1. Trial your hair and make up. This one is probably my biggest warning. I didn't get to do this because we had a destination wedding, but I wish I had just skipped the added cost and had a friend do it. It's not that who I hired did a bad job, it was lovely and I keep getting compliments, but it wasn't what I envisioned, which freaked me out and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wish I knew what it was going to look like before hand, same with my make up.
I didn't have bridesmaids and the ceremony was very casual. I wanted the the gorgeous sunrise and Nick and I to be the only focus. You can't tell from this photo but my girlfriends Ariana and Darcie both randomly wore coral colored dresses which played out nicely!
2. If there is an aspect of your wedding that you just love, love, love and can't live without it ... you should prepare yourself that you might have to live without it. Things happen and you just never know what or when. Don't assume that because it's your day it will go your way. Sorry but it's the truth. Keep this in your head the whole time and you might put a lot less pressure on yourself.
We served donuts with frosting and sprinkles (from Duck Donuts, a local gem in the Outer Banks) and had a Barefoot Bubbly mimosa toast at our families beach house by the pool after the ceremony on the beach. Later we had a casual brunch and cake.
3. Take video. Even if it's just your friends grabbing some video on their phones, you will be glad you have it (as usual, you were right mom). I kept fighting this idea, saying it wasn't necessary, but I was a ball of nerves and now I wish that I had something to see those moments over again as a calm, normal person.
The ceremony was my favorite part of the whole day. As I mentioned here I loved our officiant and it was the most beautiful 30 minutes of my entire life.
4. Don't change your routine. For example, If you put self tanner on usually, do it the night before your wedding. I was nervous and tired, yet I couldn't sleep and skipped my normal beauty regiment since I had to be up for the sunrise ceremony. The result is me thinking I look pink from too much sun at the beach. If you get 8 hours of sleep normally, make sure that's what you get the night before, and if you don't eat crappy food, don't tell yourself it's okay to indulge because it's your big day, your stomach WILL hurt.
Photography was something I stressed about and wanted to really reflect my sunrise wedding vision. Julie Dreelin nailed it, the photos are exactly what I wanted and I couldn't be happier. Do splurge on the photos. They are important.
5. Remember, you're a real person not a magazine model. I know that sounds harsh but I read too much Style Me Pretty and Martha Stewart Weddings before my big day and really wanted everything to just be perfect, including me. I had this idea of what I wanted to look like and then friends unedited photos started rolling in on Facebook. Oh they just keep coming and coming. Even though I knew my dress was pretty and that I looked nice, I still felt disappointed. Keep your expectations in check.
Venue: On the beach in Southern Shores, North Carolina (Outer Banks)
Officiant: Rev. Jay Bowman
Photographer: Julie Dreelin, Beach Productions
Donuts: Duck Donuts
Mimosas: Pink Barefoot Bubbly
Brunch: The Black Pelican