MrsD
Legend July 2019

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MrsD, on August 21, 2019 at 2:02 PM Posted in Married Life 4 33
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The day goes by so fast, but I felt like I was present and in the moment the entire time. We are both so happy with our wedding day, and don't have any huge regrets or things we wish we could do over. I got to marry the love of my life in a beautiful ceremony, and spent the rest of the night with our loved ones celebrating. We both feel so blessed, and these forums were so helpful! We invited 225, had 125 RSVP yes, and had 1 no show. We used The Knot for our wedding website & Amazon for our registry (both were awesome). We planned on having the ceremony outside and doing a wood branding unity ceremony. Well a huge storm passed through from 2 PM - 6 PM so that wasn't possible, our ceremony was delayed 45 minutes waiting for a guest bus that was stuck in traffic (because of the storm). Our ceremony started at 5:45 PM inside. Luckily, the space was stunning and a lot of guests didn't realize it was our backup space.

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Things I'm Happy We Did...We let the bridesmaids be themselves. I picked a color, fabric, and length from Azazie and let the girls pick their own dresses. They had over 100 options from $89-$169 but I told them 14 months in advance so they had a super long time to order and several took advantage of 10%-15% off sales. I skipped the "order within 24 hours for one dye lot" because there was no way I was organizing 9 women to get their dress the same day. All the dresses looked great, I couldn't tell the difference in color. My MOH was in a slightly different blue so she would stand out. I paid for their HAMU (two opted to do their own makeup) and let them pick 100% their own style for both. They picked their own shoes & jewelry. I'm so happy I did that, they looked more like themselves and not like bridesmaid robots. They were unique but still complimentary. I paid for breakfast & lunch from Panera. I gave them 3 options for getting ready outfits (cotton waffle robe, long PJ shirt, or romper) and let each girl pick their own then I ordered it. I also got a chair masseuse for the bridal suite and that was fun for everyone. No one seemed stressed (including myself) which was super nice! I wanted everyone to feel fancy & pampered all day.We made the wedding a whole weekend event. Everyone spent time together Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We made sure to be together for meals, hanging out, at the hotel bar, etc. Everyone mingled and it made for such a beautiful weekend. We had way more than just the wedding reception, which was necessary since so many guests were from out of state.I over-planned and was meticulously organized. We spent 19 months planning total. For each vendor, I emailed/called at least 20 people. I read reviews on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Yelp, and Google and asked questions about bad reviews. I sent a lot of emails and detailed schedules and scheduled phone calls with every vendor prior. The day of, every vendor was perfect (besides transportation being late - but that was due to an accident on the Interstate and no amount of phone calls would have changed that).We prioritized alcohol, food, and DJ. To us, these are the most important for a great party. We spent a lot of time finding an officiant, and had the most beautiful ceremony. Then after that was done, we wanted a huge party. And we had one! Everyone was dancing & drinking & laughing, and I know a lot of that was due to an open bar, great food, and a fun DJ.We got a limo & did a grand exit. I was going to skip these but my fiance insisted. It was nice to have the 30 minute drive to ourselves back to the hotel & arrive 10 or so minutes before all our guests did!We provided guest transportation. Both 55 person buses were almost full, which made us super happy! Everyone loved the transportation and most our guests used it (probably 85% of our guests were on it). No one had to worry about drunk driving or getting lost. Our wedding was 30 minutes south of Denver in a very small rural town so no lyfts, ubers or taxis. One bus was late arriving to the wedding (major rain caused an accident and they got stuck behind it) by 45 minutes so that really bothered me since I had advised they take a different way. But everything ended up okay!We invited kids & hired a nanny. Our venue had a kids room with a TV & bean bags. We hired a professional nanny service to hangout in there with crafts & games for kids. We included an insert in our invites (to families with kids 10 and under) stating what the kids menu was & talking about the kids room if people wanted to use it. Several parents opted to leave their 1-3 year olds in there during the ceremony. We invited all kids and are so happy we did! They were all well behaved and added such a fun energy to the evening.Shaggy the Beer Donkey! We spent $200 on Shaggy, and we are both 100% confident it was the best part of our wedding for so many people hahaha!

