In my 24 years of life, I have attended probably a dozen weddings. I have attended as a guest, I have been a bridesmaid, and I have even worked as a wedding videographer / photographer in a few. And let me tell you, it is NOTHING like your own wedding. You can read every blog, book, article; watch every movie, reality tv show, everything- and it still does not prepare you for your own wedding day. I am gonna fill you in on my BEST pieces of wedding advice.
1. People want to help with your wedding. And you should let them! I did a lot of my wedding decor and things DIY. And while this does save money- it is extremely time consuming. James' sister helped make the flower crowns for the flower girls and they turned out perfect. I didn't have to add to my plate of stress by taking on another DIY project. They probably would have turned out sloppy and half-assed if I had tried taking them on myself. And trust me, people love helping.
2. Wedding planning is not fun- but you will miss it. I've said it a million times. Wedding planning is hard and stressful. You'll wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you ordered the right shade of dusty rose pink napkins. No seriously- you will. But now that it's gone, I weirdly miss it. So embrace the stress and sleepless nights about napkins.
3. Please eat on your wedding day. My bridal party went and picked up Taco Bell on the day of the wedding and I was too afraid to risk it. I have never had food poisoning, but it would be my luck that it happened the wedding day. So I ate a bagel and yogurt. But that was all I ate ALL day. Let's just say- alcohol really sinks in when you barely eat.
4. You are going to cry. I know, this seems obvious right? Hear me out. I expected to tear up a little walking down the aisle or seeing my husband waiting for me at the altar. But nope. I cried seeing my flower girls all dressed up. I cried in the elevator on my way down to the ceremony. I cried when the ceremony music began. I cried seeing my friend's snapchat of us saying "wedding day" as I was in my pajamas. You cry at random things.
5. The ceremony is the best part of the whole day. I expected the reception to be my favorite. All my friends dancing and drinking. But honestly, the ceremony was the most special part. MY ceremony only last about 10 minutes and sooo many people told me how awesome it was to have a short ceremony. I just knew I wouldn't want to stand in my heels that long ;) But when I look back on my wedding day (you know, a whopping 17 days ago LOL) I just remember how perfect the ceremony was.
6. I think this is the most important advice, in my opinion. If you take away anything from this post- take this. If you can, take an immediate honeymoon. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard "We are gonna wait a few months to take the honeymoon" and then it never happens. If you cannot afford a honeymoon right away, at least take a day or two off from work together, from visiting people, from responsibilities- to just be together. The wedding is so hectic and you are visiting with so many people and the entire day is gone. You need to have some time to husband and wife. Our honeymoon was the best time of my life.
We left on our honeymoon the day after the wedding and it was perfect. So many people told us "You are gonna be so tired" or "You should have waited longer after the wedding" But. It was the most exciting time of my life. We couldn't wait to begin our honeymoon as husband and wife. I was so giddy and happy and excited to be actual newlyweds on our flight to the honeymoon drinking screwdrivers. After all the months of stress and anxiety, you finally get to relax and enjoy married life.
7. If you have it in the budget, hire a videographer. I know how expensive wedding videographers can be- I have filmed several weddings. But I regret not hiring one. Pictures are good, but there is nothing like seeing a video from someone else's perspective. Perhaps don't spend the money on that ice sculpture you saw in a bridal magazine and use the money for a videographer.
8. For the first time in months, you will feel calm. The day of my wedding, I was expecting to be a chicken with it's head cut off. I hate that expression. But I was imagining the hotel room would be chaos. 5 girls running around trying to get ready, 2 photographers in the room, hair and makeup. But it was oddly calm. Also, if you can book a suite, do it. We luckily had several bedrooms inside of our hotel room so it wasn't so chaotic. There will be so many people running in and out of your room all day.
9. It feels different being married. Even if you have been together for 7 years like us- it just feels different. I honestly don't even know how to explain it. I think it's just standing before God, friends, and family making a life long commitment to be husband and wife. You are just giddy and happy all the time.
10. You will be sad when it's all over. It's been almost 2 weeks since I got back from my honeymoon and I am still sad. Just embrace everything you can, it goes by way too fast. I feel like I have soooo much extra time now since wedding planning consumed my days for about a year.
11. Things will go wrong. It's inevitable. Just have a glass of champagne and move on.
12. Recap with your new husband. After the wedding and once you are back in your room as husband and wife, talk about your favorite part of the day. How you felt. How he felt. A funny moment. You won't see eachother majority of the day so it's fun to hear about how eachother's day went! We opened our presents, read all of our cards, and look through our polaroid guestbook. It was so fun to recap.