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My Dream Wedding

Updated on May 7, 2016
Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna wears many hats: writer, mother, crafter. Over the years, she has found what works and what doesn't for herself and her family.

Learning From My Mistakes

I am not married. I once was. Often, I think about the thought of getting remarried, and I feel as if I would never want to do it again. I tell myself, I am never getting married again!! Then, there are other times, I think about how nice it would be to have that level of commitment again; to know that someone will be there for me. I am in a great relationship right now, with a wonderful man, and the thought of marriage is on my mind.

The thought of getting married again is a scary prospect that both of us have talked about. I haven't decided one way or the other yet whether I am ready to take that plunge, but in my head, I have a dream. A dream of what my wedding would be like IF I ever did it again.

I made a lot of mistakes there, as well. I worried about everything too much. Every little detail. It was too much for me to handle, and aside from the help I got from my mother, I had to do it all on my own. My wedding was good, but far from perfect, and if I do get the chance to get married again, I would do a lot of things differently.

The Ceremony

My wedding ceremony was beautiful, don't get me wrong. The church we got married in was absolutely gorgeous! It was an older church with ornate details, wooden pews, and stained glass windows. It really was beautiful. The flowers were great, but they seemed small and barely noticeable in that huge church. The pastor who performed the ceremony was a wonderful man, but he didn't really know us. He knew my aunt and her family as they had attended that church, but I didn't attend that church. It made it a bit awkward.

The music was lovely, except for the fact that the organist didn't show up to the rehearsal, so I had no idea when I was actually supposed to walk in, and so my father and I walked in too early, to the wrong music. I also didn't have a lot of knowledge of classical music at the time, and would probably have picked different music.

Then there was the matter of the bubbles. This is almost hindsight. I had bought packs of wedding bubbles for the guests to blow as we came out of the church. I had forgot to bring them to the church, and I realized this as I was kneeling in front of the pastor, at the altar of the church, and I said, "Oh, shit!" Thankfully, it wasn't very loud. I don't know if anyone even heard me, or not. I certainly hope the pastor did not hear me.

If I ever get married again, I am going to relax! I am not going to take every little detail so seriously. I want a simple wedding on the beach. This is a lot easier to do in Florida than it is in Illinois. I would love to have a good friend or family member perform the ceremony, someone who really knows me. Thanks to the internet, this is a lot easier than it used to be. I want a simple dress, nothing fancy, gorgeous flowers, and beautiful music. I won't worry as much about offending my distant cousins that I barely know, or that dear friend of my father's that just HAS to be there. It will be small, intimate and simple.

I will not forget anything, either. Because I will not need as much. Just me, the love of my life, and my dress and flowers. I will ask for help, and delegate responsibilities to those that are there to help me. I don't need to put all the weight on my own shoulders. Though I will probably still worry, still obsess over every detail, and still try to do everything myself. That's just who I am.

The gorgeous church where I got married
The gorgeous church where I got married
My dream dress
My dream dress
A beach reception
A beach reception

The Reception

My reception was a nightmare!! Plain and simple. The food was wrong, the tables were not set as had been stated in the contract, they forgot the champagne, and they didn't do anything that they had promised to do. I had to fight with the reception site just to get in their to decorate. They waited until the day of the wedding to clean, and I had to argue with them to let me in. They said, "Don't worry about it! Just leave everything here and we will take care of it." Well, that never happened, either. No wonder the place went out of business a few years after.

Problems with the reception site aside, there were more problems. For starters, never hire a family member to do your wedding photography! I made that mistake. I had my aunt do the photography. She is a professional photographer, and she does do weddings. The pictures turned out beautifully, but I didn't get all that I wanted. My grandmother on my mother's side wanted a family picture before she left, but the photographer never got to it until after my grandmother had left. I spent most of the reception getting my picture taken because she had shown up late that morning, before the ceremony, and we never got those initial pictures out of the way.

So, never hire a family member to do your wedding photography, and never, NEVER ask a friend to DJ your wedding, unless you completely trust them, and they are actually an experienced DJ!!! We were trying to cut costs, and my fiancé at the time, suggested that his friend could do it. I OK'ed it, gave his friend a list of what songs I wanted, and hoped for the best. It started out fine. He played the songs I wanted him to for certain dances. After that, it went downhill, and it went downhill fast!! He started playing strange, inappropriate music, no one was dancing, and the whole thing was a mess. I was upset. Several members of my family came up to me and made comments to me on his choice of music. I was mortified. I started to cry. I apologized, and wen to say something to him, but by that point, a lot of people had already left. It was too late. I figured I might as well let him play whatever he wanted, because the night was already ruined. I should have taken it as a sign.

