All right, we’ve been through the regrets already. Let’s get right on to the things I don’t regret for a second. I’m glad to say that the entire wedding weekend was a fabulous raucous party, and was overall a great success. Here are my top five best decisions:
1) Having one wedding. We didn’t realize until late in the game that we could have the county deputize our officiant to marry us. We had planned to have a civil ceremony with our parents a few days before our wedding. I know many couples do this, and we were fine with the idea. However giving our friend the power to marry us, and knowing the in the VERY MOMENT that we said our vows in front of our friends and family that we were now married… this was a powerful thing, and made for a poignant memory.
2) Not spending a small fortune on my dress. I bought my dress on eBay. It was an Amy Kuschel sample and with shipping it cost $500. Still a lot more than I’ve ever spent on any item of clothing, but not exactly outrageous for a wedding dress. I loved my dress, even though it showed off my side-boob/arm-gina/whatever you want to call it. Even though the bustle came undone during our first dance and I had to hold the train with one hand. Even though I changed into a comfortable party dress a few hours in to the reception, I’m very glad with the decisions I made surrounding The Dress.
3) Getting married close to home. We’d looked at areas in the wine country, but decided to get married in Berkeley (we live in Oakland and my parents live in San Francisco). Being able to make several quick and easy trips to the ceremony and reception sites in the months leading up to the wedding was invaluable. Plus, I generally hate long car trips and I didn’t want to make our guests drive a long way once they arrived at the airport. Nearly everyone stayed either at the reception hotel or within a few blocks of it.
4) Having a central location. One of the reasons we picked our reception site was that it was a beautiful Arts and Crafts style boutique hotel and could house 40-50 of our guests. We had all our close friends stay there (the older generation stayed in hotels very close by). It made for SUCH a fun party atmosphere. We had both the rehearsal dinner and the reception in the gorgeous banquet hall. The rehearsal dinner turned in to a regular hootenany — my dad and his best friend from college banged away at guitars, my husband’s aunt sang with them, and people mingled at dinner, on the rooftop and in their rooms. At every corner I turned, another mini party was going on — with old and young generations, cousins, friends, my husband’s family, my family… It was more fun than I could ever ask for.
5) Putting on a ‘big’ wedding. We invited about 170 guests and ended up with 120. If my husband was more of an introvert like me, I’m sure we would’ve had a teeny wedding. But I’m so glad we were surrounded by so many of our cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and co-workers that day. We were showered with an enormous amount of love. Aunts from his and my family got out on the dance floor together. There were romantic liasons between our cousins and our friends. Guests contacted us weeks and months later to tell us that it was the most fun they’d had at any wedding. Family members said it was the best family gathering ever.
Whew! It’s definitely more fun to relive the good memories than the regrets.
Honorary #6: My husband, on our wedding night 😉