You've spent months of planning, dreaming, nail-biting, money-paying, and now your wedding day is quickly approaching. You're wondering: Where'd the days go? And my money? (ha! But hopefully you've signed up with us to receive money-saving deals from every single one of our incredible vendors). My guess is you've heard advice from past brides and spent hours on Pinterest. But what is the wedding day actually like? It's one of those things you won't completely understand until you're the bride dressed in the beautiful white gown. Even if you'd stood next to your best friend as her bridesmaid or MOH, it's a completely different experience.
I realize that everyone's wedding day plays out a little differently, but I wanted to share 10 things from my wedding day experience that people don't talk about as often.
1. IT WILL ALL FEEL NATURAL
Let's get this list started with the weirdest point. I remember attending friend's weddings leading up to mine and asking them something like, "Can you believe it's your wedding day? Is it so surreal?" And they would always reply with saying that it feels like just another normal day. It wasn't until my actual wedding day's morning thoughts that I understood what they meant. It's the weirdest concept! Even though professionals are beautifying you up in makeup, you're getting ready around cameras and all your girls...it feels natural. But you know what? Marrying your best friend should feel natural and right.
Since it'll feel so natural, let it and sit back and relax. Your wedding day will slip on by faster than you'll realize. For those of you who watch The Office (if you don't, you really should), you know the episode of Jim and Pam's wedding when they pretend to snap cameras to mentally freeze moments in time? Yupp, do that. Maybe not necessarily making the camera motion, but definitely remember to take in all the beautiful details and moments of your special day.
2. YOU MAY NOT CRY
I'll be honest, this one surprised me about myself. I'm the sappy one that cries over the Bachelor finale and The Notebook, etc. Or heck, especially at other people's weddings. So I thought for sure I'd be crying off all my makeup for all my loved ones to see. But something about being the center of attention or the whole surreal moment of being at the alter kept me from crying. It's still a mystery to me. This may just be me––you may cry––but don't count on one way or the other. You won't know until you're the one in the wedding dress.
This is a cliché but just in case, check with your makeup artist to make sure she'll be painting waterproof mascara on those eyelashes of yours. And if you're surprised by the waterfall of tears suddenly down pouring from your eyes, let it and soak in that moment (pun intended). And while we're talking about tips, double check that your MOH packed makeup and tissues in the wedding day emergency kit.
3. IT WON'T GO AS PLANNED
After so many months of praying for beautiful weather, our June wedding was sprinkled on––no, dumped on––by rain. From the moment we booked our apple orchard venue, I dreamt of floating down the orchard's aisle to my husband––sunny, clear skies, and all. Luckily our venue had a beautiful backup option inside of their stunning apple barn. It wasn't the way I imagined, but it was still gorgeous––if not, more. In fact, tying the knot as the rain pelted against the tin roof only made our ceremony more romantic, cozy, and intimate. There's just something about hearing the soft melodies of the rain as you listen from the dry, safe indoors.
I would strongly recommend NOT picturing every little detail a certain way. It's harder than it sounds because our brains so naturally picture things, but really try not to. And a words from the wise: don't obsess over the weather app––whether your wedding is indoors or outdoors. Instead, solely focus on the fact that you're marrying your best friend, because really, that's what matters most. Everything else really won't matter.
Speaking of hiccups in a wedding day...
4. YOU WON'T CARE THAT THINGS DIDN'T GO AS PLANNED
I'm serious. Months and months leading up to the wedding, I so deeply cared about every little detail that I would obsess over hours of Pinterest and Facebook friend's weddings. Not good. I wasted time obsessing and maybe almost became a bridezilla (sorry, husband). Because trust me when I say, you'll enter your wedding day with little to no care about the details. I promise. Funny thing is, you may not even notice that things went wrong. If you hired a planner or day-of coordinator (which I highly recommend...it'll save so much stress for you and your family), then they'll take care of things. The cake was delivered late? You won't even know because they'll fix it.
Learn from my mistakes, friends. Pinterest can be such a useful tool, but don't let it run your whole wedding planning experience. Planning your wedding is such a special time, but I feel as though too much time on Pinterest will make you feel more stressed. It will give you this false idea of what a wedding day should look like, preparing for a big let down if you allow that to happen...so, don't. I highly recommend reading this blog post our team wrote earlier this summer, it'll remind you to beauty your marriage more than your wedding day. It's too easy to allow jealousy or discontentment run through your head while planning your wedding. I wish I had read something like this when I was in the process of planning my special day.
