Corporate and Special Event Planning

If I Did It All Again…

If I Did It All Again…

If I did it all again….

I wouldn’t change a thing, I would do exactly the same wedding. It was perfect, my husband still says so as do our friends. This year will mark our 16 year anniversary, and when Julia asked that I write about how I would do it again, I thought wow, I would really do it all the same? Yes I would! Is it because I had a few years under my belt already planning other people’s weddings? Yes probably helped solidify what I wanted and how to delegate tasks, identify what was really important to us and our budget. We knew each other so well as a couple that it was easy to plan what our day would look like, who would celebrate with us and it was reflected to our guests, they still comment about it.

It was important for us to have an outdoor affair under a tent in my parent’s yard. Also to have it catered with a plated dinner, and just close family and friends (yes there were tears with my mother in law over the guests list, some wedding drama is a must). 126 was our final guest count, this was a perfect number. I do recall my husband adding more to the dinner list the day before the wedding, which in those moments was “ahhh”, but looking back now is so him, wanting to offer hospitality to those coming a distance that had only been invited to the reception initially. As we were at my parent’s property we could party till the early hours of the morning, we hired a DJ till midnight and a friend did after hours DJ for us. Those friends that had travelled a distance pitched tents and slept in the yard, even us the bride and groom, I wouldn’t change that either, I was so exhausted by 3am that I didn’t care where I slept. I didn’t need a fancy hotel room that night, we were leaving for our honeymoon the next afternoon anyway. We made our own beer and wine and friends rotated through bartending duties for us. Our family and neighbours did a ton of prep for this day, providing late-night food and sweets, decorating as per my instructions, offering transportation and parking.

The after dinner guest count I am sure hit around 300…when you live in a small town, word travels fast right? It was great, everyone was full of well wishes and well behaved. It was relaxed, with some wedding formality, it was a celebration, and it was fun.

So in retrospect, here are the 3 tips to remind myself…

  • Kiss my dad when we get to the end of the aisle and he hands me off…I was so excited to make it to this point I forgot!
  • Stay with my husband throughout the reception, we got separated after dinner, talking and mingling with people, dancing and we didn’t see each other for hours! I always tell couples this when I sit down with them, stay together! Say goodbyes to guests together, seek each other out or delegate someone in your family to reunite you if you get pulled apart. You should be sharing every moment of this day together.
  • Have a bigger dancefloor, seems trivial, but I would! We had a lot of dancing and this is where we cut our budget to fit in something else…looking back we never should have done that.

Now if it was in current day…I might splurge on fancy linens and comfier chairs, because the possibilities available just keep growing.

And that’s it, really it is everything you hope it will be, fond memories of the perfect day, no regrets.

If I did it all again…

I was married almost 18 years ago, November 28, 1997. There are many things I would do differently but the one thing I wouldn’t change is the man I married.

Let’s see, what would I change.

1. I would have been more patient to get engaged. I was a typical young girl who just couldn’t wait to get married. We already owned a home together so I don’t know what the big rush was. It turned out that he had already started to make payments on a ring that he was going to give me at Christmas but I pushed and pushed and came up with every excuse for him to propose. The final one that worked was that he had applied to join the armed forces so I thought it would be best that we were engaged if he got accepted so that they would move me with him. Well, 18 years later we still live in the same town and he never got a call for the forces. I should have just let things be and let him do it on his own time. Big regret.

2. Once he proposed I shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get married. We were married within three months of him proposing. My impatience made my grandparents think I was pregnant and we didn’t have time to save up any money. I just rushed, rushed, rushed. Big regret.

3. Having my dad do our wedding photos was a mistake. Not that he wasn’t an amazing photographer because he certainly was however he didn’t take the same time and make the same effort as he did with his clients. We did ask a photographer friend to help us with the ceremony photos and a few of the family photos because my dad would have to be in those ones. Now that my dad has passed away I am of course grateful he did our photos however if I could go back and do it again I would hire a photographer. Photos are my whole life and not having the photos I had hoped for is a bit disappointing. Minor regret.

Things I loved about our wedding was that it was all in one place so no one had to drive from place to place…good thing because we had a huge snow storm that day. I loved our mini wedding party – a maid of honour, best man and ring bearer. I wouldn’t change having one of my best friends sing and my dad and family friend sing and play guitar during the signing of the register.

If I did it again, I would love to make the wedding a true reflection of who we are. We are so different today then we were 18 years ago. Our wedding today would be a destination wedding in Spain or some other gorgeous country. It would be outdoors with the most incredible meal our guests have ever enjoyed. And we would only invite 50 or so of our closest family and friends.

I would love to renew our vows and do exactly that but my husband says our wedding was perfect just the way it was. I think he just doesn’t want to spend the money but maybe if I pitched the trip to Spain idea he’d be in.

Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.


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