Monday, June 13, 2011

8 things I wish I would have known before my wedding

I'm certainly no wedding planner, but planning my wedding was one of the highlights of my life (and I'm not being dramatic here). I loved how the wedding weekend played out - I truly wouldn't really change a thing. If I was asked for tips, the below is what I would suggest:

1) Have a bustle contingency plan This is absolutely the most important piece of advice that came about after my own wedding. If your dress has a train, an alterations person will make the necessary adjustments so that it bustles (folds-up securely) after the ceremony. I had that (obviously), but the material of my dress was so heavy that the bustle didn't stay. In hindsight, I should have gotten it double-bustled. Another word on this: bring safety pins, and even a sewing kit along for day-of blunders. By 6p, I literally had a wedding guest sew my train to the rest of my dress. (This was after the train fell for the 47th time).

2) Have a hair and make-up trial Whether or not you're getting your hair and make-up professionally done, I'd suggest doing a run through of exactly how you're wearing your hair and make-up before your wedding day. I wore more make-up and different hair than in regular life, and this allowed me to test how it would photograph, how the hair would look after 12 hours, etc. 3) Spray Tan Early If you're going to spray tan, do it three days prior to the wedding day, not two. (In all my rehearsal dinner photos I look like orange jelly on burnt toast. Not a good look).

4) Write EVERYTHING down on a master calendar With many weddings having many events over several days, it can be a challenge to remember all the details. ("Am I bringing the hard copies of the wedding readings to the rehearsal or to the church the morning of the wedding?" or "What's the rehearsal dinner address?") It saves a lot of headache, especially once the wedding-week arrives and you're trying to remember lots of little details.

5) Two words: Google Docs We had everything from the master guest list with addresses, to food choices, to table arrangements in Google Docs, and this helped so much. In the early days of wedding planning, we were constantly sending documents to each other titled "Guest List v3 Nov 21" or whatever. That gets confusing fast. Google docs allows everyone (the bride in Chicago, the MOB in Iowa... for instance) to see the same document and be sure it's the most up-to-date version.

6) Choose your bridal party - and people in your wedding ceremony - carefully After the wedding, I realized that one of the best decisions I made was who to have in my bridal party. I couldn't have picked better maids-of-honor, bridesmaids and personal attendants. The wedding would truly have not been the same - or wedding planning as fun for me - without them being beside me. Further, sitting on the alter watching an aunt walk up to do a reading, or an uncle and aunt walk down the aisle with the Communion gifts.... it added something to the ceremony that I hadn't full realized until I lived it. It was really special cool.

7) Scout cool locations for wedding photos Although Scott and I got married in a beautiful church, I knew I didn't want all of my wedding photos to be with the same background - a mishmash of people on the church alter. The week before the wedding, my parents scouted out 10+ locations around CR that they thought would be nice for photos (and took photos of themselves in each location so that I could see how each spot photographed) and then a few days before the wedding, we drove to all of them. This allowed me to have a list of 3 places I wanted our trolley to stop for wedding party photos. (My mom then printed up driving directions for me to give to the trolley driver so that I could enjoy the trolley and not be tied to him giving him driving directions).

8) Enjoy your wedding (weekend) By the morning of your rehearsal dinner, stop making changes or decisions. Have a goal of rehearsal dinner morning to STOP wedding planning, and start enjoying the weekend. By the time Friday rolled around, my mom and I were in wedding-zen. No more decisions, no more checks to write, just wedding fun. It was one of the best - and intentional- decisions we made. We were able to be of-the-moment, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. omg when is reading about/looking at photos of your wedding NOT going to make me cry?? probably never i guess, but i think i'm okay with that. LOVE THIS LIST (esp. #6, duh!). And seriously #8: you guys conquered this. SERIOUS WEDDING ZEN.


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