Brides: 5 Dont’s for the Wedding Day

Bride Fighting with GroomOkay, ladies, it’s go-time. You’ve spent months planning, and it’s finally time to go say those vows and party the night away. Before you put on the dress and say the “I do,” though, we’ve got a few more words of advice for you to help your wedding be the best that it can be. Specifically, we want you to avoid some common pitfalls that can really bring down the mood. Here are five things you shouldn’t do on your wedding day.

Don’t Obsess about Details

You made the plans. You hired the wedding planner or you chose a solid maid of honor. Now it’s time to let go and let your delegates take care of all the last little issues. Not only should you not have to call a late photographer or arrange for a new wedding cake, you shouldn’t even know that those problems happened until they’re solved. It may be hard to relinquish control after you’ve done all the planning, but you’ve got to try if you’re going to be in the proper headspace to enjoy the day.

Don’t Fight with Your New Groom

Yikes. We wish we didn’t have to say it, but we’ve seen it happen too many times. Somehow, all the stress of the planning finally finds a way out and leads to an argument, right there at the ceremony. Of course, your groom can avoid a fight by not checking out the bridesmaids or being late to the ceremony. But you can keep things on the level by not neglecting him during the reception. Make sure you check in and have some one-on-one time just to enjoy each other’s company, even if you have to sneak off to a broom closet.

Don’t Get Hammered at the Reception

Look, we know your reception is a party. And you’ve definitely earned it. And with an open bar, you’re definitely capable of getting as many drinks in you as you can hold. But it’s worth it to practice moderation; you don’t want one of the few memories of the night to be throwing up in the ladies’ bathroom. Nurse your drinks and keep a good buzz going, but alternate with cups of water so you don’t get several cocktails circling waiting to land.

Don’t Get Dirty on the Dance Floor

A wedding reception is that weird party where all your best club-hopping friends and your parents, in-laws, and long-lost relatives are in attendance. Keep that in mind when it’s time to drop it like it’s hot. Definitely get the dance floor moving and rock the party, but try not to do anything that will make Aunt Ethel have to dig into her purse for her heart pills. Even if it’s your new hubby you’re twerking on, save it for the hotel room later.

Don’t Forget to Hug Your Parents

As big as this day is for you, we promise it’s bigger for your parents. You’re their little girl; in some ways, when they look at you, they still see that five-year-old who skinned her knee riding her bike. As you’re sitting at the wedding party’s table in your awesome dress, they’re realizing that you’re going to go start a family of your own. So take some time to show them love and respect, and let them know you’ll always need them around.

And above all else, don’t think of the wedding as the end. The credits aren’t going to roll; now you get to have a marriage, and that’s both the challenging and the really awesome part. Here’s hoping your marriage lasts a lifetime.

Bouquet Toss Alternatives

Bouquet TossThe bride’s bouquet toss. That magical moment where you get to throw the most expensive bouquet of flowers you’ve ever carried, only to watch it get torn apart by your single friends. Or, if you’re near the last of the bunch, to have it be picked up off the ground by the flower girl, leading to uncomfortable laughter all around. Sure, it’s a wedding tradition. But if you want to break with tradition, there are plenty of new ideas to take the place of the flower toss. Using bouquet toss alternatives has grown to be very popular recently, and here are a few examples:

Anniversary Dance

Instead of singling out the people who aren’t married yet, on alternative is to have a dance that honors the couple who has been married the longest. Have your DJ or a member of the bridal party call all the married couples to the dance floor. As the song plays, ask people who have been married under a year to leave the floor, then under 5 years, etc. Have a shower of confetti or balloons ready for the couple who has been married the longest. It’s a great way to celebrate love on your big day.

Piñata

Slake your guests’ lust for destruction on something that won’t be a keepsake to put in your wedding album. Fill a heart-shaped piñata (or something fun and different, if it suits your theme) with candy and treats and let the adults and children whack away. Even better, have one for adults full of PLASTIC bottles of booze or individually-wrapped shots, and one for the kids full of candy or small toys.

Gift Card

Attach a gift card to a bouquet of paper flowers, then invite ALL of the women onto the dance floor, not just the singletons. You can still have a tussle for the prize, but instead of a moment of embarrassment, the winner gets $15 at Starbucks or Barnes & Nobles or what have you.

Flower Fortunes

Take paper flowers with wire stems and tie slips of paper to them. On the papers you can write fortunes, jokes, love advice, song lyrics, whatever seems like the most fun. Then gather all the ladies in attendance on the dance floor and toss the whole bundle. They’ll come apart in the air so everyone can pick one up. Then take turns reading them and let the guests take the flowers home as a keepsake which makes them a great alternative.

Throw Something Else

If you really want to toss something, pick something else that’s more throwable and save your bouquet. We’ve seen brides throw a bouquet of paper flowers, a playground ball, even a stuffed animal. Or you can go for a classic fake-out– instead of the bouquet, throw a paper bag full of confetti or glitter.

