Your wedding day is meant to be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s portrayed as a fairytale-like dream come true, celebrating the love you and your partner share with your closest friends and family. But beyond all the happiness and joy of the day is a great deal of stress and fear. The pressure of knowing you are the center of attention and everyone is there to witness you tie the knot can be terrifying and cause a bride to become scared on what’s supposed to be a joyous occasion. There are several common fears that many brides experience but don’t worry – take a deep breath and everything will be okay.
You Won’t Look Perfect
As you walk down the aisle, every single person will be looking at you. You’ve spent ages carefully selecting the perfect dress, shoes, hairstyle and makeup look for your big day. Not looking absolutely perfect on your wedding day is without a doubt one of the most common bridal fears. What if your dress and shoes don’t fit how they’re supposed to? Or what if you’re having a bad hair day and your hairstylist can’t achieve the look you had your heart set on? Or – worst of all – what if you wake up with a huge zit on your face? These are all huge concerns for every bride-to-be and, thankfully, the likelihood of any of these things happening is very low. Prepare for your wedding by trying on your dress and shoes beforehand and holding a hair and makeup trial run. By not waiting until the day of to do these things you will be able to alleviate some of the worries you’ll have of not looking perfect on your big day. And if you do happen to wake up with a pimple or dark eye circles, your makeup artist should be able to cover it up expertly.
People Won’t Show Up
Another extremely common fear for brides is that people (both guests and vendors) aren’t going to show up. If guests RSVPed yes and didn’t show up, you would feel sad and embarrassed that people didn’t feel the need to attend your wedding. If your vendors didn’t show up, it would ruin the entire day. Although it’s possible that some of your guests may not show up, remember that the people who you chose to invite to your wedding are people who love you and would want nothing more than to be able to celebrate with you. To help give your guests a gentle reminder that your nuptials are coming up, send out an email or letter outlining the details of the big day, such as directions to the venue, a schedule of events and accommodations for the out of town guests. To prevent your vendors from flaking on you, make sure you call them before the wedding to reconfirm all details and to also provide them with additional information such as itineraries and schedules, venue location and parking information. Continue reading “Quiet A Bride’s Greatest Wedding Day Fears”→
It’s normal for the bride and groom to be nervous and emotional on their wedding day. But if you’ve been tasked with giving the toast, you are probably just as nervous! Speaking in front of a huge group of people is incredibly nerve-wracking. Instead of trying to write the toast from your own limited resources, it can be helpful to borrow words from poets or other writers who have spoken about love. Since you probably know the bride and/or groom fairly well, you can share a humorous anecdote from their past, for example, how they met, how one pursued the other, or how the three of you used to pal around together, etc. Once you have captivated the audience, you can get a bit more serious and start talking about your wishes for their future together. There are tons of quotes about love and marriage that you can find to suit your particular needs. Here are 20 noteworthy quotes to consider including in your wedding toast.
1. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13:7
2. There’s nothing more admirable than two people who see eye to eye keeping house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. – Homer
3. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
4. One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. – Sophocles
5. To keep your marriage brimming with love in the cup, whenever you’re wrong admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up. – Ogden Nash
6. A good marriage is at least 80 percent good luck in finding the right person at the right time. The rest is trust. – Nanette Newman
7. But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. – Khalil Gibran
8. In our life, there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love. – Marc Chagall
9. Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. – Victor Borge
10. You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because your reality is finally better than your dreams. – Dr. Seuss
11. To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with. – Mark Twain
12. There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage. – Martin Luther
13. Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile. – Elizabeth Barret Browning
14. The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. – Audrey Hepburn
15. No road is long with good company. – Turkish proverb
16. You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh. – Jay Leno
17. There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. – George Sand
18. When love reigns, the impossible may be attained. – Indian proverb
19. We never live so intensely as when we love strongly. We never realize ourselves so vividly as when we are in full glow of love for others. – Walter Rauschenbusch
20. Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Remember that when you are giving the wedding toast, your friends’ family members will be in the reception hall. So, above all else, maintain a certain air of decorum. Grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, and even mom and dad do not want to hear inappropriate stories about the bride’s or the groom’s crazy college escapades or spring break visits to Cancun. So, make sure you keep the contents of your toast classy! These 20 quotes are all lovely choices to include in your toast and are sure to please everyone in the crowd, especially the bride and groom.
