Relationships

‘My Favorite Part of Our Wedding’

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

What parts of weddings do you like most? Alex and I will be celebrating our eighth anniversary (!!) next week, so we’ve been reminiscing about our wedding — the morning jitters, our first dance, the funny toasts. Curious to hear from others, I asked 10 couples to share favorite moments from their own big days…

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“I adored my wedding. There is very little I would change. Most of all, I loved dancing all night with my new husband. But I do wish I had relaxed about the whole up-in-the-chair thing. At many Jewish weddings, guests get two chairs and use them to hoist the bride and groom into the air, and bob them up and down. The anticipation (of nausea, broken bones, being too heavy) was way worse than the actuality. By the way, notice in the photo how Stan, the Episcopalian, could not have been more psyched!” — Nora (and Stan)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“A couple months before our wedding, we decided to get legally married at the courthouse by ourselves. It was so private and intimate. We went alone, and Stef’s brother was our witness. It was cold and pouring rain. Afterward, we went to the Odeon for Champagne and shrimp cocktail at 11 a.m. It was one of the best days I’ll ever have. It was perfect.” — Mckenzie (and Stef)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“It goes without saying that two people in their sixties embarking on a third marriage for each were met with some skepticism from family and friends, especially when it became apparent that we were having a BIG celebration. Many questioned the wisdom of spending time and money on a third wedding! However, we both agreed that at our stage in life, not only were we ecstatic to have rediscovered each other, but we were painfully aware that the times that we were reuniting with friends and family were more often than not for sad occasions, like illness or funerals. We had close to 200 guests and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!” — Gay (and Mark)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“Before our wedding, a lovely woman taught us the foxtrot. We were sweating with nervousness trying to learn it those few weeks, but it was so much fun! We also hired a Bollywood dance instructor to do a 30-minute lesson for our guests. It was the most fun that I’d had in forever — and awesome to see everyone from little kids to my father-in-law shaking those limbs.” — Helen (and Suman)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“My husband’s 91-year-old grandfather married us. We wrote him a loose script which he peppered with his wise words and a few racy jokes (at 91, you’re allowed). Watching Mac guide his grandfather when he stumbled with the I Dos was the most endearing thing I’ve ever witnessed. It felt human and raw. It was not perfect but at the same time it could not have been more so.” — Megan (and Mac)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“We chose a first dance song — When I Get My Hands On You from The New Basement Tapes — that no one knew but everyone loved. After the wedding, people kept asking for the name and artist, and we still hear from guests saying they heard it and thought of us. The song felt like our personal wedding soundtrack, instead of something you hear all the time.” — Lizzy (and Josh)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“I grew up in Illinois, and I was happy that our wedding incorporated my small town. The local firemen make their signature lemonade shake-ups. We served BBQ and corn dogs. More or less, I created my own personal fair, which just so happens to be one of my favorite things.”— Anna (and Carlos) of wedding dress fame!

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“I’ll never forget my father’s speech. He’s a musician, so instead of speaking, he wrote and performed an original song. He said if he sang the words, he wouldn’t cry — but once he started singing, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight. Also, later that night, my dad’s rock band put on an unforgettable concert between DJ sets (which was actually just my dad’s barber operating an iPod). The entertainment was a true highlight.” — Nicki (and Roni)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“We got married at City Hall in New York, but had a small ceremony a couple years later in my husband’s hometown in Ireland. The ceremony was held in my in-laws’ backyard. The morning was sunny, the grass was green, there were aunts, uncles, cousins and puppies — and lots of tea. I wore a traditional Korean dress. My father-in-law cooked his signature chicken dish; my mother made lasagna. I just loved the simplicity of that morning.” — Re Jin (and John)

The (Surprising) Best Part of My Wedding

“My fiancé and I chose a couple things to focus on (food, music, etc.) and stuck with those, even if it meant sacrificing others. We wanted to be married at a magical restaurant we both love. Because we had a limited budget, it meant we could invite only a few friends each, plus our families. It was tough to not have everyone there, but after dinner, we hosted the rest of our friends at a nearby beer hall, and that was its own great thing. So, in the end, we had the best of all worlds.” — Colby (and Laura)

What do you love most about weddings? If you’re married, what were your own favorite moments? Any advice you’d give?

P.S. 15 wedding dos and don’ts, and did you have sex on your wedding night?

(Nora’s photos by Hal Horowitz. Lizzy’s photo by Mel Barlow. Gay’s photo by Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times. Anna’s photos by Christa Donald Photography. Nicki’s photo by Our Labor of Love. Colby’s photo by Khaki Bedford Photography. Other photos courtesy of the couples.)

  1. My husband and I have a very eclectic group of friends gathered from all walks and philosophies of life. We also happen to be rather religious (I have a seminary degree and am thinking about becoming a priest) and aware of how hurt many people have been by church experiences here in the U.S. We wanted our wedding to be unabashedly sacred, but also welcoming, warm, and safe for everyone who joined us and most of our wedding decisions orbited around that desire. The wedding was never just about me, or him, it was our whole community standing before God in whatever way they wanted to and affirming that we have been called to the work of being a couple and loving the world more fully through that. My favorite moment happened while my husband and I served communion to our guests—in the Christian tradition this is the high point of any service, where everyone is fed and nourished by good bread and good wine representing the sacrifice of God for the world. During this time, a close friend who has been deeply wounded by religious encounters asked us to speak a blessing over them instead of feeding them the communion bread. Afterwards they said our wedding felt like a place where “all the good of the world” lived, and it didn’t seem scary to participate in, and feel accepted by, something that they no longer see as part of their path. When I look back at our wedding, that’s what I remember, and that’s the kind of love and hospitality that we try to live out in our marriage everyday.

  2. Emma McVey says...

    My husband and I took dance lessons leading up to the wedding and planned to dance to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”. While a great song, the day of the wedding right before we walked in to the reception it didn’t feel right to us, so we had the DJ change our first dance song to Ingrid Michaelson’s “You and I”. It was perfect.

    If you’re familiar with the song, at the very end all of the accompaniment drops out and it’s just Ingrid singing with her band clapping/stamping along to the beat in the background. At this point, my husband and I broke apart and got all of our wedding guests to clap and stomp along to the beat with us. I’ll never forget being in a room full of our loved ones and watching them clap along to the beat of our first dance as husband and wife together while we ran up and down the dance floor getting them to join in. It was a moment of wild joy!

  3. Kati says...

    I love that I did a small DIY wedding and kept to it being both small and DIY. We first had a ceremony at the county registrar with just our parents and siblings. It was nice and intimate and a little funky (the officiant wore board shorts and tennies under his purple robe). Afterward, we went to our favorite local restaurant to celebrate. A few weeks later, I had a small thing at our house with 35 of our favorite people. I got our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants to cater a hodgepodge of Indian, Thai, and Mexican (we got party platters and I bought the sterno). I made a few simple sides and drinks, and my friend who was visiting from Canada made some special flower arrangements for the house, for fun. It was nice to not have to worry about much besides enjoying everyone’s company, and the fact that it cost a small fraction of a typical modern wedding was the cherry on top. Not to mention, October in the Bay Area meant beautiful, perfect weather the whole day.

  4. We got married in Toronto this past February and our wedding had the most romantic, warm wintery vibe. I chose a simple Theia dress and felt so pretty when we did our first look. We parted ways before the ceremony and I added a beautiful beaded jacket and gorgeous overlay skirt on top of my dress. I’ll always remember my husbands face as I walked down the isle… When I finally reached him, he took my hands and asked half laughing and in shock, “did you CHANGE?!”. I’m bad at keeping secrets and love that I pulled that off!
    I did a reverse reveal for our guests. After socializing over cocktails in my ceremony look, I took off the jacket and skirt and wore just my dress into the reception for our first dance! I had so much fun with my wedding look and wouldn’t change a thing!

  5. Helen says...

    We had a very small, intimate wedding at my parent’s home. We were supposed to have an outdoor wedding, but a freak snowstorm (in late April!) forced us to rearrange the inside of the house to fit tables and chairs. It sounds stressful, but it was wonderful! It gave our wedding a relaxed and homey feel, and everyone had a blast. The caterer had brought an extra case of chamagne, so everyone had their own bottle, and there were guests everywhere relaxing or dancing all over the house. My husband and I snuck off to my old bedroom to make out for a little haha. We like to say our wedding was like a grown up, dressy, college house party.

  6. Rebecca says...

    We got married at 9am on a Sunday morning with only immediate family on the beach. I have three siblings and many nieces and nephews. The kids were all at their peak at 9am instead of being ready for dinner and bed at sunset.
    Having a wedding in the morning was amazing. There was a finite amount of time to get ready and then the rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach. We had a celebration dinner that evening and lit and released lanterns. It was intimate and relaxed and my favorite memory. I love reading everyone’s entries!

  7. Lauren O says...

    My husband and I were married in Positano, on the Amalfi coast in Italy. It was just the two of us – so a planned elopement. We hired an officiant and a photographer, but that’s it. I have so many favorite moments that it’s almost impossible to choose, but a few that were particularly magical — walking to the top of the town to the local florist the morning of and picking out flowers for my bouquet; spending the morning by myself, meandering around town and going for a swim in the Mediterranean; telling the woman who did my hair (who spoke no English) that I trusted her judgment and just to make me look pretty; walking down the steps of our rental apartment and seeing my husband waiting for me on the balcony with the sea behind him; taking the photographer’s recommendation to rent a local fishing boat for a ride around the harbor for pictures; and walking into the restaurant where we had decided to have our wedding dinner and having everyone stand up and clap for us and shout congratulations in Italian.

    My advice would be to do what you want, what you truly want, even if it disappoints your parents and friends. YOU are the ones getting married. Doing something against the grain was one of the first major decisions that my now-husband and I made as a couple, the first one of consequence that resulted in a lot of fall out from our respective families. It was an important decision for us, and ultimately such a good one. Neither of us like being the center of attention, and neither of us wanted to spend the money on a big wedding or be beholden to our parents for doing so. For us it was the right decision, and I am so thankful (and sort of proud!) that we had the courage to follow through with it.

    • Kelsey M says...

      Lauren O, thank you for sharing! Your wedding sounds so brave and special. What perfect memories.

    • Natalie says...

      I teared up big time reading this. It sounds so perfect.

  8. Meghan says...

    At our reception, I was extremely sick from a combination of nerves, a ninety-degree day, and not eating more than a bagel in the early morning of getting ready. The last thing I wanted to do was our first dance in front of 100 people feeling green as could be! Our DJ suggested dancing a few seconds as newlyweds and then pulling all other couples onto the dance floor. I loved this idea and we have the greatest pictures of my parents, my aunt and brother, and random other “couples” surrounding us. It was such a loving moment and most of our guests knew the situation and they all pulled through so I wasn’t under a spotlight. I felt supported in my new marriage and like everything was going to be OK!

    Also, my dad owned the night on the dance floor and really got everyone dancing when my husband and I were visiting guests. People kept asking what he was drinking and we all said “WATER”! It was the happiest and carefree I have ever seen him. I have the best memories of him, which is endearing, bc less than a year later he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He lost his battle in 6 months and I thank God that he was able to witness and dive into my wedding day as much, if not more, than my husband and I.

    • Robin J. says...

      Meghan, thank you for sharing this beautiful memory. What a beautiful way to enter into your marriage. It sounds like the night meant as much to your dad as it did to you. And in case you were wondering, I’m not crying, you’re crying :)

  9. Sarah says...

    Mostly, I can’t wait to be with someone I want to celebrate the rest of life with.

    I spent 4 years in a relationship, and I am SO glad we didn’t marry (though I LOVE the idea of marriage). It would never have been as happy as these moments each seemed to be, genuinely!

  10. Eva says...

    For me it was all these tiny moments and memories that culminated in a magically fun, seamless, joyful weekend. (And that’s saying something for someone who tends to get overly anxious about even little things!)

