Relationships

‘My Favorite Moment of My Wedding’

Wedding advice from real couples

What was your favorite part of your wedding or other weddings you’ve attended? (I always love the readings.) We asked seven couples to share their highlights, from rainy weather to ordering a pizza…

“After saying our I do’s at the courthouse, we walked through a few neighborhoods to take photos. I suddenly noticed that there was something familiar about a particular block. I tapped Sharon and said, ‘Look, babe, that’s where we went on our first date’ — a restaurant called Barrio Chino. Our witnesses and photographer lit up with joy, as did we. To get a photo on this very special day in front of the place where our story began was truly a special moment for both of us.” — Adrian (and Sharon)

Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff.

Wedding advice from real couples

“We had made plans not to see each other the day of; we wanted to be surprised when walking down the aisle. Still, we did a ‘first touch’ before the ceremony. Hearing him walk down the hall toward me was so exciting. I was beyond giddy. Alex was, in his own words, ‘a sweaty mess.'” — Abbey (and Alex)

Photo by Bailey Quinlan.

Wedding advice from real couples

“We ordered a cheese pizza for the kids at the wedding, and the pizza arriving was the funniest, most unplanned moment. The delivery man enjoyed that he would be forever commemorated in our wedding photos.” — Abbey (and Alex)

Photo by Bailey Quinlan.

Wedding advice from real couples

“We’re two scrappy gals, and we threw a small wedding on a tight budget. We found an Airbnb in upstate New York and bought all Trader Joe’s flowers. A friend let us borrow the string lights and tablecloths from her wedding a few months earlier. For catering, we got a taco truck, and Brazilian and Greek desserts came from our families. We had a small ceremony with family and a few close friends. We all just stood around on the grass and let it happen. If I had any advice to give brides, it would be to do whatever feels right to them. Not every wedding needs a first dance and the cutting of the cake.” — Tasha (and Priscilla)

Photo by Elizabeth Gibbs.

Wedding advice from real couples

“This was Frank’s grandfather’s watch. His grandpa had passed away, but I knew how special he was to Frank, so I wanted him to somehow be there on the day. I asked my mother-in-law to send it to surprise him. He was really crying.” — Maureen (and Frank)

Photo by Luke and Mallory.

Wedding advice from real couples

“We’re not cake people, so we thought it would be fun to have cheese instead. We had chunks at the bar, which people could eat with drinks, and we shaved it onto people’s salads. During dinner, we also cut a slice and fed it to each other, like a real wedding cake!” — Maureen (and Frank)

Photo by Luke and Mallory.

Wedding advice from real couples

“My husband’s ideal wedding was a low-key legal ceremony, while mine was an Indian festivity surrounded by friends and family, so we did both! The courthouse service was officiated by our favorite judge and community hero Anita Crawford-Willis, and witnessed by our parents. I wore my mum’s wedding saree, and it was such an honor to walk in the footsteps of the most marvelous woman I know.” — Sukhie (and Matt)

Photos by Tiarra Sorte.

Wedding advice from real couples

“Afterward we re-interpreted the Hindu ceremony to reflect what it means for us to be an Indian family. Traditionally, a Brahmin priest officiates rituals in Sanskrit over several days; we wanted a 45-minute English service! We asked our dear uncle to officiate, who had the audience in peals of laughter. I translated my favorite marital passages of the Vedas (taking liberties regarding gender roles) and ended up with a ceremony that preserved rituals which have existed for thousands of years, yet still felt true to us.” — Sukhie (and Matt)

Photo by Tiarra Sorte.

Wedding advice from real couples

“In a Jewish wedding, the couple often goes to a quiet area right after the ceremony and has a 15-minute break together to eat snacks and take a breath. We had Trader Joe’s corn nuts and Stumptown cold brew, and I recommend you try them both today if you haven’t. As an introvert and snack-lover, I appreciated that we were able to quietly bask in the glow of being married for a few minutes — just the two of us.” — Brooke (and Boaz)

Photo by Stark Photography.

Wedding advice from real couples

“At one point, I was so frustrated with wedding dress shopping that I ordered a flower girl dress online in the largest size they carried, because it looked cute and was much cheaper and I thought maybe it was a genius idea. It was obviously a bad idea. The company required a phone call for returns, and when the representative asked me if the dress was defective or if it just didn’t work for the child and I said it hadn’t worked for her, and then, because it was nice to talk to someone about it, I added that the child was tired of trying on dresses. ‘She doesn’t have a lot of patience for this,’ I said. After what felt like a lifetime of shopping, I ordered this Needle & Thread dress online. I loved it as soon as I put it on — it was the perfect combination of sparkly, swooshy, comfortable, and never having to wedding dress shop again.” — Brooke (and Boaz)

Photo by Stark Photography.

Wedding advice from real couples

“It rained on our wedding day, right when we were ready for our first look! I remember stressing out about getting my dress wet, but we ended up having so much fun and as a result the photos we took are so much more ‘us.’ We just grabbed an umbrella from the car. When I look back on it, I feel like it couldn’t have been more representative of married life. You have this ideal in your mind that you dream about, but reality is much more unpredictable and not always as rosy — the important thing is to focus on each other. Six years and two children later, I feel like a sunny, styled photo shoot would have been a much less fitting image of the start of our marriage.” — Stephanie (and Matti)

Photo by Mous Lamrabat.

Thank you so much to these beautiful couples!

P.S. More wedding advice, and what would you do differently?

  1. Jen M. says...

    My stepkids’ favorite movie at the time was “The Lego Movie.” We played “Everything is Awesome” before bed every night. We surprised them with the song as our recessional, and the picture from the moment they realized what song was playing is still my favorite picture of the four of us.

  2. Kristen says...

    In the middle of the ceremony, my husband tripped on a stair. Regaining balance, he grasped my hand and ushered us back up the stair. Together, we re-did the stair, to much applause and cheers. What a perfect image of marriage- one person stumbling and both going back for a “redo”.

  3. Gilli says...

    I love all of these!

    It is so hard to pinpoint a favorite of my own wedding…but after the after party, my best friend drove me back to my hotel in his parent’s car- my new husband in the back seat. We even pulled through a drive-thru for a midnight snack. It just felt so normal and happy, and that on such an important day that good things, the important things- like rides home from best friends and the Whataburger drive-thru- would always be there.

  4. Angela says...

    My favorite wedding memory would be considered a cringe-worthy snafu to some people. After renting chairs for our outdoor fall wedding, my husband and his groomsmen spent hours unloading them, wiping them down and setting up the perfect curved arrangement for our 200 guests. My mentor was ordained specifically for the occasion and was emotional throughout. During rehearsal, she told our mothers they should sit down after her greeting and that the guests would follow their lead. BUT no one ever sat. Our wedding guests stood throughout our 21 minute ceremony and I never once noticed. My mom later said that she just felt that she was standing right up there with us. That was perfectly it! It truly felt like we’d asked our closest friends and loved ones to stand up beside us on the biggest day of our lives, chairs be damned!

  5. Our wedding was lovely, with lots of personal moments. We rented a cottage on one of our favorite places (Martha’s Vineyard) and were married on the stone patio in front of the beach. The night before the wedding, two members of the swing band playing the next day came and gave everyone swing dance lessons, which was so much fun. On the wedding day, the sound of children laughing and playing on the beach, the readings by loved ones, the wind and music – it was all magical.
    There was a very funny moment. Late that night when the party was winding down, my sister came downstairs carrying her young son, who had been sleeping. She sheepishly apologized to my husband and me as she informed us that our nephew had wet the bed. We said not to worry and she said, “It was your bed.” Ha! Life happens, even on your wedding night. Nothing that throwing down some towels can’t fix!

  6. Claire says...

    When we got married, I hadn’t seen my fiance for about 36 hours (by design), and when we saw each other as my dad walked me up to him, we both broke out into the biggest smiles, and, even though it was off script, he said, already tearing up, “I can’t wait to kiss you right now.”

    11 years in, this is how it still feels when we see each other.

  7. HVC says...

    Neither my husband nor I felt excited about another on-the-spot moment for our first dance so instead, we invited all our guests to join us! I was skeptical about buy in, but within moments the entire dance floor was packed body to body with our friends and family. We were literally cocooned with their love as we swayed to “everywhere” by fleetwood mac.

  8. Sam says...

    Have you considered writing a post about mixed faith families? I would so love to read about it!

  9. Caitlyn Spell says...

    My dad’s side of the family has a tradition where all the men at the wedding serenade the bride with “Alouette” and “That’s Amore” during the reception. The father of the bride leads the whole gang with exaggerated hands motions and and lots of off-key singing. I felt so surrounded by love in those moments and will never forget how proud my Dad was to be making a fool of himself next to my new husband. I can’t hear “That’s Amore” without tearing up thinking of that moment

  10. damia says...

    Loving all these stories!! One of my fav memories: we got married in PDX and took pictures downtown outside of the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall and other landmarks. When we got there, a late-ish afternoon four Novembers ago, the marquee lights weren’t on, which we’d been warned about by our photographer. Nonetheless we took a number of great pictures until a man ran up to us saying that he saw we were doing our wedding pictures and that they were going to turn the marquee lights on early for us – we just had to wait a few minutes! So sweet & awesome! Love those photos! <3

  11. Steffi says...

    It feels like you ask this question nearly as frequently as the “is your family complete?”/”do you want more kids”-question… it must be popular!

    As I was married this September my memory is still very fresh and I can pinpoint two favorite moments:
    1) We didn’t have a church wedding but a trip to a registry office in my west German home town with around 16 people – close friends and family. From there we all drove to a café for a long lunch, we divided ourselves in four cars. My husbands parents and brother (from out of town!) didnt find the café, they were in their car on their own and had confused the cafés name with another similar named place. They followed google maps to the wrong address – way on the other side of town. They arrived 75 minutes late for our three course lunch. Myself and my whole family and all the friends were concerned, some even a bit irritated. But my husband was really cool about it and sort of said “well, more soup for me then” and told us to go ahead with the meal. When his folks finally arrived we learned that they had stopped to grab some sandwiches on the way, because the detour had made them super hungry.
    It if would have been my family I would have been upset und annoyed. But my husband was sooo relaxed and was like “sorry Dad and bro, I ate your first course” and they themselves were totally unstressed and were laughing abbot the situation. When dessert time came, my mother in law announced that she had made us a special heart shaped cake. And then realized: She had left the cake at the other/the wrong café, which she had walked into carrying the cake. Tata! Hmmph. Oh well!
    Everyone in their family laughed (while my own folks seemed a bit irritated…)
    THATS when I realized how lucky I was to marry into this lovable family: They go with the flow and don’t take things too seriously. It warmed my heart knowing that I am now in an environment that is relaxed with flaws and little accidents :-)))

    2) The second favorite moment took place the next morning, after an epic party. In the evening we had a party with around 100 people. We danced and partied until past seven in the morning and then a close group of 5 people plus the two of us went for a spontaneous breakfast to a nearby park. We grabbed coffees, croissants and cinnamon knots and just flopped onto the lawn. Around us people were having morning run, were taking their dog for a pee or were off to work (even on a Saturday some people work). It was like modern romantic movie, that would soon turn into romcom!: One of our friends had taken some Molly and was still pretty hyper. He began climbing onto a fountain and when a woman police officer came and asked him to come down he started being silly and tried to be flirty. To make a long story short: It didnt go well. The police officer and her colleague “arrested him” and our whole group made its way to the next police station (thinking he would be there). Well… he wasn’t there. They told us which place they had taken him and we all went there in two Ubers. When he exited the building we were all there, cheering and clapping and one friend threw confetti that she still had in her purse . He said he felt as if he had gotten married, not us.

    My husband and I then went home, happy and exhausted. There my parents had decorated everything with flowers and bunting, filled the fridge with delicious goodies and left a note saying that two pros would be arriving at our place for 7pm to treat us to a couples massage. So we went straight to bed (it was past noon and we had been awake since 28 Hours!). We slept a few hours, before we awoke for the massage and a deli-picnic-meal on the living room floor. THATS when I realized: I had never been more happy than that: I had easy going and stress-free inlaws, crazy-fun friends, a highly caring and reliable family of my own PLUS hubby that combines all of those great things in one person. (PLUS he is an awesome and super sexy lover… which he proved once again the next morning, when we had finally cashed up sleep!)

