I am a planner to a fault. Everything from my outfit for an event to packing my toothbrush for a trip has a calendar reminder on my phone. No joke. Despite all the craziness, it does prove to be useful most of the time.
My engagement was over two years long, so during that period I had a lot of time to think. I had a plan for every detail of the wedding. However, I know that multiple diverse brains are smarter than just one single brain. I started asking friends, colleagues or anyone that offered, “What is the best piece of advice you have for the wedding?”
Here are my favorite tips that made the biggest impact on myself, my husband or the wedding in general.
1. Have a plate of food delivered to your room when you get back after the wedding.
Clutch. So clutch. Everyone wins! One of my best friends told me that she and her husband made sure the venue delivered a late-night food plate of desserts to their room for when they got back and it was much needed. Taking it to the next level I asked my venue to deliver a plate of appetizers, a plate of late-night food, a plate of desserts, and a large pitcher of water. It was AWESOME.
Picture this – chicken gyros, sliders, french fries, spanakopita, almond cake, baklava, cookies and more waiting for you after your wedding! How happy would you be? Do it, you won’t regret it.
2. Read your vows in private the day before the wedding.
With all the chaos that happens on your wedding day, the ceremony is no exception. All your guests are staring at you while you try to concentrate on smiling, maintaining eye contact with your soon-to-be spouse and making sure you enunciate and repeat every word correctly. The last thing you remember is the special words you read to one another, especially if you are writing your own vows.
My husband and I wrote our own vows and per the advice of a colleague, we ended up reading them to each other the day before the wedding. We woke up and read them to each other in bed. It was such an intimate and special moment between us that we will cherish forever.
3. Have your photographer take you as a couple to each table for a photo.
You hear how hard it will be to eat at your wedding and that is definitely true (another reason why Tip 1 above is crucial). Right as we sat down to start eating we had family members rush to our table to start taking photos. I never understand why folks think that is a good time for photos as the couple will have food in their mouth, they are chewing and most of the time look hangry because, well they need to eat!
Our photographer made us comfortable enough to call an audible right then, during dinner.
We asked our family to sit back down so we could enjoy our meal for a quick ten minutes and asked our photographer to navigate us around each table once he was done eating. The plan was to go table by table and snap one group photo, just one. That way we knew we were getting a photo with everyone and we could also limit our time at each table to make sure we saw everyone.
Overall, it was a success! There were a few times where I or my husband would start talking to a guest and naturally you want to continue the conversation but our photographer did an excellent job with only allowing us three to five minutes per table.
4. Set aside thirty minutes before the wedding to yourselves.
If you are doing your first look before the wedding, then I recommend building in thirty minutes of downtime for you and your other half to relax before the ceremony starts. We wanted time to sit in peace without photographers, family, or bridal party to simply enjoy being in the presence of one another. The day will go by just a little bit slower with multiple scheduled moments to savor.
5. Take a moment for yourself.
In addition to a scheduled thirty minutes with your soon-to-be husband or wife, schedule five or ten minutes for yourself. In the middle of the chaos of hair and make-up appointments, I went outside for just under ten minutes of “me time.”
One minute of deep breathing coupled with a minute of meditation really put my body at ease. Take it all in, the time is here and you deserve it.