally LOVED all you D.I.Y. stuff. Everything was so pretty and just seemed to fit you guys so perfectly. I sorry, I know I don't know y'all from Adam but, I have tears in my eyes right now!! I just watched the video of your first dance, and knowing that was your dad and brother doing the song, just ah, it was so beautiful!!!

71
Jennifer
Sep 21, 2011

Holly this was the most perfect thing to read as I am about to come up on our 1 month anniversary. The first and fifth items specifically.

• Number 1 was especially meaningful because I had also planned everything down to the last detail (design, food, decor, timing, placement, all of it)...and then Hurricane Irene decided to throw her pre-party at us during the entire wedding and then officially take her party through the town we were staying in the day after – rendering both hotels for my guests without power.

• And Number 5 because I mean literally the 48 hours after the wedding I was a blubbering mess every 2-3 hours like you said (this could have been because we spent our first day as husband & wife stuck at my sister-in-laws house with 3 kids under the age of 7 and no power? Could it have been that because of the hurricane we had to plan a brand NEW honeymoon within 24 hours of finding out our original plans were not possible? The realization that 30 of our nearest and dearest couldn't/didn't make the wedding because of said hurricane?).

Anyhow, I think it was a fabulous recap and you are right, the one thing that must remain on everyone's mind the day of their wedding IS that you are now married. And really? That's the best and only part that really and truly matters. Hurricane and all.

72
smee
Oct 27, 2011

First, excellent post and a most Happy Anniversary to you both! Yay!

Second, back in the day I was the first assistant to a wedding planner who was freakishly amazing waaaay before brizilla or David Tutera we did theme weddings with things like life sized pumpkin carriages, pearl covered walls, blah blah blah...and ya know what? Things went wrong. At every single wedding. This is life. Professional or no, gravity, wind, weather in general does a number on decor, unhappy relatives show up and get drunk, cakes melt or fall or just plain fail to show up, a d.j.'s sister gets thrown in jail, the minister shows up late because he had a funeral to officiate that same morning, oh my sweet mercy the things that can go wrong -even for a professional. After fifteen years I could specify a very long list, but I'll stop. The only bonus (in my opinion) in hiring a pro is that she/he can orchestrate the success or mayhem instead of one of your friends and or family. Potato/pahtahto.

One thing almost every wedding experiences though is that some people you think -for sure- will attend and not miss, somehow don't make it, and there will, in turn, be some people who show up teary eyed and so emotional because they just would never have missed this for the world, which will come as a complete surprise to you, because you didn't even invite them. : ) They don't care, they didn't need an invitation, they just knew you'd want them there.

So, lovely post, well done, and I look forward to the post on "What no one ever tells you about labour, delivery, and postpartum fun!" -but I'll wait. : )

73
Brittany
Nov 16, 2011

This was so incredible! As someone who is in the midst of planning her dream wedding and so close to that wonderful day, this was inspiring and encouraging to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and with some class might I add. Great job! And congratulations!

Britt

74
Rachel
Feb 19, 2012

Ha ha..Inspired by this post, I counted the number of things went wrong in my wedding. It turned out to be 16 considering all the minor things.. :)

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lyn
Jul 24, 2012

Nicely said. Thanks for a reminder of what is really important when the big day is FINALLY here. :)

81
Maria
Nov 24, 2012

Aww Thank you so much for your post! And congratulations on your 2 yr! :) I'm getting married in less than a month & reading this was very delightful. Thank you for reminding me that everything will go quickly & to enjoy the moment. I think these last few weeks had been VERY stressful but you're right, things will go wrong, but the wedding day will be filled with people who love you and are happy for you. I'll make sure to thank my parents enough & spend as much time with my guests. Thank you again so much! I don't usually write posts but this one deserves it! :)

82
Amelia
Jun 03, 2013

I don't know you at all. I just googled something about weddings because I am a bridesmaid in a wedding where my cousin is getting married. Your blog just happened to be something that came back in the search results. I am so happy for her and her fiance! I'm going to show her this post because it is obviously relevant to her. Should I ever decide to get married, this post is relevant to me also. I don't know when this blog entry was posted, so I don't know if it is accurate if I tell you happy second anniversary, but happy anniversary anyway. :)

I don't know what the deal is with that Andrea person... like you said Holly, she completely missed the point. I especially was annoyed when she said things to imply that you're an idiot and have no business planning your own wedding because you would have no idea what you're doing unlike "professionals" like her. Hm.. well, with "professionals" like her, who needs her business.

She's one of those that forces the question "Geez, what crawled up her butt and died?"

Anyway, enough about her. I don't know you, but I'm glad your wedding worked out despite the slip ups. :-)

83
Jolene
Nov 12, 2013

My new husband and I have been together for ten and a half years (exactly) before we were married. We just wed this past November 2, 2013 and throughout the ten years i always (sort of) knew id be the depressed bride. yet, its come and gone and the depression has hit me like a ton of bricks. I can't stop thinking of all the things that went wrong and can't remember anything that went right. About 30 seconds into our first dance my mom thought it would be funny to interrupt us with "hey hey hey! get your hands off my daughter" and then proceed to chase my husband around the dance floor with her cane. all my bridesmaids watched thinking they should do something and not one of them did. The priest who did the ceremony was a total jerk and talked about private thing my husband and I talked with him about during our (forced) pre marital concealing. Also, my husband and I were supposed to do a unity painting (like a candle and sand ceremony but with paint) and NO ONE set it up. everyone left it in my moms car. I'm mostly upset with my mom because you can't get another first dance and it started off playing out EXACTLY the way it had in my fantasy- that is until my mom interrupted us. I don't know how to get out of this and i have pushed everyone (except my new husband) away.

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