The traditional tossing of the bouquet made more sense when people were all getting married earlier, and the most important goal of any woman was to land a man. These days, the pressure to get married isn’t as significant, and many couples would rather not single out the unwed. These alternative ideas will bring fun to your wedding reception without making anyone feel bad or wasting a beautiful bouquet.

Tips for Dealing with “Helpers”

To Do ListPlanning a wedding is complicated and time-consuming. With all the stress and all the moving pieces, there are folks who will feel inclined to offer help. And that’s all well and good–we definitely approve of delegating tasks to capable friends and family members. This post is about a particular kind of “helper.” this person has a very distinct vision of what they want your wedding to be, and they’ll make sure to constantly offer advice and suggestions to help you realize their vision. It doesn’t bother them at all if your viewpoints differ; they’ll keep pushing for “the right way” or “the traditional way” to do something as though it were the only way. Here are a few tips for dealing with these “helpers” in a fashion that will get them out of your hair without hurting their feelings.

Thank and Ignore

You may have to listen to all the advice your “helpers” are giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it. Outright refusing the advice or engaging in an argument isn’t productive, either. Sometimes the best you can do is to thank the meddler as sincerely as possible for their sage advice, and then proceed to ignore it. Instead of, “yes, thank you, Aunt Petunia, I know that white roses are a lovely choice for the bridal bouquet, but we’re using marigolds,” you can say, “yes, Aunt Petunia, white roses are lovely,” and leave it at that. When she sees your marigold bouquet she might spend the reception telling everyone who will listen that she suggested white roses, but that shouldn’t trouble you at all.

Let Your Wedding Planner Run Interference

When your “helper” starts talking about the best ways to drape tablecloths or what flowers should be in your bouquet, just tell them that the wedding planner is taking care of that. If you don’t have a wedding planner, tell them the maid of honor is taking care of those details. It may seem cruel to subject someone else to the meddler, but taking on stress on your behalf is part of the job description for a wedding planner or a maid of honor.

Give Them a Task

Odds are the “helper” is offering suggestions out of a sincere desire to be useful. You can help correct their misplaced enthusiasm by finding tasks for them to do. Keep them feeling busy and productive and they’ll be less likely to critique your flower, cake, and dress choices. For example, you might set them to work making centerpieces just the way they want to make them–a small sacrifice to keep them from meddling in the rest of the ceremony.

When you’re dealing with a meddler, it’s sometimes hard to resist the urge to put your foot down or snap at them. But it’s better to keep the peace if you can. Save the stern talk for if they absolutely won’t shut up until their advice is taken. Then you can gently remind them that it’s your wedding, not theirs.

Help With Writing Wedding Vows

Wedding VowsWhen you stand next to your significant other on your wedding day, the time will come to look into their eyes and speak from the heart. These days, writing your own vows is pretty much a standard part of the ceremony. If you’re unaccustomed to public speaking and not into sharing your emotions, the very idea might fill you with dread. But these tips can help you write something that will capture how you feel without being too awkward.

Start With a Memory

Whether it’s the first day you met, or the day you know you were in love, grab a favorite memory of your partner to start off with. It can be unabashedly romantic, or even a little bit funny–was it when she was holding your hair back while you threw up at the end of a party? Did he pick up Nyquil for you when you had a bad flu? Whatever small thing made you know this was the one, share it briefly.

Don’t Be Afraid of Cliché

Sure, it may seem sappy to say “I have always loved you,” or “I will love you until the day I die,” but if you can’t be sappy on your wedding day, when can you? If you’re feeling something that can only be expressed in those clichés, don’t shy away from them. As long as you mean what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter if it’s been said before.

Add Poetry or a Song Lyric

If you find yourself at a loss for words, throw in a few lines from your favorite poem or song. If it’s a piece that has specific meaning from your relationship history, so much the better.

Don’t Forget the Actual Vows

Think of some of the things you can do to make sure your marriage stays strong. Very specific vows are heartwarming and funny; things like, “I vow to keep making you bacon every Saturday morning.” You can also vow to follow some of the best advice you’ve been given prior to the ceremony, like “I vow that we will never go to bed angry,” or “I vow to tell you I love you every day.” Keep them sincere and specific and there won’t be any doubt you’re ready to get married.

End With a Call to Action

The call to action is a staple in public speaking and it’ll put a good cap on your vows. It can be as simple as, “let’s go have fun!” or “let’s spend the next 50 years as much in love as we’ve been for the last two years.” Then cap it off with a simple, “I love you” and get on to the kissing part.

Your wedding vows are intensely personal, but don’t let that be a source of stress. Feel free to write them down and bring them with you, but you’ll want to rehearse a few times so you don’t sound like you’re reading. With that in mind, as long as you’re sincere and speak from the heart, you’re sure to have the desired effect.