I had an awesome wedding day. I was calm, I was happy, I was go with the flow… I was pretty much everything I was NOT during the wedding planning process.
Being an Event Planner, I give very little thought to enjoying the events I plan- even though, of course, I do enjoy them, my role is just totally different. For starters, I’m not getting married at my events. So, when it came time to plan my own wedding, I tackled the project like I would planning a work event, where I would be available to take care of anything that went wrong, instead of like, saying my vows and talking to relatives.
First mistake. I stressed. Majorly. About everything. You know how you are only supposed to pick 3 things that are important and focus on those? I couldn’t pick. It was my wedding after all. Second mistake. It was all important, it was all a huge deal, it all had to be perfect and I had to make sure of it.
Well, that didn’t turn out so well for me. I got really sick and am still not better, I was a bit of a nightmare to be engaged to, and when I look back, I think hmm… that was a stupidly miserable thing to put myself through.
So, I am so so so thankful I got to enjoy my wedding day, and so thankful for all of the people who made that possible (Will, my family, my bridesmaids, Will’s family, our friends).
No matter your level of bridezilla, no matter how much conflict and stress and strife your wedding planning caused, your wedding day is time to put that away. Apologize, forgive, take a deep breath, eat a piece of chocolate. You’ve arrived.
10 Totally Doable Ways to Enjoy Your Wedding Day:
1. Let the planning be done, let the celebrating begin. That DIY project you didn’t finish? Forget it. I had these hand stamped ‘R’ library cards that went at each place setting. I didn’t stamp the last 15 and put them out anyway. And you know what? We still got married. It’s legal and everything.
2. Feed people, feed yourself. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, snacks; lots of them. And water. And possibly coffee/tea/mimosas* if you’re so inclined. If you get to picture time and you’re hangry, you cannot, by definition have fun. If you get to picture time and your bridesmaids are hangry, they cannot, by definition, have fun. Food for all! Drinks for all! Bring snacks with you, and designate someone to bring in lunch for your bridal party.
*Day drunk = hangry + tired. Watch that alcohol intake or you’re going to face plant during your vows, and no one wants that for you, including me.
3. Hire a wedding coordinator so other people can enjoy your wedding day.Wedding coordinators are the therapists of the wedding industry. You know how you can tell your therapist all of your junk without fear of them judging you or getting upset because they aren’t directly involved in your life? That is a wedding coordinator, except instead of telling them all of your junk, they are taking care of all of your junk. So, better than a therapist! And listen, a responsible bridesmaid is great, but it’s going to be hard for her to enjoy your wedding when she is coordinating with the DJ about your first dance song and running interference with your senile grandmother. Hire a day of coordinator, or grab a responsible friend/relative who has event planning experience. Off limits: Your mom, your spouse’s mom, your bridesmaids. Anyone else is fine.
Joy. Pure wedding joy.
4. Give everyone plenty of time to get ready. Rushing=stress=you not having fun. My venue allowed us to arrive by 8 am on the day of the wedding, and by the time I got there around 9:30, two of my bridesmaids were already there, blasting tunes, fixing their hair and drinking champagne. All day party!!!! It was such a perfect way to start off my wedding day.
One of my bridesmaids captured this shot of everyone peeking through the the window while Will and I were outside having our ‘first look.’ My mom brought in her own lawn chair, pictured in the bottom right, which she labeled with a sticky note that read ‘Mother of the Bride.’ What does this picture have to do with anything? I mean, nothing. It’s just not everyday you see a lawn chair with a post it note!
5. Let it go. Like the Frozen song. Sing it out, this is your new wedding day motto. Things will go wrong. Let someone else fix it, or let it slide, but most of all, just let it go. We were very luck to have few hiccups on our wedding day, but there were a couple, namely the weather. We planned an outdoor ceremony in January, which for Austin, is less risky than you think. The previous Saturday, it was 80 degrees, sunny and gorgeous. Our wedding day was 33 degrees (which is downright arctic for Austinites), drizzly, and gray. The result was an indoor wedding, which was fine, and about 20 fewer guests than we expected, which was sad, but also fine.
6. Focus on your spouse. You know the ‘we are gathered here today’ part of the ceremony? That’s a reminder that this is a day for you to stand in front of all of your family and friends and and get freaking married! Since Will and I were used to talking all day everyday, we wanted to have some kind of ‘touch’ point early on in the day.
We love to write each other letters, and still do so on special occasions, so we exchanged notes via our bridal party. Reading his letter was such a sweet reminder of the grace God had given me by allowing me to marry such a wonderful man. I will keep that letter forever!
Holly giving Will his letter from me- these two have the same Meyers Briggs personality… I can only imagine what she said to crack him up!
7. Again with the eating. You paid for your food: eat it. My main regrets from my wedding day were (in no particular order): 1. Not finishing my beer with dinner, and 2. Not eating a piece of our cake.
Will and I ate dinner on our own right after the ceremony so that we would have time to go around and talk to people while they were eating. I ate really quickly and didn’t finish my beer because I was all amped up from just getting married! I didn’t drink anything for the rest of the night, except for a bottle of water right before we left, because anytime I got near the bar, I got enveloped in conversation (which was great).
But still- I wish I had taken a moment to just soak in some of my Texan wedding goodness, eating fajitas and nursing a Shiner before my first dance with my new husband.
8. Be present. Your wedding day will go by so quickly. I barely even remember our ceremony, much less half of the conversations I had. What I do remember is feeling so very lucky to have everyone I loved under one roof. You only get married once: soak it in.
9. Incorporate something into your wedding day that you and your spouse love to do together. Ours translated pretty easily because we love to dance, and dancing goes well with weddings, but it can be anything- trivia, an ice cream sundae bar, corn hole, whatever. Just let your wedding day be a representation of who you are as a couple- your interests, your hobbies, your personalities.
Will and I, in our own world, breaking it down to our favorite song, ‘Firework.’ Please note my glow stick belt. I would say this is a pretty accurate depiction of who we are as a couple.
10. Be thankful. Marriage is a gift from God, and your wedding day signifies the start of your new life as a new family. Also, it means you never have to plan a wedding again.
That alone produces a hallelujah in me.