Posts in the 'real bride' Category

Real Bride Elizabeth: Planning a Wedding Long-Distance

When I tell people that I am planning my North Carolina from Minnesota most ask me if I’m crazy. To be fair, before I embarked on this magical adventure, I would have said the same thing. So far, I have had a very good experience planning my wedding remotely (knock on wood). However, I can’t say I would recommend it to everyone. Here are the following things you should have to plan a remote wedding.

1.Amazingly supportive in-laws

I am getting married in my fiancé’s hometown, and luckily, his immediate family lives there. Since Bryce and I got engaged in Greensboro over Christmas and didn’t know when we would be back next, Bryce’s aunt Connie, who he lived with growing up, sprang into action and pretty much called everyone she knew that had some sort of wedding affiliation — from cakes to rehearsal dinner to make-up. When we visited Greensboro a few weeks ago, she took me to the farmer’s market to scope out flowers, to the BBQ place we are having cater our reception, and to restaurant possibilities for the rehearsal dinner. If she hadn’t been willing to help as much as she has, there is no way this process would be going as smoothly.


Future in-laws!

2. Connections

I got really lucky with this one. Since I’m a Broke-Ass Bride, it’s a given that my budget is tight. Luckily, one of Bryce’s good friends got married last year, and she gave me a list of all her vendors. Her DJ happened to be a family friend, and gave us an amazing discount. Since I had already seen the DJ in action at Bryce’s friend’s wedding, I felt comfortable booking him for ours. We also used the same photographer, who was graciously very willing to work with our budget. I was relieved to get a very high-quality photographer, as that was my Number One priority for the wedding. The fact that he went to high school with Bryce probably didn’t hurt.

3. The ability to let it go

One thing that I have learned about myself during this whole shebang is that I am really good at making quick decisions. When I was in Greensboro over Christmas, there wasn’t a lot of time to tour venues, especially since a lot of them were closed for the holidays. And, being a Broke-Ass, thus not able to fly back and forth every weekend, I had to decide fast. I’ve also had to prioritize what parts of the wedding I need to have a hand in and what I can pass off to others. There are definitely certain personality types that this would NOT work for, so I recommend knowing if this is something you’re capable of doing before deciding to plan a wedding remotely.



Sorry, I couldn’t resist


So, just so you know, planning your wedding long-distance isn’t impossible. Make sure you have a great support system and realistic expectations, and you’ll be golden.

Are you planning a wedding from afar? What troubles are you running into?

Real Bride Jess: Planning the Honeymoon

Honeymoon (n)-: the trip following your wedding that is supposed to be relaxing but you can’t even think about, much less plan, because you’re already too overwhelmed.

It seems like honeymoon talk here at BAB is sparse. Probably because we are all broke and stressed and cannot even contemplate planning a honeymoon (at least that’s how I feel). I want to talk about it because of how stressed I am at the thought of it.


This is how I feel. Tired and need a nap.

First of all, I have a question for all of you: Is your fiancé planning your whole honeymoon?

My mother told me, “the honeymoon is his job, you do nothing.” Sorry mom, that isn’t happening. There were a couple problems with that plan:

– Michael is working 50+ hours a week and studying for his CPA exams

– I am a mild control freak

– We are going to Europe which includes significant advance planning

– I was not going to constantly nag Michael to plan

So we decided that it would be a joint effort.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

– Made sure we have passports

– Booked our flights: San Diego>New York, New York> Paris, Paris> Athens, Athens>Rome

– E-mailed AAA to help us with hotels

Here’s what we need to do:

– Plan how we’re getting around Greece, Italy and back to Paris

– All hotels

– Everything else (this is how overwhelmed I am)
So Broke-Ass Bride, help a sister out. What tips, tricks or words of encouragement do you have for me?

Real Bride Emma: Introducing … The Am Dram Bride.

