It’s hard to believe that Jordan and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary this summer. On my wedding day, I remember riding in the car on the way home from the hair salon, and telling everyone, “I don’t want it to be here yet!” Meaning, I wanted time to slow down so the day would last longer. My cousin Lauren, having been in my shoes just nine months earlier, had to keep reminding me, “It IS here already, this is your wedding day!” She knew from experience how quickly the day goes by, and now, I do too.
While I can’t make time slow down for you on your wedding day, I can tell you how I made my big day feel extra special. Unfortunately, a wedding day is just like any other day — 24 hours long. The only way to make it feel like it lasts forever, is to do things on that day, and the days leading up to it, that will last in your memory forever — the smallest things leave the biggest impact, I think!
Maybe you’re newly engaged, preparing for your upcoming wedding, or hoping to get married someday — from one former bride to one future bride, here’s the advice that I give to you.
The day before the wedding, spend time alone with your fiance.
On the day of our rehearsal, Jordan and I went to pick up the cake together, and then we went out to lunch, just the two of us. That brief time between getting my nails done and getting ready for the rehearsal was really the only time that I had to relax with Jordan until after the wedding. Enjoy that time, because it will probably be the last time that you can have a full conversation until after the wedding weekend is over.
At your rehearsal dinner, thank those who did so much for you.
The wedding weekend goes by in a flash, and if you don’t do it then, you’ll never have time to do it. Thank your bridal party, your parents, and everyone who helped make your day so special. It’s a big commitment (financially and otherwise) to be involved in a wedding, and they will appreciate your gratitude. Oh, and because you’re probably already nervous enough for your big day, let me remind you that husbands are good for doing the talking — I let Jordan say a little speech after dinner while I stood by him and smiled.
Your day should feel special, but you want your guests to feel special too.
On the morning of your wedding, spend some time alone.
I got up early and went for a long walk outside. It was the only time of day when the sky was blue and the sun was shining, and it was nice to be alone with my thoughts, preparing myself for the day ahead. It calmed me down. Do yoga, go for a walk, or take a long, hot shower. As I keep saying, once the festivities kick off, time goes by way too quickly!
Wear a new scent.
I didn’t read this advice on Kate’s blog until after my wedding day, but I think that it’s such a good idea. Scent triggers memory very easily, so the concept is, pick a new perfume or body spray (that you love, obviously) to wear for the first time on your wedding day, and every time that you wear it in the future, it will remind you of your special day. While I didn’t do this on my wedding day, I did on my honeymoon. My cousin gave me travel size Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner, and every time that I use it now, it reminds me of Maui and our honeymoon. I’ve since bought more of that shampoo and conditioner, and I only use it on special occasions so it remains a special memory!
Say your vows slowly.
When I was 13, I went to my aunt and uncle’s wedding. I remember my aunt saying her vows slowly, articulating each word. Somehow, that stuck with me, and I remembered to do the same on my big day. It can be easy to breeze through the words, not realizing what you’re actually saying, but if you take a deep breath and pay attention to every word you’re saying, the moment will be that much more special. Saying your vows is almost an out of body experience. When it’s over, you kind of get that, “Did that just happen?” feeling (in a good way).
Eat dinner with your bridal party.
I had so many brides tell me that it’s not possible to eat at the reception, but I now have first hand experience, and guess what? It is. Make sure the catering company and DJ or wedding planner knows that you’d like to be served first/go to the buffet first. This way, you can eat your food while everyone else is getting served, and by the time that you’re done, they’ll just be in the middle of their meal. Use that time to walk around, thank everyone again, and mingle.
Dance the night away.
If you can manage to make your way around to all of the tables while your guests are finishing up their meal, then you’ll have the rest of the night to party. The dance floor was full for the majority of our reception, and it was so much fun! I remember feeling sad that I couldn’t socialize with everyone for more than a few minutes, but that’s just how it is for the bride and groom — people understand!
Would you add anything else?