    My advice: I’m so happy I wrote down a comprehensive list of the seemingly most mundane notes and recollections from my whole wedding weekend within a week after. Tiny moments I’d otherwise forgotten come flooding back and bring me back in a way beyond even what the photos do (and i LOVE my photos). Like when one of my bridesmaids showed up at the hotel with the giant sandwich chalkboard from the restaurant that she was tasked with decorating (“Says restaurant told her she could take it. She sets up shop in the bathroom.”) Or how my then 6 yo niece “tells everyone they’re beautiful” as we’re getting ready. Or how our rabbi encouraged us to hold hands at the start of the ceremony. Such a fun document to rediscover from time to time :)

  11. Tay says...

    I loved reading through all these stories!! It’s so fun to have a glimpse into someone’s celebration. There are SO many moments I loved from my wedding… We took our photos before the ceremony in a sort of grungy part of town filled with all this old architecture. A homeless man stopped us, yelled at Kyle for seeing me in my dress, then proceeded to put his hands on us and bless us right there in the street! He had our wedding party join in and it was so strange but so magical. We’re huge movie people, so we got married at the high school from 10 Things I Hate About You! I really wanted my Poppy to walk me down the aisle, because as my Mum’s stepdad he never walked with any of his 5 girls. Unfortunately, he lives way out in the countryside in Australia and has a deep fear of flying, so he just couldn’t make it. Instead, Kyle and I walked down the aisle together and he helped calm my nerves immensely! Kyle is a man of few words, but his vows left everyone in tears, and his brother even included in our guest book that his favourite part of the day was hearing Kyle say more than two sentences in a row. We also had a french jazz band play during the ceremony and reception and we weren’t planning on dancing at all, but spontaneously decided we wanted a first dance and they played my FAVOURITE song from Midnight in Paris when I asked them to choose anything! We ended the night watching an outdoor movie with our 21 nieces and nephews (like I said, movie people) and everything just seemed so US. On the way to our hotel, I was starving so we stopped in at McDonald’s in our full wedding gear, which is what my parents also did right before their ceremony!

  12. Hannah K.E says...

    On the morning of our wedding we went to an art sale. While admiring the art we bumped into an old friend and when she asked what our Saturday plans were and we both responded by saying “we are getting married tonight” it was just the best thing seeing her face make sense of this information. The fact that we were not at some wedding venue rushing about blew her away. It just set the tone for the day. It was very relaxed and I wouldnt have had it any other way.

  13. Kiley says...

    Reading these stories is really comforting. My fiance and I are in the midst of planning our wedding, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the anxieties and the logistics. Can’t wait to have special stories of our own!

  14. Robin says...

    The best decision I made was to postpone the honeymoon for six months and instead host friends from out of town who had flown in for the wedding for a few days to a week (however long they could stay) after the wedding, at a cottage on a lake not too far away. It was so wonderful to spend real time with those people who are so dear to us. It was rustic and not super romantic but it was so much fun. And we got the romance in later :)

  15. Caroline says...

    My favorite moment was our first dance. It was a moment I had been picturing in my head my WHOLE life, and it exceeded my wildest expectations. We stepped down onto a sunken black-and-white marble dance floor and dipped and twisted to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” played by a phenomenal band. The room was absolutely packed with friends and family cheering us on, and my husband knocked it out of the park with his dance moves. It was pure bliss.

  16. Jane says...

    During our tasting with our caterer, we had mentioned to them that we were thinking about having a s’mores station (since s’mores are my favorite thing!). I told the caterer about my love of s’meaches (http://www.thekitchykitchen.com/smores-peaches-smeaches/) and how to make them. We didn’t end up having a s’mores station at our wedding, but during the reception our caterer surprised us with a tray of s’meaches during the reception. I was SO happy and it was such a thoughtful gesture that I’ll remember forever.

  17. Sue Harris says...

    My favorite memory is waiting with my dad to walk down the aisle. He was holding my hand and asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through with the wedding. He assured me it was not too late–I could walk away now and he would deal with all the people waiting for me, that he just wanted my happiness. I teared up a little and told him I was sure and he walked me down the aisle. He liked my husband just fine, but I was his last daughter to be married and I was particularly close to my dad. He passed away several years ago, but I will always treasure my memories of him.

    • Karmen says...

      Very similar yet different situation for me…a few weeks before my wedding my father asked me if I really wanted to change my name. I was the last of 3 daughters to get married and also very close to my dad. He knew the last name would end with him. For such a traditional guy I thought this was such a sweet inquiry. I lost him 2 years later.

  18. My husband and I learned to dance together for our wedding day last summer outside Paris (pics here if anyone’s interested: https://www.shessobright.com/2017/07/20/a-wedding-in-france-2/). We had a relatively small wedding, and he hated how most “first dances” are two people swaying for five minutes, so he insisted we learn something fun. We took lessons twice a week for two months! Our instructors created a little loose choreography and taught us everything – we were truly beginners. The song was Edmundo Ros’ “Wedding Samba” from the movie A Good Year and, it was, simply perfect. Every evening we practiced for an hour in our basement in our wedding shoes (to break them in) and I have such fond memories of working through steps, restarting, talking about improvements and signals – we really worked hard and my husband was determined to do a good job! It was a really wonderful bonding experience. On the day of the wedding, it was one of my favorite moments because it represented all that love and hard work that we put in together to make something enjoyable for our friends and family.

  19. Kat says...

    When I was engaged to my now husband my health insurance ran out when I switched to a new job (and my new insurance wouldn’t kick in until the end of my probation period). I was worried to go even a short time without it so we got legally married early.

    My stepdad was performing the ceremony at the “public” wedding and it was important to me that he perform the legal one as well, so he flew down from Portland for six hours to marry us. I left work early and was wearing a short, flowy white dress I got from an Israeli designer on Etsy and a pair of Hunter rain boots. I picked up fresh lilacs from my favorite local flower stand and we got married underneath a giant eucalyptus tree by the bay edge in Albany, CA. My twin sister was our witness.

    It was not perfect but it was beautiful, and that ceremony still means everything to me.

    To that end, my one piece of advice for couples is that while the big party is so much fun (I LOVED my reception) it’s the moment with the vows and those promises that still mean the most to me. I’m glad we got to do them in a way that felt most meaningful. I was so nervous at the public wedding six months later I couldn’t tell you what I said now. It was like a big (but beautiful) blur!

  20. Marla says...

    After a fantastic celebration with family and friends, my husband and I got into a limo to go to our hotel. About two miles from the reception the limo broke down on a road with no shoulder. This was in the days before cell phones so the drive got out to walk to a gas station for help. My husband and I stood on the side of the road with a flashlight – he in his tux, me in my ballgown wedding dress. We were eventually driven to our hotel in the back of a police squad car! We laughed so hard that this was happening to us! Makes for a great story now.

  21. Zoey says...

    I have so many favorite moments from my wedding day 5 years ago, but one of the standouts was the discovery that people were actually fighting over who had gotten invites to our reception!!

    Ours was an office romance so when we decided to get hitched, we naturally invited a few colleagues. And because he is a total rock star at work — known to and adored by almost everyone in the building, I’m so not kidding — when word got out that we were throwing this party people dropped all pretences at politeness and started asking him for their invites! Ha!

    Some context: in our corner of the world (SEA), getting invited to a wedding dinner is akin to getting a summons because guests are basically expected to cover the cost of their own meal. Even if they can’t attend! It may sound strange or even distasteful to Westerners but it’s really just the cultural norm here — not so different from having guests buy wedding presents off a registry. The underlying principle is the same; to help share the couple’s financial load and help ease them into their new life together.

    Another standout moment was the thundering applause and cheers that we (but really mainly my hubby, haha) got when we made our grand entrance into the restaurant — people were hooting and hollering like he’d just won the FIFA World Cup for the country! (Lots of football fans here, or soccer as you Americans would call it.) In the end we had so many tables full of bubbly colleagues that it felt like the most amazing company dinner ever! Ha!

    Most of all I was really touched and amazed at the incredible outpouring of love and joy and goodwill and genuine happiness for us. So many friends went above and beyond to make our day memorable, from a florist friend making the most lovely bouquets and floral arrangements (and then adamantly refusing to let us pay her for her time and efforts!) to friends staying late to help count and safeguard the cash before settling the bill, to a groomsman volunteering to MC the event (he did an awesome job too) to people taking unexpectedly lovely candid pics, both of the church ceremony and reception, to share with us later. It was overall just such an amazing atmosphere that my sweet MIL commented to me that she really enjoyed the unusual (for a Chinese wedding dinner) party-like vibes!

    People are still telling me how much they loved the food and the handmade decorations (crepe paper peonies that each guest got to take home) that it still gives me the warm and fuzzies to think about that day. Normally I don’t enjoy being the centre of attention — confirmed introvert here — but having my hubby at my side throughout not only reminded me that I was part of a team of 2 now but also how grateful I was, and still am, to have him as my partner for life. ;)

  22. My mom was obsessed with creating a moment like the wedding scene in Love Actually, where random members get up in the audience to play their instruments. But, the actual idea was weighed down by other plans and emotions through wedding planning, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

    Soon after we were announced at our reception (in a beautiful old shelterhouse in a city park) and seated, our DJ put on “All You Need Is Love,” knowing that any Beatles songs would be important—especially to my mom, the biggest Beatles fan you’ll meet. She burst out of her seat like a bottle rocket, yelling “YEAH” at the top of her lungs, and immediately raised her hands to start swaying. The entire crowd of 150 people immediately joined in (she is an elementary teacher, afterall), swaying arms and singing at the tops of *their* lungs.

    Even as I write this one year later, it makes me tear up.

  23. Aida says...

    After our first dance, everybody joined us for the second dance – Neil Young, Harvest moon. Our family and friends all danced together under the stars while the band played.

    I still have friends telling me it was the best night of THEIR lives which makes me so happy that we could have made such a happy memory for them!

  24. Kate says...

    I knew I wanted to get married in Northern Wisconsin, where I had spent my summer days as a child jumping in lakes, wandering through the tall pines, enjoying the magical sunsets, and gazing at the incredible stars.
    Because every single wedding guest had to travel at least 4.5 hours to attend, we decided to make it a weekend event so our guests didn’t feel like they had to lose a valuable summer weekend. We rented out an entire YMCA camp where every guest stayed in a cabin or a yurt (for the young folks who are true adventurers). On Friday night, guests arrived, excited for their weekend in the woods. We kicked off the night with dinner and a 20 foot bonfire. On Saturday morning, guests enjoyed breakfast in the camp dining hall before the morning ceremony. When the ceremony was complete, all 140 guests joined us on 12 pontoon boats stocked with beer, wine, and lunch for a flotilla through the chain of lakes, making a stop for beer and ice cream at the local marina (because, Wisconsin!). When we got back to camp, folks mingled with drinks around our antique outdoor living room (lots of craigslist adventures!), and then retreated to a tent for smoked ribs and an 11 -piece band. We finished the night with a local bar delivering late-night pizzas and another 20 foot bonfire. It was magic. One of the best aspects was that guests really got to know each other because they were together for three days, rather than just a couple hours. I’ll never forget walking back to my cabin, in the early morning hours with my new husband, my dress covered in grass and dew, and feeling so incredibly happy. What a memory!

    • K says...

      that sounds like the most fun wedding ever, holy wow

  25. Tina says...

    This is such a wonderful post! We just celebrated our 7 year anniversary, and there are so many (happy, excited, and frustrating) moments that stand out in my memory. But my absolute favorite is our “second first dance”–our DJ played a song during dinner that I was hoping would be played later for dancing. My husband said, “So let’s dance.” Everyone, including the photographer and videographer, was eating, so no one paid any attention to us. It was a perfect moment.