My name is Emma, and I am a fiancée. In real life I work in marketing for a publishing company, and my fiancé, Michael, works in insurance. We live in Bristol, England, and have been a couple for 11 years. We have a date in mind for our wedding – October 8th, 2015. And yes, that is a Thursday. More on that in a forthcoming post.

So far, so usual.

However, in our spare time we are also am drammers extraordinaire!

– A note on language — being from the UK I may glibly throw in phrases that mean nothing to readers from other shores. I will do my best to spot these and provide definitions accordingly. An “am drammer” is someone who performs in musical theatre on a non-professional basis (amateur dramatics). Whilst I understand that this is very popular in the US, in the UK we are usually seen as a bit “over the top” compared to the rest of the population. This is probably fair.

Here’s us as real people:


Credit: Me!

And here we are as am drammers (Jesus and Mary in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in case you were wondering).


Credit: Stewart McPherson

We met at school — secondary school if you’re in the UK, and high school for American readers. It didn’t take long for teenage me to realise that he was THE guy, and I patiently waited for him to run out of other options (women) before snagging him just before we left school. Thank goodness the long game works, because BOOM! 10 years later, we were engaged.

Whilst Michael and I are very similar in a lot of ways –we both love to perform, we’re both definitely dog people, we’re both ambitious and a little bit silly — there are some crucial differences. (Get your head out of the gutter I don’t mean those differences).

I have never been particularly traditional, and am pretty assertive when it comes to getting things done the way I like them. I’ve never wanted to be a princess, preferring to play sword fights and scraps (read: fights) with my little brother. I’ve always grown up thinking I’d get married some day, but despite doing the usual dress-up thing of putting a pillow case on my head and pretending it was a veil, I never saw myself as having a big fairytale wedding. Unusually still for the UK, I never saw myself getting married in a church, and cared much more about the music that would be played than the words that would be said. These ideals still hold true today, which you’ll discover as I take you through the planning process (you lucky devils).

Michael, however, is pretty traditional. Not in a “wants-a-wife-to-be-a-housewife” kind of way, but in a “I-think-it’s-nice-if-we-don’t-sleep-in-the-same-room-the-night-before-the-wedding” kind of way. He is also very laid back, which is probably for the best.

How did he propose? Pretty spectacularly to be honest.

We were on holiday with his family at a ski resort in France called Chamonix. In Chamonix there is an amazing lift called the Aguille Midi which takes you up to nearly 4,000 feet, right next to Mont Blanc. I have to say it is one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. At the very top there is a glass box which sticks out of the mountain, allowing you to feel as if you are stepping out over the valley. Now, as a woman who had been with her bloke for over 10 years at this point, it had popped into my mind that there might be a proposal on the way. After all, we were in a picturesque place, once-in-a-lifetime kind of view, and so it would certainly be appropriate. Bear in mind I had had many similar musings before, and of course none of these had yet come to fruition.

And I thought to myself:

“If he’s going to propose anywhere, it’ll be in that glass box.”

So what happened? I get in the box, and turn around to see Michael having a small panic attack because “it’s just so high.” No proposal, no ring, and so I figured “Ah well, not today.” We went back outside to the viewing platform, and I looked out at Mont Blanc. When I turned around, there he was — on one knee with a ring box in his hand.

Obviously, being a no-nonsense kind of girl, I burst into tears.

Luckily for us a stranger snapped a quick photo of us just after I managed to stammer a “yes.” He was kind enough to give us his email address so I could get the picture from him when we got home.

Here it is:

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 18.29.55

Credit: Anton Maes

Michael was also wearing a GoPro on his chest, so we have a video of the whole thing (from the point of view of his nipples). It’s pretty funny for us, and probably pretty dull for anyone else that isn’t us, but I’m glad he did it, mostly for the brilliant screenshots…

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 13.31.45

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 13.31.41

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 13.33.44

Credit: The fiancé

So there you have it – a brief introduction to me and my fiancé Michael. I am really excited to be sharing with you my many madnesses over the next year and a half as we plan our wedding.

AmDram Bride – out.

