I’m married and wise now.
While laying on the beach at the honeymoon, I got out a spiral notebook and wrote out all my best wedding advice. Here we go.
Be a Bigger Bridezilla
This is number one on my list. Be more of a monster!
A lot of my favorite parts of our wedding were the parts I worked REALLY hard for. Read: I had to be very annoying multiple times over to many people in order to make visions come to life.
One of those things was our recessional song. I really wanted traditional classics for pre-ceremony, but wanted something fun and modern for recessional. So sue me. Somehow The Four Seasons Summer in G Minor by Vivaldi wasn’t what I had in mind for “fun and modern”. However, it was a pretty traditional wedding with a church ceremony and string quartet, and there were literally rules about what music you can and can’t play.
Our church’s music director initially turned down my request for an instrumental Beatles song recessional, but later agreed to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (played by the quartet we hired). I don’t get it either. But so glad I kept asking. So glad I am very annoying.
It’s completely stupid because I have no recollection of hearing the music AT ALL. Like, I did not hear anything walking down or up the aisle. It’s hilarious. But we did get a ton of compliments on the quartet and recessional song so 10/10 recommend beating people into submission.
Another favorite thing: the cake stand. I found the cake stand THE DAY BEFORE the wedding. A) I did not realize I needed a cake stand until the week of the wedding and B) I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the cake stand to look like, waited as long as I possibly could before settling, and finally found what I wanted THE DAY BEFORE.
THE DAY BEFORE.
There are more favorite things but this post would be 98437537861 words long if I kept going.
Your Eyebrows Are Not Too Much (But You Might Be)
After getting my make up done, I ever so discreetly asked my bridesmaids, “ARE MY EYEBROWS TOO MUCH? BE HONEST.” All of them said no. Looking back on photos from the day, I know that they were right.
You just aren’t used to having a face of big girl make up. So don’t worry about your eyebrows.
Get Over Yourself And Get Your Bridal Portraits Taken
How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to frolic around town in your wedding dress and have someone take photos of it? Answer: never. This is your chance. You don’t even need your photographer to do it, get a Canon and a friend and DO IT. YOU’RE A BRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU. ARE. A. BRIDE.
Allow this bulleted list to convince you why you need Bridals:
- Test out hair and make up. Let me tell you, nothing like figuring out what you don’t like about your make up and hair after seeing your Bridal portraits. I LOVED my bridal portraits, but I still had ~*~tWeAkS~*~ that I wanted to make before D-day.
- You don’t look the same in real life as you do in edited, well-lit photos. Just emphasizing that.
- Practice posing. Us ugly gals really gotta find our angles, ok.
- Change up your wedding-day look. I didn’t wear the belt or veil for bridals.
- You will not have time on your wedding day. This is probably the most important reason. I’m telling you, I had photographers for 9+ hours, and there are about 4 shots of just me from the whole day. Not because I had already gotten Bridals done, but because ***THERE IS NO TIME***. If you’re planning “doing bridals on your wedding day” THAT IS FINE. I would just recommend adding at least another hour onto your photographer’s schedule. AT LEAST.
Escape The Crowd With Your New Husband
One of my favorite things about our wedding night was escaping away just the two of us to sip a cocktail and share hors d’oeuvres. We did this and the reception reveal while the guests did cocktail hour. It was SO PEACEFUL and WONDERFUL to just sit down with Lane and soak up the moment
and not talk to anyone else for one minute.
What’s funny is when my planner told me she was going to do this months earlier, I was like, that’s okay, I don’t want to do that, I want to join the out of town guests lol. That was so cute. Listen to your planner. Also…
Get A Real Planner, Not Your Organized Friend Or Cousin
This is key. I had a planner months leading up to the wedding and a couple days before the wedding, she caught that we had too many chairs per table, which meant we had to order more tables, which meant we had to order more linens, which meant help. She did some magical rearranging so that we only had to rent the least possible amount of additional things. That is just one example of something only a professional planner would catch.
This doesn’t even attest to all the day-of things that planners are so needed for.
