Some Honest Advice For Future Brides
I promised you all that I had one last wedding post left to share, and here it is! Since we got married, so many of my engaged friends have asked me if I had any advice or things I wish I'd done differently in retrospect, and so I figured it might be something you guys are interested in too. Here is some honest advice for future brides...
1) DON'T go on a diet
If I could share only one piece of advice for future brides it would be don't think you have to go on a diet!!! I've already written lots about my feelings on this topic here and I could ramble on about it forever, but honestly, regardless of shape or size, you will feel like an absolute QUEEN on your wedding day. I've definitely put more than a couple of pounds on over the past year or so (comfort eating your way through a shitty time will do that to a girl!), but I know wholeheartedly that I couldn't have felt any better about myself than I already did on that day - the wedding glow is REAL.
Also, planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful and the extra pressure of losing weight is only going to make you feel worse. There are so many things to enjoy in the lead up - hen dos and cake tasting and wine choosing to name a few! Enjoy all of those little moments fully, move your body when you can, and remember that your partner already fancies you so much that they're willing to commit to you for ETERNITY.
2) Plan something relaxing for two weeks before
I found that the most stressful time in the lead up to the wedding was around two weeks before the big day. It felt like we still had a lot of little last minute things to sort out, and not a lot of time to do it in - I remember crying on the phone to my Mum a lot that week. Sorry, Mum.
My advice would be to plan something relaxing for that time - book in for a massage, go for some lunch with a friend or even take yourself off for a nice long walk. Anything where you can switch off from the overwhelm of wedmin for a couple of hours and return with a fresh pair of eyes will do you the world of good. Also, you will definitely need wine and Maltesers during this week, which is another reason to steer clear of the diet...
3) Involve other people
Our wedding was very much a group effort - our friends DJ'd, my cousins did everyone's hair, my Dad baked our cake, my cousin was our florist, my Mum folded paper cranes and pretty much everyone helped us in some way with setting up. At times I felt bad asking people to help or worried that they'd enjoy the wedding less because they had so much to do, but this couldn't have been further from the truth.
Everyone was more than happy to be involved and some of my happiest memories of the whole weekend are decorating the marquee and getting everything ready with my favourite people. Knowing they were so willing to help us pull off our dream day made Sam and I feel so loved and lucky. Plus, I think everyone relaxed a little bit more on the day because they'd all been a part of bringing it to fruition, if that makes sense?
4) People will notice the vibe of your wedding more than the tiny details
I wish someone had told me this in the couple of weeks leading up to the wedding when I was worried that the gold glitter I'd used to decorate the jars with wasn't quite the right shade! (*insert head in hands emoji here*) If you've read this post, you'll know that we spent a lot of time doing the decoration and details ourselves and I was really worried that people would think it looked crap or that nothing would match.
In reality it was SO silly to worry about that, because a) it all came together and looked amazing and b) all your guests really care about is having a good time! The thing that everyone commented on about our wedding was how relaxed and fun it was, as opposed to any specific details, so I'd definitely recommend focussing your energy on creating the right atmosphere and vibe rather than worrying about matching Pantone shades!
5) Get someone else to do your hair and make up
Okay, I feel like a bit of a fraud putting this one on the list as I didn't have to pay the people who did my hair and make up, and I really don't think that I would have paid for someone if my cousins hadn't very generously offered to help out. Wedding expenses are crazy and I know I really would have struggled to justify this when I can do my own hair and make up perfectly well.
BUT not having to worry about getting myself ready on the morning of the wedding honestly made all the difference. I was able to properly relax and to chat with my bridesmaids and family without flapping that my eyeliner wasn't even or I couldn't get my contour to go right. Plus, because it was done by professionals, both my hair and make up lasted all day without me having to worry about reapplying or anything. If you can't afford to get a professional in, maybe think about asking a friend who you trust to help.
6) Have something planned for immediately after the wedding
While we haven't suffered any wedding blues since getting back from honeymoon, the Monday after the wedding when everyone had gone home was a real toughie. It was so weird as I was still in this happy married bubble, but after being surrounded by all of our friends and family for the best weekend ever, we both really struggled once everyone had cleared off and we realised it was over.
I think the blues would have been pretty unbearable if we didn't have something immediate to look forward to and I can only imagine the tears that my new husband would have had to put up with if we'd have been going straight back to work! I know it's super popular to have honeymoons later on now, but even if you don't jet straight off, at least try and book a few days away to get you over that initial low.
7) Put aside some money for last minute expenses
I thought we had been extremely rigorous with our wedding budgeting and that I had a row in the spreadsheet for pretty much everything I could think of that we might have to pay for, and still we ended up going over during those last couple of weeks. Some things came in more expensive once delivery or set up had been added and some were just things I'd forgotten we'd need to buy, like a new foundation for me or socks and braces for Sam.
Try and set aside a little safety fund for any of those last minute expenses - it will massively reduce the stress of finding the money if you need it, and if you don't, then you've got yourself a little bonus pot for honeymoon. Win win!
8) Make sure you have someone running your day for you
By far the biggest contributor to how relaxed and present Sam and I were on our wedding day was our fabulous coordinator who made sure everything ran incredibly smoothly for us. The week before the wedding, our coordinator sat down with us and went through every last detail - from what time the suppliers would be arriving to who would be getting our cake out of the fridge and putting it on the table. She managed all of the general runnings on the day, from giving us a nudge when it was time to cut the cake to reminding us that we still hadn't done a first dance. She also did lots of other things that seemed small but could have caused chaos on the day if she hadn't have been there.
Basically, knowing we had Jen on hand to manage all of the logistical stuff meant that Sam and I could fully relax and enjoy celebrating with our guests, rather than worrying about the next part of our day. I know a lot of people have DIY type weddings these days as opposed to hotel packages, and I would thoroughly recommend hiring some sort of on the day coordinator if you don't already have one. It will make your life 100% easier and you'll be able to enjoy your day so much more!
9) Soak it all in
Finally - soak it all in! You only get to do this once (hopefully) and people really aren't exaggerating when they say the day goes by in a flash. Try and stop every now and then to just take a mental snapshot - these are the moments I remember most vividly now nearly 6 weeks has passed.
And definitely try and take some time away just with your partner after the ceremony to celebrate and chat about how bonkers it is that you're finally married! We had a moment where we were sat waiting to be called into the marquee and I remember that we were both just absolutely buzzing with adrenaline and excitement - it was a very happy way to start our marriage.
So, I promise that this is the last wedding post you'll see around here for a while! I hope this advice is useful to some of you, and don't forget you can check out my other wedding posts here.
*Images by Jenna Woodward