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In light of Rick Williams' recent post, what would you do differently if you had your own wedding to do over, or what advice would you offer someone who considers planning a wedding?

I'm looking for stuff like "Don't serve beans at the rehearsal dinner" or "Avoid a ceremony when the baby is due".

Please, don't extend this into the marriage, just focus on the debacle of planning, ceremony, and reception.

My own piece of advice: control the environment, i.e. no outdoor weddings. None! Ever! Too many things can and will go wrong without having to answer to Mother Nature: the ice-sculptures will melt into obscene shapes; the wind will lift the wedding gown at the wrong moment; birds will crap on the guests; bees will get into bonnetts; unsightly grass-stains on the brides-maids' rental gowns will cost extra to clean off; traffic will make disruptive noises; uninvited bystanders will yell at the bride to show "the goods"; formal-wear in summer-heat is torture and the wedding party ends up looking like sweaty flock of drunk penguins; rain shorts out the sound system, high heels get stuck in the lawn, to name but a few possibilites. Half of my weddings were held outside, so I don't feel I exaggerate on these points.

*"I" is correct because the phrase may be completed by stating "...like I am myself..."
 

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No loud music during the sit down dinner, instead on one of my son's wedding I hired a string quartet to play nice soft music so our guests could chat while they ate.
I got a lot of compliments on that!
Paul
 

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Invite only people that you want/will be in your life 10/15/20 years from the wedding. There are people that came that I haven't seen in 15 years (at the wedding)

also

kids shouldn't be at a late night wedding

and if I could do it all over again,

my father in law paid for our wedding, a week before, he said "I'll give you $15,000 to elope, you'll have money for a down payment on a house- instead of me giving it to a country club for a party". . . I would have flown to Vegas and got married by Elvis, came home and has a small party for close friends and family
 

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1) keep it small - there is a whole industry dedicated to making your wedding explode into a tremendously expensive debacle
2) keep it fun - why have a marriage if it isn't fun
3) don't stress - it's JUST a frigging party!
4) never forget - the ceremony has NOTHING to do with how you feel, your commitment or dedication. In a year it will be a distant memory, in 5 years you'll need photos to remind you.

I regret making our wedding a "wedding" - we could have had less stress and more fun if we focused on throwing a great party without all the wedding rituals and nonsense.

But - if you're into the big wedding thing, good luck, have fun, I don't want to debate with you!
cheers-
timm
 

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Make it smaller.
Spend Less.
Don't do it.
Do everything myself, others just do what THEY want, not you.
Don't do it.
Drink More.
Don't do it......

Make it about you, not ANYONE else. Don't worry about pleasing others, if they aren't happy for you they shouldn't be there anyways....In-Laws.....
 

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I've never known anybody that had a big (insert $$$ here) wedding that didn't regret it later!
 

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Don't put the wedding cake in direct sunlight! Happened at a wedding I was at and it finally melted and toppled over!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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My own piece of advice: control the environment, i.e. no outdoor weddings. None! Ever!
:p We had an outdoor wedding - on the beach, and it went great!

Here's mine:
1) I agree with the others who said keep it small/cheap. We had a great wedding and spent less than $5K. The biggest expense was the caterer.
2) Have it on a holiday weekend - your guest don't have to take as much time off, and if it's outsidfe - free fireworks! We got married on Labor Day weekend and a nearby town was having fireworks. Everyone was impressed :biggrinking:
3) Don't keep the guests waiting - go straight from the ceremony to the party. I HATE going to weddings where there is a 2-3 hour break between the wedding and the reception. We had the wedding & reception at the same place so we said, "I Do, let's party" and went right to the reception. Take the pictures beforehand if you must have 3000 posed shots with 700 cominations of family members.
4) If you want certain songs at certian times, put it in the contract with the DJ. We gave the #[email protected]$% DJ a script and he still screwed it up.
5) Don't let your new sister-in-laws anywhere near the cake. We couldn't figure out how we ran out of cake until 3 months later when we found the center tier of the cake in our freezer :cursing:


Pete
 

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My wife's parents paid for our entire wedding... What would WE do different? We would take the $10K they offered us to simply have a small ceremony without the reception and all that jazz...

