Your wedding day is one of the fastest of your life. You start the morning getting ready (maybe a mimosa or two), and before you know it, you're running through the sparkler exit waving goodbye to all of your guests. Yes, you look back and know you had a great time at your wedding, but you barely remember all of the things you spent countless hours working to plan. Here are 10 things you can do to make sure you spend your big day living in the moment:
1. Designate a point person.
Whether you choose your mom, your maid of honor, or your Aunt Sarah, pick someone you trust who understands your taste and vision for the day and have them take care of the little (overall unimportant) issues that come up on your wedding day. This is the person your coordinator can ask about whether or not you would want her to incorporate the extra candles you bought into the decor, or about what table you would want your friend who didn't RSVP to sit. You don't need to be bothered with these little things, and they take away from you focusing on the task at hand...getting married!
2. Hire a planner.
Are you capable of checking all the to-dos off the wedding list? Yes, you are. But, getting married is something you do once in your life, and generally, we're not experts at things we only do once. Wedding planners know the ins and outs of tackling the big day from step one to taking care of things post wedding like, "where do I start when changing my name?" There are so many intricate little details involved with getting married, from those that are necessary (getting your marriage license) to those that you choose to incorporate (a sand ceremony, or maybe a special tribute table
to a grandparent who you wish could be there). Not only does a planner help with these things before the big day, but on your wedding day, they take care of set up, scheduling, vendor arrivals, sending people down the aisle, and most importantly, YOU. Not having to think about logistics while you're trying to enjoy your wedding is key to living in the moment.
***This is J Lo the wedding planner. If she's unavailable, please feel free to give me a call.
3. Know your priorities
There are so many aspects to a wedding day. Before you go into it and everything turns into a blur, know what your true priorities are for your day. Do you want to make sure and enjoy all of the getting ready time with your best friends? Do you just want to be on the dance floor the whole night? Do you want to make sure you have time to talk to every guest? Is it important to you that you have time alone with your new husband/wife? If you know what you want, it becomes so clear what you need to focus on to really enjoy your day.
4. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready
Start your day early, I promise the adrenaline of YOUR WEDDING DAY will carry you through to last goodbye. If you don't give yourself enough time to get ready (this includes relaxing with your wedding party, getting to the ceremony site, taking lots of pictures, etc.), you'll start to feel rushed. A lot of times, this rushed feeling just makes you jittery, nervous, and stressed (and it sometimes continues even when you don't have to rush anymore). I'm taking a wild guess here and anticipating that you do NOT want those feelings as part of your day. Also, when you feel like this, it's hard to enjoy the present moment because you're already thinking of how you need to move to the next part of the day. So schedule in PLENTY of time before the ceremony and reception, you'll be glad you did.
5. Thank your wedding party.
While you're getting ready and the craziness has yet to begin, find a way to tell the members of your wedding party "thank you." You picked them to be beside you for a reason; remembering that on your wedding day, and acknowledging how important it is that they're there for you will just further the bond that you already have. Chances are they've played a role in getting you to this day, so make sure you let them know! (And not to get too sciency, but more hugs just ups your oxytocin level, which is the hormone that makes you feel happy and loved!)
6. Set aside time to be with JUST your partner right after the ceremony.
You just married the love of your life...now get ready to talk to the 130 guests who are waiting to congratulate and spend time with you! You want everyone there, but it's easy to get wrapped in conversations, thank-yous, and dances with other people. Taking a few moments just after your ceremony helps you focus on the one other person who matters most on this day, your partner, and gives you two the chance to take in the love that you just vowed to share for the rest of your life.
7. Have a receiving line.
Many people say it's old fashioned, but I think this tradition is well worth it. For those who've never seen one, a receiving line is when the bride, groom, and both sets of parents line up and greet each of the guests. This is a prime opportunity to thank people for attending, or make introductions to your partner of distant family members or friends he/she may have never met. Receiving lines are usually a little easier to organize when the ceremony is at a different venue from the reception, as when guests exit, they walk through on the way to their cars. So often couples are forced to scarf down their dinner (and some even forgo it all together) to make the rounds at the reception, greeting guests at their tables while they eat. If you have a receiving line, you get to see everyone individually without sacrificing any wedding events or focus on your end. The only real drawback to a receiving line is that it does take time, especially with a high guest count.
8. Eat dinner.
Really, you should eat breakfast and lunch too, but many couples are nervous, too busy, or plain forget to eat before their ceremony. This makes it SO important, as the alcohol beings to pour, that you have something on your stomach. Not to mention, you just spent a lot of $$ on catering, and you should get to enjoy the meal that YOU picked out and WANTED. (Side note: as a planner, I always bring the newlyweds their dinner. You do NOT need to go through a buffet line, and you should get your meal first!)
9. Go with the flow.
Something will happen that you did not anticipate. Maybe someone makes an unexpected toast. The DJ says something inapporpriate. You trip a little bit as you walk down the aisle. Your partner decides to take a bathroom break right before you're supposed to start the toasts and you can't find them. Take a deep breath (and I mean that sincerely). Little things can feel bigger when all of your emotions are heightened, and you'll probably forget about it in a few minutes as long as you don't dwell on it.
10. Take a minute.
When I say this, I mean, leave the center of the dance floor and look out over your guests. All of them came to your wedding to support you. All of them care about you and your partner. All of them want to have a good time, celebrating the commitment you just made together. This is really amazing. Take just one minute to look out over your whole reception and just feel the love. You won't regret it, and you're taking time to center yourself amidst a day full of being pulled in lots of directions.
The last thing I expect a bride or groom to remember is a list of 10 things that help you stay in the moment on your wedding day. But since some of these things can be taken care of before hand, hopefully it's given you some ideas about how you can reduce any stress before it even hits, making it that much more easy to stay present for all the best moments.
All the best,