Advice from a recently married bride…
1) DO NOT LET YOUR GROOMSMEN DRINK BEFORE THE CEREMONY! We had to do our rehearsal the day of the wedding and the guys got there at 1pm for a 5:30 wedding and began drinking immediately. About 3pm we already had 3 guys who were so hammered they could barely walk and one fell down a flight of stairs... my wedding planner cut them off shortly after but the damage was already done. The best man SWAYED back and forth the entire ceremony and cried hysterically (UGLY CRY FACE) and was too drunk to give his speech...
2) make sure someone takes your gifts out to a designated area after the dinner (when most guests have arrived). I cannot confirm 100%, but am pretty confident we are missing about 1/4 of our cards and know for sure we have 15/20 gifts that were checked off our registry that we didn't get. I don't know if someone stole them, and I pray that isn't the case!
3) even if you have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, make sure everything is there that's supposed to be. Our bakery, who was supposed to have a 3 tier cake for us that served about 50 and a sheet cake in the back for the other 150 guests didn't deliver the sheet cake, so out of 190 guests, only about 50 people got to have cake and my husband and I never even got to taste it, aside from the small bite when we cut.
4) don't let people try and hide things from you if certain things go wrong. When the above groomsman fell down the stairs everyone hid it from me and then my planner came in to get a blow dryer (because he spilled beer all over himself when he fell) and spilled the beans and it was honestly more annoying that no one told me, than it was that it happened.
5) if you have considered writing your own vows, DO IT! We wrote ours and it was so special and unique and so us! Everyone said that they loved it and my husband told me, probably 10 times, how much he loved what I said and OMG he blew me away with his!
6) eat dinner alone with your husband before you are introduced to the reception. That was the best idea I've ever had and my husband and I got to have a minute alone to enjoy being married before we headed into the craziness of the reception. It also gave us the opportunity to walk around during dinner and thank everyone and greet people. We took our photos and then went into a private room alone and the caterer served us dinner with all the options for sides. My husband’s favorite thing with planning was getting to pick the food, and so he was so happy we got to eat and try everything. I was so relived after all the stress I literally cleaned my plate (have been so sick to my stomach with anxiety I basically haven't eaten in 2 months). Best best best idea ever!
7) I don't care how crazy tired you are, have sex with your husband on your wedding night. I get to relive my wedding night in my head forever and I'm so glad we didn't just crash when we got to the hotel!
8) on that same note, if you've never gotten a Brazilian wax before, don't choose 2 days before your wedding to try it for the first time. It felt like someone literally was ripping my flesh from my body and dear sweet baby Jesus...just no. If I had known what to expect I would have just done laser hair removal or something
9) all that craziness aside, soak in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the day. It was the best day of my entire life, and I would relive it over and over again if I could. Take a moment to stand back and breath it all in. There will never be another day in your entire life that is all about you and your husband and I can't tell you how much I realized I like being told I looked beautiful or stunning. I felt like a damn movie star, and I'm not even ashamed to say that I soaked all those complements up!