Have you ever heard anyone say that until you put on your own wedding you have no idea what a privilege it is to be invited to one? It’s SO true. I think even if you’re getting married in the simplest ever ceremony, you would still surprise yourself with how much goes into the day, and how much you will learn from the experience.
Before we got married I emailed everyone I trusted and was just like “Give it to me. Tell me the horror stories, the good stories, and the best bit of advice you could possibly give me”. Our married friend’s Jane and Gav sent us the BEST advice:
“No matter what happens, stay gracious”.
It was the GREATEST most simple piece of advice, and is something to keep in mind not just for your wedding day, but for life.
Stay Gracious. That’s my No. 1.
No. 2 – Something on the day will go wrong. Always. Whether it’s the weather turning ugly, a vendor letting you down, or a guest at the wedding complaining about the food. Something will happen and you will have to deal with it (by being gracious) and realising there are bigger things out there to worry about. Keep this story in mind – my friend broke her ankle a week from her wedding, and spent her big day being carried around on a specially made ‘marriage carriage’. She couldn’t walk down the aisle, couldn’t do a proper first dance, couldn’t walk on honeymoon, but she still managed to be the most beautifully composed and happiest bride I’ve ever seen. Years later, we laugh about it.
No. 3 – You will have a meltdown at least once in the lead up. Every bride we speak to (ever) has. Having one is a right. Having two is unfortunate. Having three – sweetheart, review your wedding and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Four? I can’t even imagine the kind of bridezilla you are.
No. 4 – Avoid over-sharing details. I always tried to include everyone who was involved in our plans so they knew where they stood and what was going on. I soon learned this was the best possible way to drive yourself slowly insane. By including people, you’re automatically saying “I give you power to respond to my decision.” If you can keep it to yourself, do.
No. 5 – If you don’t have a big budget for food, go vegetarian. I don’t know anyone who hates vegetarian food. No one will die if there isn’t meat there, in fact, if it’s done well, they probably won’t even notice. I’ve been to several vegetarian weddings and the food is like out of control incredible, and there is always SO much more of it.
No. 6 – Tell your guests to put their cameras away during the ceremony. We outlawed it at our wedding. Why? We’d paid professionals thousands of dollars to do it professionally. Why would we want our guests fiddling, beeping and flashing all through our ceremony (in my opinion THE most important aspect of your day)? They should be honouring this special and fleeting moment by listening to your vows, and baring witness to your proclaimed love, not looking at it all through some little screen and taking terrible shots. Because of our decision, the collective ‘presence’ of our guests was palpable. It was the best hard-core rule ever.
No. 7 – If you don’t have a budget, don’t feel that creative, or have no idea where to start with decorating or styling, just choose to do a really great first dance. For some reason, guests really respond to this. Some of the greatest weddings I’ve been to have become the greatest wedding I’ve ever been to when the couple take to the floor and rock out unexpectedly. It’s like a massive sledge hammer over the head reminding everyone why they’re so great together. Trust me, your guests will be so delighted, no matter how badly put together it is. Big points for trying!
No. 8 – You don’t have to set foot in a bridal shop. My worst nightmare was to be bossed around by scary women who would say things to me like “You MUST wear a veil” or “The best deal I can give you is $7,000″. Don’t be afraid of the internet! If I told you the things we got from the internet for our wedding you would be shocked! Everything I wore was from online shops, besides my dress which I had made. We even had our wedding rings shipped from the UK. 99% of the time, things arrived exactly as we wanted, and when they didn’t we simply found creative ways to make them work.
No. 9 – Consider a short dress. There isn’t a long wedding dress on earth that hasn’t been trashed to some degree, no matter how careful you are. I’m sure dry-cleaning works wonders, but if you want to be able to go to the loo, walk anywhere and not have people trampling on your dress all night, then why not consider going short? I did, and not only is my dress still pristine but I can wear it for the rest of my life. They’re also way less expensive.
No. 10 – Stay. Gracious.