The Knot Is Tied

Cindy and I arrived home last night after a whirlwind five days, which peaked in our wedding on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The wedding itself went outstandingly well. Everyone was wonderful, and the ceremony and reception were awesome. The DVD-slideshow I’d worked so hard on was a terriffic hit, and even some of the staff teared up a bit. The toasts were amazing, and even Cindy’s song went well, despite her lack of sleep from the bad shrimp at dinner on Friday night.

I’ll be posting more over the coming days and weeks — reflections, photos, and maybe even some video. For now, here are twelve tips for those of you planning a wedding:

  1. Make sure nobody in the wedding party eats seafood either the day of, or the day before the wedding.
  2. Make sure that the person performing the ceremony, and anyone doing announcements actually has the correct names written down, with pronunciation tips or phoenetic spelling if necessary. (Apparently our Justice of the Peace thinks I should change my name to David.)
  3. You’re not going to get much time to eat at your own wedding, so make sure someone from the wedding party saves a plate of food for you. (Ours was lost by the wedding planner or help staff, possibly eaten.)
  4. If your wedding account has money left in it which you won’t get back, make sure it gets spent. If one of the parents or someone in the wedding party is in charge of logistics, make sure they understand how the budget works.
  5. Register for gifts at least 45 days before the wedding, and put someone in the family (or both families) in charge of letting people know where. These days you can register online for most stores, and if you can, make it easy by creating a web page with links to all of your registries. (We got this stuff right, but started quite late.)
  6. Do photos right after the ceremony so you can go have fun as soon as possible. Don’t let yourself get caught in the crowd right after the wedding — make sure you do photos first and then socialize.
  7. Make sure that anyone who needs to be in photos sticks around after the ceremony. Have the photographer collect them immediately, and take them somewhere safe, away from food and booze. Tell everyone beforehand that this is what will happen.
  8. Make sure you know which side to stand on at the front for the ceremony. I was told two different things — one by the planner, and one by the Justice of the Peace. Go with what you hear from the person performing the ceremony.
  9. Along with don’t eat seafood the night before, don’t get too drunk or stay up too late. (We didn’t get drunk, but the shrimp scampi was unwise.)
  10. If the wedding planner (assuming you have one) will leave during the reception, make sure that the person or people who take over know everything that’s supposed to happen, and know who the people are that they’ll need to direct.
  11. If you’re being driven to somewhere after the reception, make sure the driver knows where to take you beforehand. (We were driven off in a golf cart, but the driver didn’t know what room we were in, and neither did we.)
  12. If you’re doing video, make sure that the groom or the person performing the ceremony has a wireless lapel microphone. You can get them at Radio Shack for about $50. If you don’t have one of these, then you won’t be able to hear the ceremony on the video.

I’m sure I’ve left things out that we’ve learned, so I’ll post them if I think of them.

All in all though, it went very well, and we’re both extremely happy. More soon…

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