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?

Romance to the socially obscure

I am not a romantic person. There are very few sentimental veins in my body. But when I see every person in my Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / [future social media leader] feed post engagement or wedding photos, my heart is inexplicably warmed and I can’t wait to post my own.

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The only difference is that my engagement photos are probably going to be at, like, Dave & Busters and my wedding photos will probably be taken exclusively on disposable cameras provided at every table at the reception and/or whatever device we’re using to capture moments that year.

Here’s the weird thing. Half of my closet is filled with dresses and heels. Half of it is hoodies and jeans. My entire personal life can be described exclusively through quotes from the TV show ’30 Rock,’ and I take trips to other continents by myself. I’m an independent woman (insert z-snap here) and also not entirely traditional. I’m also entirely traditional.

I read an article not so long ago that stated the smarter a person is, the more likely that person is to be single. I am single, but I also was not accepted to MENSA when I took the test last year. (To be fair, I was 3 off from the qualifying score, so I could be positively or negatively affected by a retake. #humblebrag) I don’t want to lean on something like that as an excuse, especially since Stephen Hawking married and I’m obviously very comparable to him.

Listen, I value a stable paycheck and regular exercise, as I should. I subscribe to modern requirements for health in social / professional / physical / mental / spiritual categories. But I see the world in my own way.

I’m not going to tell you that I’m a unicorn. I’m saying that everyone is a unicorn, and some unicorns have more in common with each other than other unicorns do. A lot of unicorns have a more common Myers-Briggs type. Certain unicorns, like myself, have the rarest Myers-Briggs type.

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WAIT. BREAKTHROUGH. IS THIS WHY I AM SINGLE? Ok, I guess that ENTJs everywhere must probably be single. Except my father, as he has been happily married for 40 years. Damn. Myth = busted.

So back to those engagement photos. Would anyone think it’s awful if I’m wearing a beautiful dress (or perhaps a jumpsuit, since tall babes can rock them) but in the pictures I am doing something fun so that my smile is real? Suggestions include (and I’m just spitballing here): dancing on a lit-up dance floor, playing beer prosecco pong, staring intently at my cat in his bow tie, or talking smack regarding how the Seahawks are way better than whatever team my future husband likes.

As I write this, I am 97% sure that none of this is true, and that I will probably get married on a lush golf course somewhere with luscious flowing locks and the sleekest white gown because that works for tall women, and that my vision board will probably be filled with snapshots of my actual, present-day woman crush Amal Alamuddin Clooney. But right now, I really enjoy playing games and watching stupid YouTube videos with people while eating tuna melts at 24 hour diners.

For now, I’m going to cherish the obscurity of my humor and the even more obscure depth of pop culture knowledge I possess. Then, one day I will either learn to suppress it, or someone will understand it and make it better. And then we will get engaged inside the ball pit at a McDonald’s. Or something like that.

Who’s with me?