Unfortunately, unless I manage to barter way more than I anticipate, Steven and I likely won't go anywhere but around Northeast Ohio (if we do that) for a honeymoon. We're considering a honeymoon registry, though.
But for those of you who will be escaping together after The Big Day, here are the suggestions my Facebook friends floated:
Take a lot of pictures.
Take as much time as you can. Life makes it hard to go on big trips together all the time.
Consider a cruise (http://www.vacationstogo.com/) or a stay in a bed-and-breakfast, even if it's local. Here's an inn recommended to me: Hideaway Inn. And J. Palen House, too.
Travel and deal sites: Jetsetter, Groupon, LivingSocial and Amazon (I am signed up for Groupon and have seen a number of eyebrow-raising offers, for what it's worth.)
I found this advice intriguing, too: "Find the destination's Facebook page and see if anyone has a timeshare. Send them a message and see if they can offer a referral. Then you get to stay at the place with a discounted rate, and they are rewarded through the timeshare place. A lot of places out of the U.S. do this. Also, check out TripAdvisor for any possible activities in the area if you want to see the area you're honeymooning."
Things to explain to your bridal party: where to stand and enter, what parts to help you with, such as passing flowers, fixing your train, readings and songs. Another of my friends suggested practicing your vows aloud and insisted on taking advantage of bridal showers, when possible. Even if you've lived with your husband-to-be, there still are fun items (nice wine glasses, for example) that you can ask for and receive at a shower.
Another woman who said she could sense I wasn't a stickler for tradition (very perceptive of her) stressed that if you're veering from tradition, those moments are the most important to rehearse.
Suggestions from Today's Bride:
Dessert bar, s'mores buffets and pie pops. Having never met a pie pop, I went on a quick Google hunt. Behold:
And this suggestion, I can't pronounce, let alone define: croquembouche. But another hunt reveals that it's puffs galore:
Other suggestions and insights: Pie, period. Cake pops. Cheesecake. Candy and ice cream bars. The yummy, yet messy, chocolate fountain. Centerpiece cakes on each table. A tiered cake for that cake-cutting moment, but sheet cakes (kept discreetly out of sight) served to guests to cut costs. When ordering, remember that not every guest will eat cake, so order fewer slices than people invited. One sorority sister of mine also reminded me that venues will charge a cake-cutting fee. Couple that fee with the price per slice, and you easily could pay $10 a slice. No cake ever tastes that good, she argued.
Flat-out recommendations: Reeves Cake Shop. Cake Loft. Create-A-Cake.Topics to broach with any baker, per my Facebook friends: Some people don't like the taste of fondant, so make sure you do. Otherwise, ask the baker to stick with frosting.
Now, if like me, you like the idea of cupcakes, I found this to be something to remember: If you've refrigerated the treats and they don't return to room temperature by the time guests are biting into them, the frosting tastes solid.
Here's a few rustic cupcake-related ideas I've found:
One wedding planner friend of mine over at Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning advised me to consider whether people in walkers, using canes and pushing strollers could fit down the aisle. Another planner (from A Wedding Wish) suggested making sure it's three-people wide, just in case.
Other suggestions and insights:
Decorations are as natural as they get at a park pavilion.
Walk the aisle in the shoes you plan to wear. If it's grass or dirt, you may find out during your walk down the aisle that your heels sink in. If it's a smooth surface, you might find out that it's too slippery for the shoes you've chosen.
Cathedral veils can be a nightmare during outside ceremonies.One karaoke DJ friend of ours stressed, "Guests remember whatever you focus on. We spent extra on our food, which is something Ken is known for so we wanted to have awesome food to make it memorable. I have other weddings where the bridal party walked in dressed up or dancing, which is a memory. Last wedding, I had the groom change a couple songs, which the bride remembers. I had another where the groom's pants split; that is a memory. You have to decide what is important to you and focus on that to make a memory."
One Pennsylvania karaoke DJ warned that his wife forgot to enjoy the day. So caught up in the details, she was so uptight that it didn't end up being the day it should have been -- for either one of them.
I'll let his words speak for themselves: "So, remember to plan all you can, but when the day comes, sit back and let it all happen without worry. If it doesn't go perfect to schedule, oh well! You
tried! But if you stress about it, you will ruin your day."
Also, one local photographer, Elizabeth Videc, forgot her favors, but said that forgetting them was a reminder of how unimportant some things are to the overall day. "Enjoy the moment," she urged.
MY FRIENDS REPLIED:
Marriage is work, said one person.
When your day gets here, relax and have fun. It's over before you know it.
Take as many mental pictures as you can, and let someone else do the worrying. (This is why I'm negotiating to barter for day-of wedding planning.)
Rest easy: Even if it seems unlikely, everything will come together.
Get some rest the night before, and call on as many people as you need to make sure that you do.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADD?