I’m going to be honest: Colton and I had no idea what to expect going into our wedding day. We weren’t planning on “winging it”, but it’s one of those experiences that is unique to everyone. In the several months leading up to the wedding, I liked, followed, and read countless wedding magazines, blogs, and Instagrams so I could glean as much information as possible about what my Big Day would be like.
What should I expect our coordinator to take care of? How do we choose our first dance song? Do we really need to invite his third cousin twice removed?? Countless questions buzzed through my head for 15 months, causing strange wedding nightmares (yes, they’re real) and a lot of unwanted stress. I ended up with a mountain of both useful and useless information that both helped me and surprised me on our own wedding day. What inspired me to write this post was the realization that my wedding experience was vastly different when compared to what was repeated in countless articles published to wedding blogs and in magazines. So below are three things about our wedding day that surprised me!
All photos are by Sterling Imageworks of Little Rock, Arkansas!
I remember everything about my wedding day.
We were able to eat and enjoy our reception food and wedding cake (and cookies).
Again, I read in almost every wedding blog and magazine that we wouldn’t be able to eat our reception food. And again, the premise for this is that I would be too busy to sit down and enjoy the food I agonized over for months or the beautiful cake I painstakingly chose the icing and topper for. However, Colton and I were able to enjoy both our reception food and our cake thanks to our venue coordinator and our DJ.
At the end of our Father/Daughter dance, our DJ, DJ Hollywood of Arkansas’ Best DJ Service, announced that the bride, groom, and bridal party would get their food first, followed by the (immediate) family, then the rest of the guests would be able to get their food. Side note: we had a buffet of breakfast food along with omelet and waffle stations. Colton and I were the first in line to fill our plates with the delicious food we had chosen. Our only regret is that we didn’t get an omelet!
As for our cake, our venue coordinator, Donna of Hot Springs Golf and Country Club, helped serve us through the reception. She made sure we received large pieces of cake at our sweetheart table after we cut the cake, she refilled our mimosa glasses, and she offered to get us more food from the buffet. So yes, we did get to eat our delicious food!
Our first dance wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
I constantly read, “OMG the first dance is so important to your reception! You have to make an entrance! The lyrics have to be romantic but not cheesy! You need to edit the song down for time! Choreographed dances are best!” I could go on and on about the things I read about THE first dance.
To be very transparent, I didn’t like our first dance as much as I thought I would. Colton and I were on the way to the reception after leaving the church and I literally said, “Shit! We still have the first dance.” I don’t like being in front of large crowds, or crowds of any size, so the ceremony was hard enough! We had chosen “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore because I felt the lyrics describe our love story perfectly. And it does. Colton slept on the couch for most of our relationship when we spent the weekends at each others’ parents’ house. We bought a house and are planting our dreams, just like Kip croons in the song. Sounds sweet and perfect, right? However, I spent the entire dance worrying that our guests were going to get bored watching us dance, hoping Colton wouldn’t step on my dress, and praying for the song to be over. I thought our first dance would be one of my favorite moments of the day, but I was beyond surprised when it was our last dance that took that honor.
After the reception was over, while the waitstaff started to clean the tables and my parents gathered our decorations to pack up, Colton and I danced to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Our guests, most of our family, and our photographers had left. It was just us in an empty room dancing to a beautiful song on our wedding day. The last dance was, as cliche as it is, perfect.
Photography: Sterling Imageworks Photography
Dress: Low’s Bridal and Formal Shoppe
Hair: Sheena Branstetter of Rock PaPer Scissors Salon SpaBoutique
Flowers: Johnson Floral Company
Ceremony: First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs
Reception: Hot Springs Country Club
DJ: Arkansas’ Best DJ Service
Cake & Cookies: Ambrosia Bakery