Things I Wish I Would Have Done At My Wedding

Our DIY micro wedding was intimate, relaxed, and magical. But just a few extra details would have placed the cherry on top of our already perfect day!

Things I Wish I Would Have Done At My Wedding

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When we look back eight months ago, our memories from our special day hold no regrets.

Our DIY micro wedding was intimate, relaxed, and magical. Everything worked out just as planned, which is more than most can claim. Some parts actually turned out even better than we expected!

But hindsight is 20/20, right? The truth is, planning a wedding is hard, even one as small and simple as ours. Pinterest has so many ideas, it can be overwhelming to narrow them all down to just one color palette or style while still staying within a budget.

While we truly loved every moment of our brief but beautiful wedding day, there are a few things I wish we would have had time for or thought of sooner.

Just a few extra details would have placed the cherry on top of our already perfect winter wedding.

Incorporating Scottish Traditions

We aren’t much for superstition or traditions.

However, as I was marrying into the Scottish Clan Kennedy, it came to mind far too late to incorporate the tartan colors on our wedding day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love how Andrew’s eclectic suit ensemble turned out. He mostly put it together himself, which is even more impressive.

But the dark green traditional Clan Kennedy tartan would have been easy to implement in small ways, like face masks, a groom suit pocket square, hand warmer favors, or a blanket scarf we wrapped up in for pictures.

There are other meaningful and romantic Scottish traditions, too, like foot washing, hand fasting (AKA tying the knot), or playing bagpipes, that I wouldn’t have been to opposed to if we hadn’t held the ceremony on a chilly day.

Sing a Worship Song

Fun fact, I didn’t finalize my Spotify wedding playlist until the big day.

I knew I wanted my now brother-in-law to sing and play Brandon Heath’s “Love Never Fails” as I walked down the aisle. Other than that, I wanted romantic and easy music, with mostly instrumental tunes to accompany the overall event.

Some of my favorite memories at church, around a fire with friends, or on a road trip, have centered around singing. Not that I have a great singing voice, mind you, but there’s something so cathartic about singing aloud with people you love. And certain lyrics just set the most inspiring atmosphere.

Either during the ceremony or as a soft and sacred closure to the evening, I wish we would have thought to sing the chorus to Amazing Grace, or another song most everyone knows.

Alas, our ceremony was short and sweet due to the chill in the air and the daylight hours we needed to redeem. But if I could go back, I’d take a little extra time to sing as newlyweds!

Bride and Groom Serve the Food

This isn’t any cultural tradition that I know of, but I personally would have enjoyed throwing on an apron and dishing out the evening meal to each guest in attendance.

Seeing every face and telling each one “thank you for coming” while loading up their plates would have been a nice personal touch to our wedding day.

Since our party was small, we were still able to speak to everyone. But as a gesture of gratitude for all our starving and shivering guests, I do wish we would have thought to be the last in line rather than the first!

Group Selfie

Our wedding photos by Wind and Sky were absolutely stunning. The settings were just right, as the sun began to set along the lake, and we crunched in the snow through the tall pine trees.

But one picture is surely missed: a group selfie with all our guests! There were only 30 people including Andrew and myself, after all.

Besides a few candid shots and shared pictures from camera phones, I don’t have a picture with all our friends and family who were present, and I dearly wish I did.

If I could go back, I would have planned out a group selfie with our photographer, or at least utilized the self-timer out on the balcony before we headed out.

Thank You Speeches

Not to be confused with formal speeches where friends and family get up and roast the bride or groom--I don’t regret not having those sorts of embarrassing moments!

But our evening reception on the cabin balcony went so fast. I wish we would have had a chance to formally thank all our guests and everyone who helped out right there on the spot when it was most relevant.

My brother sewed our wedding favors, managed sound equipment, and kept our playlist rolling to set the atmosphere. My mom and grandma slaved away in the kitchen early in the morning to prepare our wedding feast. Andrew’s brother and best man sang for our ceremony. One friend ran the camera so the rest of our loved ones could stream, another friend stitched a cute design for my wedding shoes, while another did my mom’s hair. My maid of honor baked all our wedding desserts, made the boutonnieres, and did my hair. My dad and grandma drove all the way from Oregon to pack up his truck and a trailer to set up my dream wedding in the mountains.

Our guests, some with nursing babies, bundled up and drove 3 hours one way to join with us on a chilly winter day in the mountains.

Needless to say, Andrew and I had a lot to be grateful for! We just wish we would have had the chance to say so properly before the evening ended.

Preserve Wedding Bouquet

As you know, Mayesh graciously donated my wedding bouquet. I had little say or expectation beyond a few pictures I’d saved, and I couldn’t have been happier with how wild and colorful it turned out! That thing was gorgeous, and heavy.

My best friend, Emily, kept my bouquet at her house while we went on our Utah honeymoon road trip. Since it was held together with a plastic floral structure, it dried nicely.

But now what?

I may still be able to do something with them. However, with the bouquet being so dry, I will have to take every care not to turn them into dust.

If I had thought of it sooner, though, I would have bought resin and created a lasting memento to display in our home. Or, if I’d calculated in the extra cost, I could have sent in my bridal bouquet right away for a company to preserve my flowers in an artistic piece of home decor.

Throw a Post-Wedding Open House Reception

Honestly, we intended on doing this in April this year before Phoenix started melting. But our house projects weren’t done enough to be able to accommodate a large crowd. And now it’s just too late to be relevant.

Again, I don’t regret having a small wedding. Being in the spotlight is not my idea of a good time. However, there were many people we would have loved to celebrate our wedding day with us if we could have afforded a bigger invite list.

Hosting an open house reception after our honeymoon would have included everyone, allowing a flexible schedule for guests to come and go as they please without having to stay longer than they felt comfortable during a pandemic.

That way, we could serve finger foods and refreshments which are much cheaper than a full evening meal, plus save funds by hosting directly from our own home rather than a venue.

We had so many advice and dating idea cards leftover, and plenty of DIY wedding décor we could have repurposed as well. Why not recycle when you can, right?

Final Thoughts

Most brides dream of their wedding day for years. Many stress about incorporating every single aesthetic detail, when the truth is most of those expensive details go overlooked.

I, on the other hand, wanted a minimalistic wedding to save money and diminish gray hairs. I believed, still do, that less is more.

But that doesn’t mean a few unique elements can’t contribute to the overall wedding vibe. Some small details can make your wedding day super special both for you and your guests.

If it matters to you, make it happen. Write your ideas down ahead of time and share them with your bridesmaids and, or, wedding coordinator.

Remember, at the end of the day, what really matters is you get married!

Note to self: Looking back over my wedding photos has reminded me...I need to order prints for a master bedroom gallery wall. Before I know it, a full year will have passed!