The Six Most Important Things Every Bride Should Know
Who needs a wedding planner when you have your own vision and an arsenal of amazing people in your life willing to help any way they can? My hubby and I have been blessed to have the best friends and family in our lives, without them, our dream wedding would have never been possible. In honor of our second wedding anniversary this Labor Day Weekend, I wanted to feature our wedding and dedicate this post to everyone who helped make it possible. Here are six important lessons I learned on my wedding day, and stay tuned until the end where I share some of my favorite pictures and a full list of my vendors for any of you Orange County brides looking for tried and true vendors (BTW-my vendors rocked!)
Also, be sure to check out the gallery of my wedding at the end of the post!
One | First Look
I consider myself a pretty superstitious person, so when I decided to have “first look” photos before the ceremony, I did my research. We’ve all heard that it’s bad luck for the groom see the bride before the ceremony, but after looking into this I found the whole idea kind of ridiculous. The superstition originated from back in the day when women were traded away as property and they would hide the bride with a veil until the end of the ceremony so that the groom wouldn’t change his mind, thus that superstition was quickly disregarded and I went ahead with the first look.
Two | Ditch the Receiving Line
…and attend the cocktail party instead! I’m a bit of an over-researcher, so I had a hell of a time trying to figure out a less cumbersome way to formally receive all my friends and family. I thought about the cocktail party and I honestly really wanted to be a part of it. When we decided to go forward with the first look we realized that we would be able to attend after all. It was probably the highlight of the night as far as celebrating with all our guests. Within that hour, I was able to see, hug and talk to everyone who made it out and felt so much more personal and intimate than a formal receiving line. The pictures we got from that cocktail hour are also some of my favorites, the cocktail hour really set the tone for the entire night and attending it as husband and wife was such a gift. I highly recommend trying to do this yourselves, it made such a difference in the overall experience as newlyweds.
Three | Surrender to Your Day
I was no bridezilla by any means while planning this wedding (except for... well... just don’t ask my mom). I was, however, my usual self, an “over-researcher” of sorts. Thankfully my focus was laser sharp and I didn’t succumb to my typical analysis-paralysis. I read tons of blogs and articles on all the things every bride should know or remember on or before her wedding day. Not much freaked me out except for this ongoing trend of brides describing their wedding day as a "blur" and not taking the time to savor the day. This sounded like the most awful thing to me, and quickly I began researching how to avoid this blurry wedding day thing. In retrospect, I probably didn’t have much to worry about. I have the type of personality that is much more likely to stress out over the planning stage and be cool as a fox on the day-of when there is no more planning to be done.
The morning of my wedding I woke up alone in my large bridal suite as excited as ever. I had a complete sense of peace knowing that I had planned everything to the best of my ability and that if anything went wrong, it’ll probably make for a funny story later. It was truly a mindset of surrender and it was the greatest gift to me that day. It was my wedding day and there wasn’t a single event or person that could ruin this day for me.
The key is to remind yourself that this day only comes once, so soak that ish in. I fully experienced everything that day as each event naturally came about quietly cataloging everything within my memory.
Four | Know That Something WILL Go Wrong
Even for a bride like me who, if you asked me the day before the wedding if there was anything I forgot, I would have 100% confidently said: “Of course not!” I had the planning notebook, excel spreadsheet and contact numbers for every vendor at my fingertips, this was handled.
Well, somewhere along the lines the clear plastic cups for drinking didn’t get purchased and a last-minute scramble by friends and family on the wedding day resulted in red solo cups. In all my quiet cataloging the day of my wedding, I didn’t even notice these red cups until the wedding pictures were done. Just like I thought it made for a hilarious reaction with my hubby.
Oh, and I’m not perfect either. You may not know this about me but less than a year prior to the wedding day I left my job of two and half years from the high-end linen rental company Wildflower Linen. It was literally my job to take custom orders for runners (all runners were produced via custom order) and have production cut them based on measurements I would get from my clients. An aspect of my job I never messed up nonetheless.
Well, for the wedding I decided to get gold tulle fabric from Downtown LA and cut them myself so that they would “dust” the floor on each side of the long banquet tables. It was a few days before the wedding when I finally cut the runners down after we had our final venue and table layout and my now hubby bugged me asking if I double checked my measurements. Of course, I was all “I used to do this for a living, don’t worry,” with my hand up all sassy and sure. Yeah… so I forgot to account for the second drop of the table and cut them too short, and the wedding pictures to prove it are embarrassingly hilarious. That’ll teach me.
There were several over things, such as my gold glitter aisle runner that ended up getting covered by the shade entirely before the ceremony and just looked like sand. There was also the incredibly painful gold heels that I ended up designating for the garter toss pictures that I accidentally put in a bag and had my sister put in her car. So when the garter toss came, I couldn’t find the heels and ended up doing it barefoot since the heels I was wearing were old-faithful’s and not photogenic for the occasion.
All in all, it could have been worse, but at the end of the day, I married my best friend and don’t have a single regret.
Five | Make Sure to Eat!
Food was a huge part of the wedding, we basically planned our wedding date based on the availability of our caterer, he was that good. He was also the first vendor we booked, so naturally what followed was another alarming trend of couples who had so much packed into their day that they didn’t even get to eat! This was a no-no, we were way too excited about this pasta bar and no one was going to keep up from eating. We brought this up to our caterer Nick the owner of Billotti’s Catering and he reassured us that they arrange for the bride and groom to come up for food first, so that while everyone else patiently waits for the table to be called up for the pasta bar we would already be eating. This ended up working like a charm and enabled us to enjoy the whole night without burning ourselves out. So be sure you plan ahead and make sure you eat too, no one wants hangry wedding day.
Six | Presence is Key
Moral of the story, make sure you show up for your wedding day, all of you, mind, heart and soul. You will thank me later.
Now I can proudly say that I remember that entire day, it was two years ago, and I can still/tell you all the little details of the day. Like realizing I cut my table runners too short (fail!!) and thought to myself, dammit. oh well. Jeff slapping away a Japanese beetle that got in between us seconds before our first kiss as husband and wife. The excitement that jolted inside of me when I heard the precessional orchestra version of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing and then my bridal song the piano version of Carla Bruni’s Quelqu'un M'a Dit and looking back to a friend and claiming, "I'm getting married!"
If you have any additional tips to share about your wedding day please comment below and be sure to subscribe for updates on my latest blog posts!