Just for fun – I thought I’d write my Wedding Recap.  Yes, it was five and a half years ago, but I don’t think I ever wrote a recap (I know that Meghann posted one for me while I was on my honeymoon).  Can I just say that I am SO grateful that I did not get married in the age of Pinterest?   I think I’d be so stressed out by DIY projects and plans for the perfectly staged-unstaged photo.  Hah! 


Alright – here we go.  When we got married, we were pretty young, relatively speaking, but we had been living together for several years at that point.  Lots of our guests (we had about 80 guests) came down for New Year’s Eve, so our wedding ‘weekend’ ended up being a celebration that stretched over several days!  Our awesome families came together and chipped in for about half of our wedding; while it wasn’t a true budget wedding, we were definitely cost-conscious. 


We got married on a great golf course in Orlando, Florida.  That allowed us to have the ceremony and reception in one place, and the golf course took care of so much of the organizing and catering.


My dad and mom walked me down the aisle, a tradition that I had seen in many of my friends’ weddings and wanted to incorporate into mine.


We didn’t really have a “theme” for the wedding, but we tried to incorporate a little bit of Florida into things – most of our guests were from up north and were really pumped about a trip to Florida in January.  Our colors were yellow, green, and white – Kristien actually picked the colors and the bridesmaid dresses out!  My bridesmaids carried daisies and green mums, and I think my bouquet had yellow roses and orchids.

Florida Jan 09 073[3]

Oh, and my dress? I snagged it for $500 from David’s Bridal.  I liked my dress, but I didn’t love it.  In hindsight, I wish I had sprung for the dress I really loved that was twice the price.  I do remember being really pissed that I paid $100 for my veil, which seemed so overpriced.  I guess if Pinterest did exist back then, I probably would’ve figured out how to make my own!


I had a minor panic attack a few weeks before the wedding because I realized that we didn’t have any ‘backdrop’ to get married in front of.  My mom and MIL worked their magic with some pretty fake flavors and ribbon and dressed up an arbor. 


We wrote our own ceremony (I used examples online as a guide) but said the traditional vows.  I remember my heart pounding hysterically the entire time – I was so nervous / excited / in love!  After we said “I do” and kissed, the DJ broke into “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles, which was really fun and upbeat.


We took family pictures while our guests had a cocktail party – I wish we had been able to go to the cocktail party, but Kristien and I were both dead-set against seeing each other before the ceremony.

Florida Jan 09 091[4]

Oh, wondering why I’m mainly sharing photos from friends’ point-and-shoots?  Well, most of my professional photos bombed – my biggest wedding regret was our photographer hire. 


Actually, a few months after our ceremony, we hired another photographer and retook our portraits.  I wrote about that in this post –> Do Over.  The wedding photos that are up in our house were actually taken six months after we tied the knot!


Speaking of documenting the day, I wish we had paid for a videographer.  At the time, I thought that was a huge waste of  money, but I really, really regret not having a wedding video. 


Okay – back to the reception.  We had signature cocktails!


A months or so before the wedding, we went to the bar and ordered a bunch of drinks to “help” us choose our signature drink.  It was a tough job, but someone had to do it… We ended up choosing:


Coconut Breeze

  • 2 shots Malibu Coconut Rum
  • Splash Cranberry
  • Top off with Sprite
  • Serve over ice

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 and 1/4 shot Licor 43
  • Splash Sour Mix
  • Splash Rose’s Lime Juice
  • Splash Cream

Florida Jan 09 119[3]

Our reception was super fun!  We had an awesome open bar and a buffet-style dinner.  Side note: I loooove buffets at weddings.  My wedding cake was handmade by my auntie, who is an excellent baker, and although we did not smash cake into each other’s faces, we did all the other traditional reception things – garter and bouquet tosses, mother-son and father-daughter dances, and MOH and best man speeches.  Our first dance was to Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” which is our song. 