  26. Love reading all of these! Our wedding was very much a “hands on” affair, and I love thinking back on the entire process. We got married at my mother’s house in the Maine wilderness and all of our friends came to help set things up. We ALL got sunburns from gardening and setting up the tents and chairs the day before; my 18 year old brother wrangling unruly groomsmen, bridesmaids, and yes, bride and groom to practice walking from the house to the back yard; my bridesmaids and I creating a bouquet assembly line the night before… it meant so much to us to have our friends involved because they were all such a huge part of building our relationship. But by far my favorite MOMENT was when “Jump Around” by House of Pain came on during the reception (which was a non-stop, sweat-soaked dance party), EVERYONE went wild (parents, friends, somewhat uptight aunts and uncles, local teenagers we paid to be wait staff) and just let loose and it was so much fun. To this day it’s one of my favorite songs because it makes me think of everyone we love.

  27. Natalia says...

    What I loved the most about my wedding was the ceremony. It was important for me and my husband to unite our lives before God with our closest friends and family as witnesses.
    The other thing I absolutely adored was how laid back the reception was. We chose to get married in the morning and have a laid back brunching theme. Everyone was relaxed and happy. I wouldn’t change a thing, it was, literally the happiest day of my life so far!
    My advice would be DO WHAT YOU WANT, specially with the party. Forget about all the thing that people “Normally” do, and do the party that you want to do that goes with your personality and style :)

  28. We just got married hardly a month ago and one of our favorite moments was actually after we left in our getaway car! We got married under a pavilion on a flower farm, and, after our exit, we hopped in a convertible that we had to drive up a hill and the around a bend to get off the farm. But, once we got the top of the hill, we looked back and the twinkling lights around the pavilion, the lingering music, and the general hubbub of all our loved ones wrapping up an incredible party was too beautiful to leave. So, we turned off the car, got out, and just watched it all from a little ways away–no one knew we were still there–soaking up the chance to revel in it all without any eyes on us or any more schedules for the night. We had a private little dance together on top of that hill (just steps away from where our ceremony had been a few hours earlier) looking over the gorgeous setting for our perfect night. Both of us think gratefully on those moments so often!

    • Alex Messina-Schultheis says...

      This is so nice! I love it.

    • Hannah says...

      So beautiful! My sister just got married and they left and went straight to the hotel near the airport (early AM honeymoon flight). Honestly I don’t know if I’ll be able to leave mine – I’d rather hang around and honeymoon a few hours later :)

  29. Gen says...

    That picture of Mckensie and Stef is so beautiful I could cry.

  30. Mara says...

    we got married in a park. when we were looking for spots to get married in the park we found a stone wall across from this lake that had the word “Love” etched in it. We knew that would be the spot where we would say our vows. We had just our immediate family with us and after we got to have dinner at the restaurant we had our first date <3 Since we did not have a big party, we met all of our friends at a local beer garden and partied the night away!

  31. alison says...

    The first time I heard “when i get my hands on you” by the new basement tapes, I thought. “That’s it! That’s my first dance song.” It’s so simple, romantic, sexy, and sweet. Glad you got to enjoy the moment!

  32. Eliza says...

    We didn’t have a wedding party but wanted to include our closest friends somehow in our wedding ceremony. We asked a bunch of our best friends and family members to come up with a couple of sentences from a quote or their own words to read. Our best friend officiated the wedding and organized the ceremony so that each pair popped up from where they were sitting to read their part. It ended up being hilarious, we got beautiful quotes, personal comments/stories, silly poems and even Kanye West lyrics. It was a really fun way to highlight those special to us but also keep the ceremony fun, spontaneous and personal.

  33. Kristin says...

    Our ceremony was about an hour away from our reception site… or so we thought. There was a huge accident on the freeway and everyone ended up sitting in more than two hours of stop and go traffic! It was a disaster and totally screwed up our schedule, but the car ride was actually my favorite part of the wedding day because it was just me and my new husband being together, so excited about spending our lives together. Worth it.

  34. We biked to our wedding site in Grand Teton National Park. It was such a special morning, biking 25 miles with just my almost-husband, watching the sunrise, being so excited.

    Then it rained and rained and rained. And our friends helped us set up a tarp-tent between two VW vans and we all listened to music and ate cookies and drank whisky and laughed at life and love. It was perfect. We almost had the small ceremony there, right between two vans. But then the sky cleared and we had a parade of people down to String Lake and married in the sunshine. It was all brighter because of that time in the rain with our loved ones. It was perfect.

    • Rebecca says...

      Hehe rings a bell :
      My husband and I (We got married 2 years ago) biked from the town hall to the place we were then partying, along with 40ish guests (about half had brought along their own bikes and we had spent months stocking up 20 or so bikes we borrowed off various acquaintances – it helped we each own 3 or 4 :)) – the whole journey was about 20km long, mostly along a canal and it took aaaaages (over 2 jours). Definately my favourite memory…our friends and family joining us in our love for bikes. But arriving to your own wedding just the 2 if you is very cool too 😊

  35. Irina says...

    My husband and I got married in Las Vegas. It was just the two of us: my parents were against our getting married and chose not to participate, and his family and friends were back in Russia and could not attend. So we took the bus to Vegas from Los Angeles and got married by a clerk in a 5-minute ceremony, borrowing the witness that was accompanying the couple before us, as we didn’t realize we needed to bring our own. (We also didn’t realize that we were supposed to say “I do” in response to the clerk’s questions and said “Yes” instead.)

    My favorite part of that day is a picture that we asked a passer-by to take of us after the ceremony. She held the camera at an angle so the image is all tilted. We’re standing in the middle of the street and my big plastic bag (with snacks, clothes and a blanket for the bus, I’m guessing) is plunked down in the foreground, looking even bigger than it actually was. I am smiling with my cheeks puffing out like a hamster,and my husband has an expression of tenderness that is almost borderline sadness.

    My least favorite part was, of course, not having any friends or family there. At the time, we didn’t care and felt kind of proud that it was just the two of us doing what we felt was right against all odds, but in retrospect, of course it would have been better to have someone – at least one friend or family member – there to support us in our decision and to share in our happiness.

  36. I’ve been engaged just about a month and we’re planning our wedding in Florida (where we met and fell in love)-while living in LA. Thankfully FH is a great planner, which is helping to ease some anxiety. I had a dream the other night that my bridal gown was a horrid tan polyester number and that we ran out of food so I had to go to Publix and get fried chicken.

    My hope is that we have a wonderful celebration with good food, drinks and a view of the ocean.

    • I just had to comment because your dream made me crack up…oh, stress dreams! So specific! I’m not wedding planning now, but that kind of thing happens to me, too. I hope you have a beautiful wedding with the colors and food that you intend. :)

  37. Lauren E. says...

    Nearly a year later, I still maintain I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding. We used our entire, puny budget to put 25 of our closest family and friends up at two big villas in the Roman countryside (which I found on Airbnb), ate family style at a big long table, and danced all night to a Filipino band that set us back $500. We got to spend four full days with everyone at the villas and drank more amazing wine than I can even tell you. My dad walked me down the aisle to a string version of With or Without You and my husband and I walked back to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now! Still the best day I’ve ever had.

  38. Half way through the reception I spilled RED WINE all down my dress as I was chatting with friends at the edge of the dance floor. I panicked for a millisecond and then quickly put my now empty glass down and went right back to dancing. My dress was covered in red wine, but who cares. I was married to my person. That’s all that mattered. I also ended up wearing my dress 2 days later for fun on our honeymoon in Vegas. We ran around town in our wedding attire taking silly pictures and it didn’t matter to me then either that the dress was still stained.

  39. Emily says...

    My husband and I “eloped” in our own city, then threw a very intimate party about 6 months later. My favorite part of our party was writing a stand up routine that we preformed at the beginning of our ceremony. We basically cracked ourselves up and no one had any idea what was going on. After the ceremony we had an AMAZING dinner at a local neighborhood restaurant that was the best meal any attendees have ever had. We didn’t plan for any wedding traditions, but when “Just Breathe” by Eddie Vedder came on our personally selected playlist, I mentioned to the group that if we had done a “first dance” that would have been a top pick for the song. Next thing I know our best friends and family were peer pressuring us to get up in front of them and slow dance. So embarrassing, but also really beautiful. We hope to throw a similar party for anniversaries in the future because it was just too fun to only do once!

  40. Candace says...

    We had a very, very small ceremony officiated by a close friend in the towering redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument. We had to have the ceremony early in the morning – park rules – which meant the park was still, the paths were empty, and there was early-morning light filtering through the redwoods, gently warming things up. The redwoods are a place where I feel at peace, and it was SO nice to be surrounded by them when we made the leap into marriage. It was solemn and spiritual and helped calm me down :)

    • Ashley says...

      That sounds absolutely beautiful. :)

  41. Our wedding venue in Greece didn’t kick us out until 5am! The last group of us (around 20 people) who managed to stay until then all headed for the beach near our hotel. We stripped down to our underwear and went for a dip! (I may have uttered a now famous phrase, “How long do i have to stay in to seem cool.”)

    Then we walked back into the lobby hotel in our underwear, soaking wet, holding our wedding clothes :)

    The night lobby guard didn’t bat an eye! ha!

  42. L says...

    The weeks leading up to our wedding were really stressful for me. I had a lot of work stuff to wrap up, last minute wedding details to take care of and my in-laws (who live overseas and were practically strangers to me) flew out a few weeks early and were staying in our small house. I started wishing that we had eloped. But on the day of our wedding I looked around and realized that there had never been another time in my life when all the people I loved most — extended family and friends from different places and points in time — were all gathered together at once. It was so moving and something I would never trade. My other favorite aspect of our wedding was our cake. We met with a few bakers of traditional, tiered wedding cakes but in the end went with a local specialty and childhood favorite that we actually purchased, homemade, from an area gas station. It was delicious and our guests still talk about it.

  43. Meagan says...

    My husband and I were 23 when we got married, almost 13 years ago! Though I loved our wedding—totally DIY, held in an old refrigerator factory—it was absolutely exhausting to prepare for and if we could do it again, I would opt for city hall and drinks/dinner at a restaurant! Some memorable moments include 1) snipping loose threads from my wedding dress minutes before the ceremony (my seamstress completed it THE DAY BEFORE), 2) my 84-year-old grandmother reading a passage during the ceremony and making everyone cry, 3) watching my husband bust a move on the dance floor, 4) seeing our friend smooth talk the cops into not issuing a citation for excessive noise, 5) driving to the store at 1:00 am for pillows (we had just moved into our apartment) and condoms. :-)

    • Kirsty Magallon says...

      it’s an old superstition where I come from that the wedding dress shouldn’t be completed until the actual wedding day or it’s bad luck, so you’ve got good luck from snipping those threads!

  44. Ana says...

    We got married 2 months ago after a very intimate City Hall celebration the year before which felt truly special, especially when we drank champagne at a local bar in the middle of the afternoon just the two of us.

    The whole wedding experience was truly overwhelming for me as I am neither used to nor comfortable being the center of the attention (contrary to popular beliefs, my husband is the one with a total rockstar personality). But, here are the three things I loved the most: having all of our family and friends celebrating with us, so much love and so much fun, I wanted to hit pause and soak it all in for a bit longer; getting ready with my mother, sister and cousins was a moment of shared emotions, very zen and truly relaxing; our first look because even though we were already married I knew at that moment that despite the pouring rain (the weather was terrible btw) this day will be totally perfect with this guy by my side. And as bonus, I actually loved the vows part that I was a bit nervous about, since everyone was already crying, joining in did not felt so awkward! :)

  45. Shannon says...

    My wedding was beautiful and just how I imagined it, but my favorite part was the rehearsal dinner the night before. Being surrounded by our nuclear families and best friends, with wedding happiness in the air, was positively magical. Definitely one of the happiest nights of my life. I remember wishing we could have just gotten married then and there vs. the next day in all of its formality and loads of guests!

