CELEBRATING OUR 4-YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
If you’re new here, you can MEET MY HUSBAND on THIS POST where Kendall answers 26 random questions!
I know this is so cliche, but HOW IN THE WORLD have 4 years gone by since this day? Out of all the days in my life, August 27, 2016 is the day that holds my most vivid memories:
I remember waking up with so much excitement to give my bridesmaids the gifts I so purposefully pieced together for each of them. I remember playing the song “Closer” by the Chainsmokers over the speaker 30 times in a row as we got our hair and makeup done. I remember writing my letter to Kendall that he would open and read just a few short hours later. I remember checking the weather forecast every 15 minutes to see if the rain was going make a grand entrance. I remember my MOH and momma helping me get into my dress to show it to my girls for the first time.
I remember traveling from the hotel to the church in the backseat of my aunt and uncle’s rental car trying to make sure Kendall wouldn’t see me when I arrived. I remember the floral bouquets arriving and realizing the only one missing was mine. I remember thinking, “I wonder what Kendall’s doing and how he’s feeling right now”. I remember having my first look with my dad. I had the biggest lump in my throat trying to refrain from ruining my makeup with a flood of tears. I remember standing in a circle with my girls as my sister-in-law prayed over our wedding day and marriage. I remember standing in the back of the church watching our bridal party walk to the altar to greet Kendall. I remember the doors closing and reopening as I stood beside my dad and walked towards my soon-to-be husband. I remember seeing the pews flooded with people from near and far to celebrate our love and commitment to one another. I remember my uncle pronouncing us husband and wife and the smile that hit our faces. I remember rushing through our photos because I didn’t want our guests to wait on us too long.
I remember arriving to the reception venue and seeing how all the work we’d done over the past 13 months had come together. I also remember thinking, “None of that would matter if it weren’t for these amazing souls filling this room”. I remember our first dance (“Yours” by Russell Dickerson) and hoping no one would notice how bad my rhythm is. I remember how bad my cheeks (and feet) hurt at the end of the night because we never stopped dancing, singing, and smiling. I remember when they made the “last call” at the bar, and we realized the night was coming to a close. I remember our friends and family (even the Alabama fans) singing ROCKY TOP at the top of their lungs as we exited the venue.
I remember inviting all our friends up to our hotel room for an “after party” only to get a noise complaint 15 minutes later. I remember my brother and sister-in-law staying up in the room with us as we tried ordering Papa Johns at 2 AM (to no success). I remember getting 10 minutes of sleep before my alarm went off for our honeymoon flight. But above all, I remember being HAPPY and realizing I had a HUSBAND and that I was now his WIFE.
As planned out as I tried to make our wedding day, things were bound to fall through the cracks and not go as planned. I’m by no means a Bridal Guru, but I did learn a LOT through the wedding planning process and even after our wedding day passed. So today, on our 4-year anniversary, I wanted to share My Top 10 Wedding Day Tips for any of you fiances or single gals who will one day be preparing for your day:
Expect the Unexpected
Don’t be naive, and remember that expectations are the root of all evil. Just because you create an itinerary or think you’ve thought of everything doesn’t mean your day will have zero kinks. There WILL be things that go wrong (ie: your florist forgets your bridal bouquet at her shop 90 minutes prior to your ceremony starting). Prepare your mind to just go with the flow. Tell yourself that if something unexpected comes up, laugh it off and remember that it WILL NOT matter 24 hours from that moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Wedding Day Scent
One of my favorite things I did for myself and Kendall was purchase a perfume and cologne that we both only wore on our wedding day. Scent supposedly has the strongest tie to memory. Since then, we ONLY allow ourselves to wear those scents on date nights, anniversaries, and celebrations that only include the two of us. And still to this day when I put on my Chanel Mademoiselle perfume, I’m taken back to that day and all those vivid memories I mentioned above.
The morning of your wedding day may seem like time is standing still. However, as soon as you walk down that aisle, time will fly and you’ll be running a million miles a minute to make sure you talk to all your guests and enjoy the night. My BIGGEST recommendation, especially if you aren’t doing a first look, is to carve out 15 minutes of alone time with your husband after the ceremony and before the reception. Step away from your guests, your photographer, and your bridal party to take some deep breaths, reflect on the ceremony and your vows, and appreciate the moment. At the end of the day, THAT is what your wedding day is all about.
