|Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá|
We just returned from my best friends beautiful wedding in San Diego, where I had the privilege of being her maid of Honor. She got married in this gorgeous historical mission, and her wedding was full of very heartwarming personal touches which really made it stand out from every other wedding I have been in. Since this is the first wedding we have been to since planning ours, Mr. Modern and I took away a lot of good tips and ideas from the experience to apply to our own wedding.
Lesson 1: The DIY elements really make the day more special. They had a lot of small personal touches that really made the ordinary more extraordinary. For example, the groom made the wedding cake and the wedding bands, and the mother of the bride made her veils. And I really loved the guestbook, which was small cards the guest got to sign and decorate, that they would later put into a book. The bride is very crafty, so it just made perfect sense.
Lesson 2: Order the Dress as early as possible. She ended up getting her dress about a week before the wedding, despite being promised it would arrive a month earlier. This also leads to the lesson to choose your bridal shop carefully, because hers gave her a really hard time and did not give great customer service after she paid for the dress. Luckily everything turned out well and her dress was beautiful and perfect for her. I have the luxury of time, so I will be sure to start shopping early, and to check reviews before I put down a deposit at a store.
Lesson 3: I don’t think I want a train. Her train was perfect for the mission, and it even looked beautiful bustled, but I think they are just too much work. Her bustle was actually pretty easy to do, and did not break like I have heard so many brides complain about, but it did keep coming undone if she moved around too much. I also think it was really smart of her to have me with her when picking up her dress since I got to learn how to do the bustle, which would have been complicated if the seamstress had not shown me. If I do choose a dress with a train, I think I’m going to get a short reception dress so I don’t have to worry about it.
Lesson 4: We are not going to block rooms. We were recently discussing whether or not we were going to block rooms since we noticed that whenever we went to out of town weddings, we never booked the blocked rooms because we always found nearby hotels that were cheaper and/or had other amenities that we were looking for. So when my BFF told us that most of her guests didn’t stay at the hotels she blocked (including us), it kind of confirmed our decision to just put a list of hotels in a variety of price ranges on our wedding website.
Lesson 5: We are glad we hired our coordinator. I felt like the bride was dealing with way too many details and questions that she should not have had to worry about on her wedding day. And, though we didn’t mind helping run errands and setting up their reception, for our weddng we don’t want us, our guests, or our bridal party to have to do anything but show up to the party. But I’m glad I got the “behind the scenes” experience of really seeing what it takes to put a reception space together, it really gave us insight into all that needs to be done.
Lesson 6: No cell phones allowed for the bride and groom. I forced her to turn off the cell phone, since she kept answering the phone when people were calling her for directions and with problems. Again, this is where our coordinator will come in, so the boy and I will be cell phone free the day of. That being said, our maids of honor and best man will have their phones on in case of emergencies.
Lesson 7: Get a little bridal clutch to carry my makeup. Or, since my girls will be carrying clutches, put my stuff in one of my MOH’s bags.
Lesson 8: Hire a makeup artist for the bridesmaids. I have to say that all of her bridesmaids looked great since we all got our makeup done. It really was a big difference since I don’t think most of us wore make up regularly anyway and it lasted all day. I got mine done at 5am and was scrubbing it off at 1am the next morning.
Overall, it was an amazing wedding. I think what I loved the most was that every element reminded me of the couple. It really felt like THEIR day and not just some generic wedding where you could just insert any random bride and groom. We also noticed that they really put their guests first, and really made us all feel special. But that’s just the kind of people they are :)
Have you learned anything from weddings you’ve been to since you have been engaged?