May 13, 2014

what were your special wedding day moments?

i have a secret. i wasn't all that happy with my wedding day. what?! i know. i know. of course i am grateful for all the love friends and family showered us with and in the end that is what really matters, but everything about it really wasn't what i had in mind.

i wanted a small barn wedding (50-60 people), during the day time, in a simple jcrew gown with a pretty wildflower bouquet and the men going jacketless with rolled up sleeves, vests and bow ties. but with everything i wanted, i was always met with "you can't" or some sort of disapproving look. i guess what i had wanted wasn't something that everyone else was doing, and in the end we had over 300 guests, most who left after dinner, which mortified me to no end, and my maitre d  ended up being a big jerk. 

everything sounds so dramatic, right? but in the big scheme of things, it wasn't. people had fun and complimented us on a beautiful day. and yes there were many memorable moments on our wedding day, but there were also fond memories pre-wedding that i like to recall from time to time. 

i remember reworking our first dance choreography just three days before our big day and practiced outside in the street at night. i didn't realize we had an audience until the people on top of the high rise where we lived clapped for us. we also ended up donating in lieu of wedding favors - to the national arbor foundation toward reforesting in areas devastated by fires and the world wildlife fund in their efforts to protect polar bears. we bought "save our planet" pins that we tied to notes explaining the donation. and finally the music. we had so much fun picking out the songs for our wedding. this was another area where i was told we weren't picking the right traditional music and that we wouldn't be able to find anyone who would play the songs for us, but we did {and we still listen to je te veux to this day}. 

for this blogger story session, i reached out to a few blogger friends and asked them about their memorable moments {which are great by the way}. and since i had such fond memories of our planning days, i reached out to two ladies who are engaged to share a little about some special touches they were planning for their big day {**one of these ladies actually was just recently married! congratulations, cindy!}

here is what they had to say: 
our wedding was a fairly traditional indian ceremony with a reception following. to spice things up and make it more personal, i made our escort cards look like tiny polaroids with flower photos and our guest names as the captions that were held on by spray painted gold clothespins on a wire. since our wedding was in march, the floral imagery helped elevate the "spring" feeling. our friends are the dancing bunch so we also organized a flash mob to some old+new indian songs. we practiced with a few of our close friends and thought a lot of our guests wouldn't participate. little did we know how far the word spread. the dance floor had about 50 of us dancing (in sync!). -- tana from tana gandhi, married 1 year, orange county, ca.  

scott and i met in 2006 boots-on-ground iraq; we had been stationed and living apart for 2 years when he asked me to marry him. we both wanted something intimate and unique, and because we had so little time between our transfers to new ships, and we were both about to deploy again, i flew to hawaii where he was stationed. we took the ferry to maui where we were married on the beach in a secluded cove. it was just the two of us: no cake, no expensive wedding gown, no decorations, no guests. just the sand and the sea, perfect for us two sailors. -- jessica from the jessica l blog, married 5.5 years, san diego, ca. 

danny and i have been together for nearly 10 years now. it was on our 8th anniversary that he finally proposed to me. we planned to get married the following spring, but during the initial wedding planning process, we found out that my father was diagnosed with stage III thyroid cancer and his mother was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. it was a double whammy. needless to say, we put our wedding planning on hold until their health was fully recovered. it was definitely difficult to see our loved ones suffer, but it brought our families closer together. the halt in the wedding planning was a blessing in disguise, as we were able to search for a venue that allowed our beloved beagle, louie, to join the festivities. i couldn't imagine a wedding without our doghter (dog-daughter)! once we got the venue locked down, the ball started rolling and the diy projects kept on piling up. like most couples, we wanted to add our own personal touches to our wedding. we wrapped our initials with yarn in our wedding colors, made table numbers, hacked louie’s old room divider gates to make escort card holders, made fabric pinwheel magnets for the favors, and so much more. of course, there were days when our hands were cramped and we’d get burned by the glue gun, but the end products and the time we spent together made it all worth it. above all else, we are thrilled that our families and friends are in good health, and couldn't ask for better company. We will be getting married on May 4th, 2014! -- cindy from kid granny, just married!, los angeles, ca. 

