Advice from the Bride:
1. Ask your shadow to keep your phone and constantly take photos of you with your friends/family/hubby during all the occasions. She will be your personal photographer and you will be so thankful to capture those moments.
2. Finish making your outfits (dress, accessories and jewellery) 2 months before your wedding. It will be a HUGE burden off your shoulders.
3. The best advice I can give is make sure you get a wedding planner that HANDLES your guest relations part too. You do not want to have to pay extra for another vendor to handle 1000 email invitations and RSVPs to your guests + flight information and accommodation enquires, and you certainly do not want to handle it yourself.
4. Make sure your hotel reservations are done online. Filling out forms are a nuisance for guests, your hotel and yourself. Things get misplaced, and mishandled. You don’t want peoples reservations not in the hotel system when they have already travelled all the way.
5. If your hotel is a little old school, and you have to make a printable reservation form, make sure the reservation forms are sent to ONLY your wedding email and not the hotel reservation email. You know how to handle your guests best. Then have the guest relations manager from your planning team send them a weekly update of the reservations. Having 2 emails is a nuisance. I did that, it created a lot of chaos. Some people sent it to one email, some to the other. It was tragic.
6. Make sure you introduce your entire family (whoever is important for photos) to your photography team WELL before the event. Either through photographs or screenshots – you want to make sure your photographers are alert and ready to capture the right people so no one is scrambling around last minute.
7. Get a massage and facial lady on call. It’s extra $ but you will be so grateful for it after each event.
8. Make sure your make-up artist is someone you are so comfortable with, enough to tell them if you want to change a certain look last minute or want things different. They are the closest one to you during the 3 days and you want to make sure they keep you calm, composed and happy.
9. Do not be stingy with Light and Sound. It will make or break your event, pay that extra and make sure the sound system is fantastic. Booze, Entertainment and Music is what makes a party – so don’t go cheap on these 3 things.
10. Do not waste money on real flowers. Only get real on the wedding day. The rest of the days, go with the cheaper options – it will save you a ton of cash and in all honesty, no one is going to inspect if they are real or not, so long as they look beautiful. It’s also better for the environment.
11. Keep a personal bartender in your room. Again, extra $ but you will certainly have a party in your room with all your friends flying down especially for you from all over the world, being sleep deprived for 3 days is the least you can do. You don’t want the trouble of making cocktails your self or even arranging the alcohol yourself.
12. If you have a big Indian wedding like I did, make sure you arrange a few moments with your immediate family to take some personal family shots in your room on the wedding day. It is going to be so hectic that day, but these photos are so precious. You will look back and wish you had those. Especially some with your mom and sisters.
13. Do not go back home right after the wedding. Stay 2-3 days longer at the resort to just soak ‘what just happened’ in. You need some downtime from your own wedding – it is not a holiday.
14. If you are shy, and don’t want to do a solo – think again. Just go for it. I made my solo up right on the spot, while I was on stage and it was the best decision I made, and totally made the crowd ‘feel the love’. You will make a beautiful memory for him too.
15. Do not get drunk. You will totally regret it. Keep a good pace, get buzzed, but you don’t want to wake up the next morning with a savage hangover, and have to repeat for day 2 and day 3. If you are down, the party is over.
16. EAT. Ask your shadow to bring food up to your room before each event. Tell her your dietary requirements, and what you like. If you do not eat, you will get sick, and have stomach cramps. Do not even think about eating at the event, people will constantly want to take photos with you, and you will constantly be around people chatting away. Don’t even consider eating at the event as an option.
17. Lastly, there are people and vendors (maybe family members included) that will piss you off during your wedding. Some people may even want to make you cry. But remember, this wedding will only come once. Do not waste time on small issues or annoyances, take a breather and move on. Handle everything very diplomatically and with a smile. They will certainly value AND respect you after. You will also have a much better time.