August 2, 2010

Swan Tips Revisited

Hey, all!

Mrs. Swan here! Remember me? I dipped out for a bit, but I just wanted to begin to bring some full closure on my time on Weddingbee. Can you believe that Sunday will be my 1st Anniversary? I can't!

I know that a reader or two had asked about a post with my Swan Tips for the day of your wedding all in one place. I thought I would just lay them out here. I've linked them to the related recap post just in case you are wondering what the heck I'm talkin' about. Also just in case you've forgotten what my wedding looks like (or have never read any of my posts), I've interspersed some of my favorite pictures from the recaps throughout the tips.

So here are my Swan Tips just in case you might want them:

Swan Tip #1 - If you can steal a few moments for yourself (or with others who have a calming effect on you) to have some quiet time to read, reflect, do some yoga, deep breathing, or whatever relaxes you, definitely do it!

Swan Tip #2 - Sometimes choosing a vendor shouldn't come down solely to cost. I valued not only being able share a good working relationship with vendors/wedding elves that I hired, but also being able to work with people that I truly liked. Plus, if you're going to be around someone that's not family or friends on your wedding day, why not have someone you think is pretty cool too?

a) Don't be afraid to accept help on your wedding day (and not just to get ready), even if you think you can do it by yourself. Allow yourself to be helped and even pampered a bit. You don't get married everyday (at least I hope you don't:)).

b) - Know when to step in and take charge if you need to, but also remember Swan Tip #3a.

Swan Tip #4 - As if you have enough things to think about as you're getting married, I'd like you to consider the environment that you want for getting ready prior to the wedding. For some of you, it will mean having a large wedding party with lots of family around you. For others, it will mean just a small select group of people that will be by your side. I encourage everyone to figure out what will be best for them because that preparation period really can be fun and special.

Swan Tip #5 - I know it's generally a point of debate in the wedding world, but I am an advocate of the pre-ceremony look. We still had a very emotional ceremony even though we saw each other beforehand. We spent a lot of time with our guests, and so having the time together to greet each other, to hold each other's hands and to walk together was priceless.

Swan Tip #6 - Our wedding photoshoot was fun. While I agree it's important to have pictures of the two of you, your bridal party, etc., just make sure that you use your time wisely with your photographer as well as make sure that you stick to a timeline to keep the events of the day moving.

Swan Tip #7 - Everything is not going to go smoothly on your wedding day. If you have to break down, it's okay. When that starts, just listen to Mrs. Swan's voice in your head, "There's no wallowing at weddings!" (There's no crying in baseball either, just in case you were wondering.) :)

Swan Tip #8 - There will be traditions that actually might end up a part of your ceremony and reception that you're not going to like. Know when to push back and when to let go.

Swan Tip #9 - Everybody loves a wedding. There are going to be people you don't expect who will love yours too.

Swan Tip #10 - For me, the ceremony is really the meaning of it all. Without the bond between you and your partner, there really is no wedding. Pick readings that fit well with the tone of your ceremony and what you want your marriage (and maybe your life) to embody. For some of you it may be a religious text. For others of you it may be cool passages like Mrs. Mouse's Alice Walker poem or Mrs. Star's excerpt from Madeleine L'Engel's work. Words have meaning and power. I hope your ceremony will reflect your future hopes for your marriage.

Swan Tip #11 - This is most definitely a personal choice, but I really love the fact that Mr. Swan and I were able to write vows to each other in addition to traditional vows. Even if you can't include this in your ceremony, I think it's great to be able to share how you feel about each other in your own words at some point in the day.

Swan Tip #12 - Another one of the most highly debated wedding issues: cocktail hour attendance. Attending was a great option for us. We got to spend even more time with our guests, enjoy the beautiful weather we were having that day, and eat. Who doesn’t like eating? :) If you can find a way to attend even a small part of the cocktail hour, I highly recommend it.

Swan Tip #13 - While you might want everything to turn out a certain way during your wedding, be open to the fun surprises that may be in store.

Swan Tip #13 - More Mrs. Swan Tough Love: Definitely include personal details if you'd like to, but if you're tearing your hair out about them, they're just not worth it.

(That's not a typo above, by the way. The numbering gets fuzzy now because: (1) I'm getting old and senile and screwed it up during my recaps, and (2) I can't count. Carry on....)

Swan Tip #15 - Be prepared for your emotions to hit you when you least expect it.

Swan Tip #16 - Be careful if you give a toast at someone's wedding. It might come back to haunt you! :)

Swan Tip #17 - Savor the unplanned and spontaneous moments of the wedding!

Swan Tip #18 - If you're sourpuss, then everyone else will be a sourpuss. The focus, whether you want it to or not, will be on you that day, and YOU will set the tone of your reception. Get out there and enjoy yourself! Your guests will follow suit.

Swan Tip #19 - Think about how your reception will be experienced from your guests' perspective.

Swan Tip #20 - You know, there never was a Swan Tip # 20, so I'll just say this: Regardless of what goes wrong, the people who don't show up or the ones that act like a dang fool on your wedding day, you're going to get something out of the wedding that you'll have for a very long time: someone who loves you just as much you love them. There are no tips that I could ever give you that will prepare you for what that truly feels like. Seriously, it's the greatness thing ever.

All Images by Dante Williams

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