Back in 2021, I wrote a blog for tips on how to have a flawless wedding day, but today I'm writing about how to have a more intentional wedding day.
I've said it a thousand times, your wedding day is not a broadway performance. It's not a show. This is a very intimate and deliberate decision you're making to spend the rest of your life with your favorite person. It's a big deal, and sometimes it's easy to get carried away with how the celebration will look, rather than how it will feel. So, let's dive in!
BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR GUEST LIST
Your wedding is not a family reunion. You and your partner are not there for your guests, your guests are there for you. The only people who should be at your wedding celebration are the ones who have played an important role in your lives as individuals and as a couple.
DON'T PLAN EVERYTHING DOWN TO THE MINUTE
I've seen couples attempt to plan things literally down to something as specific as "At 7:04pm we will____." No you won't. I'm telling you right now, it will not happen lol. And if you keep trying to plan every single second, you're going to be stressing about the timeline, rather than basking in your day. In all reality, you maybe get 3-4 hours ant your reception, and at least two hours of that is taken up by formalities and dinner. Figure out what your priorities are, and what means the most to you, and plan from there.
HAVE YOUR OFFICIANT STEP TO THE SIDE + PRIVATE VOWS
This is pretty common now, and very rarely do I ever have to ask the officiant to move to the side when the couple has their first kiss. But what if we take this a step further? The vows portion of the ceremony is probably more intimate than the kiss, in my opinion. I've done this for elopements, but I think it has it's place during bigger weddings too. Unless it's impossible to do with the mic set up, have the officiant step aside while you're reading your vows to one another as well. This is about the two of you, after all, and it strips away any other distractions (especially in photos). You can also have the officiant stand in the aisle, that way the two of you are facing your guests, rather than having your backs towards them! This is a new trend that I absolutely love! Another great thing you can do is private vows during your first look! It's a great way to have a private moment with your person.
SOCIAL MEDIA MINUTE
Some guests just cannot put their phones down, and last year I started offering what I call a "Social Media Minute." Once the couple is up at the altar together, the officiant announces that guests have 60 seconds to take all the photos they want, get out of their seats to get "the shot", whatever, but after those 60 seconds, the phones and cameras get put away, and you need to be present for the couple and this moment. I had an elopement last year where the couple had 15 family and friends join them, and I offered the social media minute, and not a single guest took out their phone. They said, "No thanks, we trust you. We just want to be here for them." I could have cried. If your guests aren't this understanding, then the social media minute might be a good option!
THE BRIDAL PARTY SWAP
I feel like this is such a "duh"thing, and you might feel the same way after I share this with you. Swap the bridal party sides at the altar. Have the bridesmaids stand on the groom's side, and have the groomsmen stand on the bride's side. This way, the bride can see her girls, and the groom can see his guys. Just another personal touch to add to your day!
This is the big one. Take the time to slow down and embrace the moments of the day. After your officiant has presented you to your guests, before you make your way back down the aisle, I encourage you to pause for a second. Take a look around you, and take it all in. Remember how you feel in that moment holding your spouse's hand, ready to take your first steps together as a married couple surrounded by the cheers of your closest friends and family. Doesn't that just sound like a movie scene in slow motion? Revel in it.