When I got married last September, it was actually my second wedding. Although I would never have planned to have a failed first marriage, getting married a second time was actually nice in the sense that I knew what to expect from the day, and had a better idea of what actually mattered in the long term.
Ideally you don’t want to have to go through what I did to get this enlightenment, so I thought I would share the things I wish people had told me before my (first) wedding…
It Really Does Go so Fast
Ok, so this one I probably did actually hear several times in the lead up to the day, by anyone and everyone who has ever got married, but I wanted to include it because it is 100% true!
On the day of your wedding it feels like time is suddenly sped up, everything goes by in a blur, and it honestly feels a bit like you have been put onto fast forward, and before you know it you’re sat a little dazed in the honeymoon suite with your new partner by your side.
I know it is easy to roll your eyes when yet another person tells you to ‘enjoy every moment’, but seriously, do so! Schedule some time out on the day to take a few moments just the two of you to look around and take it all in, honestly, it’s worth it.
Small Things Won’t Matter
So, right now, you probably have about a million and one things buzzing around your brain – the centrepieces that you need to set up in advance and take photos of so that the wedding coordinator at your venue can recreate the look on the morning of the wedding, the different types of sweets you are having for your candy buffet, whether the Tiffany blue of the bridesmaid dresses matches the ties the groomsmen are wearing.
Stop. Breathe. These details won’t matter on the day. Everything will be fantastic, even if these things aren’t totally right. Honestly, this is coming from the biggest control freak ever, but these things will not be as big a deal as they feel like right now, on the actual day of your wedding.
Being a Bridesmaid Shouldn’t be a Job
I hope my bridesmaids won’t mind me saying this, but in the lead up to my weddings (yes, both of them), I at times felt a little dejected that it seemed like my wedding wasn’t as big a deal to them as it was to me.
I didn’t actually say this to them, but it was there niggling away in the back of my mind and I think the problem is that all of these TV shows and films show a sometimes unrealistic portrayal of how bridesmaids should act in the months leading up to a wedding.
At the end of the day, your best girls have their own lives to lead, they have their own struggles. Yes, they are bound to be excited for you, and excited to celebrate with you on the day, but if they can’t reply to every message instantly with a gazillion bridal themed emojis, and spend hours at your house putting together bunting, it doesn’t make them any less of a friend.
It would be lovely if everybody had their very own posse of friends a la Sex and the City, with seemingly never ending supplies of cash, and the ability to head out for margaritas at the drop of a hat, but for many, that just isn’t feasible. And that’s ok.
I have heard of friendships breaking down due to the stress that comes with planning a wedding, and seriously, it just isn’t worth it in the long run.
Make a List of Must Have Photos
One thing I will 100% support when it comes to bridezilla behaviour is jotting down a ‘must have’ list of photos for your photographer. This isn’t about not trusting them. You picked them because you like their style, and have faith that they will capture your special day perfectly, but unless they are a mind reader as well as a whiz when it comes to editing, they are not going to be able to get every shot you want unless you tell them about it.
By all means, let them go wild on the candid snaps, these are always my favourite to look back on as they are natural and tend to capture the little moments that otherwise may have been forgotten in years to come, but when it comes to the posed photos, if there are groupings you would be heartbroken not to have to look back on then let them know! If you are worried your photographer may run out of time, list them in numerical order, with the absolutely vital ones at the top. You can’t get back the day after it’s gone, so if you want something in particular, make sure you make it known.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of photographs, pay for as many photos as your budget will allow. Seriously, coming from somebody who settled for the included 20 images in their package when it came to our wedding in Santorini, it’s worth the additional cost to have lots of photos from your day to look back on.
Remember to Eat, Drink and Enjoy!
One of my biggest regrets first time round, other than the obvious, was that I didn’t stop and properly eat the food we had so painstakingly chosen for our wedding breakfast. I was so caught up in the moment, focusing on my speech and mingling amongst our guests, that I didn’t properly eat my meal, and I can’t even remember the evening buffet food coming out.
Not only is it worth making sure you eat because you paid a lot of money for that meal, it is also advisable as you’ll most likely have had a few glasses of fizz by that point, and some food will give you the energy to keep dancing all night long.
If you are concerned you might not get round to eating your food, ask the venue in advance to put something aside for you and your partner to enjoy at the end of the night. This totally goes for wedding cake too – it is the perfect wedding night midnight snack!
Things May Well Go Wrong
Hate to break it to you, but no matter how well planned your day is, something will likely still go wrong. The good news is that you probably won’t care about it on the day, as long as it isn’t anything huge.
There have been a few things that have gone wrong during both weddings, but they didn’t ruin the day. I’ve also come across a good few issues behind the scenes whilst working as a wedding coordinator, and half of them are resolved without the couple even being aware of them on the day itself.
Try not to worry too much about what could go wrong, whatever happens the day will be fantastic, and it isn’t worth getting yourself worked up about it.
People May Not Turn Up
This one really got to me to be honest. I still to this day find it incredibly rude that for my first wedding some people cancelled last minute (like on the morning of the wedding last minute), and some didn’t even turn up at all. Most of these people also didn’t even acknowledge or apologise after the day either.
This wasn’t really so much of an issue second time round, being a destination wedding, but for our UK reception people didn’t bother to RSVP or come along on the night, including members of my own family.
Again, there isn’t any point worrying about it in advance, but it is worth remembering that ultimately it reflects much worse on them than you.
Nerves are Normal, Feeling Regret is Not
I couldn’t really write this post without touching on something which was a big part of my first wedding. I hope that all you brides to be reading this post are as extremely happy and excited as you should be in the lead up to your big day, but if you aren’t, know that it is ok to open up and tell somebody.
There is a big difference between pre wedding nerves, and actual feelings of regret, and I am not the only person I know who went through with a wedding they weren’t 100% sure about. It’s not nice to let people down, but what’s even worse is getting married to somebody who isn’t right for you because you feel like you have come too far and can’t back out. If this is you, tell somebody how you feel.
Nothing Else Matters
That aside, ultimately the one important thing about your wedding day is that you will end it married to the person you love, and as cheesy as that sounds, that really is all that matters.
Yes, it can feel like the stress of planning a wedding is going to kill you, but everything will work out in the end. Try to take a step back, relax, and enjoy the last few days, weeks and months before your special day, because, as you’ll know soon enough, it really does go by so fast….