Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Top Tips for Brides-to-Be

bride to be

When I first got engaged, I was determined to have a perfect day. I wanted it to be blissful, I wanted to look radiant, I wanted everyone to have a damn  good time, and I wanted everything to go just right.
Of course, I’ve since discovered that weddings never go just how you imagine them to. There’s always something that goes wrong, that isn’t quite how you planned.
For me, it was the DJ (he refused to play my playlist and, subsequently, played all the tunes I’d asked him not to play) and Teresa also had her ups and downs.
So, given our regrets, I thought it would be a good idea to write some top tips for all you brides-to-be. I wish I had read something like this before we got married – and actually listened to it!
When you're stressed out and pulling your hair out (trust me, it will happen, no matter how much you insist you are no Bridezilla!), remember this...and don't worry! Enjoy the planning because you will miss it when it's gone.
Sam x

1)  Remember why you’re getting married

This is the most important point of them all. You don’t need a wedding worthy of a princess, you don’t need a £10,000 dress, and you definitely don’t need to blow the budget. 
You’re getting married because you’re in love and you want the world to celebrate alongside you. Whatever you plan for your big day, don’t lose sight of that…

2) Don’t let other people affect your decisions
I desperately, desperately wanted to get married in a coloured dress. I wanted something beautiful, something exceedingly well-cut and something I could wear over and over again. 
I looked at postbox red Roland Mouret gowns, midnight blue Jenny Packhams and grey Alberta Feretti floor-sweepers. They were all beautiful and so very, very me. But I let myself get talked out of it…
Why? I still don’t know. I didn’t want others to ‘judge’ me, I guess. I didn't want to be that one person who caused gossip because she didn't walk down the aisle in a white (or off-white) dress. Anyway, I have regretted it ever since.
My point is…this is your wedding, your big day. Make sure you do everything you and your partner want to do. Don't listen to anyone else! Unless they're trying to stop you from remortgaging your house to buy a 50k which case, maybe listen to them.

3) Don’t stress about sexy undies!
sexy undies

As soon as I bought my dress, I was dead set on finding a set of super sexy Agent Provocateur knickers to wear underneath. Wouldn’t I feel ultra sexy and glam with a peekaboo bra and stockings and suspenders beneath my dress? Well, yes, I probably would have done...but it didn’t work as planned.
No matter what set I tried on, none of them worked beneath my dress. I had lace popping out from the neckline, nipples showing through the dress (classy!) and unsightly knicker lines. I don't think I'm the only one who suffered from this problem either. 
Anyway, instead of my super sexy get-up, I had to invest in a nude bodysuit from Ultimo. It was the epitome of granny glam, and not conducive to a night of passion in the slightest. I compensated by wearing a garter from Agent Provocateur, but it just wasn’t the same.

4) Don’t worry - your hubby probably won’t see the nude undies anyway…
Chances are, you won’t even have sex on your wedding day. Sorry, but it’s true! I thought that we were the only ones, but the amount of brides I have since talked to have also confirmed it. You will simply be too tired.
We rocked off to bed in the early hours, buzzing from our big day. By the time we had relived every moment and finally clambered into bed (the mood probably killed by me stripping down to my grannysuit – see above), hubby completely zonked out next to me – we had to be up at 5am to catch our flight on honeymoon.

5)  Make Your Wedding Personal To You
photo booth wedding
In the photo booth

All the best weddings I have attended have been extra specially personal to the bride and groom. Whether they were ridiculously expensive or low-key and low-budget, all I ever judged them on was the small touches, the ones which showed they had really thought about it…
For us, it was writing our own vows which made our day. We also wanted to make our wedding as fun as possible, since the other one (the Muslim one) was so formal - so we filled a photo booth with masks and fancy dress outfits!
For Teresa, it was involving her gorgeous children in the ceremony. Whatever you feel reflects you as a couple, do it! It is your day after all – no one else’s.

