What's the most important part of a wedding?
I have something different for you today. Meg Simone sent along this wedding video in honor of Gail and Matt's one year wedding anniversary (This Sunday, July 24). It's not like other wedding videos you see on the internet. It's not a highlight reel per se. It's not focused solely on hollywood style shots set to music. It's not like a movie trailer, nor is it like an MTV video. It's a long video by internet standards (20 minutes,) and there's lots of talking. But it's also an instructive piece of work. It's the real story of Gail and Matt's day. Is it beautifully edited? Yes! Does it capture the sweetest moments? Yes! But it also captures the complexity and nuance that don't always come through in still pictures: like the afternoon wind (typical in the mountains) whipping ceremony readers' hair into their faces; the bride struggling to remember her vows; and real people dancing with gusto, not from a practiced routine. And you see that these very real, very human moments are OK. It has music, but it also has lots of interviews and speeches. You hear the couple's story and see the love their families truly feel for them. These are real people making a real commitment in front of real families. It inspired me to think about the most important aspects of a wedding and remind me that a wedding is much more than a fantastic party. So please watch the whole thing and think about what's really important on your wedding day and imagine what will bring joy to that moment. Will it be the napkins? The guest favors? The centerpieces? The perfect processional music? Likely not!
Of course, the best part is, like most of our real mountain brides, Gail has shared her Hindsight Advice with us.
Gail's Real Hindsight Advice
Briefly tell us a bit about your wedding.
Our wedding was one year ago at The Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods NH. Matt and I would get away from Boston city life in NH while we were getting to know each other and this is where we really feel hard for one another. We each find peace in the woods and therefore, when there together, it was a whole new amazing experience. It was the only place we could think to get married, the mountains of NH. Our family was spread all over the world(England, Austria, Africa, India, and ALL over US) that we had to find a place where they could all have a vacation and be together. We wanted to wake up in the morning and see everyone at breakfast, playing checkers, and talking away. We were very focused on being surrounded by our family and friends.
What are three things you're glad you did?
- Matt and I spent one month together in NH before the wedding. We used that time to get organized, make gift bags, create programs, and be together. We also used that time to write our vows. We decided to use the same beginning and ending phrase to have some consistency, We broke down and read them to each other over a bottle of wine one night. It was so fun! I have to say that getting the wedding video was THE BEST thing we could have done. I was against it at first and told Matt that he was in charge. He chose Meg Simone, and I have watched it obsessively since and love every second. Meg was incredible and I am grateful for her work.
- The Thursday before the wedding we had a camp fire as everyone was arriving. It was very relaxed with cocktails and s'mores. It gave everyone a meeting place as they arrived and something fun to do.
- I got a massage the day of the rehearsal dinner. It gave me a chance to have some quiet time away from everything. It is an exhausting time because you are constantly ON all weekend and a bride needs to make sure to do something quiet to keep her chilaxed.
- OK – I'm adding a fourth – gold sparky ballet shoes to change into after pictures. comfy and fun for dancing
Three things you wish you had done?
- I am not sure I want to say that there are three things that I wish I had done. Things went wrong, as everyone had warned me they would. I opened my dress up the night before the wedding and the bustle was wrong, along with the buttons, it was SO HOT on the day of the wedding and the vows were forgotten! But overall, these things are happy accidents that make the day more memorable.
Things you wish you hadn't done?
- I wish I had made a gift bag for each room instead of for each guest. It was too much work and we had to rent a Uhaul just to transport the gift bags. WAY too excessive and it was so silly rolling up in a giant truck with bags full of chocolate.
- I wish I had told the photographer to make sure to get plenty of pictures (candids) of my immediate family (parents, brothers and grandparents). Those are the photos you want printed as presents and plastered in your house.
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- The weather(obvi!), We checked the weather constantly and in the mountains it is really a game-time decision, that you don't actually make. The wedding planner for the hotel makes that decision. It is truly out of your hands in so may ways.
- The dot on the top of the program being centered and even, don't worry about it. We spent hours gluing, cutting, pasting, punching, tying the programs. I am so happy that we had them but should have made them simple.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- In hindsight, keep in mind that your goal is to marry the person you love. We took input and advice from so many people on everything but the wedding ceremony. That was ours and not one person was to touch the part of the weekend. My advice would be to throw your hands up, go with the flow, let people guide you through the day instead of you guiding them. Matt and I are colorful people who, if possible, would have a fishing rod in one hand and a martini in the other. That is what we tried to have our friends and family experience at our wedding. The wedding weekend was incredible and one we will never forget(thanks to Meg!), but I have to say that life after the wedding, even better.
Mount Washington Wedding Vendors
Cinematography: Meg Simone Wedding Films | Photography: Earl Christie | Flowers: E.H. Floral | Venue: Omni Mount Washington Resort | Band: Soul City Band | Event Planner: Lyndsey Hamilton Events | Bridesmaids Hairpieces:Emerson Made
Meg Simone is a distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites. See Meg Simone's portfolio HERE.