My second time will be far different. I will spend the extra money on the things that are important, and not worry about the other stuff. I want a simple, fun, and laid back reception. No fancy clothes, no fancy table settings, or any of that. I want something classy and beautiful, but simple and relaxed. Maybe an outdoor reception with flowers and candlelight. I will hire an actual DJ, unless I can talk my step-dad into doing it. I trust him to do a good job. He has actually DJ'ed weddings before. Now that he has discovered how easy it is to DJ with a computer, he may be willing. One little laptop instead of all of those CD's makes his job a lot easier. I already have a band in mind for part of the how to get them to do it...that might be the tricky part.

I want the guest list to be simpler, as well. I hardly speak to half of my extended family, and don't really need to invite my mom's second cousin, or that friend of my grandmother who I haven't seen since she babysat me when I was five. I love all of my family and all of my friends, but I can always celebrate in a larger fashion down the road, have a big, super laid back party, and just have a good time. I just want my close family and my closest friends, and the love of my life!


Since originally writing this, I have gotten married again. Once again, it wasn't the dream wedding I had all planned out in my head, but things are often far different than the ideas we have in our heads. My second wedding was a beautiful, intimate affair at the home of my in-laws. The ceremony and reception were held in their house, just after Christmas time. The outside was draped in lights and it was magical. My dress was simple and lovely, the company was wonderful, and the night was perfect. I didn't stress out about every mother-in-law took that responsibility over for me. She was a great help!

My only sadness in that day was that none of my family was able to make it down for my wedding. It was bittersweet. I do plan on having a big party at our five year anniversary, and inviting everyone. It should be a great time.

© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman


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    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Robyn-- I don't, actually, sorry. I can look, though.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Do you have any more details of the dress? I would love to see the back view and anything else you can tellme about this dress.

    • AimeeMorris profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Great tips!It simply implies that we need to learn from our mistakes.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      8 years ago from Florida

      debbie-- It was crazy! I laugh about it now, though. I am starting to plan my dream wedding with the man of my dreams right now! I am very excited, and I know it will be a blast!!

    • debbiesdailyviews profile image


      8 years ago

      Is it just me, or was your last marrage a scream .

      I love your attitude more than anything.

      And I'm absolutly sure you're next, and last marrage will be SECOND TO NONE !

      You know how your other one went, and you are fully aware of the pit-and down-falls...

      You sound happy, and content with life now.

      There's no doubt in my mind you will have a BALL !

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Amanda-- It seems like your second wedding was a lot of fun, and very little stress!! Exactly the idea that I am after! Thank you so much!

      Sweetie-- Thank you. Don't count yourself out completely! You are a great person, and sometimes, love hits you when you least expect it, and when you are about ready to give up. I do hope you get the chance to get married some day, if that is what you want. Thank you so much!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very brave and open hub. I did not write about the wedding hubmob because I felt a little excluded considering I know I will most likely never get married, I just do not have the luck, but I also have come to realize I am not the relationship kind of person. I could do the things to get out there and date, but I did that for a good four or five years and it never went anywhere. I think for you you will have better luck than I and a dream wedding in your future.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      10 years ago from UK

      Hi Anna Marie,

      I've been married twice. The first time was huge, with peals of church bells, a fancy dress and veil, bridesmaids, a Rolls Royce to the church, and far more relatives and friends than any sane person should have invited. It was a big event, but the marriage only lasted six years.

      The second time was much more informal, just a handful of close friends in a civil ceremony followed by lunch in a country village hotel, a picnic in the afternoon, and drinks at the village pub in the evening. We made ourselves seriously unpopular by not inviting family, but money was tight, and as we come from enormous families it was simpler not to have them, rather than decide who to leave out.

      I hope you do get round to it again, if that's good for you both, and I hope it's a the day of your dreams!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      I feel honored, Chris!

