Dah, dah, tadah. Dah, dah, tadah….. yup, it is finally here – the day you have been planning for since one sucker got down on one knee and the other eejit said why not? – it’s your wedding day.
You have planned. You have organised. You have quarrelled over the guest list and what is or is not appropriate for wedding transportation. You have sobbed in frustration and threatened to call the whole thing off, only to fall madly back in love twenty minutes later. You have compared four different shades of midnight forest green ribbons to find that just-right colour match. You have crafted until the bandages covering your paper-cuts look like you have third degree burns.
But it’s done. All that angst is in the past, and you are in the present, in your beautiful, sparkling, splenouriferous moment – your wedding day. But before you launch right in like an overexcited toddler into a sweet factory, here are a few tips to keep this love train from turning into a speeding off-the-tracks nightmare.
Let’s start with the Don’ts
1. Don’t get too drunk.
This can happen more easily that you think; a combination of weeks of dieting to squeeze into the dress, a very early start that morning, a champagne breakfast and before you know it your head is spinning and you are telling the same story twice.
It’s a bridal nightmare, as a guest it’s embarrassing to watch and can really effect the mood of the day. So go easy on the champagne over breakfast, try to eat some actual food, and forewarn your bridesmaids to supply plenty of fizzy drinks and water if you look like you are coming to a tipping point.
This rule also applies to the gentlemen; usually the men have to give a speech (rather than the bride’s optional one) be they the groom or the best man. Slurred speech and inappropriate jokes that are hilarious when drunk are less funny when you are watching the wedding video back with your in-laws. So go easy on the Dutch courage.
2. Don’t argue with suppliers.
This is the one day where you really ought to channel your serene inner goddess. Things will go wrong, things will be delayed, there will be hiccups – dispatch a bridesmaid/groomsman/mother to deal with it and you go back to enjoying your party. There is amazing power in a third party saying to a supplier “the bride wants ….. now”: there is less power in a screaming harpy shaking a bouquet aggressively at a supplier while she hitches up the white fufu number in order to chase them. At all times remember this is a day for dignity and serenity. Plus you can always sue them tomorrow.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Despite my wedding being a relatively informal affair, being specifically warned not to do it in writing (our wedding website) and knowing I would be wearing a short white dress, my just-recently-married sister-in-law decided to wear a white dress to my wedding.
Yes, it’s in bad taste, and yes, it caused a lot of negative comments among the guests on the day, and yes, the photographer had to be creative when he did the family pictures as there are only two girls on that side of the family (me and my sister-in-law) and at first glance it was hard to spot the bride as we were both in white.
But actually, on the day, I didn’t care. In my serene champagne filled bubble I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought she probably only considered herself and the dress rather the occasion to which she was wearing it, and in fairness to her, she does look well in white. Having no power to change the situation (having double checked that there were no handy buckets of red paint on the premise) I accepted it and moved on.
If it still bothers me when I get around to making our photo album I’ll rewrite history and use Photoshop to put her in a muck brown disaster and post it all over Facebook.
And after all that, let’s get to some Do’s
1. Enjoy feeling like a rockstar.
This is the one day where everyone will be standing around in clusters remarking on how beautiful you look, everyone is eager to get you anything that you want or need and there are a band of paparazzi following your every move. This is your Beyonce moment – relish it.
2. Accept that some things will go wrong.
Our first dance was a disaster. My groom had been sick before the wedding so he didn’t have the strength for us to practice the steps enough. On the day he was so tired by the time it came to the First Dance and his legs cramped, while I got distracted by the lights and forgot some of the steps. Disaster. But do you know what, that happens. We laughed at ourselves, we salvaged the situation, and aside from thinking we were yet another couple who can’t dance, I don’t think anyone else noticed.
3. Remember to say hi to all the guests.
People have put in a huge amount of effort to get all dolled-up and be present for your big day, remember to be gracious and thank them in person. Mingle at your reception, and between courses of the meal go to each table and say hi, that way you get to talk to people in bunches rather than finding them all individually.
4. Let your hair down after the meal (metaphorically speaking).
As far as I am concerned once the meal finishes the formalities of the day are complete, it’s time to let loose and party. If you have said hi to everyone already than search out your mates, get someone to pour a nice glass of vino and slip into your dancing shoes. There is nothing more enjoyable that watching a bride/groom having a good ole time (well, with the exception of being the bride having a good ole time).
5. Remember to take some time out to savour the day with your bride/groom.
This is it. This is your big day. It is actually happening. Take just a few minutes to stand together, hold hands, look at each other, look at your party and remember this feeling. This is happiness.