Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with how my wedding day turned out. It was not perfect but it will always be one of the highlights of my timeline.
I would, however, do some things differently, given the chance.
7. Hire a professional host
We asked a very close friend, who is also an excellent public speaker, to be our host. At the time, we thought that getting a friend to host our reception program was a brilliant idea.
The thing about weddings is that it brings together all different facets of your life. There's family, work, school, church, among others. And then there's your side and the groom's side. All of them you have invited, and all of them know you in a different way. So, asking a close friend from work to host your reception might be engaging for your workmates, but may leave all the other guests alienated and clueless.
6. Don't get pressured to do the customary practices
There was the cutting of cake, kissing of doves, the toast, the garter and the bouquet toss.
We did them because these were the practices ever since we could remember. We were not particularly attached to any of them, but they were at the very least, expected.
Thinking about it now, I would just go with something closer to my heart, like maybe, tribute to our parents and sponsors, or a show of gratitude to everybody who came to the wedding.
5. Don't ask anybody to make a speech
This may be a bit late, but to our family and friends who we asked to deliver a speech on our wedding day, I'm so sorry for putting you in that position.
Not everybody is comfortable talking about very personal experiences and feelings in front of strangers. I realize now, that whatever they had to say they could say to us in private, or maybe through writing.
4. Insist on choosing our own sponsors
My husband and I agreed that our sponsors would be people who we both knew well and admired. And all of them were. All except one couple who my parents-in-law insisted on. I'm sure they had very admirable traits, but the problem was we didn't even know them. They were total strangers to us, and we to them.
As expected, the wedding was the last time we ever saw or heard from them. I cringe now, knowing that I couldn't even remember their names. What we should have done was invite them to the wedding as guests instead.
3. Add more days to the honeymoon
Planning the wedding took us 18 months of meeting with suppliers, ocular visits, food tasting, fittings, seminars and countless reunions.
But the honeymoon was my time with my husband. 5 days in Palawan was all we had, before going back to the real world.
And now, with all that's going on with our lives, it is so hard to squeeze in a vacation, let alone a romantic one.
2. Relax and let go
Now, this is hard, especially if you've been so involved in the planning and preparation. But it really is one of the most important things to remember.
In my mind, I was trying to be a few steps ahead, anticipating and expecting. In the morning while being made-up, I was already thinking of the Church. In the Church, I would be thinking of the reception. Wherever I was I would be thinking of something else. By the time it was finished, I was exhausted, I didn't remember who were actually there, I didn't remember the taste of the food, I didn't remember the speeches (which reiterates no. 5). But most importantly, I wasn't able to savor the moment while it was happening.
1. Dance with my father
I don't even remember if I danced with my Dad. If not, then I should have.
I was the eldest and the first to get married. And this was a poignant moment for my parents when they finally let go. It was also my chance to say thank you to them and tell them that it's also hard for me to leave them. All these emotions are very hard to put into words especially during the program but that dance would have told my Dad that I was still, and would always be, his little girl.
I was married December 2003. Six months later my father passed away. I could never dance with him again.