The Woodland Events Blog

Things I Would Do Another Way at My Wedding

Looking back on my wedding day, everything was perfect. We had an outdoor ceremony and reception and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful or cooperative. As far as I know, each of our guests really enjoyed themselves and had an amazing time. And to top it all off, we were working with an incredible wedding planner who kept the day running smoothly, so if anything went wrong or was delayed, we remained blissfully unaware.

Still, if I got a do-over, there are just a few things I would do another way at my wedding.

Hire a Second Shooter

I really love the photos from my wedding. They are beautiful. And there are many. Our photographer did an incredible job of capturing beautiful images of my wife and I on our wedding day.

But they're all of us.

bride and groom with foreheads together at sunset
Stefanie Elizabeth Photography

We have very few, if any, professional images of our guests enjoying the day. I'm afraid as time goes on, the memory of the smiles on so many of our close friends and family will fade. We have no photos of our cocktail hour (which was inside of and around a greenhouse and probably my favorite part of the wedding to plan) because our solo photographer was with us taking photos of our family and wedding party. In fact, since my wife and I didn't attend any portion of the cocktail hour, the only glimpse I have into how it turned out is through the background of recordings from Woodland Events' video guestbook and one guest who took this photo on our lounge furniture with their cell phone:

wedding guest smiling while lounging on sofa
wedding guest laughing during cocktail hour

As a highly sentimental person, missing these important photos is one of my biggest regrets for my wedding day and something that could easily have been remedied if we spent a little extra money for a second shooter.

Second shooters are incredible. While your main photographer stays focused on you, your second shooter can meander throughout the day catching dozens of priceless memories, candid moments, and precious interactions between your guests. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't think twice about the additional investment. A second shooter is worth it.

Invite Fewer People

wedding guest seating chart
Stefanie Elizabeth Photography

Remember when I said I fear the memory of my guests will fade over time? That's especially true because I literally didn't even get to say hello to all of them.

In the grand scheme of things, I didn't have a giant wedding. 153 confirmed guests. I've worked with couples who've had 200, 300, or more guests at their wedding.

But when you think about the math...we had a 4-hour reception, and maybe about 1.5 hours of that was taken up by things like speeches, first dance, and other times when we weren't interacting with our guests. So now we're at 2.5 hours of mingling time.

Two and a half hours to interact with 153 of my closest friends and family. That's a little less than 1 minute per person. To say hello. To ask how they've been since I last saw them. To share what I've been up to. To celebrate this incredible day together!

Now despite my affinity for schedules and staying on time, I didn't stand there with a timer. I got lost in conversation with an old fraternity brother I hadn't seen since college six years earlier. I spent at least five minutes with my two very young nephews (pictured below) and another five with my two very young cousins. And I was pulled into conversations from every which direction as my wife's college friends wanted to meet me, and family members wanted more of my time, and our photographer, caterer, and bartender had questions they wanted me to answer.

wedding ring bearers in suspenders

In the end, there are some really important people in my life who I didn't get to even say hi to or know if I even made eye contact with them. There are some people who checked yes on their RSVP, but I have no idea if they were even actually at the wedding.

I think the day would have been much more impactful for me if we'd had no more than about 100 guests in attendance. Cutting down to that would have been really difficult (we made some incredibly difficult decisions just to get the invite list down to 180), but it would have been worth it. Not to mention, it would have shaved off about $2,500 from our total bill.

I'm not saying inviting fewer people is right for everyone, but I sure wish we had.

Saving Some Cake

clay wedding cake topper with a red panda and a brown bear as bride and groom
Stefanie Elizabeth Photography

When choosing a cake, my wife and I couldn't agree on a flavor, so we just settled on two. The top tier was her pick and the bottom tier was mine. Y'all, I was so looking forward to that bottom tier. It was going to be AMAZING!!

When it came time for our cake cutting, my wife and I cut into the top tier (her flavor choice) and fed one bite of that to each other. It was a pretty good lemon cake, I have to say. But I was really really looking forward into diving into that bottom tier: a rich chocolate base with strawberry filling. YUM! Unfortunately, that bite (that one right there ⬇️) was the only one I got.

bride feeding groom a bite of cake
Stefanie Elizabeth Photography

Right after the cake cutting, we were whisked away by our photographer for golden hour sunset photos. And when we returned about half an hour later... The. Entire. Cake. Was. Gone! Not even a crumb left! In theory, there was more than enough there for our 153 guests. Yet somehow, they devoured it.

Literally my biggest regret from my wedding day, trivial as it sounds, is not getting a single bite of my chocolate cake.

So now, of course, I always check with the serving staff to ensure that my couples have some of their desserts put aside for them to enjoy later. It's more than a little personal for me.

Still, It Was Perfect

sweetheart table flanked by wedding party head tables
Stefanie Elizabeth Photography

Okay, so after all that, I still have to say, my wedding day was incredible! And at the end of the day, I was married, which was really the most important part of the whole thing.

If you're married, what are some of the things that you would have done differently at your wedding?? I'd love to know! Share in the comments below!!

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