As tiny-tots, we grow up pressing Ken and Barbie’s face together at the altar, holding pretend weddings in the backyard, and watching Disney movies with princesses dressed in white living happily-ever-afters. Weddings are arguably the biggest celebration in western culture, but there are somethings that Disney movies don’t tell us.
I remember when Tim, my now husband, and I were engaged, leading up to our wedding, married couples said: “The day will go so fast, it will be over in a flash! Make sure you remember it.” At the time, I thought they sounded silly. Of course, I would remember the best day of my life! I would be Barbie and Tim would be Ken! But now I am in one of those married couples, and I’d tell any engaged couple the same thing.
Being present on your wedding day may seem explanatory, but without a few tips and tricks, you may feel you miss out. So, here I am, pretending I am an expert, and passing on some tips from bride-been to bride-to-be. Snuggle in and grab a note pad: here are seven tips on how to be truly present on your wedding day.
1. Wear something comfortable.
Yes, you want to look divine (and you will!), but there are ways of looking incredible whilst still being comfortable. Heck, I was barefoot and braless, and felt a million bucks! Firstly, choose a neckline that will work for you. The neckline is what shapes your face; the most important part. Whilst the classic strapless sweetheart style is timeless, if you don’t have the bust to hold it up, you’re at risk of developing what I like to call the ‘iddy-biddy-tiddy dress manoeuvre’. No one wants that. After the neckline, ponder the length, hem line, colour (it doesn’t have to be white you know!), and general style. Choose which is best for your body shape, and make a list of what your personal ‘must-haves’ are. This will also save you SO much time shopping, and increases your chances of being relaxed, comfortable, and present, but still the ‘belle of the ball’.
2. Disperse responsibility across several people.
On your wedding day, you want to be carefree, focus on your new husband, and enjoy yourself. This usually involves passing on last minute details and responsibilities to another person, but stop right there; I have a better solution! I dispersed every responsibility across not one, but several of our friends and family. This meant that nothing was a big deal, and no-one’s night was laborious.
I’ll give you some examples: four people set up the ceremony space, one person bought ice for the BYO boat (a literal boat), one person transferred the picnic blankets from the ceremony to the reception, one person set up the signs, five people managed the reception site, two people supervised the punch… you get the picture.
So before the big day, make sure you delegate every little task to as many people as possible. No one will be left out of the fun, and your mind will be free to live in the moment.
3. Create a contact list and give it to EVERYONE.
This is the simplest way of making sure everyone is connected, and you don’t have to join the dots and spend time on your cell phone. If you don’t think they need to be on the list, they do. Send the contact list to the musicians, caterers, bridal party, parents, and everyone in between. You never know who will need to contact who.
4. Create a time schedule with large gaps in between.
The schedule of the day cannot be minute by minute, but should exist, otherwise you’ll get nothing done. When finalising this schedule, allow each event to take nearly double the time you think it will. Eliminating the stress of hurrying through activities is key for being present. Oh, and send this spreadsheet to everyone with the contact list too- you’ll thank me later.
5. Give someone the job of ‘feeder’.
No one likes a hungry bridal couple, and forgetting to eat is super common when you’re busy getting married. Hunger can interrupt and ruin the most special moments. Make sure to bestow upon one of your bridal party (perhaps your maid of honour?) the ‘feeder’ role.
6. Schedule a moment out with your groom.
With a few hundred-people wanting your attention, it’s hard to get a moment alone. Be conscious of factoring in time to sit together, perhaps in a room alone (no hanky panky though, I’m watching you) or on the outskirts of your wedding venue so you can ‘people watch’ together. Look each other in the eyes, laugh at the craziness of it all, breathe deeply, and live in that moment.
7. Don’t get carried away with photos.
Yes, photos are the best way to remember your wedding day, but who wants to spend precious hours of their wedding day standing in front of a camera growing a small twitch at the corner of their mouth from excessive smiling? Our lovely photographer Ester Siraky suggested we only choose 5-8 shots of different groups. We chose eight different groups to capture, and I was still antsy to get back to the celebrations!
So, there you have it. Your wedding day is a momentous moment, and it would be a total shame to miss it. Take from this what you will, and I send all my best wishes, vibes, and thoughts of mindfulness to you and your other half on your big day.
For more information around how to plan a mindful or ethical wedding, check out Australian based eco wedding hub, Less Stuff- More Meaning.