    So that was my story and my two GREAT MOMENTS!

  12. Amy says...

    Where is Abbey’s dress from?!!? I need it!

  13. Whitney says...

    Do you remember the scene in “When Harry Met Sally” when all the older couples talk about how they met and fell in love? My husband surprised me at our wedding by showing a short film featuring our own family love stories. He had interviewed our grandmothers and asked them to tell how they fell in love with our grandpas. What unfolded were romantic tales of blind dates, love letters during the Korean War, and elopements that could have been the plots of movies. I was speechless, bawling (of course), and surer than ever that I had just married my soulmate. And our whole reception was in tears. It’s still the most thoughtful gift I have ever received.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is incredible!

  14. Meghan says...

    I’m not married, but one of my favourite moments from a wedding came when I was a bridesmaid for my best friend. She did a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, where the family members of both family are served tea by the bride and groom in exchange for small gifts and/or marriage advice. Us bridesmaids, and the bride herself, were sort of dreading having to do this because it was after the church ceremony and the photos, but before the reception. We were hungry and rushed and it meant we had to do another outfit change for the bride. Basically we were looking at it as something we just had to get through.

    The groom’s family, on the other hand, is very Caucasian and were so excited for the ceremony. They researched the history and the symbolism of it, spent weeks planning and practicing their advice; they were just so into it.

    Until the day I die I will never forget the groom’s face when his 90-something year old great grandmother pulled him down and loudly whispered in his ear that the secret to a lasting marriage is, “lots and lots of sex”. I swear the poor man almost dumped a teapot of boiling hot tea on her lap!

    • Lucy says...

      Hahahahaha that is hilarious!

      As someone who also had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, it’s refreshing to see something so familiar (that we sometimes take for granted) take on fresh relevance, for lack of a better term, when seen through the eyes of outsiders. In my experience though, the tea ceremony traditionally serves the purpose of allowing the happy couple to formally meet their partner’s extended family members and receive their blessings for their marriage and be formally welcomed into the family. In olden days this was when the elders were served tea by the couple, they would in turn bequeath the couple with gifts such as jewellery — gold bracelets, necklaces, etc — or gifts of cash in red envelopes (ang pow) to set them up for their life together in future. The couple are then also served tea by the younger members of the family — younger siblings, little cousins, etc — in exchange for ang pow as well, to signify and ensure the cycle of blessings remains unbroken.

      For my wedding, because I was the last one to get married and also the first to have a church wedding, my family were so excited to participate in all the church ceremony rituals that were new to them. I got to have my then 4-year-old super adorable niece as my flower girl, and my cutie pie 6-year-old nephew as the ring bearer, and to have my older brother, who’d practically raised me from age 15, walk me down the aisle to give me away. My husband got to pick the music, the witnesses, the friends who would do the readings, etc. Most of the day is a blur to me now but I’ll never forget looking around the church and seeing the faces of all our friends and family, who were there for no other reason than to share in our joy and demonstrate their love for us just by showing up.

  15. Polyana says...

    i am not yet married, but my younger (and only) brother got married a couple months ago, and i think it was more emotional for me than mine will ever be! they both love hip hop, and so his bride walked down the aisle to Chance the Rapper’s Blessings’ reprise (the part that goes “are you ready for your miracle, are you ready for your blessings”) as a surprise to him – everyone started clapping along to the beat, and my brother’s jaw just shook SO much, trying not to cry (spoiler alert, he broke down). he was always a shy, very insecure kid, and so the image of him looking so touched by his beautiful bride walking down the aisle, who has truly been a blessing in his life, helping him become a confident, incredibly kind man – brings me to tears now just replaying the image over again in my mind! i was a bridesmaid, and an absolute mess – i cried from this moment through to the i do’s, and during my speech! haha

  16. Lisa says...

    My wedding was basically planned by Cup of Jo LOL – thats how many good ideas this blog has given me over the years. We had our wedding at Frankie’s (intimate Italian dinner party for 100!) and our after party at the Hoxton and had Ryan Oakes (the mentalist from Jo’s bday party) come and BLOW MY GUESTS MINDS. The whole day exceeded all expectations and guests loved how different it was.

    One of the most special moments of my wedding were the readings – we had our siblings read my husband’s grandparents’ love letters from the war in the 40’s. They were so sweet and sometimes funny (“that Tess, she’s a peach!”) and just really meant a lot to us to my father-in-law who officiated our wedding.

    Anyways, thanks CoJ for all the influencing me always in the best ways :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, your wedding sounds incredible and so personal/heartfelt!

  17. Jessie says...

    I also got married on August 31st!! I love this. We all share something so special forever. Sending love each year to all of you!

  18. Jessie says...

    I just got married on August 31st and had a wedding I truly ENJOYED so much more than I thought possible. 2 favorite moments:
    1. I thought I would be a mushy mess during the ceremony, but instead was so excited, I couldn’t stop smiling! When it came time to say “I dos,” I accidentally said “I do” too early and all of our friends and family laughed because it showed our enthusiasm for each other.
    2. Everyone got ready in our apartment: boys in the dining room, girls in the living room. It felt so fun and relaxed and I kept running in to show my fiance my hair or my make-up and we have so many photos of us laughing and relaxed in our home with our friends. Also, it let us wake up together in our home and have an hour to just relax before the wild of the day began. It made our home feel so much a part of our day!

  19. J says...

    Perhaps I’m alone here, but I’ve found as the years go by and our lives take on different shapes and meaning so do the memories. I’m sure there were things that I felt I would have done differently or moments that made me cringe but do I remember any of them? None. Instead the simple things have taken on new meaning and new favorites appear from the shadows every anniversary.

    We had a very small celebration with our immediate families for a total of 21 people, us included. I did not feel the need to do a lot of the “extras” or even the traditional musts on some peoples list: no cake cutting or first dance. But the one thing I’m so glad I did (and never knew was important until now) was a first look…with my mother. The two of us have had a tempestuous relationship since my teen years but at the time I felt our relationship was as close to perfection as possible. So I took the opportunity to have a minute alone with her, to absorb the day and all that was about to happen, just us two. Now, five years later, my mother has cut off contact , making me an adult orphan essentially . Instead of mourning the loss I choose to look back on that moment and the picture that was taken and see nothing but the pure joy, love and pride on her face as she took mine in her hands. I may not actively feel those things these days but in my heart of hearts I know she is proud of me and there’s love there because a picture really is worth a thousand words.

    • Tamara says...

      This breaks my heart! As the Mother of 3 daughters, I know life can get complicated, but I just can’t imagine what could happen to cut ties and make you a virtual orphan! Life is too short, I hope your Mother comes to that realization and reflects on what you both felt during that first look you shared. Love never ends, you both have to realize LOVE is the essence of your relationship. It was on that day and always will be! I hope both of you can make some compromises and overcome this so things are right again.

  20. Cat says...

    We got married in Perce, Quebec, because we are lucky enough to live on the Gaspe peninsula. After our wedding we all walked to the boat docks where we took our pictures. At one point all the kids started screaming for us to go look. As we bent down, we noticed thousands of tiny white jellyfish floating everywhere. It was magical, because we’ve never seen that in Perce. We felt privileged.

  21. Kristie Dahlia Home says...

    Just before our ceremony, I had an adrenalized white-out, but 22 years ago I didn’t know what that was; I only knew that I had my dress on, it was almost time to walk up the aisle, and I HAD NO IDEA what was supposed to happen next. Months of planning, and my mind was just a blank!

    James and I were dressing on either side of a big, cotton circus-sort-of-tent that we had been loaned. I called out to him in a warbly voice and he reached his hands up over the top of the divider down the middle of the tent, and I reached up mine, and we touched hands, and he said it would be okay. We’d written the ceremony in a book, so it was all just going to happen once we got out there; you only had to read your part and then it told you who to pass it to next. (We had the officiant sit in the audience and only stand to pronounce us by the new surname we’d chosen to take together and say the one line the law required; we stood/sat up front alone together at different portions of the ceremony.)

    As a minister, I now require a ceremony book for the weddings I officiate; passing it hand to hand makes a lovely symbolic action, it makes for a lovely keepsake, it soothes everyone the way it soothed me, and you don’t have photos of folks standing there reading their vows off of a sweat-soaked, rumpled piece of paper. We renew our vows on the 0 anniversaries (just had our 20th!) and add each ceremony to the book; some couples use it as the guest book.

  22. My husband and I are both musicians with lots of musician friends. So instead of hiring a typical band to play for our reception, we invited all of our friends instead to each pick a song or two that they loved to sing or play, hired a set band to back them up, then they took turns with the mic all night long. And oh my goodness — it was the absolute BEST. :) The songs ranged from Etta James to Amos Lee to The Beach Boys, Rihanna, Steve Wonder and beyond. And everyone out on the dance floor had a blast, not knowing quite who or what to expect next. It was so much fun, and we are forever grateful to our talented friends for creating such a memorable (live!) playlist for our special day.

    • Lisa says...

      Wow, what a treat to be at that wedding. Sounds amazing!! This comment might take the cake.

  23. Christina says...

    My favourite moment is that we got married…. Apart from that I mostly want to forget the day. We were young and thought too much about how a wedding should be and hardly at all about what we wanted.
    But I have a favourite moment from the preparations. We both had our clothes made for us, and the tailor that made my husband’s clothes hadn’t worked as a tailor since he moved to Sweden. When his son, who worked in their store renting out wedding clothes, saw what his father was able to sew he was so impressed, and I will always remember the proud look in the father’s/tailor’s eyes :-).

  24. I loved reading these and it instantly made me think of my favorite moment from my own wedding. Well, there are three and not a single one was captured by the photographer or videographer but I treasure them most of all. The first happened before the ceremony – my bridesmaids and I were busy primping for the big event. Suddenly, one of my bridesmaids said she saw my husband-to-be sitting outside by himself. I immediately left the flurry of makeup, music, and hairspray to go be with him; just us two, holding hands in the sun, enjoying the quiet and each other before the buzz of everything to come. I know you aren’t supposed to see each other before the ceremony but I loved the stillness and tenderness of being together in that moment.
    The second happened after our venue closed for the night. There were loads of family and friends who were still up and celebrating with us so, we invited them all back to the main cabin where we enjoyed cocktails, opened gifts, and shared toasts. It was so intimate, loving, and light. I loved the toasts and stories our framily shared that were meant just for us. Many of those that were there still note that it was their favorite way to end the day.
    And the third moment happened even later that night/the morning after. We were scheduled to leave for our honeymoon at 4am. We had barely gotten any sleep from the celebrations at the cabin hours before and it was a wreck when we left it. When we came out to what we thought would be a mess of a scene, it was somehow clean, beautiful, and light. My husband’s best friend cleaned all night, made us breakfast, and left us with a goodbye parade to our car of loving messages written in chalk and lined with our wands used in the ceremony. I was completely stunned to find out he hadn’t slept because he’d been working all night on it to surprise us. It was beautiful, kind, and a moment we still look back on fondly.

  25. VCS says...

    We recently celebrated our first anniversary, and wow, it was really all it’s cracked up to be and more! My favorite moment and most vivid memory of the day was the 10 minutes we spent alone together immediately following the ceremony. We walked out of the ceremony absolutely beaming to the sounds of cheers from all of our loved ones and went straight to the bridal suite where we both burst into tears and hugged – completely overwhelmed with all the emotion of the moment. It was so special and I’m so happy we had this time together. Our awesome wedding planner stocked the room with cocktail party snacks and champagne so we could actually eat – it was just perfect. Second favorite moment was the best, sweatiest, most fun dance party ever. :)

  26. Emily Pellegrino says...

    I just got married this past weekend so this is very present for me! My favorite moment was walking to the ceremony site to get married in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. So many strangers were cheering us on and congratulating us, and as a same sex couple this was really meaningful to us.

    I also loved that my 97 year old Grandma flew in from Long Island to be with us. She was so so happy for me and that meant all the world to me to have her support.

