I have such a special treat for you today. I contacted a number of my former brides with a bit of a homework assignment. I asked them to think back and reflect on what they loved most about their wedding day and what they might do differently. They were all so generous with their thoughts, so grab a cup of tea (maybe a tissue or two) and enjoy their sage wedding advice and heartwarming stories.
One of our favourite parts of the day was our ceremony which we wanted to be meaningful yet light-hearted. We both made a point of really trying to be present & in the moment – and, despite 115 people watching us, it truly felt intimate. After the recessional I remember saying to my husband “that was fun!” and wishing we could do it all over again.
So many things could go wrong on your wedding day but it’s important to go with the flow and not let it affect the joy of the day. For example: the hook-and-eye on my dress broke while I was getting ready, my wedges literally fell apart while I was walking down the aisle, the arbour almost blew over onto us during our ceremony, my veil fell out while saying my vows – but with all of it we just laughed, sorted it out as best we could and look back on it as funny memories from the day.
Kelowna bride offers her wedding advice
Kari & Derek
July 5, 2014
Our wedding day flew by. It was so amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing, I just wish I could slow it down! That’s why one of my favourite moments was when we had just signed for our marriage license and we had a minute together off to the side to whisper with each other while our witnesses signed. It’s important to steal those little moments and to remember them, because everything goes so quickly!
What was your most favourite moment from the day? Getting ready with my bridesmaids!
What would you do differently? GO TO MY SECOND DRESS ALTERATION APPOINTMENT! We booked the second alteration appointment, you know the one where you make sure it’s perfect? When that day came I skipped it thinking “its probably fine anyways”. Needless to say, it was not a perfect fit and I spent my wedding day trying to pop out my chest to fill the gap.
A lot of people ask me what I would do again if I was to do the wedding over. I did a lot of research into modern alternatives but we decided stick with a lot of traditional aspects of a wedding (e.g. no first look, unity candle, father-daughter/mother-son dances). While I am not saying that this is for everyone, we did not regret any of it. These are a lot of the moments that I look back on most fondly.
The toasts were also a highlight of the night. Every speech was funny and heartfelt and I found myself overwhelmed to have these amazing people in my life.
What would you do again? Any wedding advise? Hire a band! That was fun! Oh and I would definitely marry Bryce again:)
Any funny stories? I broke the rear view mirror off the front windshield of Bryce’s 68 barracuda attempting to apply lip gloss on our way to the reception! It’s his other love, so I feel like if that happened on any other day, the results may have been a little different!
Brides share the best wedding advice
Samantha & Pete
May 17, 2014
High River, Alberta
Having a small wedding meant more time with guests, and less time throughout the day. We absolutely loved being able to talk to each and every one of our guests. It was as if we were having a small quaint picnic of 50 people. There are a ton of things I would definitely do again, but I think that was the most important of all for us.
Any funny stories? I had purchased a vintage step ladder to use in group photos, and to double as a cupcake stand. Super cute, super pretty. Note to all groomsmen…never assume vintage stepladders made of wood can hold any kind of weight. We all had a very good laugh at it, and luckily it only managed to get a crack in it.
Favorite moment of the day? Having my Dad there to see our “First Look”. I couldn’t tell who had more tears, my groom or my father.
PS: A piece of wedding advice to all grooms out there…please remember your wallets from the photographers vehicle 🙂 You may be SOL on your wedding night, and that just wouldn’t look good, now would it?
Katherine & Tyler
September 14, 2012
What would you do over again? First look, first look, first look. Having that time with Tyler before the ceremony was so incredibly special. It was so intimate and personal, and being able to spend some quiet moments together allowed us to focus on the importance of the day. Bonus: I got most of my tears out before the ceremony which meant that I could really be in the moment when I was walking down the aisle towards Tyler!
What would you do differently? I wish I had thought to spend some extra time with my parents between getting dressed and heading to our ‘first look’. I was so fixated on sticking to our timeline that it wasn’t until the next day that I realized I had rushed my Dad through what was surely a really important moment for him – seeing his daughter in a wedding dress. He was a good sport about it when I brought it up later, but it would have been really nice to have spent time in that moment.
Any stories you’d like to share? After our first look we were walking on the train platform and my something old/something blue – a charm from my late grandmother’s bracelet – came off of my dress somewhere along the way. The groomsmen came down to look for it, but after 20 minutes I decided that it was kind of nice that a little bit of my grandmother’s memory would stay at the spot where Tyler and I first saw each other on our wedding day. Tyler knew that the charm was really special to me, and that even though I had tried to make the best of losing it I was a little bit sad. He went back a month later and crawled along the platform with a flashlight looking between each gap until he found it. Then he spent a half hour fishing it out with a twig. Best. Husband. Ever.
Favourite moment? Tyler surprised me with an after-dinner speech recounting our entire relationship in the form of a 3 page limerick.
It all started in a country bar years ago
With you my dancing skills I tried to show
Even with this display you agreed to date
And what did I do? I showed up to it late!
It was so sweet!
Kellie & Ryan
October 24, 2015
What’s the best wedding advice you would offer to brides? DO include your groom in the planning! We had such a great time planning our wedding together, bouncing ideas off the other, visiting potential venues and calming each other down when needed! It made the day so much more special as it was something we had done together and could be proud of. Planning a wedding is a TON of work but doing it together made it fun!
We had a moment standing at the top of the stairs just the two of us before heading into our reception. You could hear all the laughter and talking and general good time of the guests. We both just looked at each other and breathed a collective sigh of happiness and relief, we were married, the day had been amazing and our guests were having a fantastic time celebrating our love. It was very moving to think of all the people who we love and care about in one room laughing and having a great time in celebration of our love.
May & Michael
May 30, 2015
I’d advise future brides to breathe and enjoy the day. Have fun in the planning process and also on the big day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If something goes wrong, you are surrounded by family or friends always willing to help! The day will go by so quickly that it’s over before you know it!
My favorite moment was cutting the cake, I was so proud of my home-made cake. It was such an accomplishment baking the fruitcake and I enjoyed decorating it.
Thank you ladies for sharing your memories and wedding advice to couples planning their own weddings. I loved putting this post together and hearing your point of view.
Images captured by Calgary Wedding Photographer – Tara Whittaker