Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happily Ever After // {My Top 5 DO's for Your Wedding Day}

I can't believe it's already been almost a month since our wedding! I wish we could relive it all  over again. I read a lot through out my planning process but nothing can really prepare you for the flood of emotions you feel on your wedding day. It is truly an amazing moment. I know there are a lot of different lists for Do's out there but I thought I would share 5 things that I really feel made a difference for me. 

1. DO buy a perfume! Smells have the ability to trigger very strong emotions and memories. Have you ever smelled something and were instantly taken back to a memory of a time or place? Scents are powerful so I really wanted something new and special that would always remind me of my wedding day. I found the Chanel Chance line and fell in love. There are four different scents in this line: Chance, Eau Tendre, Eau Vive, and Eau Fraiche. I sampled each one in the morning so I could see how they would last through out the day. Everyone's body chemistry is different and some perfumes work well on some people more than others. This might sound like a lot of work but it was worth it. I decided on Eau Tendre because it lasted the longest on me and I just fell in love with the scent. It was soft and feminine without being too sweet or musky. My husband and I didn't do a traditional "first look." Instead we did a blind first look, which I know sounds like it doesn't make any sense. He stood with his back to me and I walked up behind him. We stood back to back holding hands while the photographer and videographer did their thing. We chatted about our mornings getting ready and how excited we were for the wedding. It was so sweet and really kept the excitement up to see each other at the ceremony. I remember the moment I walked up and stood against my husband he said, "Wow, you smell incredible!" He loved the perfume and now any time either of us smells it we're reminded of what an amazing day we had.

2. DO let people help! I am not the kind of person to ask for help. I really like to be in control and see something accomplished. In the days leading up to the wedding everyone kept asking me if there was anything they could do for me and I usually said "No, thanks." I was afraid that people would think I was being a Bridezilla if I asked them to do something. I would have to say that looking back now, I wish I let them do more! Ask someone to go on a coffee run, have someone drop off bridal party gifts, get a bridesmaid to help finish up any DIY projects, or get anything else (within reason) done. I was stressing out the night before because I still had things I needed to finish. My escort cards needed to be written out, my favors needed to be wrapped, signs needed to be framed, and probably more that I can't even think about. Thankfully, I finally let go and let people pitch in. A groomsmen wrote my escort cards in his beautiful handwriting that I had no idea he had! One of my bridesmaids helped me finish up my favors and signs. Look, the truth is the day is going to go by so fast. There may be times you feel like you're being pulled a million directions at once with hair, then makeup, then pictures, then more pictures. It's okay to ask someone to help out. It will make your day easier and it's a great way to include people in such a special day.

3. DO make a list of some must have pictures you want your photographer to take. Your photographer probably has had experience shooting weddings and I'm sure they have an idea of pictures that most people want, BUT make your own list so you can be sure that you get pictures of the things that are most important to you. Want a shot of  you, your mom, and your grandmother's wedding ring hands? How about one with you and the bridesmaids showing off you're shoes? What about a picture of you and the groom sharing a kiss at your grand exit? Do you have relatives you don't see often that you want to include in family photos? Write it down. If you're not sure what you want, get some inspiration from Pinterest. Keep in mind that there isn't a guarantee you'll get every single shot. However, having a list will help make sure you get ones that are important to you. This will also help the photographer get an idea of the style you're looking for. We didn't really have a ton of silly photos. We definitely took a few goofy shots, but we aren't the couple with the zombies edited into the background or the bride's shoe crushing the bridal party. There's nothing wrong with those, but it's important to communicate what you want so you aren't wasting time taking photos that you don't need. We were so fortunate to have an amazing photographer (check her out here!). She was open to ideas and super helpful in directing us. Don't be afraid to communicate. You're going to have these pictures forever so make sure you get what you want.

4. DO walk slow. Everywhere. Seriously. Take your time. After all, you are the bride! Nothing can start until you get there. I do not mean to keep people waiting on you for hours. That would be rude. #Obvi. What I do mean, is take it all in. Take a moment to stop at the top of the aisle, walk slowly towards your groom, pause at the end of your recessional, take your time walking into your first dance, stroll through your reception and look around. Something that I keep mentioning is how fast the day will go. I can't stress that enough. The morning of our wedding everything felt like it was moving so quickly. We did our makeup, got our hair done, got dressed, took pictures, and so on. I feel as though I blinked and the whole day was over. Follow your timeline but don't forget to step back every now and then just to observe everything around you. Feel the love that everyone is pouring into your day. My advice to walk slow is just to remind you to savor every moment. The day will fly by on it's own there's no need to rush through it.

5. DO relax. I know, I know, you've heard this one before..a lot..but it's the truth. Like I said earlier, you might feel like you've got a millions things going on at once on your wedding day, but make sure you remember to relax. Before our wedding we had a family emergency, another emergency in my maid of honor's family, the programs and menus didn't arrive on time, a traffic incident caused me and my bridesmaids to be so late to the wedding ceremony rehearsal that we had to cancel and reschedule it for the morning of the wedding, a groomsmen only had brown shoes when everyone else was wearing black, another groomsmen couldn't get out of work until the night before and didn't get in to the state until lunch time the day of the wedding, one bridesmaid had to find a new dress, the arrival time of vendors was altered unexpectedly, another bridesmaid needed last minute alterations (which I ended up doing the night before on my living room floor), some frames for the reception were dropped and broken, my spray painted escort card holders were still wet, and my husband forgot his wedding ring in another state! Needless to say, we had a lot going on. I didn't have any major meltdowns, but I will say that the night before, I panicked. I had so much to do and I was up late with my family and bridesmaids finishing everything. I felt great the next morning but all of my vendors arrived around the same time which was a little overwhelming. I was still getting my hair done because our hair timeline got pushed later than I had originally planned so I couldn't greet everyone when they walked in. Everyone kind of just got in their mode,.On one hand it was great because they obviously knew what they were doing, but on the other hand I didn't get a chance to touch base with them about everything that was going to happen that day. 

I felt like I was all over the place the morning of the wedding. Thankfully, I had some really great people around me that kept me calm and on track. One of my best friends and bridesmaids had flown in a day early and helped me so much that I can honestly say I don't know what I would have done without her. My dad was so amazing and supportive. My mom would have done anything I asked her too if I told her it would help me out. Finally, maid of honor, my sister and my grandmother kept me laughing the whole time. Just remember that things might will go wrong, but it's okay. Honestly, for every one thing that went wrong, we had many things go right. We had to reschedule the ceremony rehearsal but after some freezing temperatures the week before, the weather on the wedding day was perfect. One groomsmen had different color shoes, but we have some awesome jokes to tell on that guy. A bridesmaid had to find a dress last minute but the one she found ended up working out perfectly with our color scheme. Neither the programs nor menus arrived in the mail on time, but the ceremony went flawlessly and the reception food was delicious. I could go on and on, but the main point to remember is that you can choose how you will approach a situation whether it's positively or negatively. Your wedding day will go by so fast. Hold on to it as long as you can. Things will go wrong but try to keep your mind in a positive place. Take a minute to yourself if you need to. Most of all remember that you're there to celebrate your love and commitment to another person and THAT is what really matters.