Nerves are a normal part of the speaking process, but nerves can also make you a sour note in an otherwise lovely event if left unchecked. When delivering a wedding toast, it’s normal for your hands to shake, your throat to go dry and your pace to quicken, but you need to be able to overcome this response if you want these few minutes to be remembered for the right reasons.
Very few people feel at ease when speaking in front of others. In fact, the body actually goes into a mild form of fight or flight during stressful situations. You might suddenly feel cold or shaky, and you may even stumble a bit in your speech. The key to avoiding this is by not viewing the situation as stressful, and you can do this by practicing frequently beforehand.
Start crafting your speech as early as possible. Create an outline immediately, and write notes about your speaking points. Over a few days, flesh out what stories you’d like to tell and any words you’d like to impart. Find out the length of your speech before you begin writing. Every page will take you roughly a minute, so keep the time in mind when you’re writing. If you aren’t sure what to write about, break your speech into three parts. Begin by introducing yourself and how you met your friends. This is an appropriate place to add a story. After that, focus on the couple. Talk about how they met each other and how you met them. Talk about their progression and what events led them to marriage. Finish by thanking the bride and groom and wishing them the best.
If you aren’t sure about the tone of the piece, ask around to find someone who has written a toast before. Ask them what they did to prepare. Don’t copy their methods,especially if they’re in the bridal party, but take their advice and adapt it to your own situation when you’re stuck. If you don’t know anyone who has given a wedding toast, think of people you know who have to speak often. These people may be in management or have some sort of position in the community like church leader or teacher. Ask them what they do to prepare for their speeches. If there’s a public speaker you admire, look up one of their speeches on YouTube, and pay attention to the way they deliver their speech.
Consider getting involved in an organization likeToastmasters. A driving force in leadership and communication, they can help you get on the right track and get comfortable with public speaking. While working with them, you’ll develop your confidence and learn about gauging audience feedback, how to maintain eye contact, how to adjust the pacing, tone and volume of your speaking, how to gesture effectively and how to deliver strong material.
Once your speech is written, practice, practice, practice. Use any free time to go over your speech, even if it’s in the shower or on the way to work. Record yourself giving the speech, and speak along with it. Practice delivering your speech differently by adjusting your tone, including pauses or even adding natural elements like laughter. When you play it back, you’ll be able to gauge how well your speech is coming along and make adjustments where necessary.
Planning for your wedding is a stressful task. However, it can be very manageable if done ahead of time. Regardless ofwhat season your wedding is taking place, most of the scheduling timeline is consistent. We have laid out the ultimate 12-month wedding planning guide to help keep you on track and relaxed throughout this very exciting process.
12 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Establish a budget
This is an important first step because it impacts the rest of your planning. Be realistic about what you can afford. There’s nothing more stressful than starting a marriage off with financial trouble.Figure out an exact budget for your wedding that you can stand by.
Choose your date(s)
There are a lot ofdetails you may not know about picking your wedding date. You may have an idea of your perfect date, but it is important to consider the implications of different seasons and locations before making any decisions. Come up with a few date options so that you can be flexible when picking your perfect venue.
Brainstorm an approximate guest count number. This doesn’t have to be exact, just a rough estimate.
Book your venue and caterer
Having a venue that you love is one of the most important parts of your wedding. Be sure toask your wedding venue important questions that will determine if this is truly the location for you. Once you have that determined,research and interview wedding caterers.
Propose to your bridesmaids
Begin thinking ofwho you want as your bridesmaids, as well as all thefun ways of asking your favorite girls to be your bridesmaids. While the feelings of close family and friends are important, it is also essential that you pick only people that you genuinely want beside you through this big process.
Researchwhat aspects are most important in picking a photographer, DJ or band, baker and any other vendor you may be considering. Interview vendors with these things in mind and figure out which are the best fits for you and your fiancé.
Secure Your Wedding Album
As brides look back on their weddings, there’sone regret that is consistently brought up: losing their most loved wedding memories by not thinking ahead on how to preserve them for years to come. While many photographers will offer packages included wedding albums, Altar Albums will offer the exact same albums up to $800 cheaper.
