A working knowledge of 90s country music was an essential and inescapable aspect of growing up in Helotes, Texas. In PE, we would run laps to Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" and we would often quote George Strait's "Check Yes or No" in carefully crafted love letters. No matter what level of hipster you are, if you grew up in Helotes, chances are you know this song by Alan Jackson (don't deny it).
This song came into my mind recently when I was thinking back on my wedding day. Like my good friend Alan here, I would marry the same person all over again. His name is Daniel. He looks like this:
On our wedding day, he looked like this:
Obviously, it's a no-brainer. Given the chance to redo my wedding, I would choose Daniel every single time. However, there are some things that I would definitely do differently. Don't get me wrong -- I loved my wedding. It was the best day ever. Most of my regrets are just details that stem from the fact that Pinterest became a big thing about a minute after we said "I do". Now I have a constant feed of incredible wedding ideas that seemed otherwise unavailable to me at the time that I was planning my wedding.
Anyway, I don't have it to do all over, but maybe my hindsight could be someone else's foresight. Here now, for your bridal edification, is my list of Wedding Planning Do-Overs:
Do-over #1: I would wear an objectively sane outfit
whilst getting ready.
If you can't make out exactly what is happening in the above picture, that is because it is a HOT MESS. I am wearing bright pink shorts and a tank top that features a rhinestone octopus. Grace Kelly wore a similar ensemble the morning of her wedding (in a nightmare that David Tutera once had). My bra straps are proudly visible and I am eating Wheat Thins like it is my job. Feel free to Pin this because it's clearly a style you will want to emulate on the most important day of your life.
Wait. I can't even joke about that. Don't save this picture to your Pinterest or anywhere, for that matter. Forget you ever saw it. Always remember that you could be immortalized in a photograph at any moment during the day of your wedding. Just channel Beyoncé and everything will be fine. Flee from bedazzled sea creatures. Hide your bra straps like your life depends on it. Wear a delicate robe like this:
Pssst...if you're totally smitten, here's a link to buy this robe!
and stop eating all of the Wheat Thins (although, seriously, how can you?).
Do-over #2: I would paint the soles of my shoes blue.
I don't really get the point of most wedding traditions (throwing rice kills birds and garters itch like hell), but I wanted to adhere to them because it was like a game for me. I don't think I had something blue, which probably destines Daniel and I for destruction. I could have prevented that if I'd painted my soles blue. Plus, they'd be so cute in pictures! If you're digging this idea, there are also some fabulous slip resistant sole stickers that might be a better temporary solution.
Do-over #3: I would have a videographer.
Ladies (and gentlemen maybe?), I am here to tell you that, regrettably, I do not have video footage from my wedding.
You are crying for me right now. I know it. This is the saddest thing you've heard all day.
Trying to do as much as possible on the cheap, I thought that moving images from that day would be something I could do without. What a fool I was. I would give anything for any kind of video documentation of our wedding.
Get a videographer, folks. If you cannot afford a videographer, slap a GoPro on the head of your five-year-old cousin and see what happens (this is actually an amazing idea. Do this regardless of your financial situation.) There is so much going on (drunk people fighting, amazing dance moves, YOU WALKING DOWN THE AISLE). You will miss something, and a video is a great way to relive it.
You probably already knew this. I'm the only idiot I know who doesn't have a wedding video.
There is a silver lining, though. I had an amazing photographer (Lauren Guy Summersett...book her) who captured so much of my day in great detail. Without video, I am able to leave pictures like the following up for hilarious interpretation:
Do-over #4: I would remember to smile
when walking down the aisle.
I super dropped the ball on this one. In imaging myself walking down the aisle, I always assumed I might cry a little. I mean, I once cried watching an episode of Full House. To be fair though, it was the episode where Papouli dies, and I had mono so I was a little disoriented.
Anyway, I was prepared to shed a tear, but nothing really could have prepared me for the moment those doors opened, and this amazing song was being beautifully sung, and my husband was standing there waiting for me. There's just nothing like that.
And it wasn't a pretty cry. Smiling through the tears was the last thing on my mind. I was a mess.
The picture above is the BEST picture of me walking down the aisle. At best, I look slightly annoyed. At worst, I look like I've fallen asleep midway through. So remember to smile, ladies! Your photographer will thank you.
Do-over #5: I would recommend that my guests use a hashtag (#oshoneywedding) for Twitter and Instagram.
I saw something like this on Pinterest like two weeks after my wedding and I was like....
It was very upsetting. Why oh why didn't I think of that?! I love hashtags. I love seeing pictures of myself with an X Pro II filter. It is the perfect marriage of things I love.
We are now well into the 2000s at this point, people. Unless you do not care about this kind of thing, you have no excuse not to post a hashtag at your wedding. Not to be dramatic, but you might be clinically insane if you do not do this. I'm just saying...
Do-over #6: I would honor, in some major way, everyone who helped with our wedding.
I could not be more thankful to the people who were a part of our wedding. Literally everyone who was there did something incredible for us. My dad risked his life hanging papel picado all over our reception space. We had four of the most giving women I've ever known literally set up every other decoration. Our musicians were our incredibly talented friends who set the tone for our beautiful ceremony. My five bridesmaids were rock stars. Emily and her now fiance, Michael, put together our entire rehearsal dinner. Kaley wrote and performed a song as her wedding toast. Lara traveled all the way from Knoxville so that I could steal the covers from her in the bed we shared the night before the wedding. My sister, Johanna, fed me grapes like I was Cleopatra or something. Daniel's sister, Jessica made me laugh so hard I almost died.
We gave some small gifts to everyone, but I wish we had done so much more. As much as a wedding is about the bride and groom, it is so much also about all of the beautiful people that God puts in your life. There are two things from that day that will always be crystal clear memories for me. The first is when I walked down the aisle to Daniel. The second is this moment:
All of these selfless, wonderful people who have my deepest respect and love decided to dance like fools around us as Daniel and I danced to "Dream a Little Dream of Me". It was kind of perfect, and it was a moment that embodied exactly how loved we felt on that day.
When we get famous, we'll probably buy all of these people corvettes or at least Target gift cards or something.
Lastly, Do-over #7: I would have bought something nice on which to hang my dress.
Plastic hangers make the most expensive item of clothing of your life look like it was bought off the rack at Marshall's (no judgement if it was).
Get yourself one of those pretty wooden hangers like they have at Anthropologie. Better yet, get one of these fancy hangers where the wire identifies who you are. You'll be glad you did.
Buy this one here!
There you have it. These are just a few small regrets from a day that brought me so much joy that I still can't stop talking about it. Just so you don't leave this post thinking that I regret my marriage, it is probably a good idea to show you some things from my wedding that I got right.
My Wedding Do-All-Over-Agains
1. I would wear this dress.
|and I would make this same I-know-I-look-good face|
3. I would have a whimsical theme and not care if anyone thinks it's weird.
4. I would shake this maraca.
5. I would do my own makeup so that I don't end up looking like this:
6. I would have it in Austin, Texas.
7. I would marry this guy...all over again.
Please share this post on Pinterest and elsewhere so that future brides can learn from my not-so-terrible mistakes! If you'd like to learn about more ways to avoid weird mistakes in life, feel free to follow Avoiding Atrophy (in the column on the right side) because seriously I write about this junk all the time.
Move on to Part Two of this post for even more Wedding Do-Overs!
Lastly, I've compiled some product ideas from this post below. Hope these are helpful in prepping for your super stellar upcoming wedding!