  46. Nadia says...

    I loved that the night before – we were planning to spend apart – but my fiance ended up falling asleep in my hotel suite. It was so sweet to wake up together the morning of our wedding and share a cup of coffee. And then he snuck out to his room. No one ever knew :)

  47. Em says...

    I just have to say… I love all the different types of weddings shown here. So many people think “your big day” has to look a certain way — religious ceremony, walking down an aisle, white dress, catered food, cheesy dance music, etc. If you’re into that, cool. But if the usual traditions aren’t for you, it’s sooo nice to be reminded that a wedding is just what you make it. If you want to get married in a huge church with tons of flowers, at City Hall, or in your backyard after ordering pizza, it all counts. And it’s all so lovely.

  48. Corinne says...

    My wedding was this past Saturday so it hasn’t even been a week! I have to say my favorite part was the last song. We didn’t have a traditional first dance. A combined father-daughter and mother-son dance took its place. Our last song was one of our favorite songs, the acoustic version of Everlong by the Foo Fighters. We were afraid that our mostly older crowd wouldn’t be comfortable with it but it ended up being such a sweet moment to end the day. We were both misty eyed. It was perfect for us.

  49. Carrie says...

    My favorite part of our wedding the dancing, of course. Everyone had a blast! I have no sense of embarrassment when it comes to my lack of dancing skills, I just go for it. It felt great to dance out all that built up stress and tension and nerves and celebrate the fact that I had planned this huge event, it went off without a hitch and I was now married to the absolute love of my life.

  50. Ramey Mize says...

    My husband and I just got married this past weekend and it was the most euphoric, magical day we could have ever imagined- any mainly those moments which were not strictly planned ended up being my favorite! We had an outdoor wedding and had arranged for two llamas to show up after the ceremony to guide guests to the reception venue- and instead, by some funny turn of events, an entire herd of at least TEN showed up, to our great surprise and delight! Guests had a field day taking pictures with them, walking with them, and enjoying their sweet quirkiness- and my husband and I led the “herd” with pride!

  51. we got married in san francisco city hall, with two witnesses (my sister and the mutual friend who introduced us). while we were nervously waiting for our turn, newlyweds and weddings-in-progress and fellow about-to-be-marrieds all around us, i started singing bruce springsteen’s “dancing in the dark” (it had been stuck in my head) and we danced out our jitters together.

  52. Maren says...

    My husband and I got married last December and it was wonderful in every way. We decided on a four month engagement partially because he really wanted his grandmother (who was very sick at the time) to be there. I’ve never been a huge fan of the single ladies’ bouquet toss, so instead we asked for a couples’ dance. We played “Time After Time” by Ella Fitzgerald and had all the couples go to the dance floor. Every 15 seconds or so, the dj would say, “If you’ve been married longer than 1 year…5 years…10 years…15 years…20 years…30 years…40 years…50 years…please stay on the dance floor.” At the end just Marcos’s grandparents were left dancing at 59 years married. Instead of tossing it, I gave them my bouquet as a prize and a thank you for showing us what an incredible marriage looks like. Grandma Maria entered hospice in the spring and passed away just last month. I’d tell any couple planning a wedding to focus not just on themselves, but also on those who’ve helped or guided your relationship. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes ;)

    • TJ says...

      What a lovely story. I am sorry for your loss.

    • Shannon says...

      So beautiful <3

    • Anne says...

      That’s so, so lovely. :’)

    • Jo says...

      Brought me to tears. What a sweet moment for all

    • Maryse says...

      This made me cry. Beautiful.

  53. We eloped. We drove down to Texas and wed next to the Guadalupe River. By various circumstances, 5 of our best friends were able to be present as witnesses. Two of them played guitar for us. One took pictures. We all ate apple pie from a nearby orchard. Someone passed around cigars. My favorite part was when it was all over, and we sat on the hotel room bed, processing everything.

  54. A says...

    I love Gay and Mark’s whole story so much. After her ‘Week of Outfits’ I followed the link to their backstop and haven’t stopped thinking about it!

    Now a serious question: is it normal/accepted in America now to say/write ‘a couple days’ instead of ‘a couple of days’? As a British person I thought this was a typo when I first saw it, but now it’s everywhere! (Twice in this post!) To me it reads like saying, ‘I’m wearing my favourite pair shoes.’ Am I about a million years behind everyone else on this?

    • Andrea says...

      There is “in a couple of days” and “a couple days later.” The latter is OKish here.

  55. katie says...

    Colby (and Laura)’s wedding is EXACTLY what I am doing with my FH in just a few short weeks. It was nice to that someone else had this amazing idea and loved how it worked out

  56. Jennifer says...

    My husband and I eloped to Las Vegas and had a 1960’s themed day complete with Elvis officiating. He planned it all (husband, not Elvis) and so while I was getting my hair and make up done, he was running around finalizing arrangements. I went and got dressed then went to meet him at the front of the hotel, not knowing that he’d rented a 1969 cadillac convertible to drive us to the ceremony. He drove up to get me and I was so happy to see him and he, in turn, looked all blown away by how I looked with my fancy updo, retro make up, and vintage dress. It was just us two in that moment and we were both so excited.

    We spent the whole next day lying around in our fancy hotel room watching an American Chopper marathon on TV, which was also pretty sweet.

  57. Sandra says...

    This was such a great post to read before I get married on Saturday!! Reading so many wonderful memories makes me all that much more excited to make my own with my new husband!

    • Carrie says...

      Many congratulations Sandra!! Enjoy your day!!!

  58. I’ll never forget how much fun we had during our pictures session! After our wedding I asked my husband Jos favorite part and he said the same. Our photographer (Greg Finck for anyone reading!!) was just SO great. We had a chauffeured car drive us from location to location so we could shoot photos all around Paris, and it was just so much FUN. It was so nice to spend some time together laughing and smiling before the big party started!

    Xoxo

  59. Michelle says...

    We got married almost a month ago. We got married on a Thursday in a beautiful old English manor house (think Downton Abbey). There were so many amazing and intimate moments throughout the day but the two moments that I think were my favourite were when I was sat on my own doing my make-up and listening to a true crime podcast. It was keeping making me laugh and taking my mind off the anxiety that was definitely building. And the moment my husband came to fetch me to walk me down the stairs to the ceremony. We decided to walk each other down the ‘aisle’ as we have always felt this was about he and I, we are a great team and team mates do it better together :)

  60. I just got engaged and wedding planning seems so overwhelming to me right now. This post and these comments are all so amazing! Reminds me what the whole thing is really about.

    • Carrie says...

      What helped me was to break the wedding into categories and then plan each category as a unit (or pass off for someone else to plan). Budget, Location, theme/decor, food/drink, entertainment, attire, guest list/seating, etc.

  61. Linsey says...

    My husband and I flew from Philly to SF to elope at City Hall. It was just us and our photographer, who also served as our witness. After the ceremony & pictures, we ate tacos and drank beer in The Mission for lunch. We then made our way back to the hotel where we put on casual clothes, called our parents, and then road the cable cars for what seemed like hours. Our wedding day ended by eating a giant italian dinner and then laying in bed, drinking champagne, and watching Villanova win the NCAA tournament.

    • Taylor says...

      We also are from Philly and eloped to SF City Hall! Best decision ever. We went for brunch after, took a nap and then did a fancy dinner in Pac Heights, followed by a few days of honeymooning there. I mean, who gets to nap on their wedding day? It was a perfect day.

  62. Blair Dykeman says...

    I was recently married (June 10th!!), and there are a couple things that I really loved about our wedding day.

    The first was that my mother custom-made my wedding gown for me. She used to work as a seamstress in a bridal salon (mostly doing alterations, veils, and garters), and the design I wanted was very simple and she made it for me! It was really fun to be involved in the design process, and although it was a bit stressful (she re-did the hem three times by hand), I am so lucky that she was willing to take on this labor of love for me! My gown was perfect and I LOVED everyone’s reactions when they found out that she made it for me. She even sewed in a special tag that said “Made for You by Elizabeth Starnes.” I hope one day I have a daughter who might want to wear it!

    The second was all of our music selections. My husband is a classically trained musician (thus he has GREAT taste). He made all of our music selections, literally every. single. one. They were all very unique and beautiful and made the ceremony and dances so special. Everyone kept asking us what songs they were, and how we came up with them because they were so unique! I walked down the aisle to a Scriabin piano concerto, and we danced to “Sunset and the Mockingbird” by Duke Ellington for our first dance, and it was so unique and so beautiful. And now when I listen to them I feel all those happy emotions from our wedding day!

    I love reading everyone else’s comments!

    • Alex Messina-Schultheis says...

      I just looked up this music and it’s so lovely! How nice to have such unique elements to your day. Congratulations, by the way!

  63. Eve says...

    Two memorable parts stand out to me: the first being when my nearly husband and I accidentally kissed before we were suppose to (his uncle, the forever jokester, was sitting in the front row telling us it was time and we didn’t realize he was joking until it became clear it was definitely NOT time), and the second being my husband’s speech. It spoke to the meaning of marriage, in a very real way, and was probably one of the most authentic and moving things I’ve heard him ever share.

    Overall though, I didn’t like the overall experience of being the centre of attention, so once the wave of emotions passed, I was quite grateful that that chapter of our lives had closed!

  64. Molly says...

    We’re coming up on lucky #13 this year! My favorite part was that I snuck in a vow. My husband’s uncle married us, & I gave him the “real vows” after the rehearsal & asked him not to tell anyone. He didn’t, so I was able to surprise everyone by vowing to learn how to make pie (a long-standing joke between Jon & some pals & I). Everyone laughed & it was so silly & fun – & I did eventually learn how to make pie!

  65. Kari says...

    Across the street from our reception hall was a mini golf/go-kart amusement park. We went go-kart racing in tux and wedding dress. I wish we would’ve had the whole reception there.

  66. Beth says...

    I really didn’t want to be at work this morning. It’s been a hectic week after a lovely eclipse viewing family get-together, but this post truly lifted my spirits!! What lovely stories! And, it reminded me that my husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary this Sunday! Every year we plan to do something special for our anniversary, but it’s always the start of school for him or for me, or we’re moving one of our sons to college, but today, after this post, I made a note to pick up a bottle of champagne at lunch. We should at least be able to fit in some champagne….

    • Molly says...

      Congratulations! I think a simple midday toast sounds like a lovely idea, & it’s so real – you are finding a small way to bring joy & closeness into a regular day. Which is actually a great metaphor for what makes a happy marriage. <3

  67. Lauren says...

    I have many favorite moments from our wedding but the moment that sticks out most was right after the wedding. We had just been dropped off at our room after a fun night of partying and my husband, who I have rarely seen cry, was sobbing. At first, I was a bit worried since it was so out of character for him. When I asked why he was crying he said “I just feel so lucky and happy.”

    • Chelsea says...

      so beautiful and touching

  68. Kate says...

    The rabbi’s wife gave me a hot tip for the hora dance…. sit on the chair sideways so u can hold on to the back if the chair!

  69. JB says...

    I just got married in April. My husband and I were so excited, we didn’t notice our officiant forgot a whole page of our ceremony, including our first married kiss! Afterwards, people couldn’t figure out if we were just trendy millenials bucking the trend, or if the missed kiss was an accident. Still makes me laugh!

    Also, we wanted a big dance party with all our family and friends (many who lived over 3000kms away) in the heritage hotel we got married in, and our DJ advised us: “If you want a big party, you have to be the big party. I’ll play the tunes, but you have to lead the dance floor.” We did, and at the end of the night, the DJ gave me a huge high-5 (my dress covered in red wine, my hair a mess, sweaty from dancing and grinning from ear to ear) and he said “YOU DID IT!” It was the greatest night.

    • JB says...

