This is one of those memorable milestones in life. Don’t sweat it if the ring bearer will only walk down the aisle on two conditions: his pacifier and his “MeMe” (Grandmother). Dance like EVERYONE is watching … because they are. I told myself that as long as my future spouse was at the other end of the aisle and says “I do,” then I’ll be happy with whatever else may happen that day. And, I was.
Don’t lock your legs.
My sister Heather told me this numerous times before the ceremony began … and I’m glad she did. I was carefree and happy all day until I was told “10 minutes” before show time. Then, it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and knocked all of the breath out of me. Her words are what kept me from falling during my “I do” moment.
Listen to some good jams.
Right before I grabbed my dad’s arm, I was feeling faint in the foyer area. The first thing that popped into my head while I was trying to cool down and keep calm was “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men. Why that song? I don’t know, but my sister and best friend joined right in on my last-minute singalong and dance improvisation.
You’re not saying “goodbye” to your family.
My family lives approximately 890 miles away. I moved here over a year ago, and I don’t regret it one bit. Do I miss them? Every day. But, I also know that if I ever needed them, they are not only a phone call away, but they’re also a 2-hour flight away. And, I know without a doubt that they’d be on the first available flight out of Alabama to PA. Also, I like how my dad phrased it: “This isn’t goodbye. We’re just adding a new member to the family.”
Have a wedding coordinator or a really good friend who knows what she’s doing.
I had no clue where to go for wedding coordinators. My sister had one when she was married in 2003, but that was back home, south of the Mason-Dixon Line, in the Heart of Dixie. I thought if I could have everything mapped out in detail, then the wedding would go off without a hitch. I was wrong. My friend, Amanda, stepped in and took control of everything. She would ask me different questions, like “Do you want a receiving line?” “What are you using for your send-off?” and “Do you know what song you’d like as you cut the cake?” I had no idea there were so many minute details of a wedding. She definitely helped and made the day flow more smoothly.
Make sure your makeup is water proof.
There will be tears and tears and even more tears. I didn’t know I could cry so much in one day. Be prepared.
Don’t forget about dessert.
Heather told me that she wasn’t able to eat at her wedding due to greeting and talking with guests, so she made it a point to eat at my wedding … as did I. I was so happy to be off my diet and eating whatever I wanted that I had almost forgotten about the wedding cake and desserts. Shame on me, but at least we were able to take a large majority of the desserts home, where some still exist today in huge jars and in the freezer.
Make the day as simple as possible.
Don’t overdo your song list (last count I had was 64). Don’t worry about the smallest of details in décor because you won’t even notice on the big day. Don’t worry about a flower girl basket ripping apart; there’s nothing a little hot glue and duct tape can’t fix.
Expect tantrums from little ones if the event is all day.
They’re already excited, energetic and pumped full of sugar, so don’t become angry or upset if one, two or all three little ones in the bridal party cry or throw a fit before, during or after the ceremony/reception. They may even steal the show, which allows more time for you to enjoy cake.
The day will come and go just like that. All the planning, stressing, exercising, and dieting you’ve endured for months have come down to this moment. Embrace every second because it will be over in the blink of an eye.