Prior to the day of your wedding, pack a touch-up kit. You’ll be taking photos from morning to night, and the worst feeling in the world is paying an arm and a leg for photos where your eyelash is falling off, your mascara is running down your cheeks, or you have an alfalfa sticking up from the top of your head. I’d recommend having a small clutch with the following items: lip combo, eyelash glue, tweezers, a small brush/comb, face powder, and a small compact mirror.
WHAT MY KIT WOULD CONSIST OF:
Hydrate and Rest
Let me keep you from making the same mistake I did. DO NOT stay out late after your rehearsal dinner, and DO chug a ton of water. We went to a Nashville rooftop bar and had a few cocktails the night before our wedding day, and I woke up feeling puffy and dehydrated. Have a glass of bubbly or a cocktail, but don’t overdo it. You’ll be waking up early on your wedding day, so try and time out a solid 8 hours of sleep so you can feel and look your best!
Make It Personal
Don’t just follow Pinterest’s picture-perfect wedding day. Make your day personal to YOU and your husband. If y’all love tacos, have a late night taco bar, and if you love doughnuts, serve doughnuts and milk as a parting favor. Choreograph a dance for the two of you to do during your reception if you both love to dance. If you’re having a full bar, create specialty his and hers cocktails with fun names. And if you don’t like the traditional vows, write your own. Make your wedding day about YOU and not what the world expects it to be.
Honeymoon Patience is Key
Kendall and I both agree that if we could change ANYTHING about our wedding day, it would be to schedule our honeymoon to start later. Our eager selves decided to book a 6 AM flight from Nashville to Cancun the morning after our wedding day. Once we arrived to our destination, we ended up sleeping/laying in bed for 24 STRAIGHT HOURS because of how worn out we were. Give yourselves a day or even a week of recuperating before heading to celebrate your marriage. I promise, it’ll be well worth the wait and you’ll be able to enjoy it 10x more!
Don’t Rush Your Purchases
SHOP YOUR VENDORS, PEOPLE. Do not book the first florist you talk to, do not buy the only dress you try on, and do not pick a DJ based on internet reviews. Take your time and do your research. Gather information from several vendors and compare and contrast what they’re providing to you. If you gather a group of girls to go wedding dress shopping, DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED to buy a dress just because they’re all there and you want to have “THE moment” with them there. Take your time, go to several places, and SLEEP ON IT before pulling the trigger. I promise that all these vendors and YOUR dress will still be there a day, a week, or a month later. And if it’s not, then it wasn’t meant to be.
Be “Cut-Throat” With Your Guest List
Kendall and I look back on this and wish we would have done it differently. To ensure we had a large population of younger people at our wedding, we ended up extending invitations to people we didn’t have close friendships with. We also invited people to our wedding just because they invited us to theirs. My best recommendation is to only invite people you think you’ll speak to 1, 3, 5, or even 10 years from now. If I would have asked myself that question, our guest list would have been smaller and our pockets would be larger. Don’t feel pressured to invite anyone to your wedding. Remember that this is probably the most important day of your life up to this point, so you want the people there with you who have loved you, supported you and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Be PRESENT in Every Moment
Be intentional with this: When you’re at your rehearsal dinner, refrain from thinking about your wedding day. Enjoy that time with your intimate smaller group of friends and family. When you’re getting ready with your bridesmaids, don’t be thinking about the ceremony. Enjoy the time with your girls, laugh with them, and thank them for being there with you. When you’re in the middle of your ceremony looking at your (almost) husband, refrain from thinking about the reception. Be in that moment, and enjoy what your day is all about: your vows and commitment to one another. When you’re at your reception, don’t think about it ending. Enjoy the moment, look around at all the people who are there to support you, and have FUN. This is a once in a lifetime day, so don’t spend each moment looking to what’s happening next.
Whether you’re a wife who’s just here for a fun read, a fiance who’s in the process of preparing for your big day, or a single girl who’s dreaming about what your wedding day will look like, I hope this post has been helpful in some way! It’s been fun to reflect on our best day ever, and I can’t wait to spend 50 more anniversaries with Kendall.