Research wedding dress styles
Before you start going into stores, figure out the most important things to know about your dress fitting. Research different dress styles andcrucial tips to know for the day of your dress shopping. When it comes to your wedding dress, it’s important to know what is out there so that you can pick the style that you feel best in. Create a collection of what you see.
Begin shopping for your dress
This is such a fun part of your wedding process that you should make sure to truly enjoy it. Take a small group of people you are close friends and family. Keep in mind that what you had pictured as your wedding dress may not end up being what fits you best… and that’s perfectly alright! Before you start shopping, you should have considered shapes,interesting dress details, and length… now it’s time to find the right combination for you.
Build your gift registry
Sit down with your fiancé tobuild your wedding registry. You’ll be happy you got this step done with early so that you have an answer at any point someone asks you.
Purchase wedding insurance
Many couples don’t know you can invest in wedding insurance to protect your deposits. Purchasing an insurance policy is a great protective measure to prepare for any emergency that may (but hopefully will not) occur.
Make hotel reservations
Surely you will have traveling guests for your wedding… you yourself may be traveling for it! Book hotel reservations far in advance so that there are absolutely no problems or worries when it comes to wedding accommodation.
7- 9 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Take Engagement Pictures
Your family and friends are dying to see aformal announcement with a beautiful (and professional) picture of you and your fiance. These will also be great to display in your future home, during your bridal shower, and your rehearsal dinner. Keep in mind that you’ll only be a “fiance” for so long, relish the moment! Also, this is a perfect opportunity totest out your wedding photographer before the fact to make sure you love their work!
“Save the date”
It’s time to sit down andcreate your “Save the date” letter. There are many directions you can take with your letters, whether that is simple and classic or creative and detailed. Keep in mind, you also have the wedding invitation to add your personal touch on.
Figure out what goes intopicking the right bridesmaid dress and once you have made a final decision on the best dresses or dress style for your big day, notify your girls.
Book rental companies.
If it isn’t already taken care of through your wedding venue, this is the time to begin booking rental companies that will provide chairs, tables and any other items you’ll need for your big day.
Start planning your honeymoon.
We know. You’re just now planning your wedding! But if your honeymoon is taking place shortly after your wedding, you will want to start thinking about thebest honeymoon destinations for you and the best timing for you and your fiancé.
4-6 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Now is the time to create and order wedding invitations. It’s important to note that there is general wedding invitation etiquette so have an idea of what is expected andhow you can create your wedding invitations to fit your style and include any important details.
Pick out wedding rings
You already have your engagement rings but now it’s time toswitch out for wedding rings. Shop with your fiancé for the right rings for your style and your budget.
More honeymoon preparations
This is the time to start sorting honeymoon details. Don’t forget that like your wedding, you musthave your honeymoon fit your budget. Research and purchase flights, book accommodation and if necessary, renew passports.
3 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Order your cake
Once you and your fiancéchoose the right style of cake for you and a bakery that you like, order your cake so that it is sure to arrive on time.
Groom and groomsmen wear
Now is the time for the groom and groomsmen to rent or buy their formalwear. The most important thing when the groom picks out his tux or suit is that he can be distinguished from his groomsmen.
If you haven’t already had one, this is a great timeto plan and throw your bridal shower.
Wedding day transportation
If necessary, book your wedding day transportation. When choosing the exact hour, be sure to give yourself plenty of time in case things run a bit behind schedule.
2 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Send out the wedding invitations
By now, the invitations should have arrived and any necessary changes should have been made. Send out wedding invitations to all your guests.
Pick a hairstyle and try out makeup looks
There are so manybeautiful bridal hairstyles you can sport on your big day. Research your options so you have an idea of what you may want. Additionally, try out different makeup styles to see what you feel best in.
Book your hair stylists and makeup artist
Once you’ve done some research on the styles you may be interested in, interview and book a hairstylist and makeup artists. Before making anything official, ask to look through photos of their work on past customers.
Start writing your vows
It won’t take you two months to write your vows, but you will definitely want the time to review it, edit it, and maybe even rewrite it. You may think of things you want to add or take out and will definitely want to researchtips on delivering your wedding vows.
