Your humble blogger is not a chap who enjoys lists. I don’t like countdowns, top ten ranking or “best ofs”.
But my own wedding planning showed me that though many things will require your attention in the planning process, there are (in The Gay Groom’s humble opinion) FIVE THINGS that one should devote most of their time, energy and money toward to have a FABULOUS wedding:
Do NOT skimp. Do NOT choose a friend with a nice camera. Do NOT find some student in photography school to save a few bucks. Do NOT hire your photographer for just an hour to take a bunch of posey pics of you and your wedding party at your local botanical garden.
DO find a professional photographer to record your big day – all of it. Remember that you’ve put a lot of time and money into your wedding – so get it photographed properly by someone who specializes in it (the Husband and I found our photographer at the Gay and Lesbian Wedding Show in Toronto). Also pay them to stay for the entire afternoon ceremony and reception. Get those candid photos of your friends and family enjoying your big day too! It cost more but we LOVE how our photos turned out! Our photographer also put them all in a beautiful leather album we can bore guest with for years (along with a disk containing all the photos as well).
We put a big chunk of money on the flowers. We did not go with a traditional neighbourhood florist but instead chose a company that does the floral arrangements for large events (corporate, social etc.). The Husband and I sat down with the owner and explained what we wanted and how much we wanted to spend. More importantly we told them what we DID NOT want (any sort of ‘Autumn Harvest Festival’ look). They took our ideas and put together some gorgeous pieces. They were spectacular.
For the food we went straight to one of the best caterers in Toronto (Daniel et Daniel). Our menu changed and grew (let’s say ‘evolved’) as the wedding day approached (and as our guest list seemed to expand) and our caterer was able to handle all our requests (and make some brilliant suggestions – like the additon of prime rib). Many of our guests told us how happy they were to see the Daniel et Daniel truck on the street when they drove up to the house (their great reputation doth proceed them)! “We knew we were in for a treat,” one guest said. They also have staff (bartender, waiter, chef) that was highly skilled and extremely polite and professional.
We first heard our wedding guitarist at a friend’s wedding and he was our first choice when we finally decided on having a guitar player at our own wedding. The Husband and I had also thought about flute and violin and a few others, but I think our choice of a simple guitar (playing classical/jazz for three hours) was perfect for us. We didn’t give our guitarist many requests (he’s not a DJ), instead we asked for Pachelbel’s Canon for the wedding ceremony and also Bach’s Air on the G-String. The rest we left up to him (since that’s what he does). And he was brilliant!
This was the showpiece of the wedding. Our Pièce de résistance. We went to the best bakery in the city and (after a tasting) decide on a Dufflet’s Golden Cake – white sponge layered with fresh strawberries and a delicate orange buttercream covered with white rolled fondant. At first we had chosen a smaller cake but decided to move up to a larger size just for the effect (and for the photos). Two men standing beside a tiny cake would have looked too ridiculous – and you can never have too much cake. And I wouldn’t be overstating it to say that our Dufflet’s cake was a SMASH! I can’t wait to have the top tier (now in our freezer) on our first anniversary!
(Though neither your humble blogger nor his Husband wore one at their wedding, I have it on good authority that wedding dresses are quite important when there is a woman (or two) getting married. In such cases, I think ‘wedding dress’ may be substituted in my list for ‘music’.)
In sum, I think the best way to go when planning your wedding is to hire very good people and then just let them do their job. Then you can relax and enjoy your day. Your wedding will be over faster than you can imagine so remember to take the time to savor it.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom