Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann
No matter how many lists you make, magazines you read, or conversations you have, some things are going to happen on your wedding day that you may never see coming. So, from one recent bride to the next, here are my top five tips that no one tells you, but will hopefully make you a little more relaxed and make your day go as smoothly as possible:
1) Warn your groom now: You will (most likely) be late to your own wedding.
When was the last time you attended a wedding that actually started on time? It’s no one’s fault; it’s just the nature of the beast, especially if you are getting ready at a different location than your wedding venue. You have your day-of timeline, and follow it to the “T,” but by the time everyone piles in the limo, by the time you deal with traffic and traffic lights, by the time everyone gets out of the limo, you get some photos and then get situated at your venue before walking down the aisle, you will be late. This doesn’t mean you can show up 20 minutes late. Five, 10 minutes tops is what I will say is “fashionably late” and respectable. If, in the rare occasion there are extraneous circumstances that will make you really late, do one of two things: Try to leave earlier or call your groom, the priest, best man – anyone! – and let them know what is going on (the limo got a flat, or there was a major accident and the road to your venue is closed, etc.). Don’t keep people hanging without a reason.
2) You will be hot all day.
Well, of course you’re going to look hot in your dress, but I mean temperature hot. Between all the prep, running around, photo-taking, the weight and fabric of your dress, the temperature outside, the hugging, kissing, dancing, nerves, your body temperature is going to run hot that day. That’s perfectly normal and to be expected, even if you are the calmest of brides. Knowing that, prepare yourself with things that keep you cool. Drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks, stay in front of fans or as near to AC vents as possible, and, if all else fails, my last resort is to gently dab water on your arms and let the air dry you off.
3) You may end up paying for people who don’t show up.
In New York, where I am from, almost every venue requires a guest minimum in order to book your wedding. Our guest minimum was 100. We invited 120 and ended up with 92 people. That means we had to pay for eight people who couldn’t come. Don’t let this worry you. Yes, that can add up pretty quickly, but ask the coordinator at your venue if they can make up the difference with perks. Perhaps they can throw in extra rooms (if you are having your wedding at a hotel and they offer room blocks), extend your wedding an extra hour, or give you extra courses or extra appetizers. Maybe they can even give you food to take home. Our venue gave us eight containers of food from our wedding to take home with us. That was great! We kept some in our freezer, so we had food waiting for us when we came back from our honeymoon, and we gave some to our family who had guests staying with them. It was fantastic and appreciated by everyone.
4) You can greet and eat, too!
I know a major concern for many brides and grooms is whether or not they’ll be able to eat at their own wedding. I say, “Yes, you can!” if you plan strategically. Typically, a wedding meal will consist of a salad and/or maybe a soup or pasta dish before the main course arrives. Use that time to greet your guests at each table. Yes, a salad is healthy and good for you, but is it really what you are looking forward to eating? Not me. Our dinner was a buffet, but we still had those courses served before the buffet opened. While everyone was munching on salad and eating their soup, we went to each table to greet guests. Our server saved our soup and put it in the fridge in our bridal suite so we could eat it later. We were back at our sweetheart table in plenty of time to eat.
5) Do not give your rings to your ring bearer.
This seems a little ironic that your ring bearer shouldn’t be holding your rings, but think about it: Most likely, he’s going to be a very young, little boy who has a lot of energy and may be running all over the place – or he may not even make it down the aisle. Make sure the best man has the rings in his pocket. It’s the safest place for them. The one thing you don’t want anything to happen to on your wedding your day is your rings.
Did I miss anything? What tips do you have for brides-to-be?