nat and i have just put a pause on our wedding plans to figure out all the rules and regulations that surrounds marrying someone from a different country. it's been disappointing for sure to put an indefinite pause on our wedding. we've been dating long distance for 2.5 years and to say that we are looking forward to finally being in the same country and being together is a huge understatement. there are decisions that have had to be reversed, like discussions with potential photographers and canceling venue scouting visits... but there's one big decision we've made that is staying put. our wedding theme verse from songs of solomon "my beloved is mine, and i am his." nat is my beloved; he is mine, and i am his. these simple words will remind us of the one truly important thing as we look forward to the day we will finally be husband and wife. -- juni from hej juni, engaged, singapore, singapore. 

i'm curious, what were some of your memorable moments that made your wedding day special? if you're not married, what are some things you have me mind right now that you would like to incorporate to make your day special? 

 // a very special thank you to tana, jessica, cindy and juni for sharing your stories. 

// read previous installments of  these blogger story sessions, "how did you know (s)he was the one?" ; "do you have a secret code?" ; and "what is the story behind your wedding ring engraving?"

this is part of a story series counting down to our 5 year wedding anniversary in august. 

43 comments

  1. Jane, wait till you hear this... I got married on the hottest day in Singapore history (for many decades) and we did not have a hotel ballroom wedding like most people here. Instead it was just the registry of marriage ceremony followed by a catered lunch at his mom's home. It's an average size flat packed with people - his mom invited everyone and I mean everyone. I had to do the social thing meeting and greeting people and then I realised I hadn't seen hubs in the while. Guess what? He had changed into shorts and T-shirt and was playing a board game with his friends in our bedroom!!! My mom called out to me: drag him out, drag him out! It was quite hilarious, looking back. I think my MIL considered it a failure because months later, she booked a restaurant at a hotel and invited everyone she knew for a meal. I mean it was like over 10 tables - that's 100 people. I knew something was up when before I left for the restaurant she made us wear our nicest outfits.

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    1. ha! that is so funny what your husband was doing! :) i guess sometimes weddings are more than about the bride.. sometimes it's really about the families and what they want.. although i still don't understand that concept! :)

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  2. aw these stories are all so unique and wonderful in their own way! I can't wait to start planning my own wedding. I have been planning others for a while now, it will be nice when I can put together all of my ideas for my own!

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    1. what an important job you have to make sure the day turns out great!

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  3. These are such touching stories! I actually got married at the Venetian in Las Vegas and it was a kind of a last minute thing due to a superstition of my Mom's about getting married in the year of the snake as opposed to the year of horse which sounds like "blind" in Chinese cause you don't want to go into a marriage blind. So we had a quiet wedding with just the 2 of us and I wouldn't change a a thing. Of course we couldn't skip the Chinese wedding banquet when we got back.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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    1. oh i love hearing about these cultural references to things! and a quiet wedding with the two of you sounds lovely~ (and the banquet, too!)

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  4. I really love reading these stories you and your blogger friends share, Jane:) That's too bad about what occurred at your wedding, but you know what they say? That's what renewal vows are for...heehee
    I must admit our wedding was everything that I hoped for. There were some hiccups, of course, but in the end, no regrets:)

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    1. haha that's what a lot of folks have told us. renewal vows. but i don't think we'll be doing that any time soon. ha. :) i keep telling yangkyu that if we ever have kids we will NOT be doing those crazy first year birthdays that many korean american families do. that is so not how i would want to celebrate a birthday and that i'm really putting my foot down for that. hehe.

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  5. Awww, I didn't know that you didn't get the wedding you wanted! I have to say that that was the first experience I had when I was married the first time- and Scott could say the same thing when he was married the first time. We knew better going into it a second time- and we wanted to do it our way. But, like you said, it doesn't take away the specialness of that one special moment, but it's the marriage itself that is the real special part of "getting married" and the wedding.

    I loved your story and the image of your dream wedding as well. It was also fun seeing how other peoples' weddings were unique and special to them, especially the one where they had their dog there!

    XOXO
    -Jess L

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    1. your story was really really beautiful. thanks so much again for sharing jessica! and yes! cindy's story is so sweet too! her beagle is just the sweetest!

