my gift.

As someone who has been in many bridal suites and planned my own wedding, I present you with my biggest gift- some advice.

  1. My first piece of advice- take or leave whatever works for you. This goes for my list too! People are going to provide a lot of unsolicited advice. They love you and want to help. So, practice a really good smile and "thank you". There's no sense in discussing their advice if you're not going to use it. This is your wedding, make choices that are best for the two of you. Often others can't understand or see your vision, but they will see how happy you are on your big day, and that's what truly matters. 
  2. Now let's take it back one step- the engagement. If you're not the one proposing, give your love some space and time. Let me tell you as the one who proposed, IT IS HARD! I found it the hardest to keep such a big secret from the person I tell everything to. Trust your partner that they will do their very best and know that the most important thing is spending your life together.
  3. Now, you're engaged. WHAT DO YOU DO?! Oy vey, if you're anything like me, you want to start planning ASAP. My wife had asked me for a grace period before planning began. In my mind this was two weeks, for her she preferred two months. It is important to explicitly express your ideas with your partner so as not to get lost in assumptions throughout all of planning. 
  4. First thing's first- venue and date! Have an idea for the length of engagement that you want, style of wedding, indoor or outdoor, and guest count. The venue hunt could possibly be the most overwhelming part of planning. There are SO many options and each venue comes with its own set of pros and cons. Have your long list of dreams and your short list of requirements. For us, outdoors and amplified music were the most important in venue hunting. 
  5. Planning is stressful, or at least for the majority of engaged couples. Make sure you take time to enjoy each other and not discuss wedding plans. Try your best to be in the moment and appreciate one another. This is the person you chose to spend forever with. 
  6. Sometimes you just have to give in. Choose a handful of aspects that are make or break for you and be willing to negotiate on the rest. This is a special day for others too including parents. They will have strong requests and at times it may be better to give in and avoid a fight. 
  7. When it comes to the bridal suite you are setting the tone for the day.
    • What type of environment are you creating? We wanted our room to be fun but relaxed. Music is the biggest factor to this component. I created a playlist on Spotify. If you have had an appointment at my home office recently, you've heard my playlist. And because I love you, here is the link to enjoy my wedding morning playlist on your special day!
    • When choosing a space to get ready, keep in mind the number of people, amount of space and natural lighting. Even a large space can feel small without natural lighting. Not to mention that it is the best light for makeup application. If you cannot get one room large enough, consider adjoining rooms. 
    • FOOD AND BEVERAGE! Don't derail from your typical eating habits. If you haven't been eating sugar or carbs, wait until after photos to do so, or better yet, the next day. Not as much for your waist line as much as how you feel. This goes for alcohol too. Be careful with your consumption based on comfort level. I highly recommend filling the room with fruits, vegetables, water, caffeine, and light carbs that aren't messy. My mom made us a variety of gluten free (per my intolerance) muffins and scones. This also gave her a way to contribute. 
    • Have small activities in the room. We had our Poloroid along with some photo albums and temp tattoos that my girls picked up. They worked as conversation starters from our friends who had just met and everyone had a blast together. 
    • Attire. Even if your photographer or videographer are not present in the bridal suite, there will be plenty of photos. This is the perfect excuse for a gift whether it be a robe, shirt, sweater, jacket or romper. Everyone loves getting clothes and this provides you with the opportunity to control the look of your photographs. 
    • Give someone the task of keeping time. Actually, give everyone tasks. You finally get to kick your feet up and relax, which was so weird for me. 
  8. Further more, assign friends and family tasks the entire week of the wedding. You have worked so hard to organize and plan for this special event. Make sure you enjoy it and trust the people around you...
  9. ...even if they fail you. Yes, mistakes will happen. The list of mistakes at our wedding is LONG. However, you are the only one that knows- unless you tell people. Regardless, you are marrying your love with friends and family as witness. Enjoy every second despite what goes wrong. If you only take away one piece of my advice, let it be this. It will make or break your entire day.

Bottom line, this is YOUR wedding. Make sure you and your forever make the day about the two of you and everyone else will have fun in celebrating your love.