Real Bride Kate: Lessons Learned as a Bridesmaid

I recently had the privilege to be a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends. This was my first time as a bridesmaid, and my first time attending the wedding of a friend (as opposed to a family member). I hadn’t been to a traditional wedding for a couple years, so getting to be an important part of one, especially one with a bride so close to my heart, was a delightful treat. Given my own upcoming nuptials, attending my friend’s wedding was also a nice refresher to help me A) remember the emotional and exciting experience that is a wedding and B) glimpse at the logistical aspect of wedding planning from “the other side,” so to speak.

After all the smiles and tears and hugs, I took some time to reflect on the wedding and my experience as a bridesmaid and what I can take away from it all for my own wedding. In the end, I’ve come up with three “lessons” or reminders that I hope to keep in mind as my own wedding nears.

Bridesmaid Dress

The bride let us choose our own hairstyles, and I love the retro-inspired-do my hairdresser did for me. (Totally inspiring my own wedding hair!)

 1.      A happy bride equals happy everyone.

Most of the time, when people say things like this, it is code for: “Give the bride everything she wants so life is easier for all of us.” In this case, I mean it more literally. My friend was laid back and genuinely happy for her entire wedding day. Even when a few details didn’t go according to plan, she kept her cool and stayed optimistic. And trust me, it made everyone in the bridal party relaxed and happy, too. The entire day felt like a day between friends without the weird pressure of pulling off “the most important day of the bride’s life.” Plus, in the few moments I saw the groom before the ceremony, it was obvious that having a happy bride was a delight to him.

2.      Make sure people know where/how/when to do things.

The only hitch in the wedding details for the wedding party was a bit of uncertainty on how the reception should be started. The bride and groom were still taking family portraits, and we were left on our own. Should we sit at the head table or is that for family? Which hors d’oeuvres are for now and which are for after the bride and groom arrive? They were simple questions, and obviously, we all figured it out quickly enough. However, the moments of slight uncertainty did get me thinking about how many and which logistical details I will need to impart to my own wedding helpers.

3.      Perfection is subjective and intentional.

Honestly, I have no idea how my friend viewed her wedding. From her radiant joy and relaxed attitude, I assume she felt like everything was perfect. However, for all I know, there could have been details that were wrong or sacrifices she had to make during the planning. But, in the end, no one could tell if it was perfect or not. Was it the perfect wedding for everyone who attended? Of course not, because perfection is subjective. And from watching this wedding, I have learned, too, that perfection is intentional. Yes, we all intentionally strive for perfection in our wedding, but, even if it is not perfect, we can approach the day with the intention of viewing it as perfect. When it’s all said and done, what makes a wedding perfect is that it reflects the couple’s personality, it is planned with the intention of making it special, and it is approached with the right intention. Given this criteria, I’d say my friend’s wedding was truly perfect.

Bridesmaid Bouquet

My beautiful bridesmaid bouquet. It’s a happy coincidence for this photo that my dining room walls almost perfectly match my bridesmaid dress colors!

Now, time for some honesty. As a person, I am much more high-strung and much more of a perfectionist than my friend. I know I am prone to meltdowns when I have to sacrifice certain details (whether it be for budget or to appease family), and I know that these sacrifices also lead me to approach my wedding with the wrong intentions. I get too caught up in the little things, in my own selfish desires, in what can’t happen for my wedding, and I forget the big things and what can happen for my wedding.

However, even though I know I will not be as gracious of a bride as my friend, I must remember the attitude of myself and the other wedding party members at her wedding: “They’re married. Our job is done. Mission accomplished.”

Because, in the long run, stationery, dresses and flowers don’t make a wedding successful: uniting two people who love each other does. And, for that matter, a perfect wedding doesn’t make a marriage successful: only two people who love each other and are willing to work their asses off do.

So, as far as what really matters, Daniel and me, we got this.

Real Bride Tiffany: 99 Bottles of … Flowers?