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  6. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful wedding stories! I love yours about your 1st dance practice together on the streets at night... sounds like it was straight out of a romance movie! xx Kat


    Love and Ace

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    1. aww thanks! that was really a special moment. i'm glad i have it to recall it from time to time!

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  7. Mummy and daddy's wedding had it's highs and lows, they say that given the chance they'd do it completely differently next time. The highlight for mummy was when her bouquet fell apart LOL

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    1. awww hahaha! that must've been some moment when the bouquet fell apart! my bridesmaids' bouquets came have shriveled up. i was so annoyed but by then (and this was hours before the wedding actually started) i was just too worn out to even get mad! :)

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  8. It is really lovely to read the stories of other people's weddings!

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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  9. Thanks for giving us a space to share our special moments from our wedding, Jane! It was so touching to read everyone's story and how similar and different weddings can be--but ultimately--how sweet they are. :)

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    1. Thank you Tana for sharing your story! I really appreciate it!

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  10. aww. I really adore this one. This might be favorite so far!
    As far as my wedding memories, I'm sort of, kind of, in the same boat as you. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind where or when we got married but, I would change up the process. It went from something simple, to something more and trying to get back to simple. I learned a lot but, it could have gone so differently. We got married in City Hall and that's not bothersome to me at all (we did want that) but, the months leading up to it felt like it was everything I didn't want. There was some drama with certain people and feelings of bad luck but, in the end, everything does work out. Looking back now, I hardly remember those specific feelings but, of course, I do recall them when I see certain photos. Unfortunate as that may be, I still loved the day and still love my man. I'm always lucky that someone wanted to share a life with me and a person who didn't fuss over the details and was the balance of all the craziness I felt. =D

    xo,
    nancy

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    1. oh yay! Yangkyu and I actually were married at city hall first! we took care of the paperwork first because the officient we wanted to have didn't have a license but we really wanted someone who knew the both of us to lead the ceremony. and i hear you about the drama! there was a lot of that going on on my side too. but i hear ya. i still love the day too. :)

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  11. i don't know why people interfere with the bride when it comes to planning a wedding. it's YOUR day. it's about what you envision and want. so sorry you didn't have the wedding you wanted. it should've been about you. i've never been married. i've always wanted an evening church ceremony. big gown and all. hahaha now that i'm older, i'm not even sure anymore. hahaha a simple wedding seems better now.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. i thought the same thing but at the same time i was so scared that people would start calling me a bridezilla for wanting things the way i wanted. it's the weirdest though when people put a lot of their opinions into things. sometimes they are welcomed but other times a bit overwhelming! i hope you have the wedding of your dreams!

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  12. this is such a sweet post, Jane! I loved reading all about the memorable moments in these gals' marriage/engagement. Sadly, I don't have anything to contribute, but look forward to that day one day :) Oh, and people get "re-married" all the time (re-new vows in the future?) Maybe you can re-create your idea of the perfect set-up then? :)

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    1. thanks jessica! a lot of folks have said to do the renewal vows but i don't think we'll be doing that any time soon. but i did tell my husband that since our wedding wasn't exactly what i wanted, that i will do what i want for our child's first birthday and NOT do what ever korean american family is doing with those big fancy extravagant ones where they seem to invite the entire community. that just seems too much and doesn't really float my boat! and thankfully yangkyu agrees. phew! :)

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  13. Jane, you were ahead of the game with your ideas for a wedding! A casual-yet-elegant & intimate wedding is where it's at these days (especially at a barn/farm/ranch!). I'm sorry it didn't pan out the way you envisioned, but I'm glad you got to enjoy a lot of the planning process with Yangkyu :)

    Thank you so much for reaching out to me & allowing me to share my experience & special moments from our wedding! I will post more photos on my blog as soon as my photographer releases them! Can't wait to share them with you!

    xo

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    1. thank you cindy for sharing your story! i appreciate it! and i can't wait to see more pictures from your wedding!

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  14. Maybe you could do a re-vow :) Your wedding ideas sounded wonderful and I'm sorry they didn't go quite to plan but leaving with your best friend as you said is what really matters :) Love hearing about people's weddings, having now photographed a handful I can really see some people have a more magical day than others and that there are many factors that go into deciding that!

