If you’ve been following my blog for any time or are on my email list (you can sign up here!), you probably know that I got married in May. It was a beautiful, incredible day full of meaning, and one that we’ll never forget.
While I wrote a bunch of wedding planning blog posts leading up to the big day, I have even more thoughts after actually experiencing it. And to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I asked my husband to share some of his thoughts on what we learned. So on behalf of both of us, here is our best advice for the bride to be (and her partner!).
Make a point of actually eating the food.
As you plan your wedding, you’ll probably spend a lot of time and energy working on the menu. This includes your meal, any hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, cake, and dessert. So it only makes sense that you get to taste and enjoy the fruits of your labour on your wedding day!
Too often though, couples get sidetracked visiting with guests and don’t end up getting the time or opportunity to try much of the food.
This happened to my husband and I – we barely ate anything. There was just too much going on. Not eating during the cocktail hour also contributed to us feeling tired, hungry, and depleted on what was already a busy day.
We’d suggest you have a friend, family member, or someone from your bridal party on deck to bring you some munchies during the cocktail hour. Also try to take some time during the meal to sit and enjoy your food, without dedicating the entire time to table visits and speeches.
Booked a limo? Get pictures of the inside.
Our limo company sent us a link to photos of the outside of the limo we’d be renting, but nothing of the inside. And when we got into the limo the day of, we were disappointed to see that it wasn’t in good shape and in many places the seats were being held together by duct tape. Not a great experience nor something we’d want in the background of photos.
Unless your limo company has fantastic reviews (and lots of them!), request photos of the inside ahead of time.
This extends to other vendors. Make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting, especially when it comes to companies with fewer reviews to check out beforehand.
Plan your getting ready meals in advance.
It may seem easy enough to grab a quick bite before the ceremony, but we’d suggest making a plan in advance.
Take our situation, for example.
We asked my mother in law to order lunch, and she had the hotel send up sandwich platters to the room as we were getting ready. They arrived about 90 minutes before we had to leave, so everyone had plenty of time to eat before, after, and between getting their hair and makeup done. It worked out really well and everyone had time to eat without rushing.
My husband and his groomsmen, on the other hand, ordered food at the venue once they arrived. But there were delays to it being ready, and it took much longer than expected. The women and I all got to the venue about 30 minutes earlier than planned, and got there before my husband had time to eat. We launched right into First Look photos, and he didn’t eat lunch until close to 3:30pm. This meant he was starving all afternoon and had to eat cold pizza in a rush before the ceremony.
If you can, plan and order your food ahead of time to avoid this. There will be enough going on, that you’ll be glad to have one less thing to worry about!
Go with the flow.
Things will undoubtedly go “wrong”, but in almost all cases, none of your guests will know. And expecting that there may be a few issues prevents you from letting them derail your enjoyment.
We had one hiccup that fell into this category.
After the second of the two parent speeches, we were supposed to go right into the Father Daughter/Mother Son dance. But the DJ didn’t play the song right away, so we ended up missing it. We then had to speak quickly with our MC and DJ about when we could move it and settled on right before our Thank You speech. None of our guests found it strange or noticed anything went wrong, but I have to admit that I was a little worried at the time.
In the end, it was totally fine and had no real impact on the day.
By going into the day expecting a few things to go wrong but being willing (and prepared!) to go with the flow, you’ll be far less scattered when things happen.
Consider having some sort of receiving line.
We opted not to have a receiving line nor to visit every table for a few reasons. First, we were going to be attending almost the entire cocktail hour. And second, there were so many speeches and dances during the dinner reception that we didn’t think we’d have time to visit tables and eat.
But our cocktail hour ended up being overwhelming since we weren’t able to speak to all of our 90 guests. We both found that we visited with only 20 or so people each during that time, and then had to circle around to greet everyone else after dinner. It made it hard to ensure we each got to thank everyone for coming.
In hindsight, it would have been nice to have some sort of receiving line.
Carve out some time for yourselves to be present.
Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the busiest days of your life and it can feel like it’s over in the blink of an eye. Try to carve out some time with your partner to sit back and take it all in.
We ended up doing a few sunset photos outside with our photographer after the meal, and it was a fantastic opportunity to duck out of the hubbub and just be together. Walking back to the reception, I felt renewed and was able to take everything in.
If you’re getting married, be sure to check out my Wedding Planning Resources, filled with links to help blog posts and amazing tools to help with your planning. My post How to Plan Your Wedding With Confidence and Ease is also worth checking out for some fantastic planning insight. And lastly, take the What Type of Bride Are You? quiz below!
Leave me a comment with any wedding planning-related questions you have!
Happy planning 🙂