      Shalini-- Thank you! I imagine a lot of people look back and think about what they would have done different. I just changed the avatar about an hour or so ago, but thank you!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      I think you put into words what most people feel about their weddings when they look back Anna. Well, here's to a perfect wedding next time around - and I've been erratic on hubpages so haven't noticed the new avatar - nice!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      I would make an exception for you and be on my best behavior.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Thanks, Chris!! But alas, all the good ones are either gay or already married. Sometimes both, if you happen to live in Vermont. The compound would have been lovely, but then, seeing how much you hate weddings, I thought this would be easier for you. You have a great's too far to travel!! No need for copies of Hustler, or Playboy at all!!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      And I was sure you would want to get married in the barn on the compound. No, really, the new way you have in mind is the best. My wedding was much like that (sort of) but just really relaxed and fun. Nobody stressing out...just having fun.

      If you do decide to do it again, I hope you get everything you hope for. Thanks, Anna.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Ardie-- You can have another wedding without getting married to someone new. What about a second wedding to celebrate an anniversary. Renew your vows!!!

      Lgali-- Thank you!

    • Lgali profile image


      10 years ago

      very nice hub

    • Ardie profile image


      10 years ago from Neverland

      I second your visions if I ever end up in the situation where I get married again...although since I am already married I hope the situation doesn't come up! I love simple and classy. Great hub :)

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Thank you Michelle!! If and when it happens, I will definitely post a hub about it!!!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Anna Marie, classy and beautiful but simple and relaxed - I guess that says it all. :-) If you do decide to get married, I am sure it's going to be your dream wedding this time. And we will await your hub on that. LOL Take care...

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Princessa-- Thank you! The way I look at it, it's better to learn from the things you have done wrong, than to dwell on it. I do hope so!!!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Very useful advice. Nothing better than learning from our own mistakes isn't it? I am sure that if you ever get marry again it will be just perfect!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Laila-- Thank you!!! I hope I do get to do it someday...

      Elena-- I did read sixtyorso's hub! It was great, and it's part of the reason I would ever actually consider getting married again. Proof that it can be better.

    • Elena. profile image


      10 years ago from Madrid

      Nice one, Anna! If nothing else, the first time around gave you good insights into what you'd really like for a repeat performance :-) I read another hub by sixtyorso that said pretty much the same, the second time around was a lot simpler, and made him very happy. Best to you!

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile image

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      10 years ago from India

      AMB..a touching hub and I do hope your dream marriage will come true just exactly how you would wish it to be!:)I loved this..'Because I will not need as much. Just me, the love of my life, and my dress and flowers.' That's great.Thanks!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Oh, that's his? Well the title suggests a lot! Thanks AMB, i'll check it out :D

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Read his hub on how to NOT get invited to weddings!! It's hillarious!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Oh enlighten me please? What does CR think?

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Cris-- I am a little traumatized, but like the saying says, "If at first you don't succeed..." or "Get back on the horse", and all those other silly sayings... I see that you don't share the same opinion on weddings as Christoph does...LOL!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I'm glad to note you didn't get traumatize by your first trip down the aisle and seems like you are ready to give a go again. Hope it would be perfect this time. Thanks for sharing and the invite! LOL :D

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      FB-- Looking back on it all, it was too complicated, too much work, and in the end, it wasn't worth it. I know what you mean, sometimes advice is better receieved when it comes from an outside source.

      Pest-- No, it doesn't get any simpler than that. I have also thought about just running off and eloping if I ever do get married again. Maybe head down to the Keys, and not telling anyone!

    • Pest profile image


      10 years ago from A couch, Ionia, MI

      I got married in front of a judge.  Then off to the Army.  It dont get any simpler! I would do it again too! :D 


    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I love this, Anna Marie. I think a lot of people feel the same way. My sister is getting remarried this August, and for the most part, she's doing the same as you suggest here. But there are some places I really feel as if she's going overboard and should really relax lest she suffer not only disappointment, but unnecessary expenditure of money and anxiety. I'm going to make her read this hub. Hopefully she can come away with some advice that didn't come from me, if you know what I mean.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Yeah, I know. I never got to enjoy my wedding. At the end, I was like, "Thank God, it's finally over!! Then I fell asleep, with my clothes and veil still on!"

    • goldentoad profile image


      10 years ago from Free and running....

      good tips, keep it simple, it shouldn't have to be so much work, it should be a night everyone can enjoy, even the bride and groom.


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