Our wedding day was amazing and I was unemployed for the months leading up to our wedding so I had time for lots of DIYs and running back and forth to stores for more supplies etc.
Time leading up to the wedding advice:
1)Absolutely pick people for your wedding party that you feel will be best for you; our bridal party was solely comprised of sisters and extremely close, wonderful, loyal friends. Almost nothing was left for the last minute solely because I had time on my side but my Maid/Matron of Honor went almost everywhere with me because she wanted to and was as excited about our day as we were. I had another bridesmaid run around manhattan collecting heavy supplies in a suitcase, and another sit around for hours with an eyelet setter making ceremony programs etc…. without a complaint or anything. I didnt even have to ask them for help they just always offered. Ive read so many stories of peoples bridal party’s being uninterested or whiney etc, and while again you dont need to be evil about the wedding day, this is your day and the people you chose should be people who would wear a paper bag down the aisle and be glad to represent someone who helped you get to this day. The day of our wedding as well, our coordinator, hair/makeup artists said our party were the most caring, laid back group of people and it was nice. THIS made the process even more WONDERFUL and easy.
back tracking…. all of your choices for this day should be what you and your fiance want… while you can take other peoples preferences into account ultimate decisions should be for the both of you… you can still be a gracious and humble person while making it about you at the same time
2) As many lists and checks that you can make, something will break or get lost etc. Because we had so many DIYs and werent relying on a lot of outside vendors/companies to bring us stuff there was potential for mess ups. Id say bring a glue gun, safety pins and a scissor just in case but your venue should also have sewing kits and all that.
3)Get to know the venues day-of-coordinator if you can. AGAIN because we did lots of DIYs I made enough phone calls to our venue to ask for measurements or logically related questions. I was never made to feel like my questions were stupid or annoying, they always seemed happy to help and got excited for our day as well. Our bridal attendant made sure she was at the venue when I dropped off our favors, table numbers and lots of ETCs and got so excited while she wrote down everything I was bringing in… and I just felt like she went the extra mile because I had talked to her so much. I talked to her several times after the wedding as well and to my surprise members of our bridal party also called to thank them for clearly going the extra mile to make sure we were calm and that our day went as smoothly as possible.
4)Talk/mingle with people you are less friendly with during the cocktail hour (aka the elders, parents friends etc). Youre most likely not going to dance with them during the reception but you will seek out your own friends and closer family members to spend more time with during the reception so spend that time thanking and acknowledging them during the cocktail hour (if youre not taking your photos during that time). The reception FLIES by as it is so you want to use that time effectively.
5)Keep everything. I am a pack-rat but I have thus far kept all little greeting cards that came with gifts or cards we got at the weddng, wish tree tags etc.. (i plan on doing something eventually with them) but its amazing the amount of love people have for you and how excited people are… i dont want to ever forget it so im keeping words as momentos.
6)Obviously get a good photographer but LUCKILY were in a time where almost everyone has some kind of camera. For friends that like to take pics it doesnt hurt to ask them to bring their camera and try to get pics from their angle (as opposed to disposable cameras that arent going to have the same quality). We have so many pictures its overwhelming at this point, but lots of same moments from different angles are great to see after.
7) Like others said do not obsess over favors. If you have time shop around for wholesale stuff and get creative. How many people need more candy covered almonds, or something with your name on it? They love you but im pretty sure no-one wants something w our initials engraved etc. If you have a small budget, wholesale was a great way to give people a small token, but I’ve seen lots of people donate whatever budget they had to a cause and were very respected for that choice!
8)Small tip but tip nevertheless…. our wedding was beach themed so I wanted to give out flip flops but i know i lot of couples make flip flop baskets primarily for women to give their feet a break from the heels etc… OLD NAVY has a $1.00 flip flop sale in April or May. They were AMAZING… they took numbers for colors and amounts we needed per size etc and they had me come in before they opened the doors to the public and they were all boxed and ready to go, i just had to pay. It was the easiest thing and the deal is unbeatable… just ask your branch if theyd be willing to do that since youre giving them a good chunk of change and ask for the specific date etc. It was fun to see everyone wearing our wedding colors while dancing and seeing people throughout the summer wearing them etc. EVEN the men took them, i thought we havea ton leftover… we had none!
9) If you can Id recommend writing your own vows. We had our Maid/Matron of Honor review them to make sure we didnt say the same thing etc cause we wanted to read them to each other for the first time that day but it was special to have heard original words in that moment for us.
This is much longer than intended, thanks for reading lol.