Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Best Wedding Advice: Take A Moment For Yourself

Take a moment for yourself.

All through the wedding planning process, that's what everyone told me. I think people knew I didn't need help deciding on what color bridesmaids dresses to pick or what to use as wedding favors. I had all that under control.

What I did need, though, was to hear: Take a moment for yourself.

Which is a funny thing to say, really, especially to me. I work full time at home as a blogger. There's a lot of me time (okay, it's basically all spent with my cat, but still). I am one of the few people who doesn't wish the workweek away to get to the weekend. And I'm the girl who will leave my phone in my purse at all times because I want to spend time with the person I'm with. I guess the buzzword right now is to be "present," but really, I make it a point to do that.

And even if you do, you need to remember that on your wedding day.

That day is filled with so much happy chaos. You know every single person there, so there are so many people to talk to and dance with. You just found the one whom your soul loves, as the quote goes, and your hearts were joined together. You're just happy and in love and twirling and spinning and it's over so quickly.

So you need to be reminded to take a moment to breath, to take it all in, to tune out all the noise and just be present.

The best wedding advice you can get? Take a moment for yourself. It sounds so simple and yet, it's really not. Find out why at

It's one thing to tell this to you and it's another to actually have done it. And I did really make sure to do this. So, my top three wedding moments that I took for myself and carry so deep in my heart:

1. Catching my dad cry.
Pete and I were sitting on the alter and I looked out into the church. I caught my dad crying. Not just a tear blurring up his eye but actual tears falling. And crying is so contagious for me (I cry when people make it through on American Idol and they're crying). So this, of course, set me off. I turned to Pete. "My dad is crying and it's making me cry," is all I remember getting out of my mouth before Pete started rubbing my hand. "It's okay," he said. "Just face me. No one can see you."

And in that moment, I have no idea what the priest was saying. I know he must have been talking, but I couldn't hear him. I just watched Pete's fingers run over my hand until my tears stopped. I honestly don't think anyone even knew I cried. I don't even know that Pete remembers this at all, but I do.

2. Sitting with my little brother at our table and giving him my shrimp.
I don't know how I ended up sitting at the sweetheart table. Those were our seats but it was just so hard to actually sit for a minute. Everyone wanted their chance to talk and dance, so I only sat at our table once. And somehow, I ended up with shrimp and grits. I don't know how it appeared. It was an action station in the lounge area was and I never made it into that room. Maybe someone set it at our table for me, I don't know.

But what I do know is my little brother came over to the sweetheart table and sat with me a minute. And I remember so badly wanting him to stay, partially because I don't see him often and I wanted to get a second to talk to him but mostly because if he was there, I could steal a minute to try to eat my first food in three days. And that food happened to be shrimp and grits. Except the shrimp and grits was on the menu because it's such a southern thing and I knew our guests would love it. I, however, don't eat shrimp. So I offered them to my brother -- and he ate them.

3. Hugging Pete after he played guitar.
I gave Pete his dream guitar at our wedding. (You can read all about it here.) I hugged him and explained that it was his ... and that's when he started to cry. So I walked him outside onto the patio outside our ballroom. And I hugged him and let him get emotional. I stole that moment for us. People were outside, but for that moment, it was just me and Pete. There was no one else in the world.

Until the lead singer of our wedding band came out and said it was time to cut the cake.

"Can you stall a little and just give us a minute?" I asked. Of course, he said yes. He went back inside and there, outside in the cool night, it was just us. No one else.

Of course I remember so much else, but it's all so fast: my grandma dancing in her wheel chair, watching my little brother put the garter belt on his girlfriend, walking down the aisle with my dad, Pete taking a picture in a port-a-potty, my parents slow dancing ... but these three times, they're when time froze.

So, I say to you, bride-to-be:  Take a moment for yourself. Sneak boff on your own if you can or, if you can't, just be present. Remind yourself that you don't get to do this day again, take a look around, and really let it sink in. Because those will be the moments you hold so dear. It won't be how the chicken tasted or what songs the band played. It will be the moments you take for yourself. Trust me.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Which moment from your wedding was your favorite?

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