Wedding Do's {Things I Did Right}

Since I have gotten all of my wedding photos back, have returned from the honeymoon and have had close to four months to reflect on our big day (gosh how time flies!) I thought a list of some of the things I am happy we did wedding-wise would help guide other brides-to-be in their planning stages. This post doesn't include any recaps or summaries of the vendors we hired or services we paid for but instead are things that I believe most brides-to-be can benefit from even if they only consider the decisions I made. Also this list is strictly based off of my preferences and I do understand not every single chick out there will agree with me! Such is life my blogettes :)

{number one} The best mutual decision Andrew and I made was having a smaller guest list and thus an intimate and in my opinion, more meaningful celebration of our love. The guest list was no doubt one of the hardest things the two of us tried to create (especially since we did it over the phone together). But once we put our minds to it and figured out who was important in our lives and who we'd wanted to share our day with, we managed to come up with a concise list of people to invite. If I could get married all over again, I'd like to say I'd make the guest list even smaller but then I'd be leaving people out, people would have to come to the wedding dateless, and so forth. Bottom line; I am a sucker for a small wedding and intimate celebration. Plus, thanks to the small guest list and item number two on this list, I was able to enjoy and finish my dinner and make it around to every single guest for more than just a few minutes.

{number two} After weeks of trying to convince Apb that we needed to have a sweetheart table rather than a massively long head table, I'm glad I came out on top with that battle (sorry Bear). Our wedding venue was very unique in the sense that the bar, dance floor, and dining area were all separate from one another. What used to be the upstairs bedrooms in Paletta Mansion is now converted into an intimate and cozy dining area for a maximum of 10 round tables. Uhm? I couldn't even imagine putting a table in there to fit both of us and our entire bridal party. And our attendants dates? Where would they go? Having a table for the two of us ensured we would enjoy our meal, made time for the two of us to speak to one another with limited interruptions and actually was the only time during the entire day where I was really able to sit back and let it all soak it. This was definitely one of the best choices we made emotionally, aesthetically and logistics-wise. Here's our little table, with our adorable (and affordable!) mugs centerpiece before silver and glassware and lace covered votives were placed out.


{number three} I didn't have a Maid of Honour and Andrew didn't have a Best Man. To make a long story short, at first I was disappointed at the thought of not handing over such a title to one of my girlfriends. But the more I thought about it, especially now looking back on things, I felt terrible doing what felt like rating or ranking my girlfriends. I didn't want to choose who would be seen in guest's eyes as my 'closest, bestest, nicest, known-the-longest' girlfriend and instead had four people who matched this description stand up with me. I must say however, I have nothing against brides and grooms who select MOHs and Best Mans this just happened to be the way Andrew and I did things. We are so blessed to have been surrounded by so many kind, loving and special people that day.

{number four} Asking my Mom to help me get into my gown rather than have a group of people fussing and picking over the bustle, buttons and so forth on my dress, was one of my favourite decisions. My Mom didn't play a huge part in the planning process of our wedding so I knew asking her to help with this task would be a special moment between the two of us and would thus provide an opportunity for some memorable photos. I then asked one bridesmaid to help with my sash and another to assist with my veil. This photo is one of the many of my Mom helping me get my dress done up and I will be forever grateful for it because it makes me heart feel so happy. I love you Mom.


{number five} One thing that didn't seem like a wise choice at the time but my goodness are we ever thankful for now, is we didn't charge or use credit for any of our wedding purchases. Because of this we might have not made room for a fancy band, videographer, Chiavari chairs (my goodness I wanted them so bad), letterpress invitations, custom linens, expensive accessories (my earrings were $25.00), cocktail hour entertainment, out of season florals, a limo or even a fancy getaway experience. However, we went away on our honeymoon to the Bahamas with a sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of dread of coming home to a stack of bills we'd have to figure out how to pay off. That was one of the best feelings returning home as a newlywed; started a new chapter with a clean slate.

{number six} One of the things that was truly the most memorable and special during our wedding day was our ceremony. Rather than follow a traditional ceremony structure, Andrew and I built our ceremony from the ground up, carefully selecting components that best represented him, me and us as a couple. We wrote our own vows, only included elements that were deemed meaningful (rather than 'expected'), honoured Andrew's sister and one of my best friends by having them each do a reading (Andrew picked a scripture, I selected a poem) and we included both our Mothers and all 93 of our wedding guests by having a unique ring ritual where everyone blessed our bands as they were passed around the room. I will give a more in-depth recap of the ceremony in the future but in the meantime you can check out my vows here. I think there was a fair share of laughter and tears in the room that day since our 30-minute ceremony was a complete reflection of who Apb and I are as individuals and as a couple - a little quirky and very much in love. Here I am reading over my vows as I get my make up done.


