Don’t do this at your wedding. . .

There are a whole lot of informative posts out there that are chock full of what you should do on your wedding day.  There are fewer advising you what NOT to do.  Well, friend, read on for a planner's take on things to avoid on the day.  Don't:

  1.  Spend the whole reception mingling sans spouseIt's easy to get separated from each other as you each connect with friends and relatives you haven't seen for ages.  But resist the temptation to separate.  The day goes so quickly, and you'll want to look back on the moments you enjoyed TOGETHER.
  2. Rush through every second.  Yes, you'll be the center of attention, and yes, it might be a bit uncomfortable to have all eyes on you, but don't try to cover your discomfort with the adrenaline 'fight-or-flight' syndrome.  Take a second at the end of the aisle before you process to survey the ceremony site.  After you're announced married at the end of the ceremony, stand at the top of the aisle for a few seconds before racing to recess and make eye contact with some of your guests. As you recess, take time to greet the guests who are sitting on the aisle with a quick high five or smile.  Stand back during the reception and take it all in.  The day will be over before you know it, so be intentional about enjoying the MOMENTS throughout the day.
  3. Forget to appreciate vendors who've done a great job.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the day, but remember those who've worked tirelessly to make it perfect for you.  A tiny word of appreciation goes a LONG way with a tired vendor.
  4. Waste your day stressing about things you can't control.  Most of this falls into the 'be proactive and organized' category, and if you've done your homework prior to the wedding (i.e. followed up with vendors regarding services and timing, communicated with parents and wedding party regarding their duties, dances and speech requirements, and really thought through the flow of the day), most things will go smoothly.  BUT there's always one or two things that you couldn't possibly have predicted that will go wrong.  Chances are good that they're nothing your guests will notice, and nothing you should worry about either.  Hopefully you've got a great team who can fix problems that arise, but if not, try to let it go, and don't spend your day agonizing over an issue that probably won't affect the overall outcome of the day.
  5. Get so caught up in socializing (or fasten your dress so tight!!) that you can't enjoy your meal.  We constantly see couples who only eat a bite or two of their meal.  You've spent a LONG time planning this day, choosing the food, pairing it with the perfect wine . . . try to relax and enjoy it!  You'll be served first, and by the time you're done, you'll still have lots of time to go table to table (if you like) to greet all of your guests.
  6. Get drunk or high at your reception.  Again, you're only going to do this once (we hope!), and presumably, you'd like to remember it.  There are lots of occasions to drink a lot of tequila with your friends, smoke a joint (or six) outside, or heck, even do your choice of other recreational substances (nb: we don't endorse this, but it's your life!!), but your wedding is probably not one of them.  By all means, indulge a bit, but for the sake of your dignity and your memory, keep it moderate so you can enjoy and remember your big day.
  7. Spend your whole day smoking.  As an addendum to the previous point, you want to be able to enjoy your day with your guests, and if you're constantly sneaking out for a dart, you'll miss tons of once-only moments.  Do what you need to do - smoke occasionally, chew some gum, wear a patch . . . just be present in the moment at your reception.
  8. Assume you know what your parents want.  My biggest regret about my wedding day is that I told my dad I didn't want him to walk me down the aisle.  I walked with my stepson instead.  While that was meaningful, I really do wish I'd had my dad walk me down.  I often hear couples say 'my mom won't want to give a speech', or 'my dad won't want to dance with me', or 'they won't care if they're seated as part of the ceremony procession or not'.  I always advise couples to have CONVERSATIONS with family to determine what they really want, and what's important to them.  Yes, it's YOUR wedding, but your parents (presumably) worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and love you more than anything, and it's a day with no do-overs, so make sure you're honouring what's meaningful to the people who got you where you are today.
  9. Sacrifice things that are important/incorporate things you don't care about.  This one probably falls a bit into the pre-planning as well, but on your day, if you don't WANT to do a cake cutting, but you're doing one because you got 'talked into' having that photo, you're probably going to regret having to take time out of mingling with your guests to do that.  If you HATE the idea of the shoe game but you're doing it because your MC wants to, you probably won't enjoy it.  If you REALLY wanted to do a sparkler sendoff, but your wedding party talked you out of it, you'll likely always wonder how great those photos would've been.  There's always compromise in a wedding, but make sure you get what you want - this is the only time you'll do this, after all.
  10. Schedule yourself so tight that you don't have a second to breathe.  OK, this is kind of a reiteration of #2. . . were you paying attention?  😛  At the end of the day, you want to remember it for the right reasons.  You'll feel pulled in a million directions on your wedding day, and it's important that you take time to talk to all your guests, take the photos that will commemorate the day, and keep tabs on all the little details (unless you have a planner who's taking care of that!!!).  BUT (and we can't stress this enough), YOU'RE ONLY DOING THIS ONCE!!!  It's such a cliche, but it's SOOOOOO true.  Your day will go by so quickly, and you'll want to remember the special things that happened distinctly, not in a champagne-induced-racing-to-the-formal-photos-OMG-the-limo-is-late-hi-aunt-Betsy-where's-my-husband kind of haze.  Slow down.  Step back.  Take it all in.  Enjoy!!!!

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