Ahh wedding season is upon us! For any of my bride-to-be’s, I wanted to share some reflections from our wedding day which you can see here and here. During my last reader survey, so many sweet engaged reader’s said they loved my wedding content, so what better time to cover some of your questions than now as we enter wedding season.
Whether it’s one of my besties that gets engaged or a bride-to-be reader email, I feel like I’m always asked: “What’s your #1 piece of advice?!”.
Of course when it comes down to it, it’s all relative. Every couple is different. Every bride is different. Every family is different. Do what works for you as a couple! That said, if my girlfriend asks for my opinion on what worked for us, I’ll surely share it. I’m sharing four for you today!
Bridal Advice: Four things I’m so happy We Did on Our Wedding Day
1.Not doing a first look
Whenever my girlfriends ask me my #1 piece of advice, I aways note this one.
S and I never actually considered a first look because it was one of the couple things he felt strongly about and I’m really, really happy we didn’t do one! He’s very traditional and wanted to see me for the first time walking down the aisle.
Photographers will often push ‘first looks’ on to couples because it gives them more time to get ‘the shot’ and they are really trendy right now. You can still get ‘the shot’ and gorgeous portraits without seeing one another before your ceremony!
Nothing beats the moment you walk down the aisle and you see one another for the first time. It’s so, so, so magical. This is the moment I dreamed up my whole life and envisioned the entire time of dating Sergio. The moments at the alter had such raw emotions that I don’t think would be there if we saw each other before the ceremony.
Right after the ceremony ended, S and I snuck away with our photographer to soak in the first moments as husband and wife and they were so special and captured beautifully.
All that to say, you don’t need to do a first look to get ‘the shot’ or have private time together as a couple! Do what feels right for you and your groom, rather than the vendor’s convenience.
Here are the first moments I saw S and he saw me. I am going to frame these for our house side by side!
2.Not Having a Shot List
I really liked our photographer’s approach on this so I wanted to share! He is a seasoned pro and very good at what he does, so I followed his lead without thinking twice. Rather than a ‘shot list’, he asked us to just share important aspects of our families.
For example, I shared the strong bond I have with my dad, how special my Grampy is to me and then we shared aspects of S’ family too. We kept it to like four notes and that’s it. Every photographer will be different, but I liked this nd he got more “shots” than I could have ever listed or dreamed up.
Note: He did outline all the variations of family and bridal party portraits we needed to ensure we didn’t miss anyone and so that it was organized and orderly, but for every other part of the day, he went off what we shared, not a shot list. Our families were so impressed with how efficient Peter was!
Every photog will be different, but I thought his approach was unique!
3.Prioritizing Each Guest
This sounds silly to write out because it seems like a no brainer, but this is a hugely debated topic. I absolutely cannot imagine not speaking to each of our loved ones at our reception and thanking them for celebrating the day with us. Like what?!!?!?!
Yes – it’s your day to spend with your future husband, but what would it be without any of your guests there to celebrate with you? The amount of money, time and thought that goes into attending someone’s wedding is HUGE. I can’t imagine skipping that, but also our parents would have been mortified.
Since I had heard most brides’ #1 regret was not having enough time together with their groom, we had a game plan so that wouldn’t happen and we could make memories together. It just takes a little thought beforehand to be strategic.
We sat down at the beginning of the reception to eat our dinners together, take in the toasts and then once we ate a our meals, walked to each table to talk to our loved ones TOGETHER!
We had about 20 tables to get through and we made it to 19 [I was so sad we missed the last one. We couldn’t locate some of S’ cousins so they must have been dancing by that point!]. So if your wedding is around our size, it really didn’t take that long. We made memories with our loved ones, showed appreciation for them AND I was with my husband talking to the people we loved most on Earth. You can do it!
4.Live in the Moment
Ditch the phone. Ditch the little worries about napkin folds. Ditch any big worries about the weather. Ditch stressing about if “so and so” got to where they need to be. They will figure it out!
Wake up, realize the day is here and make the best of the cards you’re dealt. It’s your day and rain or shine and you’re marrying the love of your life so it’s your slice of perfect! If it’s raining, move on. If your future husband lost your robe like mine did lol move on with a smile [luckily I had a Show Me Your Mumu BRIDE nightie!].
You don’t want to allow any thing you couldn’t control, take over the day. You get married once!
Here’s my tips:
+Have the right mindset. You are around your girls and about to marry the love of your life! Let any bumps in the way roll off.
+Hire a wedding planner. Not the day-of coordinator that comes with your package. They care about the venue’s wants and don’t care if your vision comes to life or whether vendors are calling you. You need someone on your side that represents you and your vision.
Your wedding planner does so much leading up to your big day, but day-of they have everything organized , coordinate with vendors [HUGEE!! you don’t want phone calls from vendors on your wedding] and make your vision come to life!
S and I both enjoyed our morning and ceremony, knowing that Kelsey from BackBayBride was bringing the cocktail hour and reception spaces to life. She also was a huge reason why our reception timeline stayed on track. If you live in New England, she’s the best!
+Hire a VERY experienced photographer. Your photographer builds out about 90% of your day-of timeline and has the vital role of keeping you on time.
We met with our photographer in person a few months before our wedding to build out the timeline with 10 minute increments, mapped out where all couple, family and bridal party portraits would be located along with rain back ups. Day of, our photog knew exactly where to be, with who and when.. so we didn’t need to think through anything day-of and stayed on track.
Having an the right mind set, an amazing wedding planner and an experienced photographer all allow your day to stay on track, be very organized, super efficient and allow you to live in the moment.
What is your #1 piece of advice for any engaged girls? Or, if you aren’t yet married what is something you are struggling with through wedding planning? Let me know in the comments below! Xo Mindy
WEDDING BLOG POSTS
OUR WEDDING PART I I OUR WEDDING PART II I OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY I OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS I MY BRIDAL BRUNCH I 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM MARRIAGE IN 6 MONTHS I 2 MARRIAGE PREP TAKEAWAYS WE ACTUALLY USE
SHOP OUR WEDDING
Ceremony: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Reception: Harborview Hotel
Planning: Back Bay Bride
Photography: Peter Greeno Weddings
Florals: Flour! Flower & Sweets
Trolley: Portland Discovery
Beauty: Bei Cappeli
Bridal Dress: Hayley Paige from Flair!
Heels: Valentino Rockstuds
Earrings: Kalina Earrings Kendra Scott c/o [similar]
Bracelet: Cole Bracelet Kendra Scott c/o
Lipgloss: Tom Ford in ‘Sahara Pink’
Perfume: Tom Ford Soleil Blanc
Tuxedos: The Black Tux
Bridesmaids Gowns: Adrianna Papell in Taupe
Bridesmaids Earrings: Ellie Stud Kendra Scott
Bridal Robes: Etsy
Letterpress Invitation Suites: Minted c/o
Wedding bands: Long’s Jewelers [ask for Judd!]