    • kath says...

      i’m crying! wishing you newlyweds (and your grandma) all the best today and always. :))))

  27. Em says...

    I’m not married and I’m not sure if I want a wedding for myself (if the time comes), but I loved this post SO much. So sweet, I love seeing other people happy.

  28. LD says...

    I have two, actually –

    My husband and I grabbed our families for an NYC City Hall wedding and nice lunch after. (I couldn’t handle the stress of a big wedding.) We got married, took photos, and then had some time to kill before lunch. Too bad everyone was starving already! So, we got some hot dogs from a vendor out front. We have a photo of my husband and I “toasting” with our hot dogs outside the court buildings, and even though we had a professional photographer, it’s still my favorite pic of the day.

    The second was, at lunch, my husband’s “sister” (really a family friend who lived with them forever) had ordered a beautiful flourless chocolate cake for our wedding cake that day. It had delicate chocolate meringues on top, dusted with cocoa and gold foil. Really beautiful. But as it sat in the back room of the restaurant as we ate, one of the servers hit it by accident and it SMASHED. ALL. OVER. THE. FLOOR.

    The server was ABSOLUTELY beside herself that she had “ruined our day,” but honestly, she didn’t! My husband and I laughed it off, because we were already married, so what could be ruined? The restaurant DID pull some special favor and get the same exact cake because the bakery was down the street… and paid for drinks and coffees.

    The waitress was so upset that she didn’t want to come out to see us, so before we left, I asked to talk to her, assured her we had a perfect day, and gave her $20 to get a stiff drink or two. She needed it!

    • Kelli says...

      The world needs more people like you – with all that kindness and perspective!

  29. I still tear up thinking about this one moment at our reception. During dinner, I had a brief moment where no one was talking to me, and I just got to look around this big room, filled with people from all different parts of our life, talking and laughing and getting along. I just felt so very humbled that so many people wanted to converge in this one place for no reason other than wanting to celebrate our commitment to each other as a community.

    • Amy says...

      This is perfect! Yes. I felt the exact same way, and it made all of the stress of planning totally worthwhile.

  30. Hannah says...

    Gah, so many of these stories (and comments) make me tear up (with happy tears)!

    My husband and I got married this August and they day was everything I dreamt it to be. Sure, there were minor hickups, but it would be boring without those, right? Picking a favourite moment is really hard, because there were so many great ones. Like our first look – we wanted to have a moment for ourselves before going into the church and so my love waited for me, his back turned until I touched his shoulder. We were both so nervous before and so happy and relieved when we finally saw each other! And then there was this moment, late at night during our outdoor reception, when my husband played “our song” on Spotify and we danced alone in the dark, forgetting the people around us for just one moment… <3

  31. My favorite moment was after the ceremony and the family lunch. My husband and I went back to our apartment and took a nap together on the sofa, gathering energy for the party for our friends that took place at the apartment itself. The thing that made that day even more special is the fact that I was five months pregnant with our son. We actually fell asleep with my husbands hand on my big belly. Aaaaaahhhhh, still tear up when I think of it.

  32. Zoe says...

    I have two!
    1. The week before my wedding, most specifically the night before my rehearsal dinner. We had hired a lady to make our cake but unfortunately the week of the wedding she had a very valid family emergency and was unable to do the cake any longer. So that day, we called up some of my bridesmaids and they and their moms (our families are all very close) came over to my parents’ house and we spend the evening making cupcakes for the wedding. It was an amazing night spent with my closest friends, laughing and reminiscing over the past decade we’d all known each other.
    2. My husband and I were in a college choir together- it’s really the reason we became so close and started dating in the first place. It’s tradition at any “choir wedding” for the members of the choir in attendance to circle around the couple and sing a traditional prayer song, a well-wish of sorts (we would also sing that song in the choir at the end of every concert). Standing in the middle of that circle with my husband surrounded by some of our closest mutual friends singing so sincerely to us took my breath away and it was the only time I cried the entire day. It’s one of my favorite memories of my entire life.

    • Ashley Wilson says...

      THESE. ARE. LOVELY!! I can only imagine how showered with love you felt, both times!! I have a handful of “perfect moments” in my life where I felt the Universe had absolutely aligned and given me a gift — that’s what I imagined your choir moment as :)

    • Gretchen says...

      My fiancé and I met in college choir, too! And we also had a special closing prayer song at the end of every concert. We are trying to involve as many of our music friends as possible in our ceremony. This makes me so happy!

  33. Mandy says...

    My favorite moment was during the last song of the night at our reception. My husband and I had chosen Stairway to Heaven – partly as a joke because it was always the last song played at school dances when we were growing up.

    Midway through the song my friend broke in and started dancing with me and my husband. At first I was annoyed because it was a nice intimate last moment of the wedding for me and my husband. But then all the guests joined in and we were linked hand in hand in this big circle belting out the lyrics. It was such a great ending to our lovely wedding.

  34. Jessica Melindy says...

    Non-wedding comment – would it be possible to see more of the kitchen from the second couple’s story? I love the look of the green mixed with the copper sink!

  35. My father-in-law’s best friend officiated our wedding. During the ceremony he described knowing my husband his whole life and said he’d always known Joel as “a compassionate lover… [long pause] …of animals”. It was a nod to my husband being a vegetarian, but the well timed pause had everyone in hysterics.

  36. Savannah says...

    We stayed in the one hotel in our town on our wedding night because we had a brunch the next day with family before we left for our honeymoon. We booked their fanciest room (read: not that fancy) on the top floor in the corner. In the last six months we’ve found out that basically everyone we know has stayed there for an anniversary, the first time away from a baby, or just a date night! We joke that we should have carved our initials in the headboard. Instead of mild horror that we’ve all gotten laid in the same bed I feel a weird sense of camaraderie with dear friends who are all trying to make a go of this wonderful and difficult being married.

    My husband is eagerly awaiting when our daughters are old enough to be embarrassed when we drive by and he tells them we had sex there once, in that room on the corner, many years ago.

  37. m says...

    One of my very favorite moments from my wedding day was long after the photographer left. We parked the car in the garage attached to the hotel we were staying the night, then walked through the hotel to get to the front desk. We passed by so many areas-the bar patrons all spontaneously started clapping for us, a movie had just let out of the theater and all those parts started clapping for us. We also had to pass by several large ballrooms and got applause from them! At one point three girls came up and hugged me so hard my husband thought they were friends of mine. Nope, total strangers. It was a magical ending to a fantastic day.

  38. LG says...

    Our wedding singer’s hair caught on fire during my sisters’ sentimental, sweet joint maid of honor speech. Just, WOOSH, up in flames. She was sporting a professional amount of hairspray and had unwittingly backed up too close to a candle. My poor middle sister had just used the restroom minutes before the speech, and when she heard the crowd’s collective gasp as she turned to face my new husband and me, she panicked, thinking she had inadvertently tucked her dress into her skirt. She had not. It was fire. Our rockstar singer took a short break — my mom missed the rest of the speeches as she pinched singed clumps of hair from her head — and RETURNED TO THE STAGE. She was incredible. It smelled like burnt hair the rest of the evening — 12 anniversaries later and we are still laughing about it.

    • June says...

      I’m sorry, but how has no one commented on this?! I was LOL as I read this out loud to my husband.

  39. Zsuzsanna says...

    The best? The end. When we were finally at home, and I couldctake off those uncomfortable bra, pentyhose, brush my hair and switxh to pijama.

  40. Such a fun question! We set a strict budget for ourselves ($2,000) to help us save for our first house as well as challenge ourselves to eschew the Wedding Industrial Complex and make our wedding meaningful and memorable with sincerity rather than money. As part of it, we asked our friends to cook with us in the hours before the wedding. It was such a relaxing afternoon of chopping and laughing.

  41. JL says...

    During most of the wedding and the reception I was having an out of body experience as if I was watching myself get married. But the one thing that brought me back was my husband, who turned to me and said “this is the best day ever. “ Just to see how happy he was to be there with me and all our family and friends made me feel like everything was so real and so full of love. One other was going into the kitchen and thanking the staff for all their hard work. I’m glad we could do little things like that for people who worked so hard for us.

  42. Kirsten says...

    What a fun question – it’s so hard to pick one! I remember getting home at 1am after helping clean up the last of our party, just more exhausted and exhilarated than I have ever felt, and sitting on the floor with my husband just devouring a box of spicy chicken because we didn’t actually have time to eat during the wedding. It was the best.

    Another one of my favorite moments was when our incredibly embarrassed and freaked out catering person came up to me during the reception to tell us that my husband’s grandpa and his elderly uncle squad had cut into our wedding cake! To be fair we had a potluck of desserts with one small cake and I guess they figured all was fair game during happy hour. I think she thought I would completely lose my mind but it is one of my funniest memories.

  43. Hali says...

    My cousin is distant homies with Fatboy Slim and asked him to record a video wishing us a happy wedding. So Fatboy sang to us from an ipad behind the DJ booth as a surprise during the reception. The photographer captured that moment so perfectly- with my husband covering his face in disbelief and me peering into the ipad like it was a crystal ball. “Praise You” was our recessional, so it really did feel like an epic moment to us. I just beam thinking about how surprised and overwhelmed in that moment.

    My mom coordinated a flashmob to ABBA’s Dancing Queen that everyone was in on but me. Guests from all over the globe learned a dance from youtube and practiced at my mom’s house the week of the wedding. Now whenever that song comes on everyone starts doing the dance again. It’s happened so often, I’ve learned half the dance! (we’re big abba people)

    At 1am the DJ turned the speakers towards the ocean and everyone RUSHED into the sea as Tubthumping blasted out of the tent. It was dark and drunk and so, so fun.

    It was such an epic day! Has anyone ever had a wedding reunion? I’m seriously considering it… no emphasis on my husband and I- just the same playlist, guestlist, venue, drinks, and menu.

    • Pam says...

      This is all amazing. Yes, do a reunion! Never enough reasons for dance parties and cake and friends and family.

    • Janna says...

      Wow, a wedding reunion seems like such a fantastic idea! Much cooler than a vow renewal in my opnion, because it’s the celebration of a day, a group, a moment in time that was really great instead of giving off a do-over-vibe.

      It’s also really inspiring for the planning: My first thought was “Jesus, imagine having to be in the same room again with so many people that you had to invite because of reasons” and then it occured to me: We should all plan weddings that we’d want a reunion for! No horrible compromises, no guests that you don’t really want to see. Just a damn great day that is enjoyable.

      Thank you for your great post :)

  44. RK says...

    My wedding was a little over a year ago. We’re both in school, didn’t want to spend the time planning a wedding or the money hosting it. It was a pain to plan and we spent money though we stayed in budget with a HUGE amount of help from friends and family. And guess what? It was worth it. Sure, we’d do a million things differently but we’re amazed that it was a milestone for us but also for our loved ones; they got to see people the hadn’t seen in *decades*, meet new people, make new friends. People still tell us how much fun they had at it or funny stories of things that had happened during the day. That has been the best part of our wedding; reminiscing on the day with loved ones and the unexpected joy of this shared memory.

  45. ana says...

    I knew I didn’t want to do an “exit,” so after the band stopped playing and the buses left, there were still a few stragglers. For some reason the bar continued to serve us even as vendors were breaking the party down all around us. We walked through the almost-empty ballroom stopping to thank the vendors who had worked so hard. When we got to the exit our best friends and parents (the remaining stragglers!) formed a little tunnel and cheered as we got into the car. I remember waving to them as my husband and I sat alone and just feeling so happy and thankful. It’s funny that the part I didn’t want ended up being my favorite! But I loved that it wasn’t planned or staged for photos it was just natural!

    • Jo says...

      Love this!

  46. michaela says...

    I have so many favorite moments from our wedding day that I didn’t witness, but heard about after—my new sister-in-law helping my grandmother dress and put on her jewelry, my husband’s oldest childhood friend helping our fathers pin on their boutonnieres. :) I get the warm fuzzies picturing these moments and how they perfectly encapsulate the way our friends and family came together to surround us, and the people we love, with love on that day.

  47. maria says...

