Karen Bussen, Celebrity Wedding Planner and Author
Do personalize your ceremony.
Lighting a unity candle is a wonderful way to symbolize the joining of your two lives. You and your groom can light a candle, or you can invite your mothers or parents to join you, using two slender taper candles to illuminate the central pillar candle, thus bringing your families together. I love this personalizable Swarovski Crystal Unity Candle set because it is simple and elegant, with just a hint of sparkle.
Don’t be “in charge” on your wedding day.
Appoint someone else to be your representative while you relax and get ready for one of the most important moments in your life. If you don’t have a wedding planner, choose a super-organized friend who is not in your wedding party, and ask her to make sure things are how you want them. Review the main details of the day at least a week in advance, and give her a list of major elements in the timing of the celebration, along with key contact phone numbers so that she can deal with any issues that might arise. And make sure to give her a present to thank her, like this personalized heart keychain.
Do spend at least a few minutes alone.
You are entering a brand new chapter. Take a few minutes to sit quietly or take a walk and just live in your excitement and happiness. Focus on thankfulness—after all, you’ve been so lucky to find the one person you want to spend your life with. Let the power and beauty of that thought sink in.
I also suggest spending a few minutes alone with your new husband right after the ceremony. Arrange for refreshments to be waiting for you (think hors d’oeuvres and Champagne or sparkling water) and just enjoy the moment together.
Don’t forget to thank your parents.
Write a thoughtful note to your parents, and take a moment to give them each a small gift to show them how much they mean to you. For Mom, I love this Memory Box, which features an engraved message and can be personalized.
Do bring a “Bridal Kit.”
Think of it as “cosmetic update meets minor first aid kit.” Pack a great looking tote (like this personalized cosmetic bag below) with little things you might need, including a sewing kit, a stain eraser pen, safety pins, a nail file, extra lip gloss, fashion tape, aspirin, breath mints, a bottle of water, and a snack or healthy bar, just in case you forget to eat while you’re getting ready.
Do take it all in.
I heard a bride say once that her friend had told her to take mental “snapshots” during the wedding throughout the day, and I thought that was wonderful advice. During the ceremony or your first dance, for example, take a moment to look out at your family and friends and just take a picture of that scene in your head. It will help you remember how you felt for a long time to come.