We left the party around 10 PM – we splurged on a towncar to take us to the airport. All of our friends went to the Orlando clubs after our wedding – it was fun to hear the crazy stories the next day!  Hah. 


We stayed in the airport’s hotel and woke up the next morning SUPER EARLY to go on our honeymoon.  It was crazy – I had to leave my wedding dress in a trash bag at hotel reception so my mom could pick it up the next day.


We didn’t want to travel internationally for our honeymoon, so we did an awesome 7-day honeymoon in San Francisco and Napa Valley.  It was great to go to Wine Country in the off-season because there were no crowds and we got loads of personal attention. 


Since we’d been living together for a while and had all the home stuff that we needed, we didn’t do a traditional registry. We used a website called Smart Honeymoon, which let us ‘register’ for activities like wine tasting and massages. Our amazing guests ended up paying for almost all of our honeymoon! It was truly an awesome blessing and a very memorable experience – we lived like a King and Queen for a week.


So – that was our wedding!  Feels so long ago, but it was fun to take a little trip down memory lane.  <3 <3 <3


What I Learned After 1,000 Days of Marriage

What the Husband Learned After 1,000 Days of Marriage


When you got married, what items did you splurge on – and what do you wish you had/hadn’t?  What unique things did you do during your ceremony and reception? Did Pinterest exist when you were planning your wedding?



  • kerri July 9, 2014, 7:34 am

    OMG – pinterest would have absolutely been the death of me planning our wedding. i wish i would have had money for a wedding planner. not that we had a crazy expensive wedding, but it would have been nice to have someone handle all that detail for me! congrats on 5.5 years! here’s to many many more!

  • Jules July 9, 2014, 7:51 am

    This week is our 4 year anniversary! We didn’t splurge on anything, but like you, I wish we had invested more in our photographer. One unique thing from our wedding: my first dance with my dad was “The Twist”!

  • Denise G. July 9, 2014, 8:10 am

    I’ve been married for 9 months now and we planned our wedding in only 4
    Months and financed it by selling my car -a convertible wasn’t going to work with a baby on the way anyway 😉

    We also had a bit of a photographer fail he was my hubby’s friend from high school and have us a killer deal, but the quality wasn’t that great and they missed some essential shots.

    Pinterest was really helpful when it came to decorations and my hair style.
    Our wedding coordinator could get an idea of what I wanted and she shared ideas with me. She was the best! We would have actually splurged and spent 3 times as much on her, but she gave us a big discount and did so much work!

  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 9, 2014, 8:29 am

    You had a beautiful wedding! Your dress is similar to what I’d like to find for my own.

  • Trisha July 9, 2014, 8:30 am

    Sweet post! I always love wedding recaps, especially ones like this where you’ll already had the fruits of a successful marriage. 🙂

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed July 9, 2014, 8:35 am

    Better late than never 🙂 You looked beautiful! Such a bummer about your photos. That was definitely an area we splurged, photos were super important to me.

    I’ve been writing our wedding recaps in installments because I don’t want to make crazy long posts. I’m up to 3 and I haven’t even gotten to the ceremony yet lol!

  • Heathers Looking Glass July 9, 2014, 9:02 am

    I am so glad I hired a videographer, it is my favorite keepsake form my wedding. I was still in college so my mom did a lot of the legwork and am so grateful! We had a huge traditional New orleans wedding, with big band, second line dancing, and fireworks and a carriage ride. It was truly magic, we were very blessed. I did the SAME THING with my wedding dress, we left super early for our honeymoon the next day so i had to leave my dress with the hotel until she could come pick it up the next day!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine July 9, 2014, 9:26 am

    Kristien has the eye! Those BM dresses are beautiful! I love the yellow so much.
    And I love the honeymoon idea! That is awesome!