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Things I Wish We Did...Give someone your photo list other than your photographer. I wish I would have told a bridesmaid or someone "hey, I really want these 3 pictures so make sure I get them". We got a ton of pictures, but I do wish we had taken more posed ones with the entire wedding party and a few more family ones. You'll never get this day again where everyone is dressed up and together, so take advantage of it. I was sitting in the bridal suite for 45 minutes waiting for a bus to arrive, we could have easily been taking a ton of bridesmaid or mom photos together.We didn't get enough candid pictures with our guests. Whether it's on a cell phone or with your photographer, do it. We were busy talking and dancing and if we would have taken even 3 minutes to take some pictures, we would have a lot more. I'm a big picture person so that's why it's mentioned so much, it's really my only regret for the entire day.We totally forgot to plan a welcome speech. We both said something quickly but it wasn't planned and I wish it was a little more meaningful. We said thank you at the rehearsal dinner and I thought more about that speech than I did the wedding day speech since I had a million other things to be thinking about.We spent too much on flowers for sure. We spent $3,900 total and we didn't need to. The flowers on the ceilings cost an additional $900 with flowers & set up & the fact that the florist had to come back for everything to take it down at the end of the night. I didn't even see the flowers for more than 30 seconds, they weren't needed. To be fair, flowers were important to my mom so I let her take the lead but even she realized we did too much.

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Taboo Things We Did (With No Regrets)...We had an uneven & large wedding party. We had 9 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 1 dog of honor, and 2 flower children. It was expensive, but we planned for that. You couldn't tell it was uneven in the pictures or at all, and we were able to include all our closest friends.All bridesmaids got the same gifts, and I paid for their HAMU and considered that part of the gift. They all got totes, water bottles, getting ready outfits, socks and their hair and makeup. 4/9 of my girls had never been bridesmaids so the cheesy gifts were something totally new they had never received. Only 1 of my girls was a seasoned bridesmaid and she loves monogrammed stuff so it was fine for her. The other 4 had only been in 1 other wedding, so again, it wasn't like they had 6 totes from being bridesmaids. Several had never got their hair or makeup professionally done and were so excited to have the special treatment. They all like being pampered (like me) so having fancy hair and makeup was fun.We had tip jars out for our bartenders. We paid for a full open bar ($5,600) but didn't cover tip. I was pretty tired of spending money (tbh) and thought the bartenders may get more through the guests (especially in cash). No one minded that I know of, we didn't have a money dance or honeyfund or any other reason for guests to pull out cash. We provided transportation too. In our friend group, having a limited open bar or cash bar is more common so the fact that we had a full open bar at all was a huge plus.We had personalized favors, reception menus, rehearsal dinner menus, ceremony programs, full wedding website, welcome bags, save the dates, and personalized signs. Not sure if this is "taboo", but a lot of people say it's a waste of time. I didn't think it was. It made everything very meaningful and personalized for us as a couple. We had barely any favors left over, and we ordered extra. We spent the night before the wedding together. We both slept super well, and woke up refreshed and calm!

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I advise future brides to stay off your phone & social media & wedding wire during the entire weekend of your wedding. Focus 100% on your friends and family, not on your phone. You can post much later, you don't need to post the morning of or right after. Focus on you & your husband!

Overall, it was the best day of both of our lives and we are so happy. You can't control the weather or the transportation delay, so I didn't want to dwell on the 45 minute delay or moving the ceremony inside. I'm overall super happy with the pictures & the whole event. We are enjoying married life & the continued renovation of our fixer upper!
Wedding Wire restricted me to a max of 20 pics, so there are more pics in comments!


33 Comments

Latest activity by Mrs. Spring, on January 2, 2021 at 10:09 AM
  • Mrs. S
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
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    Everything looks gorgeous! Congrats!
    • Reply
  • Sonya
    Dedicated February 2021
    Sonya ·
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    Wow your photos are magical... great great pictures... Congratulations
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    My sweet husband wrote on my boots!pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 21My husbands lapel accessories.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 22The groom's suite.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 23The bridal suite.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 24My bride socks.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 25Our personalized favors, wine stoppers.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 26Getting ready for the ceremony.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 27Details.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 28Details.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 29Details.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 30After the ceremony.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 31After the ceremony.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 32After the ceremony.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 33Cute bridesmaids picture!pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 34Our choreographed first dance.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 35Dancing.pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 36Tossing the football with the garter around it!pro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 37Dancingpro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 38Dancingpro bam - 7.20.19 - Pic Heavy 39

