Take time to have special moments with your husband/wife. Even if it's just a hug or a kiss or a smile, take the time to share special little parts of your day with them. It sounds silly to remind you about this but with the craziness of the day it's not uncommon that this can happen. When I heard a song we both really loved I would go find Pete, or he'd come check in with me and make sure all was good. A friend gave me this advice & it was so helpful!
Always take time to have a laugh with your bridal party. Now, I had four bridesmaids. Two I've know for 25+ years, one for 15+ years and one is my awesome sister-in-law. So these ladies mean the world to me and are so fun to be around. The day before and the day of we had SO much fun. Making jokes, having drinks, taking photo's and just having an amazing time. Carly was my maid of honour and since our trip to Vegas for my Bachelorette we had a joke going that every time one of the girls did something for me she became my maid of honour. We did this all wedding weekend and just thinking about it makes me laugh so hard. Everyone was my maid of honour at some point and we had so much fun with our little jokes and constant giggles.
Stay off your phone! (or try to!) This is never easy for me, but other than snapping some selfies and the odd pic - I never really had my phone near me. Which to be honest, was really really nice. I've been to weddings before when the bride & groom are at the head table on their phones the whole time (which is totally fine too! it's an exciting day) but I feel like minimal time on your phone feels nice and helps you enjoy the day and be present for every moment.
Spend time with everyone, especially the people closest to you. There are so many people to see and so much going on. But Pete and I really tried to make time for the people we are closest with and people that came in for the wedding that we don't get to see often. It's definitely challenging to juggle your time, but a little extra hug or conversation with someone can be so special. Pete & I also made sure we went and visited every table to say thank you, and give out hugs! It was so fun doing this and I do think it's really important. As soon as we sat down for dinner we headed out to make our rounds to make sure we had time to see everyone, it was one of my favourite parts of our day.
It's your wedding & you'll cry if you want to! I think it's pretty much inevitable to have some serious tears happening on your wedding, and honestly just roll with it. I don't know what my cry count was but it started with the adorable wedding day texts and Facebook messages I got throughout the day. Also when my wedding flowers arrived and I couldn't believe my eyes and how perfect they were. Then again when I was about to put my dress on and my bridesmaid Jenna was already balling. When we stepped out of the limo and I saw my nephew Jimmy in his adorable get up, when basically everyone said their speeches, when we said our speech, when my brothers were MC-ing and being the best. So many happy tears happened. #embracethetears
Always be surrounded by people you love & who make you smile. I realize this can't be possible for everyone, but I had two of my best friends do my hair and makeup, my bridesmaids lovely sister do hair and one of my oldest and sweetest friends do our photo's. There was something SO special about being surrounded by people you know and love on your day. Looking back it was so wonderful to be able to enjoy such a big & important day with people I know and love. It really helped the day to feel natural, fun and so chill. We had the best day.
Take in all in. This sounds so cheesy but it's so true. I had some moments where I just looked around and looked at every little detail, everyone who was there and just felt so overwhelmed with joy. Its truly amazing to see a day you spend so much time planning come to life - there is something so special about that. Take some time to walk around the venue and see every little detail, this is something you planned and dreamed of for so long - you want to remember every single detail!
Make time for the things or traditions that mean most to you. I feel like while planning a wedding, people often get stressed on the timeline of the day, or what they do and don't have time for. I know it's a lot more common now a days to do a "first look" and take photo's before the wedding, which I totally understand (it definitely saves a lot of time!) But for us, there was no question that the first time Pete saw me was when I was walking down the aisle. And to be honest, that was one of the most special moments of the entire wedding for me - having my brothers walk me down the aisle and seeing Pete there (crying) while I walked down (lol), that was truly one of the happiest moments of my life. We took our photo's afterwards during cocktail hour and it worked out perfectly. We also made sure everyone who wanted to say a speech could, and our speech was a little long but it was so important to us to say all the things we said. A lot of people feel like they need to rush through the speeches but to me, they are one of the most important & special parts of the day. Embrace them! Give people the to chance to speak and if you're worried about length for some people just ask them to keep it on the shorter side and they will understand. Remember, it's YOUR day - don't worry about what anyone else will think. Do what you and your future husband/wife want!
Write it down. We left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding (which I highly recommend by the way!) and one of the first things I did was take out a little notebook and write down Pete and I's favourite moments from our big day. We just sat there chatting about our wedding and remembering the big moments, the little moments and everything in-between. I want to remember these moments forever and I keep thinking of more things to add. It's already been really special to have this. When we make a wedding photo book I want to include little memories, parts of speeches and quotes to make everything more personal and more "us".
& most of all - have the BEST day of your life! no doubt it will be!