      One other tip: My husband and I wrote our own very personal vows and we were SO nervous to read them in front of crowd, so the morning before the wedding day, we snuggled in bed and red them to each other under the duvet and bawled our eyes out.

      We were still nervous at the ceremony, but instead of sobbing ugly tears, I looked him straight in the eye and just absorbed all the beautiful, hilarious things he was saying because we’d already had our private moment.

      Highly recommend!

  70. Congratulations, Jo!
    We just got married two weeks ago. Easily my favorite part (and from what I’ve heard our guests’ favorite part too) was during the ceremony. We had first our parents stand to say they support our marriage. Then our siblings (my sister was officiating so they joined her standing ;) ). Then everyone. I loved it because I got to look out at the group and feel their support. So many of my friends specifically commented on loving that part because it felt so personal and they felt included. I hadn’t seen it at a wedding before so I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I’m so glad we went for it!

  71. We just got married in May so are still newlyweds! I loved our entire wedding but I think my favorite parts were the vows/first kiss and the amazing speeches during the reception. My dad and husband’s mom both spoke. I know it’s not traditional for the mother of the groom to speak, but my husband’s father passed away 4 years ago and he has a very special relationship with his mom. She gave an amazing, hilarious speech. The wedding party speeches were awesome, too, but my favorite speech of all was my husband’s. He’s known for his sharp wit and sense of humor, so I knew it would be funny but I was not expecting him to be so sweet and sentimental. It was so perfect.

  72. Emma says...

    We had a small registry wedding in London and travelled back home to New Zealand for the main event.
    My favourite memories are the music, we had three very special friends perform for us during the ceremony, it was incredibly moving for both of us.
    We also chose all of the music playlists based on live concerts we had been to together (don’t worry, it’s a lot!)

    Happy anniversary Jo and Alex!

  73. Loribeth says...

    My husband and I both wrote our wedding vows but didn’t tell each other what we were going to say. As he was reciting his in the ceremony, I realized how similar our vows were so I looked at him and thought “You jackass, you totally hacked into my email!” There’s a picture of my face that was taken at the very same moment I had this thought, it always makes me laugh. He swears to this day that he didn’t hack my email to find my vows, I’m still not convinced :)

  74. As much as I enjoyed my wedding day, overall, minus all the worrying (INFJs all over the world, you know what I mean), my favourite part of that day was the simply fact that I was marrying the person who means the most to me in this world. We’re taking a trip to Japan in 2 weeks for our 1st wedding anniversary and I couldn’t be more excited for another adventure with my best friend :)

  75. Kate says...

    We took our wedding photos at the private school where my brother works. He had to escort us and the photographer around as part of the deal. He is not really an artistic, detail oriented guy, but he conpletely surprised me that day. He had staked out a ton of beautiful spaces and mapped them out. Essentially, he was our art director for the day. The photographer had never been on the campus and was grateful for his help. I love our couple photos, and knowing the care and effort my brother put into planning then, something that does not come naturally to him, makes them even more dear to me.

    I also loved having my whole family pitch in decorating the venue. My husband’s family was surprised by how hands on everyone was. They kept giggling at my 6 foot 6, former college football player uncle commanding the flowr arrangements.

  76. Meghan says...

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years, and my favorite parts of our wedding were our first kiss and our first dance. My husband was my first everything (first date, first boyfriend), and our first kiss was on our wedding day, after we were pronounced husband and wife. What makes it even more special is, that was my first kiss EVER :) We had a daytime wedding, so there wasn’t really much dancing besides the traditional dances, but for our first dance, we started out doing a traditional slow song, and then as a surprise, had the music change to “Ever Ever After” from the movie “Enchanted” (a movie that was meaningful to us when we first started hanging out/dating). I love seeing the photos of us spinning and dancing to that Carrie Underwood song about finding your ever after :)

  77. Emma says...

    I’m Canadian and my husband is from the US. For green-card reasons we had to get married in the US, but I wanted the wedding at home in Canada. So we, both grad students at the time, snuck off to the courthouse and got married on a Tuesday morning in April, with the officiant as our witness. After we were pronounced married we went out for bagels and went back to class, giddy about what had just went down. A few months later we had a lovely wedding with 120 friends and family in my parents backyard. Although our parents knew that technically the “paperwork had been done” months earlier, none of the guests knew about our little Tuesday in April, even our siblings. We celebrate our anniversary on the date of our wedding, but secretly go out for bagels every April 5th.

    • Emma says...

      This is so sweet and reminds me of our ‘two’ weddings. We had a registry wedding in London before our big wedding back home in New Zealand. I think registry weddings are so romantic! We also mark our ‘first wedding’ anniversary too in a small way and celebrate our big wedding day as our official anniversary

    • I think this sounds like the MOST fun thing! I’ve considered it as well- just getting married at a courthouse instead of getting a marriage license, and not telling anyone. It would be the most delightful secret.

    • Fiona says...

      This is utterly sweet! We did a tiny intimidate family only wedding in my parent’s back yard (my sister married us) for my green card, and then did a lovely, much larger one with friends and family in Mexico 6 months later. While I love our larger, noisier, more ridiculous wedding, in my heart, our tiny one will always be our “real” wedding. The very first time promising, out loud, to be with this person forever, was so very powerful! It felt like we were the only two people in the whole world!

    • Alex Messina-Schultheis says...

      I love this so much. It’s so nice you have that little secret that’s just for the two of you! Ugh, so cute.

  78. Georgina says...

    We got married last November and there are some moments that stand out for me. One was during the church service – my work colleagues had all paid for a fifth choral singer so we could have ‘Love one another’ by Wesley – it was a last minute surprise and I remember sitting down as they sang and the sun suddenly breaking through the stained glass, it was beautiful. Walking through the streets of Hampstead between the church and the reception venue with everyone congratulating us. At the end of the day (I’m not a party person, or an evening person so we had an 11.30am ceremony and then lunch, all done by 5pm) when we left, turning round to wave and seeing everyone we loved cheering us and waving us off. Going back to our hotel, ordering room service and watching ‘Britcops: Rapid Response’, the most unintentionally hilarious programme on tv.

  79. SK says...

    I always feel like crying when I read these posts.

    I am very happily married and my husband really is amazing, we had 6 wonderful years together and are now experiencing the joy of having a baby in 2 months time. Please don’t feel sorry for me in the sense that there’s a problem in my relationship – there’s not. But sometimes people make mistakes that affect others for a lifetime… thinking about my wedding hurts me to the bone and I have sincerely tried to erase that feeling from me but I just cannot.

    We married at my parent’s villa, back in my home country, and all of our friends flew in to celebrate with us.There was an amazing atmospere the days leading up to the wedding and the night before most guests gathered in the nearest city main square for drinks and fun. I had previously asked my husband not to drink/get drunk the night before as it was important to me to have him at his best humour (and looks) on the day – my husband has terrible hangovers. My husband respected my wishes and did not drink, but he became upset for not being able to celebrate with his friends the night before and, while this was not perceptible for the guests, we had an “elephant in the room’ the next day. He was dismissive and distant. What was meant to be the happiest day of my life became the worst, I felt so unsupported and while I knew I was marrying the right man he didn’t make me feel like it on the day…. We even had a mini-argument before cutting the cake!

    Years have passed and he has apologised for his behaviour a millionth of times, and I have accepted his apologies all of those times. But the truth is that there’s nothing in the world that he can do to change that day for me, that day was meant to be special and a good memory, not this painful one.

    • Mona says...

      I’m so sorry for your experience.. I hope your husband has never pulled that behavior again. <3

    • Cooper says...

      What a good perspective! I think there’s so much pressure for your wedding day to be the “most special” but for so many reasons, it often isn’t. I’ve often confided in my husband that the ordinary days we spend at home feel much more magical and happy to me than our wedding day, just because being the center of attention for a day wasn’t my favorite thing.

    • Carrie says...

      I have some sour memories from my wedding also that I wish I could change. In my case it was family! One family member came in and was one of the first to see me all fixed up, and she didn’t say a single word. To this day it hurts me that she never commented on the way I looked. Also my sister, standing off to the side during my first look, telling me how to stand so I don’t look fat in the photos…. not helpful, just hurtful! Sorry you had that bad experience, it’s hard to shake! Weddings have this stigma, “the most wonderful day of your life”, and when it’s not it makes you feel robbed!!

  80. Elisa says...

    I got married one year ago and we are happy enough to pre-celebrate our 1st wedding aniversary in Italy in 3 weeks.
    The best thing at our wedding? Um, not the wheater. The day before our wedding it was hot and we all were preparing for the big day in shorts and t-shirts. on our wedding day it was just rainy and cold and stormy. But the wheather had no chance to beat our big, big smiles on that day. Not only me and my husband were that happy, also my sisters, brothers in laws, parents and friends. I loved it the most, that everyone was so happy with us.
    One of the most magical moments was when my sisters sang a song after our vows. It was a surprise and they already came up with it in spring. They told me that the song fits to us so perfectly and that they wanted it to be surprise. It was a song by Reinhard Mey, a german singer, and it is called “Lass es Liebe auf uns regnen” which means “let it rain love on us”. As this song is orginally for couples who celebrate their 25th anniversary, my sisters tried to change the text a bit, so that it fitted better to us.

    I tried to translate the lyrics

    Laß Liebe auf uns regnen, /Let it rain love on us/
    Laß es gießen und uns segnen. /let it pour and bless us
    Laß uns immer neu begegnen – /Let us meet again and again
    Laß es immer, laß es immer so sein. /Let it be, let be always like this

    Wir hab‘n uns auf den Weg gemacht /we got on our way
    Das große Abenteuer: /for the big adventure
    Jeder Tag eine Hochzeitsnacht, /every night a wedding night
    Jede ein Freudenfeuer! /every night a bonfire
    Wir hatten keine Angst vor morgen, / We were not scared of the tommorow
    Wir hatten keine Garantie/ we had no guaranty
    Und war‘n doch arglos, ohne Sorgen: /but we were without sorrows,
    Die Liebe endet nie! /love never ends

    Please excuse for the bad translation, but maybe you get feeling of how special it was to us – and the wheater even fitted to song :) We always joke the my sisters prayed for rain, so that the song is even more beautiful.

  81. Aoife Lane says...

    There’s too many, really, because our wedding was without competition in every way, the GREATEST and exactly the hashtag we made for it, #Lanelovefest.
    In no particular order though, the standout three moments are:
    1. Crying in the car together the day BEFORE our wedding because we were just so emotional and feeling so fortunate to be together
    2. We both cried all day — everyone was saying it was the wettest wedding they’d ever been to — but then I got the giggles during my husband’s vows, so not only were there tears, I was also cackling hysterically (see link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRN8ZWyFy4V/?taken-by=aoifejulialistings)
    and,
    3. The dancefloor rave that started at 11pm and went until 4am: We brought out glow sticks just after our first dance, drank hot toddies and mulled wine from vintage mugs, and cut a rug to Missy Elliott and Jay Z with everyone we love (I can still hear my husband’s 80-year-old Nana that she now understands why the young people love to go out dancing!)

    One year on and almost nine years together, I’m SO obsessed with my husband…I’m teary writing this, but I get pretty teary with love whenever I think about him.

  82. Annie Green says...

    The whole day was wonderful, better than I had imagined (and I had really imagined…) but at the end, we sat with friends in the bar of the fabulous hotel where we had the reception and my dad had put money behind the bar so we sat into the small hours nattering and finally finishing a drink for once. Then we all went out into the darkness to look for one of my friends who had wandered off, sozzled, into the gardens. We found her under a large bush and put her into a taxi, amidst great laughter. We still recall that, years later. She had been to her father’s second wedding that morning then jumped into her Mini and driven about 200 miles south to my wedding, arriving in time for the evening party. If anybody deserved a skinful, it was her.

