Monday, February 27, 2012

Advice for brides-to-be

I love weddings! The free (and delicious) food, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, the flash photography and paparazzi-like opportunities for a new profile picture; anyone can tell you these are all exciting features found in a wedding.

Of course the bride-to-be probably has her own ideas of what should be included, but where to begin!?!

Well fear not, recently engaged beauties! I’m going to list off some tips for those planning their wedding to take note for your special day. Am I qualified to offer up this advice? Absolutely not. But I have a hint that won’t keep you from reading J

Actually, a shout out to the married women who shared their thoughts on the topic with me; wouldn't have been able to write this without them. Their experiences and opinions are in italics.

Moddest is Hottest

Consider who’s attending your wedding and what you deem is appropriate. This might actually be the worst day to experience a “wardrobe malfunction,” especially if you get a videographer (read later). And not just yourself, but the bridesmaids, too. For the bride, considering modesty when choosing a wedding dress and bridesmaids dress. There is a little excerpt from C.J Mahaney's book "Worldliness" called Considering Modesty on Your Wedding Day that could be helpful.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

One thing I would have done is rehearse the entrance into the wedding. Once the ceremony is done and the guest are seated the wedding party is announced and walks in (to the hall). We were in the wrong order and no one knew where to walk :s oops! So I suggest making that a part of the rehearsal!

Get a Videographer

I’m a big digital tech fan, so of course I will suggest as many outlets to document your day as possible. Now picture this: If photographs are worth a thousand words, imagine how many photos you can get from freeze-frames?! As one lady reflected, I wish we were able to capture every moment, because unfortunately, photographs don't tell the whole story. There were jokes said and things done that I know I won't be able to capture totally in a memory. So my advice, get a videographer. I have come across some well done wedding videos, but this one here is possibly the best I’ve seen. AND it’s filmed in Scarborough, what what!

Nigel & Jessie's Wedding Highlight Video from David Stewart Media on Vimeo.

Picture problems? No problem! Don’t stress too much over pictures. Sometimes the unstructured memories are better than the Kodak ones. Make sure you get good pics but don’t make that the focus! For example, someone else said: Take the time to take everything in. Everyone will tell you to do this, but it's harder to remember on the day of because I didn't do that. Since we arrived late to the church I was a little flustered and was trying to move everything along. I didn't realize until afterwards when I looked at our pictures that I didn't really take a good look at my bouquet and appreciate how beautiful they looked. Or that I never saw the hall decorated before everyone was in it and that I didn't get a good look at the centerpieces on the tables.

Walk AND Talk

It seems that majority of regret came from not connecting and mingling with people. (Ohh, I forgot, I wanted to title this section “Mingles Aint Just For Singles”). Keep this in mind if I’m ever a guest at your wedding :D

  • We didn’t leave enough time to go from table to table to talk to everyone and that was our biggest regret.
  • Honour the people that are in your life that have helped bring you to this day. Every word and action on this day creates a memory--make the words and actions memorable.
  • Make a list of everyone you need to thank (which you should triple check to make sure everyone is on it) and make sure you have it with you.
  • I don’t think I left enough room for the MC’s (for the dinner program). No matter what just make time to walk around, talk, and enjoy your day!

Throw "superstition" out the window. If you want to have breakfast with your beloved--do it!

Yeah, I think that line deserved to be its own title.

Start Yesterday

“Have you set a date yet?!” It’s an endearing question asked soon after the engagement, and that word “yet” can be a heavy burden if you allow it to hang around too long. As in: we haven’t booked the reception hall yet, the dresses haven’t arrived yet, or the classic, the guests haven’t RSVP’d yet.

Organization will go a long way: Get a wedding planning book if you need to or someone to help you for whatever you need. You'll be thankful that you did. Get on top of things early; don't leave it til the last minute. The less you have to leave to the last minute, the less you will have to worry about when something unexpected happens at the last minute (which will happen).

You’ll begin seeing the fruit of your labor when you begin striking things off the list sooner than later, even rewarding yourself with something laid back: We got on the planning right away which allowed us to have some time to enjoy our engagement… I would also recommend taking a week off before the wedding if you can. It made getting the last minute details done a lot less stressful!

STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS

Think about the order of the day. As one couple pointed out, we set an early wedding and an early reception so we could leave early and enjoy our first evening as a married couple. I do wish we could have spent more time talking to people, but we couldn't both have that and leaving on time before we got headaches. A way to handle stress, according to someone who’s crossed the threshold, is: if you’re starting to get tired (and maybe a little irritable like I was) don't be afraid to go and take a few minutes in your hotel room or bridal room at the hall to freshen up and even change into a different (more manageable dress). I really wish I had done that because I got cranky and a little rude near the end of the night… And remain positive: This is your day! If you fall going up the stairs pick yourself up, smile at the people and continue with the ceremony (planning to wear flat shoes goes a long way to not falling).

Enjoy It!

The response was unanimous:

  • Have fun! It's your day, your party so enjoy it!;
  • Mostly enjoy! It only happens once! And my favourite one;
  • At the end of the day--thank God and bless His name for His goodness to you.

So there you have it! Be intentional in every action you take, every choice decision. One amazing woman of God said it this way: With purpose and deliberate action invite the Holy Spirit into every aspect of the day as soon as one awakens. Inviting God to be part of every decision should have been done before the first date but the conscious action on the wedding day is important. My pastor once said, “The most important person in your wedding won’t be in any of the photos, but you have the privilege of showing him to the world through your marriage.” J

What do you think; do you agree with some of what was mentioned? What would you suggest to newly engaged brides-to-be?

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