One of my new favorite gifts to give our couples is this epic 85 page wedding magazine I created to help make the photography timeline a little smoother, explain why a first look is so super special, give tips on healthy skin and hair, and generally make the day as smooth as possible. You can't experience over 100 weddings and NOT come away with advice on how to make the day a little smoother.
In writing it, though, I realized JUST how many situations I've experienced that *could* have ruined the day.
I've seen the "getting into the dress" moment take an extra 30 minutes because a button popped off and had to be resown on the fly. (Thanks grandma!)
I've seen grooms and whole bridal parties thoroughly trashed before they even walked down the aisle. (The keg stands that followed at the reception didn't help the situation).
Bridesmaids who couldn't arrive at the last second because they went into LABOR.
DJs who packed up their gear and left halfway through the reception because there was a miscommunication on how long they were to stay. (Luckily A.J. was still DJing at the time and he was able to grab his gear and finish the night for them).
Very close family members who died the week of the wedding.
I've seen a ceremony start an HOUR late while half the guests sat quietly in the church and the other half in traffic as an unexpected PARADE started up through the neighborhood. Tip: You're going to want to make sure to check road closures/races/parades/construction in the area directly around your venue(s).
A flower girl bit by a very venomous snake at the rehearsal placing her in the ER and on crutches for the wedding.
Torrential downpours, flooding, a hurricane, a foot of snow and sweltering 100+ heat.
The point of this post is not to scare you out of your big day or force an elopement but to remind you that no wedding is perfect. Things are going to go wrong and people are going to disappoint you. At the end of the day, every single wedding ended with an "I do" and a happy, albeit exhausted couple waving good bye to their friends as they set off on a new adventure...together.
If I can leave you with just 3 tips, I would say:
1. Don't sweat the details. Noone but you knows what color the napkins were supposed to be, and everyone expects the ceremony to start a little late. Shake it off and remember this is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life!
2. Plan some downtime. It's not a matter of IF the timeline will get backed up, but by how MUCH. If you can plan an extra 15 minutes for hair or an extra 30 minutes to drive from venue to venue and especially an extra 15-30 minutes ALONE with your new spouse to take it all in, savor the moment and clear your head, I promise your day will be far less stressful. If you need help with this please just ask. I've become an expert at finding extra hours in the day. Failing to plan for something to go wrong means planing to fail when it does.
3. LOVE your people well. I've seen so many couples say hurtful things to the people they love the most. It's not worth hurting your relationship with your mother or best friend or future spouse because they dropped the ball on something. Do your best to remember that they've given you so much of their free time to help you plan and they only want what's best. Love them well with kind words and generous hugs. If you can throw in a gift or two, do. They will always remember how you treated them over how perfect the day was.
Remember, you're getting MARRIED! This is supposed to be fun! Let the mistakes roll off your back and savor the sweet moments.