Thinking back over my wedding day, I realized there were some things that happened that I wouldn't have expected them to, and some things I expected to happen that didn't. I figured this would make an interesting blog post, so here we are! Please remember, this is subjective, but nonetheless I feel like it is a good thing for other current and future brides to keep in mind when planning their own wedding!

All brides get the typical advice/warnings. The day goes by so fast, try to take it all in! Something WILL go wrong, but don't stress because you're the only one that's going to notice! You're not going to feel like eating that day, but you need to! Et Cetra. While that's all fine, well, and good...they were things I expected to happen. But what about those things I didn't realize would happen? Below is my list, from my experiences of my wedding:

One - You won't get to dance at your own wedding!

Just because we had an afternoon reception didn't mean we didn't want to dance. But during the open dancing hours, we were outside getting more pictures (because we ran out of time at the church to do pictures, to make it to the reception hall in time...). So when we should have been inside dancing, we were outside doing more pictures. The only dances we got to do were our first dance, the parent/child dance, the Electric Slide (which came on after the formal dances) and then the very last song of the entire reception - which only happened because I ignored everything else and dragged hubby onto the floor saying, "We're going to get to dance at our wedding!" We missed out on the YMCA, the Cha Cha Slide, and everything in between. When you're at someone else's wedding and are dancing up a storm, you think, "Man! I've been dancing forever!" But when you're at your own're not going to be on the floor. Unless, of course, you make that a priority  -which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn't for us. Do I wish we danced more? Yes. But I love that we have many more photos from the day instead.

Two - You'll have no idea who's at your wedding!

Do you realize how many times husband and I have looked through wedding pictures, watched our wedding video, or talked with people and have said, "THEY were there?" We absolutely had no idea who wound up actually attended our wedding. Of course we had RSVP's, so we knew who to expect, but that doesn't mean they actually showed up. So there were many times he and I have said "I didn't realize they came!" We fully intended on going around to each table and visiting all of our guests during lunch, but did that happen? Of course not. The pace of the day was so fast, and we were trying to make sure every moment was captured that, much to our dismay, we didn't get to "officially" visit our guests. And it sucks because it was important to us that we got to see everyone. Honestly, the only people I remember being there that day were us, the wedding party and our parents - everyone else is kind of a blur., which is why we decided to host an afterparty. Since we had an afternoon reception, we agreed that left plenty of time for people to come over and hang out with us in a more casual, relaxed setting that evening. There wouldn't be the pressure on having to cut the cake or making sure we had enough pictures with the wedding party...we would just get to visit. Do we wish more people would have come back to the afterparty in this instance? Of course, because we hosted an afterparty FOR EVERYONE ELSE so we'd get to spend more time with them and people would have stuff to do - especially the out-of-towners.

Three - There's never enough pictures!

I swear in the time after our wedding, and until we got our photos, I can't tell you how many nights I laid in bed awake thinking of all the things I hoped the photographers got. Worrying about all the moments they probably missed and the fact that there just wasn't enough pictures. Of course, when we got our pictures back, all of my fears were gone. All the moments I was scared they missed, they captured (which, hello, that's their job and if they're good at it - like ours were - they're not going to miss a single thing), and there's a great balance between formal pictures and fun. It's hard to look at pictures of weddings online, and they have all these fancy photos of them because, HONESTLY, on your wedding day you will literally not have the time. You likely won't be able to run out and find a windmill to climb to the top of for some aerial shots, or have the time to stand in a field of wildflowers and wait for the wind to sweep your wedding attire around you during a thunderstorm. I mean, seriously...people who have time for that either paid big money to have a reception hall allow their guests to stay for so many hours, they got married on a family or friends property where time wasn’t a concern, or they took pictures days before or days after the wedding. None of which were options for us, and we only had our reception hall for four hours - which one hour and a half were used for the wedding party to get pictures. Otherwise the price doubled and we definitely couldn't afford that!

Four - You're going to run out of time!

