weddings

"After my wedding, these are the 5 pieces of advice I have for anyone about to get married."

I like to be organised. It makes me feel calmer, safer and more in control in a chaotic world. When I have a plan in my head, I am more pleasant to be around. To reference Geraldine Hickey’s hilarious theory a few years ago, I am a Nicole. So when it came to planning a wedding I was onto it.

I had the spreadsheet, the run sheet, the phone numbers of vendors printed out and distributed to all major people. Even though I read the entire internet of articles titled, “Things you will forget to organise on your wedding day”, things got missed/went wrong.

The sky did not fall. I ended up married (yay!) to the right man (extra yay!) and we had a very lovely day. However, here are the things I gave no thought to, which I will share with you now, so that you may achieve the perfect Grand Final of Life as a Woman wedding.

Firstly, when something goes wrong, you as the bride are probably not going to be the one who will fix the problem. This is a weird feeling if you are a control freak, because in normal life, you would pick up your phone, whip out a bankcard, have a terse conversation and resolve the query quickly and efficiently.

Everyone says you have no time on the morning of your wedding, which is partially true. You can’t do much while a makeup artist is saying, “Ok, now look up for me…” but what I was not expecting was the limited mental capacity to make decisions and problem solve. You’re cooked! Months of planning has culminated in this one day, your brain just goes, “Ok. Bye!”

wedding day advice
"I ended up married (yay!) to the right man (extra yay!) and we had a very lovely day." Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

The florist arrives, asking where you want the bouquets, right as the makeup artist is asking about locations of the best natural light. Your mum is on the phone to Aunty Cath who is saying they are not going to make it because your uncle is in hospital, and you have just read an email from your band saying their lead singer has food poisoning.

To live out the fantasy of how you imagine you will be on the morning of your wedding – whimsical, serene, draped in a white flowy robe, being dressed by blue birds and talking mice – you need an official Decision Maker. Appoint some badass boss people whom are not “in the bridal party tent”, but whom you trust to be the designated problem solvers. I had two, and they were magnificent. Think favourite cousins, your brothers’ girlfriends, close family friends whose Christmases you gate crash annually.

These wonderful people took on all the unexpected situations like guests cancelling last minute, a crinkly bridesmaid dress that needed steaming, wrangling brothers’ bow ties, seating plan changes, etc. I gave them permission to fix problems up to a certain amount of dollars and my bankcard. They didn’t need it, but I knew that whatever went down could be handled, and if a problem arose that was bigger than the allowed dollars, the venue must’ve burnt down, and if that was the case, well, c'est la vie.

My Official Decision Makers were the single most helpful people on the day for alleviating stress, and letting my mum, my bridesmaids and I kick back, drink champagne and be floaty, pampered, pyjama clad goddesses.

wedding day advice
"My Official Decision Makers were the single most helpful people on the day for alleviating stress." Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

Something I wish I had thought of beforehand was to make a playlist of music to play in the car on the way to the ceremony. The drive there was the peak of the emotional build up, and I had given no thought to this part of the day. Because it is not really a part of the day, it is the silence between the notes!

After a morning of high female energy, chatting and laughing, getting into the car with my dad and having a moment to catch my breath, the sound of silence was deafening. So my mum put on a lovely song called, “I love you to the moon and back”, which was beautiful and has us both immediately crying.

We then decided that it was too soon to dissolve into a puddle of tears, so we turned it off and frantically tried to find something neutral, from the songs on my mum’s iPhone. The options were Abba, Cold Chisel and Paul Kelly. Spare a thought to Spotify so you’re not accidentally stuck listening to The Kyle and Jackie O Show on the drive to your own wedding. It was… weirdly frazzling in the moment.

Pick “The Comfortable Option” for everything you possibly can. Forgo those little plastic grass stopper things for your shoes. They slip off and are annoying. Accept that your white satin shoes are going to be trashed and move on. If you must have a garter, put it on for a photo, then take it off. They make your thigh feel like a chubby sausage, and mine slipped down around my ankle in the carpark, and my dad had to scoop it up and put it in his pocket. It was funny, but it wasn’t ideal.

Even if you bobby pin your hair to hell and back, or glue it in with Tarzan Grip, it’ll fall out. The world will continue to turn and you won’t care. Everyone else will care, and will want to fix it. You’ll get the photos back, and still won’t care. If this is something that will bother you, wear it down, but be wary of a windy day. Your hands are busy holding flowers/the hands of your beloved during the ceremony, so it's hard to flick hair off your face.

wedding day advice
Pick “The Comfortable Option” for everything you possibly can. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

Maximise on the money you have spent, everywhere you can. If you have flowers decorating an arbour or ceremony space, ask someone (a tall brother perhaps) to snip them down and bring them in for the gift table, or entrance or whatever. Re-use that sh*t! It’s expensive! Ask for some empty vases of water along the bridal table, and your bridal party bouquets become the bridal table flowers. Money. Saved.

Towards the end of the night, our photographer asked us if there were any other guests we’d like him to candidly photograph. (We limited the official group photos to immediate family and bridal party, which I do not regret, because time is everything). Unfortunately, by this point, neither of us had the brainpower to formulate a succinct answer along the lines of, “Yes, please photograph the group of Ryan’s school friends on Table 8. Speak to the man in the grey vest. His name is Scott and he will be able to help you get the right people into the picture.” We just said, “Nah mate. We’re good.” This is a pity.

You will be so swept up in the moment, the significance of what you’re doing and your fiancé’s face, that you won't notice the music during the ceremony. You won’t notice the decorations, the view, or anything really. I only really noticed our archway flowers when I saw a photo of them, a week later, and there were petals on the aisle! Who knew!? Not me. They looked lovely in the pictures.

Once you get out of the car, and start to walk, it all just happens, and it’s a beautiful lovely blur of a million perfect moments, back to back to back, for the rest of the day and night. Everyone tells you to savour it, and take it in. I just gave up on that in the end, it's sensory overload of the best kind, and my husband and I are still saying things like, “Oh my god! I just remembered Liam was walking around wearing my veil at the wedding!”

I have it on good authority (my mum) that this lovely memory recall happens for the rest of your life. How delicious.

This article was originally published on Lonnie's Letters and was republished here with full permission. For more from Lauren you can follow her on Facebook here. 

00:00 / ???