Couples invest so much in their wedding. Stress, worry, money, time and effort - perhaps even a few tears. And it's all in the hope of creating one perfect day (and, hopefully, a lifetime of gorgeous memories).
Sadly, the majority of newly married couples say their wedding was somewhere in-between overwhelming and a blur. That everything went way too fast. That they can't remember what they said to who or where they were and when. That they forgot to appreciate what was happening around them - the biggest celebration of their lives with everyone they love the most.
We can just about guarantee that your big day will fly by faster than you ever imagined. So, we have listed some of the very best ways to slow it all down and make sure that you soak up and actually enjoy every precious moment (and remember it all too).
Schedule a private moment
By the time you've finished talking to every long lost relative, dancing with all your friends and completing all your scheduled activities, your day will be over. Make sure the most important part - marrying the love of your life - doesn't get lost in all the merriment and mayhem.
Schedule a private moment into your wedding day timeline. It might be after your photos (send your bridal party back to the reception ten minutes ahead of you) or before your first dance (spend a few minutes with each other to take it all in or calm some nerves) or even make a sneaky getaway (make sure to include champagne and something to dine on!)
Have a 'first look'
More and more couples are breaking with tradition and having a 'first look' before the ceremony begins. It might not be conventional, but there's so many reasons that it makes sense. It's private, it's personal and it allows more time for photos (without worrying about guests waiting for the reception to begin). It also allows for a truly emotional moment (without all those eyes on you) and it calms any nerves.
Given the kind of emotion that a first look tends to result in, we think they are one of the best ways to not only slow your big day down, but to make time stand still.
Hire a videographer
Having a videographer can seem like a luxurious, extra expense and it's one of the first things couples tend to chop from the budget when things are getting a little tight. Remember though, all that is left of your wedding when it's over are memories, photographs, and (if you invested in it) the footage of your big day.
If there's one to freeze time, it's through film. Consider how much it will mean to you to have footage of every precious moment.
Make the most of your photo shoot
Many couples feel uncomfortable about the idea of wedding photos. It's not surprising. Unless you're super confident, being the centre of attention and having photographers and videographers suggesting poses and following you around can feel pretty unnatural.
Don't rush through this part of your day though, it's a perfect time for soaking up every second. Generally, once your family portraits are over, you and your bridal party will head off alone for a photo shoot. Have fun, relax and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience with your best friends, before sending them back ahead of you and your groom (creating yet another private moment for you both to take a breath and soak it all in).
Take advantage of the in between bits
With so much to get through on your big day, it can be easy to spend the whole event rushing from one thing to the next. Before you know it, you'll be tossing the bouquet and hopping into your getaway car.
While it might seem necessary to spend the whole day thinking ahead, don't miss what's happening around you.
Schedule in an extra 10 minutes for every single activity on your wedding timeline. Not only will it mean you won't start running behind schedule, it will create 'in-between bits' for you to catch your breath. When you've finished one part of your day, don't rush off to the next too fast. Look around, breathe, and take a mental photograph.
Put bridal party members in charge of making sure you eat and drink.
Every bride and groom finds it challenging to eat, drink and relax during their big day. It's particularly difficult if you're having a big wedding, and even more so if you're not having a traditional, sit down dinner.
Entrust one of your bridal party with the very important job of making sure you both get a chance to savour the beautiful food and drink you've organised and invested in. A simple, polite interruption in the middle of your 40 minute conversation with your long lost aunt could make all the difference!
Guest memory box
Ask guests to capture their favourite moment of the day on paper. This concept works as part of your guest book (see our gorgeous, fun guest book alternatives post here) or as a separate activity.
Pin, peg or string them up for all to see or pop them in a pretty box or jar for later. It's a great way to record precious moments that you could very well have missed.
Put someone else in charge
No bride (or groom) should ever spend their big day running around, stressed, anxious, dealing with last minute issues, setting up chairs, making extra place settings or answering phone calls from lost guests.
Your wedding is not a working bee! It's a once only event, a day you've invested so much of yourself into. Make sure all your perfect plans unfold exactly as you imagined and that you are free to enjoy every precious moment with the love of your life by engaging an on the day coordinator.
Not only will an on the day coordinator be the best investment you make (and really, it doesn't make sense to leave something as precious as your wedding day to chance), but your family and friends will thank you for it too - they will be free to enjoy the celebrations alongside you.
Oh Perfect Day offers on the day coordination services for couples who want to leave their big day in capable hands. If you're interested in learning more, head on over to our services page or get in touch.
What are you going to do to make sure you soak in every second on your big day?
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