How to be the HAPPIEST Bride Ever!
Nicole here. Wow I miss blogging. I can’t remember the last time I blogged…. I’m sure it was sometime last year. Fun Fact: I got into the wedding industry by blogging and I used to spend countless hours on my blog. I was obsessed. But then you know… all the other parts you got to focus on when trying to run a business… Plus I have an awesome team who blogs all the time!!!
So anyway, if you don’t know… I recently got married on December 15th, 2018. And it was AWESOME. Literally one of the best days of my life. It’s been on my never-ending to-do list since the day after my wedding to blog about how to ensure you have an amazing wedding day because now that I’ve actually experienced the other side I can give my two cents from the side of being a bride as opposed to just the planner. And I have lots of cents to offer. So here goes…
1. Don’t have bridesmaids. Or if you absolutely must then be selective. There’s a long huge backstory about this one time I went to Italy and I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and my friend, Lindsay, and I got kicked out of the wedding… there were punches thrown… a dress torn… and you know. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because I was punched though. Oh no no. And for the record, I did not punch anybody. But after that experience, I knew that I did not want to have anything to do with bridesmaids. That being said, I didn’t want to get ready by myself. I created “Faux bridesmaids” cards for my closest #girlsquad babes and had them all come to get ready with me and take pictures, drink champagne and it was PERFECT. No drama, just like I like. Disclaimer: we incorporated our family into the processional so that the ceremony still had people walking in plus we wanted them to feel as special as they are to us!!!
2. Don’t worry or stress or let the little things upset you. Ran out of dinner plates? No problem, use dessert plates. No dessert plates? Use your hands. Not my problem, it’s tacos… Figure it out. But really. In the grand scheme of the day is it worth it to get in a hussy and be all upset about something like that? By the way, there were definitely more dinner plates but they did get hidden under a table with linens that nobody remembered. #oops. Oh also… my dumba*$ forgot to close the trailer door on the way to the venue to set up. No lie. Upon arriving at the Dairy Farm I got a call from Alex saying… “um Nicole… I am picking up boxes of our wedding decor IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ALONG THE STREET.” You know what my response was? Laughed. A lot.
3. Let it be, go with it. At the end of the night my brother-in-law, also the officiant, got Will, the DJ, to bring the keg out onto the dance floor for keg stands. So what do you do? A keg stand of course. Well, a 2-second keg stand… Also, our memorial candles were already lit at the ceremony when we walked over to light them but whatever, we just pretended to light them. It’s the thought that counts not the action of switching a lighter and making fire.
4. Don’t give the officiant who does keg stands your cell phone. That one time I lost my cell phone at the wedding and was there until an hour after the wedding with the officiant hanging out and my cell phone was in his back pocket the entire time. Literally the funniest thing ever. I still laugh just thinking about it when we found out the next morning…
5. Have a mini purse & a 911 kit! Read our blog here for all the details on all the items I needed and actually used on my wedding day. This is so so so crucial and you must do this or your eyelashes will fall off and your bustle will be to Timbuktoo and you’ll have snot all over your face.
6. It’s okay to laugh and cry during your ceremony. I loved how intimate our wedding ceremony felt. Even with 180-ish people watching it felt so personal because it was just Alex & I looking into each other’s eyes the whole time allowing whatever emotion we felt to come out. We laughed and we cried and it was perfect and everything. Literally everything. Don’t be scared to let those emotions come out!!! Don’t hold in the tears!!!! See #3: let it be.
7. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and then buy a Preservation Kit from Ivory & Beau. No but really, my dress was FILTHY. It was actually pretty funny because in the preservation kits that we have there are stickers you are supposed to put on the dirty spots. I mean… that would’ve been impossible on my dress. The entire train like a whole foot++ was completely stained.
8. Drink water between each alcoholic beverage. I will not lie and say I was sober at my wedding but I can also 100% say that I remember every last thing because I was alternating between Miller Lite and water in my cactus sippy cup.
9. Do a father/daughter first look and a grandfather/granddaughter first look! Ughhhh… this is my biggest regret. The moment when I first saw my grandpa was one of the most special moments of the entire day. We both simultaneously BURST into tears. Like ridiculous loud tears. It was the most special moment and I am sooooo sad that I didn’t have this captured by our photographer and videographer. Same with my dad -- it was so special that first time I saw him!! Gah. #kickingmyselfforthis #shouldveknownbetter
10. Do a first look (& give yourself plenty of TIME for photos beforehand) and then add a skirt and a veil! The magic will NOT be taken away. Our first look was EVERYTHING. I loved getting to see Alex just us under the Spanish moss trees, wiping his tears with my grandma’s hanky. It was so special and so memorable. It was perfect. I loved getting to spend time with Alex prior to the ceremony. We got to walk around the Dairy Farm and just take pictures and enjoy each other’s company. It was so perfect. We had allotted 1.5 hours for our first look and then photos with friends before the ceremony and it gave us a lot of buffer to just enjoy the day and take it all in without feeling rushed or hurried.