wedding photo booth

6)  Take Thirty Minutes Out of the Day to Spend Together
This is the one thing I wish we had done above all else. By the time we got on honeymoon, I realised my husband and I had barely spent any time together on our big day.
So keen were we to make sure everyone was having a good time, we spent the whole day talking to our guests and mingling. While this was very nice, I wish we had snuck off for a cheeky half an hour (get your mind out of the gutters!) just to reflect on the ceremony and what we had done.
In the same way, don’t even look at a clock or a watch on your wedding day! It will fly by, and you’ll start to fret too much about when things should be happening and where you should be if you do clock watch. Just enjoy it and go with the flow!

7)  Drink lots of water – and if you have sensitive skin, don’t use any new products!
Yep, that age-old beauty secret is especially true in the run-up to your wedding. Drinking lots of water is a MUST if you want to have healthy, radiant skin in your wedding pics.
Of course, always one to give advice and never one to take it, I struggled with this…mainly because I dislike the taste of water. Lame excuse, I know!
Now is also not the time to test out new beauty products on your skin. I made this mistake (I simply changed the brand of my face wipes by picking the ones which were on offer!) and, just one week before our wedding, I came out in a giant rash down the side of my face. It didn’t disappear, and I wasn’t happy…

8) Get a Good Night’s Sleep
This is much easier said than done, but I can’t stress how important it is to try and get some restful sleep the night before your big day!
I got exactly zero hours sleep both the night before and the night before that and got up feeling like crap on our wedding day. I also looked pretty rough too…
I wish I had dared to take a sleeping tablet the night before, but I chickened out. I also wish I had stuck to my routine and slept alone in my bedroom. Instead, I had all my bridesmaids in with me, and I think this disrupted my sleep fairly badly!

9) Try and enjoy a healthy diet and exercise regime
wedding diet

Yes, yes, all rather predictable and boring, right? As soon as we got engaged, I embarked on a fairly strict exercise and healthy eating regime. Gone were the Dominos takeaways and gone were the mammoth bars of Dairy Milk and pints of Ben and Jerrys.
Despite the fact that I hate exercise, I went to the gym five times a week without fail. I even felt guilty on the two days I didn’t…
However, in the weeks in the run-up to the wedding, all this fell apart. I got too stressed out and had too much to plan and organise (try arranging two weddings – it isn’t fun!) and so pretty much lived off Philadelphia and crackers.
The result? My skin broke out, my hair was dull and lifeless, and I lost my healthy glow.
You will have to look back on your wedding pics for years and years to come. Do you really want to over-analyse them and bemoan your bingo wings? Do you want to focus on that spot the size of Europe? Or whinge about your back cleavage?
No? Well make sure you follow this point...      

10) Hire a videographer
In our ruthless budget cutting, we decided that we didn’t need a videographer. We thought – in our stupid, ignorant way – that we would never watch a wedding DVD, nor would we care.
Well, this is one thing I wish we had done. I wish we had recorded the ceremony (it passed by in such a blur) and I would love to relive all of those extra special moments.
This is the one thing I would say BLOW THE BUDGET FOR! I promise it will be worth it.

11) Book the honeymoon of your dreams!
wedding honeymoon
Sunbeds right outside our beach villa!
We had always, always, always dreamed of going to the Maldives. Like most people, I'd see the pictures of the icy white beaches, the turquoise waters and the sea huts and longed to go.
But I was reticent about booking it for our honeymoon. Why? Well, firstly there was the cost...I may be a holiday snob, but it was expensive even for me! I was also worried we would hit their rainy season head-on.
Well, in the end, hubby convinced me to go ahead and book it, and I am so glad we did. Yes it rained, and yes it was expensive, but it was a dream holiday in every single way.
I felt so utterly relaxed and chilled out - it was just what we needed after a hectic few months! My advice? Go for it and book the holiday of your dreams. You'll have earned it.