    I’m not sure what my most favorite moment was (it’s so long ago! 27 years! yikes!) but one of the most memorable/meaningful was this: normally the bride dances with her father, but my beloved father died 4 months earlier. my husband’s mother died a few months after we first started dating (5 years before our wedding day). so instead of dancing with my father, i danced with my newly minted father-in-law and my husband danced with my mother, and it was to the duet nat king cole and natalie cole singing “unforgettable” – needless to say, a lot of tears flowed during that dance. it was so beautiful to dedicate that song, and that dance, to their memories.

    • Ashley says...

      Absolutely love, Maria. What a BEAUTIFUL way to honor & bring in those you lost but loved still. I am crying thinking about it.

    • Maria says...

      Ashley – thank you for that. And thank you to CoJ for making me think of it again, now – so many years later. Of course I’ve thought of it many, many times over the years but it’s been quite a while, so it was good to recall it once more. So many good stories out there amongst all us “regular folks” – just always so awesome to read, share and simply remember.

  48. JB says...

    My most memorable moment of my wedding was actually the-night-before-the-night-before. Before we parted ways to spend the night with our groomsmen/bridesmaids, we lay under our duvet and read our vows aloud to each other. Our vows were really personal, and while I was happy to share them with family and friends, I wanted to have that moment of first hearing his and him hearing mine together, alone. It was perfect and allowed us to laugh and ugly cry and blow our booger-y noses at home, and then laugh and smile and be totally present (rather than totally undone!) during the main event, all the while knowing we’d had that personal and private rehearsal.

  49. My wife and I showed up to the courthouse during their 1.5 hour lunch break- which we had totally missed on the website. We walked around downtown Chicago and ended up in a bar we would never have otherwise gone to. Our server was a grump, but another server overheard us say we were about to get married and sent over champagne with strawberries and chatted us up about our plans until marriage court was open again. It was so sweet and unplanned- we sent the bar a thank you note afterwards!

  50. KC says...

    These memories are all so beautiful! My husband and I just celebrated a year and a half of marriage. We recently spent an evening reminiscing about our wedding day, and have two favorite moments. During our ceremony, my normally stoic husband completely struggled reading the beautiful vows he had written for me, trying not to cry. I read mine second, and really had to work to not tear up. Right after the vows we did our unity ceremony and tied a fisherman’s knot. We were both still emotional, and concentrating hard on the knot, when all of the sudden, our DJ starts playing music from Braveheart out of nowhere! We’d requested no music be played then, and we have no clue where he got this idea (he was incredible otherwise), and we just totally started laughing in front of everyone! People thought we had an issue with the knot, but nope! Our second favorite memory was the last song of the night, which our DJ started as a last dance for us alone, and everyone sort of gathered around us in a circle, and rushed us at the end for a gigantic, 100+ person group hug. So much love!

  51. Abesha1 says...

    Best moment was realizing everyone in that room was there because they loved us… it’s a rare moment in life. Our own birth, maybe, but we don’t get to remember that!

  52. SARAH says...

    Favorite moments from my divorce, anyone?? AMIRIGHT

    • KTM says...

      I hear you, sister. Took me a long time not to feel blinding rage at every FB or blog post about weddings I accidentally happened upon. Ten years later, married again and with a child from this marriage, I can look back on that first wedding day with some fondness for the beautiful day that it was, despite how things ended.

    • Ana D says...

      I would love that divorce blog post as much as I loved this wedding blog post.

    • A says...

      I’m not at the stage post-divorce that i have anything resembling “Favorite moment” — I mean, it’s the worst thing that has happened to me so far … BUT, after reading all these happy wedding stories and getting sad, THIS comment made me laugh … so thanks for that!

  53. Staci says...

    I got married last year in a small courthouse ceremony, and I’ll forever cherish it. There was a disco light in the room before you went to see the judge, and it made us laugh so much. I got teary when I saw that my friends had pulled my godkids out of school so they could come to the wedding. And I got chills when the judge had us exchange rings – I will forever remember that moment as if the two of us were bathed in light. We couldn’t stop smiling!

  54. Kaitlyn says...

    Oh wow, these are all such lovely stories! My husband and I got married a little over two years ago and it was really important to both of us to write our own vows. Reading my vows to my husband and hearing his read to me in the middle of a garden in the woods has got to be one of the most beautiful moments of my life. My second most favorite moment was when we were introduced into our reception. My husband and I didn’t plan how we would enter and when our entrance song started, he clutched my hand and starting running, weaving his way through the tables, jumping up and down and high-fiving anyone and everyone in his path. When I look back at photos from that moment, we just look so happy! Happy to be married and surrounded by all those we love.

  55. Annie says...

    Could you do a post on long-term couples who have chosen not to get married (for now)? Or one where couples weigh in on the arrangement that suits them, whether that’s marriage, a civil partnership or no formal agreement? I’m in a happy relationship but have reservations about the concept of marriage (or at least, a woman’s “traditional” role in it).

    • AL says...

      https://cupofjo.com/2019/09/one-couples-conjoined-homes/

      I really enjoyed the comments on this post and it opened my eyes to exploring all the different ways couples make being a couple work for them. I’d say you are in the right place to hear some modern ideas about love and marriage!

  56. Elle says...

    One of my favorite things from our wedding actually came after the wedding. Our videographer had gone around the reception asking if people wanted to leave a little video message for the bride and groom…at the time, I remember not thinking much of it and on the day, of course, I wasn’t paying attention. When we got our video back, there was a whole section of these little messages that were everything – sweet (parents smiling with joy), hilarious (couples arguing over who should speak, not knowing the camera was running), scandalous (grandparents alluding to honeymoon nights). My husband and I were in happy tears by the end of it.

  57. Hannah says...

    We eloped four days after getting engaged, which happened to be the day after Christmas. We had announced our engagement, but hadn’t told anyone our plans. My then fiancé woke up his Mom who was visiting from Puerto Rico and said, “I am going to marry Hannah!” And she responded, “I know,” but then he surprised her by saying, “no, I am going to marry her TODAY.” She was so surprised that she forgot to put on shoes and, as our only guest, wore slippers to the church. What a trooper she was to walk through the snow slipper-clad and pick something to read during the ceremony, completely on the spot!

    • Lauren E. says...

      This is so cute.

  58. Nicole says...

    Ahhh! I’m getting married in 9 days and cannot wait to see how our wedding day plays out! I’m so excited to see everything come to life. I just want it to be here already, ha!

    • danni says...

      congratulations to you! it will be a sweet relief to be done with the planning and to get to soak up all the magic you created. i got married a few months ago, and at one point in the evening my mom asked if it felt like i was in a dream – i was happy to tell her no, i’m fully present and feeling every moment! i wish you the same.

    • Megan says...

      I am also getting married next Saturday and this post is making me so excited and emotional! It’s a really nice reminder of what it’s all about amid all the last-minute logistics!

    • Nicole says...

      Thank you Danni :) That’s really what I am hoping for!

  59. Elly says...

    We’ve been married a year and a half now. My husband is German, so we got married in Berlin, and had what we thought was the bad luck of getting a Germany group stage game scheduled right during our reception. From past experience (seriously, there was a World Cup game on during his uncle’s wedding years earlier), my husband knew that we couldn’t keep the guests from the game. So we decided to embrace it instead! We bought German flags and leis, and when it was time for the game it was put on in the bar area. By the end of the nail-biter of a game everyone was crowded in the bar watching, and the photos of our guests when Germany squeaked to victory are insanely hilarious. Just pure joy and elation on every face, high-fives going all around, my very serious German father-in-law wearing a lei…And after that, everyone was in the best mood to keep partying!

    Just proves that what you might be afraid of can end up absolutely MAKING the party!

  60. Beck says...

    Sweetest post! My favorite part for my wedding was ….well, 2 things. One was that my husband took time during our ceremony to perform an instrumental on guitar he had composed for his grandmother, who had passed away a month before. (His grandfather officiated the wedding, so it was extra meaningful!) Second favorite thing was seeing some of my friends take off their shoes and go crazy dancing, especially because we had a morning wedding. Bloody Marys + barefoot dancing before noon…good times!

  61. Mandy says...

    I’ve narrowed it down to three.
    1. We took Dan Savage’s advice to **ahem** do it first. By the end of the night you’re so tired, but first thing in the morning on the best day of your life? You can make it happen! We spent the night together in our fancy hotel room, I pre-ordered room service, and we were able to wake up and start the day together, although room service interrupted ;) We also exchanged our gifts, and I was able to wear the necklace he gave me all day getting ready.

    2. My husband spent a year making a custom movie trailer introducing us. So while everyone had sat down to their salad, we stood at the top of the stairs while everyone watched our intro video, which featured all of our favorite love scenes and dance scenes in movies. We’re massive movie lovers, and this felt way more personal than having the bandleader do it. It also helped hype everyone up for lively conversation over the family-style meal.

    3. We did our last dance by ourselves. Everyone else headed outside to get their sparklers for our exit (I wasn’t pro-sparkler, but it came with our package and if you’re on the fence, do it!). While they were outside, the band played “New York, New York” for a private dance. We cried, laughed, we held the hope in our hearts that we would be moving to NYC the next year (and we did!) and now have lovely photos of just us alone in the room clinging to each other for those last precious moments.

  62. Anna says...

    We got married in May. I thought I was four weeks away from giving birth (turned out it was two, yay planning!). During the ceremony our best friend, a pianist, played Arabesque no 1 by Debussy and the baby, who had been quite low-key up until then, started kicking. We sat listening to our friend play, holding hands, watching the rays of the sun through the church windows with our families and best friends there and it was one of the most profound moments of my life.

  63. KP says...

    Parts of our day were pretty stressful and busy, but there are a handful of sweet moments that really stick out:

    1. Our wedding was on my parents’ acreage, and the bridal party and myself all waited in the house until we walked out and directly down the aisle. Somewhere along the way, my mom’s cranky old mini schnauzer got out of the house and went for a wander. Just as I reached the back of the aisle to start my entrance, the little dog saunters up the aisle towards me stealing the show. Everyone thought it was hilarious. I was so annoyed at the time but now I look back and also find it a hoot. She passed not long after so the photos of her walking down the aisle with my dad and I are pretty sweet.

    2. We had a live band for the dance, and during one of the breaks, we were chatting with the members. The drummer heard that I hadn’t yet tried the late night snack – tacos! – and he ran over to the food area and dished me a big plate of them! It was so funny but also so nice to be cared for. I bet I wouldn’t have had a chance to eat them otherwise!

  64. NicOla says...

    My dad died when I was 25, which means the father daughter dance is always a hard thing for me to watch at weddings. For our wedding I suggested to my husband we hit the dancefloor in honour of my dad- he was supportive but a bit unsure as to whether it would work, but our friend the MC assured us he could make it happen. After some wonderful (but very emotional) speeches, the sight of all our closest friends and family pouring onto the dancefloor and tearing it up to The Black Keys (a favourite of my late dad) is one of my most treasured memories.

  65. BG says...

    I love these stories. Weddings are the BEST. But, because the CoJ comments section has always felt like such a safe place, I just want to share. My husband of 16 years and I are separating… I’m moving into my own place next week and I am so angry and sad and I’m trying really hard not to be afraid. I’ve never adulted on my own before. And now I’m thinking about my own beloved wedding story and am feeling such a loss… do I still get to tell the story? Is it still mine to tell, or is it a memory belonging to a different time and person? I don’t know how to articulate this grief I’m feeling except to say that it’s so painful.

    • Kari says...

      BG, I am so sorry you’re going through this right now. I can only imagine how hard it is. Yes, you absolutely get to tell your wedding stories still. Those memories are still yours and your current situation doesn’t necessarily have to trump the good memories and moments. They’re yours to hold however you want. Sending you love and peace.

    • Jennie says...

      You absolutely get to the tell your wedding story however you want to at any time. AND I predict how you tell it will change over the years and that is perfectly fine too. This is a part of your truth and you get to fully own it.

      On another note….I am sending you good feelings that when you get into your new space at least one part of it will click and feel right.

      Remember feeling lonely and being alone are too different things. And while I am sure right now you are feeling both. Being alone does not necessarily equate to loneliness. I wish you well as you move to this next journey in your life.

