Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Advice for Brides

When people find out that you’re getting married or just got married, their first reaction is usually to say “congratulations!” The second? To offer you advice. I’ve heard so much wedding/marriage advice in the past year, but what did I learn? That you rarely hear what you really need to know. Below are my suggestions for all the future brides reading my blog.

Pre-Wedding Planning

1) Be very specific when planning with your dj/band. Our wedding was a bit unusual in that Matt made the playlists with all of our music. We wanted to make sure that the dj played only the songs we chose, so Matt worked forever creating CDs and you know what? The dj still put on this horrible elevator music when dinner started. Um, no. Once he put in the dinner music cd, it was fine, but even when things are spelled out, they can go wrong. So, sit down with your dj or band and really talk about what you do and (just as importantly) what you don’t like. Do you want people to be able to request songs? If so, are there any requests that you don’t want to honor? The music really sets the tone for the wedding, so make sure it’s what you want.

2) I'd also be VERY specific with your photographer. My photographer (who also did my sister’s wedding last year) got a lot of great shots of me, but after looking at my sister’s pictures, I realized there were some cute poses of her and her husband that he hadn’t taken of me and Matt. If you’re really diligent, you might want to make out a check-list of all the posed photos you want. Check out some magazines or some friends' albums for inspiration. Hopefully, your photographer will get great spontaneous pictures, but if a photo of you and 2 girls you went to camp with is important, he/she won't know that if you don't tell him/her. Another thing I found helpful was for my photographer to visually cue me. I have scoliosis and tend to hunch my neck and shoulders forward, so every few pictures, my photographer would very obviously thrust his shoulders back, prompting me to stand up straight. Tell your photographer to be on the lookout for things like bad posture or if someone has the tendency to close their eyes.

3) Talk to your fiancé about drinking. Matt and I both decided not to get drunk. Of course, at the wedding I decided everyone should do shots, but by then it was late and all the real adults had gone. I'd just have a talk about drinking so you both are on the same page. You only get one wedding (hopefully)—you’ll want to remember it!

4) Prep your friends / give your friends jobs.
There is a reason you have attendants—you will NEED your friends’ help. There are a million and one things that will happen and you will need good, supportive girlfriends who will be calm and helpful. One example? If your dress is big and pouffy, you will need friends to help you pee. I found the easiest way was to have my sister, good friend Darci, and either my mom or my sister's best friend, hold up the layers of my dress. My sister pulled down my underwear. Then, I stepped up to the toilet and sat on it backwards while they held up my dress. I am not kidding. Ah, the things we do for princess dresses.

Preparing on the Big Day

1) If you’re going to a hotel straight from the wedding, it’ll be much easier if you bring a change of clothes and toiletries to the room in advance. If you can’t do this, make sure you pack a bag to stash at the reception. Then, put someone in charge of bringing it to the car / limo when you leave. You don’t want to have to think about it and you don’t want pictures of you leaving your wedding with an overnight bag.

2) Bring a basket of emergency supplies to the wedding. There are several bridal sites that have really long lists for things like this, but I would recommend scissors (my new bra still had the tags on it), white chalk (to cover up any stains on your dress), Tylenol, bobby pins, hairspray, STRAWS (so you can sip water without ruining your lipstick), bottles of water, and a crochet hook to help with tiny buttons. You might also want to take slippers or flip-flops so you can kick of your heels.

It’s Here! Your Wedding!

1) I’ve heard that a lot of people go the Sixteen Candles route and take a painkiller (or few) before the wedding. If that’s what you feel you need to do, fine, but I was totally charged up with nervous excitement and electricity and can't imagine wanting to dull that.

2) Everyone tells you that it goes by really fast. It does. Everyone tells you to take a minute and just notice that your wedding is going on around you. I would highly recommend this.

3) Eat. Again, another thing everyone told me. This is also very important. Make sure that your friends and family have treats for you and you eat throughout the day. Assign a friend to be in charge your water bottle (with a straw) and a good, easy candy like M&Ms.

4) Make sure your hair and make-up is perfect. (Have a girlfriend on hand who will tell you the truth). No one will question you if you want to spend an extra 5 minutes getting something right. Remember, your pictures are forever. Also, make sure you hair-spray the shit out of your hair. It needs to last through hours of dancing. Bring at least one good lipstick to the wedding because you’ll need a girlfriend to reapply it a lot. And powder. I should have brought power—I look really shiny in my later pictures.

5) Matt and I didn't walk around to all the tables and say hi to everyone. Fuck it—you have a finite time at your wedding—talk to who you want to. Since you’re the girl in the pouffy white dress, everyone at the wedding will see you, so it’s ok it you don’t stop to see them. Also, people will forgive you.