What elements from your wedding, the planning process and the end result are you most proud of? Looking back is there anything you did that still makes you feel confident and happy in your decision? Stay tuned for a list of the things I would have done slightly different too, have a lovely night loves! xo

38 Lovely Comments:

Devan said...

I love the picture of your mom helping with your dress. It is precious.

Emma said...

I am going to totally steal your idea of having only my mum help me into my dress. We get married on Dec 10th this year so preparations are starting to go into full swing, this was very helpful and good to hear you reflect on all the positives from your wedding day! Agree about the debt stress also!
www.ellaatbella.com

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Gorgeous photos!!! I hope you have the one of you and your mom framed. So pretty. :) You were both so wise to steer clear of debt when planning your wedding...isn't it nice to have some money and not have to fork it over to Visa? ;)

Alisha said...

Rhi, I am right there with you on NOT running up credit card debt. When B and I came back from Mexico we were so relieved not to worry about that stack of bills.

We also had a small, intimate ceremony - some may not call 200 guest small, but when you're used to 700-800, it's small ;)

We also did a tribute to our parents during the ceremony. We both wrote letters of appreciation and thankfulness and our pastor read them for us.

Still waiting on pictures from ours, but will share soon!

Stephanie Faris said...

You made a beautiful bride. WOW! I had my second wedding last year...it was quite an experience. We tried doing the all-inclusive thing because I remembered my first wedding and how stressful it was, but I quickly learned that there's no such thing as a stress-free wedding. (Unless you elope!)

Mary - Lemon Fresh Designs Photography said...

What a great post Rhi. Each one of your decisions was so meaningful and special part of your day. And your your photos are absolutely beautiful as well!

Liz said...

LOVE this post. I can totally see your point-of-view on each thing listed even though I did some things differently (we had a giant head table, my sisters and corey's brother were our maids of honor/best men, and we put things on credit, whoops!).

Caroline said...

Great list!!! I would have to say leaving the planning to Marc and I, we planned the whole thing and our personal touches came to life. Also, having our favorite restaurant cater ... anincredible Mexican restaurant where we had a lady making fresh corn tortillas, there was so much good food. Lastly, changing venues at last minute we changed venues and by far it was the best decision ... all in all we ended up saving money with our decision. Ha I love remembering my wedding it seems like just yesterday. Hugs to you my sweet friend!! You are simply gorgeous!!!!!!!

{av} said...

Gorgeous photos, but that's no surprised coming from you! We also trimmed down our guest list, which ended up being a great financial decision and decreased our worry significantly! I like to think back to our day...and honestly, the thing I wish I could change would be to enhance my ability to remember the day. It felt like such a blur! Thanks for sharing all these special stories :) xoxo {av} P.S. Thank you so much for your sweet comments! They mean so much to me!

Michelle @ Ten June said...

Looks gorgeous! And what great tips! I'm forwarding the link to this post to my bride friends :) And I'm off to browse your blog for more gorgeous wedding photos!! xo

Agora tô pronta said...

I like your blog, its very nice... why don't we follow each other? Thanks, kisses.
@vanespp

Frances said...

beautiful photos and loved hearing your thoughts looking back on the day! I am in "love" with those anthro mugs!

withoutadornment said...

I love that you and your mom were able to have that special moment while putting on your dress! That is such a wonderful photo. :)

I know my dad ended up helping me tie up the laces on my dress as I lost weight and my sister and best friend were unable to pull it tight enough. That was pretty entertaining!

Krystal said...

Your wedding sounds amazing, and so relaxing! I love the eating at your own table idea...My wedding was so all over the place that I barely remember anything!

Vanessa Lynn King said...

Great list of things and so happy for you that you did everything your way. You have amazing style and reflected it in your big day.

One thing that my husband and I did out of the norm for our wedding was that we asked each person in our wedding party to give a short (2-3 sentences, max) toast prior to dinner. We also felt that each person in the WP was very important, and it always bothered me at other weddings that you do not necessarily get to know the relationship of these oh-so-important people to the bride and groom. Some toasts were happy, others were tearful, and the photo of each person brings about a memory of what they said to us that day.

I BLEED PINK said...

What great info, that I am surely going to utlize. I love the fact that you guys didn't put anything on credit cards. I was just telling Rick how on these crazy Brides shows, the women act like money is not an issue and are focusing on showing off versus creating a day that is special and really about the issue, becoming husband and wife.

Also, tell your mother she is BEYOND GORGEOUS....another one with killer arms...so jealous!

