We finally received our wedding photos, and they just bring me right back to a (nearly) perfect day. I say nearly perfect because I wish I had more time on that day to individually sit down and catch up with each and every single one of our friends and family who made the trip to visit us. It was such a happy day, but it went by way too quickly. What a blur – but thank goodness for photos to help us relive it. I promised a few months back that I would share some of the details and how we infused our own personality into the wedding – so here goes.
It’s your vision.
Often times, brides and grooms have to do a lot of stakeholder management – meaning, they have to put up with everyone and (especially) their moms’ 2 cents of input. Stakeholder management is no fun, especially when the feedback (though well-intentioned) is unsolicited, unproductive or does not improve your vision. The vision belongs to the bride and groom only. So, figure out what that vision is and keep your eyes on the prize. No one should detract you from that vision of what your day should be.
Our sweetheart table
The easiest way to incorporate your personality is to showcase things you like and things that represent you. Do YOU. David and I like to eat. Like a lot. Our waistlines and double chins show it. We also pride ourselves in being a really good host/hostess (our house parties are renowned). And so it was vital that our food be good and plentiful. Between the ceremony and dinner, we hired a taco truck to serve delicious tacos on fluffy homemade tortillas. At the reception, we served a bunch of appetizers and finger foods before dinner. Dinner was a traditional Vietnamese 8-course meal featuring our favorite seafood – Chilean sea bass, lobster, abalone, shrimp, etc. Dessert included our wedding cake (raspberry, lychee, rose – inspired by Pierre Hermé’s classic Ispahan) and a dreamy dessert bar with macarons, burnt almond cake from my favorite bakery, and a number of other treats. We made sure the menu reflected us – we didn’t go out of our comfort zone or try something different. We did what we know and are good at. And we personally think, we pulled off a super fun and very personalized reception.
Tend towards being detail-oriented and thoughtful.
The little details will help your guests feel especially welcomed, and that they were more than just an after thought. I realize that your wedding is for YOU, but the best part about the wedding is getting to hang out with your closest friends and family. You want to celebrate that. Because we had a large guest size (over 400ppl!), we needed to make it easy for folks to mingle, socialize, not feel alienated, and felt like they mattered. To that objective, we sprinkled lots of activities throughout the reception to keep everyone entertained. We had lots of games – raffle prizes, board games, a scavenger hunt, a photobooth, homemade coloring books for the kids, a video game booth, a giant Jenga set, a big puzzle. This encouraged folks to move about, talk to each other, and not feel bored or trapped. Of course, nothing was forced or mandated, and folks could choose in what way they wanted to participate.
Our raffle prizes.
In addition to games, we intentionally decorated the venue with little details that our guests would find thoughtful. For example, we had check-in tables where ‘receptionists’ would look up guest names and escort them to their tables. To designate a side, we used our own parents’ wedding photos to delineate Bride vs. Groom. The guests felt welcomed while ooh-ing over our parents 70’s/80’s styled wedding photos. We had a slideshow that purposely included at least one image of each of our guests. Again, this showed that we thought about each of them while preparing for the big day.
You don’t have to go overboard with the details. A lot of the games we had at the wedding were homemade with nothing more than our brains, Microsoft Word, some cardstock and a printer. Our scavenger hunt involved our guests taking photos of various things and people at the wedding, and posting the images to social media using our hashtag (#davidandanh2015). The best photos won prizes. And the guests who completed the entire hunt also won prizes. We came up with games, designed the game card, printed out the rules, cut the sheets – lots of details. We also had to figure out how to showcase these guest photos at the wedding – nothing an online social media aggregator couldn’t fix. We were thoughtful and resourceful in how we approached these details, and didn’t end up breaking the bank or over working ourselves.
I had such a great time at our wedding. And seeing that our guests are still talking about our wedding more than 6 months later, I am going to assume they had a good time too 🙂 I wish I could do it all over again. All the pretty details. All 400 of my closest friends and family. All the delicious food. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Thanks for reading!