Jun 07, 2009
Tips for brides
Finish everything at least one week in advance. My stress level was still pretty high week of, and I really had no tasks to accomplish – just a couple of errands and appointments. I think if I had saved tasks for that last week I would have been very stressed out, and not able to enjoy my last week of engagement.
Spend the reception with your husband. Guests are there to see you happy and in love. If you are both all googly over each other, guests won’t even be that upset if you don’t spend much time with them.Go with the flow - we put a lot of time and effort into every little detail, but some thing won't be perfect, or will change. Personally I put a lot of thought into my jewelry and didn't plan on wearing a necklace. Aaron's grandmother bought me a stunning diamond necklace and made sure I got it before walking down the aisle. This was a no-brainer - I wore the necklace and it was beautiful. People are more important at your wedding than all the little things we plan.
Eat! I’m a fool – didn’t eat much at the wedding, too busy running around. I’m mad I didn’t get to try and of my dinner dishes.
Be organized from the very beginning! We had flow charts and tables and a binder, all devoted to organizing all of the wedding information. Aaron was like a wedding planner - makes tables of when payments are due, and also when we wanted to accomplish certain tasks by. This made the whole process a lot smoother.
Laugh everything off, good and bad stuff. The bustle on my dress (which was latched to one of my buttons) broke 7 times!! That’s right, I lost 7 buttons. It was hilarious – I just kept stepping on it and it would break. The photographer took off his safety pin to help – still ripped. I just had to laugh about it, and ended up dancing with my 1000 lb train hurled over my arm. If you are having fun, everyone will have fun.
Don’t worry about your dress getting dirty. My dress was a hot mess when it was all said and done. We tramped through a park, climbing up rocks, for prof. pics. We also went to the beach, and sat on dirty benches. Its one day. Unless you have a $5000+ couture dress you are planning to sell, today is the day to stop treating your dress like a holy object, not letting it stop you from making the memories, and photographs, you want.
Dance! Well, I might be biased here, but I wanted to dance and people to dance. People will be where the bride is. Also, if you are dancing, and there is a variety of music, everyone will get up at least once, and guests will feel like they’ve spent time with you if they join you on the dance floor.
Do a receiving line. Granted we had a very small guest list (65), but it was so nice to say hi to everyone right after the ceremony, and see who was there. Also, everything will tell you how beautiful you are, and that always feels nice J
Obvious – something will be forgotten. I forgot to put lipstick on. Luckily this is the only thing I forgot – things could have been worse.
No matter how much you plan and organize, something will go awry. One of the reasons our whole day went so smoothly is that we planned everything to the tee, and distributed timelines to all important parties. Jeez – Aaron had a “meeting” with everyone to explain what would happen. But, small mistakes occurred anyway. My brother, a groomsmen, was never handed his boutonniere, so he didn’t think he had one. It was on the pew at the church. Someone picked an appropriate colored small flower/weed to put on his jacket for the ceremony (this was quick thinking. Hahahaha – a weed was pinned to one of my bridal party’s jacket. My Aunt (a reader) also didn’t get hers in time and didn’t have it on for the ceremony.
Recap of wedding day
This is almost like a diary entry - sorry about that, but there were so many touching things that happened throughout the day I thought I'd share. It was perfect. Best part was having all the people we love with us and totally happy. Not one ounce of drama or selfishness all day.
Went to bed the night before by midnight or so. Tiffany and Amanda (sister and friend) stayed in the second room in the suite. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t get much sleep, because I hadn’t been sleeping well all week. I woke up at 6 am and contemplated doing some yoga, but thankfully was able to get back to sleep. The next time I woke up it was to my 8 am alarm. It was quiet and wonderful, and I was filled with joy. I sat up in bed and was excited to have a few minutes to myself (it had seemed like years since I had some time alone). I also had to write Aaron his wedding day card.
There was a knock on the door….Tiffany comes bounding in, all smiles and happy, shouting that I was going to get married. It was so nice to have the people I love and care about be excited for me. We chatted for a bit before I kicked her out to finish up with my alone time. I wanted to gather my thoughts and soak in the millions of emotions that I was having. I put on some music (sappy love songs) and started to write Aaron’s card – I sobbed through most of it. This was probably the most tears I shed all day – totally overcome with excitement and pure joy. Finally I was going to marry the man I have loved since day one. I just kept breathing and reminding myself to take it all in all day – and enjoy every moment.
Not much time before the hair and make-up people show up at 9, so the show begins. These next three hours flew by faster than the rest of the day. I was surrounded by mom, grandmom, sister, best friend, Amanda, and Lina. Of course Dad was there too - he helped me steam my dress. Things were relaxed, but well paced. Perhaps too relaxed – by the time I looked at my watch we were already running a little behind. My flowers showed up and I was so happy with them, I cried – my bouquet was perfect! My make-up was just being finished, but it was already time to get into my dress. I was half zipped for awhile while the girls got dressed (so the pics of them dressing me would look nice). My brother, grandfather, and father returned. My brother’s face was so cute when he saw me in my dress, and he said I looked beautiful. Sadly, in all the commotion, I don’t even remember when I saw my dad for the first time dressed. My mother looked stunning - she could stop traffic; her hair and make-up, and her gorgeous dress, she just looked amazing.