ONE MONTH UNTIL THE WEDDING
Final dress fitting
This is the time to have your final dress fitting. Double check for any last adjustments you might need to make. When going to your fitting, bring the undergarments, shoes, jewelry, a veil and any other accessory you are planning on wearing on your big day.
Confirm with your bridesmaids
Check with your bridal party that everyone has their dresses and shoes. It is important that your bridesmaids get their dresses with enough time to make any necessary adjustments that might come up.
Confirm with vendors
Call all of your vendors to confirm scheduling details. Make sure they have the correct contact information, location (give a specific address) and time.
Apply for a marriage license
So much joy and excitement comes with a wedding. With that, there are alsobenefits that come with being married. Make sure you are legally considered married after your wedding by applying for a marriage license through your local bureau.
Your wedding day is coming up soon and your family, bridal party, and fiancé have done so much to make sure it goes well. Show your gratitude with a nice,thoughtful gift for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and maybe even your partner.
TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE WEDDING
The last two weeks of your wedding are considered crunch time. Although you have planned everything well so far, you will have a lot going on during this time. Considercreating a “Last Two Weeks checklist” with details on everything you have left to do before the big day. This checklist will include the following:
Finalize the RSVP list
By now, all of your wedding guests should have RSVP’d. Unfortunately, there will always be some that don’t. This is an appropriate time toapproach guests that have not sent their RSVP and ask for a final answer. You need this information to continue on with your planning.
Think of any poses or particular photos you want to be captured and send a list of shots to the photographer and videographer.
Plan your seating chart
Once you have an accurate idea of who will be at your wedding, you can begincreating the reception seating chart. When doing so, keep in mind any poor fits that should not be placed near one another. There are ways ofcreating a setting that is mindful of divorced parents or family drama.
This is the time to get any last haircuts or colors before the big day. You want to leave plenty of time in case something goes wrong.
ONE WEEK UNTIL THE WEDDING
At this point, you should give your caterer a final headcount. This is important for meal preparation. Make sure to mention any dietary restrictions or anything you want to be included. This is the time to ask anyimportant last-minute questions.
Make or print place cards and table cards for the reception. Give them to your planning coordinator.
Create a list of songs that you want to be played while everyone is up and dancing and hand it over to the DJ or band. Include any songs that you don’t want to be played and more importantly, include whatever song you and your fiancé decided on for the first song.
Attend Bachelorette party
If your friends have planned a bachelorette party for you, this is generally when it will take place. Leave time for yourself to enjoy partying at whatevergreat party spot they chose for you without worrying about getting other things done.
2-3 DAYS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Reconfirm final details
Check up with all of your vendors to confirm details. At this point, there is no such thing as being overly prepared.
Prepare the dress
Have your wedding dress pressed and steamed. During this time, your groom should also have his final fitting.
Determine bridal party positions
Figure out in which order the bridal party will stand during the ceremony. In order to avoid any hurt feelings, find a logistical order such as by height, alphabetical order, or better yet—have your wedding coordinator organize the order for you.
ONE DAY UNTIL THE WEDDING
You’re one day away from your wedding… that means it’s time to rehearse the ceremony andhost the rehearsal dinner. Since the dinner is casual and fun, you can invite close family, your bridal party, and any guests you are close with that traveled for your big day.
Get everything out of the way—prepare checks for any vendors you have pending payments with.
An emergency number
Provide your wedding coordinator and all vendors with an emergency phone number for the big day in case you can’t be reached for whatever reason.
Give your marriage license to your officiant to make things official.
THE DAY OF YOUR WEDDING!
On the big day, there is awedding day timeline you can more or less expect to follow. Wrap up your year of planning with fun tasks and excitement.
Give the presents you bought or made to your parent(s), bridal party and significant other.
Hand over your wedding bands to best man and the maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.
You worked so hard planning your big day but at the end of it all, the thing that matters most is that you are marrying the person you love. You will remember this day for the rest of your life. So, regardless of details and what goes according to or strays away from the plan, truly enjoy it.
In the craziness of your wedding planning, there’s one very important task that you can’t breeze through; your wedding vows will take concentration, time and thoughtfulness but will be well worth it.
