Wedding details people won't remember

I know that everyone who gets married wants everything to be perfect. I know that when we plan weddings we want memorable and beautiful. Over the years, my husband has been to about 70 weddings and I have gone to my fair share as well. My husband and I decided early in our planning that as long as we were both there and married at the end of the day, the details weren't important. The more little things you include, the more you have to stress over. Here are the details we opted to skip because we never remembered those details from weddings we have attended. Some things we left out because the cliché was never important to us. Note: if these things are important to you, include them! Just don't be upset if others aren't focused on them. After all, it is YOUR day!

1. Center pieces. I have seen some beautiful center pieces, but where do they go after the wedding!? My mom used oil lamps.  They were beautiful and each member of the bridal party got to take one home. I believe mine is now somewhere in my old bedroom at my grandparents' house. Probably burried. Grandma is something of a compulsive collector. I helped make a bunch of centerpieces for my Aunt and Uncle's wedding. Fancy little fish bowls on stems. What ever happened to those? I didn't want a bunch of fancy decorative items cluttering up my mile, so we skipped that.
2. Flowers. Throwing the bridal bouquet is one thing that drives me nuts. The idea is great, but when an 8 year old gets it every time, it is wasted. Girls, wait your turn and let the grown ups have their moment! I did have a bouquet because my mother-in-law requested the honor of getting it. It was important to her and I was touched that she wanted to do it. She wasn't sure about me in the beginning (8 kids). Our attendants had no flowers, there were no flowers for the parents either. It was an unnecessary expense.
3. Candles/sand/whatever unity token is popular now. My sister used paint in different colors for her,  her husband,  and each of their two boys. It was beautiful and it was the best use of the ceremony I have seen. We chose not to do any of these things because there is no room for clutter in our home. With eight kids, we have to choose very wisely what we bring in. Sand is a terrible idea with tiny people running around. I have a raging fear of fire so candles are out. Ten different paint colors would take forever and could very easily end up looking muddy. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that kids are great at breaking stuff and we have little room for "pretties". Our home and our marriage is symbolic of our unity and we don't need a display of that.
4. Slideshow. I love the slideshow. I felt that it was more for us. My husband was the youngest of 4 in a time when digital photography didn't exist. There is only one baby picture that he knows about and few from his childhood. I am the oldest of 6 total children (and #2 of 20 grandchildren), there are many pictures of me but I could never pick just one. He went to a four year college and has a ton of friends who take pictures. I started having kids at 19 and usually man the camera. We never could have found balance. 
5. Entertainment. This one is pretty specific to us. We don't dance. Yes, I missed the father-daughter dance, but realistically, my dads don't really dance either. After dinner we went to a bar that happened to have a DJ and those who wanted to dance were able. We spent our time at the house visiting instead of dancing.
6. Gifts. While we did receive gifts, our invitation stated "no presents, just presence".  When we moved in together, we merged two complete households. We were single adults functioning independently. We have more than enough. We didn't need anything more, My husband, has this thing about people making a fuss. "Nobody needs to spend money because we decided to get married." We didn't get married for the gifts or need them, we just wanted people to show up and show us their love and support.
7. Alcohol. My husband and I love to drink occasionally.  We enjoy getting together with friends and having a few drinks. We still decided that alcohol was not a good idea at our wedding. First of all, his family doesn't really drink, nor does my mother's side of the family. My dad's family are historically problem drinkers. Awkward. Picture every high school movie you have seen with an underage drinking party: things get broken when people drink too much! I didn't want that anywhere near my back yard wedding. Filters fall away when alcohol is introduced. The last wedding we attended, the father of the bride found out how many children I have and there was a good 4-5 minutes of "daaamn... daaaamn... daaaaaaaaaamn". While I was very flattered, his reaction would have been more controlled if he had heard the information a few bourbons earlier.
8. Attendants. When you get married, the state requires you have two witnesses. We nearly staged a raffle to see who would sign. I have one close female friend. My husband has far too many friends to consider. Again we have poor balance. I suppose I could have put my guy friends up there but that seems odd to me. My brother was asked to be my husband's attendant but declined because he is still getting used to the idea that this man who heard all the horror stories would purposely make that his forever. We ended up with attendants of sorts with a few skipped details. I didn't want a wedding ring in my bra, so someone had to hold them. My maid-of-honor was asked to wear a black dress that didn't show off her (quite large) breasts. The best man wore a black suit. These were things they already owned. No tux rental or expensive dress she would never wear again. My husband has been in so many weddings and paid so much in tux rentals that he could own a tux in every color and style at this point! One man held the ring for him, another signed the license, one cut the cake, and one took pictures. With as many good friends as Josh has, he did great at including as many as possible without having a hundred groomsmen.
9. Money related events. The dollar dance, and auctioning the garter are a couple of money related events that I have seen personally. Sticking with our "no one should have to pay because we decided to get married" theme, these things were cut out. The garter auction is HUGE in my family. My grandpa won my cousin's garter with a bid around $350 if I remember correctly. We didn't need it. We kept focus on our guests and I loved it!
10. Bubbles/birdseed/rice/confetti/etc. Traditionally the rice shower was representative of prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. We are financially stable, we are done having kids, and we hit the jackpot of good fortune when we met. Aside from the fact that we didn't go anywhere so there was no grand exit, we found this to be unnecessary. The added expense and clean up wasn't worth it for us. Nobody seemed to mind.

We chose to have a ceremony rather than a quick trip to the court house so that our friends and family could be a part of our day. We forgot so many things and it didn't even matter. Our guests were seated at their tables for the ceremony.  There were supposed to be tissues on the table instead of favors for wedding tears. There was to be a drink dispenser on each table. There are still four unused so I assume a few tables didn't have one (I have no idea, I was running around like a crazy person). My husband forgot the boutonniere his mother got him until after the ceremony. I printed cards so everyone could use the wedding picture app on their phones. Yup, forgot to put them out. I had a great speech and never got the chance to give it. None of these things mattered. The ceremony was beautiful. Everyone had a great time and at the end of the day, I was married to an incredible man who blesses me daily.
Once upon a time, my step-mom told me something that has always stuck with me, "Don't sweat the small stuff. You know what that is? EVERYTHING." This is especially true for weddings.

As always, thanks for reading!


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