In 9 days, my husband and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. I cannot TELL you how fast the last 10 years went. It's creating a bit of bittersweet reflection in the Reseburg household, I tell ya.
10 years, man. It goes SO fast.
In that time we've had 2 houses....a big move from Milwaukee to Beloit. 3 children. 2 cats. A dog. More cars than I can count (we buy a lot of cars.....). Job losses, job changes, businesses dreamed up and businesses closed.
We've had big huge ups....we've had not so wonderful downs. Because that's marriage.
But this post? This post isn't about our marriage. It's about our WEDDING. 10 years later. Looking back.
It's popular in our industry to use the angle of "no regrets" when selling you wedding goods and services. You don't want to look back on your day 10 years later and harbor regrets over your choices.
Let me let you in on a little secret: you're gonna regret some of your choices. Because times change, tastes change a LOT, and I am so not the person I was at 26 that I am now at 36. You will not be the person you are now in 10 years, more than likely. Because life happens and it changes who you are.
Yesterday my husband and I watched our wedding video. I picked it apart from top to bottom, as is my nature (old nose!! EEK!) , and he called it "cringeworthy".
But at the end of it, we both came to the agreement that our vows were still sweet (and that we needed to REMEMBER what we said 10 years ago more often) and that the sentiment was there.....even if the rest of it was kind of a hot mess.
I've attended/worked at approximately 200 weddings in my lifetime. Some of my earliest clients are closing in on their 10 year anniversaries. So here's my take...on my wedding....10 years past.
Yes, we use this as a marketing angle...because we are in business and businesses need to have people hire them and make money. So, we always say "choose your vendors wisely!"
It is SO. TRUE.
Going into my wedding I had no stinkin' CLUE what I was doing. I was active on The Knot (shudder.) and took my cues from the ladies on there.
I didn't know the ladies on the Knot were pretty much choosing vendors based on one factor: BUDGET
I didn't have any idea what a wedding photographer was supposed to cost. That there were multitudes of options for DJs. That I should have given it more time and thought and consideration.
We interviewed ONE photographer and hired them. And we lived in Milwaukee! Do you know how many options there are in Milwaukee?!?!
Here's an example of some of the pictures we got back:
Now, this is NOT to be a complete jerk and rag on a fellow photographer. They're not in business anymore (probably thankfully) and they've already been dragged through the mud on review sites anyway by other unhappy clients. I'm not going to use their names because that's not fair or nice with 10 years gone by. Everyone starts somewhere.
HOWEVER, this is to show the mistakes we made. I knew NOTHING about photography when I got married. I listened to what this company said they could do for me....they told me they were "trained by the same photographer who shot JLo's wedding"....they sold themselves as highly artistic and skilled.
Watching them on the video....I cringed hard.
However, when we saw our pictures back in 2006, I was actually satisfied with what we got at the time. Because I didn't know any better. I figured they weren't all going to be perfect.
Knowing what I know now....and looking back at what we received (MONTHS after the wedding we got a Staples CD with our names misspelled on it in black magic marker......**forehead smack**) I'm actually kind of annoyed that we got "taken"....but it's water under the bridge at this point. They were a budget option and we got budget results. I have a handful of good pictures of me and my husband and a handful of me and my Grams which are wildly important to me and I guess that's a positive.
But, bear in mind.....put THOUGHT and EFFORT into your vendor choices.
Here's another example:
Our Limo Driver
Yes folks. This is how he arrived to pick us up.
Turns out he FORGOT he had a job that day. He realized it as he was mowing his lawn....so he rushed over to pick us up.
The silver lining here, dear readers, is that my experiences have made me a much better vendor. For sure.
I fully believe that when you're in your 20's, for the MOST part, you're still kind of figuring out who you are. Your belief system, your likes and dislikes. These can change wildly.
So, I don't feel like our wedding day really reflected "us"....the type of people we are. I'm a homebody....a bit of an introvert. My husband is DEFINITELY an introvert. We are not dancers, really.