Your short speech needs to come from your heart but also requires planning. The following are important tips for successfully writing and reciting your wedding vows.
Writing your vows might sound like a bit of a scary process but the truth is that once your vows are written, the wedding planning will seem more manageable. You’ll also want the option to go back and change part of your vows to make them sound exactly as you imagined. Begin your first draft at least three weeks before the wedding and have your final draft ready to practice at least three days before the big day.
Confirm with Your Fiancé and Officiant
First and foremost—is writing your own vows something that you and your spouse-to-be both want to do? It is important to discuss this early so that the two of you are on the same page. Once you’ve decided, speak with your officiant. Many congregations require the couple to read at least part or all of traditional vows. This won’t necessarily mean you can’t write yours, but be sure to clear your plan with the officiant early.
There are a lot of different directions you can take with your wedding vows. Read through the Internet for examples of wedding vows that other people have written so you can get a sense of various formats and styles. Some couples decide together whether to take on a humorous, romantic or light tone in their vows, while others prefer to let it be a surprise. It is totally up to you whether you want to discuss with your fiancé what the tone of your vows will be but keep in mind that if you don’t, you may end up writing a heart-felt tear-jerking vow, while his is light and silly, or vice versa.
While your vows are a very important part of your wedding ceremony, keep in mind that they shouldn’t go on for very long. Your audience will be eagerly listening but if your vows are made up mostly of inside jokes or simply go on too long, your guests will become stir-crazy and lose concentration. Your vows should not last more than one to two minutes. If you feel there is more you really have to say, perhaps leave time during your wedding day to give a (brief) wedding toast.
Okay, so you’ve got the important first steps down, now it’s time to start brainstorming! If you’re not sure where to start, try grabbing a piece of paper and marking down bullet points that answer important questions such as ‘when did you first realize you were in love?’, ‘how did he/she make you feel when you first met?’ and ‘what makes your relationship so strong?’. Don’t be afraid to include challenges you’ve gone through because that generally shows how you’ve supported one another. Think about what you miss most when he/she is away, why you decided to marry this special person and how he/she inspires you. Once you have a few stories and answers down, the most important things will stand out to you. Highlight or circle points that you want to include in your toast.
Pick a Format
A trick to great writing is sticking with one format. For instance, that can mean repetition (“I remember when we met… I remember on our first date… etc.), a timeline or in storytelling form (you could tell your story from an outsiders view and end it with how you feel in that moment).
What to Include
Some great key elements to include in your wedding vows may be your favorite memories together, promises for your future and perhaps a silly comment, joke or story. If you want, you can include a romantic quote in your vows but quote or no quote, avoid clichés. That means that your vows should sound like your voice, not anyone else’s. If there’s a point you want to get across that sounds cheesy every time (ex: You’re the most beautiful woman in the world), add a personal touch to it to make it relatable (ex: No woman is more beautiful in a T-shirt and jeans or matching rabbit pajamas than you).
Don’t Embarrass Your Fiancé
You know what stories will make your fiancé laugh and which ones will embarrass him/her. Avoid the wedding day disaster by straying away from any stories that your spouse-to-be would be uncomfortable with all of the guests hearing.
Read it Out Loud
Reading what you’ve written out loud is a great tool for any sort of writing but especially for a piece that you will be reading because it allows you to truly see what flows smoothly and more importantly, what doesn’t. It’s much easier to skip over awkward phrasing in your head than when you’re reading out loud. You’ll also be able to catch any mistakes or missing words and get an idea of how long your speech is. Remember, your vows should be one to two minutes at most. If you want to get an outsider’s perspective or proofreading, have a good friend or family member listen as you read your vows out loud.
Practicing your wedding vows is not only important so that they turn out smooth during the wedding ceremony, but also because when the time comes, you are going to want to look your partner in the eye as you say these heartfelt words. It’s okay to have a (clear and legible) copy of your vows with you, but having your vows mostly memorized will help you sound natural, comfortable and genuine. If you do need to stop to look down at your words, it’s okay to stop talking for a few seconds and resume once you’re back on track and can look your fiancé in the eyes.
Writing and reciting your wedding vows may seem intimidating, but at the end of the day, this is just an opportunity for you to share how you feel about the love of your life. Above all else, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be yourself.