Let’s face it, BABs. Flowers are freaking expensive. Yet so, so lovely. And one must be incredibly talented and crafty to pull off wedding decor sans flowers. Unfortunately, I am only mildly crafty and have the patience of a child when it comes to DIY-ing anything, so I knew that some of our budget would go to flowers. So, how are we going to keep our florals budget-friendly but still absolutely darn fabulous? Like this:

Because of our brewery wedding, beer bottle centerpieces are not only a natural choice, but they look really damn good. That slick amber glass? (Okay, and some green and clear glass for good measure.) But that gorgeous glass just beautifully pops with some greenery — add some buds and BAM! Bou have a centerpiece. 
Lucky for everyone involved in our wedding process, Justin and I enjoy enough beer to make these centerpieces happen. Best DIY ever. We HAVE to drink beer? FINE WE WILL COLLECT BOTTLES. FORCE US. We’ve estimated roughly 150 to 200 beer bottles will be necessary to make this vision happen. And because of our deep enthusiasm for the beer, we are approximately halfway to our goal. Good for the wedding, bad for our wedding diets. A necessary risk!
Drinking the beer is the fun part. The not so fun part? Removing those pesky labels. We quickly learned that not all labels are created equal. And that not all Pinterest suggestions speak the truth. The best and easiest way to remove a glued-on paper label? Soak in soapy water for hours. Literally hours. Like, the longer the better. Hopefully you aren’t in a rush and don’t need your sink.

bottles 1

Because this will be your sink … soaking away those labels for hours … and hours. I started off fancy with a vinegar concoction but now we are at just straight soap and water.

bottles 2

And TA-DA!

And if I get brave and Justin allows me to handle lighter fluid, I’d like to turn some of these into candle holders. We shall see about that one!

We definitely still have more collecting and de-labeling to do. So come on over and bring some beer!

Us with beer. Just because.

Are you crafting any part of your wedding decor? Tell us about your ideas in the comments!

Real Bride Kate: Remember Your “Yes”

Up to this point, my and Daniel’s wedding planning has revolved around proposed dates, hypothetical decorations, and just plain uncertainty. However, this is all about to end. Right now, we are elbow-deep in paperwork, but in just a few weeks, on April 8th, Daniel will have his interview with the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia. He will either leave that interview with an approval, at which point we can begin the official planning, or he’ll walk away with a denial, at which point I’ll drink way too much red wine and start back at square one.

As you can imagine, with our entire future on the line, this is a very stressful time for us. The visa process is going smoothly, but we never know what may pop up and make us reevaluate our situation. The only way I have gotten through it is remembering one thing: why we’re putting ourselves through this.

In that spirit, I was thinking about the night we got engaged, and I realized, I had neglected to share our story with The Broke-Ass Bride community! So sit back, relax, and let me send some happy, gushy, love vibes your way.

Captain America Shirt

Fortunately/unfortunately, I knew Daniel was proposing during his visit in November. After all, the whole immigration process doesn’t leave a lot of room for spontaneity. Therefore, since surprise would not be part of the equation, I made two requests: don’t tell anyone else your plan and make it private.

Given the fact that he was not in his native territory, could not drive and was sworn to secrecy, Daniel nailed it.

On November 21st, Daniel and I went on a double date with two of our best friends, Teresa and Bryce. While Teresa and I were in class, Bryce and Daniel were hanging out in another town. We drove separately to the restaurant, Teresa and me in one car, the boys in another, and the guys were about an hour late to arrive. I was so angry. We had told them a specific time, and they weren’t there. After a long day of class, I was stressed and starving and just wanted to go home to bed. Of course, little did I know, Daniel was late because he was putting together a night I would never forget.

Teresa talked me down from my irritation, and the four of us ended up having a lovely dinner together. On the way home, Daniel and I drove by the hotel where we stayed during his first visit to me. As we neared, Daniel sighed, “Ah, there it is.” I laughed and replied, “You say that every time we pass here.”

Daniel smiled and pulled out a set of keys, “That’s because we’re staying here tonight.”