  83. MA says...

    Love hearing other’s favorite bits of their weddings! Its so sweet. My fave part was when the blue grass band started playing. All my Long Island, NY relatives didn’t know quite what to do about dancing. But blue grass music is like the great dancing-equalizer: NO ONE looks good dancing to blue grass. It ended up being super fun and we have great photos of everyone stomping their feet, bopping around, and getting sweaty. Oh – and we served chocolate cake with an optional side of warm berry crisp. I wish I could do it all again.

  84. What a lovely post. Everyone looks so happy. At our own wedding this April many things went the way I wouldn’t have chosen because of family expectations (big instead of small, expensive instead of DIY). So I loved the moments which were just us: we had a ceremony loosely based on the Jewish tradition, written and led by our close friend. We had our siblings lead each of us down the aisle to the sounds of Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter. And on the dance floor, our friends created a capoeira circle involving all the guests. Playing capoeira with a short dress on – wow :)

  85. Jenn S. says...

    My favorite parts of my wedding are a toss up between our closest friends encircling my husband and I on the dance floor at the end of the night and singing “Don’t Stop Believing” at the top of their lungs, the fact that one of our groomsmen was so dedicated to being at our wedding that he drove 12 hours and could only stay for the ceremony (military life!), and my husband, brother in law, and father in law having a dance off that ended with my father in law pulling out his signature move from his own wedding reception-one armed push-ups to the beat of the music.

  86. Lisa says...

    We had a separate civil wedding a few weeks before (as our religious wedding was in France, and they’re not recognised by the state, which helped get all the nerves out of the way. For our playlist – we had a DJ but had come up with some songs we wanted played, but just couldn’t think of anything for the first dance – at Jewish (or sephardi weddings at least) the dancing is between all the courses, and normally the first section of dancing is to traditional music. So we left it up to the DJ to decide. He chose a really punchy version of a song called “gesher tzar m’od”, which we used to sing on Friday nights – it’s lyrics are that the world is a very narrow bridge, but the trick is not to be afraid. The song was meaningful to us and fun enough that it got everyone out. Running on to the dance floor with all our friends and family around is, dancing like crazy, was one of the best moments of our wedding.
    My one piece of advice – get a video done of your wedding! It’s my one regret. We decided not to do it, thinking it was unnecessary so the only videos we have were shot on people’s phones and iPads (the only footage of me walking down the aisle was shot on a friend’s ancient Nokia phone). I would love to be able to show our children our wedding video. It doesn’t have to be a professional videographer, even just assigning a couple of friends to do it would be better than nothing

  87. Aileen Johnston says...

    My dad died about 5 months before my wedding (randomly this is the 2nd time I have mentioned his death in your comments!) which obviously made for an emotional day. However he had never wanted to write a speech as he was nervous about speaking. I asked him instead to write me a tune as he was an accordion player who had is own Scottish Dance Band. He dutifully wrote me a tune which a Gay Gordons could be danced to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Gordons_(dance) (explanation of the dance here!) The band who played at our wedding had also played at my mum and dads wedding so they played this tune (and invited my brother to play the drums and my dads old fiddler to play with them) for my first Scottish Dance of the evening. It was just perfect :) Other things that were great was my husbands old friend playing our first song live and Austrian Dancers who I had met in the pub the week before surprising us at about 10pm. There are many things I would change about my wedding but definitely not those 3 things, nor the man I actually married obviously :) xx

  88. Hannah says...

    We had a tiny wedding, just closest friends, immediate family and our baby girl. We planned it in six weeks as we just wanted to be married. The best part was walking out of the ceremony to the song ‘Ruby’ which is the name of our daughter, and walking around Brighton, having our photos taken and strangers offering us our congratulations. Our wedding was featured on a UK wedding blog:
    http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/2017/06/high-street-dress-floral-crown-seaside-wedding.html

  89. I says...

    My favorite moment was a bit surprising to me: my two bridesmaids and I were driving to the ceremony all dressed up and a little buzzed on bubbles. We were early so we stopped the car at the beach just before where the ceremony was taking place. My husband is Scottish, so one of his friends was kind enough to pipe when all the guests started arriving for the ceremony at the beach. As we stoped the car we thought maybe we could hear the bagpipes, but the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and because of the angle we couldn’t really hear or see anything. But then all these snapchat videos and instagrams started coming, showing all our guests all dressed up and excited, walking towards the ceremony behind the piper, chatting and laughing and having a great time. Our families had made such an effort picking wildflowers and making signs, it was all so beautiful right next to the sea – and the sky was just clearing after raining the whole morning!! And I just got so unbelievably excited, felt like I had a sneaky front row seat to everything that was happening without actually being there. I never dreamt about a big wedding and thought it was pretty stressful organizing and planning everything – but in that moment I just couldn’t be happier or more excited for everything that was about to happen:) best day of my life!!!

    • Grace says...

      I’m glad you had a great time and a lovely wedding, but please don’t drink and drive!

  90. Karin Connor says...

    Our wedding was pretty small and held at the santa cruz mission with the reception at a restaurant down the street. While we were having photos taken we had the limos take guests down to the restaurant before picking us up. However when we finished photos the limos were nowhere to be seen so we walked down to the reception on our own. It was such a nice break and a quiet time after the ceremony that I had not expected and loved. Plus my husband, who grew up in Scotland, wore his kilt for the wedding and the next morning went to bring us back food from the breakfast buffet wearing nothing but his kilt because he knew it would make me laugh! 10 years ago this spring…..

  91. We had a short engagement primarily because we didn’t really think the wedding day was all that important – the marriage, yes, but not the wedding. We got married on an organic farm in Central California (Paso Robles) and had fewer than 20 guests. We wrote the service but let the officiant go off-script. I didn’t even know what we were going to have for dinner, because I didn’t care! The frosting on our cake melted as the bakery delivered it, but I didn’t care, because it was still delicious (and we ate it in the dark!).
    I think my favorite part was this: when it came time to exchange rings, we had everyone who was there come and stand around us and either put a hand on our back or shoulder, or hold hands with another guest, so that everyone was connected for a moment. We stayed that way until we were declared husband and wife.
    Now, when I look at the pictures of the service, I see my best friends standing behind me, and they are all beaming just as much as I am. It’s wonderful to have their shining faces in the photos from that moment.

  92. Kelley says...

    My husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary and it has been an incredible year being married to my best friend. In the months that we were engaged we found out that my husband’s dad was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. We had planned on having an engagement party over the summer to make sure that my husband’s dad could be there with us and celebrate our upcoming nuptials, and meet extended family and friends. It was important to us that he could see our support group and celebrate an exciting time for my husband and I. About a month before our engagement party my husband and I were having dinner and we started talking about how fun it would be to get married at our engagement party. In talking we realized that what was most important was that our parents and siblings be there with us. We didn’t know how much time we had with my husband’s dad, but we knew we needed him with us. That week, we called our friend and asked her to get ordained online in order to marry us, and we began planning a surprise wedding. At our engagement party we thanked everyone for coming, and told them that the engagement party was a ruse and we were actually GETTING MARRIED. It was the best day. I have the greatest mental picture of the faces of all our guests when we told them we were getting married; they were so surprised and so happy. We got married in our backyard, the same place that we got engaged. Our parents were there, family was there, friends were there. Is there really anything better?

    • This is the coolest story!

  93. Monica says...

    Ha. Oh man I’m gonna go ahead and admit that my husband and i drank wayyyy too much at our wedding. We also forgot to eat lunch and barely touched our dinner so that didn’t help (advise to future brides/grooms: EAT!). But I gotta say we don’t regret a thing (except maybe the killer hangover the following morning ha). I loved our mariachi and his best friend’s Brazilian forró band. The music/dancing and taking tequila shots with my family all night was just the best :)

  94. Alex says...

    the dancing! We didn’t plan a first dance or parent dances or anything (our wedding was pretty easy going and casual) but we ended up having these wonderful spontaneous versions. When “my girl” came on my dad pulled me to the middle of the dance floor and seriously cut a rug, spins and dips and all. Our guests went wild cheering. I had no idea my pops had those moves! Towards the end of the night “that’s how strong my love is” played and my husband and I found each other and had the sweetest slow swaying cuddle. The funniest bit though was when my SUPER drunk coworker pulled a chair onto the dance floor, sat me in it, and proceeded to give me a wedding lap dance. Hooray for open bars!

  95. Hannah says...

    Our wedding definitely didn’t turn out as planned. We wanted a short engagement & growing up, I had never daydreamed about my wedding. But we were living in Charleston, SC and it was beautifully romantic. After deciding to get married in Charleston (instead of our hometown of Nashville), my grandmother suffered from a stroke and my (then) fiancée got a job in D.C. My grandmother passed away, three months before our wedding, which was devastating. We continued to plan our wedding & it was really difficult. Then, while planning our wedding and move to D.C…..Hurricane Matthew! We had to cancel/move our wedding twice to avoid Matthew.

    If I have any advice after all the craziness, it is “focus on what you love”. But really, really baseline things. My wedding wasn’t what I had wanted even in the best of weather: there were front-lit goddess statues, I walked down the aisle to a ~flute~ version of “Here Comes the Sun”, and we transported nearly every food item and flower in a declared state-wide emergency. And I didn’t love it.

    I didn’t love the band, I didn’t love the food. I didn’t love that the wedding I didn’t want to plan changed so much through the course of 1 week.

    I struggle with not loving our wedding. As someone who never dreamed of a wedding, I was surprised by my emotinal investment. After the reception, we got the band to leave, put on a playlist, drank wine from boxes, and great friends gave speeches that they had planned for our more formal “Charleston” wedding. It was beautiful and crazy and remembered like a fever dream.

    But I’m still trying to love my wedding. And I’m trying to internalize that it is way-okay to not love it.

    • Laura C. says...

      Oh Hannah, it had to be hard for you since your grandma passed away. My Grandpa was the one who had to walk me to the aisle, and six days before my wedding, he broke his hip, and they were very delicate days, since he was 98 years old. He couldn’t come to see me as a bride and that was really hard for me.
      But you have said: “It was beautiful and crazy and remembered like a fever dream”. Keep that, darling. ❤️

  96. Megan Klein says...

    We’ve been married 9 months and we both agree it was the best day of our lives, but a couple of favorite parts..
    – My husband really wanted a DJ but we were out of money by the end of it, so he ended up putting up a call for song recommendations on Facebook and created a Spotify playlist with songs we love and songs our friends suggested. He also chose some special songs that played before the ceremony began, and now when we listen to the playlist, he can tell me what was happening during certain songs. For the first three months or so, the only music we listened to in the car was the Spotify playlist. It was so sweet. I love that we can listen to it whenever we want.
    – My husband’s family is Jewish, but he and I have always gone (and by always, I mean once every 4 months or so) to a Presbyterian church. When he and his family really wanted a lot of Jewish traditional elements to our ceremony, my family and I were a little nervous. I just wanted it to feel authentic to who we both are. Anyway one of the traditions was the Seven Blessings. Our rabbi found a contemporary interpretation of them and then I wrote them all on index cards very early the morning of the wedding, handed them off to a bridesmaid and they got to my fiance. Right before the ceremony, he handed them out to 7 friends and family, and then when it came time for them to be read during the ceremony, folks just stood up and read out their card from wherever they were in the audience. It was surprising and sweet and is one of my favorite memories.

  97. Sam says...

    I love Gay’s story and really enjoyed the NYT article you linked to. It’s such a fun story, and personally reassuring–I don’t at all understand how people can fall in love after (or while) being in love with someone else; the only thing I’ve got is the stories that it sometimes happens. Thanks for sharing!