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    1. ha! a few folks have tossed that idea to us but i don't think we would be doing that any time soon! instead i told my husband that if and when we have kids we won't be having those big extravagant first birthdays that most korean american families do where it seems like they invite the entire community. oy. that just seems too much for me and doesn't really float my boat! a wedding fine, but no to first kid's birthday! :)

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  15. Aww...such sweet stories. Well, I didn't completely have the wedding day I wanted either. I loved it, and all that, but there were many things I would have liked to change. People took over and didn't really listen to me, so I was annoyed. It was more stress because of that, that I didn't need really. But, all is grand now :))) xx

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    1. people have the best intentions but sometimes it's not exactly for the best! and i hear you on the stress.. half of the time i was even more stressed in voicing what i wanted because everyone then wants to call the bride a bridezilla and make a drama out of the whole deal.

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  16. To be honest, really honest? I only got married because Hiro asked me to and said that it was important to him. Otherwise I would probably be happy to plod along with him unmarried for the rest of my time. Nothing has changed since we got married. Nothing at all which is a good thing! Nothing goes to plan in life dear. The most important thing is that you are together and that is worth so much more than anything else in my view.

    My wedding was ummm curious. We decided to spend our money on our honeymoon so I bought a secondhand dress (black) the day before, we called up some friends and all 5 of them turned up the next day. We got married in our local town hall and it was all very relaxed and fun. It was such a hot hot hot day so a black dress was not the best idea :) This year we celebrate our 4th anniversary and 10th year together. Time flies!

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    1. so awesome yasumi! and happy 4th anniversary!

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  17. My favorite moment was the surprised looks of our friends as they arrived for the party. (dressy dinner in our back yard :) We told them it was "just a bbq" then the day before told them to dress UP because it's to celebrate us getting married! :))))

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    1. that is so neat! what an amazing idea!

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  18. What a great post!! I loved reading about everyone's wedding. So glad you got the song choices you wanted.

    My special wedding moment was when I was exchanging vows and I said "for bitter or for worse". I immediately realised my mistake and started giggling. Everyone then laughed. It was awesome and till this day it's what people remember most about the wedding.

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    1. haha! such a cute cute moment! yangkyu forgot to say "i do" and there was silence for a good 5-7 seconds before he realized he needed to say "i do". i almost said "he does" :)

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  19. These sweet stories got me smiling. It sure is a day you will never forget. If I could turn back time I wanted to have an outdoor wedding at a farm or something and of course a bunch of horses.

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    1. that sounds pretty amazing nelah!

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  20. I am so happy to read the sweet stories, given the fact that the wedding wasn't exactly what you imagined.

    We had a similar situation where my husband and I wanted something very intimate, but my parents had a LONG list of guests that they wanted to include.

    Fortunately, we ended up compromising. We had an intimate beach wedding with just 18 guests and then after our honeymoon, my parents threw a giant party for over 300 guests. We were really happy with the result!!!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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  21. So sweet to read all the wedding stories. I had so much fun planning ours (although it was a casual thing), and it is still a guilty pleasure to add more and more pins in my wedding board in Pinterest, hahaha I know it is silly but I hope it may be inspirational for brides to be! :) I totally get what you say about the pressure of the family when planning a wedding, I think it should be a day that represents who you are as a couple, but well, I also understand that traditions and making a good impression to the family is also a heavy load for parents.

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  22. Sorry you didn't get the wedding you wanted, but glad there were still great moments in it. Thanks for sharing all the moments from the other brides and brides-to-be. I love hearing how everyone makes the day special for them.

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing this, Jane -- it means so much, especially since we're in the midst of wedding planning right now. Even though I know everyone goes through similar experiences adjusting, compromising, pleasing parents and friends, etc., it's still comforting to hear personal experiences, and how there's always a silver lining. I'm sorry your wedding day wasn't perfect, but thankful that you shared and glad you still have happy memories!! :) Thanks for this awesome series.

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  24. this is a lovely instalment and i loved all the stories, including yours! i always had the attitude of the wedding day being just one day, after all, so i tried not to stress about the details - even though it all worked out wonderfully. one of my favourite things was my 4 bridesmaids each giving a little speech that was a total surprise and so touching :) x

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