6) Like I said above, people will forgive you. If you're going to do something crazy like make people take cupcakes off their plates and put them back on the cupcake tower, it's ok. You're wearing a gigantic dress. You're the bride. For the day, you can do whatever you want. (Within reason. Don’t get crazy.)

7) One the day of, you have to let everything go. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I have a mild form of OCD. Also, as an artist, I notice lots of details about everything and I want things to be perfect. I was driving my mom crazy with exacting nonsense up the wedding, but the day of, I had to relax and go with it. I wasn't a crazy, demanding bride, but I did plan a lot. And the day of, my mom, sister and Darci really took over. They had to. I really relied on them and thank goodness they were so great. You need to put all your trust in a couple people and let them worry about all the shit you can't do during the wedding. You need to have fun! Dance! Party! Things you wanted to happen won't, and things you didn't want to happen will, it's the nature of a big event. You just need to be able to smile and have fun.

After the Wedding

1) If your dress, like mine, had a row of teeny-tiny buttons down the back of it, have a girlfriend unbutton them BEFORE you go back to the room with your new husband. He probably wouldn’t be able to unbutton them on a normal night, let alone after the wedding stress and drinking.

2) Sex. Most people I know didn't have sex on their wedding night. If you do, great; if you don't, I wouldn't worry about it.

-one more thing-
I was really, really conscious of the fact that I might be bummed out after the wedding. You spend a year planning and getting excited and being the center of attention and after 6 hours, it's all over. Fortunately, I have a new project now since my sister's pregnant (yay!) and I get to make all sorts of crafty baby things. But, when my sister got married last year, she didn't have a super-great time on her honeymoon. She said that it was kind of a let down after being around so many people and so much love and all of a sudden it was just her and her husband and that was it before going back to normal life. Just something to think about.

Any married ladies reading my blog? If so, write what I missed in the comments.


Blogger Claire said...

thanks bud--I just jotted down a reminder so I could remember to have my overnite bag taken care of--I'm hoping that the limo that takes me to the church will be the same one that takes us to the hotel later.

5:05 PM, September 23, 2008

Blogger nejyerf said...

this is such good advice.

i wish i had had something like this when I got married.

instead i had a hangover from the night before, had to put my make-up on in a bathroom mirror of the church because i didn't know that the bride has the right to elbow everybody out of the way, a girl-friend who was pissy because she wasn't getting enough attention and a brand new husband who threw up in the bridal suite shower.

good times....

8:37 PM, September 26, 2008

Blogger Jen said...

Oh no! I don't believe in brides making it All About Them, but it definitely is Your day and for a girlfriend to be pissy is inexcusable. I hope you still enjoyed the day and you and your husband recovered quickly

9:23 PM, September 26, 2008

Anonymous Jennifer said...

I've been sharing your blog with my sister who is getting married this weekend - I really think the by the numbers post was a great thing for her to read when she's feeling overwhelmed.

I would respectfully disagree with your number 5. It is my opinion that this is your party, you are the hostess and it is your job it to make sure everyone is having a good time.

A concrete example. My friend just came back from a destination wedding that she and her husband spent thousands of dollars to attend - and the bride and groom didn't work the room or have a receiving line. They didn't say hi to my friends or make a point to make them feel welcome and express appreciation that they spent time and effort to share the day. And this was true of all 3 wedding events they attended. Unfortunately, this will be the thing my friends remember from this wedding. Not how lovely she was or how fantastic the party was. They will remember the bride didn't take the time and effort to make them feel welcome.

Just a different point of view.

1:31 PM, October 02, 2008

Blogger Jen said...

Hey Jennifer,

Thanks for reading and sharing my blog!

You make a really good point. When people travel for a wedding, especially far, I think it's really important for the bride and groom to be good hosts. I've certainly traveled for a couple weddings and it always makes me grumpy to think about how inconvenienced I am. Gift bags in the hotel rooms are a great way to show your guests you care and my mom's friends rocked on our gift bags.

In Jewish weddings, there typically aren't receiving lines, but I do think that seeing, acknowledging, and thanking all of your guests is an important thing. Weddings (and other important events) just go by so quickly. I hope your sister has a great wedding and enjoys her day. And I hope you enjoy it with her!

1:40 PM, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Jennifer said...

I'm planning on having a great time - and helping her have the same. I'm bringing the Xanax so she can follow point #3, Eat. So far, sounds like she isn't this week.

I am really looking forward to reading your post about your sister.

2:24 PM, October 02, 2008

Blogger katty said...

I love the wedding ceremony and see the dress of the brides.I think they are like princess in a royal palace. But although the entire celebration is wondeful, many men have sexual problems and their marrige could be in danger. So i suggest them to buy viagra and forget any concern their sexual lives.

12:49 AM, August 27, 2010

Blogger Walter Greenleaf said...


1:15 AM, December 06, 2016

Blogger Anil Athri said...

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6:24 AM, January 18, 2017


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