Looking back, my wedding day seemed like a big blur, one magical blur filled with flower petals, camera flashes, nervous giggles, happy tears, and lots of kisses. The whole experience left me with so much gratitude and respect for the people who served me and made every moment of it memorable. It also left me with a handful of lessons and a bit of knowledge on weddings. The day after my wedding, I came up with a mental list of the things I should have done better. Don’t get me wrong, I have no major regrets, but I realize that I now have some experience and information that I wished I had had before my wedding day. Since I couldn’t turn back time, what better way to use them than passing them on to help future brides?
This list is in no way exhaustive. I was able to do most of the items while some are placed in my charge-it-to-experience mental compartment. =)
1. Get a good night’s sleep. Even if you have to knock yourself down with a glass of red wine (or something stronger), please do it. This will benefit you the most because you will have energy and you will look more radiant on your big day.
2. Write your vows before the wedding day. But if you didn’t have the time (like me) and you had to do it on the day of your wedding, it’s okay. Use the events leading to the day to inspire you. Put on your headset and play some music while writing. Go to a secluded corner and browse old photos with your fiancé to bring back memories and motivate the flow of thoughts.
3. Have your teeth whitened days before the wedding. I had forgotten to do this! I bought whitening strips but because of intense jetlag, I was not able to put them on every night before our wedding day. If you are able, do this step so your smile is brighter in your photos.
4. If you have time, squeeze in a 30-minute workout on the day of your wedding and eat your breakfast. You will need all the energy you can get for the day. Trust me.
5. Don’t put on conditioner when you wash your hair. This will allow your bridal hairstyle to stay and hold longer throughout the day.
6. Save your pinned stylized shots on your phone and review them during prep time so you are not stuck with the same poses during photo shoot.
7. Create a list of last-minute reminders or things to do the night before your wedding and pass it on to your coordinator or family members. Always ask for help. If you feel that there is something wrong or something may have been forgotten, voice it out to the people around you.
8. Ask your entourage to come to your room during prep time for moral support and candid shots.
9. Bring some toys so your bearers and flower girls will have something to play with. Kids easily get bored and irritated. The toys will help calm them down during prep and photo sessions.
10. Ask a relative or trusted friend to watch over your valuables. Make sure he/she does not have any other duty apart from that. When it gets chaotic, you’ll know where to find your stuff after.
11. Bring some props and personal decors. Print out your dating photos, a favorite love quote or a Bible verse and put it in a frame to enhance your wedding details. Pepper every corner of your prep room and the venue with things that you identify with.
12. Smile at all times. I believe every bride is beautiful on her wedding day. Stand taller and smile always because your wait is over.
13. Remind yourself that perfection is not the goal. In any live event, there will always be glitches, mistakes and unplanned situations, so choose to be calm and happy in spite of them. There are only a few things you can control, and one of them is the way you handle stress. Release the worry and just savor every second of what will unfold.
14. Don’t hold back on those beautiful emotions. This is the time to express your love and gratitude to your family, especially to your parents. You are about to leave them for good and be with your groom. Don’t be embarrassed showing those tears and being touchy with the people you love. These moments make good shots, too, and there is always time for a makeup retouch!
15. Stuff your bridal bag with mints and tissues. They will surely come in handy!
16. Go turtle speed on your march. Strut it well but strut it slow. Let the radiance of you slowly sink in with every pair of eyes in the room. Look ahead, never down, smile and enjoy your walk.
17. Mingle with your guests and thank each one of them for celebrating with you. Appreciate the time they spent in being witnesses to the happiest day of your life.
As they say, a wedding is just for a single day so don’t beat yourself up if you have forgotten to do some things you initially planned to do. Be grateful just the same because you are able to celebrate love and in a white dress at that! Xx