For most brides, their wedding day is a day that they have poured their blood, sweat, tears and a whole bunch of family drama into! There are highs and sometimes lows and some things that you wish you could change. Was the food good? Did my bustle look good? Did I even get a piece of my wedding cake? I know I asked all of these questions and more! I have collected the most important highs and more important regrets of my day into one place so that YOU can benefit from my experience!
Hire A Wedding Planner
Yes, wedding planners can be really expensive. Yes, we have all heard those stories of brides spending all that money on the wedding planner for them to be just an awful waste of money. Yes, you are strong and independent woman and it is just a party and you can do it all on your own. I agree with all of those things as I was in the same boat but I tell you what, mine was worth every penny.
Many of venues that you will be choosing from come with coordinators that will handle the bulk of the decorating and wrangling of the other outside vendors but if your venue does not come with any coordinator, HIRE A COORDINATOR! If you are super opposed to the wedding planner then at least consider a day-of coordinator. The planner is probably overkill for most competent brides with a good idea of what they want but the day-of coordinator's importance cannot be stressed enough. Depending on the level of service, the planner will come in six months to six weeks ahead of your special day and help you button up all of your last minute arrangements and make sure you are not forgetting anything. For most brides, this is the first and only wedding that they will be planning so of course they have little to no idea what they are doing. You would never try to cut your own hair and expect it to come out perfect, so why try to plan something as equally important like your wedding day without professional support?
My hubby actually tried to argue this with me when he saw it on the wedding budget and I said, "So we will be having 200 people from out of town to help us celebrate. Do you want to be calling and confirming vendors? Cause I don't!" and he quickly conceded.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For A Discount
I was lucky in that I got married in the north during December which is off-season. I also planned my wedding for less than six months after I got engaged so I was on a mission. I used a lot of referrals from friends and I got super lucky because literally everyone (except my first choice wedding planner) was available. And not only were they available, they wanted my business and I took full advantage of it. One thing I also used my wedding planner for was to ask for discounts. I swear, this woman paid for herself by getting me $500 off the bartending service, $800 off of chair rentals and another couple hundred just from her knowledge of the industry and being able to point me in the right direction quickly. So the moral of the story is, if you really want a vendor but they are out of your budget, ask for a discount. Literally the worst thing they will say is no and they might even say yes!
Keep The Registry Small
I had a rather short engagement and the registry was something I definitely struggled with. My hubby HATES registries so I populated it mostly on my own. My biggest regret is actually registering for too many things. Register for only things that you REALLY want or need. If there is even an inkling of doubt in your mind, pass on it. You will get far less gifts than you think you will and I got a ton of mediocre gifts that I wish I hadn't have registered for. I was so overwhelmed by Bed Bath & Beyond telling me I needed more gifts that I just registered for stuff and returned a ton of it. Ignore the rules and only register for what you really want, even if it is a Honey Fund!
Practice The Kiss At The Wedding Rehearsal
So this is kind of a funny one and a piece of advice that I never received but wish I had! We had a Catholic ceremony so the spot for when to kiss the bride was a little weird. Since the Catholic ceremony requires a full Catholic mass, the kiss comes right in the middle and neither of us quite knew what we were doing. Right after we did our vows and exchanged rings, we were a little confused and my hubby actually went back to sit down before he kissed me and the priest had to shoo him back onto the altar to kiss me. It was super cute and one of the funnier moments of the wedding but the kiss that followed was somewhat nervous and rushed (which is not uncommon) and I wish we would have actually practiced it!
Have A Cup With A Lid
So they make these sippy cup wine tumblers that you can get personalized by color and name and they are amazing. Not only can you get a tumbler in your wedding colors, you can also have a cup to use all night long with your name on it. No wandering around the reception wondering if the catering staff took your drink or misplacing it. Plus, when someone gets you a refill, the bartender should automatically know to make your drink great since it is definitely for the bride.
Bring A Pair Of Comfy Shoes!
I LOVE my wedding shoes. I walked down the aisle, walked through mud to get some great pictures and jogged on concrete to catch the sunset in these shoes and they did me so good! They are dark green and strappy and make me feel sexy just thinking about them. But I am not a woman who usually wears heels and these 2.5 inchers were making me pretty miserable by the time my dad and I hit the dance floor. But I had a plan! I searched for weeks for the perfect pair of sparkly sneakers and they were a God send! They were gold and sparkly and I still felt like a fabulous bride even I was two inches shorter and had arch supporting insoles!
Tell The Caterer & Planner To Save You A Piece Of Wedding Cake
We cut the cake right after the main entrance and while my hubby and I definitely shoved morsels into each other's mouth awkwardly, it was light on the actual cake getting in each other's mouths. About an hour after dinner I wander towards the kitchen and ask one of the catering staff for a piece of wedding cake. I was able to swipe the last piece (which was clearly set aside for someone else but screw them this is my cake)! Thinking back on it, I am super annoyed that the caterer didn't save me a piece of cake. Like, derp. Even if we didn't explicitly ask, I foolishly assumed that they would save me some of my own damn wedding cake. But no. I have even heard stories of brides barging into kitchens because she has just been told there is no cake left to find a dozen catering staff members eating her cake! So please tell whoever is in charge of the cake to save you a piece.
Don’t Drink Too Much
I love me some wine. I also love me some whiskey. I also LOVE me some margaritas! For my wedding, we stocked our own bar and it was full of all of mine and my closest friends and family's favorites but I knew that this day was not the time to indulge. I was super dead set on remembering as much of the day as possible and I succeeded. I filled my cup with ice and then my Sauvignon Blanc (because I am classy like that) and always chugged a bottle of water with every new drink and I will tell you, I was largely successful. There are only a few fuzzy spots in my memory but there are only a few and they passed quickly because I was so busy dancing and talking and eating and NOT drinking. Remember your day and moderate your alcohol consumption!
Several Times That Day, Stop & Take It All In
Your wedding day will be wonderful and long but it will also go by in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, your hair and makeup is done and you are putting on your dress and then walking down the aisle and then cutting the cake and suddenly they are playing your last song! Before you have even taken advantage of the full bar menu, it is over and you are wondering where the day went. While there is nothing you can do to prevent time passing at its normal pace, you can do yourself a favor and stop to take it all in several times during the day. A lot will be going on but all you have to do it hold your new hubby's hand (or your bridesmaid's or even your own hand!), take a deep breath and do a panoramic of wherever you are. Notice the people, the happy faces, the lighting, the décor you have spent months planning and take it in for a minute. These will be the best anchors in your memory of your perfect wedding day!