They were older and wiser. And they were right.

Oh well...it was a helluva party!
 

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Elope, and give the couple the money to buy a house.
My wife and I eloped and her parents gave us what they were willing to spend on a wedding. We used it for a down payment on our first house. I wouldn't change a thing.:wave:
 

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Don't have the bachelor party the night before the wedding....don't remember much until about two weeks into the honeymoon....bar to altar....bad idea...almost didn't make it out of the starting gate....good thing my wife has a sense of humor...she after all chose our wedding song B.B. King 'The Thrill Is Gone"...
 

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My wife and I eloped and her parents gave us what they were willing to spend on a wedding. We used it for a down payment on our first house. I wouldn't change a thing.:wave:
You were smarter than I Aaron. Good for you.
 

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What would I do different?
Now let me think about that...

Elope!

Have a modest reception upon return.
Invest the difference.

Jeff
 

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ELOPE!!!! Better for everyone!!!
 

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Keep is small.
Keep reminding the bride that it's about us (the two of you) and ignore the ME!ME!ME!ME!ME! relative/friends.
 

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My wife and I eloped and her parents gave us what they were willing to spend on a wedding. We used it for a down payment on our first house. I wouldn't change a thing.:wave:
I guess the only thing I might have done differently would have been to invite "some" family. It was just us. Nobody had any idea until after the fact. Her Dad, retired Navy with considerable seniority, was very surprised when his only child showed him the ring. In retrospect, it was kind of funny when he said "I can't believe you are engaged?" Then she told him, "Dad, there are 2 rings on my finger." He responded like this :eek: and me ... well :blush:.
 

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Here's my long winded take on weddings.

When you get right down to it nothing is necessary beyond basic food and shelter. If you're cold and clinical, any expenditure beyond those two things doesn't make a lot a sense but we spend the money anyway. Why do we go to the Caribbean for a week when we could unwind at an interstate Days Inn that has a pool and a cracker barrel next door? Why build an FFR roadster when you could use the money instead to buy a Prius? Why pay for a wedding when you could spend the money on a house? We do all these things because they enrich our lives and leave us with memories. One year when my kids were young we took a family vacation at the beach that I really couldn't afford. My four year old couldn't swim in the waves so I took him in my arms and we waded out into the breakers. The waves started breaking over our heads and each time he would hang on to me with absolute trust. When we'd come up for air he'd shake it off like a labrador retriever and laugh his head off. He wanted to do it again and again. I finally had to drag him out because he was shivering so bad his lips were blue! That little episode doesn't mean squat to you guys because it's not your kid and it's not your memory but even though I couldn't afford that vacation I wouldn't trade that one hour in the waves with my son for anything now. It's no different with weddings. We spend the money because it's all part of a fulfilling life that brings a family close and creates a rich tapestry of wonderful memories that you can take to the grave.

Weddings fit the budget of the family. Obviously you go with what can be afforded but regardless of the venue, you spend money. A wedding brings family and friends together and it's one hell of a fun party whether it's tapped kegs at a picnic ground or open bar at the Greenbriar. One of my sons had a modest wedding at a bed and breakfast. A JP married them, it was a buffet meal, and they had a DJ instead of a band. It didn't matter. We had a great time. I'll never forget when my brand new daughter-in-law who until then I thought was a shy and demur girl popped in a Michael Jackson CD, kicked off her shoes, and wowed the crowd with a spot on dance impersonation of the King of Pop. I didn't know she had it in her. Then there's the exchange of vows. If you don't get a lump in your throat when your kid says "I do" you aren't alive.

As to someone's suggestion that instead of paying for a wedding you put the money in escrow for ten years and if they're still married you'll fork it over, boy is that a no win situation. If your daughter is still happily married after ten years she'll resent you for not springing for a wedding and not trusting her to pick the right guy. If she despises her husband after five years she'll either live a miserable life with the schmuck for another five to get the money and resent you for making her life miserable or she'll get the divorce and resent you for not giving her the money. No matter what the outcome, I suspect that you're not going to be the world's greatest dad in your daughter's eyes.

I guess all I'm saying is that I have zero problem with spending money on a wedding. I don't view it any differently than spending money on anything else that I think will be fun.
 
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