Top 10 Wedding Tips
written by: DANI s KAGAN
So, I just got married last week. Kind of crazy. While it’s still fresh, I wanted to share with all the current and future brides (and grooms…..I haven’t forgotten you!) a little bit of my wisdom and insight after having just gone through it.
Here it is - straight up - planning a wedding is so beautiful (mostly because of the love you and your partner share), but it also takes A LOT of f*cking work! In order to help you out, here are my top 10 tips in order to make your planning journey and day-of, the smoothest it can possibly be. **Please note** There are no tips on how to deal with in-laws, parents, crazy friends, weirdo uncles or bridezilla’s. You are on your own there.
My top 10 wedding tips:
Get a planner. It seems like a no brainer, but some people think, “oh my wedding isn’t that big, or it’s at a place that does all the work for you” and that’s not true! You will need help the day of, and the majority of people need help leading up to the big day as well. If you are not an event planner, or work with your own vendors on a regular basis (i.e. food, decor, florist, production, etc.), you NEED a planner. I highly recommend shopping around for a planner (just like a therapist) because you want to ensure they understand your vision, and vibe with your personality. If you can’t afford a planner for the months leading up, I definitely recommend getting one for the week before and day-of. Shameless self promotion insert: we do weddings… just in case you didn’t know.
Don’t stress about seating charts... but definitely do assigned seating. I found that my guests probably sat at their actual assigned seats for about 1 hour tops throughout the night. If you have a dancing crowd like I did, they will be on the floor, or at the bar, or will move around at their respective table anyway. I spent a lot of time worrying if these family friends would be ok to sit with those cousins, but in all honesty, if they are chatty great people who love you, they will be great with whoever they sit with. And if they suck normally, they’ll suck with whoever they are sitting with anyway. Assigned seating is also a great call because no one gets left behind or has to split up with their guest if they get into your main room a bit late, it’s all done when they walk into a room (unless some asshole moves everyone’s place cards before they get to the table… funny how you end up knowing everything that goes on at your wedding!).
3. Make a day-of list and make sure all you are in charge of is showing up. A few days before your wedding, create a list of everything you need to bring to your venue. This should include: your speech/ your hubby’s speech, bobby pins, hairspray, extra underwear (yup), veil, extra shoes, extra- extra shoes, outfit to go home in (I got into sweats and a hoodie and it was the best thing I ever did), and last but not least: your marriage license. I kid you not when I say I left my own Kettubah (the Jewish marriage certificate that has to be signed pre-ceremony) at my hotel room. Again, this should be your planner or MOH / Best Man’s responsibility. Luckily I have a dad that doesn’t mind going 200 km/ hr with my friends to retrieve it right before the ceremony, but not everyone’s venues are so close to where they get ready! As a bride - make sure you are not in charge of doing anything! As an event planner myself, I was in charge of WAY too much the day of and things could have gone awry! Make the list! Divide and conquer tasks!
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This couldn’t be more true. Pick and choose what to care about: not so into flowers, but your mom is? Let her choose - you won’t even see the flowers the night of. Really care about the scotch? Put your foot down and make sure you get that scotch. One of your bridesmaids turning into a bridesmaid-zilla? Don’t worry about her! The day is about you and your partner! Pick and choose your battles - you will have many… so just choose the ones you really care about and don’t worry too much on things that don’t matter to you as much.
5. Check in constantly with your partner. It will feel a bit overwhelming at times leading up to your wedding day. Always come back to the love and respect between you and your partner. Check in, see how each other is doing every other night, support each other. And remember at the end of the day what it’s all for. It’s about a celebration of your love. Anyone that has the audacity to get caught up in the “superficial” things about your day, isn’t worth your time and energy. Let it go and talk to your partner. Also - your day will go by super fast but if you continue to give your partner that look, that touch, that quick whisper of “holy shit this is our wedding” - it will make it that much more special.
6. Choose a solid bridal party / groomsmen, or don’t have one at all. Make sure you have a bridal party that would take care of you on your wedding day. If cousin Mary is constantly concerned about her own IG and lipstick, she’ll likely be doing that on your wedding day… so maybe don’t include her on your bride squad. I had the most incredible team; at one point I had 4 girls bustling my dress, 1 feeding me water, another with food, and another one just chatting with me to keep me at ease. Now that’s teamwork! Remember, you also don’t need to have a bridal party - it’s really hard to choose friends (I ended up having about 6 honourary bridesmaids because I just felt so bad choosing some friends over others… and still feel bad even though I included them the whole day of getting ready), so don’t feel obligated. Do your own thing!
7. Buy your thank you card stationary before your wedding. I know you aren’t thinking about post-wedding stuff during pre-wedding mode, but I highly recommend ordering stationary (something simple like small cards with both of your names on them) so that when you do have to start writing thank you cards, you don’t have to think about thank-you cards!
8. Band and/or DJ Questionnaire. Most good bands and DJs have a questionnaire that the bride and groom should fill out about 1 - 2 months prior to their wedding. This helps the band and/ or DJ know what are your “must-have” songs and those “hell no don’t play this or I’ll scream” songs. It also lays out the music for your ceremony, entrance song, etc. If your band or DJ doesn’t give you a questionnaire, it may be a sign that they don’t do this very much. I recommend asking them for this at least 5 weeks before your wedding. Choosing music (which is super important) should not be done the night before!
9. Don’t do things for the gram, try and live in the moment. For life’s biggest moments, you have to live in the moment. I didn’t have my phone on me the entire afternoon and night and it was so liberating. I knew other people would be capturing fun photos and moments so I didn’t worry all night about that. In our crazy digital world, you need to step back and remember that at the end of the day, all you have is your memories. Computers can crash, Instagram might implode, and life is so precious so why not experience it in real time. You WILL get photos after so don’t worry about catching all the behind the scenes the day of. Breathe, and live - you won’t get those moments back and they will be some of the best of your life!
10. Getting sleep the night before your wedding. My hubby and I were a bit unconventional and slept in the same hotel room the night before the wedding… which I HIGHLY recommend. It was so nice to get excited for the next day together. If you already live with your partner, which I’m inclined to believe most couples do before they tie the knot, you probably haven’t slept apart very much so sleeping in the same bed makes you feel comfortable and relaxed (unless you have a partner who snores… in which case enjoy that hotel suite on your own!). I was personally nervous I wouldn’t have a good night sleep being alone and ended up sleeping well because I was with my (now) hubby! I will say on record though, because you are SO excited for the next day, it can be hard to wind down so definitely have sex. I attribute me falling asleep 99.5% because we did the deed. Just do it.