The Second Look: Mason and Ashley Look Back on Their Wedding Day

Mason and Ashley take a "second look" at their wedding and share what they may or may not have done differently.

By Alexis Ferguson

The Second Look: 5 Tips from Mason and Ashley's Look Back on Their Wedding Day
Photo by Christian Sampson

Welcome to The Second Look, where we ask married couples to take a look back at what they may (or may not) have changed about their wedding day.

We’re sharing couples’ biggest wedding day regrets and highlights as tips for others still planning their own.

Today: A couple from Cincinnati, OH look back on their 08.20.22 wedding.

The Second Look Mason and Ashley Christian Sampson 2 Photo Credit // Christian Sampson

Couple: Mason (he/him) & Ashley Fitzpatrick (she/her)
Wedding Date: 08.20.22
Location: The Factory Events in Cincinnati, OH

1. Spend time thinking about your lighting.

“Better indoor lighting could’ve helped match the mood we wanted to create for the night and our photos.” – Mason & Ashley

There are so many big decisions to make when planning your wedding, it's not rare for some smaller wedding details to get overlooked. Mason and Ashley, for example, totally forgot to spend time honing in on the proper lighting for their ceremony and reception.

You may be thinking, "Lighting? What's there to think about?" Exactly! It's not until it's in hindsight that couples think of all the lighting options they have, from outdoor twinkle lights to create an enchanted vibe, to candles and lanterns to add an air of romance. Even your venue having incandescent vs fluorescent lights can really make a difference in how your wedding decor shows up. And let's not forget how much neon or disco lights can add some colorful fun to your reception.

Bottom line: Even if you don't think you have to think about it, think about it. Because you too may take a look back at your wedding and think of all the ways it could have shined brighter.

2. Take time to fully enjoy your rehearsal dinner.

“Everything just goes by so quickly.” – Mason & Ashley

For most couples, after months (maybe even years) of planning for their "big day", the time leading up to the actual event can feel like a blur. It's true that in comparison to the amount of prep that goes into planning not just your ceremony, but every wedding activity - your engagement party, your wedding showers, bach parties, etc. - each moment spent actually celebrating can rush on by if you don't take the time to fully enjoy it.

Often when we ask couples to look back at the night before their wedding, not making the most of their rehearsal dinner is their top regret. It's the same for Mason and Ashley. And who can blame them? Everyone, from your guests to your vendors are all focused on making sure the next day goes on without a hitch.

But take it from other couples, the rehearsal night can truly be one to remember. It's one of the first nights you get to party with all your loved ones who traveled just to celebrate you two. It's a night for you and your partner to revel in the future you're about to step into. "Planning a wedding" is more than getting down the aisle, it's celebrating all the days along the way to the fullest.

The Second Look Mason and Ashley Christian Sampson 3 Photo Credit // Christian Sampson

3. Be prepared for unexpected weather!

“Everything was planned outdoors, but it just made for the perfect rainbow after our ceremony.” – Mason & Ashley

If we've said it once, we've said it twice: Always have a plan B for your wedding!

There's nothing wrong about being optimistic for your outdoor mid-autumn wedding, or crossing your fingers that last night's snow won't put a damper on setting up in the morning. Things may turn out rosy as they did for Mason and Ashley – wedding pics in the rain just have a certain whistful look – but you may not be as lucky. Just in case, make sure you, your venue, and your vendors align on a rainy-day backup plan.

4. Cherish the moments you shared (even off camera).

“We really hope we remember that newlywed feeling of gratitude and appreciation for our love.” – Mason & Ashley

OK, "pics or it didn't happen" should apply to almost every situation but on your wedding day. As soon as night's over the first thing on everyone's mind is seeing all those beautiful wedding photos. Photos can last a lifetime, but what lasts even longer are those intimate, often secret moments you allow yourself and your partner to have on what may be your most significant day together.

From the stress of wanting to make sure your wedding day goes as planned, to worrying about all your guests and even having to deal with any last-minute mixups, it's easy to forget that your ceremony is not just for public display. It's for you two to truly cherish all the moments that brought you there, and all the ones to come. Keeping this in mind even as you plan can help keep so much of what truly matters in perspective.

The Second Look Mason and Ashley Christian Sampson 4 Photo Credit // Christian Sampson

5. Look forward to creating your family together.

“We hope to be a strong example of love and partnership for our future kids.” – Mason & Ashley

Beyond marriage being a commitment to your partner, it's the beginning of a new life together. Even if you're one of the many couples who've already lived together before getting married, or if you already have a family you've been taking care of, marriage opens the door to so many opportunities, legally and socially, for you to build your future as a new family.

For Mason and Ashley that future is one they're looking forward to bringing kids into, showing to them the bond of love as they grow their family together. But for you, that ideal "family" may look totally different. Either way, the lesson here is to never forget that your life together doesn't peak at "I do". In fact, marriage is just the starting point.

Let Zola help you plan all the days along the way.

It’s easy to look back on your wedding planning journey with little to no regrets when you have the right tools and experts to help you every step of the way. From sharing the news via your wedding paper and website to cherishing every memory through wedding gifts and albums, we’re always looking out for you.

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