I knew what was happening. But my hands still started shaking, I almost missed the turn into the hotel parking lot, and I could not come up with an intelligible response.

Daniel led me up to our suite and made me close my eyes. He walked me into the room and finally allowed me to look. In front of me was a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, and this piece of artwork that he commissioned to commemorate our engagement.

Art by Pearce Hoskinson. Art by Pearce Hoskinson.

I turned around to see Daniel on one knee. At the time, I expected a speech or some other romantic oration. But he simply said, “There’s nothing else to say. Kate, will you make me the happiest man alive and be my wife?”

I had a million snarky, cute retorts rattling around in my brain. But he was right: there was nothing else to say that we hadn’t said to each other already. So I just said, “Yes.”

Was it the proposal I had always dreamed of? In all honesty, no. But the one element I had never been able to fully imagine, my fiancé, is better than any dream ever could be. After all, when you love someone more than anything, when that person knows you better than anyone, when you have shared nearly everything two people can share … you don’t need a fancy proposal. All you need is commitment, love, “yes.”

As we sludge through visa paperwork, as we have nightmares about rejections, as we hand over hundreds of dollars to the government, people ask us, is it really worth it? And there’s nothing else to say but “yes.”

If there is one piece of advice I can give to my fellow brides- and grooms-to-be at this point in my wedding planning, it is this – even when the planning is overwhelming, when the bills are stacking up, when you are ripping your hair out with uncertainty and frustration – remember why you are doing all this.

Always remember your “yes.”

Real Bride Elizabeth: Family Matters



I am extremely close with my family. Of my three younger siblings, it’s difficult for me to think of three people I would rather hang out with. I was convinced that all the horror stories I heard from friends about family members going crazy during the wedding planning process would not happen to me — no way, no how. Then my younger sister, Tegan, got married. There wasn’t too much drama, but there was a tense moment the night before the wedding when Tegan told my cousin she would prefer she not wear a white, lace dress to the ceremony. No brainer, right? What followed on that wedding eve consisted of my aunt telling my sister she was a spoiled brat who had never been told no (if you know my parents, you would know this is laughable) and Tegan dissolving into tears.

Still, my naïveté persisted and lasted until my engagement bubble was rudely burst, all by family members. I am still four months out, so I am sure there will be more, but I’d like to present you with the top three most dramatic moments in my planning so far, ranging from “Excuuuuuuse me?” to “WTF?!?!?”

1. My mother (would the list be complete without a mother-of-the bride moment?)

My mom has made it clear from Day 1 that she is not happy with my choice to get married in North Carolina instead of my hometown in Wisconsin. My fiancee has a majority of his family and friends in North Carolina, and mine are scattered all over the US. Plus, I’ve always wanted a destination wedding but didn’t have the budget to pull off Mexico, so this was a happy medium. Every couple weeks I get a text or a call along the lines of, “Why are you getting married in North Carolina again???” She tries to pull everything from the tradition card (I’m not that traditional, so doesn’t bother me) to the fact that a lot of my extended family won’t be able to make the trip (that’s the point!) to try and get me to change my mind. Deposits have been made, appointments set, there’s so going back at this point.

2. My aunt

I heard through the family grapevine that one of my aunts had confided in many family members that she was on “Team Ex,” and was not pleased that I was marrying Bryce because she didn’t think he was “as fun” as my ex. Well, that’s pretty offensive to both me and my groom-to-be. Yes, my ex was a nice guy overall, but there were definitely reasons I called it off. And while he may have been more outgoing and extroverted around my family than Bryce is, I’m the one marrying him, so it really matters how we interact with each other, right? If you like my ex so much, why don’t you marry him?


 At the end of the day, you don’t remember all the drama that happened before the wedding.

