Well, it's been a while since I've had any time to myself. This weekend my best friend of 12 years just tied the knot. She originally hired Randie Pellegrini of Cordially Invited to plan the wedding... (she did Carmen Electra's wedding) but when you are a non-celebrity and you hire a celebrity planner, unfortunately you are not high up on the priority ladder and the planner ended up doing a horrible job and generally not being around when she was needed to, you know, plan.
So my friend ended up planning the entire thing herself. All of the bridesmaids stayed at her place the night before to go over all the last-minute things. Here are a couple of tips I've learned from her wedding:
1) Hire a wedding planner. Interview a few, find out about their other commitments, and then hire one! You do not want to a be a blushing bride in a beautiful dress running around the wedding site the day of and taking care of last minute things.
2) Have them come to you. Always do all hair and make-up on site. Unfortunately our hair and make-up lady requires that we come to her, so even though we looked perfect at 12pm, by wedding time at 5pm we were in bad need of a touch-up.
3) Follow the groom. Have an assistant tail the groom the entire day so that he can be where he needs to be. Boys have a tendency to feel uncomfortable at a wedding site and will find excuses to do everything (smoke, go to the bathroom, schmooze with family, visit the open bar, etc.) except for what he's supposed to be doing (rehearsal, taking pictures, getting the groomsmen together, etc.).
4) Bring 2 extra pairs of shoes: one comfortable pair of flip-flops for getting ready and in-between events, and a more comfortable pair of shoes for the reception. When your foot is stuck in one shoe the entire day, that angle can be extremely tiring. By changing shoes, even if you are changing into heels of a different height, the position of your foot changes and it will be less painful.
5) Refuel. Have smoothies or power shakes available for the bridal party in-between events. Since we were unable to sit down and eat at the reception because of the activities, some of us were too hungry and tired to go on. Refueling is necessary!
6) Speech well. Force the bridesmaids to write out an entire speech beforehand and practice it before the reception. Unfortunately, even though I wrote shorthand notes of my speech, the tears welled up and I was unable to read the rest of my speech or to think of what to say. Groomsmen are okay, since they are not as emotional.
7) Tissue up. Do not let the bride see -anyone- in her family before the ceremony. The emotions connected with seeing your grandmother right before the ceremony is enough to cry all your make-up off. Instead, greet them after the ceremony so you can cry as much as you want and still have a chance to touch-up your make-up before the reception.
8) Make room. Make sure the wedding site has a comfortable bridal room. Most outdoor sites have a building that houses only catering and bathrooms so they squeeze the bridal party in a small 7' x 7' room to get ready. This is nearly impossible to do anything in. Request one of the larger reception rooms or to take over one of the inside offices, even if it sacrifices guest space.