Congratulations! You’ve made it to ‘I Do!’
After you’ve walked back down that aisle arm and arm with the one your soul loves, the most stressful part of your big day is officially over. It’s officially time to celebrate, sweet friend!
You’ve heard it from everyone you know and every wedding blog you read. Brides really don’t remember a lot of their wedding day. Spoiler alert: You really won’t. I’ll be one to confirm that it really does all flies by in a blur. It’s a good blur, but it’s still a blur. There are a lot of things I wish I would have done on my wedding day. However, I feel like before I could blink it was already time to exit and say goodbye to all of our loved ones.
Don’t make the same mistakes that so many brides before you have made. Before you go galavanting off to shake what your momma gave you and pop bottles as you enter your reception, there are a few more important things you should do! (That maybe no one has told you!)
Use the Bathroom
If you are anything like me after the ceremony, you’ve been drinking mimosas all day, you’ve started to relax, and the nerves have started to subside. Okay, let’s skip the BS and just face it. You’ll have to pee eventually. You’re going to be taking photos and partying at the reception with no time to do it then. Take advantage of the natural break of events, and drag a few of your bridesmaids to the bathroom. (Someone has to hold that dress up!)
Touch up Make up
Set aside some makeup with your coordinator to place in your holding area while you wait for guests to file out and head to the reception. While you’re in the bathroom with your bridesmaids, it’s important for you to touch up your makeup before going back out for portraits and your reception. You’ve kissed your groom, ugly cried a little bit, and probably have started sweating. (Those gowns are hot, y’all!) Touching up your makeup really quick after the ceremony or prior to your grand entrance to the reception will ensure that you look picture perfect all night long.
Thank Your Wedding Party
You’re finally husband and wife, and chances are you’re waiting around after the ceremony with your bridal party in a little secret area as your guests are exiting. This is a great time to have a private moment with your bridal party before they have to share you with your wedding guests. At this time, share some hugs, maybe a few tears, and express your thanks and appreciation for all they have done for you for your big day!
Spend Alone Time with Your Groom
After you’ve given thanks to your bridal party, I think it’s important for the bride and groom to sneak away for a few minutes to spend some alone time together as husband and wife. Rob and I didn’t do this at our wedding, and it is definitely one of the things I wish we would have done! It gives you both time to take in the moment, gush about how happy you both are and how picture-perfect you both look, and reflect on the ceremony and the covenant you just made. You’ll be constantly surrounded by people loving on you at your reception until you finally make your exit (which in itself is a great thing!), so don’t miss out on this intimate moment together – even if it’s brief!
Take a Peek at Your Reception Space Before Your Grand Entrance
You’ve spent about the past year planning for this day. If the venue layout allows it to where we can sneak around the guests, I love to show my couple a peek of the reception hall before all their guests have entered and await their grand entrance. Seeing their faces light up at the beauty of what came together to make their best-day-ever as they walk around the still space is one of my favorite things in the whole world. It gives them a chance to take it all in, get excited about the plans they made, create that mental picture in their minds, and soak in one slow moment before the busy-ness of the reception begins.
To couples that this may not be possible for, I always suggest that they sneak away for a moment during the reception to just secretly watch their guests. It allows them to take a step back, soak it all in, and smile at their guests having the time of their lives. I did this at our reception while I stepped away after our first dance to get my dress bustled. To see all my friends and family celebrating and enjoying themselves made the day and all my plans that much sweeter.
Take off Your Veil and Put Away Your Bouquet
You’ll want your veil and bouquet for post-ceremony family formal portraits, but have your day-of coordinator remove your veil and put away your bouquet before you make your entrance at your reception. If you’re having a more fun entrance into your reception, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to smile, wave, and even dance a little bit! Plus, let’s just face it: although they are beautiful, they definitely get in the way of things.
This is probably the biggest one for most couples. You’ve made your entrance into your reception, sat at your head table to eat, but guests flock up to you to give their well wishes. It’s a battle for the bride and groom’s attention, y’all, and people will do what they can to have a moment. You’ll be surprised that some couples don’t get the chance to eat at their own reception. (Well, my couples do!) My brother and sister-in-law went to Whataburger after their wedding reception because they didn’t get the chance to eat– which I probably would have done anyways because, well, it’s Whataburger.
But my opinion? That’s crazy! It’s your big day. Unless you devoured a Chick-fil-A nugget tray like I did prior to the ceremony, chances are you probably didn’t eat while you were getting ready. Hello! You deserve to enjoy and eat the food that you paid for. Don’t get caught up in people coming up to you while you may be trying to eat. Say hello, quickly express your thanks, and excuse yourself by kindly telling them that you would love to visit more after you eat.
Tip: Tell your coordinator to set aside food for you and your groom to have in your hotel suite after the wedding. Whether you ate at your reception or not, you’ll be hungry later!
Don’t make the same mistakes each Bride before you has made.
Take these extra steps for yourself after your wedding ceremony to ensure that you have the best second-half-of-your-wedding-day ever! (That you can remember!)