We trotted downstairs to take some photos around the hotel before the photographer had to leave to take pictures of Aaron and his family at the church. We took some more photos in the lobby before heading back upstairs to collect our things. Before we knew it the limo was there. Me, Mom, and Dad piled into the limo for the ride to the church. I think my mom was sad (but in that happy way you can be sad). My father looked happy. I was anxious to get there and see Aaron. I realized that I did not have any lipstick on. Mommy kept saying that we could stop somewhere and get some, but it wasn’t worth it. Aaron doesn’t like sticky lips anyway.
After arriving at the church I was ushered into the bridal chapel. We were about 10 minutes early. Grandma Bender tracked down someone and asked that I get her gift before walking down the aisle. It was a stunning diamond necklace – I put it on as soon as I opened it. Our church coordinator walked in and I asked if we could start early – I really didn’t like sitting around waiting for things to start, this was making me nervous. Then we moved to behind the big wooden, closed doors. Behind those doors was my husband, waiting for me! And al our friends and family. And I was with my dad – so very sweet. He kept me steady for sure. Finally our music starts, and the doors open, and there he is! He’s small, all the way at the end of that very long aisle, but I can see him smiling. Then as I get closer I’m distracted by our loved ones – I’m saying hi, and my face could fall off I’m smiling so big. Me and Dad start rehearsing what needs to be done next “You hug me – take your time.” “Then you shake Aaron’s hand.”
And now I’m up next to my Aaron. I kiss him hello and he holds my hand. We can feel everyone smiling at us, so happy to be there. Tiffany is fussing over my train, making sure it is perfect. The father also looks so happy to be marrying us. I’m so nervous, and my mouth is so dry – but he has my hand and will always have it. He will also steady me. The first half of the ceremony is a haze – my godmother reads, and I can’t tell if she’s crying or just nervous. His father reads.
Random two people walk up on the alter and go into the sanctuary during the homily. Seriously – two strangers walked onto the alter in the middle of a marriage ceremony. This was hilarious. Fr. Richard could barely hold it together. He couldn’t keep going because if he laughed, the whole church would laugh. Aaron and I were laughing though, but no one else could see it. The homily was touching, uplifting, and personal – you’d think he would have known us our whole lives. Then my friend Molly does a beautiful job of playing the violin.
And now the vows. Aaron gets choked up during the vows, and I almost lose it. He is so adorable, and so happy – you can see it written all over his face – and his eyes. He manages to speak up so people can hear the vows we wrote ourselves. Me – not so much – but Aaron could hear me, and that is all that matters. I just want to grab him and kiss him. He held my hand the whole time. Rings are next – and a phone is going off the whole time. I’m shooting dirty looks at the groom’s side where it I coming from. Turns out my brother (a groomsman) had my mother’s phone in his pocket. Last year she had set an “event” in the calendar – my wedding.
And now we are married. Whirlwind after this – all I’m thinking is “I’ve married the man I love to pieces!” We leave, and have a receiving line at the entrance of the church. Everyone says beautiful things to us, and we get to see all the people who mad it our for our special day. We let everyone pile outside so we can do a grand exit. I trip over the threshold (although I don’t know if anyone knows this).
After photos in the church, the lily pond, and on the beach, we are finally off to meet our guests at a new leaf. We sneak in the side door and send the bridal party down to let everyone know we’ll be coming in soon. Aaron and I have a few moments “alone” (photographer was there). We decided to practice our first dance in my dress. First step backwards I step on my dress and bust the bustle – the button it was attached to goes flying across the room and bounces down the stairs. Aaron fixes the bustle and we have our real first dance, and practice our dips a couple of times (so he doesn’t drop me in front of everyone).
Our entrance song is playing – “Jackson” – everyone is on their feet and smiling and clapping along with the music. I’ve never seen all these people together, and they were all so happy – for us. This was one of my favorite moments, it was such a rush. When we make it down the stairs we start our first dance - It worked out beautifully and I loved dancing with Aaron, looking into his eyes and laughing. Everyone seems to really enjoy our fancy pants dance, they all applauded.
The next hour or so we spend time walking around talking with people, and trying to eat some snacks. There are so may people to say hello to. I’m really glad that we had a party the night before to catch up with people and start introductions - things are a blur from here on out. Tiffany does her toast – it is perfect – thoughtful, touching, and not too long. Then we dance with our parents, and there are people crying everywhere (I’m crying with my dad).
Next Nick toasts – there isn’t a dry eye in the house, not even Aaron. He announces our cupcake feeding, and we get to eat our delicious cupcakes (damn they were so good). There was no smashing – it was gentle and nice. After this, and a short bathroom break, I head upstairs for dancing. I didn’t stop or come down once I started dancing. Guests would float up and down, drifting between dancing and talking/eating. Everywhere I looked there were smiling happy people. Aaron was right with me the whole time, dancing with me, and holding me tight (unless we were stolen away to dance with a grandparent or close friend). It was such a great evening. I did miss many things downstairs – like the popcorn bar and the outside lit up at night – but I was having so much fun where I was.
We left in a cab after our last dance. Our parents met us back at the hotel and actually followed us up to the room (to get some food out of the fridge). After eating some BBQ ribs, in my dress, parents left and we finish with wedding night activities, and I get to sleep next to my husband, holding him tight (I really missed him the night before).