  • Mary July 9, 2014, 10:07 am

    I love reading about other people’s weddings. Especially now my own is just a month away!
    Such a shame that you weren’t happy with your wedding photography. A great idea to retake your pictures though, and a fab excuse to pull out your wedding dress once more!
    We’ve paid a lot for our photographer and she has photographed several of my friend’s weddings so I know she will do a good job. We splurged on one thing each – my boyfriend really wanted a good band for the evening reception and I wanted to arrive in a horse and carriage, so they were our two wants for the day. We’ve saved elsewhere to make ends meet. Can’t wait! 🙂

    • Caitlin July 9, 2014, 10:36 am

      I also wore my wedding dress as a halloween costume one year 🙂 That was fun!!!

  • Sara July 9, 2014, 10:10 am

    I had a $500 David’s Bridal dress too! I loved it at the time, but I wish I had just gotten some white dress somewhere that wasn’t as expensive (I’m really cheap). We paid for our wedding ourselves so we tried to do a lot ourselves to save money. I toyed with the idea of just eloping (or having a small family/close friends ceremony and a dinner after) only. It would’ve saved so much money and we could’ve gone on an epic trip. Anyway… hindsight, man. But it was a good wedding and the important part was I got to marry my husband 🙂

    • Sara July 9, 2014, 10:13 am

      PS–We did not pay a photographer. My husband’s aunt wanted to take photos, a coworker wanted to and we “hired” someone who was starting out (she was free). Awful idea. Our photos are really not that good and in most of them we are all looking in different directions. My husband’s uncle videotaped it but we’ve never seen the tape. I need to remind my in-laws of that again. It’s been more than five years…

  • Camilla July 9, 2014, 10:12 am

    I think a lot of things are different between a wedding in USA and Denmark. In Denmark it is quite normal to have a huge party that lasts into the night. It is customary to offer sleeping facilities for the guest, but usually they pay themselves. We however decided to pay for all our guests, and loved being able to spend the morning after our wedding with all of them.

    One of the first things we booked for our wedding was our photographer, who was semi-professionel, because he was the one I wanted. I absolutely love our wedding photos and I am super happy we spent the amount we did. I did however wish we had booked him for the entire day, because although we have loads of pictures from the party they really aren’t super quality.

    I spent more than I would have thought for my dress, but it was quite cheap still and I loved the way it made me feel.

    While planning we thought about a car to take us from the church to the venue, but now I’m actually glad we didn’t, because I don’t think it would have been worth it.

  • susanna July 9, 2014, 10:40 am

    we got married 2 years ago in the local park. It was a really low budget wedding – I had a running spreadsheet and I believe we spent exactly $1000 for everything (food, license, my dress, his clothes, gifts for those who helped, cards, etc…) I am not into pinterest, so that did not become an issue. However, 99% of the wedding was DIY:
    1) I made my dress and crinoline out of pink tulle. Making the crinoline almost brought me to tears; it is a PITA to sew netting.
    2) I did a photoshoot with a stuffed raccoon (me) and an ugly dool (husband) dressed in wedding attire and used the picture for the postcard invitations.
    3) I baked 12 apple pies and made lemonade (afternoon wedding; no need for big meals)
    4) A friend who finished culinary school made a cake
    5) we wrote our own vows and my friend Randy was “the minister”
    6) I sang with my guitar “grow old along with me” to my husband after the ceremony
    7) Friends are family were asked to take pictures; one of our friends recorded the ceremony on a litte Mino camcorder (neither one of my parents was present, so it was nice to share the video with them)
    8) after the ceremony, my husband got an infinity sign tattooed on his wedding ring finger and I had my ears pierced and picked an infitiy sign for my left ear
    9) we met our guests at a local bar/restaurant and partied there until midnight.
    After the wedding, we rode our bikes homes and collapsed from all the booze that was running through our veins (I am so not a drinker!). The next morning we took off to a little mountain town and spent 3 days in a cabin doing nothing. When I look back, I don’t regret much. The wedding was a reflection of who we are, and the guests went along with it and loved it. No one had to get dressed up or buy us anything, but some people chose to do so, and we were fine with it. I was married once before (court ceremony) and that experience left me feeling deflated – the wedding ceremony was impersonal and filled with religios verbiage that I disagreed with. However, this time I finally understood the elation most people feel on their wedding day. It was really one of the happiest days of my life.

