Universal wedding advice

Are you getting married? It feels like 97% of people on my social media feeds are engaged or newlyweds, so the odds are that yes, you are getting married. Congratulations. You have probably already noticed that people love to give you their unsolicited advice. Like me, you probably grin and bear it. Maybe you took away a couple nuggets of wisdom. But ultimately you’re just gonna do your thing.

Well, here’s my unsolicited advice! Why should you listen? I was told by TWO of my vendors — on the day of my wedding — that I was the calmest bride they’d worked with. And here’s my guarantee: I have included only the absolute best, most impactful, easiest to implement, non-personal, and truly universal top three tips that I can offer. You won’t hear what to give as favors or what type of DJ to book. ALL you will receive here are the three things that made the wedding genuinely less stressful and so much more joyful.

1. Lots of people WILL forget to RSVP. Almost a third of my invitees did not RSVP on time. It felt shitty but it’s just the way people are so brace yourself now. On the due date, I sent everyone a mass text giving them a new deadline (five days later) and said if they didn’t reply in time I would assume they were out. I also enlisted my in-laws to message their family members that I didn’t know very well.

2. Makeup and hair WILL run long,
so book your HMU artists to arrive earlier than they suggest is necessary. Mine arrived at 8:30am for my 4:30pm ceremony.

3. Take all your photos before the wedding even starts.
You may not be willing to do a “first look.” Your prerogative! If that’s the case, skip this. But if you are thinking about (or definitely doing) a first look, try your absolute darnedest to have your photographer take ALL your portraits (with the groom, with your girls, with family) before your ceremony begins. The wedding is your precious few hours to revel in the pure joy that happens when you love someone and are surrounded by people from all different corners of your worlds that you love. You will never have this time back, so be selfish with it and get all your portraits done first! I did it like this: We had a 4:30pm ceremony, which meant i needed to be in “hiding” by 3:30. I had the photographer arrive at noon for getting ready pics, then I got the dress on at 2pm, did my first look, took bridal party pics, then at 3:00pm we did family pics. (My family was instructed to arrive by 3:00pm.) We were done with everything and got some time to relax in the bridal suite. Then, after the ceremony, we got a few quick sunset pics, but we got almost the entire cocktail hour to talk to our guests and have a great time!

Venue: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery
Photographer: Daniel Neal Photography
Florals: LC Floral Design
Dress: designed by Robert Bullock; purchased at BoLee Bridal Couture
Hair & makeup: Lacee Deniz

What did you do to make your wedding less stressful? Was anyone else calm on their wedding day?