How to Remember Your Wedding Day
You are happily planning your wedding and yet at every turn someone says, "Oh my gosh, the day goes by so quickly. Be sure to soak it in." You hear it over and over again, enough to cause a bit of concern. After all, you are spending months of your time preparing for this great celebration. The last thing you want is for it to fly by and not remember it! But the one thing all of these good meaning people haven't said, is how to soak it in. It's great advice, but what is a real solution? How do you actually remember your wedding day?
Plan for Murphy's Law - Give Yourself Time!
There's a big difference between what you can do on a wedding day and what you can enjoy doing. Can you drive to 4 different locations within downtown Chicago? Sure. But when's the last time spending half your day in traffic was an enjoyable experience? Even though it only takes the ladies at the bridal shop 5 minutes to get you perfectly situated in your gown, doesn't mean your friends who have never done it before will be able to handle the same responsibility in 5 minutes. Sure it may not literally take you 30 minutes to get into your dress, but if you factor that much time in your timeline, you'll have breathing room. Generally speaking, no matter the task, the minimum amount of time segments I work in when creating the perfect wedding day timeline is 15 minutes. This way if you are on time, you have breathing room to hug your grandmother when she sees you in the hotel lobby or, if you are running a little late, it's not frantic. No one wants to feel bad that they had to stop and use a restroom just because the timeline didn't account for that extra 5 minutes.
It's easy to run straight from one event to the next when your adrenaline is running high. More than likely, your adrenaline is going to be hitting new levels on the big day. Often times, I quite literally tell our couples to stop. Stop walking and listen to the sound of your guests enjoying themselves before you rush back into cocktail hour. Each transitional moment of the day provides you an opportunity to stop and think about what's happening - Right after you get dressed, as you stand and wait with your dad to walk down the aisle, before you arrive to your reception. When you are about to move onto the next part of the day, just physically stop for one moment and take it in.
Remember Each of Your Senses
If that last suggestion seemed a little hard to keep track of, pair it with this. Each time you stop, walk yourself through your 5 senses. Your sense of touch: What does it feel like to wear your wedding outfit on this day? What do your shoes feel like? Or what does the warmth of the sun (or the Chicago wind!) feel like on your skin. Your sense of hearing: Can you hear the prelude music for the ceremony from the room you're hiding in? Can you hear your guests talking to each other? Your sense of sight: Ok, this is kind of an obvious one, but what can you do to truly watch what's going on around you? Can you take a step back and let your wedding party walk in front of you to watch your closest friends having so much fun together and embed that in your memory? Your sense of smell: Ladies, don't forget to smell your bouquet! Our sense of smell is actually the one sense most acutely linked to our memories. What I love so much about reminding our RMP brides to smell their bouquet is that every time you smell those same flowers, your brain will take you back to your wedding day. How cool is that? Your sense of taste: Admittedly, I don't remind people too often about this one. Maybe it's because for photographers on the wedding day, we eat dinner in about 5 minutes before jumping back up to continue documenting all of those special moments, so I'll leave this one up to you! What foods could you remember on the wedding day? How can you choose your menu in a way that you involve special tastes you often make at home? That way you could easily cue some of those special reception memories by making a meal together months or years later.
Consider a First Look
I know so many are still on the fence about seeing each other before the walk down the aisle, but having a First Look is perhaps the number one way you can slow down your wedding day. Think about it: If you wait until the ceremony to see each other, as soon as you get down that aisle, a ceremony starts! You don't have a moment to chat. You can barely sneak out a "Oh heeeeeeey gorgeous!" before the officiant starts. And if you do sneak in a mini conversation, everyone in the first two rows is hearing it. Additionally, one thing most couples don't think about is the fact that if you are waiting until your ceremony to see each other, you are spending the majority of your day apart! Particularly if you have an evening ceremony! Why would you wait until 3:00pm or 5:00pm to actually be together when you could have soaked in hours of this special day curled up next to each other that afternoon?!
The beauty of a First Look (and why it helps you slow down your day) is that instead of packing 10+ hours of events into the small 8 hour window between 3:00pm - 11:00pm (roughly), you can truly use your whole day. You can spend two hours enjoying time with friends and family while taking portraits instead of cramming everything you are hoping for in 45 minutes when you would rather have been at cocktail hour with those loved ones that travelled halfway across the country for you.
Just hire RMP and we'll make sure all of this is taken care of.
Ok, that's a shameless plug. ;-) But truly, the above 4 things are a small part of what we make sure to keep track of for our couples. On top of all of this, your heart and your head are going to be trying to process a lot of information at once. It's no wonder people say the day is a blur! You can only take in so much at once. Instead of adding these 4 items to that ever growing list of things to do for the wedding, let us worry about it. Having less to worry about will really be the biggest way to slow down and soak in these priceless moments.