3. My other aunt (the same one that threw the white dress fit at my sisters wedding, shockingly)

This one definitely takes the cake. After we got back from North Carolina, we headed to Wisconsin to see my family there and celebrate the good news. My aunt and cousins were there as well, and everyone seemed really happy for us. However, I woke up the next morning to a text from my aunt asking if I was sure my fiance was straight. OK, I admit, I can somewhat understand this. Bryce loves Beyonce, shopping and watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” When I met him, the thought that he was gay did cross my mind. When we started dating, one of my friends was convinced I was his beard. At this point in our relationship, I’ve dotted my t’s and crossed my i’s.  I assured her I had the situation under control, but she continued to tell me that “many” of my family members have expressed the same concern. I think what bugged me more was the fact that all these family members were lip-flappin’ about my personal life!

Throughout all this drama, I have chosen to take the words of my homegirl RuPaul to heart: What other people think of you is none of your business. This has become my mantra throughout the wedding process, and will keep me going until I walk down the aisle. This is my wedding, and I’m doing it the way I want, with the person I want.

Real Bride Jess: Wedding Countdown – 4 months to go!

Our engagement has FLOWN by. Am I the only one who feels this way?  I thought our 11-month engagement was perfect … until seven of those months just disappeared. The problem with wedding planning is that most of us have never done this before. Some people have friends or sisters that they help out, but it isn’t the same. I feel like I need a whole ‘nother year to plan, but I want to be married right now! What I’ve started telling people is, “I understand why people elope.”


Our adorable Save the Dates.

I know you’re all wondering: Well, what have you actually accomplished? Here’s the answer:


And the scarier list- things I still need to do:

  • Actually pick a florist

  • Pick a DJ

  • Get a bartender

  • Tablecloths, cutlery, plates, glasses, etc.

  • Hair and makeup people

  • Rent a dance floor (this seems silly, but is a real thing)

  • Lighting

  • Get Michael a wedding band

  • Outfit my flower girls

  • Outfit the Michael & his groomsmen

  • Venue decorations

  • Buy and send out my invitations


I’m sure this is not even the full list, but you get the picture. At the end of the day I’m definitely overwhelmed but more than that I’m excited to be so close to finally marrying the man of my dreams.



Real Bride Andrea: A Fly on the Wall

I had the rare opportunity this weekend to attend a wedding where I didn’t know anyone. I wasn’t a guest or a guest’s date so therefore I was able have a completely objective, fly-on-the-wall perspective of someone else’s special day. I got to watch a shoe-string budget wedding almost fail. But guess what? I was the only one who seemed to notice.


Our food at the Gedding. Simple and beautiful. We were proud!

A chef friend of mine asked if I would be her sous-chef for a wedding for about 40 people in Nipomo, CA. I love to cook and I love weddings and now I love to see what other couples are doing, so I agreed to do it with her. It should be noted here that one of the grooms (it was a gay wedding, a Gedding) is a co-worker of my chef friend. So, she (and I) were doing this for free. Free Catering from a genius chef and her cute sidekick? Nicely done, Grooms. Nicely done. The wedding was held at a modestly beautiful, country home. The ceremony was set up outside in the backyard with white folding chairs and several vases of flowers. The reception tables surrounded the ceremony area, ready to have the ceremony chairs added as soon as it was time to eat. About 5 hours before the ceremony was to begin, we arrived to several family members and friends (half the wedding guests) making favors, stringing lights and putting together flowers. From the looks on everyone’s faces, it was clear they’d been working all morning. There were people running around asking where things were, who was supposed to be where, etc. It seemed a little stressful to say the least.

We found the kitchen to be really well stocked for our needs, so we got to work on what seemed like 57 different small plates the grooms wanted us to put together. Stuffed mushrooms, pesto chicken, pulled pork sliders, curried cauliflower, crème fraiche potatoes, tapenade, etc, etc. (It all ended up being delicious!) The kitchen was a central location so I got to see and hear everything. So many things went awry, that even I was getting stressed out.


This is the “Chef friend,” Stephanie. We call her “Chefani.” I suppose I could’ve named her in the post before now. She is also one of my bridesmaids!