    • Caitlin July 9, 2014, 11:05 am

      i love it!!!

  • Alison Z July 9, 2014, 10:40 am

    Thank you for posting your regrets/disappointments. It is really helpful to hear from someone who has had some time to reflect what you would have done differently. In any event, it looks like you had a beautiful wedding and have had a great marriage, congrats!

  • Jen July 9, 2014, 10:46 am

    Just had to share that I met my fiance on January 3, 2009 and we are getting married January 3, 2015!!

    • Caitlin July 9, 2014, 11:04 am

      Aww that’s so cool!!!

  • Sharisse @ sharissepieces July 9, 2014, 10:46 am

    Never too late for a recap! Thanks for sharing! If Pinterest existed in 2011, I was not aware and I’m sorta glad I wasn’t. I would have been too overwhelmed! Splurged on the venue (hotel) and DJ.

    Unique thing we did was our wedding entrance: Started out not inside of the room. A a voice over in a song played, just the introduction (All of the lights by Kanye West), and at the climax that follows and the beat comes in, we burst through doors. Wish it was captured on tape, but the best we have is an awesome wedding video that replays the voice over! I’m always excited to share 🙂 http://vimeo.com/30893099

  • LMN July 9, 2014, 10:57 am

    I was married 5 years ago, too. And my 2 biggest “regrets” are the photographer (omg the pictures SUCK), and not having it recorded! we’ve talked about doing a super fun redo of the pics, like at the beach or even back at the art gallery where we were married.

  • Stacy July 9, 2014, 11:26 am

    All of our wedding last year is recaped at my blog http://www.lolaandzoe.blogspot.com. I did one post for getting ready, one for ceremony, one for reception, and one for after party. All of it was basically a splurge, but my husband and I did some DIY projects to save a little, like making our own invitations and programs and table numbers. It was a great day!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun July 9, 2014, 11:53 am

    I too am so glad Pinterest had not caught on when I got married! We paid good money for our photographer and my dress which was important to me. We cut costs other places but at the end of the day I remember only the awesome and amazing moments of our wedding day! The only thing I would change is to get a videographer..I agree on that one!

  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health July 9, 2014, 12:17 pm

    I love this recap, especially because I still remember all the excitement up until your wedding day 🙂 I was reading through the other two posts you mentioned and read comments from readers about what they’ve learned after 1000 days of marriage and I saw one of your responses and thought it was so sweet:

    CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:46 pm
    I can’t wait to see the Husband as the Daddy.

    Now he’s a daddyx2 🙂 <3

  • Caitlin @ Happy 'n' Hungry July 9, 2014, 1:02 pm

    Ah, I love wedding recaps! I just wrote my own about a month ago in advance of my first anniversary.

    My main splurge was with the photographer. We wanted beautiful photos that we would be proud of. My dress was fairly reasonably priced at right under $1,000 and I was 100 percent happy with it even though it wasn’t what I imagined myself in. It’s funny how your views change once you try something on! My veil was $300 (YIKES), and I really wish I hadn’t paid that much. I loved my veil, but looking back I think that’s outlandish to pay that much. Thankfully, my best friend is borrowing my veil for her wedding in August so it will get a second use!

    Our ceremony was unique in the fact that it was fairly non-traditional. My husband’s best friend married us and we wrote our own vows. All of the decorations at our wedding ceremony and reception were things my mom or I already owned. Every single centerpiece down to every hanging jar!

    Pinterest was around and really helped me out when deciding on floral arrangements!

  • Courtney July 9, 2014, 1:18 pm

    I love your recap! I got married about a year ago and spent the first 6 months of planning knee-deep in Pinterest before saying “F*** it!” I am NOT a crafty person, what was I thinking? Etsy, was a different beast. I can pay someone to make me look crafty? Win.

