I’m only 2 and a half weeks into married life, but it already feels like it was SO long ago. I think it helped that we had a bank holiday and threw a minimoon into the mix straight afterwards before going back to work, but it feels like forever ago. I do wish it had been longer so that we would have our photos back, but not too long to wait now at least!
So with all my experience of married life (/sarcasm), I thought I’d get started on the posts I’ve been thinking about literally since we got engaged. The posts that reveal more about our planning process, since we kept lots secret on the blog to make sure guests were surprised and for privacy reasons in the run up to the day.
While some of these posts require photos from the day itself to illustrate them (venue, food, dress etc.) and I plan to use the ones from the photographer, one of our family friends, Peter, took a lot of amazing photos too, so I want to share some of those as part of these posts too.
As you might expect, I have some opinions and advice based on our wedding planning and wedding day – so here are 5 things I wish I’d known before I got married:
Post-wedding exhaustion is real
The day after the wedding, after you’ve come down from the wedding high, is pretty tiring.
We spent our wedding night at a local pub but, for some reason, woke up really early. We were up and ready for breakfast by 8.30am! Having got up at 6am the day before to start getting ready, partying till midnight, and having the couple of days of beforehand to set up, we knew we were going to feel tired, so I was just waiting for that to hit!
Once we’d had breakfast, we popped back home to drop off wedding dress and attire, then went straight back to the venue to start operation clean up. Fortunately, we arrived at about 9.30am only to discover the marquee was practically down already – super speedy! They’d packed up our stuff a little bit for us, so really all we needed to do was load the cars and get it home. Ben’s family met us there to help, then our friends Sarah and Beeley, who had catsat for us overnight, joined too. We did that car run home, then left Ben’s family and our friends there before going back to the venue again to meet my family who needed to pick up the cake stand and give us leftover sandwiches from the day before. I’m so glad we chose a venue close to home!!
After they’d all left our house, our friends (Best Man and bridesmaid!) Charley and Frankie popped in with Charley’s sister to drop off our gift and debrief post-wedding. They left and my family arrived, to drop off more stuff and also debrief. Luckily it was an absolutely gorgeous day so we sat in the garden.
Another “fortunately” (we had a lot of these!), Ben’s mum decided to help organise all the wedding stuff and clean our house while we were back out at the venue, so there wasn’t a huge amount to do – so grateful for that as it was a complete mess when we left, it looked like we’d just moved in!
We’d initially thought about doing our Florida & Upstate New York honeymoon immediately following the wedding and I’m SO glad we didn’t. By the end of this day, we were crazy tired and didn’t even have the energy to pack! Fortunately we’d just booked a minimoon in the Cotswolds, leaving on the Monday, so we literally just packed that morning and left, knowing we could buy anything we’d forgotten – which we turned out having to do when it transpired Ben had only packed 2 T shirts, one of which was a pyjama one, and a vest…
Small things will go wrong, and they don’t matter
I called this post “things I wish I’d known” and I guess I did know this as I spent the whole run up to the wedding saying that it didn’t matter if something went wrong, and I had it in mind that something would go wrong. In the end, we were SO lucky because we barely had a single issue!
Ben says the only thing that went wrong was that his phone, which we were using to send the music to the Bluetooth speaker for the ceremony entrance and exit, disconnected at the point I was about to enter. Everyone had been to told to rise for my entrance, then it didn’t work. I was stood outside the door when someone came running with the phone and handed it to me! Luckily me and one of the band members, Tash, who was singing during the registry signing, figured it out, and it felt like a total non-issue to me. Ben, on the other hand, was apparently panicking! I suppose he was stood at the top of the aisle with all eyes on him for a minute that apparently felt like forever.
It’s not something that others remember, nor is the fact that we didn’t get the lawn games out of the marquee.
People also say that the tiny details don’t matter. For me, this is a bit of a debate – I agree and I disagree. I read time and time again on wedding Facebook groups that I NEEDED a new perfume for the day and that Jo Malone was the BEST and ONLY option. I got to the point where I was about to book an appointment in store, and I very nearly purchased a scent off their site that had a discount, but in the end I didn’t. And did I regret it? Nope.
Perfume isn’t something I wear all the time. I love it, but I forget to put it on, so I have collections of barely used bottles on my dressing table, in my bedside table drawers and even stashed away in the attic. I don’t tend to buy it for myself because I know that I won’t remember to wear it.
I ended up wearing my favourite scent on the day which is Chloe’s Eau de Parfum. My parents got me a set of minis of this once a few years ago and I’m still working my way through them. In the end, I almost forgot but splashed some quickly on while I was putting on my dress. The little bottle was super handy too as it fit in my mum’s clutch bag – not that I remembered to put it on throughout the day!
This is all to say – if there are details like this that don’t matter to you, don’t worry about them! I spent time and money on things that were more important to me, and I’m so glad I did.
Fishing line is the best thing in the world for decorating
Again, this isn’t something I “wish” I knew, because actually, I did know – it’s just a piece of advice I’m giving, but that doesn’t make as a good a headline!
We decided to go down the DIY route for the vast majority of the wedding. This meant we set up the speakers and music system the day before (this is part of Ben’s job, don’t worry!) as well as decorating the marquee.
You probably already know by now about our 1000 origami cranes, and this made up the bulk of our decor, but they were probably the biggest worry I had during set up – how would we hang them and where?! We also had a few different signs, bits of bunting and banners. Because our marquee was this sailcloth one, we knew the option was always going to be to take the sides off, so we couldn’t lean things there, so we needed other options.
The solution came in the form of fishing line – and lots of it! I’d hung around 600 of the cranes on strings of 10 on fishing line before the wedding so we had plenty left over, and it came in SO handy. We used it for pretty much everything, and it meant it wasn’t easily visible how the cranes, bunting etc. were attached. It’s my number 1 tip for set up now! I’ll probably do a full post on how we did the cranes at some point!
Don’t forget to step back and take a look at what’s going on
I don’t want to be that cliche bride that says “it all goes in a blur!”, but really…it does! A couple of times throughout the day, I made a point of looking around to see what was happening, noting the people, the decor, everything.
There are a couple of things I regret from the day: not getting some of our evening pulled pork sandwiches (because I wasn’t hungry at the time – I was when I got back to the room and had to eat emergency crisps at 12.30am!), and not stopping to take a minute to actually listen to the band. We absolutely loved our band so much, and so did everyone else who was there. People were literally dancing non-stop to them which is fantastic! But I also didn’t stop dancing for a minute to really hear them properly and I wish I had! Ah well, we’ll just have to go listen to them again in future!
Not a lot changes afterwards
While I knew that, for us, our wedding was mostly just making things official official and getting all our friends and family together, I did kind of expect to feel different afterwards – I don’t know, more grown up maybe? More like I expect a wife and Mrs to look and feel? But in reality, nothing changed!
We’d shared this amazing day and it’s added to our bank of memories together, but apart from my name (which I’m still not entirely sure we’ve properly changed yet!), everything else is the same! We came home to the same house and the same cats. I love being married and having those wedding day memories, but I’m also glad that nothing really changed.