The Cheney Place Wedding

The Cheney Place. Vintage Chic Wedding in Grand Rapids, MI

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Advice for Brides From Brides

Hey all! The Knot is reviewing some weddings for a magazine edition and asked for their own questionnaire from past brides. After reading these, I thought it might be nice to pass on some of their advice for you. (I also asked some friends).

1. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU ARE GLAD YOU DID FOR/ON YOUR BIG DAY?
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    MAGGIE -  "#1 thing I was grateful for: trusting the experts to do their job. I let go of control.
This is specific to my beautiful photographer (THAT'S ME!!); she knew what to do, where to take us, and what needed to be done to make everything perfect, for us. I did not offer one comment or ask to do anything on my agenda, because I am not the visionary - she created memories for us that I could have never even dreamed of. Trust your people."

    CHRISTINA- "My absolute top two favorite moments were captured by our excellent photographer, Lisa Shaw. She was the only other person with me when I tapped Rodney on his shoulder for our first look. My heart felt like it was in my throat as he turned and looked at me...It was like we met again for the first time. We were both so joyful and giggly, which ultimately settled our anxiety of the big ceremony.  The other wonderful moment occurred in the chapel, when my father saw me in my gown for the first time. The room was full of smiles, tears, and sounds of "awww". But I felt like my father and I were the only people in the room. As much as I worried about every little detail coming into this day, I didn't think how many emotions were running through my dad as he prepared to present his youngest daughter to the man of her dreams. I don't like to use the term, "give away" because my dad would say "You aren't anyone's property, but you're still my little girl."

     TINA- "We whispered our vows to each other, which was extra special and something that our guests said made our ceremony unique and extra memorable. Even though we were asked about what was said specifically, the words will forever just be for us."

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HANNAH-"I would say our favorite part of the day was seeing each other for the first time as the ceremony began, but a close second would be all the dancing at the reception!"

    SHANNON- "Discussed with our photographer in advance ideas of where to go for photos. That way, we weren't milling around trying to figure out what we should do and wondering how much time we had left before we had to head to the reception hall."

     KAREN- "We had our ceremony at night. The church was lit by candles and it was beautiful, intimate, and so peaceful."

 

2. ANYTHING YOU REGRET?
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     MAGGIE-  "Honestly, nothing. I wish I had eaten more, lol!"

    TINA- "We did run into a vendor and potential officiant who would not do our wedding just because we’re both women, so for same-sex couples looking to get married in Michigan, we’d recommend making sure all of your vendors are open to working with anyone and everyone. We lucked out with our photographer (Lisa) and florist (Petit Fleur) who were just as excited as we were to be involved in a double-lady wedding so soon after gay marriage became legal all over the country. All of our vendors were awesome and we have nothing but great things to say about them."

     SHANNON- "Listening to everyone else about what song to choose for the Daddy-Daughter dance. I picked something sappy because that's what my female family members recommended. The dance was still special, but I think we both would have been more comfortable with something else."

      KAREN- "The assistant/ Day of Coordinator was supposed to help me get ready and she never showed up! I would recommend two people helping you get ready. There are always surprises."

 

3. ANY ADVICE TO BRIDES?
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     MAGGIE-  "See #1 ;)  My best advice is to remember this is a day for you to remember and enjoy. It is not a day to recreate every detail you’ve ever seen on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I had a vision. But allowing those around you to have fun, laugh, and just be there to be happy for you and enjoy the day WITH you, far surpasses whether or not anything happened on time or if your hair was perfect or if you had the right knife to cut the cake. Let the experts do their job so you can be carefree and happy.
You’ll regret not absorbing every moment of joy. You will not remember what color the napkins were."

    CHRISTINA- "One family tradition did sneak it's way into the wedding, which were Jordan almonds. The sugarcoating is added with the hope that the newlyweds' life will be more sweet than bitter.  Five almonds signify five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity."
AND----
"Do what the two of you want. You will hear opinions from your family and friends that can steer you away from your vision. Don't stress about what they will like/dislike. Instead focus on what will make YOUR day unforgettable. Ok one more piece of advice, don't cry over table settings. You're going to feel ridiculous about it later. Just sayin'. Best Wishes! Xo."

    TINA- "Eat throughout the day! Don't wait for the reception. Be grateful of how rare it is to get to be surrounded by so many people that you love and that love you. Try not to fidget during the ceremony and pictures (clasping your hands together helps), have back-up accessories, sleep as much as you can the night before, and make sure the bride (if she chooses to wear make-up) wears a lip stain instead of a lip stick…because it will get all over your spouse-to-be’s face.

      HANNAH- "My advice would be to take time to enjoy the day. It goes by so fast so really take it all in. Don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s okay if something doesn’t go exactly as planned. At the end of the day the point is to celebrate your love and have fun!"

     SHANNON-  "Take a moment with your new husband, just the two of you. Take that second to just absorb everything and be in the moment with one another. For us, it was during introductions at the reception. We just hugged silently. As quickly as the day passes, it is a memory that sticks with you. :) Also - don't stress about anything the day of. If everything goes crazy but at the end of the day you're still happily married - that's all that matters! :)"
and--
"Small cakes as centerpieces, in an assortment of flavors. It was a fun way for people to interact with the centerpieces and each other (if you didn't want the flavor that was at your table, you made new friends by pilfering a piece from their table!)."

   KAREN- "If there's doubt, don't. Pretty much my advice for life. I don't buy the "cold feet" logic. Doubt shouldn't even be in your vocabulary. Also, let people over-love you and don't be disturbed by it. Let people help, and let them overstep. In the marriage, expect to not agree on everything. Be flexible. If you're rigid in your thinking, there will be so many unnecessary struggles." 
and--
"Since flowers are outrageously expensive, we went with this kind of stalk (ask your florist- they were pink and white), and the entire place smelled amazing!! I'm so glad we did that."


I hope this helped!  If you know anyone in the stages of planning, please share this!
Thank you so much for reading.

Coming sooon--- "How to NOT Feel Like an A**hole in Front of a Camera"!! (requested). 
If you have a request that I could cover in my newsletter, please contact me. I'd love to hear it.

Happy Planning,
Lisa

Ice Skating Engagement! Caitlin and Matt

Grand Rapids, MI
Rosa Parks Circle

Congratulations Caitlin and Matt! What a fun day for ice-skating in the city! It was actually beautiful, warm(er) for Michigan in February, and the sun was out. These two are so cool (not just because they were ice skating! Hee hee). Their warm personalities make you feel like you've been friends for years. I instantly connected with these two. Smiles, jokes, a little insecurity about skating and falling on your arse (Caitlin)... I am so excited for this couple and can't wait for the wedding! They are having their reception at McKay Tower, which is reflected in the buildings in some of these shots. Pretty cool.

(They never fell on their arses, but other people did. They're in the background in some of these... Thought it was funny since it's the Olympics and everyone cringes on the edge of their seats waiting for people to fall. You know you do.)

Caitlin and Matt met at her cousin's wedding. Matt actually crashed it- well, kind of. The best man asked him to go. But Caitlin says he crashed it. They were together for two years when Matt proposed. There was a love note on the bed, and when Caitlin turned around, he was on his knee. He always tries to surprise her, and it never works, so this time he didn't plan anything and just did it. He wanted to propose on the blue bridge and got shot down for lack of originality. Ha!

Well, just look at these two! I am genuinely so, so happy for them. My heart gets bigger knowing people like these guys...