What I Didn’t Do On My Wedding Day (and should have)
Written by Lindsay Ropella
I can easily say that my wedding day was the best day of my life thus far. Although I almost threw up on myself that morning about 5 separate times, and was a little late to the reception, it really was as close to perfect as you can get. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, however there were a few things that I would have added.
With how many details you have to remember to do for your wedding, a few things are bound to fall through the cracks here and there. However, I want to share with you a few things that, looking back, I really would have liked to remember to incorporate/do for my wedding day.
1. I didn’t get any formal pictures with my siblings. On your wedding day, you typically don’t forget to get special pictures taken with your parents; but what about your siblings? I have a great picture of me and my dad, as well as me with my mom, but no professional pictures of just my brother and I. Luckily, my aunt remembered to snap one of the two of us toward the end of the night. But as you can see below, it’s not an awesome pic. I really had wanted to get a nice picture with my brother, as well as a few goofy pictures to really highlight our close relationship. If I were to get a do-over, that’s the most important thing I would make sure to add to my wedding day itinerary.
2. I didn’t have enough time to relax with my bridesmaids the morning of the wedding. Our wedding was scheduled for 3:00 in the afternoon because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to spend with my bridesmaids that morning getting ready and just hanging out. Well, my hair appointment ended up running late (I was at a different location than all my bridesmaids) and I didn’t get back home until just after noon. All of my bridesmaids were already there eating and getting their makeup on. I had wanted to leave the house by 1:00 to head to the church, so I was scrambling to get my makeup done, collect all my items for the church, and finish up a few last minute things. We didn’t end up leaving the house until after 1:00, and got to the church around 1:45. Once we got to the church I still had to get all the decor set up in the church (luckily there wasn’t much) and get dressed.
By this time I was pretty much having a full-blown anxiety attack because I was feeling so rushed and like I didn’t have a moment to just stop and breathe. I had hoped to have a relaxing morning with my girls, but there just wasn’t enough time. So my advice to brides is give yourself way more time than you think you will need the morning of your wedding to get things done. It’s really important to have time to stop and enjoy the day. Are you thinking of scheduling your hair appointment for 10? Move it back to 9. Take care of as many things as possible the day before the wedding and delegate as much as you can to other people. You will want to take as much stress as possible out of the morning of your wedding so you have time to relax and get excited for what’s coming next – meeting your new husband at the end of that aisle.
3. I didn’t say hello to every guest. We had 300 guests in attendance at our wedding – way more than I was expecting. I was so thrilled that we had so many people who wanted to share in our special day with us! But it did make a few of the logistics a little bit tricky. For example, the church we got married at was just a little chapel – it really had no lobby or reception area. There was no place for us to have a receiving line (plus, who likes waiting in those anyways) so our plan was to just go around to every dinner table at the reception and say hello to our guests. Well, pictures ran late (give yourself more time than you think you will need for EVERYTHING, I can’t stress that enough) and so as soon as we got to the reception, dinner had to start. After we quickly ate and did the toasts, Eric and I started walking around to every table to say hi and thank our guests for coming. Well let me tell you, 22 tables of guests is a lot more than I thought it would be. After about an hour we had only been to half the tables. At this point it was after 8:30 and first dances had to happen so that the dancing could start. By the time that was done, all our guests had moved all over the place and it was impossible to keep track of who we hadn’t said hello to yet.
My advice would be, if you aren’t having a receiving line, think of another way where you can be sure you welcome and say thank you to every guest – I still feel bad about not being able to do that to this day. Maybe take pictures before the ceremony so you can stand by the reception doors and welcome your guests as they arrive. Or hold a more informal receiving line at the reception site during the cocktail hour. Google different ways to do this – I’m sure there are a dozen ideas out there. Just make sure that you do everything in your power to talk to all your guests for at least a minute or two – they are there for you, and you want to make sure they know how much they are appreciated.