5. IT WILL BE SO WEIRD TO SUDDENLY CALL YOUR MAN YOUR HUSBAND...WHOA, HUSBAND?!
Just as you got used to calling your boyfriend your fiancé, you suddenly have to start calling him your husband...and it definitely sounds weird and foreign the first time it spills from your lips. But at the same time, it's SO exciting! And it might make you feel old. Or maybe that was just me since I got married at 21. BUT regardless, it's super surreal.
Say the word 'husband' a lot, have fun, and um, call him your husband again. And have fun updating your Facebook status... seeing it in writing is even crazier (in the best way possible).
6. YOUR DRESS WILL GET DIRTY
Odds are you'll be going outside for photos––if not your ceremony. Since I had my wedding at an apple orchard, the bottom of my dress got swiped with grass stains and dirt. BUT that's okay, it happens. What else would you expect with wearing a white dress through all the day's activities? I promise you, no one will even notice.
Bring your dress to a professional wedding dress cleaner after the wedding. They'll clean it and preserve it for years and years to come. An extra tip: we have the BEST + most trusted dry cleaner + gown preservation, Mullberry's Garment Care. Mention Forever Bride to receive $25 off + a FREE casual dress cleaning. Click here for details.
7. WALKING DOWN THE AISLE GOES TOO QUICK
It's one of those moments that's long drawn out on TV shows and movies, and let's face it––long drawn out in your wedding day fantasies. But when the real time arrives, it's too easy and natural to want to run down the aisle and hop in the arms of your man. And I just remember getting nervous with everyone's attention and faces towards me, which causes me to walk faster. When really, I wish I would have just slowed down and enjoyed the moment. It's a beautiful time to soak in the beauty of becoming one soon.
One regret I have is walking down the aisle too fast. Walking super slow isn't natural to anyone, so it might even be worth it to practice...as funny as that may look or feel. Or just continually remind yourself to slow the pace. Enjoy the moment, lock your eyes on your man, and allow yourself to feel like you're floating.
8. YOU MIGHT NOT REMEMBER EVERY MOMENT PERFECTLY
Well, maybe this point isn't so secretive, but I'm bringing it up to really bolden the topic. You've heard it time and time again––your wedding day will fly by. But for me, I didn't fully believe them until my wedding day. When it comes down to it, there is SO much packed into that day, it all becomes a blur and blends together.
Hire an ultra-talented photographer and top of the line videographer. If you hire the right ones, they will capture almost forgotten details, special memories, and bring back the exact feelings at any moment in time. This is a cliché tip but one worth repeating numerously. It's SO worth your money!! That video will be treasured for years to come. Not to mention, it'll be so special to share with your kids and grandkids in the future. As a wedding professional, the biggest regret I hear from married couple is that they wished they had hired a professional videographer.
P.S. We put together a list of 8 of the BEST videographers and matched them with a certain style. Wouldn’t it be easier if you were just handed a list of only the most TRUSTED professionals instead of having to trudge through a bulky list of every local videographer? Talk about a waste of time––having to narrow down the list yourself. No bride has those extra hours on her hands or deserves the potential of hiring mediocre vendors. So, we did the work for you.
9. YOUR HONEYMOON WILL BE THE BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE
No more wedding planning, no more talking to relatives you hardly know, no more writing large checks to vendors... it's just you and your new husband. And for me, this was the best thing ever! Since we were moving to St. Maarten shortly after, we opted for a road trip from the midwest down to the south (with a couple night stop in the Smoky Mountains). Since we were driving and didn't have a plane ticket schedule, we ended up extending our honeymoon... because it's the best ever and why would you ever want to leave?
Even if you have a small budget (like my husband and I did) or have little time off of work, I would suggest a mini-moon before having your ultimate honeymoon someday. This is when you and your sweetie are able to get away for a few days after the wedding to kick off your marriage and still be able to look forward to a full honeymoon down the road.
10. YOU WON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH YOURSELF ONCE THE DAY IS OVER
Not literally once your wedding is over (wink wink, nudge nudge). But rather, once you return to normal life with your regular routine and suddenly don't have wedding planning weighing down your shoulders. If you're like me, then you'll sort of miss all the planning, decision making and dreaming. But if you're not like me, then you'll celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief. Or, you'll miss all the fun that was had at your wedding and reception.
But remember, this is just the beginning! You have a lifetime of happiness, learning curves, and times of growth to look forward. Here at Forever Bride, we truly believe in the lifelong commitment and beauty of marriage.
Have anything else you'd like to add to the list? Comment below!
photography // Uppercase L Photography