    • Caitlin July 9, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Haha I love it.

  • Julia July 9, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Thanks for your wedding post! I am getting married in 17 days and am obsessed with all things wedding right now! It was helpful to hear what you would do differently/wouldn’t do differently. So much of it is hard to predict–how well the photos turn out, the DJ, what the flowers will really look like, etc!

    • Caitlin July 9, 2014, 2:50 pm

      I hope you have an awesome day!!!!

  • Coco July 9, 2014, 1:39 pm

    This was very fun to read because I am less than 3 months away from my own wedding. You are SO right about Pinterest being overwhelming. Every wedding (or baby shower, bridal shower, dinner party) I go to, I see all these crafty things and feel so inadequate. I SUCK at crafting. Even simple ones. I have instead ordered some unique items from Etsy. For me, it’s a good compromise–I get to support small-time artisans, and people will still think my wedding is “Pinterest-worthy”! haha. We don’t have a videographer but my uncle will be taping. Also, my photographer is going to do a “day-after” wedding shoot–we don’t want to see each other before the wedding, but we ALSO want to enjoy our cocktail party. SO, we are going to take most of our romantic pictures the next day–who can tell the difference 5 years from now anyway? 🙂

  • Jessi July 9, 2014, 2:47 pm

    I remember reading all your wedding planning posts way back in the day! And Meghann’s recap after you went on your honeymoon. Now Meghann is married too … but she definitely got married in the age of pinterest haha.

    I’m getting married this fall. I’ve tried really hard to not go overboard on the pinteresting because it just never ends. We are getting a videographer because I heard so many people like you say they regretted not having one. And we’re paying big $$$$ for our photog, so the pictures better amaze me lol.

  • Stacey July 9, 2014, 2:48 pm

    I’m honestly not sure if Pinterest existed when we got married 3 years ago – I’ve never been on the website before? Or whatever you call it.
    We were married exactly 4 months to the date from when we got engaged. It was nice because we went with what was available in our time slot – if it was booked, we moved on. Made decisions much easier. One of the only real regrets I have is maybe my dress? I loved it, but like you it was from David’s Bridal and was $700. Since it was off the rack I paid $300 for alterations so it would fit – so $1000 on a dress others tried on! Bleh. Had I known I would have spent $1000 (no way knowing that up front) I would have spent it on something more special, however with only 4 months to work with it wasn’t enough time to order. We already had to pay rush fees on bridesmaid dresses. Always something!

  • Julie July 9, 2014, 3:00 pm

    I have never heard of anyone “registering” for their honeymoon, but I LOVE the idea! It’s perfect for couples who don’t need the traditional wedding gifts.

  • Kimberly July 9, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I love reading wedding recaps! We planned a small, intimate wedding and it was totally laid back. We found a beautiful mission-style church courtyard that was surprisingly really cheap and served only cheese/meat as snacks + cupcakes for dessert so we were able to have a wedding under $2000! The one thing that was a splurge was my dress – my parents surprised me by paying for the dress. 🙂

  • Erin@LivingMadeHealthy July 9, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Your wedding was lovely!

    This is such a fun idea, I wasn’t blogging when I got married, so I think I might do a post like this one! 🙂

  • Amy @ Dusty's Sister July 9, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I love this! And I’m pretty sure you just inspired me to do a few “recaps” that are a tad (or super) late!

    Signature cocktails for the win!

  • Julie July 9, 2014, 11:16 pm

    I got married in 2005, and my big regret is not having a videographer too! I didn’t think I’d ever watch it again, so it didn’t matter…but turns out, I would totally want to see it again. My husband’s grandma taped it, but…the tape is either missing or it got taped over!

    I splurged on a photographer big time – our biggest expense other than the food. But, my husband is into photography, so it was important to him to get one that would do a great job.

