I am officially in the stage of life where I attend more weddings than any other social event. It seems like every other day there’s news of an engagement on Facebook and my friends are getting married out the wahzoo! A friend of mine even asked me for my advice on choosing her wedding dress from somewhere like Winnie Couture, and I was excited to help!
This particular stage of my life (known as weddingpalooza) has allowed me to be witness to quite a few weddings, as a bride, guest and bridesmaid. All of those weddings, in addition to allowing me to dance the Wobble A LOT, have given me an idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to a wedding.
- Let your bridesmaids pick their dress, or at least the style of it. I was very fortunate that all of the brides I maided gave me the option to choose whichever dress I wanted within a certain color palette. And honestly? That was the best thing ever! Knowing that I didn’t have to lose weight to fit into a one time dress was a very big relief. Same with being able to wear a dress that flattered me and made me feel comfortable. This is the nicest thing you can do for your bridesmaids: give them a color palette, fabric choice and any style rules you want them to follow and then trust them to find something that will work on your day. If this stresses you out, try to find a dress that comes in a variety of cuts to help the entire bridal party feel great. They’re your friends, and theoretically, you want them to still be your friends after you’re married. So why dress them in lime green satin?
- Have your ceremony and reception in the same spot. I recognize that this piece of advice isn’t always possible, but it makes life so much easier for your guests if they only have to find one location on the big day. Plus you don’t lose time moving locations and only have to decorate one spot! If a change in venue is a requirement, make sure you give guests detailed directions, a GPS friendly address and plenty of time to make it from point A to point B. Also re-use as much ceremony decor at the reception as you can to help cut costs.
- Provide transportation if necessary. If changing locations is necessary, consider providing transportation for your key people (especially the wedding party) to help things run as smoothly as possible. It saves you the stress of worrying where your maid of honor is when she’s the only one who didn’t make it to the group photo location. To book a car for a short period of time may not blow your budget, but cheaper alternatives could be calling for a large cab or having someone drive the whole group. If it causes less stress and confusion on your wedding day, it’s worth it.
- Plan for alone time with your husband between the ceremony and reception. I cannot stress this piece of advice enough! You just got married, take a moment or two to reflect on that together privately! A and I were lucky to have some time alone between our photos and the start of the reception. It was amazing. We got to sit and breathe and really absorb what we had just done. Plus that was pretty much the only alone time we had for the rest of the night.
- Be very comfortable with your photographer. How do you think those getting ready shots come to be a thing? Someone has to be there to take the photo. Your photographer spends almost every single second with you on your wedding day. If you are not comfortable with them, it will show in your photos. Plan on meeting them before the big day, most photographers require this via engagement photos. But if you take some time to warm up to people, consider grabbing lunch or coffee so that you can increase that comfort level as much as possible.
- Decide what’s really important to you and adjust accordingly. If you’re dead set on dancing all night, then consider having a receiving line after your ceremony so you get to talk to all of your guests. If your top priority is lots of family photos, then make sure everyone knows when and where to meet for their time in front of the camera. If you and your husband-to-be are foodies, splurge on dinner and save money by doing the flowers yourself.