So yes, I’ve been married twice and have had three receptions. Does that make me an expert yet? Nah…. I’m still learning, and you can learn from me too. Knowing what I know now, I would never plan my wedding celebration reception 4 days after returning from our weddingmoon. We ran around like crazy people the week between the two events. We had completed a lot prior to going down to Antigua but we had to get photos printed from the wedding, pick up flowers from the wholesaler (which had to be changed since most flowers came in dead) to take to our professional florist (got a little smarter the second time around), and list will go on and on. There is a reason WHY you book the honeymoon (full of rest and relaxation) AFTER your wedding. I needed a vacation after our big reception.
Since I was the site manager of the venue we held the reception out at, we could go out the day before and set up some stuff (I still couldn’t set up the candy buffet or anything outside in fear of rain or animals). We had rented our linens from an online company so we had to set those out, set up the tables and chairs, and set out what décor we could. We even went back out early that morning to finish. Since we didn’t have a ceremony, I wasn’t stressed not having a coordinator and I’d done a few weddings at that point so who needed a planner…. ONCE AGAIN WRONG!!!! Oh the many things that went wrong on this day…
We had a team of family and friends once again help set everything up (not having a professional team with a full plan led to more chaos than organization). Everything looked ready for vendors to start setting up as we left to get ready ourselves. Our professional florist was delivering flowers, our professional catering company would be handling food and bar, and our professional lighting company, photographer, videographer and DJ were set to come out later that afternoon. Too bad we didn’t really think things through because we had so many flowers left over…like buckets and buckets… But it was pretty. I’ve learned since then to set place settings and linen napkins on the tables because our tables looked empty without these items.
We all left to go and get ready feeling secure because my site manager was going to be there to look over the place as vendors arrived. In the hustle, I forgot my headpiece at home so I had to send a friend to pick that up. While sitting in the stylist’s chair I learned that my cake had fallen and that it would be 8pm before it would be delivered…no problem cake cutting was later (I learned from part I). We left the salon to pick up the photos we had printed from our destination wedding and took to get custom framed were late getting finished. Again I had planned for extra time before family photos before all guests arrive. However, the closer our limo reached the venue the harder it rained… I will never forget the look on my site manager’s face as we pulled up and he stated “I grabbed everything I could save before the bottom fell out.” Now if our current KYAE team would have been there… I bet they would have saved everything!
I quickly canceled family photos and sprang into action of wedding planner… pulling linens, flipping tables, checking chairs, drying the outside bar off. Without a blink of the eye, I slipped away changed into my dress and was taken over to our horse and carriage grand entrance (remember we didn’t have a budget). Guests arrived and welcomed by our Steel Drummer (former player for Jimmy Buffett) as we arrived in Horse and Carriage to release doves then butterflies.
*My advice here looking back…pick one not all three (LOL).
We played our wedding video on a huge screen, danced our first dances and opened the dance floor with food stations and music videos playing in the background. We were supposed to have two chocolate fountains but the power didn’t work in that corner we had planned for and since I was the bride and not the planner I didn’t think to throw power chords to that area; so we had chocolate dips. In our world we adapt. If it wasn’t for my professional Event Coordinator with our catering company, the night would have gone really bad. But really some of the things she was doing weren’t in her job description. We should have had a coordinator onsite from start to finish.
So you probably are wondering would I do it all over again? Absolutely! These two weddings and three receptions made me the person I am today. Would I ever get married again? I hope so. I loved being married, I love the spirit of marriage, I love everything about the memories created on each of those days. Because no other day will those exact people be in the exact location ever again all together. Make memories, laugh, enjoy time with family and friends. Remember to slow down and take it all in. And whenever that day comes for me, I vow this time to hire a planner and coordinator from start to finish! Third time is the charm…but if you hire us we’ll make it right the first time so you don’t have to have a do-over.