If you could do it again… Would you do anything differently?
The thing that is so remarkable about our couples is that they are nothing if not helpful. I’ve long thought of having a luncheon and inviting past brides simply so they can all meet and become great friends. Which then makes me think of my grandma and I chuckle (if you don’t know what I’m referring to you can read that story [here]). Our couples come from all different walks of life, careers, and backgrounds, and are diverse in many ways.
But, our couples are all genuinely gracious people.
Recently, I asked a few of our past brides if they had any thoughts, now that they were married and through the wedding planning process that they would want to share with those who are in the thick of walking through what they’ve just been through. Of course, being the gracious people that they are, they did.
Our team can share with you based on our extensive experience (and we do and we will ;-)) but there is something so valuable about sitting down with a girlfriend who has just walked through exactly what you’re walking through. She hasn’t seen hundreds of weddings as we have, she just planned her own. It was beautiful, emotional, memorable, and pretty stressful at times. Real talk. Do people say that anymore? 😉
Is there anything you wish you’d prioritized differently when planning for your wedding?
For this question we got basically two responses, the first being a flat-out, “no! I think I did great!” The second has to do with how fast-paced the day moves and how much faster it feels than you’d expect. “Your day will feel so much busier than you realize, it’s hard to imagine. I wish I would have planned for that a little better” or “The day will get so busy, looking back I wish I would have allowed for more time to speak with our guests at the reception”.
Did you do a first look? How did you feel about that decision?
Not one person gave a negative response to this and it was one of the most fun responses to hear! Beautiful stories, for many people one of their favorite moments of the day. Here is a few examples: “My husband and I did a first look on our wedding day and were so thankful we did. We were able to spend several more hours of the day together and we received so many more pictures of us together. The best part was that it didn’t take away from the “fairytale aisle moment” at all, which was the main concern. The moment when I walked down the aisle was so surreal and made us both just as emotional. For any brides who are on the fence, you absolutely will not regret doing a first look!” and “Yes. It was the best decision we could have made! We have very special moments and pictures from our first look, that we wouldn’t have had otherwise”.
Want to read more about what a first look is? You’ll find what you’re looking for [here].
Did anything take you by surprise on your actual wedding day?
Here are two examples of responses to this question, “How nervous I was, despite telling myself I would not be! But I felt so much more at ease that I knew I just had to follow the plan that had been set up” and “I was surprised by how relaxed I felt on my wedding day. Planning the day well in advance and hiring a team of wedding professionals I trusted really helped me feel comfortable in knowing that the vision for my day was in the best hands.”
This is such an example that you just don’t know how you’re going to feel on your wedding day. I always add extra time around when we’re having our bride step into her wedding dress in the timeline, why? Because you just don’t know what that moment will be like. She might feel amazing and beautiful and need a moment to take that in, her mom might be there and have a real emotional moment seeing her daughter in the dress for the first time, she might need a few extra moments to have a laugh with her best friends. Either way, it’s not the moment to be tapping a watch and saying, we’re late because you wanted to breathe. 😉 Wedding days are unknowns, they’re emotional and full of amazing and entirely unexpected moments that you just can’t plan for. We always go into them with enough awareness that we can leave room for that, you as the couple need to be aware that you just don’t know what to expect and that’s entirely ok, because the professionals around you do. Your only “job” is to savor and enjoy everything that’s happening.
If I could do anything differently it would be:
- “Give guests a timeline of the evening so they don’t leave before dessert!”
- “Looking back, I think I would have opted out of having the traditional bridal party. Having your best friends in the same color next to you is fun, but allowing them to just be wedding guests would have taken the pressure off our friends for having any responsibility that day.”
- “Not stressed about the little things nearly as much! Trust the process!”
- “Buy two pairs of shoes for the day to switch back and forth into, the gorgeous ones and the comfortable ones.”
- “Actually ate our dinner!”
- “Had fewer people in my bridal party. I love who I chose but it was such a huge group that the logistics of pretty much anything was a little overwhelming with them”.
- “Make a list for my maid of honor of everything I needed to grab so I didn’t have to worry about it”
Whatever you do, don’t forget to:
“Don’t forget that adding cushion time to your schedule is the key to a stress-free wedding. Give yourself double the amount of time for each timeline logistic and you’ll feel relaxed all day long.”
That is professional-level advice right there from someone who has experienced a wedding day in real-time. Although we don’t give double the amount for each timeline, we do buffer each line item along the way simply because I could not agree more with this advice. If you have enough time on your wedding day to truly enjoy, savor, and see what’s happening around you it’s a whole different experience. Not to mention that when something goes wrong (yes, when) you need time to catch up without putting strain on the day.
We had a wedding recently that we were 45 minutes behind the timeline because of factors outside of our control and the couple never even knew because by the time the bride asked what time it was and if we were on track with the timeline we’d caught everything back up. I was able to smile and say, “absolutely, you just enjoy”. Simply because of 5-10 minute buffer slots throughout her morning.
I hope this was helpful and fun. Thank you to our fantastic brides that chatted with us and were so kind as to help give us their wisdom! We love and appreciate you.