Eight Years Ago Today.

Eight Years Ago Today.

Today marks Molly & Dave’s 8th wedding anniversary — the most appropriate time to share nuptial shoulda woulda coulda’s and what-not-to-do’s from the best day of her life. Molly and Dave were married on October 16, 2004 at First Baptist Church in Lexington, North Carolina, with their reception at the Old North State Club. I spent a morning with Molly over deeeelish muffins & coffee at her (well, my future) apartment in Hancock Park rehashing old wedding tales, laughing about bad photography and crying over dad’s toast to the bride and groom. Oh and her apartment? I’ve got dibs. She knows this. Thanks again, Molly!

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The details, the space, the location, the building, need I go on? Molly has excellent taste and you can find more of her thoughts about design, travel, food, and smart luxury on her blog. Or need a PR Agent? Find her at self-started PR boutique firm, SW PR Shop.

As a newly engaged bride-to-be, listening to former brides reflect on their experiences realigns me in my own stupor (a dash of sensibility, please!). I think their stories can be helpful for all of us who are caught in our own wedding planning craze. Or if you’re not planning a wedding, why not read anyway? I’ve narrowed down five priceless pieces of advice from Molly that you can take with you or pass along to a friend who may need it.

(1) Invest in a Good Photographer

My first impression of Molly was this spirited, spunky gal, classy with an eye for design, but to be quite honest, I don’t know that her wedding photos capture her essence. Neither does she! Not investing in a great photographer was Molly’s biggest regret and even though the huge surge of take-photos-like-magazine-shoots-wherever-you-go-especially-at-your-wedding hadn’t really hit the web yet, there were still a few solid wedding photographers around. Looking back, she wishes this was a non-negotiable. So listen. Make photography a priority because looking back, what’s left of a party other than photos and memories?

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(2) Make it a Family Affair

With her parents being divorced, Dave’s family being from all over, and two-Angelenos flying to Molly’s small hometown to get married, it was important that she made everyone feel somewhat involved. Her parents split the cost of the wedding down the middle and because her mom is the consummate host, she took on all the wedding planning herself. Molly flew in a couple times from LA for tastings, but essentially wedding planning woes weren’t hers to bear. As a music buff, Molly’s dad was in charge of picking the band and arranging the car that would take them from the church to the reception. Surprise! Vintage Rolls Royce and a spectacular band that commanded dancing shoes all night. Delegation! It’s your friend.

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Dave’s mom planned their rehearsal dinner in North Carolina from Pennsylvania and his family rented out two homes near the the country club for the weekend of the wedding.  All of his out-of-town family members stayed together, indulging in some golf and R&R. What better time than a wedding to gather everyone together?? These alternatives to separate hotel rooms are definitely worth considering.

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3.) Incorporate Details That Matter to You

When Molly decided that periwinkle letterpress was going to take place of the customary Southern engraved invitations, it was kind of a shocker. But she stuck to her guns and that was that. They’re simple and timeless.

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Molly also created out-of-town gift baskets filled with Southern goodies and handcrafted maps so that guests would feel welcome and learn how to get around a new area. Looking back, they were her absolute favorite detail. Additional touches to make any wedding more enjoyable for guests is a plus in my book!

4.) Prioritize and Don’t Break the Bank on What You Can’t Afford

With her eyes set on a designer dress from Les Habitudes, Molly nixed all expensive alcohol out the window. She had her guests cheery on Two Buck Chuck and a buffet style dinner (honestly, who cares about a stuffy plated meal if that just isn’t your style anyway??). With good music and spirits high, everyone had a ball.

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(5) Let it Go!

Perfection is in no wedding handbook, so make serious effort to let go of things that you can’t control on the day-of. All has been arranged, set, prepared and there’s nothing left to do but show up and relish every second of the day — it will fly by in an instant.

Molly and Dave entrance 1 463x600 Eight Years Ago Today.

Molly distinctly remembers seeing her centerpieces mid-father-daughter dance for the first time: lilies instead of the white roses she had asked for! Get over the skipped heart beat cause really, what are you going to do? Nada.

Happy Anniversary, Molly & Dave! Wishing you an evening filled with deliciousness and years full of deep belly laughter.