It seemed to be due to sheer lack of organization, so as a soon-to-be bride, I was taking notes! I got to see a lot of mistakes addressed in The Broke-Ass Bride book first hand! Here is what I learned for my own wedding:

Lesson 1: Be careful in using friends as vendors and have a back-up plan! The Dj cancelled last minute and they decided to “just turn on the iPod” (Yikes.) The DJ was “an old friend” of one of the grooms. Why would he cancel last minute?! From what I could tell, there was no other entertainment planned for the reception. After everyone had eaten and they had cut the cake, the sun had not even gone down yet and there was NUTHIN’ going on. By the time my chef friend and I left, (6pm) people were shuffling around to get ready to leave.

Lesson 2:  Limit alcohol consumption (and Lesson 1 again.) The owner of the venue (another friend of the Grooms’) began taking tequila shots at 1pm. Approximately 7-8 of those shots later, (And 7-8 times that I turned her down in joining her) she had, (surprise, surprise,) forgotten to make her special BBQ sauce for the pulled pork sliders. (I still haven’t decided if all the tequila was because she was nervous or that was a regular thing. Either way, it was impressive because despite 1,000 repeats of the joke that she was “trying to sauce the cooks” by offering us shots, she stayed pretty with it.) When she finally did remember, she barreled into the kitchen, pulled out several pots and pans, her laptop for the recipe (for her special sauce,) all the ingredients she might need, and more tequila. She started her sauce and promptly forgot that she was making said sauce so my chef friend came in to save it. Thank goodness! (I’m pretty sure the owner of the venue took all the credit for that sauce that she didn’t really make.) By the time the wedding was to begin, she had cleaned up pretty well but had a little sway to her. After the ceremony, she had moved on to wine and probably didn’t last much longer after we left. She invited us to Christmas Eve dinner, but probably won’t remember.

Lesson 3: No matter how small the wedding, make sure your wedding guests know where to go and when to go.  As the guests arrived, not one person knew where to go, not even the officiant! With all the family and friends helping with wedding favors and decorations when we arrived, you’d think they would’ve made some cute signs directing people where to go. They had so many cool areas set up, the ceremony area, a wine and beverage bar, the food tables, etc. Let people know that’s what’s happening! I was just the caterer’s assistant, and part of my job became directing people where to go and greeting other vendors (more friends) as they arrived. Throughout the wedding, people were like, “I guess the ceremony’s starting?” “Do we eat now?” “Is the bar open or what?” My chef friend and I had all the food set and ready to go as soon as the ceremony ended. Everyone approached the food tables and NO ONE partook. We had to run outside and yell, “Go ahead! Eat!” People really need to be given permission at weddings. Even small weddings need timelines.

Lesson 4: If you do use friends as vendors, figure out a way to thank them that doesn’t involve making your wedding a walking advertisement for their companies/services. There were, what seemed like, 100 “toasts” that went on forever thanking all the friends for their contributions for the wedding. “Thank you to Ben from Cakes R’ Us for the beautiful cake. You can find more of his cakes at!” or “We can’t thank our good friends at Wines R’ Us enough for their contributions today. They’ve been making wine since 1986 …”  Maybe some people might disagree with me on this and I do think that friends and family who make a wedding possible should be thanked, but this wedding sounded more like a golf charity event.

Lesson 5: As long as you’re happy, your guests will be happy. Ultimately, everyone was there to see the couple get married. They looked handsome and seemed really happy and that is really what matters. It is really a comforting feeling to know that, even if all my grand plans for the most awesome wedding of all time don’t all work out, people are still going to be happy to be there for us. And for that reason, we cannot fail.

But in all seriousness grooms, no entertainment? The iPod never even got turned on.

Catering a Gedding wouldn't be complete without a good selfie. Pardon my bangs, I worked pretty hard that day.

Catering a Gedding wouldn’t be complete without a good selfie. Pardon my bangs, I worked pretty hard that day.

Still don’t have a venue …