Real Hindsight Advice

Editors Note: I feel like I owe you all an apology. Hubs and I just got back from a vacation where I had no internet access. It took us both by surprise. All I had was my phone. Here is the long-over due Part 2 of last week’s lovely NC wedding.

Advice From the Bride

Why a mountain wedding?

We made a list of things we wanted for our wedding and when we ranked them a stunning outdoor location rose to the top of both of our lists. We also knew we wanted friends and family to spend more time at the wedding location than just a weekend. We are not sure if there is a term for this but we called it our family reunion wedding. We knew this type of wedding would work best during the summer when kids are out of school. So stunning outdoor location in the summer = mountain wedding. Also, once we found Hawkesdene there was nowhere else we could imagine getting married.

What inspired you?

  • From the beginning we knew that what was important was spending time with our family and friends. We wanted to keep things simple and comfortable. That meant that we questioned all of those traditions and things that HAVE to be done and removed those traditions completely or altered them. For example, instead of having a traditional preacher, we opted for a good friend and instead of cake we had pie (which saved a lot of cash, and everyone loved it!
  • Early on we defined our wedding as fun, relaxed and intimate. We knew if we achieved those things we would come away from our wedding happy. While planning there were many times that I had to remind myself that our wedding was fun, relaxed and intimate. There are so many neat ideas out there on Pintrest that just did not fit what we envisioned.

What are three things you’re glad you did?

  • We have lived all over the US and have spent a lot of time away from family and friends. We saw our wedding as an excuse to get to spend quality time with all the special people in our lives. This became what we refer to as our family reunion wedding. We rented out the Hawkesdene House, which sleeps 52 people, for 5 nights. We went white water rafting, hiked, and at night sat around a fire making smores. It was amazing.
  • When I asked other brides for advice, I consistently heard people either say either, “our photographer was the best splurge we made” or “I regret not spending more on a good photographer”. We spent hours pouring over different photographer sites and had to look as far away as Raleigh, NC (5 hours away) to find the our photographer. During our first skype session with Carolyn and Jeoff we knew they were the ones and had no problem paying a little extra to get them to the location. It was definitely worth it, our photos are amazing plus we had a blast laughing and hanging out with them all day. They truly added to the experience and captured it perfectly.
  • So I might be type A, but I did not have to lift a finger on the wedding day and everything was executed to perfection. So here are my secrets, detailed planning, delegating and having an amazing mom. I had a list of all the things that needed to get done on the wedding day and who was responsible, a list of the day’s schedule, and key contacts. Everyone involved received this info packet. Day off I just sat in my cabin with my bridesmaids talking, laughing, and being primped.
  • Delegation is a wonderful tool, because everyone wants to help out and you can play to people’s strengths. A great example was that I asked my sister in law who works at a day care to help set up a kids table. It was AMAZING and far beyond anything I would ever even think of. She had a pail for each kid with age appropriate toys ranging from chalk, a rattler, and glow in the dark bracelets. The kids had a blast!

Three things you wish you hadn’t done?

  • I wish I had not bought my first dress. The dress in the photos is actually my second dress, which is very embarrassing to admit because I never wanted to be THAT bride. Before my wedding any time I saw a bride on Say Yes to the Dress who already had a dress I would scream at the TV “what are you crazy? You have a dress you don’t need to buy another overpriced dress” and then I was her. So how did I get there? Well I made the mistake of being pressured into buying a dress. It was the first day I went dress shopping and I found a dress I liked. Then the sales person said, “today and today only there is a sale and you can get it for 20% off.” I fell for it and bought the dress. Big mistake, I regretted it the next day.
  • We took photos before the wedding so that we would not have to miss out on our party. Our first look photos were the first up then the photos with the wedding party and then family. I am still glad we did it this way, but there was a downside to taking the photos so early beforehand. It meant that my girls were not dressed for the getting me ready pics.
  • I ordered too many invitations. I do not know what I was thinking but I ordered enough invitations for every guest when I needed less than half that since every guest was part of a pair or family.

Three things you wish you hadn’t worried about?

  • I wish we had not worried about other people’s opinions of our wedding. Going into it for some reason I thought a wedding was like an ugly baby, you say “oh they are precious” and hold negative thoughts to yourself. However, we received a number of less than positive responses to our wedding idea originally and I wish we had not let those comments stress us out.
  • Trying to look perfect for the wedding. I spent so much money and time on beauty treatments before the wedding. I am very fair skinned but was even going to get a spray tan or the wedding. I did a trial run and it just did not look like me. I decided to not do it for the wedding and am glad I did not.

What is your very best hindsight advice?

I received some great advice a few days before the wedding, relax and enjoy the day it will be over before you know it. And it was!!!! Do not worry about anything that goes wrong on the day, most likely it cannot be changed, just go with the flow and have fun. Or like I did ask your mom not to let you know what goes wrong, I wanted to be blissfully unaware on my wedding day :-)

Team Wedding


  • Programs – Me
  • Seating Cards – Me
  • Guest book, Specialty Drink, Wedding favor and Pie Signs – Mom
  • Wooden signs – made by Younger Brother and Girlfriend
  • Picture clothesline – moms collected photos, Older Brother and Wife assembled
  • Kids table – Brother’s wife put together
  • Flowers – Mom

Check out Part 1 of this DIY Woodland Wedding