Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Weddings are tiring!

One of my best friends got married on Sunday, and I was a bridesmaid for the first time ever!

I wore the red dress I made and blogged about recently.  Got lots of compliments.  Here I am with the bride!

The wedding was a lot of fun, but I took on volunteer wedding coordination duties on the day of and had a very long two days.  Saturday was the rehearsal, family lunch, then her bridal shower, which I also did a lot of planning/doing for.

Then we were up early again on Sunday to make the bouquets (aaaack, I wish this had been done earlier), get everything ready and packed, and head out to the venue to get our hair and makeup done and get dressed.  I used to work catering for a summer at the lovely place where she got married (McMenamin's Cornelius Pass Roadhouse--in the octagonal barn--for you locals).

There were lots of DIYs and decorations to get ready (some of which have been and will be on this blog with tutorials!), on the tables and around the inside of the barn.  There were five bridesmaids, five groomsmen, and LOTS of helpful relatives so set-up was pretty chaotic.  I had a schedule of the whole day that I used a lot, and if I do say so myself I think I did a pretty good job of keeping everything in line.  There were no major catastrophes, and everyone had a good time!

One of the most fun elements for the guests and all was the photo booth my friend hired to come out.  We were able to use a barn door part of the barn that matched so well with the rustic theme of the wedding, and everyone had a great time playing with the goofy props!  And of course the photographer's photos aren't done yet, but we can view these online!  Here's the bride and groom...
The four female bridesmaids...
Some of us with our bouquets and seating assignment birdies...
And all the bridesmaids & bridesman with the bride!
She had a different dress for the reception!
It was a lot of fun but I am now exhausted.  Totally worn out.  I have shin splints and strained both my ankles in the shoes I was wearing, and of course didn't get enough sleep all weekend, and my neck hurts.  I'm getting too old for this!

But I did learn some lessons about what to do at my wedding, and will be glad to have my very (recently) experienced friend, the bride, in my bridal party!  My fiance was a great sport all night, too, arriving just for the wedding and then watching me run around like crazy getting the iPod, the buffet order, the toasts/cake cutting, the bouquet toss, etc. in order.  He hasn't been to many weddings so it was a good learning experience for him, too!  And of course the bride and groom are his friends, too, so he was very emotional watching the vows.  How can we possibly not cry during our ceremony if we almost cried during theirs?!?

Our wedding is in less than two weeks and it's getting down to the wire.  Any tips from experienced wedding guests, planners, or bridal party attendants is welcome--how do I avoid all this exhaustion?!


  1. Great job on the dress! Im excited to see pics of your big day, comin soon....

  2. sit back and enjoy the day- let someone else worry about all the disasters:)

  3. When my sister got married, her godmother and family went and set up the reception hall. Took a lot of weight off the rest of us knowing that she was on it. Really, the key is making sure everyone knows exactly what their job is, and sticks to that.
    Trust experience. If one of the bridesmaids is late to the ceremony because she baked the cake and had to assemble it, have ONE person be her contact at the ceremony place. The buddy system. It works.

    I thought about this one a couple of days ago and forgot to comment! Get started on your "Here's how the wedding went" posts *now.* That way all you have to worry about later is adding pictures and changing a bit of the language!

  4. My wedding was a major DIY wedding too - which can add extra stress! But the very best thing that helped me keep calm was that we finished EVERYTHING the day before the rehearsal. If it wasn't finished, then it wasn't going to be in the wedding. Ha! Then the day of my rehearsal, I slept in, went to a spa, and lived in the moment. The next day I was able to marry the love of my life with no stress! It was amazing :)

    I can't wait to hear about your wedding!! It will be beautiful.

  5. Honestly, from past experience, there really is no way to avoid the exhaustion. Just embrace the day, enjoy it, and soak up every second. Try to get as much as help as you can for set-up and take down and remember to breathe. :) It will all work out beautifully.

  6. Delegate responsibility to trusted friends and family. Don't do it all yourself! Get 'er done early so you can laugh, cry, enjoy, dance--and not worry a bit about the hors d'oeuvre trays.

    Have a wonderful wedding day!

  7. make a killer list and post it where everyone who wants to help can just take a task and check it off when they do it! Having just cooked for a week for 130 people with all volunteer cooks, this system worked like a charm.

    AND cousins are supposed to pitch in and do whatever needs to be done the day of the wedding. This is our family system and it works like a charm! So let them do all the schlepping for you and then you can do it for them when it is their turn!

  8. You all are totally right. Good advice, keep it coming ;)

    I have a schedule, logistics, and packing lists in draft stage and am working on coordinating cars, timing, etc. It's all in the works and I hope I don't forget any hugely important things to do!

  9. My only tip would be manners, the last wedding I went to the chick was a total bridezilla and even her MOH was done with the whole thing. Of course you seem very nice so I'm sure you wouldn't do this....

    Also love you're photos, they are priceless!

  10. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Try to get everything done as early as possible, assign people to do stuff that needs to be done closer to the wedding, and relax as much as possible the night before/day of. Can't wait to see pics of your wedding.


  11. Danielle7/26/2011

    Make a emergency kit to take with you. Seriously it is a life saver. Include stuff like superglue (which I ended up using as fray check when I lost the tie for the corset back of my dress and had to go to Walmart the night before and buy some ribbon to match), duck tape(white if you can find it), Shout wipes, Q-tips, vaseline, scissors, chocolate (for when you were too nervous to eat breakfast and are about to pass out), just anything you can think of to use in case of emergency. When you are down to the wire and your bridesmaid's heel comes off her shoe or you spill coffee on you dress from the nerves you will be happy you planned ahead. Another tip, bring some oil blotting sheets and use them before you take pictures because you will sweat and no one wants their face to look shiny in their pictures.

    Remember luck favors the prepared so avert disaster before it strikes.

  12. Anonymous7/27/2011

    Plan, orchestrate, delegate, do your very best to be prepared, and, then, relax. You are the only one who will even notice if some obscure detail is skipped or forgotten.

    At the end of the day you will still be married to your best friend, and your guests will have shared the memories.

    Enjoy, happy trumps perfect every single time.

  13. Anonymous7/28/2011

    No matter how much you plan, weddings are just exhausting. Whoever you are handing the schedule to will still be doing tons of work, I don't think there's any way to avoid the stress and exhaustion.

    But, it will be tons of fun and whoever took on the role will probably have known what they were getting themselves into, so I wouldn't worry too much.

    Good luck!

  14. Good list, @Danielle!! That is a lot of stuff but would make a great emergency kit.

    I feel like I'm doing a lot beforehand to prepare, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

  15. I was a wedding photographer assistant for like 3 years so I've been to tons of weddings and been behind the scenes the whole day so I definitely have some advice. Just like you were doing all this stuff for your friend, a couple of your friends will be attending to the last minute details and prep for you. But definitely have everything done ahead of time that you can. And most importantly, on the day of the wedding, don't stress over stuff. You will have most everything taken care of, especially the important stuff, and any small stuff that gets overlooked will not ruin the day. Try your best to chill and enjoy the moment. Definitely have a list for the photographer of essential people combos you want. =)



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