A dear friend of mine just got married up in Minnesota. I knew about quite a few of her plans, but I had no idea her wedding was going to be such a masterpiece! I have asked her to write a "letter to brides" of sorts with advice that she learned from her own big day. What she sent me is something I think all brides will find very informative!
Okay, so the wedding. It was the best day of my life - no comparison. I wish I could do it all over again, it was just so much fun! The people there were humbling and I was so touched by how everyone rallied not only to help out the last few days, but really made our wedding special. That was the best.
Get away to the pool with your girlfriends and gossip. Its the last chance you have for sun before the big day - 1 week before was perfect for me. I didn't look "tan" or too light.
The few days before were incredibly stressful and I definitely took on too much and too late. I would encourage you to really stick to not doing anything the week before - that was my plan, but then we found our house.... There were little details that only I would notice that didnt come through, because we simply ran out of time. But, really I could not have cared less by that point.
Wrapping presents for your bridal party - takes forever!!! I would highly suggest pawning that off - my mom, aunt, and cousin did it and it took them about 3 hours with everyone!!
Have some quality time with your future husband before the wedding. Andrew and I were so swamped with wedding and house business that we felt a little distant from eachother. That added stress is sooo not necessary!
Once that Friday came (my bridal luncheon and rehearsal) I couldnt stop pinching myself. It just seemed so crazy to actually be happening! Take some time to love your moms and sisters and tell your girls how much they mean to you. Its easy to get wrapped up, but I just kept trying to remember to say please and thankyou - they were all so incredibly wonderful..
Get your nails done with the girls - its the only time you cant get wrapped up because you are tied to a chair! I did this Friday with all the girls right after the luncheon so we were all toghether.
SLEEP!!!! I was short on sleep and I regret that! Take Tylenol PM, whatever!
Look at your rehearsal dinner as an opportunity to say everything you usually wouldn't to the ones you love. I have been to too many where its all about the bride and groom - thats unfortunate. It is about those who know you and love you most that have brought you together. Tell them every gushy thing you always wanted to - they have to listen and they will be touched.
Thank your parents - I told my parents that loving each other is the best lesson they ever taught me; that I learned from the most in-love couple what it means to truly find a soul mate.
THE DAY OF
Take a deep breath and some solitude when you wake up. I slept alone at my parents house and it was perfect. No one was there to stress me out when I woke up. I just layed there and thought about what was about to happen.
Give yourself plenty of time but also, you dont need to get ready first. Make sure your girls are up earlier than you - they should be getting ready well before you are so they can help and not be fussing over themselves.
Hire a makeup and hair person - no question. The stress factor for doing your own - not worth it. It was so relaxing to be pampered!!!
Have a toast - its your day and make sure to say cheers often.
Dont see your bouquets until you are all done up. They were such a fun suprise to see - and they were more beautiful than I could have imagined. Seeing them made for some great photos as well. It was a lovely little dose of suprise.
EAT - enough said.
Deep breath before walking down the aisle, take it in. Its about to happen and its okay to cry. I did.
Keep your eyes on him the whole way down - it will keep you calm.
Kiss your dad, its the last time his little girl is completely his.
Relish your ceremony - it is so different when its actually yours! Every word is important. Every reading has meaning. It is beautiful and somewhat euphoric. It is heavenly.
Whisk away after the ceremony for some alone time. Kiss kiss kiss.
Get all of your checks handed out way before - I was handing them out when I should have been kissing! The church lady was on me like white on rice.
Have some time to see the reception before anyone else does. You have worked so hard and you should get the glory first. I took some time to finesse of course - its in my genes. I was tweaking arrangements with a corona in a white dress. Would not have wanted it any other way though - I am a perfectionist....
Photos are important but having fun with your bridal party is more important. Sure, I was probably missing the artsy group shots, but I was too busy having drinks and hearing toasts with my little party away from everyone else. I couldn't care less that I dont have the cool art shot - I will remember those toasts far longer.
We did our first dance right after we were announced and I loved it - got it out of the way.
MY BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE
First..Forget what everyone thinks you should be doing/saying....do what feels natural and right. I did not leave the dance floor and I loved it. I partied so hard - was sweating through my dress. I am sure people thought I should have gone around and said hello yada yada. But I stayed on the dance floor with all of my friends and boogied with my husband. I think people found it refreshing to see a bride and groom acutally being themselves at a wedding. And it rubbed off. The dance floor was packed the entire night and even for the last dance - there were tons of people there. There was one point that I looked out and not a soul was to be seen - every single person was rocking out with us. Pure bliss.
Secondly..give a speech. It doesnt have to be long or planned, ours certainly wasnt. But we spoke from our hearts and thanked profusely and even called out certain family members and friends. I am so proud to have done that - it shows we are human in the midst of the production. People of course raved about the decor, the food, the dress, etc...but at the end of the day, it was our hearts that were so full and I forgot about the planning and remembered it was about those people who brought us together."
There you go, ladies! Isn't Krysta just lovely? I cannot wait to feature her wedding here-so stay tuned for lots of pictures, details and more advice from the beautiful bride herself!