    We got married in a church but we didn’t have a traditional reception – no bridesmaids (I didn’t want to pick/deal with dresses/styles/fittings/etc), no DJ (we put a friend in charge of playing pre-arranged playlists on an iPod through the venue’s speakers…he was told to change the music when necessary, etc – worked FANTASTICALLY!). no cake cutting, no speeches…we don’t like to be the center of attention, so we just threw a big party for all our friends and family. It was the best day ever. We both had a great time and my family still comments on how nice it was – mostly because my elderly uncles didn’t have to scream at each other over a DJ. SO fun!!

  • Cathy July 10, 2014, 1:43 am

    I just got married back in May, and I’ve only seen a couple of pictures from my photographer so far, and they look great as far as technicalities: good lighting, good overall composition (setting/background) but… so far both of the ones I have seen, are pictures taken from the side. I hate the profile of my face, not to mention I’m curvy, and I kind of look like I’m pregnant with triplets and I have 3 chins. I’m just hoping there are some I look at, and feel beautiful. If not, we’ll probably do what you did – hire someone else and have them taken again. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that though… 🙁
    The biggest splurge at our wedding was the food! We had a local BBQ, buffet-style. It was worth every penny!

    • Caitlin July 10, 2014, 7:21 am

      I hope it doesn’t come to that either!!!!

      BBQ at a wedding sounds awesome.

  • Emilka July 10, 2014, 5:52 am

    We have the exact same regrets! Our portraits weren’t terrible but there are only about five of them and her pictures of the wedding looked like they were taken by a friend. I don’t regret paying way less for her but I wish she had done a better job. We also tell all of our friends who are engaged to spring for a videographer!

  • Kelly July 10, 2014, 7:14 am

    I’m not sure if Pinterest existed (it was 4 years ago) but I definitely didn’t have it and thank goodness! I am so not a DIY person and I think I would’ve felt pressured by Pinterest to try… kind of like I do in parenthood, ha ha.

    I love your bridesmaid dresses and your dress!

  • Nicole C. July 10, 2014, 11:31 am

    I created a Pinterest wedding board, but ultimately I faced reality: I’m not a crafty person, and I would have driven myself crazy. My husband and I didn’t want a big wedding because we wanted to spend our money on the honeymoon and later, a down payment for a house.

    *My dress and shoes came from Modcloth. ($130)
    *We limited our ceremony to family only and got married in the chapel on the campus where I work. No wedding party. ($175)
    *We did spent a little more than expected on photography because it was important to me to have great photos from the day.
    *I have a friend who’s a designer, and she created and printed my programs for about $20.
    *My flowers? I bought colorful pansies from WalMart the day before, along with sewing pins and ribbons. I made my own bouquets for about $7.
    *We all went to dinner at an Italian restaurant afterward. My grandma paid for the meal as her wedding present, but even so, it was so cheap compared to catering costs.

    I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved my wedding day. =)

    Out of curiosity, what turned you off about your photographer?

    • Caitlin July 10, 2014, 3:18 pm

      Ugh everything. The photos were just bad. I seriously could’ve taken them with my own DSL.

  • Allison July 10, 2014, 11:44 am

    I got married 17 years ago – the internet barely existed…if Pintrest had been around, I would have had a very different wedding. We hired a great wedding photographer, but this was before digital pictues were common and about 10 years ago we tried to find the photographer to get more pictures and they were gone….no trace, so we are stuck with the prints we bought. I kind of hated my wedding dress. I found a dress that I loved at Pricilla’s and my mother said “Oh, I can make that”….well, she made the dress that she wanted me to wear….and it didn’t fit properly. I also wish that I had very different centerpieces.

  • Amanda July 15, 2014, 10:08 pm

    I love your recap! Very honest look back and what to do/not to do. You mentioned you wish you could go to the cocktail hour but didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony. Looking back, would you do it the same way? I’m getting married in a few months and we keep going back and forth on doing a first look or not.

    Congrats on 5.5 years and the upcoming addition to the family!

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