Jennifer Rose said...

i think there were less then 40 people at our wedding. thinking back i should have probably gotten married in New Zealand and eloped lol
I never regretted saying children are not allowed at the wedding or the reception, i do wish tho that i had not invited my mother (not close like you and yours). would have been a lot less stress if she had not of come :/

ASHLEY said...

Beautiful photos! Your wedding sounds fabulous! I agree with all of your tips. I never thought of not having a MOH! That was such a hard decision for me because all of my gf are so special! I ended up having 8 bridesmaids because I didn't want to leave anyone out and that ended up being a HUGE headache.

Natasha said...

I LOVE THIS LIST!! I think more than anyone else, your wedding was all about you and your husband and you can TRULY see that Rhiannon... this recap has really helped!

For me throughout this process, I am glad I stuck to what I wanted, and didn't change things based on others' opinions... and yes, the no debt thing is going to be REALLY nice for us, too! We've sacrificed and definitely gone budget friendly in our household, but certainly worth it!!

reanaclaire said...

wow.. your blog is very beautiful.. so sweet.. so alluring.. my first time coming by here..

keely @ luxe + lillies said...

I love to read all of your advice! It makes me think that hopefully someday, I'll get it all right! What sweet pictures too... it looks like you and your mom look so alike!

Karena said...

The image with your mother is priceless!!

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Karena

Art by Karena

Natasha said...

Oh it sounds like your wedding was very special. I love the photo of your mom helping you with your dress :) I agree with everything you say. We married on the beach in Jamaica, just the two of us, and had our honeymoon before coming home to marry again for part two in front of 32 of our closest family and friends in a park by the water. We all headed over to little cozy restaurant and had a great evening with good food and wine. I wouldn't change a single thing. Weddings can be whatever you want, as long as you are celebrating each other and remembering why you are getting married, for each other! Love love love your blog Rhiannon! And yes i'm a fellow Canadian! :) Natasha xo

Lauren said...

What beautiful pictures and wonderful advice! All of which I totally agree with. Being a recent newly wed as well (we got married in August)we had many of the same philosophies while we were planning! Thanks for sharing.

Truly Smitten said...

good lord you were such a stunning bride!!!!! Love that "LOVE" cups with flowers in it. Can't wait to meet!

Ashley said...

love that pic of you and your mom. it's so sweet and you both look like you're having so much fun!

Jas. said...

Your wedding sounds gorgeous and your photos show that it was! I've been to a fair few weddings and those that have a personal touch are the ones that stay in my mind. Personally, I'm all for a smaller guest list and personal vows and not racking up that debt is a great start to a new beginning (although I hope you swiped it a bit on your honeymoon ;)) Your Mum helping your into your dress is a gorgeous moment that you will cherish.

Love hearing and seeing the details of your wedding and can't wait to see you let loose organising other peoples dream days.

Free Pretty Things For You said...

A garden rose-- I could totally see that! So delicate and gorgeous but with a total edge! ;)

LOVE this post!
you are absolutely breathing taking!

Taj Acosta said...

These are great photos and great advice! I married in Hawaii and I could write a novel about it! Can't wait to hear your part 2! xo

Lori said...

I adore that picture of you and your Mom ~ it really brings a smile to my face. Great list Rhi ~ I totally agree with #5 - we did the same thing and we were better off for it.

Kayla Poole said...

This list is really insightful and lovely. Thank you for sharing! P.s. I've been following your blog for about a month and am completely hooked! :)

jessica lynn said...

love that you didn't single out a MOH and that you wrote your ceremony. such good tips to pass on to future brides in this post! my mom helped me into my dress too and i wouldnt have had it any other way. :)

laviedevi said...

The anthro mugs are such a lovely and simple idea! And I never thought about having all my girl friends as bridesmaids instead of appointing one friend as MOH. Why make one when all of them can be just as special? Something for me to think about when I have mine :)

Tiina said...

I loved reading this! We are planning our wedding, and it looks like it will be a very romantic, DIY setup for our closest friends. But 93 guests, a little wedding? :) Our plan is to invite about 60 of our closest.

You and your mum look so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

xo, tiina
http://www.elcestockholm.blogspot.com

Brynn said...

I love these photos!! Such a beautiful mom and daughter, I'm sure it was a gorgeous wedding!

Nicole-Lynn said...

So sweet. We are also not putting anything on credit and it's so far one of our best decisions yet! I'll let you know more after the wedding! ;)

Kody said...

Hey there! I'm a new followers and I was just wondering who the dress was by? I'm dress hunting now too, and I love yours!

Lindsay said...

Thanks for this list! It's so helpful! We also agreed not to put anything on credit and so far so good. We get married 6 months from today!