    • Amelia says...

      I was just thinking as I read the comment from Eli below about now being separated and on the way to divorce, but still fondly remembering the wedding, how touching I find it that people whose marriages are ending still can think back with fondness on the good parts. My view is that you absolutely should not let the good parts fade or be tarnished in any way just because the marriage is ending. They are still good. They are still real. When my dear sister was realizing that her long term relationship was ending, and she was devastated, her therapist told her not to think of the relationship as a failure. It had been good and was the right thing at the time it happened, but now it had run it’s course. That’s all. The fact that it wasn’t forever didn’t detract from the value it had at one time in her life. I share that with you in case it’s helpful. I am sorry you are in a painful place now and wish you courage and pride in what you’re going to accomplish next. Good luck!

    • Jenny says...

      BG, I am truly sorry you’re going through something so painful❤️

    • Christi says...

      Oh, BG, I’m so sorry! I’m sure you are grieving this. Your stories are yours! You get to decide what you want to do with them. It was an important part of your life, and I absolutely believe that you should continue to celebrate the parts that you remember fondly.

      Regarding adulting on your own…. you will do SO GREAT. I’m sure it’s scary, but it can also be exhilarating. In moments when you feel alone, reach out to a friend. Send a little text or make a phone call. Take a bubble bath and drink a glass of wine or cup of tea. Think about how peaceful it is in your own company. There’s no one to argue with. Get a little messy if you want! Throw your clothes around your bedroom while deciding what to wear. No one cares if they’re picked up. Eat popcorn and string cheese for dinner. Or chips and salsa. Or go to the deli and buy a big steak and cook it up for yourself and ENJOY. Do ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ in the middle of your living room. Go for a long walk with a good podcast in your ears.

      Whatever you want to do, in that moment, do it. And enjoy it with careful deliberation – keep reminding yourself of your bravery and intelligence. Give yourself compliments. Check out your booty in the mirror.

      Sending you love! xo

    • alexis says...

      Sending you lots of hugs and healing thoughts, BG <3 you are stronger than you know.

    • Elisabeth says...

      I’m so sorry .
      This is going to be hard, but you CAN do it. You WILL do it.
      And your story is always yours to tell. Always.

    • Rebecca says...

      I’m so sorry, BG. What you are going through feels impossible now but hang on tight. Like so many experiences in life, you’re about to go through a rebirth. You will still be you but better. Your memories are still yours to hold dear and share or not share. Nothing will change that your past is still your story.

    • celeste says...

      Sending you hugs from afar. As you settle in your new life, you can decide what elements you want to take with you. And therapy always helps too. xoxo.

    • Alissa says...

      I love that you shared this because yes, this does feel like such a safe place to share pain with others. I don’t have any answers but wanted to validate how confusing it must be to think about your own memories and wonder if they still belong to you and what it means now that your relationship is in a different place. I also was just thinking about how I’m having a very hard day myself (bit of depression, I imagine) and that there’s some comfort in knowing there must be others in the world having their own hard days. Like maybe I’m not the only one crying uncontrollably at noon and feeling unsure that life will feel better, but trudging through nonetheless. That’s all to say, you’re not alone in feeling pain. Wishing you the best. xoxo

    • Sarah says...

      It’s still your story. Full stop. You lived it. You can talk about it. And you’ll get more stories in the future. Best wishes and virtual hugs to you as you embark on this new chapter.

    • A says...

      I’m with you. I hear you. I’ve been where you are and am still getting past it. You will, too, even if it feels impossible. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    • BG says...

      Thank you so much to everyone who took time to respond the other day. Reading your comments was a salve to my heart. As a matter of cat, I’m printing out the thread so I can re-read your words on rough days. This community is the BEST.

  66. Kelli says...

    Abbey and Alex just made my day. So cute.

    • Leanne says...

      I want to see a home tour of this space!

  67. LS says...

    I love this question! My now husband and I both have two left feet, so we spent weeks practicing a simple first dance and everything went perfectly — until the last moment when I got cocky and whispered in his ear, “Dip me.” A few seconds later, I remembered I don’t actually know how to dance while I pulled my new spouse down with me as I fell to the floor. Our photographer tried to leave the evidence out of our wedding album, but I insisted she make room.

    I’m looking forward to telling our kids about “the time Daddy dropped Mommy” one day, and more seriously, I love the symbolism behind it. To me, the best part of marriage is having someone to laugh with when you’re down and help you get back up again when you need it.

    Here’s the pic that made it into our album, if you’d like to see: https://bit.ly/33y8swc

    • Kari says...

      omg LS that photo is EPIC. Thank you for sharing!! :)

    • Sarah says...

      This made my day and I am snorting with laughter.

    • Nicola says...

      Omg my husband nearly dropped me as well! Then when he recovered and I was standing again he did a fist pump (like the Breakfast Club final moment) which has made for one of my favourite wedding photos of us.

  68. The cheese wheel was such a cool idea!!

    I just celebrated 5 years with my husband in October. My favorite part of our wedding day was coming back from our reception which ended at 3pm and taking our first family photo with our then 3-month old Boston Terrier in our wedding attire in front of our apartment. It’s my favorite photo from our wedding day.

  69. We got married three weeks ago! Besides her amazing sister and brother-in-law, my wife’s family is adamantly against same-sex marriage. The months leading up to the wedding were painful as we repeatedly received RSVPs marked ‘no’ along with long lectures by phone or email rationalizing their decision not to come. We worried all of this would impact our day, but neither of us noticed their absence one bit. One of my favorite parts was walking down the aisle (to Noah Reid’s version of “Simply The Best” as seen in Schitt’s Creek) and because I was SO nervous to actually make eye contact with my wife, knowing I would burst into tears and wouldn’t be able to stop crying, I held my dad’s arm very tightly and looked at nearly everyone in attendance instead of her. It floored me to see all the people in our lives looking back at me with tears and wide smiles and love, from my oldest relatives to the youngest kiddos. During the ceremony when I needed to collect myself in order to speak (I can’t speak while crying, it’s just a thing) I’d look just to the right of my wife and admire my cousin’s newest baby. He was the cutest distraction.

    • Claire says...

      The hurtful comments on your RSVP cards and from guests you’d thought to invite breaks my heart. I’m so happy you were able to enjoy your wedding with people who love you and your new wife. Congratulations and I wish you both many happy years ahead!

  70. Susan H. says...

    We were married on a cruise ship docked in San Francisco, with 180 guests at a reception in the ship’s lounge overlooking the City. Later that evening the ship departed for Mexico with us, and 16 friends and family along on the cruise. My favorite moment was sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, around 11 pm, watching the lights of the City from the upper deck with our friends by our sides.

  71. Laurel says...

    Beautiful. These posts always make me teary. I’ve got my own story and it’s so good to be reminded of our day. Thank you ❤️

  72. Emily says...

    I’m gonna need details on everyone’s dresses! Seriously– gorgeous! Signed, a lifelong Say Yes to the Dress Watcher

  73. Kristin says...

    I got up to go to the bathroom and, when I came back, I stood in the back of the reception room for a few minutes while the dinner was going on. The lights were low and everyone was busy eating so no one saw me. It was a rare moment of not being the center of attention. I remember seeing my husband at our table full of my dearest friends in a room full of people who loved me, and the empty chair beside him that was meant for me. It brought tears to my eyes. There, right in front of me, was the place where I belonged.

    • Isadora says...

      This is so lovely.

    • jules says...

      So perfect – I did the same thing. So many people suggested taking time aside with your new spouse to just look (which obvs is important too) but I made sure to just take a little bit by myself that day to go into a more quiet area to just look. I spent so much time making floral chandeliers and planning all the details that I wanted to just enjoy them all a little and really see the love. I got some cookies from our cookie table (Pittsburgh Yinzer thing) and sat in the rocking chairs we brought and just enjoyed 5 minutes by myself watching everyone. It was so perfect and brought me back down to earth to enjoy it. But then Dolly’s 9 to 5 came on and I had to get back out there!!

  74. Maranda says...

    We are celebrating 6 months of being married in a few days! I know everyone says this, but our wedding day was so perfect in my eyes. We had a few small hiccups (our officiant didn’t cue people to sit down after I walked down the aisle so people were awkwardly standing during a majority of the ceremony lol), but so many other things went so right.

    Here are my top 3 favorite moments:
    1) Getting ready in the morning. I had a bridal party of five and my husband and I decided to not do a first look. Getting our hair and makeup done while listening to music and drinking mimosas was such a fun and stress-free way to start the day.
    2. Our last song. When the DJ was getting ready to play the final song of the night, we got up as a couple to say thank you to all our guests. We asked everyone to come out on the dance floor to share this last epic celebration with us. It was so fun getting to dance with everyone and the photos are the best!
    3. Having an after party was so worth it! You are so busy during the wedding and you hardly have a moment to actually spend time with your guests. We had our after party at a local bar and I loved getting to spend quality time with guests that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to chat with.

  75. Becka says...

    We had two weddings, a year apart.

    In 2018, after being together for over twelve years, we “made it official” mostly because I had been laid off by big mean corporation and lost my health insurance, so it was fastest/easiest to get on his as a spouse. My mom and stepfather, his sister and her partner, and our oldest step/daughter were the only guests (oh and our dog!). The justice of the peace came and married us in our backyard. We all went to a steakhouse for dinner then came back to cut a small cake at our house. But not before I changed into my super fancy sequin athletic stripe pajamas.

    In 2019, we had a party. Both step/daughters came home, his sister, and my best friend were at the house before the party started. My husband was beside himself with nerves which he was not expressing particularly nicely. Us five women came up with a plan to have a shot of Limoncello. We didn’t tell him why, but the six of us had a shot and the rest of the day and night went perfectly. And five of us now have total confidence in Limoncello solving any issue. Plus it’s delicious. Bonus!

  76. E says...

    I’m quite single at the moment but love reading all of these and dreaming of my (hopefully!) future wedding! I hope my wedding will be as love-filled and joyful as these ones were…so many weddings I’ve been to felt rather limp and exhausted instead of being the marvelous celebration of life that weddings/elopements are in theory.

  77. Heather D. says...

    My favorite wedding memory was driving off after the ceremony in our “Just Married” car with cans clanging and realizing we were STARVING! In the rush of the day, we left without any money/documentation. We scrounged up $2 in the car, so we stopped at a McDonalds drive thru in our wedding wear for two cheeseburgers and waters. Happy memory.

    • Kristin says...

      We did the same thing!!!

  78. Lauren E. says...

    It was so cute of me to think I’d make it through this post without crying.

    One of my favorite moments from my wedding was dinner – we rented a huge villa in the Roman countryside for our 25 guests and as the caterer started carrying out huge platters of pastas, salads, and meat, it started to downpour. The sky was this gorgeous mix of violets and indigos and we were all tucked under a covering outside, sort of getting sprayed with rain but not really minding because the food was so unbelievably delicious. After dinner, the rain totally cleared up and we danced outside in the grass. It remains the most magical day of my whole life.

    • Em says...

      This sounds amazing!! Beautiful image, thanks for sharing :)

  79. Blair says...

    I was married 10 years ago in May, we had a huge black tie affair under twinkle lights on the side of a mountain. It was epic! If it weren’t for the cost I’d do it every anniversary. So many precious memories, I dance with my great gran, she was an amazing dancer, taught my dad and me to ballroom dance. She was 100 at the time and the memory and pictures are so precious to me. Having my friends fly in from around the world to stand at my side, the speeches oh the speeches. The walk down the isle with my dad, he’s my favorite, and of course my dances with both my dad and husband. Music is huge to my husband and I and they just really stood out. I don’t think I have ever felt so much love and happiness for so much time …

  80. K says...

    We once went to a couple’s PhD graduation party. About 30 minutes in, they stood up to thank everyone for coming, took off their robes to reveal a white dress and suit, and announced that the party was actually a surprise wedding!! They immediately called people up to be bridesmaids and groomsmen…that moment of total confusion for the wedding party and complete delight for the couple was priceless.

    The bride’s family lives all over the world and when they realized that everyone was able to come for the party, they decided they had to turn it into a wedding. It was awesome.

