Five Things I Learned From My Wedding
Every wedding is different, and each offers lessons to learn. So, I thought I would share five things I learned from my wedding.
1) Determine your Priorities:
At the beginning of wedding planning, sit down with your fiancé, and determine your priorities. This will help you allocate the wedding budget towards the most important items. For example, for my wedding, my husband and I knew that having a great music act during the reception was important. We have a love for good music and dancing with our friends, so we knew we were willing to spend a little more money to get a great vendor.
I am so glad we did! We hired the amazingly talented Midwest Dueling Pianos as the entertainment for the night. Having a DJ, band, or any form of entertainment provides structure to the event by moving from one activity to the next. As a guest, it can feel like there is a lot of waiting around in between events within a reception, so having an experienced MC that can announce what is next keeps guests engaged in the evening’s happenings.
2) Take Time to Think About Photos:
Planning out which photos are important to you seems like such a simple task. To me, it meant making a list of people I wanted a picture with and filling in my photographer’s worksheet and moving on. I was happy to check that task off this list.
Looking back, this is such an essential part of wedding planning. Just like you take hours to pick out a vendor or selecting what your cake will look like, take time to think about your photos! Set aside a couple of hours the month before to plan out poses, groups, locations, and timing. Your photographer can help with this, but don’t leave it up to them alone! Taking time before the wedding to think through your photography and identify what you want will keep your photos towards the front of your mind during the day. You will be thankful you did this later.
Managing your photography checklist can also be a great task for your coordinator! If the coordinator has a list of the photos that are most important to you they can work with the photographer to make sure you get them all.
3) Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
There are so many little tasks within a wedding day. During the month leading up to your wedding, write down everything that needs to happen and where everything needs to end up then assign each item to someone other than yourself or your immediate family members!
I personally gave each of my bridesmaids a small role in the day. This helped me know that these items were going to get done by people I trust, and it made them feel even more important to the success of the day. These roles can include someone to keep an eye on your hair and makeup throughout the night, someone to make sure you always have a drink in your hand and someone to pull you out of that uncomfortable small talk with your long removed second cousin.
Of course a coordinator can be a HUGE help here! A coordinator will make sure the candles are lit, guest book pens are working, tables are set, bubbles are handed out, isle runner is placed and so much more. I believe in the importance of having a coordinator so much so that I made sure to have one even at my wedding!
4) Pack a Day of Bag
You will likely misplace everything with the craziness of the day. Put all of your essentials, including your cellphone, day-of timeline, vendor tips, wedding jewelry, wedding ring with box, and anything else that is important to that day in a specific bag labeled for the bride. This is especially important if you are getting ready in a room with the rest of your bridal party. It is so easy for phones, keys, and bags to get mixed up.
5) Enjoy the Moment
I know that every advice column says this, but it is seriously so important. Your wedding only comes around once, and the day can go by so quickly. Throughout the day, take moments to step outside of the busyness and observe what is happening around you. Notice the smile on your parents and in-laws faces, see who is socializing with new friends, take in the beauty of the room and sing along to the music playing. Consider adding 5 minutes to your day-of timeline after your ceremony for alone time between you and your new spouse. The emotion right after you are announced as a couple is so raw and this special moment can help you remember what it felt like for years to come.