Post # 17
If your reception is outdoors, plan on it being cold and/or rainy and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t.
Make a list of every single photo you absolutely have to have. You can assume the photographer will find these obvious, but you will not have time to point out the special people you want a photo with or the detail shots that you are looking forward to seeing. If parents are helping, give them a little input there too.
Make sure bridal party members know when to be where for photos.
Post # 18
Dance! If you dance from the start, your guests will dance, but if you sit, they’ll be less likely to get out there.
I second the set up/tear down plan. You need a clear list of what’s yours and what not to take (the tablecloths belonged to our venue and I didn’t want them packed up on accident). But if you don’t tell your family that the cake serving set is yours, they might leave it. You also need to provide boxes or something to pack the stuff into. Better to do this than let them throw your delicate cake topper, vases, etc in random boxes.
Turn your phone over to someone else and relax, it’s your wedding day and something is bound to go wrong, but less goes wrong and it’s less serious if you are just enjoying yourself.
Post # 19
I had a small afternoon wedding (55 people, from noon-4), so I didn’t need a DOC, but I did put my Maid/Matron of Honor in charge of things. I used a theater play as an example. I am the director and leading lady. I can direct as much as I want before hand, but once the curtain goes up, I have to hand the reigns over to the Stage Manger. So my Maid/Matron of Honor was in charge of the big picture. My other Bridesmaid or Best Man was the ‘Prop Assitant’. Her job was all the details- is my lipstick smeared, are people blocking us from getting to our table, etc. My Man of Honor was the MC. It worked out great!
Also, ask the florist to do a $30-$50 sample arrangement a few weeks before the wedding. I wish we had!! My flowers were the wrong color. Apparently ‘hot pink’ in northern virginia actually looks very purple. I’m so pissed at my florist (don’t use Karin’s florist of Vienna). But that was the only problem we had, so i was very lucky!
If you are having a short reception, you may need to do the cake cutting between courses.
Post # 20
Don’t worry about anyone except your groom until after the ceremony. You focus on him and look for him when you walk down the aisle.
Afterwards, make sure to greet everyone at the reception. Not necessarily a receiving line, but make a point to go to every table. People remember that most about our wedding, I constantly get positive feedback about that.
Seriously, honestly do NOT worry if something goes wrong. Throw your hands up in the air and go with the flow. It’s your wedding day, all that matters at that point is that you get married. YOu don’t want to remember how stressed you were, you want to remember how much fun you had and the interesting things that happened.
Post # 21
1. Look up the posts on Bridal Emergency kit. Pack every item. It saved my dress, and made a lot of other people’s lives easier, too!
2. One Day of Coordinator, even just a friend you can trust, is something I wish I had. Everyone had things to do, but there wasn’t really one specific person to whom peope could turn and say “Hey…where’s this supposed to go?”
3. Schedule yourself extra time to get things done on your wedding day…and then tack on a few more minutes on top of that. Things fall behind schedule, I don’t care how well you’ve planned it. It happens. Giving yourself extra extra time will make a more calm bride!
Finally, for brides who are doing a morning/afternoon wedding…Have your ceremony and reception, then slip off with your husband to a private dinner all your own at your favorite restaurant. 3 Months later and that’s still one of my favorite parts of our special day. =-)
Post # 22
During the reception, stop and look around. It will go by too fast if you don’t.
Post # 23
1. DOC, DOC, DOC. Crucial. Our caterer was late and they were responsible for setting up the ceremony chairs. Our guests arrived before they did to a ceremony site sans chairs and she popped into action to fix the problem while I was taking photos. So worth the $$$$$.
2. Bring a copy of your invitation so the photog can take cool photos of it. I didn’t do this and really regret it because we didn’t have any nice invitation photos to put in our album
2a. Make a list of DIY touches that you’d like the photog to capture. I stupidly didn’t tell her that we had brewed the beer, and made the runners, etc etc and so she didn’t take the cool shots I would have loved to put in our album.
3. Don’t get too separated from your new spouse at the reception. I barely spent any time with him because I was so busy taking photos and catching up with friends and family! Make sure you enjoy it all together.
Post # 24
Go to apracticalwedding.com and consciousweddings.com and read every word.
That is all.
Post # 25
i agree with others about dividing up tasks. If you don’t tell people what to do, they won’t know. you can technically do without a DOC if you do this. We assigned every person a task: Best man had envelopes to pay our vendors, Dad took care of the money box, Maid/Matron of Honor ran the tea ceremony, etc.
Lastly, whatever happens, happens. don’t worry, fuss and stress about it. just enjoy the day for what it is, as it’s gonna pass by quickly.
Post # 26
This is so helpful and is putting me much more at ease. Thank you! All of you!
Post # 27
From my wedding experience:
-breath, relax, and enjoy the day. About 2 days before the wedding I just reached a zen point… It was kind of strange but allowed me to enjoy all the festivities more.
-Put together a general timeline and pad it with more time that you think you will need. Also put in time for relaxing so that you can just hang out with family and friends or you have time to take care of last minute tasks.
-Delegate day of responsibilities. I didn’t have any bridesmaids but had my brother as the ‘man of honor’. I did however delegate day of coordination to a close friend who took care of a lot of last minute crisis.
-Make a list of people for family photos with a general timeline and assign someone to ‘herd the cats’.
-Take more than one day before heading off to your honeymoon. We only had one day and I kind of wish we would have had another.
Post # 28
Like everyone else says, a Day of Coordinator. Also a personal assistant to help the Coordinator as well, especially if you have a venue where people are spread out, on different floors, far apart, etc. Your Coordinator can’t be in two places at once.
Have fun, relax, laugh and if you have to do a little de-stressing and calming exercises, do it. Don’t sweat the small stuff, try to enjoy being in the moment.
Go with the flow as much as you can because fighting the current will only stress you out more. You’re the queen for the day, sure, but even the queen can’t stop major disasters and such.
Eat. Seriously, your body will thank you. And drink lots of water.
Don’t drink – alcohol that is, it’s just a bad bad bad idea. One of my bridesmaids had the worst hangover the following morning. Do you want that right after your wedding night?
And lastly for the marriage part…
- It’s okay to fight – if you fight fair.
- Sorry followed by I love you is a great make-up sentence.
- There’s always time for sex.
And that’s what I’ve learned and I’ve only been married 3 weeks 🙂
Post # 29
Thanks ladies for the advice
Post # 30
1. have fun. try to be in the moment. I looked around the church during our ceremony, it was so moving to see everyone we love all in one place.
2. eat. make sure your bridesmaids, caterer etc get a plate of food for you. you probably won’t eat dinner
3. have a list of the pictures you really want. Our wedding day was really hot and after a little bit we decided we didn’t want to do any more formals. There are few we didn’t get and I now regret that
4. if you aren’t having a videographer, see if a friend can record the ceremony. we had a few friends record the ceremony and some of the reception and we are sooo happy we have video footage of our day
5. take a few moments with just your husband. at the beginning of the cocktail hour we snuck away, without the photographers to just check in and realize we were married!!
6. If you are getting married during the summer consider getting a short dress to change into. It was 95 degrees on my wedding day and I wish I had a lighter dress to change into for the dancing. In every picture I’m holding up my dress because I was so hot!
7. keep a notebook by your bed in the weeks before the wedding to write down all of the things you think of as you are falling asleep!
Above all enjoy your day. I loved my wedding but I was very stressed. I wish I had just let go the day off and fully enjoyed every minute.
Post # 31
My advice: the wedding is just one day. It’s the marriage that matters.