A twice as nice bride gives her best advice
Today we have part 2 of this elegant Malibu country club wedding. Reagan’s here with us sharing her best hindsight advice: Her joys, her regrets, and things she wishes she just didn’t worry about. If you missed any of the details in Part one, check it out here: Part 1 Malibu Mountain Wedding
What are three things you’re glad you did?
- I am so glad I did all of the DIY projects. I had so much fun and really felt like they helped make the wedding very personal. I did the calligraphy on the envelopes for the save-the-dates and the invitations. I did the calligraphy on the place cards for the wedding reception and the rehearsal dinner. My mom, sister, and I cut and tied all of the ribbons on the place cards to indicate meal choice for the reception. I created the sea shells place cards for the rehearsal dinner. I designed and printed the programs and menus, while my mom and sister helped tie all of the ribbon on the programs. I painted my aisle runner, the candle sticks that lined the aisle, and the entrance sign. Doing each of these projects was so amazing and rewarding for me that after my husband and I got back from our honeymoon I started a company, First Impressions Designs, to help other brides with these types of projects!
- I am really happy I had a day-of coordinator for our large celebration at Sherwood Country Club. While my mom, sister, and I planned everything, it was nice that on the day-of the main affair we could just relax, enjoy ourselves, and not worry.
- I am so glad I ended up having two weddings. Friday’s was a very traditional church ceremony that ended up being very spiritual, very intimate, and very peaceful. Saturday’s was a bit more glamorous and exuberant and, because we technically had already been married, we had a bit more freedom with the structure. My husband and I wrote our own vows and had everyone bless us using a prayer we had written, which I’ll never forget. While I’m not recommending having two weddings, I guess the overarching lesson is I’m glad I rolled with the punches.
Three things you wish you had done?
- I got to walk down two aisles, but even combined the moment was too short. My day-of coordinator told me to pause at the beginning of the aisle. I did, but I wish I had taken even longer pauses to take in the entire scene, in particular my husband.
- Going along with my first “wish I had done,” I wish I had paused more often throughout the entire wedding weekend to take it all in. My husband and I were surrounded with so much love and joy that I wish I had stopped in my tracks, watched everyone for a few moments, and basked in the warmth of that love and joy more often.
- I wish I had eaten more of my cake! I LOVED my cake, the way it looked and the way it tasted, but the only bite I had was the one my husband fed me. I should have sat down for a few minutes and enjoyed a slice!
Things you wish you hadn’t done?
- I wish I had not stressed so much. From day one, I promised myself I would take a break any time planning the wedding stopped being fun. While I managed to do this occasionally, often times I felt too much pressure, especially due to time limits, to stop or take a break. In hindsight, I should have paused and de-stressed. I probably would have been more efficient as a result anyway, and I definitely would have been calmer.
Three things you wish you hadn’t worried about?
- The way we decided to keep our guest list more manageable was by not having “plus ones” (we would have easily added 50 people by allowing plus ones). But when it came time to send out the invitations and receive RSVPs, I was panicked that I would hurt someone’s feelings or make someone who was in a relationship feel like we didn’t appreciate or respect that relationship. I wish I would have realized at the time that most people understand the need to keep a guest list under control and would not take personal offense to it.
- I wish I hadn’t worried as much about making everyone else happy. Most of the time, when making decisions, I kept thinking “how will the guests like this?” or “how will so and so feel about this?” In the end, I would have made all of the same decisions, but I wish I had approached the decision making differently, instead considering “how will my husband and I like this?”
- In hindsight, I wish I had not worried about having two weddings. I was so stressed and worried about plans drastically changing that close to the wedding date, about who to include in both events, about how to handle two weddings, and about how to even explain having two weddings to people. But in the end, both weddings were perfect for entirely different reasons and I’m so glad that what seemed like a disaster at the time ended up being a huge blessing.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- Do you – whatever that is. It could be a town hall wedding with one witness or it could be a garden wedding with just your family or it could be a large ballroom fete with 300 people. Whatever your dream is, know that it can happen, don’t let people sway you from it, and follow it. There are so many wonderful resources, especially on the internet, that can help make your dream become a reality. If you are creative, use those talents! If you aren’t creative, don’t push yourself! Either keep it simple, enlist the help of friends, or hire someone. In the end, no wedding will be perfect and every wedding will have a glitch or two, but that doesn’t mean your dream wedding can’t come true.
- Photography: Sherri at Sherri J Photography
- Church Ceremony Location: Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church
- Ceremony & Reception Location: Sherwood Country Club
- Ceremony & Reception Music: The Hodads
- Flowers: Bianca at Britica Designs
- Cake: Star at LaStarr & Co
- Day-of Coordination: Peggy Shevlin
- Dress One: Mom’s wedding dress, redesigned with the help of Reene at In Stitches
- Shoes: Badgley Mischka and Glint
- Dress Two: Lazaro
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Alex Evenings One Shoulder Gown, Nordstom