Thursday, August 03, 2006

you know you have bad penmanship when ...

Your (male) fiance offers to do the calligraphy on the wedding invitations. Instead of you. And – you gratefully accept.

(of course, this means the invitations will likely be even further delayed. But you are still happy to make that tradeoff.)


Questions for post-wedding men and women alike:

Ladies first! What song did you walk down the aisle to at your wedding? And – if you don’t mind elaborating – why did you choose it? Did it turn out to work the way you wanted? What I’m getting at here is, what elements of a song are you looking for in that moment? Because the traditional “Here Comes The Bride” moves at a bit of a clip. It’s not a slow, sweet-sounding song, really. So – if you, as just about every other bride I’ve seen in the past dozen years, chose something other than that – what? And, why?

(as a friend of mine said, when asked this question: "Heck, I don't remember! And neither will you, in three years." ahhh, how true... and yet, we have to do SOMETHING. I guess I did attend a friend's wedding in which there was no music at all. But that will not be mine.)

For the menfolk among us: In regards to wedding photos.

But first, an aside. We all know (all we women, anyway) that part of the “fun” of going to a wedding, before you’re married yourself, is to see how the couple handled certain aspects of the wedding. So we can steal ideas. And that sort of thing. It’s not a catty thing; just a reflection of the fact that there are a thousand (or many more) ways of doing wedding-y things.

Two of the things I have long vowed to do, when/if my turn came, are:

1) Have the wedding and reception at the same place. Or at least, next door. No driving necessary to get from one to the other. I realize this is not possible for some. No criticism intended for any who did differently. It’s just something I want.
2) Don’t take a jillion pictures of the wedding party after the wedding itself, holding up operations at the reception. I suppose if, as we’re doing, the reception starts itself without you for awhile, this is the less stringent of the resolutions I’m making. Still, I just don’t see why those dang photos have to take forever.

This brings me to the question for the guys: Assuming that you did the traditional thing of waiting ‘til after your ceremony to take photos, ensuring that you would see your lovely bride for the first time when she’s all gussied up and walking down the aisle toward you, was that a real “moment not to be missed”? We’re considering taking all photos beforehand. A friend of Matt's strongly suggested that we shouldn't. What do you suggest? I suppose the options are:

1) A few photos beforehand – the ones that Matt and I are not in together. Then, the rest (which is probably most, anyway) after the ceremony.
2) All photos, family and wedding party, beforehand.
3) No photos beforehand.

Also complicating the business: Matt is looking to me for what is “usually done” on a lot of these matters. As relates to the usual staged family photos, I’m not sure. I’ve never been a huge fan of those photos, to be honest. I suppose they have their purpose. For him, though … his parents are divorced, and not amicably. His mom’s family doesn’t speak to various factions of itself, as well. And (Please! Please! For numbers’ sake) might not show at all. So, who’s in photos? I suppose I could (and will) Google all this. If anyone has any comments to any of the above, do tell. Especially if your name is Ross or Pete.


  1. Ha! :-)

    I'll bite! Here's both the easy and the hard answer all rolled into one... do whatever you want

    We didn't do any formal pictures and it, to this very day, ticked my mother off royally. I've also seen weddings literally ruined because formal pictures went on for hours. In the end, I'd do what you and Matt want. I can absolutely guarantee that someone won't like whatever you do decide, so decide now to do what makes you both happy. :-)

  2. Okay, and I'll give the flip side of that. I regret that we didn't do some family photos. We both lost grandmothers within two years of our wedding. It turned out that it was the last event to have a nice formal photo taken with either of them. Who could have known that? So ... ask yourself some questions. Are there people in either family or friends who are really important to you, that you don't get to see often? Or who are older?

  3. I vote for some before and some in the middle. There are a lot of nice shots you can get with your family and the bridesmaids before. If there is time, the photographer can go take some of the groom and his side of things. There are just so many pictures that can be taken...

    The trick to handling the middle photos is to plan something for folks to do while you're taking the pictures. Have music and food and I don't... something to keep them busy to buy you a little time. And besides, everyone knows it's your day to take pictures and they'll be a little forgiving at being kept waiting ;-) But if you think you want the pictures, go ahead and take the time to take them.

  4. We did nearly all ours before, but my mother or someone cleared the floor so Gary and I could have our "moment" privately when I swept through the doors. Worked out fine, from my perspective.

    I walked in to Beethoven's ode to joy.

  5. I worked as a photographer's assistant for several years in high school and the thing about before wedding photos is - there's always someone running late and always one more thing to attend to that takes someone away. I do recommend afterwards (in case relatives are late especially). With fighting family I recommend smaller group pics with individual sections of the families or group them on either side of the couple and make them suck it up.

    The key is - to not have a clown that takes up everyone's time and to have people paying attention and IN the chapel for pics - not traipsing off to wherever and waiting for pics to be taken. I recommend getting a concise checklist of what you want done and have your coordinator or someone who is VERY task oriented getting the next group aware that they'll be "up" so people get on and off the stage quickly.

    It's disorganized people who have to make every group pose into a production that make the photos take FOREVER. Get the family pics done FIRST and then get pics involving and children with the bridal party done next (if you do those after the ceremony). Get as many of those people as possible out the door and to the reception so they're not sitting around the chapel and making the whole process slower.

    Hungry children have their breaking point and I've seen many photos taken with the kids in full tantrum because they had to stand around too long so keep that in mind.

    Try to make sure someone else has to think about all that stuff so you don't have to.

  6. As far as ensuring that you would see your lovely bride for the first time when she’s all gussied up and walking down the aisle toward you, was that a real “moment not to be missed”? -- for me absolutely. That moment took my breath away, and I'll never forget it.

  7. I don't remember what song I walked in to, sorry. I remember trying to choose though and that was hard. I'm not a music person but I figured out that marches really do work better. I guess that's why they're called marches.

    We took all our posed pictures before the wedding and it was great. But, I didn't have that many that I absolutely needed, so we were pretty laid back about it and just took what we could. I like candids better anyway, but I wanted some posed ones.
    As for family pictures we took some with our immediate families that I'm really glad we have. With our extended families, I didn't plan anything, but our photographer was a member of Schuyler's family and he took a bunch of their family and none of mine, which kind of pissed me off a little becuase my dad was paying him.
    Anyway, I second Ross in saying do whatever you want. You seriously shouldn't worry about what is usually done.

  8. Kate -
    Unrelated to today's comments... but check out #6 -
    or the_bride_wore.html

  9. Hey! That was gonna be my hairdo!
    Bummer. :( I had special designer Kleenex all selected, and everything.

  10. Don't see each other before the wedding, but do take the separate bridesmaids/groomsmen photos beforehand. It makes life so much easier.

    Another thing that made life easier was having our wedding and reception at the same place. We had an outdoor wedding at a museum and life was soooooo much easier.