So, we watched another doco this week about how our brains are gradually becoming worse at retaining information thanks to technology.
Every time a device pings, beeps or flashes for our attention, we get a little hit of dopamine – the same chemical you get when you have sex or take drugs. A new Facebook notification is definitely not as exciting as either of those things and we wish that our brains could understand this, but alas, it’s apparently out of our control and we’re all suffering for it together.
So that sucks a bit. There are two pieces of good news that result though:
1) We’ve had a sneaking suspicion for a while that our average memories could be blamed on some external source other than our own attention deficit. Voila, we were correct (hey, we’ll point the finger anywhere we can).
2) We realised that we better jot down some of the lessons and learnings we gained from our own weddings before we forget them. And we’d like to share them with you (yay).
Here are some insights from our own experiences getting married. Some of these we wish we’d known beforehand, and some of them reflect favourite parts of our weddings. We hope they help in some small way.
Before the big day
- Try on dress styles that you never thought you’d even consider. You see, the thing about wedding dresses is that they’re so beautifully made (which is why they’re quite costly) that they sit where they’re actually meant to on a woman’s body. Even if you’ve never considered wearing a dress without sleeves, it’s worth trying this style on because if it’s ever going to look good, it’s in the form of a wedding dress. Trust us, just play with styles.
- Make a wet weather plan for your venue – and then forget about the weather. There’s no point looking at long-range forecasts five weeks out as it’s out of your control and you will be wasting brain space stressing. All you can do is prep for the worst and hope for the best.
- Mentally map out your wedding day in your head. And come wedding day, only plan to do the things that absolutely have to be done at that time. That means no writing of speeches on the day (guilty), no writing cards to the wedding party on the day (guilty), no putting together music playlists on the day (guilt trifecta complete). Do your very best to get organised in the lead-up, and delegate where possible.
- Don’t dump a whole load of vitamins in the week leading up to the wedding thinking it will bring you instant health. It will bring you instant bloat instead.
- Write your own vows. We promise it’s not as difficult as it may seem, and you don’t need to be a writer. There’s heaps of inspiration online to get you started. The feeling that you get standing in front of your partner and sharing the personal, lifelong promises you’ve made to each other is unbeatable. In fact, this moment is quite possibly the underdog of the wedding day – you have no idea how powerful it is until you’re in it. So make the most of it and craft your own words.
- Be transparent with your wedding vendors about your vision for the day. Give as much direction as you can so that there’s total clarity about the things that are important to you. Then, on the day you can respect the fact that your vendors are total professionals and let them do their jobs.
- Pretend that your ceremony is scheduled for an hour before it is and aim to be ready for that time. The goal is to be drinking champagne and chilling like kings and queens in the lead-up, not frantically throwing on clothes and busting it down the aisle with a lip sweat.
- Dance with your parents. And your partner’s parents. Consciously bee-line to these people on the dance floor. They are likely to be the second-in-line most excited people at your wedding (aside from you and your partner) and they will appreciate getting down with you more than you probably recognise.
- If you want a photo with a particular person or group of people, make a point of asking your photographer to remind you about it. The day just goes like *finger snaps* and before you know it, you might’ve missed the opportunity.
- Consciously eat and drink all the things you’ve put the time into organising for your wedding. We found ourselves so busy catching up and having fun with our guests that we forgot to eat our epic cheese plate/drink our signature cocktails/scoff the midnight ham rolls. And we were both seriously looking forward to these things in the lead-up…
- Make a rule to come together with your partner frequently. Don’t let time slip away – seek them out often for a kiss and a hug and a chat.
Following the wedding
- Organise a day after get-together. Especially if you’re doing a destination wedding. If you can’t be bothered hosting it, tell everyone to catch up at a pub for lunch. It’s amazing how many stories you’ll hear from the wedding, plus it allows you more time to catch up with your people and have proper chats. Make it a mass recovery session – or even a wedding sequel: bring the leftover alcohol and share it around.
- Allocate a special time to read all your cards – maybe on your honeymoon if you’re going away following the wedding. Crack a bottle of wine, get comfy and enjoy reading all those heartfelt well-wishes together. It’s a really, really nice feeling.
- If you’re planning on sending out ‘Thank You’ cards, do this pretty soon after the wedding. Don’t leave it more than a year, like one of us has (promise they’re half done).
We’ll jump in here from time to time as our memories release more learnings.
Looking for more tried-and-tested wedding advice? Check out our collection of articles here.