1.Try and be present
The whole day from getting ready all the way to the grand exit ends up being such a blur. I wish that I had taken a moment to look out at everyone and see all of our loved ones there to witness our wedding. Try and soak up every little moment with each person. I took a little bit of time with just my mom as she helped me into my dress, I gave my dad his gift while we were still getting ready so it could be a special moment before we walked down the aisle. The whole day is full of perfect little moments, just make sure you are able to enjoy them.
2. Have that glass of champagne
It is a celebration after all! Take time to enjoy your bridesmaids, enjoy the day, and getting ready together. Nerves and jitters are completely normal and there is nothing that settles a nervous bride quite like a little bubbly. Just make sure to have sparkling cider for the little ones- they will think it is the greatest!
3. Have everyone write you letters
My maid of honor is the most amazing person in the world. She got my parents, grandma, and all the bridesmaids to write me letters to read before the ceremony. These are so special to me and I am going to cherish them forever. It is so special to have something on paper form the ones you love to remind you of your special day.
4. Skip the receiving line
We skipped the receiving line all together. We thought about doing table visits but there just wasn’t time for that. Our caterer had an amazing suggestion- have the line for the buffet come past the head table. This allowed us to talk to everyone as they waited in line. We didn’t miss anyone and it was so time efficient. To be completely honest I didn’t like the idea when they first suggested it but the practicality of it set in and I am so glad we went with it!
5. Things WILL go wrong- it’s okay
My hair looked nothing like it did in my trial- and I had two of them. My DJ called in a last minute replacement that kept reminding people he worked the local radio station. The limo showed up two hours early. I ripped my vial running though the vineyard for a picture. Things will go wrong. It will all be okay. In the grand scheme of everything none of that matters, my best friend still became my husband and that is all that really mattered. Even with the things that went wrong it was a perfect day.
6. Take wedding party photos where your guests can see you
I was so worried about people during happy hour. I had set up lawn games, the bar was open, and we had an antipasti table hopping to keep them entertained. I think happy hour went well because even though pictures ran over we still had the hardest time getting people back to be seated for our grand entrance and I think a big part of that had to do with taking bridal party pictures where our guests could see us.
This my not be an option depending on the venue but for us it worked great! everyone was so respectful and let us take our pictures but they loved being able to see us and snap pictures of the bridal party. Jeff and I ran off the to the vineyard for our romantic shots but I loved doing family and bridal party shots where everyone could see them.
7. Spend time with just your husband
It is so easy to get caught up in everything and forget what this day is all about. It is about you and the love of your life becoming one and celebrating your love. Make sure to take a few moments even if its during dinner or a dance and just soak in that moment with just the two of you.
8. It is okay that you don’t eat
I am pretty sure the only thing I ate on my wedding night was the frosting that Jeff shoved in my face and the pizza we ordered back at the hotel when the night was over. It is important to take the time and make sure you have something in your system but the reality is with all of the nerves and everyone you’ll want to take time with it may not be a priority. Just make sure you eat at some point- even if it is pizza at 1 am!
9. Pay the extra- or don’t!
So many people are going to tell you what to spend you budget on. Don’t listen to any of them. When it comes down to it spend money on what makes you happy and what will matter years from now. We spent money on a photographer we loved and it was worth every penny! We had a cash bar because that was what was in our budget- everyone still had a wonderful time! Looking back I wish I would have given more thought to a videographer. The bottom line is look at what is practical and what is important to you and make the two work together for your day.
10. Everyone has a groom/bridezilla moment
Weddings are stressful, especially that last week before. My parents’ house was a mess of chalkboards, vines, wine bottles and gold spray paint. I may scared a poor woman at Hobby Lobby who said they discontinued the spray paint I needed to finish my centerpieces. I definitely cried because there were an odd number of chairs in one of the rows for the ceremony.
Let it out. Yell or cry if you need to and then move on. Realize that today- your wedding day your best friend in the whole world becomes your husband. Really let that sink in, and nothing else matters.