The memories will be there forever, but the lessons are things I might forget over time. So, before I do, I needed to write a post about the five things no one tells you about your wedding day. These are in not in order of importance, but in order of how things will happen.
Five Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding Day
1. Everything will go wrong. Seriously. And no one will know but you.
When I was planning, I was told by a lot of people that everything will go wrong. And I didn't want that to happen. So I accounted for everything. I had a sunscreen bar so no one got burned. I had a flip flop basket so no one had to walk in dress shoes on the beach. I labeled everything. Numbered everything. Had three pairs of shoes for myself. Worked out timing with all the vendors. And first thing in the morning, when my mom and a few of the girls were supposed to be here at 9am to get their hair and makeup done ... no one was here but me and the three stylists. But you know what, they got here at 9:10am and everything was fine. Everyone looked beautiful and we got to the church with time to spare. Not one guest knew that we started late that morning.
And when we got to the venue and I looked at the ceiling, there wasn't a single paper lantern hung, despite the fact that I brought 24 over to the venue and asked more than once that they be hung. And you know what? Not one single guest asked me why the lanterns weren't hanging. The little stuff that went wrong or was missing, it was all tick marks that I went over after the reception. So many things weren't the way I intended them to be. And not one single person noticed -- not even the people who knew of every single planned detail, not even Pete. I was the only one who noticed ... and it was fine.
2. You will not eat (and you might not even see the food).
When we went for our tasting, the food was amazing. Ever since February, I was dreaming about sitting down and enjoying the Chicken Oscar entree. I'm still waiting. During the cocktail hour, we were outside taking our beach photos. During dinner, every time we sat, someone either wanted a photo or wanted to talk to us. By the time Pete and I were both sitting at the table to eat, we each had two bites, looked at each other, and said despite starving, we couldn't eat. It's a mix of nerves, adrenaline, and the fact that you haven't eaten all day. You're so hungry that you're not hungry anymore. Our banquet manager packed entrees and crab cakes for us ... but two days later, mine is still sitting in plastic wrapped Styrofoam boxes in the fridge. I ate three chicken fingers and some watermelon for dinner yesterday and that was the most I've eaten since Wednesday. In the car yesterday, someone said the hummus was great. I didn't even know we had hummus. We didn't choose it at our tasting but somehow, it just magically appeared during the cocktail hour. I didn't even make it into the lounge where the cocktail hour food was. I didn't see anyone passing around hors d'oeuvres. I swore up and down that I was going to be the bride who ate at her wedding because all the food we selected was amazing and I wanted to have it. The food was amazing ... but I still didn't get to enjoy it that night.
3. Most dresses have a strap under them so you can hold onto the bottom of your train.
When I bought my dress, it fit perfectly. I could have sworn the dress was made for me because there was not one part that had to be altered. I bought a belt I loved and needed that to be sewn in. And I needed a bustle done. And that was it. I kept it un-bustled through the ceremony, through all our photos downtown, and through our beach photos. After we were announced, we did our first dance and Pete stepped all over my dress. Then we did a group dance. Then I danced with my dad. Then we had my parents dance to their wedding song. And then I went straight up to my mom and asked her to bustle my dress. It held for a few hours until the train caught on someone's chair and the hook of the bustle popped. I was trying to lift my dress and walk around like everything was fine (prior to that, my dress got completely dirty on the bottom from beach photos, a bit of the dye from my shoes turned the underside purple in spots, and I noticed a hole in the bottom). My family friend Heidi came up to me, lifted up my dress, and handed me a strap that she proceeded to put on my wrist. I carried the train on my dress that way the rest of the night and it was perfect. I had no idea it was there, so thank goodness for her.
4. You need that one random friend.
During the day, my bridesmaids and parents were around to help me and Pete's groomsmen were around to help him. But at the end of the night, they had all taken the shuttle back to the hotel, leaving me and Pete in the ballroom with a lot of stuff (decorations, left over favors, gifts, our cake topper, food, two guitars, etc.) and no car to put anything in. There was no way all that was coming back to our hotel room with us. In swooped my friend Danielle and her husband Rob. They helped pack up everything, brought all our stuff to their car, and brought everything but the top tier of our cake back to us the next day (they offered to keep our cake in their deep freezer for us for the next year because our apartment freezer is just small and doesn't have room for a six-inch cake -- especially since it has a few gallons of ice cream in it right now). At the end of the night, it was just us and them. She even came upstairs with me at the end of the night to help me unlace my dress (because it was impossible to do on my own). If not for them, we would have had to take boxes and boxes of stuff back to our honeymoon suite, unload it, bring a cart back to the bellhop, and then load everything up the next morning. Plus, I'd probably still be in my wedding dress. "The one thing no one tells you," Danielle said at the end of the night, "is that you need that one random friend who will help you."
5. Your wedding night is not the most romantic night of your life.
By the end of the night, you are tired. He is tired. You've been running on fumes, your guests have been filling one (or both) of you with shots from the bar, and you have no food in you. You've been mingling and dancing and talking and taking photos and talking to vendors and doing anything but sitting down. There may be an after-party, and if there is, you're sorta required to go -- regardless of how early you actually woke up to start getting ready (and regardless of how many hours of sleep you did or didn't get the night before). When you finally see a bed at the end of the night, the only thing you want to do is sleep in it. Consummating your marriage is not a thought in your mind. Most couples don't do anything but sleep, and others force themselves into something other than sleep just because they don't want to be that couple that passes out at the end of the night. But you know what? You have the rest of your life to have a "wedding night." On the actual night, just go to bed (plus, by the time you get there, it's most likely the next morning anyway).
BRIDAL BABBLE: What else did no one tell you about your wedding day?