Today I’m sharing all the good advice “from one bride to another,” meaning I’m sharing advice shared by three of my amazing recent brides! I interviewed Annie (click here to view my blog post of her wedding). She married Eli on April 26, 2019 at the Piper Palm House and NEO on Locust.
Finally, I interviewed Mahnoor (click here to view photos from her wedding gallery). She married Farhan on December 22nd, 2019 at Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Charles. These girls are dropping some WISDOM here for you guys and I’m so happy to share!
“To me, personalization meant looking to my family and seeing what I might be able to incorporate from their weddings, or just them in general. I had my best friend up-cycle my mom’s wedding dress so I could wear it to our rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. My nephew carried our rings down the aisle tied to my great grandmother’s prayer book. The book had been incorporated in our family’s weddings ever since she received it for her first communion.
I also wanted to make sure that my husband’s family was represented. So his grandmother made my bouquet and his boutonniere. We incorporated his other grandmother’s pins into the bouquet and my hair as well. Also, his youngest sister sang during our ceremony. Those are just some of the highlights, but these little details made me feel so loved and special throughout the day.”
“We personalized a few ways, though honestly we tried to save money and not do very much. Our 5th grade teacher (the grade when we became friends) agreed to marry us, which was very special and unique! We had a close friend design our Save the Dates. Also, we picked music for the ceremony and reception that was personal to us even though it wasn’t the most popular (but we had tons of “typical” wedding songs as well!). Finally, our Rehearsal was a blast because it was Halloween night. So we had everyone dress up in costume for the Rehearsal and Dinner. It’s always best to just be yourself and have fun with the events.”
“We did a couple of things to make the event more personalized! Farhan and I both love hot chocolate, so we had a DIY hot chocolate bar with mini chalkboard signs and everything! We had a photo backdrop with our wedding hashtag. Also, we had a customized guestbook and a Polaroid for guests to leave a message.
If you are wanting to have return gifts, it can be something homemade. My husband’s grandmother makes amazing traditional dessert, so we put that in tiny, adorned boxes and placed them on the guest’s tables. Even though some of these things, like the guestbook, are often done by other couples, keeping them congruent with our overall wedding theme and personalities made it special!”
“Well, I totally forgot to put my blusher over my face before walking down the aisle. My dad and I got to the front and he went to lift it and we both were like, “shit, oh well!” In a perfect world that would’ve gone differently. But if that’s the thing I have to complain about, I think the day went just fine.”
“We’ve actually discussed how we have no regrets. I probably should’ve accepted more help and not tried to do as much myself. I also would’ve coordinated a way to do a receiving line. We regret that we weren’t able to talk to every guest in person.”
“Practice the speed at which you walk down the aisle!! I didn’t and ended up walking too fast. I’m sure no one other than myself even remembers, but I still think about it and cringe.”
“My dad and I fought over and over about the timeline of my wedding day. He really wanted us to have a receiving line after our ceremony and then have everyone go straight to the reception. This meant that Eli and I needed to do a first look and get all of our photos taken before the ceremony. I was nervous about this because A – receiving lines can take FOREVER and B – I wanted that moment where the groom sees the bride for the first time walking down the aisle.
But WOW this was the best decision we made. The receiving line went quickly (probably because most of our friends were ready to get to the open bar) but it was very special getting to see everyone face to face and thank them for being there. This also made the reception less stressful because we didn’t feel guilty about making the rounds to each table and people weren’t pulling us to the side constantly to talk to us. Eli and I actually got to dance and enjoy the night!!
Also, I ended up still getting that special moment walking down the aisle to my groom, even though he had seen me already. Regardless of when you see each other, that moment is HUGE and nothing can take away that special feeling.”
“We loved our decision to have our 5th grade teacher marry us. It was so, so special.”
“Hiring Abby obviously!! Seriously though, Abby made the day go a lot smoother and was very calm yet excited during the whole process. She did such a wonderful job capturing all the memories, candid and posed. Even months after the event we’re all still living vicariously through Abby’s talent. It’s a must to get a great photographer who puts passion and sincerity into their work, and Abby does all that and more! Also, guests always remember the food at the wedding, so it’s totally worth it to spend more money on the caterer.”
“Our reception started with a cocktail hour where we just got to walk around and socialize with everyone. About 15 minutes into this Abby came and grabbed Eli and I and we went up onto the roof of our venue (NEO on Locust). We had one last photoshoot as the sun was setting and then Abby left us so we could have a special little moment together. It was the first time we got to really take everything in and be like, “Wow, we are MARRIED!”
I definitely suggest that each couple take a quiet moment together at some point during the reception so you can process. It doesn’t have to be on a roof, honestly just duck into the kitchen or something. But take the time to make that memory because the day/night goes SO FAST.”
“The most memorable moment was the grand entrance into the reception. We weren’t worrying about anything anymore, dancing in and seeing how everything came together for the first time & how gorgeous everything looked, and cheering while looking forward to a night just celebrating with all of our closest friends and family as a married couple!!”
“The couple’s photoshoot! We did ours after the ceremony and reception, so getting to soak in the craziness of the day and finish it with just some peaceful moments with my husband (& Abby cutely lurking and snapping away haha) was sooo special.”
“RELAX and don’t take things too seriously! When planning starts to get too intense or you’re getting worked up about some little detail, just take a step back. Things have a way of falling into place, and if they don’t, they turn into a funny story or memory of one of the best days of your life.”
“You should know going in that weddings are very expensive. We felt like we did what we could to save money and it was STILL expensive! So try to really stick to a budget. Try to have fun during the planning process. Also, hire Abby as your photographer 🙂 When we got our pictures back, we were blown away and so happy. I feel her work truly encapsulates all the emotions of the day in such a beautiful way.”
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