After a wedding is over “they” say to remember the good and forget the bad. There's no point harping about things that went wrong because there's no way to change them. The day happened as it happened and as long as the couple ends up married at the end then the wedding was successful. However, with the benefit of hindsight, there are some things that I would do differently that might benefit you to know. Some of them we were adamantly opposed to and viewed as unnecessary. But in doing a wedding postmortem, those things probably would have enhanced the day.
Getting ready photos/video
We both thought these were silly and not applicable to our Halloween horror wedding. A lot of shots taken during those sessions just didn't occur. But I've found that I would've liked photos of my maid of honor doing my hair, my bridesman eating breakfast cake, or our costumer lacing my dress. It also would've been fun for my husband to see us getting ready and vice versa.
A second photographer
Our wedding photos are totally what we wanted with lots of candid shots and very few “posed” photos. But Jo is only one person and she cannot be in two places at once. Looking back we should have hired a second shooter to capture more guest reactions. We don't have any photos of guests actually watching and reacting which would have been really fun to see.
More posed photos
I realize this directly contradicts my previous statement of wanting mostly candid photos. However, I now think it would've been nice to get more photos of just us. I love our zombie engagement photos and would like to have a set like that in our wedding clothes. We don't have any photos of us outside our ceremony venue and aside from a few poses on the altar we actually don't have very many pictures of us together period. But in our desperation to not miss cocktail hour, we sacrificed photo time. A first look would've solved this problem, but my husband was adamant that he did not want to see me prior to me walking down the aisle.
A receiving line
We also sacrificed the receiving line in the interest of time. We wanted guests to head straight to the reception so we could do the posed photos and get to cocktail hour. But they didn't leave, they milled about on the lawn so we didn't save any time at all. We planned to do table visits during dinner to greet everyone which was a disaster because people were already done eating and had dispersed by the time we tried to do visits. There were a handful of people who I did not exchange one word with which I still feel like shit about. With a receiving line, we could have greeted every single guest individually so at least we would've had the “Congratulations!” “Thanks! So glad you could come!” greeting with everyone.
Hired our officiant as DJ/MC
Out officiant knocked it out of the park and set the perfect tone for the ceremony. I wanted him to also DJ/MC the reception but my husband didn't want him to have to “work” all day. I agreed and we hired a guy who we thought would be great but really fell flat and was a major disappointment.
Done a test cake
Our cake was supposed to bleed when we cut it. It did not. There are several theories as to why it went wrong. I personally think that using my husband's Freddy Krueger glove to cut the cake did not allow us to remove a big enough piece to release the strawberry filling. If we had done a test run then we would've known it wasn't going to work and tried something else.
Spent more time with our wedding party
I don't know how this would've happened but I feel like we just didn't get to hang out with them enough on our wedding day. Maybe a “wedding party only” area? An after party just with them? Perhaps instead of joining the big cocktail hour we should have had a smaller one with just them? I'm not sure, but I just know that I feel like I didn't spend enough time with them.
Better directions to our videographer
We didn't realize at the time that his intention was to just use guest footage for the montage and then do a highlight reel of the reception. Once we saw it we explained what we felt was missing and he did go back and put more guest footage in. But I'd imagined the guest footage set to music and in reality it's set to our videographer going “Hey, could you just stop at look and me for a minute, I need a shot for the video.” We also didn't think to invite him over to the reception space the day before to do shots of all the tables and decorations. All the shots like that are from the end of the night when everything is covered in Solo cups, napkins, and candy wrappers… which is awesome but shots of the pristine decorations would have been nice. This was simply a lack communication or possibly thinking that our videographer is a mind reader.
To sum up
I'm not in any way shape or form unhappy or disappointed about our wedding day. It was truly awesome, it was everything we wanted, and the photos and video that we have are priceless to me. But hindsight is 20/20 and if we were to do it all over again these are the main items that I would do differently. I've thought of ways we could potentially “fix” some of these things but it's over, and changing the past without a flux capacitor is impossible.
But, this year for our anniversary I did get us a small version of our wedding cake and it bled!
More lessons learned from Brink: