– don’t ever second-guess yourself. if you have a vision in your head, go with/for it! if people around you poo-poo the details without trying to understand the big picture or because you aren’t constantly asking for their advice/opinions, don’t let that get you down. tell them the following three words over and over (and with a smile): TRUST THE VISION. the only person’s who’s opinion should matter most is your fiance’s, regardless of who is paying.
– along the same lines, trust your gut. if you get a bad vibe or feeling about something (a vendor or a vendor’s contract, an interaction with bridesmaid or any wedding-related situation really), trust your instincts accordingly. (i had a bad feeling about the DOC i hired and it turned out i should have trusted my gut in thinking she wasn’t going to come through in the end. she took my money and ran and i ended up having to spend more money on someone trustworthy).
– also related, you get what you pay for. really consider the things you want to sacrifice on cost-wise. a service (entertainment, food) is far better to prioritize spending money on than a tangible thing (like decorations or linens). if you really love someone’s work, negotiate. more often than not, people want your business period and are willing to work with you rather than have you just write them off because they’re out of your budget.
– speaking of budgets and priorities, make sure you have them! if you’ve prioritized, say, an open bar and a really good DJ, re-evaluate the other things you’re spending money on and cut costs in other places if need be. conversely, you can also make a wish list for things that are a “nice-to-have” if have money leftover (this becomes important, if, say, you end up having far fewer guests coming than you initially planned for).
– make a checklist for what needs to be done and where everything should go for the day of the wedding, esp if you aren’t having a dedicated person take care of all the details & set-up, DOC or otherwise. you’ll want to be as stress free as possible while you’re getting ready, especially if you need to deal with anything major that comes up unexpectedly (like the zipper on your dress breaking – yeah, that happened to me! it’s a funny story now…). if your venue has a floorplan, get a copy and mark it up for everyone: florist, band, rentals, caterer, etc. a day-of timeline is also key, and if possible try to pad it by at least 1/2 an hour. inevitably someone/something will fall behind schedule… and if there is an extra 1/2 hour you can grab a mimosa and relax 🙂
the day of:
– try to steal a few moments alone and with your husband, respectively. even if it’s sneaking up to the bridal suite during the reception to freshen up your make-up, you’ll thank yourself for taking a minute to breathe. same goes for a little alone time with your man. everyone is going to want to talk to you, take pictures with you, dance with you, etc. All. Night. even if it’s only 5 minutes, it’s nice to enjoy a moment just the two of you! even if it means kicking people out of the bridal suite when there’s still 1/2 a bottle of champagne left to drink 😉
– try to take a look at everything once it’s been set up and before your guests arrive. it’s SUCH an amazing moment to be able to see everything you’ve worked so hard to plan come together!
– check-in with your photographer at least once to make sure they’ve taken the shots that you requested and grab them to take any that pop into your head that day before their time is up! if there are grandparents or older relatives, or special details you want on film, make sure your photographers are informed.
– make sure alcohol is within reach (if you drink that is). i was not nervous about the wedding or getting married at all, but the zipper fiasco was nervewracking, and i probably would have freaked out way more had i not had 2 glasses of wine in me already! a drink will calm everyone down 🙂
– this goes without saying, but EAT. even if you have to have people make you a plate and you have to sneak into the bathroom to eat it, you really need the energy. plus, you of all people should enjoy the amazingness you’ve so carefully chosen and shelled out for!
– say thank you. whether it’s a public thing you to in front of all your guests or it happens within a more private conversation, thank your guests and your vendors, particularly people who traveled a long distance or vendors that surprised you with a little something extra.
– have fun!! ’nuff said 🙂