  81. Lauren says...

    As the bride you don’t really see what happens before you come down the aisle. One of my friends commented on the beauty of our bridal/groom parties. My “bridal” party was my two brothers, sister in law and friend that set my husband and I up. And my brother in law has spina bifida and my best friend has cerebral palsy.my friend told me it was so beautiful to watch them all walk or make their own way down the aisle in their own way (crutches or a chair, or a distinct gait) I wish I could’ve seen that (always record your wedding even if it’s just a stationary camera in the back). I think 6 years into marriage thinking back about our cast of characters that surround us, really does sum up our life. Life is far from easy, and the way we get down that aisle is different for everyone, but showing up and sharing who we are is the only way we get through, I think.

  82. Turtle says...

    This is such a sweet way to reminisce about weddings! It’s lovely to read about everyone’s weddings and what made them personal and meaningful. I’ve got a few favorite moments- from my daughter’s wedding- when my husband (who officiated and loves science) managed to make the speed of light the underlying theme of their entire ceremony. He now sends our daughter and her sweet husband a “speed of their wedding light” anniversary webpage every year- with their first year’s wedding light coincidentally reaching Sirius A (aka, the Dog Star) at about the same time their daughter was born just before their very first anniversary. That granddaughter, now an exuberant 4 year old, has decided she wants to be an astronaut much to her grandfather’s delight! Favorite moment of my son’s wedding- when my son and daughter-in-love were dancing together after the ceremony and she did a full handstand (she was wearing fabulous white harem pants by that point) with just a teensy bit of support from my son. It captured perfectly the spontaneity and balance of their relationship. Favorite moment from my own wedding- after the ceremony, my mom, as we all sat together giddily eating cake and drinking champagne, quietly said to herself with a sly little grin, “Well, isn’t this a nice wedding break we are having!” She is a dearly-missed quirky soul. Thanks for inspiring the remembrance of some very lovely moments!

    • Jackie says...

      I love both your memories Turtle! And love that you refer to her as a daughter in love, so sweet. The wedding break is so, so special. All these comments are amazing but yours really touched me.

    • Abbe says...

      Turtle, your husband sounds like such a sweet man! I love the idea of tracking the “speed of wedding light”. What a lovely perspective to have as the parent of a bride and groom as well — you can hear your warmth and enjoyment through your words. :)

    • Turtle says...

      Thank you, Jackie and Abbe, for your sweet comments. My daughter-in-love started out calling me her mother-in-love and I was so touched. She is a wonderfully thoughtful human and we are so glad she’s joined our family! And, yes, my husband is a very dear man- smart and funny and kind. I think kindness is possibly the most important trait to look for in a partner. So many other traits are promoted as important in our culture, but over the long haul, kindness makes life together a gentler journey.

  83. Lindsey says...

    I knew mine the second I read the title. Our wedding was magic in that we eloped but with a bunch of people. Only people that truly love us were going to fly to Hawaii, you know? Anyway, at the reception my two uncles that I rarely see surprised everyone with a rendition of Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”. They aren’t normally performers, and they live across the country from each other, so they spent MONTHS practicing over the phone, one playing guitar and one singing. It was so, so special. I’ll treasure it forever.

    • Emily says...

      Lindsey, this sounds so beautiful. Just your description made me choked up. I love my family so much and the idea of the tenderness of that moment — and the thought and care leading up to it– is really special.

  84. Marcie says...

    My husband and I got married 10 years ago at a resort in Punta Cana. We had 72 of our friends and family fly down to celebrate, and we had a fantastic vacation together.

    Our wedding servers were employees we had met throughout the week at the resort. As our reception was winding down, they stopped working and danced with our guests. One of them was teaching me to salsa! The song playing, Suavamente, will always remind me of this time of our wedding, and how much fun we had that night.

  85. Kate says...

    Having someone snag my best girlfriend from the dance floor so we could eat forkfuls of wedding cake (no plates required). She knew exactly what I was summoning her for when someone told her I was looking for her!

  86. Deana says...

    Love Brooke’s dress and the story behind it. And the pizza guy! Great post.

  87. What a fun read! I’m celebrating my 2 year anniversary on Monday~ My favorite part of my wedding was surprising our guests with our wedding reception location.
    My husband and I had a very small destination wedding at a resort.
    While I was fine with my choice of having our reception in their botanical garden, I think our wedding coordinator was a little disappointed that I wasn’t gushing over it. She then drove us up to the resort manager’s mansion and suggested we could have our reception there.
    My husband and I had this little secret leading up to the day of the wedding, and it was so fun to surprise everyone after the ceremony.

  88. Mary says...

    Honestly, I didn’t like my wedding. I wanted to sign papers at the courtyard and go lie on a beach for a week :) Instead, we “compromised” on a vows in front of immediate family and a 120 people party with dinner and dancing immediately after. The planning didn’t bring me joy, neither did the event.

    I have never liked my birthday parties (even as a little kid!). I was always mortified when the second grade class would sing happy birthday before you handed out cupcakes. Now I celebrate my birthday with a whole day of treats for myself, and no one know’s it’s my birthday! There are no well wishes from co workers, or waitresses, or store clerks.

    I’ve known always that I didn’t want a wedding and I think it’s important for people to hear that it may not be a dream day for everyone. My most favorite part of the whole ordeal was driving to our long weekend hotel 3 hours away. We listened to a new play list and stared at our new jewelry the whole way. Three years later I’m glad the day happened-regardless if I enjoyed it or not.

    • Stacey says...

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone, Mary! Though I love reading about other people’s weddings (and attending them!) I was never excited to have a wedding of my own. I just wanted a courthouse wedding, but there was so much pressure from family to do things the traditional way, so we ended up having a church wedding with 200 guests. Since I didn’t want a wedding, I was basically the opposite of a bridezilla – every time someone wanted input on wedding planning, I would have no interest in getting involved, and everyone was frustrated. It did not bring out the best in any of us. Thankfully, my husband and I have always considered our marriage to be the important thing, not the wedding, so here we are 11 years later, still delighted that we went through with it!

  89. jules says...

    We just got married on Aug 31st and I loved reading these from your old posts (so, thank you everyone!) and tried to put my fave suggestions into action. We rea;;y tried to focus the whole wedding about being relaxing and fun for everyone there, but I do have three favorite parts <3

    1- being with my dad walking down the aisle. We didn't do a first look and all the nerves were there and I had to delay the doors opening because I was just crying back there and then so did my stoic dad.
    2- our first dance. Everyone suggests picking some song that was slow, but we had our cousins play/sing our song and we picked a longer one because we'll never get that back. I enjoyed every second of it and forgot about everyone else.
    3- dinner. I refused to no eat and enjoy my dinner, and wanted everyone else to enjoy it too. we didn't do any of the extra (mother/son, father/daughter stuff) we just sat together at our own table and ate dinner and enjoyed the hour. Then we got up to talk to everyone and mingle after we had some time and it was perfect. Also, NO ONE minded. They said they loved seeing us up there together just eating and being in love.

    • Kate says...

      I also just got married on August 31st! Happy just past 2 month anniversary! My husband is Canadian, and we realized that green card processing times were looking a little scary so we planned a wedding in a week in a half. We got married in our living room in front of our fireplace surrounded by my parents, my cousin, two of our friends (one who officiated) and with his family Skyping in, phone propped up on a bookshelf. Then we went out to a super fancy Chinese restaurant and his family in Calgary also went out to celebrate. It wasn’t what either of us expected when we thought about getting married, but it ended up being the most perfect day and everyone agreed that it was just the perfect day (and thankfully his sweet mom in Calgary was fully on board and felt loved and included even from afar.) I think my favorite moment was being in the Uber home with my husband (!) and seeing him looking very handsome in his suit, holding a vase of flowers that our friends gifted us for the table.

    • Nicola says...

      Congratulations! We were August 17th (and really wanted the 31st but our venue was already booked that day) and my husband is Jules!

    • Jessie says...

      I also got married on August 31st!! I love this. We all share something so special forever. Sending love each year to all of you!

  90. OMG mine is such an easy pick and has nothing to do with my husband haha. My best friend/college roommate is an incredibly talented muscician and comedienne. During her maid of honor toast she pulled out her ukelele and sang an original song that had all our guests rolling on the floor laughing and sobbing at the same time. The lyrics are….

    If I had to choose a favorite face, yours would be in my top three.
    ‘Cause for years each day your face
    Was the first and last I’d see.
    Now that face is getting married,
    Along with the rest of your body.
    And though we lean heterosexually,
    I’m still surprised the groom’s not me.

    CHORUS:
    Marian, it’s true: I’ve loved you since we were brand new.
    Oh, Marian, for you I would gladly say “I do.”

    Thanks for being the one I came home to,
    The days I came home crying;
    The one I exposed my soul to,
    The days I came home humming.
    And since we live far apart now,
    Just your voice has become my homecoming.
    This love song is for you, sister.
    And forever I’ll keep on strumming.

    CHORUS

    If I can’t marry you, I’m happy that Elliot gets to,
    ’cause something people just don’t do is marry their best platonic friends.
    And from my point of view,
    Elliot, she’s lucky, too,
    ‘Cause if I die first, I know you
    Will love her like I would till the end.

    Marian, it’s true: I’ve loved you since we were brand new.
    And if I can’t marry you, I’m happy that Elliot gets to.
    And Elliot, she’s lucky too,
    ‘Cause I think you’re pretty great even though I just met you.
    So listen up you two: Happy Wedding Day to you.

    Ugh, I get chills just re-reading it. Best wedding gift ever.

    • stu says...

      I love this! What a sweet friendship you must have.

    • agnes says...

      What a beautiful song! you should frame it! Beautiful.

  91. Caitlin says...

    Three of our grandmothers have passed away, so I stitched their initials into the hem of my dress in blue thread so that they could walk with me and be my “something blue”. When I showed it to my mother-in-law she was so touched – it was a really sweet moment.

  92. emily says...

    We had a homemade wedding in my parents backyard! The whole thing was so low-key and festive that it’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but I have to say–the fifteen minutes my husband and I spent “hiding” from the guests before the ceremony started were so intimate, heady and loving. We listened to a favorite song and drank margaritas and basically looked into each other’s eyes the whole time (ewwww! but I mean COME ON, it was our wedding! :) ).

  93. Alexandra says...

    My favorite moment of our wedding day was when my husband and I drove in our loaned (from my mom’s friend) vintage Mercedes convertible through the sunny German fields near Nuremberg, and we had some time, so we stopped at the roadside and just enjoyed a quiet moment for the two of us. While I enjoyed the entire wedding day, this private moment was certainly my favorite. Still remember the quiet fall landscape and the warm sunshine on us.

  94. Caitlin says...

    We celebrated our first anniversary a few weekends ago, and the moment I love the most was during our vows. We wrote our own – I went first and cried my eyes out (which led to me accidentally saying “I vow to get my sh*t together” – oops!). My husband’s vows were short and sweet and all about how he still gets butterflies any time I enter a room. Then he opened his jacket and showed me a small butterfly pin stuck to the liner. It was such a sweet, thoughtful surprise.

    • Kristina says...

      absolutely lovely.

  95. We were married in 1978. Our officiant suggested we set up the ceremony with the three of us in the center, and all the guests standing behind him in a big semi-circle, flanked by huge standing candelabras filled with lit candles. So we were literally surrounded by all of our family and friends as he asked them to surround us and support us through our married life as we exchanged vows. I hadn’t worn my glasses (vanity!) so as my dad walked me down to stand next to my husband, all I saw were masses of people, soft candlelight and my man smiling at me.

  96. jessica says...

    before marrying, my husband always compared the smoothness of my skin to jordan almonds (this is extremely romantic coming from him– he has a serious sweet tooth!) and from the moment of our engagement through the months leading up to our wedding, he surprised me with a jordan almond in some unassuming but charming way every single day. i know it sounds crazy but somehow it really was always a thrilling little surprise to me. for months! of course i did not have jordan almonds on the mind on the day or our wedding but midway through our ceremony, he looked me dead in the eye, grinned, pulled a jordan almond out of his pocket, and popped into my mouth. it was a little inside joke to unite us even more in the moment– just the most delightful, strange, sweet gesture from the most delightful, strange, sweet man.