    Budget Breakdown (Total = ~$55,000)Venue - The Venue at Crooked Willow Farms - (Venue Fee 14 hours) $10,400 + (Full Open Bar & Champagne Toast) $5,600 + (Photo Booth) $500 + (Shaggy the Beer Donkey at Cocktail Hour) $250 = $16,750Photographer - Callie Riesling Photography - $3,200Videographer - Foster Creative Denver - $2,500Catering - Footers Catering - $12,000 (included linens & china & servers)Transportation - A Ride in Luxury - $3,500 (two guest buses + getaway limo + two small buses for bridesmaids & groomsmen)HAMU - Brides by Rosanne - $2,200 (25 services)DJ - Springs Sound Entertainment - $1,100DOC - The Perfect Moment - $1,150Officiant - Pastor Jason McBride - $250Florist - Sara Mica Designs - $3,900Desserts - The Dessert Stand - $1,100Chair Masseuses - Seated Serenity - $400 (while getting ready for bridesmaids)Nanny - The Nanny Brigade - $275Dress - Blue Bridal Boutique - $1,600 (+ $700 in alterations)Boots - Lucchese $500 (Bride) + Ariat $200 (Groom)Suit Rental - GenTux - $120 per suitVeil & Hair Piece - Sara Gabriel - $300 + $150Earrings - Etsy - $60Rehearsal Dinner - Hacienda Colorado - $3,000 (70 people)Hotel - Denver Marriott South Park Meadows - $450 for suite for 3 nights - complimentary block with 96 total nights booked.Calligraphy - The Little MagnificentInvites, Save the Dates, Programs, Menus, Welcome Pamphlets - ZazzleMisc. Decor - Facebook, Amazon, Hobby Lobby, MichaelsWelcome Bags - Amazon and DIYDay of Food - Panera for Moms/Bridesmaids, Hotel Restaurant for Grooms/DadsFavors - Lavender Potpourri Bags & Personalized Wine StoppersGroomsmen Gifts - Etsy, Amazon, The Tie Bar (Socks, Pocket Square, Tie, Whiskey Glass, Pocket Multi-Tool)Bridesmaids Gifts - Etsy, Zazzle, Target (Personalized Tote, Getting Ready Outfit, Socks, Tumbler, Letter from Bride)Parent Gifts - The Tie Bar, Etsy, Target, AmazonRegistry - Amazon
    • Reply
  • Cyndy
    Rockstar May 2019
    Cyndy ·
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    Your pictures are gorgeous and your day looks like it was amazing. Congratulations!
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    My gosh these pics are gorgeous!!! Your dessert table and decor look great
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    VIP October 2020
    Taylor ·
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    Your day looked perfect and you were STUNNING!!! CongratulationsSmiley heart

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  • Lauren
    VIP September 2019
    Lauren ·
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    The BAM I've been waiting for! Everything looked amazing! In the dancing pictures you look like you are having so much fun! Congratulations!

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  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
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    Your pictures turned out amazing! Congrats girl 😍
    • Reply
  • MIWM
    VIP June 2019
    MIWM ·
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    Absolutely beautiful! Congrats!!!

    • Reply
  • EmAbrams
    Devoted August 2019
    EmAbrams ·
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    WOW!! All I can say is WOW! Everything looked amazing! You are Gorgeous and ever so Generous!! and that Rainbow pic! Congratulations!!

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  • Yana
    Dedicated October 2019
    Yana ·
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    You look so happy congrats! absolutely love the last picture you posted! also, that rainbow shot is amazing! and cant forget to add the picture with the dogs paw Smiley heart

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  • H
    Super September 2019
    H ·
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    Your pictures came out freaking amazing! That rainbow one is incredible, the rain totally worked in your favor! Congratulations!
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Super October 2020
    Brittany ·
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    WOW! These pictures are AMAZING!! Even though the weather was not letting up at least you and your guests had a good time!! You look so happy in these photos and the ones outside with the weather all rainy and everything make them look gorgeous!! Congratulations!!! Thank you for all those awesome tips and the budget break down!!

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    You're so sweet! Thank you, we had a ton of people dancing all night. Our DJ was great!

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  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
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    I love your wedding photos! My favorites were the ones with your fur baby and the storm clouds in the background. That was really cool!

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Thank you, yeah we are super happy with the clouds & the rainbow!

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Thank you so much. Yeah, besides the time delay it didn't hinder anything for us our guests!

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Thank you! She did so well in our ceremony & for pictures. Yeah the clouds & rainbows photographed super well!

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  • Marcus & Marlisa
    Devoted June 2021
    Marcus & Marlisa ·
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    Congratulations! Everything looks great!! I also have a huge wedding party so now I don't feel bad lol. If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your gold plates? I am looking for something like that for my wedding.
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Hahaha yes we had a huge party! It cost a lot more in gifts & florals & rehearsal dinner but it was worth it and made things like our bachelor/bachelorette or my bridal shower so much more fun. They are actually chargers, not plates. I got them at the Dollar Store for $1 each! Then I rented the gold flatware from our caterer. The plates were on the buffet and were just white.

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