I wish I hadn’t…
Skipped breakfast - "I was so busy rushing about, fussing and laughing that I forgot to eat. My mum did offer me food but I was too excited and nervous to eat. I only noticed I was hungry in the car on the way to the ceremony. At that stage it was too late to do anything about my rumbling tummy."
Stressed about the rain - "Waking up to heavy showers and a grey sky was really disappointing. I was so upset and spent half an hour checking every weather app known to man. We had umbrellas and a back-up plan for our garden reception, but I couldn’t stop feeling disappointed. I focused so much on the rain that I forgot to enjoy the occasion of getting ready. It was silly to let the weather ruin my morning as there was nothing I could do about it."
Worried about the groom - "I was so obsessed with how things were going in the groom’s camp that I sent a bridesmaid over to report back. When I found out they were all dressed, chilling out and having pints I had a complete freak out about how much I had left to do. I still ended up at the church on time, and wish I’d just focused on my own stuff that morning and not worried about what the boys were up to."
Worn a jumper - "I stupidly wore a sweater to the salon for my hair and make-up. When I got back to the hotel room and went to get dressed I smudged my eye make-up and messed up my hair removing the jumper over my head. In hindsight, a scoop-neck top and zip-up hoodie would have been a smarter choice."
Skimped on my photographer - "I decided I didn’t want any ‘getting ready’ photos, as I thought a photographer would stress me out before I was all camera-ready. However, the wedding morning in my honeymoon suite turned out to be so much fun, with my mum and bridesmaids all getting our hair and make-up done together. We had such a laugh that I seriously regret the lack of photos capturing that special time."
I wish I had…
Taken my dress out of the bag - "I left my dress covered up in its protective boutique bag until I was ready to get into it. This was a mistake as the sides ended up with big creases down them from where it had been zipped into the bag. If I’d thought about it I’d have removed my dress the night before and hung it up high, allowing the fabric to flow and sit naturally."
Gotten dressed in a bigger room - "My old bedroom in my parents’ house seemed like a nostalgic place to get ready for the wedding. However, it was too small for me and my bridesmaids, and we ended up on top of each other, jostling for mirror space. Then the photographer arrived and we seemed even more crammed in. In hindsight getting dressed in the sitting room would have been a better idea."
Chilled out - "I was so obsessed with following our schedule that I forgot to kick-back and enjoy the madness. There was such a lovely buzz in my house but I was too stressed to allow myself chill out with my mum and sisters and enjoy the moment. Looking back I wish I hadn’t been so uptight about everything running to plan."
Gone to bed on time - "I was still hand-tying favours and completing table decorations at 1 am on the morning of my wedding! I had planned to go to bed early but ran out of time to get all my finishing touches completed. Staying up so late was a mistake as I ran out of steam way earlier than I wanted to at my reception."
Made a timeline - "I didn’t buy into the whole ‘make a morning schedule’ advice and ended up feeling very stressed. As the morning ran on it seemed like we’d never have everyone’s hair and make-up done, and get out the door on time. If we’d had some kind of timetable I would have spent less time chatting and been more focused on getting to the venue on time for my ceremony."
Tidied my house - "I love my ‘getting ready’ photos, bar one thing – the mess of my house. If I’d thought about it I’d have done a bigger clean-up and limited access to my photographer. There’s a cool informal shot of me having a mug of tea while my hair’s being done and all I see when I look at it is a pile of clothes sticking out of a laundry basket!"
Designated someone to be in charge - "When the big day finally arrives, you’ll want to spend the time getting ready with your bridal party and family. Choose a person outside of the immediate bridal party to be in charge of last minute questions and logistics. For example, if your caterer gets lost or your photographer is running late, this person can manage the situation and ensure that things get back on track. They can protect you from stress by keeping you away from any hiccups you don’t need to know about."
Switched off my phone - "My phone never stopped all morning, between friends tagging me in social media posts, and the odd call from well-wishers. I got so distracted by it that I feel I missed the buzz everyone else in the honeymoon suite keeps talking about. I may have been the centre of attention but I hardly noticed, staring at my phone."
*This article first appeared as part of Irish Brides, now THE VOW Magazine | Issue 3 of THE VOW Magazine is on shelves now