4. I didn’t plan when I was going to bustle my dress. This was something the planner in me totally spaced on. Since we got to the reception late for dinner, we had to start dinner right away before we could bustle my dress (I had wanted it down for pictures). Of course by this point, I was just about ready to rip my train right off it was getting so annoying. I honestly don’t even remember how it happened, but at one point someone was dragging me into the bathroom during dinner to bustle up my dress. It took almost 20 minutes to tie all the bustle points, and I know they were waiting for me to come back so they could start toasts. However, I couldn’t keep waddling around the reception dragging my dress behind me, so it had to be done. I wish I would have planned out a specific time to bustle my dress (take off my veil, etc.) at a point during the day when it would have been convenient, and I would have had lots of hands ready to help.
5. I didn’t plan who was going to hand out the corsages. Eric and I had ordered corsages and boutonnieres for our grandparents, godparents, and ceremony readers to wear for the day (I think this is pretty common?). However, I wasn’t allowed to go upstairs once the guests started to arrive (plus let’s be honest, I wasn’t even close to being ready) and my mom was scrambling to help me get my dress on. I started freaking out a bit because I had no idea who was going to hand the flowers out to our special guests. To this day I actually have no idea who did it (shout out to you, mystery man), but it would have saved me a lot less worry if there had been someone delegated to do this task. Maybe an Usher or Attendant – just make sure it’s someone who knows these special people well and will be able to recognize them as they walk into the ceremony.
6. I didn’t have my own emergency kit prepared. This was really just plain stupid. One of the things I was going to do the day before the wedding was assemble a last-minute emergency kit for the day of the wedding (but I ran out of time, that seems to be the theme here, doesn’t it). That really was one of the dumbest steps to skip because what if something had happened to my dress or one of the girls dresses and we had no way to mend it? Nightmare.
I was extremely lucky not to have anything major happen, however, the sole of my dad’s rented shoe did come off. Thank goodness it happened just before we were leaving and he could grab some trusty duct tape from the garage. So my advice would be to make up your day-of emergency kit days or even weeks before the wedding if you have to. It’s one of those things you hope you won’t have to use, but if something does happen you will be so grateful you have it!
7. I didn’t hire someone to do my makeup. I was very adamant about doing my own makeup for the wedding from day one. I had a bad experience at a makeup counter a few years back, and I think that had freaked me out for letting someone else do my makeup for the wedding. Well, as crazy as the morning of the wedding was, it would have been nice to have someone to do my makeup for me so it was one less thing for me to worry about. I had come up with what I wanted to do makeup-wise a week or so before the wedding in my head, but when I sat down that morning to actually do it I was a little freaked out. If you really do want to do your own makeup, at the very least practice the look full out multiple times before your wedding and actually take pictures with the makeup on. I think that was where I made the mistake – I had a good idea of how the makeup was going to look in the mirror, but I had no idea what it was going to look like in professional photos. I wasn’t unhappy with my makeup for my wedding day, but in photos it doesn’t look like anything special or give me that “wedding glow” I was trying to achieve on my own.
8. I didn’t give a big enough thank you to my “special people.” I’m convinced that this is pretty impossible to do – your parents and grandparents and bridesmaids and groomsmen do so much for you in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding, I really don’t think there is a big enough way to say “thank you.” Sure, we bought them gifts and gave them a shout out in our wedding toast, but at the end of the day it hadn’t seemed like enough. I wish Eric and I would have taken the time to plan out a fun “surprise thank you” for our parents during the wedding reception. Of course, this was something I didn’t think of until a week before the wedding, and by then it was too late. There are always so many little last minute details that need to be taken care of right before the wedding, that I think the more important stuff ends up falling to the wayside. I would recommend that you start thinking about how you want to thank your special people early on in the wedding planning process so that you have enough time for brainstorming and creating. Because at the end of the day, those relationships are the most important thing you will be left with after the last piece of cake is eaten and the DJ plays one last song.
What do you wish you would have done for your wedding? Leave it in the comments below!