Your wedding day is filled with festivity, joyful chaos, and lots of emotions. Most married people remember their wedding as a delightful blur that flew by too quickly. You will likely have spent months, and sometimes the better part of a year or more, planning for your wedding weekend, so there’s a lot of anticipation leading up to the big event. I’ve seen couples who have spent 18 months or more planning their wedding and then get so caught up in every little detail on wedding day that they weren’t able to truly enjoy the fruits of their wedding planning. So, I’m here to help you think about what you should do on wedding day to make sure you actually experience the celebration as it’s happening and have distinct memories of the big day.
#1 Eat Some Food
Your wedding is a wonderful celebration and a fun party so you’re probably going to be drinking some alcohol, right? The worst combination for a wedding reception is an empty stomach and booze, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast, have healthy snacks throughout the day and eat your dinner. The last thing you want to be is drunk and possibly sick the night of your wedding.
#2 Don’t Drink Heavily Before the Ceremony
This tip goes along with the last one, which is basically that you don’t want to get wasted on your wedding day. It’s okay to have a celebratory mimosa, glass of champagne or finger of whiskey before the ceremony, but limit it to just one drink and then consume plenty of water. I promise you, you’ll have the rest of your life to booze it up, go easy on the alcohol on your wedding day.
#3 Let Go of The Timeline
If you’re working with a professional wedding planner or day-of coordinator (and I hope you are!), you’ll have a well-rounded and thought-out wedding day timeline. Now that it’s all planned out, I want you to let it go completely. A wedding day timeline should be viewed as a guide, not a prescription. If you’re not working with a wedding planner (and you really should be), then find a responsible friend to be in charge of the timeline. Do NOT under any circumstances be responsible for the timeline on wedding day. Nothing takes you out of the fun and festivity faster than trying to keep track of what time it is.
#4 Look Out at Your Guests During Ceremony
I know not everyone will want to do this, but I strongly encourage it. Taking a few seconds to take in your guests and see their shining, smiling faces looking up at you is truly magical. It allows you to really appreciate the love that surrounds you. It’s a moment you will remember forever!
#5 Quite Time Right After Ceremony
Take a few moments (between 5-10 minutes is plenty of time) to be alone with your spouse right after the ceremony. Have your caterer bring you a little tray of hors d’oeuvres and your signature cocktail and just relax for a few moments. It’s a time to acknowledge your commitment and let the words from the ceremony sink it. The rest of the day will be spent chatting, dancing and schmoozing, so before you put all that energy out there, take a few moments to be at rest with the love of your life. I did this at my wedding and it’s a moment I’ll treasure forever.
#6 Trust Your Wedding Vendors
This is such an important thing to do on your wedding day that I devoted a whole blog post to it. Putting all your trust in the professional wedding vendors you’ve hired will allow you to let go, sit back and just enjoy the day. Isn’t that what you want to do? If you’re like me (ahem…control freak), you may have troubling handing over all the details you’ve so carefully planned, but you have to believe me, this will be the difference between a stress-free wedding day and a high-stress wedding day. Which would you prefer?
#7 Step Away from the Reception and Take It All In
You might have noticed a trend in my tips here. I’m inviting you to find ways to stay present and grounded on wedding day. I truly believe, and have seen this from my years of experience, that being “in the moment” helps you appreciate what is happening as it’s happening. So, during the reception, take a few moments with your sweetie and step away from the festivity. Get far enough away that you can take it all in. Listen to the sounds of laughter, clinking glasses and the music being played. Look at the lights, look at each other, look up at the stars. Smell the fresh air, feel the breeze on your face…Just allow it all to sink it.
#8 Don’t Use Your Cell Phone
No matter how attached to your phone you are, lock it away on wedding day. Even while you’re getting ready, give it to someone else (your best person or wedding planner) to monitor. Take a break from all social media all weekend. Think of it this way: it’ll be SO fun to see what everyone else posted while you’re on the plane to your honeymoon!
#9 Hire A Videographer
This is the best piece of advice I can give you. Not hiring a professional wedding videographer is the one great regret I have about my own wedding. Even if you follow all these tips and stay as present as possible on wedding day, it will fly by. Also, things will happen that you’ll be sure to miss while you’re off taking photos or dancing. A professional videographer will capture all those moments and you’ll be able to relive the day. The memories you have will be crystalized by the moving images of a wedding film. Trust me on this one!
If you're curious, I also wrote a blog post about wedding day do's and don't's.