  98. Shannon says...

    Oh my gosh – where to start?!? We had a small wedding (planned fairly spontaneously) with just parents and siblings in attendance; which was perfect for us. But the part that was delightful and unexpected was the outpouring of genuine love and well wishes that poured in from near and far – our closest friends chipped in for a weekend away after the wedding, we went to countless dinners and lunches and brunches with friends and family for months afterward as mini celebrations, and my roommate ordered the bouquet and had it delivered as a surprise on the big day! We received lovely notes and gifts for nearly a year, as people gradually learned of our marriage. It was all so warm and heartfelt.

    • Shannon says...

      We have the same name, and our ceremony was also just parents and siblings! What a funny coincidence! For a second I thought I had commented earlier and forgotten about it, haha.

    • Shannon says...

      Kindred spirits, other Shannon!

  99. Whitney says...

    My fondest memory was the moment my husband started reading his vows and held back tears as his voice broke. Coming from my husband whom I had never seen cry before this and who has always been the emotional rock in our relationship – still sends shivers down my spine. I remember being equally shocked and touched!

  100. Love all the sentiments each couple expressed, especially Gay’s. That was something my aunt said about weddings too.

    I loved so much about our wedding- but the moments that stick out to me, was my grandmother seeing me in my dress (She had only granddaughters and I was the only one she saw married), having the the “first look” with my soon-to-be husband (how special taking that time in a very family-filled day was to be just us two). I also remember emerging from the church and leading the “parade” as we all walked the two blocks to the reception hall. The moment that was the most fun though, was dancing. We had taken dance classes since we started dating, and it was so fun! It wasn’t choreographed or anything. I just followed Amos’ lead and we pulled out all the stops while our dance classmates (and our family and friends of course) cheered us on after a particularly good set of footwork or fancy turn, lol!

  101. My husband and I got married in 2008, riiiiiiiight before the market crashed here in AZ. Had we waited any longer, we would’ve definitely scaled down from our 160-person celebration. But in that moment, all felt right in the world. My cousin had converted to Judaism and married a rabbi a few years before, and while he obviously couldn’t marry us, he gave a blessing that I’ll never forget. We lost my cousin to breast cancer a few years ago which makes that memory even more achingly precious to me. The whole evening, from the blessing on the bluff to dancing under the stars to Earth, Wind and Fire (yes we chose our playlist!!) was a perfect few minutes frozen in time. And we’ll cherish them, and those who joined us in happiness, forever.

  102. Whitney says...

    My husband and I just celebrated our 6th anniversary 4 days ago, and we have so many sweet memories of the wedding. However, the thing that I remember being the BEST part was the fact that after the big day was over, we still had a wonderful vacation to go on! Never before that day and certainly never again will we have an incredible vacation planned that we hardly anticipate or even think about because of all the planning and thought that went into the wedding event! I remember falling asleep then night of the wedding going “Oh that’s right! We’re flying to the tropics tomorrow!” It was a huge gift to ourselves after all the stress, nerves, and overthinking of the wedding! So the wedding was great, but the honeymoon was bliss!

  103. Jessica says...

    I’ve been married 14 years. My favorite parts were looking my husband during the ceremony and making him laugh by singing along with the musician. Also, when he shoved cake in my face. For some reason that pissed some people off, but it was and still is totally us.

  104. Loved reading these moments! We actually eloped, secretly, to the carribean with our then-8month old baby. We sent cards from the airport to our close family and friends and disappeared for 10days, to have our wedding and honeymoon together. The happiest 10days!

    We thought we’d have a belated celebration but we’re about to have our 7 year anniversary and still haven’t quite got around to it… maybe for our 10 year anniversary?!

    I wrote about it here… https://themumandthemom.com/2017/01/18/reasons-to-elope/

  105. Betsy says...

    Our wedding was a total blast – there were lots of special moments and I’ll always cherish the day – but one of my favorite memories is waking up the next morning in our beautiful hotel suite still half-dressed (definitely in the no-sex-on-wedding-night camp because we were tipsy and soooo tired), drinking mimosas in bed, opening cards, having breakfast delivered, and re-hashing the whole beautiful day together. We were blissful newlyweds, thrilled to have the whole ordeal behind us, about to go on our honeymoon. It was Magic.

  106. Elise says...

    We had a swing dance lesson at our wedding, and then played similar music throughout the evening. It was so fun and definitely got everyone dancing!

  107. Amanda says...

    my favorite part was after it was over and my husband and I went to the bar at our hotel and had a quite drink together. It felt like a little secret,( we just got MARRIED!) it was at the Hotel Hershey :}

  108. Anne says...

    I really needed this – I’m getting married next weekend and it feels like everything is going to pieces! Our dance is too complicated, the rainy forecast might ruin our gorgeous mountaintop ceremony, I’m worried about our friends not getting into the dance party, I injured BOTH my feet this summer and might have to walk down the aisle in sneakers, and to top it all off, I just realized that I’m about to run out of contact lenses! Frankly I’m ready for it all to be over :(

    • Emily says...

      Omg! Wear the sneakers! It’s your wedding, so frankly fuck the rules and have a good time. Plus sneakers are way better for dancing in the rain…

    • We both wore sneakers to our wedding – I was scared that I would fall off high heels, and he wore his out of solidarity. Mine were plain white, his matched his suit, and we were so happy on that day, even though it was the only cold and rainy day the entire month. It will be wonderful.
      Even though there’s no sense in saying ‘don’t worry’ to a bride a week before her wedding (I remember that), I can suggest that you think of that moment when you look at each other and hear each other say your vows (or ‘I do’, or whatever it is), and realize that this whole frenzy of planning and preparation was not a goal unto itself, as it can often feel towards the end. It is actually leading to the happiness of you two being joined together.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m getting married in a month and have my eye on those new Keds designed in partnership with Rifle Paper Co – the gold and white floral design would be perfect under a wedding dress!

    • Anne says...

      Thanks for the sweet responses guys – especially Olga, thank you for the perspective.

      Unfortunately, I’m not talking about cute Keds, I’m talking about actual motion-control running shoes. Ugly but better than the hiking boots I’ve had to wear all summer :(

      Sorry for the blues, I’m just exhausted I think. FH travels a ton for work with no internet access so I I’ve done most of the planning alone. I always feel a lot better when he’s around and I remember why I’m doing this.

  109. Ingrid says...

    The best part of our wedding, now close to 50 years ago, was when my dad, just before he walked me down the aisle, asked me if I really wanted to do this. He said we could go out the side door of the church, and he’d never say a word about it. He said it with such love that it made me start crying. I cried all the way down the aisle. My husband, and father to our three daughters, has said the same thing to our two married daughters, and one more to go. Such good, loving fathers….

    • Luna GC says...

      Even to the last minute before he gave you away, he wanted to make sure you were happy.

    • Jessica says...

      I love this for so many reasons. One being that my ex sister in law wanted to call off the wedding to my brother the day of and her parents talked her out of it. Calling off the wedding, though messy, could have saved years of heartache.

    • Sara says...

      My grandfather did this exact same thing with my Mom. And then she did the same with me. It makes everyone I tell the story to confused as to why this is so touching and so wonderful, but it truly is. LOVE THIS.

  110. Jessica says...

    My husband is from Denmark, and tradition there has it that the groom is tackled during the reception; his shoes are removed and the tips of his socks are cut off. No one seemed to be able to explain to me exactly how it works, but that’s supposed to keep him from running after other women! Unbeknownst to me, on the morning of our wedding, my husband went to a salon and had his toenails painted in our wedding colors! The best part was that he kept the toenail polish on for weeks….in the summer…and he wore flip flops every day!

    • Kirsten says...

      Ha! This is the best!! :D

    • Maryse says...

      I love this

  111. Trish O says...

    We celebrated our 20th anniversary yesterday. And cake. Cake is my favorite thing about all weddings.

  112. Lea says...

    My wedding day was pretty awful. I was running late, had a huge argument with my mother, caused my sister to have a (small) car crash because I was rushing her back from the hairdresser, got too drunk because I was nervous, spent the night over-complimenting guests and not really being myself … there are so many moments I look back on and facepalm!
    However, there is one moment I remember – the moment I arrived at my wedding ceremony and saw my husband-to-be. I suddenly felt unbelievably calm and had an incredible sense of peace of mind. I knew right then and there that this was the best decision I’d ever made, and that I would love him for the rest of my life.
    Eight years later and I wake up every day so happy he is my husband, so in love and so proud of us. And I still cringe when I think about my wedding! haha!

  113. Mandy Winter says...

    I have to say there
    Is no other blog that makes me feel like yours does!
    My wedding was so beautiful and simple and something I love thinking about to this day. We got married at night on the porch of our friends b&b. We had just our close friends and family and a bunch of desserts after the ceremony.
    It was so tiny and intimate I will cherish it always.

  114. Ellie says...

    Thirty-two years ago we were married on a gorgeous September Saturday. I had a terrible cold and took a lot of cold medicine to keep my nose from running. My 19 pink long-stemmed roses (inspired by Christie Brinkley’s bouquet when she married Billy Joel) stained my dress with a big green chlorophyll splotch discovered moments before I walked down the aisle. Our reception was simple, and it probably cost my parents all of $1500. I honestly don’t recall much about the day except the snippets that I’ve re-imagined from the photographs. What I remember the most clearly is our lovely “just married” drive down route 2 back to Boston with the sun setting and ordering a turkey club sandwich from room service at the Ritz because I was absolutely starving. (Of course I hadn’t eaten a thing all day.) It was, indeed, a special day, but as we all know, it’s the marriage that really matters, and I feel incredibly blessed to still be madly in love with the man I married all those years ago.

    • Alex Messina-Schultheis says...

      This is so sweet it made me tear up. I love the memory of your “just married” drive (and the turkey sandwich!). Congratulations on thirty-two years. How wonderful.

  115. Jennifer Manzano says...

    Neither of us wanted to be the center of attention at a big event, and we wanted so we went with immediate family only (plus a photographer). We took an extended weekend away in a small town a couple hours from home, the same town where my husband and I took our first weekend away as a couple. The ten of us rented out the 4 room B&B where we always stay. We spent our time roaming the small downtown, lazing around reading books, and swimming in the river. On our wedding day, we (our 4 parents, my brother and his family, our son), went to a nearby park and my brother married us in front of a gorgeous historical house. We stayed and took photos, and had reservations outside on the patio at our favorite restaurant in town. After dinner, we went back to the B&B and had a big family round of poker. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Luna GC says...

      Definitely my favourite kind of Wedding because we are like that too. So happy for a fellow couple like us. 😊

  116. I got married this past Saturday, after seven years of dating. My favorite part was the (10 minute!) ceremony. My father-in-law officiated, and Jon was hanging onto me for dear life. Our family (Catholic on both sides) had been skeptical about a secular ceremony, but it was so personal and real, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

    I really bawled during the toasts. The best man (my new brother in law!) and the maid of honor (my new sister in law!) are incredibly important people to me in different ways, and they are 16 years apart. The age gap meant I used to share an apartment with my maid of honor, but I also used to babysit the best man!

  117. Emily says...

    I think my favorite part of our wedding was when we took the advice of friends and took ten minutes to eat in a separate room from our guest between the ceremony and reception. This way we actually got to eat and have a few minutes to catch our breath. We are both introverts so a few minutes away from the crowd was much needed!

  118. Lily says...

    This blog post makes me happy. The diversity makes me happy. A Cup of jo makes me happy.

  119. Laura says...

    My husband and I planned our wedding in 3 short months. My grandmother’s health was (seemingly) failing, and when my grandfather half-jokingly suggested that we just go ahead and get married so she could attend … we decided to go for it.

    During that pressure-cooker planning phase my pragmatic groom-to-be would often say things like, “It’s going to be an important day, but hopefully not THE BEST one of our lives.” I mean: How. Dare. He. That hurt bridezilla’s feelings.

    But now, 10 years later, I’m going on record to admit that he was right. It wasn’t the best. Meaningful, and the start of a new chapter – absolutely. Memorable, because, among other things, our band vocalist’s hair caught on fire during the maid of honor speech – you bet.