    • Lindsey says...

      Omg this is so, so sweet.

    • That is all the feels.

  97. Maren says...

    On a July road trip, years before we got married, my boyfriend (at the time) and I got into our first fight. We were silently fuming in the car and listening to a random playlist when “Monster Mash” came on. We couldn’t help ourselves and started singing and laughing along. Two years later, our officiant incorporated this story into our ceremony, about how we can view challenges as opportunities for joy. And when it came time for the first dance, what else was playing but “Monster Mash”! Because it was now an inside joke shared by 150 people, all our friends and family cheered when they realized what song we had picked to celebrate our weird and wonderful relationship. I still get misty whenever it plays!

  98. Jennie says...

    After my Mother sent a very cruel email about my now husband, I cancelled my wedding plans and ran off to Las Vegas to marry at City Hall. There is sadness in this story but also immense strength. The thing about marriage is, the success or failure ultimately comes down to the two of you. You can have support from friends, family, your priest if that’s your thing, whoever; but whether or not you make it is up to the two of you. Because of that, I find something beautiful in being alone, just the two of us, when we married.

    • agnes says...

      I so get that! My parents got married just the way you did, for the same reasons (well no email, but a letter); it was a very long and happy marriage (my mother is deceased and my father is 90). My grandparents eventually (aftermany years), accepted their marriage. You did right and that will give your love strength, forever!

  99. Moira says...

    LOVE these! When my husband and I got married a few Mays ago, we had a sweet ceremony and epic party at a local art museum, followed by after party drinks at the hotel. My matron of honor gifted us a night in a really ritzy hotel down the street, so after the after party (is the hotel lobby?), we walked outside to head down the street to the fancy hotel. As we’re giddily strolling down the quiet Pittsburgh streets, a police car happened to drive by us with two officers in the front seat. One of them rolled down the window to say a quick “Congratulations,” and just as he was rolling the window back up, I said “Can you give us a ride to the hotel? My feet hurt!” They looked at each other, shrugged, and got out of the car to open the backseat doors for us. The next two minutes were hilarious–my new husband and I, sitting behind bars in the backseat of an active police car, giggling. I wish our photographer had been there to capture the spectacle of the officer letting us out of the police car in front of a bustling, Four Star hotel. Sometimes the best memories are the ones that the camera wasn’t there to capture :)

  100. Ann says...

    These stories made me smile and cry at the same time!

  101. Rachel says...

    I was blessed to wear a dress my mother made for me. It was beautiful, and to give it a nice A- line shape it had two hoops. While my husband and I walked around visiting tables, my dress bumped the champagne bucket and it spilled all over the dance floor. One of the groomsman rushed up and began to spin the bottle. It was hilarious and made the moment lighthearted.

  102. Danielle Marks says...

    As our wedding reception was winding down and the guests were all lining up outside to send us off, my husband heard The Avett Brother’s song “Swept Away” come on. He quickly grabbed my hand and led me back to the empty dance floor and we had one more dance together. It was perfect….even when my drunk bridesmaid wandered in and was so moved by the moment that she started crying and telling us how much she loved us! Even now, ten years later, we still stop we’re doing and dance together whenever that song comes on.

    Lyrics:
    Well, you send my life a whirling
    Darling, when you’re twirling
    On the floor
    And who cares about tomorrow?
    What more is tomorrow
    Than another day?
    When you swept me away
    Yeah, you swept me away

    • Willow says...

      What a memory to treasure!

    • J says...

      My husband and I danced to Swept Away for our first dance 2 years ago! My favorite line is “with your heart my soul is bound, and as we dance I know that heaven can be found” . Love hearing that it means so much to another couple too. <3

  103. Elyse says...

    At our ceremony, my husband and I were supposed to light a unity candle – the same one my parents had used at their wedding on the same date exactly 44 years before us. Despite a pre-ceremony practice burn, the candle would not light during the ceremony. We have hilarious pictures of me, my husband and our officiant basically chucking matches at the wick, trying to get it to burn. It never did light, but my mom remembered that she and my dad had the same problem at their wedding, and the same candle refused to light at my sister’s wedding as well. We think of that unlit candle as good luck!

    To other soon-to-be brides, I’d note that a lot of the things that go “wrong” can turn out to be your favorite parts of the wedding!

  104. Hannah says...

    My husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary over the weekend! I think my favorite part of our wedding was the half-hour or so before the ceremony. We did everything in the same venue, so we sat in the reception area before the ceremony drinking champagne with our bridal party and families. We had a full view of the doors, so we got to see everyone as they arrived, but they couldn’t see us! We had already done a first look and bridal party pictures, so it was nice to get some of the nerves out and just hang with our favorite people, waiting to kick everything off.

    • Maggie says...

      My favorite part now, a decade on, is surely different from what my answer would have been at the beginning of our marriage. Now it’s “I do.” Because you have to continue that mindset, I think, to make a marriage work. This is challenging but do I stick with it? I do. Do I need to show some patience in his graceless moments? I do. To be a better partner to him, do I have to confront some of the ugliest parts of myself? I do. Do I think I picked a fella who makes this hard work worth it? (Mercifully) I do!

  105. Jessica says...

    This is such a fun topic!

    My favorite part of our wedding was after the church ceremony was over. I just felt calm and surrounded by such love from our friends and family. To have all of these people come and witness what I hadn’t realized would be such an intimate moment was magnificent. A year of planning all of these little details for the reception and I never would’ve thought that the most important and profound part would be at the very beginning. Watching the video now we watch the entire ceremony instead of skipping straight to the reception!

  106. Lauren says...

    My husband blew me away on our wedding day. We had many special and memorable moments together, but the one that really sticks out was during the toasts. We had planned to briefly address our guests and thank everyone for attending as the final toast, but I was not expecting him to give his own to toast to me during this moment. He shared a Tom Waits quote that really knocked my socks off –
    “In a land there’s a town, and in that town there’s a house
    And in that house there’s a woman
    And in that woman there’s a heart I love”
    I totally swooned :)

    • Moira says...

      STOP! This is so sweet!

  107. Kiley says...

    At my wedding, and at any wedding I attend for that matter, the ceremony is the best part! For ours I was so excited to hold my husband’s hands that I handed my bouquet to my maid of honor immediately after I walked down the aisle. It rained for a split second during the vows, which my mom attributed to my grandpa who had recently passed, who always cried at weddings. We also had a knot tying ceremony that we completely botched. Our officiant had to step in and help us, and gave an impromptu speech about not being afraid to ask for help in your marriage when things aren’t going right. When we finally “tied the knot” we high-fived. The finishing touch was we hired a second-line band to play us down the aisle and to our ceremony, which seemed like the perfect reflection of our joy in that moment. Afterwards we had dinner during the cocktail hour so we could have a private moment alone. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but I loved it.

  108. Marie says...

    Mine is a weird one, but my favorite moment was after the wedding and lunch, we went into Rocky Mountain National Park to watch and hear the elk mating season. It was just my new husband and myself, after days of family events. We sat in a field and were probably a little giddy from the day! I remember my hair was still done, but I had on street clothes. Fun day!

    • nadine says...

      aww! that sounds so beautiful!

  109. Meredith says...

    My favorite part of my wedding was how tiny it was! I grew up sort of dreading the thought of a big wedding and being on display all day and having a year’s worth of showers and luncheons and it all being a big to-do. (we do weddings BIG in the south, lol!) So I was relieved when my husband and I discussed and decided that we would be happiest with a tiny elopement ceremony with just the two of us, the officiant, and the photographer.
    Being someone who struggles with boundaries and a touch of codependency, I was scared of letting my family down by excluding them from the ceremony, but everyone was actually super supportive. And at the end of the day, I am so so so glad we did it the way we wanted to. I can look back on happy memories of a great day that we both really enjoyed instead of looking back and remembering a very stressful time (which I’m sure a big wedding would have been).

  110. Andrea says...

    I was dreading the ceremony, thinking that it would be awkward, but reading our vows to eachother was so sweet. We aren’t a PDA kind of couple so it felt like a big deal to really pour our hearts out in front of everyone we know :)

  111. Christina says...

    For a number of reasons, we decided on a very small ceremony with just immediate family. I had so much anxiety surrounding the day. The best moment was standing up front during our ceremony, gazing into each others eyes, and everything else slipped away. It’s a very special moment that is cast in my memory forever.

  112. Julie says...

    The bride and groom will now cut the cheese…

    • Beth Altman says...

      YES!

  113. Mara says...

    My husband and I have no cultural ties to Italy but decided to have our small wedding there. Planning this wedding from the States, the months leading up were extremely stressful, dealing with local customs and unexpected holidays, the slower pace of life when conducting business, language barriers, roadblocks, you name it. According to the guests in the courthouse the day of our wedding, there was some little typo on a form that *nearly* caused the whole wedding to be cancelled by the municipal leaders running the show (good thing I wasn’t there for that). I was anxious, hate a lot of attention on me, and was pretty uncomfortable with two very different families melding in one space. BUT, nothing was sweeter than the moment when my new husband and I walked back to our hotel at night after the whole shebang was over, just the two of us. People of all ages in the village called out congratulations to us as we passed, cheered and clapped, children danced around us. It was magical.

  114. JRW says...

    My husband and I are celebrating our first anniversary this weekend! We have so many incredible memories from our wedding day. What sticks out the most to me (aside from the incredibly moving ceremony) is the time in between the ceremony and reception when it was just us, our photographer, and our bridal party. We decided to take a walk around our hometown and we left our bridal party in the limo with a good playlist and (we thought) enough champagne. Fast forward thirty minutes when we decided to stop at our favorite wine shop (where, upon entering, everyone clapped for us) to take some pictures. We were sitting at a table by the front door smiling for the camera when in walked the bridal party to buy more drinks! It could not have been better timing; the photographer captured shock and pure elation and some of the biggest laughs of the night when they crashed our pictures. Then, back in the limo with everyone, my husband and I sat in the very back while our happily buzzed best friends all got along like they’d know each other for years, though in reality many of them had just met. It was so perfect.

    • Emily says...

      At our wedding my very favorite moment was a spontaneous one. After my husband said his ‘I dos’, I leaned forward and loud whispered, ‘Are you crazy?!’
      I didn’t even think about anyone else listening.
      My husband laughed through tears. It was such a sweet moment of us. He’s so steadfast and practical. I’m all heart.
      It was such an honest moment, in a deeply beautiful ceremony.

  115. allison says...

    I love all of these! There are so many parts to our wedding that I absolutely loved, but one that was unexpected was something we added for logistical reasons. We did the ceremony and cocktail hour in the same space, and to allow time for the chairs to be moved and bar opened, our day-of coordinator suggested we do a group photo to distract everyone and prevent confusion and chaos. I was ambivalent but went with it, but having that photo is something I still look regularly 2.5 years later. Having 130 of my favorite people in one shot is once in a lifetime, and especially now that my grandmother has passed away, seeing her there is so meaningful.

    Also, the day before our wedding, my husband and I went to the nail salon together to get manicures and pedicures, just the two of us. It was such a calm, relaxing thing and gave us a moment before all the events really started to be together. We still talk about that morning all the time.

    • Kristin says...

      That is a GENIUS idea! I would love to have a group photo from my wedding! The event passes by in such a blur for the married couple–being able to see everyone at once in a photo would be a lovely remembrance.

  116. Katrina says...

    My favorite part of our wedding was staying at a huge airbnb with all of our friends in the two days AFTER our wedding. We were married on December 30, so we had a massive NYE celebration the next day and tons of time to keep the party going but also relax and just hang out. So many of our friends traveled from far away to be with us, and it would have been a shame to only have the wedding day to celebrate.

    Now it’s become a tradition to travel and spend our anniversary/NYE with our friends, from San Francisco to Seattle to Los Angeles to Baltimore. We’ll be married 7 years this December and are expecting our first baby (a girl!) at the end of January, so some of our friends are coming to stay with us in PA this year and I cannot wait!

    • Caitlin says...

