Brooks & Fletcher
August 20, 2011
I had to go through 90-some-odd pictures for this wedding, and they were ALL amazing. Hudson River Photographer Diane Stredicke did not make my job easy. Even after hours of looking though this submission, I still couldn't narrow the images down enough to fit everything into one post. So today I give you part one, complete with Brooks' Hindsight Wedding Advice:
Tell us a bit about your wedding:
We had a lot of time to plan, possibly too long (too much thinking!), but looking back the two planning elements that were probably most important:
- Try and come up with something unique to you (not your mom, or in-laws, best friends, etc), and
- Make nearly every decision based on one simple question–will it make the guests happy?
I realize it's your special day, but we've all been to those weddings where you feel like you're just waiting for all the pomp to end so you can really celebrate the union of the people you love. The day is special regardless and I can't tell you how many guests thanked us later for cutting some of those bride/groom-centric things out. Everyone had a good time, and my husband and I had a FABULOUS time.
As for inspiration. I got overwhelmed by all the inspiration I had floating around me on the internet, books, magazines, etc. I ended up choosing one unique activity for the ceremony that I wouldn't budge on. Then I kind of let the other things happen ‘organically'—meaning I would give the florist a basic skeleton of my likes/dislikes and then let her do her thing. This approach worked pretty well–although I was still a ball of stress.
What are some things you're glad you did?
- I had people write wishes on pieces of paper that they then tied to an arbor we got married under. Its based off a Japanese shinto shrine tradition (something new to me), but it also was great to get people involved in the ceremony, to get married under all those wishes, and being able to read the wishes the day after prolonged the glow of the weekend.
- Doing a BBQ the night before for everyone in lieu of rehearsal dinner. I hate the idea of excluding people, especially when they've driven so far, spent money, etc. plus we got sparklers and the kids loved it. it was very basic so cost wasn't too bad.
- Hired an ice cream truck and had cupcakes for desert. what beats an ice cream truck?
- Choosing a place where we could have the reception and where mostly everyone could stay. It was great being able to interact with guests throughout the weekend and it created a community atmosphere that was unbeatable. Plus since the Inn had an old bar to use for the afterparty, we had a safe place to prolong the night without anyone drinking and driving.
Anything you wish you had done?
- Honestly, not much. If money was no object I wish I could've gotten a videographer and maybe a photo-booth.
- Oh, and I wish had a test-run with my hairdresser. Didn't think about it in the grand scheme of things, but I wasn't too fond of the style and could've paid more attention.
- And I wish I had carried lipstick with me. my makeup artist was great, but inexpensive and didn't supply me with anything for touch-ups later on.
Anything you wish you hadn't done?
- Gone on a honeymoon 48hrs after the wedding. Exhausting.
- Organized the room assignments for the guests staying at the Inn. What a nightmare! The place wasn't the cheapest, but I really wanted all our friends to be able to stay so there were hours and hours of thought that went into who could afford what, who could bunk with who, etc. People canceled, people got annoyed, all in all unless you really can't go without, let people reserve their own hotels/rooms.
- Tried to let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses. I guess this depends on your friends, but in the end it was much easier for everyone when I finally just chose the dress for them. (I gave them the manufacturer, color and material–they chose the style).
Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?
- Room assignments. I'm sure there are others, but its been a while I can't think of anything in particular.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
See answer to the first question. Also, just remember to enjoy the night. It is over so quickly. Take a moment every once in a while to soak it all in and kiss your groom.
The two most important people were definitely the photographer, who did great work but was also so calming it was like having another friend around, and the event organizer supplied by the Inn. She was wonderful in giving advice, hooking us up with the caterer, giving us the low-down on what was reasonable and what wasn't. My mother would probably say the day-of organizer who helped us with the ceremony held in my parent's backyard.
- Photographer– Hudson River Photographer Diane Stredicke
- Venue: Racebrook Lodge
- Eve from Racebrook Lodge
- Ginny Filkins, 413-528-1421. She does it all and had done a friend's wedding. very very reliable. she works at The Old Mill in South Egremont.
- Make-up artist: Samantha Lennon (Brooklyn, NY)
- Submitted through Two Bright Lights (Hindsight Bride's preferred method of submission)