    But, thankfully, not the best. Because … The birth of our boys. Travels together. Career achievements. Family celebrations. The start of this season’s GOT. You know, life.

    The extraordinary and mundane. The better and worse. The best that’s yet to be.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this is such a lovely sentiment, and so good to remember. thank you, laura.

    • Lenae C says...

      “The start of this season’s GOT.” — It’s the little things! (And also, yes! Can’t believe the finale’s already here!)

    • Lindsay says...

      This comment is. THE. BEST. I’m engaged and this is exactly how I feel, but couldn’t put into words. Thank you.

    • Luna GC says...

      Yes to everything!

    • Whitney says...

      Exactly! My sister once asked me what the best day of my life was – and it wasn’t my wedding day. And as you say, not because it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be! But there have been so many more perfect days in life since that day which certainly outrank my wedding as the best days of my life!

    • Kate says...

      Oh I needed this, it’s true! I was thinking about our wedding this morning, just by chance.

      I don’t really remember any beautiful memories of our wedding, my grandmother was incredibly sick, my mum had gone on a crazy diet before the wedding and was starved and crazy, and we had a blow up a month or so before hand. Our friends had back to back weddings in the lead up to our wedding, so I was so conscious of people being bored and making sure I spoke to everyone. My husband had a verrrry late night the night before and was a bit grumpy by the end of the night, which annoyed me. I just didn’t enjoy it, and it went too quickly.

      BUT we had the best time on our simple beachside honeymoon, just me and my husband chilling out. No rubbish. We should have eloped. I regret that we didn’t just shoot off and get hitched and come home happy and in love.

      Ps. The Cup of Jo community is so wise, it’s a warm place!

    • Shannon says...

      Love this! So many beautiful days in a lifetime. A wedding day should be but one of them.

  120. Molly Bentley says...

    Perfect timing just a week and two days from my own wedding! Can’t wait to have my own moment to share.

    I just love COJ’s wedding posts and the comments – they bring me to tears every time.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how exciting, molly!!! you must be on pins and needles :)

  121. Sadie says...

    We got married at city hall in NYC. My husband is french and two days before we got stopped at the Canadian border so it was a rush job even though we were planning on getting married a month later. I got married in the only dress I had on hand, it was pink and my grandmothers from the 60’s. We went to pastis after and sat next to rod stewart who wished us luck and love. When we said our vows my husband said ‘I want’ instead of ‘I do’.

  122. Teree says...

    We had a teeny-tiny wedding, against the wishes of some, and it was perfect for us. We exchanged vows, ate filet mignon, and drank our weight in Gibson martinis. And the got room service because of course we did. #ballers.
    That was 18 years ago, just this past Monday. Marriage for the win!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      happy anniversary, teree!

  123. Em says...

    My husband and I got married outside at a barn, in between two trees. At the end of the night I surprised him..I took him back down by the trees where two of our good friends were waiting to sing “you swept me away” by the avett brothers. There were candles lit and fireflies jumping around, and we danced by moonlight to the song. It was so special.

  124. Betsy says...

    We had a big, traditional wedding and reception, but my favorite moments are the private ones. Wearing our rings and sitting on our front stoop two nights before the wedding, laughing about reapplying deodorant in between the ceremony and dinner, and eating leftover desserts just the two of us in our hotel room after the reception.

  125. Jodi says...

    How much do I love the weddings described in this article??! They are all different but the same in that they seem so personal and real – be still my heart! I especially loved the relatives, puppies, overabundance of tea and home cooked meals described by Re Jin and the down home celebrations described by Anna – Both and Anna and her new husband look absolutely radiant in the photo that accompanies the article – hope that one is framed and on a mantelpiece at home. I’m guessing Anna picked the “Tourmaline” dress by Carol Hannah??

  126. These are beautiful! So many great memories, but I also loved the night before, my partner and I practicing our first dance in a dark field & also the end of the wedding having a quiet beer together with him helping undo my hair and it’s million bobby pins.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, how intimate and lovely. xo

  127. We got married in NYC. When our wedding reception was wrapping up, my husband and I headed outside to hop in the limo my parents had booked to take us to our hotel, but instead of a limo there was an iconic vintage checker cab waiting for us, with “JUST MARRIED” painted on the back windshield. The driver took the scenic route to our hotel, down 5th Ave and through midtown, and the whole ride people kept hooting and hollering and cheering at us. I work in film and the cab had been used in many famous tv and movie scenes. It was such a lovely surprise gift!

  128. JR says...

    Megan, I love your story! So sweet. Tugs at the heartstrings.

    I must ask: is your husband’s name short for anything? My husband and I are considering Mac on our short-list of names if we have a boy! I’ve been trying to think of a “formal” name to go with it (so we can call him Mac for short). Xx

    • Jo says...

      I also married a Mac, short for our last name, Macaulay. He’s never gone by his given name, and I can’t imagine calling him anything else. The little one we’ll be welcoming sometime very soon has been called Baby Mac my whole pregnancy, but will get their own name on the outside! I’ve known both a Maclaren and a Malcolm who go by Mac and love both.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thanks Jorie! Mac is actually his given name, it’s not short for anything. I love it!

    • Sarah says...

      My nephew is Mac, short for MacIntyre!

    • Ellie says...

      I know a Macklin who is called Mac.

    • Anon says...

      Mackenzie!

    • I went to school with a McKinley who went by Mac, which is a nice classic name.
      When we were in our final year of school we got leavers jackets (its an Australian thing) and everyone could choose what name they wanted printed on the back of their jackets and he choose ‘Big Mac’ which we all thought was appropriate as he was so tall.

  129. I’m in tears! My husband and I didn’t have a wedding instead when down to the court, just us. The women working were so excited to be our witnesses! The judge was on the phone ordering lunch when he filled out the paperwork. Which is hilarious and one of my favorite parts of the day.
    Afterwords, my husbands best friend from childhood who happens to be a chef made us an exquisite dinner at his fancy restaurant.
    Weddings are not my thing and our marriage day was perfectly us.

  130. Emma says...

    It’s so hard to pick my favorite moment from my wedding. I was very relaxed and loose about the whole thing leading up to it, but it really was the happiest day of my life. My husband is Canadian and I bought a set of gold maple leaf barrettes for my hair as a surprise. Thinking of his face when he saw those still makes me tear up!

    My advice would be to not feel obligated to do any single tradition. It’s your day! You don’t want to throw the bouquet? Don’t! You don’t want to wear white? Don’t! Be true to YOU (and your partner) and ignore all those pesky “shoulds.”

  131. The best advice I received and the only advice that I pass on is to stick with your new husband or wife throughout the reception. It is so easy to get separated from one another when greeting family and friends. It felt
    right to be able to experience the celebration literally together.

    And a couple favorite moments – we took 10 minutes by ourselves after the ceremony. And when we came back to the party everyone had lined up outside and our friend had rented a food truck for light appetizers before dinner. It was such a great surprise!

    • Jenn says...

      Great advice – I felt like I didn’t see my husband until we got home at 4:00 am and it made me sad. The best advice I received was don’t get drunk, which I am so glad I followed (until the friends-only after party).

  132. Sarah says...

    We had a city hall wedding followed by a boozy brunch with about 30 people. The best part was after, when my husband(!) and I went back to the hotel room and had a quick nap–weddings are tiring!–and then had a nice dinner, just the two of us, at a swanky (read: pricey) restaurant in the city. It was personal and intimate, and we got to decompress from an already awesome day.

    • Celeste says...

      Sounds perfect! I love that it was not a 12hour thing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that sarah!

  133. Mollie says...

    My husband and I were married on a rooftop farm in Brooklyn this summer. My favorite moment? We climbed up a ladder to the water tower between our traditional ceremony and Burmese wedding ceremony. We could see our guests below, the entire city skyline, feel the breeze, and spend the most magical moment together. Then I had to figure out how to gracefully climb down in my wedding dress!

  134. Gen says...

    So many delightful moments: a surprise family member flying in unexpectedly, friends from all different stages and places of my life working together to prep decorations, our friend marching solo down the hill beating a huge drum to kick off the ceremony, our own entrance on a tricycle built for two, my sis-in-law successfully bribing my little niece with the promise of wedding cake to get her to bring us the rings. And then after it was over and we rode off on our trike, our entire set of 100ish guests followed the band like it was the pied piper, across the park to the reception hall – unplanned yet delightfully just right.

    We just celebrated 10 years a couple weeks back, and my 5yo loves hearing the story of our wedding ceremony as a bedtime (or anytime) story. It’s really sweet that something that seems so in the past to me is something she finds interesting enough to request over and over.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a sweet thing about your five year old! the wedding sounds so magical — and i’m sure she loves that!

  135. Omaya says...

    Because we held our ceremony in a sunken amphitheater at our favorite Arizona hiking trail, we were not allowed to “pollute” the preserve with music. I racked my brain for weeks trying to figure out a way to begin the ceremony without someone announcing, “here we go!” I am a professional dancer, and my glorious modern dance company agreed to emerge from the crowd, flashmob style, and perform a movement to a reading of my husband’s favorite poem. It started so subtly, then all at once, everything began, and our guests loved it.

    • Sarah says...

      Oh wow, that sounds so special!

  136. Julie says...

    Best part was when just the two of us went to a (horrible, but we eloped in the Midwest so we just took a chance on it) Japanese restaurant right after the ceremony and had a quiet dinner for two. It’s our favorite thing to do now—although now, it’s usually Sunday breakfast at the cowboy bar in our hometown—just to eat together, happily, quietly, with the newspaper or crossword puzzles.

  137. Christine Hart says...

    I LOVED Gay’s story. So romantic and full of life and love.

  138. Amanda says...

    I always think it’s so sweet when there’s a moment in the ceremony, usually during some special music selection, where the bride and groom connect. You always see them smiling knowingly at each other and maybe chatting a little, and I always wonder what they’re saying……. During my wedding ceremony, while my sisters sang a song, my husband (NOT famous for his attention to detail) noticed that I had changed earrings between our “first look” and the ceremony. I had been wearing antique clip-ons but had lost one at some point, and I told him “Who knows, it’s probably somewhere down there!” (nodding down toward my massive dress)… we both started laughing so hard I almost had to sit down. A couple of years later people still ask what we were talking about! I have the remaining earring in a dish on my dresser and it makes me smile every morning to remember that moment.

    • Carole Bruno says...

      This warmed my heart :) What a great memory!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, amanda, what a cute cute story. :)

  139. Leanne says...

    Oh my goodness, Gay and Mark! A love yours should be celebrated. What a beautiful, incredibly romantic story.

  140. My father in law officiated our ceremony and my brother gave the welcome address … their personal touches made our ceremony unique and deeply personal.

    On a fun note, I asked my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted and I LOVED how it turned out!

  141. Ashley says...

    We had a small bridal party (two each) and none of us lived in the same place at the time — we were literally scattered across the globe. So our one splurge was to rent the lodge where we got married for the whole weekend so we could all spend time together. After the wedding, we put on the football game (we all went to the same college) and drank and laughed. The whole weekend was magical, and a celebration of not only my husband and I, but also the community we had built and maintained together.

  142. Love this post! I’m a floral designer, and I’m still not tired of weddings. Each one is an opportunity to create a snapshot of joy and intimacy. What could be more special than celebrating the creation of a new family with those dearest to your heart?

  143. Can we get a recap of Megan’s wedding or at least see her dress? And i want to see pics of what dress Anna chose too

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Ditto!

    • Haylee says...

      Agree!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! we will be sharing more of megan’s! :)

    • shannon says...

      Agreed on both counts!! Pretty please :)

  144. Cheryl says...

    As an introvert, my favorite part of the wedding night was when everyone went home and I could just be a regular old person again instead of “The Bride!”
    Plus the sex part because we were both stone cold sober and it was not too shabby.