11. Breathe deep breaths, take it in, look around. Every moment. Look around, take in the smells, the way the air feels, the way you feel, the sights, the sounds. Take in all the senses. Slow down. I’ll never forget the special moments of the ceremony smelling the warm Southern air, looking at the beautiful Spanish moss dripping from the trees, seeing the ladybugs landing on my dress and his suit. I took LOTS of deep breaths and tried to slow every moment. Do it.
12. Splurge on photography. Seriously. I’m so obsessed with every single photo from The Poffs. I just can’t even. So worth it. So so so so worth it.
13. EAT, the tacos are banging. EAT THEM!!!!!!!!!!! I forced Alex & I to sit down and we GRUBBED. Oh let me tell you, we grrrrruuuuuubbbbbbbeeeeedddddd. Like did not come up for air just shovel in, chew, swallow, repeat as quickly as possible. It took us probably 5-10 minutes and when people came up we raised our shovel and they took the hint and let us grub on. Plus, I mean… you paid for it. Why not eat it?
14. Do rounds. Another big regret that we did not do was do rounds and thank everybody for coming. Gah. Not going to dwell on this because it’s in the past but I really regret not taking the time for this! On the plus side though we were able to do a lot of #15…
15. DANCE (EVEN IN THE RAIN). Oh trust me that misty rain at the end of the evening was a blessing because boy was I sweaty. We danced in the misty rain for 2 songs and it was epic.
16. Surprises rock!!!! Oh my gosh one of my other favorite moments from the wedding was having my 18-year old nephew, Austin, get in the dinosaur costume and come out to “BIG REPUTATION” by Taylor Swift for the bouquet toss. Everybody was dying laughing and Austin had a blast too getting to be involved. We literally danced for like 30 minutes in that thing and the pictures are hilarious and I love him for agreeing to it!!!! Although I will say it was not at all hard to convince him and there was no convincing… he instantly was pumpt.
17. Play at least one song for your grandma to get down to. “WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!?!?!?!?!” My grandma rocked the dance moves at my cousin’s wedding to this song so we of course had to have an encore and it was so fun!!!
18. Have a photo booth! So much fun. Hilarious photos of guests. Nuff said.
19. Do something in remembrance if you have lost your parents. It is not fair that I did not have my mom with me on my wedding day to help me get ready, tell me I’m pretty, give me hugs and kisses and just simply be there with me on one of the most memorable days of my life. And same goes for Alex. But life is what it is. And I know someday I’ll meet you mom.
20. Do all the things right away at the reception so you have more time to have fun!!!! We did pretty much everything except toasts right away at the reception and I loved it because it gave us a lot of time just dance, mingle, party, hang out with friends and enjoy the evening!! We even moved up our cake cutting because I wanted to not forget it and just get it out of the way and I’m so happy we did because at one point I looked at the clock and was like oh my gosh we have THREE MORE ENTIRE HOURS. Yasssssssssss. I highly recommend scheduling your timeline with all the “things” at the beginning!!
21. Have a special last dance. One of my many favorite memories (that I remember because see tip #8) was our last dance. We played “Stand by Me.” I knew I wanted it to be a song people knew the words to. We had everybody circle up around us, link arms and had Will Smith tell everybody to sing it as loud as they could. Perfect end to the perfect day. I think you should do something special for that last dance. I really really think you should. And if your photographer & videographer aren’t there anymore that’s fine… ask the DJ or a friend to video the whole thing. Trust me. It’ll be SO GOOD.
Alright, well normally when I used to blog I would then sit down and edit everything I wrote but you know… that whole run a business so peace out. Hope you enjoyed my tips and wishing all you brides out there the HAPPIEST day of your life!!!!!!!! Xoxoxoxoxo, MRS. MASON
Huge thank you to all of my amazing wedding vendors who made this day the most incredible day of my life!!!!!! We love you all and appreciate all the hard work you did to make our day come true!!!!!!!!!!!
Photography & Videography: The Poffs // Location: Old Dairy Farm // Security: Lenny Gunther // Tipis: Lux Tipi // Bar: Fete Chalet // Wedding Dress: Julie Vino from Ivory & Beau // Skirt: L’amour by Calla Blanche from Ivory & Beau // Veil: Maggie Sottero from Ivory & Beau // Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell from Free People // Alterations: Stitch // Day-of Coordinator: Savannah Wedding Dreams // Ceremony Music: New Arts Ensemble // Violin: Chris Dooley // Reception Music: Will Smith // Caterer: Chazito’s Latino Cuisine // Rentals: Ooh Events, Savannah Vintage Rentals, Beachview Event Rentals // Linens: Nuage // Restroom: Royal Restrooms // Officiant: Vu Ho (Brother-in-law) // Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes // Cake Pops: Sweet Bliss Bakery // Key Lime Pie Bites: Rum Runners // Cake: Allie O’Donnell // Makeup & Blow Outs: Hustle & Blow Dry Bar // Alex’s Hair: Robb’s on Drayton // Bride’s Hair: Blush & Mane // Spray Tan: Body Bronzing by Becca // Rehearsal Dinner: Hitch // Welcome Drinks: Emporium at Perry Lane // Nicole’s AirBnb: 123 West Waldburg // Alex’s Hotel: The Alida