Hard to believe it’s been over two months since the wedding! It was such a whirlwind of emotion, beauty, and happiness- and did I mention the PERFECT weather? As I’m making the final edits to my proof for my wedding album (yay!) and look through the online gallery over and over (and over again) I’m reminded of all the love that surrounded us that day. Not just the love we have for each other that we were celebrating- but the love of everyone else that had traveled to be with us. It was such a fantastic moment in our lives, and that feeling of bliss and love is something we will remember and hold onto forever.
Of course, to get to that perfect day took lots of planning. Here are just a few of my tips for any bride-to-be, to enjoy the engagement time in your life and get yourself to that perfect wedding day! I’ll be spilling more bride secrets and wedding planning tips in the future, too, so please let me know what you think and what you’d like to know!
Tip 1: Get Organized!
This is my BIGGEST tip for any bride! Invest in a sturdy- and glamorous- binder, folder, or notebook of some kind. This will become your Bible where you store business cards of potential vendors, copies of contracts, fabric swatches, photos for inspiration, pages from magazines, and everything else wedding-related. My mom gave me a beautiful baby blue one from Mindy Weiss. Buy some extra clear inserts and labels to keep everything in its proper place and enjoy! My mom also had a big “Mother of the Bride”-embroidered tote to keep everything in one place as the binder gets fuller and fuller. Trust me, there is sooo much more paper than you would think!
The guest list really affects the budget of your wedding- the number of tables, flowers, meals, drinks, wait-staff, flatware, invitations, escort cards, etc. As tempting as it can be to limit the list to only your nearest and dearest, this is an opportunity for your parents to see people they haven’t seen in ages, to show off their beautiful child making this great step in life. If you’re lucky enough to have your parents host your wedding, this is an important point. Yes, this is your wedding, but it is a huge event that your parents have been looking forward to since the day you were born. So be respectful of who wants to invite whom, while keeping in mind that your guests are the most important part of the evening!
Tip 3: Life of the Party
One of my favorite parts of our wedding was our band. We struggled over the idea of band versus DJ, back and forth, back and forth. It was important to us to have continuous music throughout the night, with no lulls during the breaks that come with a live band. We found the perfect option- a band that comes with their own DJ! I was so happy that we were really able to tailor the music selection for what we wanted- some songs sound great played live to get the crowd moving, and we were able to hear some of my favorite soundtrack tunes(Wicked “As Long as You’re Mine” and Camelot “If Ever I Would Leave You”) from a disk during dinner. I received so many compliments on the singers throughout the evening, and they really kept the party vibe going all night long.
Tip 4: Flora and Fauna: Less is More
Flowers are a huge chunk of the wedding budget, and of course a huge part of the décor look of your day. If you’re going for a casual, laid-back look, definitely don’t angst about your flowers! I am soooo happy I went with low, small, elegant centerpieces rather than the tall, extravagant orchid arrangements I was once thinking about. If you want some dramatic and elegant touches, why not accentuate your guests’ plates with little blossoms? We included a white rose on the napkin of every female guest- the little details like that can really make a gorgeous floral statement without getting too pricey. As pretty as they are, remember that the flowers have the shortest shelf-life of anything you buy for your wedding except the food. They’re pretty and then they die. Your married life will go on, no matter what blooms graced your alter or table.
Tip 5: Don’t Go Bridal Party Crazy.
One of the most stressful and heartbreaking elements of a wedding for many brides is dealing with bridesmaid drama. This is a huge reason why I am still ridiculously happy that I only chose my closest girlfriends. Even though my husband had six groomsmen on his side, I stuck to my happily tiny party including just my sister, cousin and lifelong best friend. Don’t worry about the sides being even or lining up properly for the ceremony- we just doubled up the groomsmen escorting each girl for the processional. It’s much easier during dress shopping, plus remember that each bridesmaid is another bouquet and gift. I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses and shoes- something else that gets harder the more ladies you add into the mix! This is a huge bonding time for you and your bridesmaids- don’t invite anyone into your bridal party (and your wedding day dressing room!) that you wouldn’t want to be friends with for life.
Tip 6: Deep Breath In, Deep Breath Out
Finally, don’t forget to breathe. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I totally forgot to put on my veil- I realized this when we were taking family photos after the ceremony! Something will go wrong, but I promise you, no one will notice half of the little details that go awry! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh it off, and continue on with your day. It really is what you make it, and make it the best you can.
first photo courtesy of bridalbuds.com
second photo courtesy of mzsapa.com
third photo courtesy of questmusique.com
fourth and fifth photos courtesy of my girlfriend Nicole Santarpia’s camera