Allie, this is so super helpful... I'm actually thinking I'm going to pose a set of questions for the brides that have done this already... see what kinds of good info we can compile.
Originally Posted by AllieH
So I'll hit a few highlights while I wait for my photos.
What'd I'd do all over again:
--a destination wedding. It was AWESOME. Our friends and family all enjoyed the getaway, and the resort was amazing. It was great to have more time with our guests. The ceremony & reception really flew by, and I can't imagine that as the only time to celebrate this event. Instead, we had a long weekend!
--DIY. our guests all complimented the small details that I had DIY'd. I can't wait to see the photos of the details!
--wear the dress I fell in love with. yeah, it was hot. yep, I was a sweaty mess by the end of the night. but damn, I looked good! (hehe)
--have a friend help with my make up, and let the salon do my hair.
--hire a professional photographer. these memories will be priceless.
--wear wedges for our ceremony in the sand; surprisingly I got a lot of comments on my shoes. part of this is also because of the next item:
--I had my dress hemmed for flats. I knew I would kick off the wedges and end up in flats, and had seen other brides at their receptions holding up their dresses and trying to dance, because the dress was hemmed for heels. So yes, during the ceremony, my wedges showed a little more, but ultimately it all worked out.
--marry the love of my life. of course!!
--do the legal part here at home, and symbolic in MX
--write our own ceremony - it was so meaningful and "us". we wrote our own vows too, and my husband surprised me with his. it was priceless
--not have a bridal party - we felt that all of our guests were our party. we didn't want anyone to have to buy a special dress or suit, given that they were spending so much to be there for us.
--host a private dinner/reception - it was a GREAT party!
Some things I'd do differently (but none of these took away from how special our day was!):
--4pm ceremony time in November was a little too late; we lost light really fast after the ceremony. I would totally move it back to 3:30 if I had it to do over again
--spring for (or bring) the sheers for the gazebo. My husband was a human shade, because the sun was right in my eyes. I'm sure those squinty pictures will be fabulous..
--schedule my hair appointment earlier. we had it at noon for a 2:30 first look, and 4pm ceremony. the rehearsal hair appt only took an hour, so I thought we'd be fine on the day of. day of took 90 minutes, so at 2:25 we were rushing to finish my make up (we had to eat after the hair!!)
--there was no need for cupcakes; the dessert served with our meal was phenomenal!
That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
A couple of the questions I've been asked is about the timing for our photographer. Here's the schedule we laid out for our day:
11am - shower (hey, I had to schedule or I'd never leave the pool chair!)
Noon - spa/salon for hair
1pm - order lunch/room service, make up, finish getting ready
2:30pm - first look bride/groom, couples photos
3:30pm - photographer to ceremony site for set up photos
3:40 - guests to ceremony site
3:45pm - groom to ceremony site
3:55pm - bride to ceremony site
4pm - ceremony (BOOM!)
4:30pm - group photo
4:40pm - non-family guests to informal cocktail hour
5pm - family to informal cocktail
5-5:45pm - finish post-ceremony bride/groom photos
6pm - 10pm - dinner/reception
so the hair ran long, and make up was rushed. our first look was about 2:45pm. we did couples photos on the beach for a few minutes after that, and then the cart that came to get me actually took my husband to the ceremony, and we waited for another one from the wedding staff.
the ceremony started a few minutes late - because my husband wasn't able to go back to the groom's room and get his stuff, his friends did. so they were late for the ceremony!
bottom line? there's never enough time. build in twice as much time as you think you need to get ready.
what other questions can I answer while waiting for the eye candy?