I'm not kidding. People might tell you that it goes by quickly, but you actually run out of time on your wedding day. The morning starts out slow, and by the time you're waiting to walk down the aisle to say you're vows, you've already run out of time. From that moment on, the rest of the day is a mad flurry of pictures, food, dancing - all that wonderful wedding stuff. The only time we sat down after the wedding day "officially" got going was when we were eating. And, even then, we ate for maybe ten minutes before we were onto the next thing. Everything happened exactly when it was supposed to but, as per wedding standards, we were operating on a checklist of things that needed to get done (cut the cake, first dance, garter toss), so by the time we were free to do what we want, the wedding was over!

Five - When it's all over, you'll probably feel confused!

After all was said and done that day, and we were sitting on the couch in our exhausted daze, the craziest thought hit us: how much money did we just spend for other people to party!? It has always been my dream to have a big wedding...and marrying my hubs, I wanted to have a huge celebration in honor of our love (because, you know, he is my true love after all). The irony is that while we wanted people to be with us on the day we officially dedicated our lives to each other, WE were the ones planning the party, WE were the ones paying for it, WE were the ones hosting it...and everyone else got to show up and eat and dance and have fun! That makes me sound bitter...but I promise that I'm not. We are so happy and honored and blessed by the people who came and spent the day with us on our big day, and that they showed their support for our love and for our marriage. But husband and I laughed through the entire wedding process, and afterwards, that the ones who the party is for are the people who are preparing/executing/paying for it all. After the wedding day is over, you're filled with so many emotions - happiness, love, exhaustion, delirium, confusion, depression. I have never experienced a day that involved so many feelings on the spectrum of emotions! You go from one end of the spectrum to the other in a matter of minutes! But in those last few minutes where you're about to fall into the deepest sleep you've ever had, you're last thought is going to be something along the lines of "What just happened!?

Let's face it, weddings nowadays are generally expected to be a massive production. It's intimidating, and brides feel so much pressure to put on a "good show." Whether you like it or not, people are looking at your decorations, your wedding party, your programs, your food, your dancing, your pictures and making assessments (that's a kinder word for judgment) on it. But you can't let that worry or upset you. You have to make your wedding day the way you want it to be. For some, that's getting married at a courthouse in front of a few friends and family...for others, that's getting married in a faraway destination in front of every single person they've ever come in contact with. The wedding we had was what we wanted - all the people that mean the most to us, spending the day with us. To us, this was our one and only shot at having a wedding day, and we wanted to make it the best we could.

In all actuality, our wedding day was the truest sense of the word...perfect. So what if I got mud on my dress during pictures and we didn't get to dance as much as I would have liked? So what if we ran out of time to visit people and spent money on a day that went by in a flash when we could have saved that money instead? But I swear on everything that was perfect on our wedding, I'm really not complaining because at the end of the day...I married the love of my life. And our wedding day is something I can look back on for the rest of our lives and be so happy that we got to honor our love in such a special way. Even if no one showed up but us (which was an actual wedding nightmare that I had), even if we had it at the courthouse in regular clothes (but we always love an excuse to get dressed up), even if everything had gone wrong (which I'm so glad it didn't)...I am the wife to the man of my dreams, to my first and only love, to my high school sweetheart and best friend. <3

Please keep in mind these are my opinions, and they are from my experiences. Someone could read this and be like, "Really? You didn't have time to dance? I danced for five hours at my own wedding!" and that's all fantastic. BUT the point is, there are going to be things that happen at your own wedding, and you're going to look back and think, "Man, I really wish I had of had more time for (fill in the blank)". But after all is said and done, despite all the what ifs/I wishes...just remember one thing: You married the love of your life and that's all that matters.

For me, I had the wedding of my dreams. It was entirely fairytale as fairytale can get and I got to wed my sweetheart. It was an amazing day that I wish I could relive over and over again. I had never wished for something to come so quickly (because it really felt like our wedding day would never get here), and now I have never wanted to relive something so badly (because that day just keeps getting further and further in the memory bank!) My biggest piece of advice - Enjoy your wedding day. Eat before you walk down the aisle. Something will go wrong, and you will be the only one that notices it. Take a moment just to step back and enjoy the day…it is going to fly by.