GET A FREAKING PLANNER. AND I DON’T MEAN YOUR FRIEND WHO HAS AN ORGANIZED FRIDGE.
Do Not Go On Your Honeymoon The Day After The Wedding
No one tells you how actual dead/exhausted you will be. I wasn’t even hungover, but I. WAS. PHYSICALLY. MENTALLY. DEAD. The next morning was hands-down the most drained/exhausted I have ever been.
Packing the day after was hard enough. Leaving two days after the wedding was hard enough. I’ll literally never know how people go to Europe, for this reason alone. I would have killed myself if I had to deal with jet lag ok wat ok bye.
Consistency Is Chic
Don’t have 10 bridesmaids if you’re only having 100 guests. If you’re having a low budget wedding, then don’t make your bridesmaids spend $350 on dresses. If you’re having an all-out, skies-the-limit wedding, then have an open bar. And it better have hors d’oeuvres and cake. DON’T SKIMP ON FOOD IF YOU DIDN’T SKIMP ON FLORAL. Everyone say it with me, CONSISTENCY IS CHIC.
Think of One Important Thing You Really Want To Happen On Your Wedding Day
Make this the ONE thing you want to happen in order for you to feel like your wedding day was a true success. It can be take a photo with your grandma. Or wear your mom’s “something borrowed” ring. Or tell your dad something special before walking down the aisle. That way, no matter what goes wrong, the day will be a success because of this one thing and also because you got to marry ur soul mate etc.
For me, that One Thing was sharing the gospel with guests, who come from all backgrounds, generations, walks of life (and literally 22 different states). We had a church ceremony, so I was like CHECK DAT BOX, DONE, PERF, GR8, NEXT.
To my surprise, the gospel was most effectively communicated not at the ceremony, but at the reception. My sister totally blew me away in her Matron Of Honor speech. She could have stuck to funny or sentimental, but she took a risk and managed to be funny, sentimental, AND powerfully, confidently opened up her speech in front of 250+ guests by explaining how Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding, because he loves us and wants us to have joy. It was so amazing and it really double checked, circled, and underlined my One Thing.
Also, Lane’s brother was his Best Man, and he COMPLETELY killed the speech game as well (he used to be a stand up comedian!!! are you reading this, Cammy?? hi!!!) So I know I’m biased, but our wedding had the World’s Best Speeches.
Don’t get me started on rehearsal dinner speeches. There were props.
POSITIVE PEOPLE ARE VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!
All those annoyingly positive people in your life that you can’t stand right now? You will literally worship them during wedding planning. I had so many melt downs and life crisees and nightmares and mental breakdowns that I don’t even know where to begin. You’re in a very fragile state when you’re planning a wedding and the slightest comment from an innocent bystander can set you over the edge.
I think at one point I asked my freinds about facial re-construction surgery. EVERYTHING IS FINE.
My point is, do everything you can to be around positive people who are genuinely excited for you and remind you one of important thing: YOU’RE!!!! GETTING!!!! MARRIED!!!!!
Make Your Reception One Hour Longer
This is the ONE thing I would change about the whole wedding. My thinking behind not extending it was, “We’ll just go to the after party” but the fact is, it’s not easy for everyone to leave the reception (ESPECIALLY for the family and wedding party, who likely have to help with something, no matter how much you’ve paid vendors to do the clean up) and a lot of guests just flat out will not go the after party. It would have been so worth the extra couple hundred bucks to extend our stay at the reception venue for an hour!
Plan An Afterparty
This is obvious. But I got to spend so much more quality time with guests at the afterparty. Like actually sit down and talk to people. And even more importantly, I was able to dance to more rap music at the party.
Those Robes On The Knot Shop Dot Com Aren’t Going Anywhere
I bought bridesmaid robes like 8 months too soon because I thought, “OMG A 60% OFF SALE ON THE KNOT SHOP DOT COM WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN WOW WOWOWOW”.
