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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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