If I Could Go Back in Time to my Wedding Day...
What we did well
Ceremony: one of the moments of the day that I loved most that was unplanned, was that our pastor had us turn to not only look at all of our guests during the ceremony, but he also had us look behind to our wedding party to see our biggest supporters and closest friends standing besides us in this huge moment - CUE THE TEARS.
1st Look: we decided to do a first look and it was the best decision ever. I was pretty anxious all morning but the moment I got to walk up behind him I was filled with overwhelming joy and relief. It was such a special moment to share between just the two of us, without 150 people watching. We then got to enjoy the entire day together instead of just the reception. Furthermore, our "down the aisle" moment was equally special, if not MORE special, as we both cried and tuned out all the people around us and zoned in on each other.
Prayer: prior to the ceremony we prayed with our closest friends (and my mom) and it was an amazing way to welcome Jesus even moreso into the big decision we were about to make.
Set up/coordinator: we chose a group of creative ladies that we knew we could rely on for the set up of the venue. We had the guys deliver and unload all of the decorations that morning, and then they left so I could go downstairs and help supervise and set up the venue. I pretty much just directed, which left me stress-free as I had so many people to help actually execute the decor. I totally trusted them and they made it look better than I could have imagined! So have a day-of coordinator (PLEASE, please, please) and a group of people to help execute your vision so you don't have to.
Reception: Mikal and I were very glad that we took the time to walk around and say hi to every single person at our reception. We also planned ahead of time after getting this advice - do everything together on your wedding day. Don't go talk to your friends or family alone and don't dance alone!
Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently...
Reception: we basically had NO time to actually look at our reception set up and all the details! After the ceremony we sat down for probably 10 minutes and attempted to scarf our food down, but realized that we should go talk to everyone at their tables but we never took the time to step away to take everything in! I would recommend stepping far enough away for 5 minutes with JUST each other to look at everything!
Ceremony: we thought we would have a microphone up front with us but unfortunately it slipped out of our minds to ask the DJ to set that up, so some people in the back couldn't hear our vows and we feel bad they missed out on part of the ceremony because of it.
Dinner: we didn't even finish our plates or have time to enjoy our expensive catering! Another HUGE IMPORTANT recommendation is to make sure your bridal party puts a box or two of leftovers in your car! We got to the hotel that night and we were starving and realized we never grabbed food!
Seating chart: we tried to reserve about 5 tables for our closest family members, but unfortunately other family members didn't get the memo and took people's spots. As annoying and time consuming as it is, I would highly recommend making a seating chart. I felt bad that some of our close members had to sit further away and separated from their family!
Clean up: there was some confusion after we left about who was supposed to take what home and such. Make sure to have your family and friends set up a clean up plan with you so they can pack up efficiently!
Goodbyes: make sure to tell your family members and wedding party goodbye before your send off! We were trying to hurry our send off before a bunch of people left, and I realized I forgot to tell my bridesmaids and parents goodbye!
Our wedding day FLEW BY GUYS. I felt like it was over in the blink of an eye, and as it was happening it kind of felt unreal - literally like a dream. Leading up to the day, and even the morning of, I kept waiting to have a freak out moment where I realized I was about to get MARRIED. But if I'm being totally honest, that moment never really came. Everything about our wedding day and coming marriage felt so natural. Sure, there were general nerves. But we just both felt so ready. In my heart I kind of felt like we were already married!