      We also got married on 12/30 and threw a big NYE party the next night. It served as our much-larger reception for our very-tiny wedding the day before. Such fun memories from that night, including me thinking the bartender at our favorite brewery had gotten engaged and insisting everyone toast to her when, in fact, her boyfriend had just said they could get a cat!

      Happy early anniversary!

    • Katrina says...

      That is awesome! Happy early anniversary to you too!

  117. Lisa says...

    I loved this post! Its so nice to read about these special moments. My favourite part of our wedding was right before I walked down the aisle. It was such an emotional moment. I was holding back tears and wanted to distract myself momentarily to keep from crying so for some reason I pictured my husband’s annoying uncle! And then when I walked down the aisle he was the first person I saw haha. It didn’t work, and my dad and I cried down the aisle anyway while my mom was beaming.

    At the reception, my husband sang a song he wrote for me while we were dating. Normally, I would think this is cheesy but it’s a beautiful song and, well cue the tears again.

  118. George says...

    We had a giant gold piñata rather than a first dance. It was so much fun! Watching my husband through all the confetti across the crowd after it fell down was awesome. And the fact that I successfully hit it down whilst everyone was chanting my name :) we wanted our wedding to be fun rather than solemn and it was perfect

  119. I love these! Cheese instead of a wedding cake is genius. My favorite part of our wedding was the speeches. My MIL gave an awesome speech with fun stories about my (very witty) husband. She had everyone laughing and it helped those who didn’t know him super well get a feel for what he is like. My husband’s speech was also stellar – a perfect mix of humor and sweetness. He had people laughing and some crying by the end. Another favorite memory happened before the wedding. My husband works for a small boutique asset management firm and one extra thing he does is write original content for the humor section of their monthly research publication. The month before our wedding, he made a fake ‘go fund me page’ for part of the humor section. Imagine my surprise when I opened the publication and saw a picture of us from our wedding website after the publication had been lying around our house for several days. It was very, very funny and we ended up printing it out, framing it and putting it on display at the wedding. I can always count on my husband to make me laugh which is a very very important part of our relationship as I tend to take life WAY too seriously!

  120. Natalia says...

    What a great post! Wondering if Sukhie would be open to sharing the passages of the Vedas that were translated for her ceremony? So curious to read what those are about!

    • Sukhie says...

      Yes totally! If you DM me on Instagram, I’ll send them to you :) too much to copy/paste here

    • N says...

      I would also love to see this!

  121. I’d love to see a Muslim wedding photo. ( re- requesting with a cherry on top :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’re on it! thank you!

    • Mehnaz says...

      Definitely have one of those!

  122. Julie says...

    My wedding was a whirlwind of my large family and our many friends dancing their faces off. I have two memories of that day that always make me smile:

    Our young, fantastic priest had me and my husband write love letters to each other weeks before the ceremony, and he incorporated our words into his homily. Catholic ceremonies can sometimes feel impersonal, so this was such a lovely way to make the Mass special. He gave us the sealed letters afterwards to open on our first anniversary.

    During the reception my closest friends surprised me with an armadillo “bride’s cake” in the vein of Steel Magnolias. Red velvet with gray icing and everything. I laughed until I cried, it was so delicious that I didn’t get a chance to try my own wedding cake.

  123. Andrea says...

    We had all the kids on attendance bring up something during the offertory at Mass. it was partly to involve them and partly to give them a wiggle break. It was pretty cool, there were about 20 kids and my husband’s 5 nieces led the offertory procession doing Irish dance up the center aisle.

  124. Lana says...

    My best friend from childhood and I ended up marrying brothers, but she married her husband two years before I married mine. When my husband and I got married I didn’t want a big to-do, so we got married in a courthouse with my best friend and her husband (who is also my husbands brother!) as our witnesses. The only other guests were our combined children. After the service we went out for pizza at our favorite family-owned Italian restaurant. Sitting chilled on the table as we were being seated was a bottle of Dom Perignon that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law had received at their wedding with instructions to only drink it at a special occasion. Sitting alongside the champagne was a cake from our hometown bakery that my dad had had delivered to the restaurant. It was a low key, happy and delicious day. Perfection!

    • P says...

      this is so sweet and how lucky you are to have a best friend for a sister in law. this is like a movie!

  125. K says...

    One of the best moments on our wedding day was when our friend drove us up to the wooded area in a state park where our family had been setting up for us (if anyone in the bay area is looking for a beautiful and affordable option La Honda State Park in Pescadero). My husband and I are very isolated from our families (we live far from them and we have very different world and political views), and much of our family didn’t have the money to help with our wedding but still wanted to assist, so we asked them to pick boxes up from our house and drive them to the wedding and set up the tables for 70+ guests (we had caterers / a food truck / etc. but hadn’t hired a planner so we didn’t know how to get the whole thing set up). When we got out of the car and saw all these moss covered picnic tables covered with jars of white roses and shinning wine glasses I started to cry. It was so elegant and beautiful. We’d been on such a tight budget that it was wonderful to see how gorgeous it could still be, and it meant all the more that our family had done this for us, made the day beautiful, before it had even really begun.

  126. Eli says...

    I had 3 favorite parts of my wedding, which was very small (25 total people (bridal party included)) and held in Charleston.
    The first – dancing on the joggle board in the courtyard of the Historic Renaissance Hotel where we were married with my best friend, who was the maid of honor, and the best man’s wife. My favorite picture from that day is us laughing while trying to balance.
    The second- our mutual friend, who is an SID at the university where we met, was our officiant. He wrote our ceremony and had the perfect stories and inside-jokes fitted into it. Football jokes (he and the groom work in college football) about losing seasons, our favorite cocktail at a local restaurant, and how we were made for each other. I had it printed on cotton paper for our 2nd anniversary and had it framed.
    The third was after the reception – my brothers, the groom’s friends, best man, maid of honor, and our officiant when traipsing around Charleston. Pictures in the pineapple waterfountain and a grilled pimento cheese sandwhich with bacon at Vendue Inn rooftop bar are my biggest most vivid memories.

    We are now waiting the 60 day period and we will be divorced. I still remember that day fondly and those memories.

    I loved reading the favorite parts. Sukhie’s sari is absolute perfection. A dream. (All the heart eyes for these lovely couples!)

  127. Angie says...

    My wedding is in two weeks. The best piece of advice I’ve received so far is to ask your caterer ahead of time to prepare to-go boxes at the end of the evening, since the Bride and Groom rarely get to eat. I’m already looking forward to eating leftovers in bed with my brand new husband and talking about all the details of our wedding day.

    • jules says...

      PLEASE eat. Make yourself and don’t think you have to do differently. You will enjoy the night more because you’ve eaten and it forces you to take it in for awhile at a more relaxed pace. Def get that to go box too haha

    • Mehnaz says...

      Oh god yes. We had refreshments after our ceremony and once we got back in to say hi to everyone, we didnt even make it past the door. Definitely pack some food. And dont forget water!

  128. january says...

    Wow – loved these weddings!

  129. Sarah B says...

    My husband and I woke up and met up to my childhood park to watch the sunrise, drink coffee and talk in our car. Nobody knew about it, as no one was even awake! We were able to talk when we wouldn’t have been sleeping anyways and start the day off with just us (sleepy, not made up, no wedding clothes).

  130. Paige says...

    I just got married last month and my favorite part was our ceremony! I was so nervous beforehand, but once we were up there, I felt like I was floating! I had so much energy and joy just bursting through me. Our dear friend officiated and made us feel so relaxed and happy. My husband and I held hands the entire way through, kept touching each other’s faces and laughing, and even kissed each other at a few points (to much laughter from the crowd). I also surprised my husband with a poem I wrote for him as one of our readings. He was sobbing — I’ve never seen anything like it. Then we had my both of our moms do a reading. His mom read one of his favorite short passages about marriage, and my mom wrote her own marriage blessing for us that she read aloud (similar to a prayer). We hugged them both afterward, then read each other our own vows. I figured my vows would be much longer than his, but we both ended up speaking for 4 minutes each! I’ll never forget those minutes. We walked out to Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” and I was in heaven.

  131. That last photograph is truly so special. I love the colors and the feeling of it.

    My older brother co-officiated with my husband’s father and before the wedding, he gave me an 1888 sixpence because apparently a version of the old rhyme goes, “Something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.” My birth year is 1988 so he went out of his way to find an 1888 sixpence. It is such a treasured item to me!!

  132. Mandy says...

    I love this! Each wedding is such a wonderful inspiration! I particular love the rainy wedding photo! So gorgeous!

  133. Tabitha H says...

    I love these! One of the least fun moments from my wedding has become one of my favorite memories! A few days before the wedding, my Mom and I went to pick up my dress and they spent a LONG time in the back. Like, so long that the second we got to the car we unzipped the dress bag to make sure they’d given us the right one. They had, so we thought we were in the clear. Until I put the dress on the day of and my Mom said, “Does the skirt look… wrinkled to you?”

    It turns out they hadn’t steamed the dress before we picked it up (even though we’d paid for that.) Luckily a bride who’d gotten married at the church years before had donated the professional-grade steamer she’d used, so my Mom was able to steam the dress… while I was wearing it. I was so hot and so stressed and the photographer started taking photos and I said “I don’t want to remember this!” But now they’re some of my favorite photos.

    Also, just a note, if you have a full skirt or train and think you might want to bustle it, make sure to ask about it when you pick the dress! My dress had a tiny train so we assumed it would be easy, but the bridal store didn’t tell us that it would cost *extra* and require more fittings to bustle the dress until the last fitting, so that was another fun surprise! But it makes for a good story now!

  134. Daniela says...

    I just got married six weeks ago and it was such a fantastic, loving day. My favorite moment was when my husband and I drove up to the courthouse ahead of time, parked the car, and walked to a random nearby bar. We were congratulated by everyone on the streets! We grabbed a drink and fries and bacon :) Such an intimate moment before the whirlwind of the courthouse with our family and then eating (and drinking) our way through the city.

    I also loved our first look. We got ready at my parents and I walked out on their patio while he looked out over the view. He waited to turn around until I was like hey you can turn around now! So sweet.

    Also, a few months ago I commented on a post on here about how I regretted not going for the dress I wanted and several readers said to get it. So I did! So happy I changed dresses. I’ll see if I can come back and share a photo here :)

    • Elizabeth says...

      LOVE the dress!! You look so happy :) Many well wishes to you and your husband!

    • Ana D says...

      That dress is GLAM. Holy moly, it’s fabulous.

    • P says...

      Yes Daniela! This is so fun (about the dress and how people told you to get it). You are STUNNING in it!

    • Sarah says...

      You look amazing!!! (And so happy!) I’m so glad you got this wonderful dress!

  135. Sal says...

    My favourite part is always the speeches! They are always so sweet, and thoughtful, and are even more adorable when the speech-giver is obviously incredibly far out of his/her comfort zone. But they’re doing it because they love the person they are speaking about.

    My favourite speech of all time was the one given by my cousin, who was best man to his brother. There’s a LOT of background, but the essence is that it’s long been a family joke that the speech-giver cousin was the second favourite son.
    He’s a pretty retiring chap, and really not the sort to push himself forward, or look for an audience.
    So when he stood up to speak, no one really expected anything terrific, but his speech was PERFECTION. It was JUST the right about of humour, put-downs, love and stories. He played on the “second favourite son” vibe just right and the audience absolutely lapped it up.

    My late dad, who was used to public speaking as part of his job, and notoriously hard to impress, even said to him later, “that was the best wedding speech I’ve ever heard.” High praise indeed!

  136. Sonia says...

    These are so special! I got married a couple months ago and I wanted to have some sort of activity that incorporated all of the guests. We had everyone bring a special stone or rock from wherever they wanted (their yard, a favorite beach etc.). My husband and I held a bowl together and each guest came up and put their stone in the bowl, telling us where it was from. It was really moving- our photographer was crying pretty hard at one point! Now we have the bowl in a special spot in our apartment.

    • P says...

      I’m crying? and I haven’t even heard the stories but I can see it in my imagination and it must have been just stunning and meaningful!

    • Ashley says...

      what a BEAUTIFUL idea!!!