10 Wedding Tips from a Former Bride

Midday on Friday, I’ll hop into my car (that desperately needs new tires) and hit the road for a 5ish hour drive up to VA for one of my closest friends weddings!! Yep–that’s right. I’m one of the bridesmaids for my girlfriend/college roomie for 3 years/fellow wine lover/fellow foodie, Ms. Brittany (aka Eating Bird Food).  She has inspired me in tons of ways and I feel really lucky to be in her wedding. Britt–if you’re reading this (probably not today–you’re pretty busy), I love you and thank you! Check out this cute couple, y’all. Been together for almost the exact same amount of time as David and I (Britt and I started dating our men around the same time in 2004).

(photo cred: Michelle Chu Photography via Facebook)

So I’m going to have a lot of time to drive and think which is one of my favorite things to do. Listen to good tunes, hit the open road, normally I’d like to have David and Colonel with me…but hey…you can’t always get what you want…but either way, I’m super excited!

All this wedding chatter around made me think of 10 tips for brides or non-brides that will one day be brides. Without anymore buildup…let’s see the list.

wedding tips

wedding tips part one

#1. Natural Makeup is really pretty–and doesn’t need to be overdone. Feel free to touch up after the ceremony, but it doesn’t need to be over the top. Rule of thumb–don’t stray too far from what you normally do. If you normally don’t wear a lot of makeup, why would you cake it on on your wedding day? That’d be weird, c’mon.

#2. Wear white to all of your parties. Why? Because correct me if I’m wrong ladies, but nowadays, the only chances we have to dress up are usually for weddings, and when it isn’t your wedding, you can’t wear white. (ps: don’t you only want to wear white when you’re getting a dress for someone elses wedding? ugh…so annoying). Plus it’s festive and you’ll look like the bride, all the time.

wedding tips part 2

#3. Get some of the good food if you don’t get a chance to have a seated dinner. Our wedding had some amazeballs fried green tomatoes (evidently), but I didn’t get any and let’s face it…I was pissed. I didn’t care so much right then and there, but yeah…it would have been nice. So eat up brides…all your hard work at looking good has paid off!

#4. Greet everyone you possibly can. It is the most special day of your life and you have all of your loved ones there. But once you’ve done that, HAVE FUN! Like I said, it’s the most special day of your life and you have all of your loved ones there. Let loose and get down–you know I did!

wedding planning part 3

#5. Plan some pics ahead of time with the photographer. I won’t go into the details about how much our photographer sucked, but if you were there, you probably saw him um…stumbling around. But there were so many missed pictures and part of that came from us not knowing what we wanted. So yeah, scan Pinterest…ask friends…share this post…do your research and make sure the photographer knows who is important to get pics of.

#6. Music is key to the success of any wedding in my opinion. My suggestion: Motown and rock classics that everyone knows to get people up and moving in the beginning. I had an amazing (ah-maz-ing) band who kept everyone up on their feet most of the night–then we had friends come up and play some music also. It was amazing musically. But what about all the current pop songs and hip-hop booty shaking songs? Save those for the after-party if you can. (unless you wanna close out your wedding with a WEEN classic like we did…yeah…).We had a friend/DJ the after party which gave everyone a chance to really let loose and party all night. (note to readers: our wedding was at a camp that we’d rented out for the whole weekend which meant no closing time and no driving anywhere). That should be a tip: rent out a facility for the whole weekend so you have time with your guests that traveled to see you!

wedding planning part 4

#7. Honeymoon a few days later if you can. It gave us the chance to stay at camp for an extra night after everyone had left and we were able to unwind. There were also incredible rainstorms the next few days which was pretty cool (since it wasn’t raining when we got married). It was nice to eat some leftover cake and reminisce. Plus we didn’t have to think about packing or anything like that before the wedding. One thing at a time, ya know?

#8. See the groom before. I know, people are split on this one. I am always a nervous wreck when it comes to getting in front of people, so I knew I’d be calmer if I could see David ahead of time. Which we did. And it was equally as special. We took lots of cute pics and then it gave us the opportunity to take ALL of the pictures before the wedding. Yes, that’s right. So we went straight into the reception which was awesome. I totally understand the folks that want their groom to see them for the first time when they head down the aisle. Makes sense. Also, with the way our location was set up, I was going to be walking for a long ways (aka longer than an aisle), so that felt awkward to me because I couldn’t see David right away anyways. So we did it before. And it was special and awesome.

wedding planning part 5

#9. Practice your hair and makeup before. Seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t. I practiced and then I did something completely different, but oh well…Oh also, don’t wash your hair right before. I made that mistake but I wasn’t really thinking when I got in the shower. I also only shaved one leg. Guess I was a little pre-occupied with the fact that I was about to GET MARRIED. So yeah, plan it out and practice before so it’s quick and easy on the day of.

#10. Last but not least, be yourself. This was hard for me and is probably a lot harder for people now that there is Pinterest and all these cool-yet-overwhelming ideas out there. I knew I wanted something that would fit my location, and that’s exactly what we had.  And since our location was so special to us, it all worked out. Neither of us really like cake-so we had cobbler (it was outdoor in August too) with vanilla ice cream. Neither of us cared about the little details very much–so we left a lot of that up to the vendors. We didn’t do favors and no one cried about not getting a favor. We bought you drinks and dinner, people. What more do you want? 🙂

We cared about the big stuff: getting married, the food and bev, and the music. We had TONS of family and friends come and be with us, and that is what mattered. Focus on the big stuff and don’t stress the little stuff (that goes with money too–spend on the important things and leave out things that don’t matter).

Now with all that said, I better get ready to hit the road! Can’t wait to see Britt and Isaac! From everything I know about them, this wedding will surely not disappoint!

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2 thoughts on “10 Wedding Tips from a Former Bride

  1. […] So there you have it. Sayonara tiaras. Some new ideas are rolling into town and they’re wild…in a good way! Bachelorette parties should be about making memories with your best friends. Keyword “memories”; meaning that you’ll remember what happened over the course of the weekend. So throw out the sash, grab some bubbly and try one of these New Bachelorette Party Themes. Your bride-friends will thank you! Oh and want a little extra wedding goodness? Check out my 10 Tips from a Former Bride! […]

  2. […] So there you have it. Sayonara tiaras. Some new ideas are rolling into town and they’re wild…in a good way! Bachelorette parties should be about making memories with your best friends. Keyword “memories”; meaning that you’ll remember what happened over the course of the weekend. So throw out the sash, grab some bubbly and try one of these New Bachelorette Party Themes. Your bride-friends will thank you! Oh and want a little extra wedding goodness? Check out my 10 Tips from a Former Bride! […]

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