See: no sign of said robes on wedding day:):) Because 8 months is too soon to buy that. And I changed my mind. It’s fine i’m fine dot com, just added their robe to their gift. 🙂 🙂 :):):):):)))):)
Also, sales are constantly happening on sites like The Knot. Buy nothing full price.
Don’t Make Decisions Too Early
I made a lot of decisions way too soon because I’m an idiot. I thought having only 9 months to plan a January wedding meant I had to do everything before the holidays. This led to so many unnecessary quick-decisions. See above. Don’t be me.
Invest In Chic Thank You Notes & Pens, Babe~!~!~!~
I loved writing thank you notes on my fancy thank you stationary with my fancy thank you pens during wedding planning. I SUPER recommend keeping up with thank you notes in the months leading up to the wedding because once the wedding is over, you will NOTwant to do anything remotely wedding related. This was especially true for me since we moved into a house RIGHT AFTER the honeymoon so. like. My life and all its belongings, and mailed gifts, were a tad chaotic.
It’s March and I am still not caught up on thank you’s so if you bought me a gift THANK YOU AND I’M SORRY LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (it’s coming).
Write Out A List Of Photos You Want. Seriously.
Other than the list of family/wedding party combination photos, I did not do this. It’s silly, and really doesn’t matter, but I wish I had more photos of me in my veil in the church, and my blue heels or flats peaking from under my gown, just to name a few.
Enlist A Bridesmaid To Take Photos With Your Phone All Day & All Night
I am so mad I didn’t think of this sooner. Naturally being the bride, I woke up the next day and had zero photos of the night. I of course screenshotted 800 Snapchats and made everyone text me their photos, but if I had been a smart person, I would have made a bridesmaid take photos with my phone of THE WHOLE DAY. YOU’RE WELCOME.
It’s Okay If You Murder A Bridesmaid But Do NOT Forget To Get Her A Gift
Occasions you — the bride — will need to buy thank you gifts for:
- For the people who plan your bachelorette
- All bridal shower hostesses (FOR ALL SHOWERS!)
- Bridesmaid day-of-wedding gift
- In-laws day-of-wedding gift
- Parents day-of-wedding gift
If all you can afford is a handwritten note, then IT’S BETTER THAN NOTHING. Just be aware of the etiquette of thank you gifts from the bride. ETIQUETTE MATTERS. THANK YOU NOTES MATTER. IS ANYONE STILL READING.
How To Not Blackout At Your Wedding Reception
Finally, we are the the part that hooked you on this post in the first place.
Here’s the step by step guide:
- Do an alcohol cleanse after New Years.
- Drastically lower your already-low alcohol tolerance.
- Drink a moderate amount of wine at the rehearsal dinner.
- Stay at the welcome party way too long.
- Barely sleep.
- Wake up too early.
- Have a headache in the morning.
- Get a stomachache at night.
- Feel too sick to drink. BOOM! Sober wedding night!!!!!!!
911, Why are rehearsal dinners the night before the wedding? These should be 3 months before the wedding, with the Bachelorette party.
My point is, you may or may not be your best self on your wedding day. And it’s fine. It won’t even matter. I didn’t feel my best, or prettiest, or most rested, but I had SO MUCH ADRENALINE that it did not even phase me. I was truly the happiest I have ever been, and my heart was FULL to the brim. Looking back, I am relieved that I didn’t drink too much at the reception. It’s very cool to actually remember every detail I possibly can of *truly* the best night of my life.
OKAY SO THAT’S EVERYTHING!
I have had fun joking with Lane that I’ve learned so much, my second wedding will be beautiful?????? He thinks it is VERY VERY FUNNY when I say that??????????????
Finally, you can look at all the wedding photos on my personal Facebook page! All vendors are listed there as well! Does anyone care!
I can almost guarantee that the most stressful thing about your wedding day will be the false eyelashes. Because at least the other things that could possibly go wrong, food, DJ, dress, etc, at least those things are not attached to your face.
QUESTION: Would you like a wedding details post? Or Registry post? Any other wedding topic post? If so, LEAVE COMMENT AND LET A GIRL KNOW.
Thanks for reading!
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