We integrated very traditional aspects into our wedding because we felt like we HAD to. I was shocked to see on the video that we actually did a garter toss?!?! This is SO not us. I'm very modest by nature.....a garter toss would be the last thing I would ever do now.
But we did one.
One aspect that cracks me up to this day is the DECOR. We went full on Asian Buffet on the whole wedding. I don't know if you folks remember, but in 2006 "Asian Decor" was that generation's "Mason Jar".....trust me. It was EVERYWHERE. So, that's what we did. Because it was popular. Neither of us are Asian by any means. I mean, we like Sushi. That's about the extent of it.
But our wedding legit looked like JMK Nippons by the time we were done throwing cheap "Asian themed" decor all over the place.
To this day I have no clue what we were thinking. I guess it was a theme.....but dude. It had nothing to do with us, our backgrounds, our personalities or what we loved.
I see SO many amazing wedding ideas every weekend....and so many personal touches.....it always makes me wish I could go back and smack myself for ordering all those ridiculous items based only on popularity.
Make sure your wedding day reflects YOU and YOUR STORY.
COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN
I don't know if we are EVER truly comfortable in our own skin when put on display. I mean, SOME people are. Those are people I envy. Because it's definitely NOT me. I'm far too critical of myself, I know I am.
Pre-wedding I TANNED. I know. TERRIBLE. But, I've always been hyper-aware that I'm Irish-Level-Pasty and I HATED it when I was in my 20s. Now, at 36, I've not really "embraced" it....but accepted its my lot in life, if anything. I'd rather be pasty, at this point, than have skin cancer.
So, I have lovely "tan lines" in my wedding pictures. Hawt.
I also chose a dress that was PURE 2006. I guess everyone does that....but poof and flammable material? SO. NOT. ME.
I giggled last night because I had a FRENCH. MANICURE. A fake french manicure. I can't think of anything that is LESS. ME.
At 36.....I look back and I want to hug that 26 year old me and say "It's okay....you can just be you....you don't have to be who they expect you to be as a bride"
But I wasn't strong enough for that....at that point.
THOSE WHO MATTERED MOST
I was happy that we had so many people there at our day that now....10 years later....are no longer with us. I can look back at those pictures and remember how happy I was that they were able to be there....able to share in the time with us.
Every person in this photo is gone now. It makes those pictures that much more important. It's why I focus on older folks at weddings. It's why I make time to circle the room during dancing and catch people who aren't on the dancefloor. Because they're ALL meaningful.
I'm also glad that, at the end of the day, we had those who meant a lot to us standing up with us. We may not have had a gigantic wedding party....but the people who meant the most to us were there.
Some people find it kind of "odd" when they hear my "Man of Honor" (yes, it was a dude....we affectionately called him our Ugly Bridesmaid) was my ex. Seriously. He is also one of our closest friends....and the reason my husband and I met.
It's funny how life works out sometimes. I wouldn't have had it any other way. : )
Surround yourself with the people that matter and the rest really DOESN'T matter, in the long run. Not even bad Asian-themed decor.
I'd also like to add, on a personal note, how YOUNG "Ugly Bridesmaid" looks here with no facial hair.
If we could do it all again, would we do it the same?
Probably not. I joke that I would have friggin' eloped and then we would have just gone to Disney, avoiding the Electric Slide and awkwardness all together. Or flown to Canada and stood on a hill in Prince Edward Island in early 1900's garb (that may be closer to my dream than my husband's).
My point is, your tastes are going to change. The things you believe are really important the day of your wedding won't really seem that big of a deal in 10 years. The things you neglect to invest in MAY be a big deal in 10 years, depending on priorities.
10 years past, I know one thing: My choice in husband would remain constant and that's all that really matters at the end of the day.
Hope you enjoyed a laugh or two at our expense though! We are here to serve! : )