Five Things I Learned on My Wedding Day

Us, randomly captured by a groomsman. Sometimes the best wedding pics are the candid ones.

I have interviewed over 100 brides and dozens of wedding planners and other bridal industry experts in my career. I’ve been tapped by media outlets like ESSENCE, The Huffington Post and UPTOWN for my bridal expertise. I have enough bridal magazines and wedding books in my home to drive Mr. TK nuts. (I’m working on the pack rat tendencies, babe!) Still, none of this made me totally prepared for the emotional roller coaster I rode for my own wedding. Here are the top five things I learned while taking that ride and how you can attempt to buckle up for them, too:

1 – Something will go wrong. Although many of my Tie the Knot Tuesday couples warned me of this, I couldn’t predict what those “somethings” would be for my own big day. The carefully written speech I prepared for my father’s tribute during the reception? I got nervous and forgot a chunk of it. People still gave me compliments. Mr. TK somehow couldn’t find his shirt, tie or shoes (!!!) the morning of the wedding. Thankfully his groomsmen were selfless and made last minute mall trips to ensure my baby was dapper — and even early — for our first look.
Takeaway: Don’t sweat the small stuff. (This mantra is probably going to be helpful in marriage, too.)

2 – The day flies by. This seems trite to include but it is so true. October 19, 2013 was the fastest day of my life. Period. Everyone and their grandmother gave Mr. TK and me a head’s up about this but we were still amazed at how quickly time passed. We spent months planning for the blissful day so it was hard to accept it had to end.
Takeaway: Don’t take a second of this day for granted. But really, isn’t that how we (married or not) should aim to live our lives everyday?

3 – At least something will go “wrong” that you will ultimately view as a “right”. For me, this was the rain preventing us from having our rooftop ceremony. Had it not rained, I wouldn’t have the unforgettable memory of my deceased father on that special day. I’ve heard couples say that their flower girl or ring bearer did everything except what they practiced yet added a fun element to their ceremony in the process.
Takeaway: Roll with the punches. They just might be more in your favor than you think.

4 – Someone will likely piss you off. I was sadly disappointed by some folks in the hours leading up to my wedding. I’m still a little hurt by the actions from a select few but ish happens. I didn’t allow it to spill into my wedding fun. Whether it is your florist arriving late, your ceremony soloist forgetting her music, your bridesmaids throwing you shade or the limo driver getting lost – take a deep breath, meditate, pray, chant – and then keep it moving.
Takeaway: You’ve invested a lot of time, effort and money into this day. Turn that frown upside down.

5 – You will probably piss someone off, too. I’m sure I snapped at a couple of people during my wedding weekend. Hopefully no one will say I crossed into that dreaded bridezilla territory. Emotions are high, folks are moving a mile a minute, and everyone from your family to your vendors are calling, texting or emailing you. You’re excited, nervous, anxious and (hopefully) insanely happy.
Takeaway: Check yourself regularly, hope that your loved ones don’t take it personally and steal a kiss from your honey if you start to feel too stressed.

 Any recent (or not so recent) brides want to add to this list? Leave a comment!

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  1. That is an awesome shot!

  2. Avatar Robyn Robertson says:

    Best wishes my darling. I know your day was PERFECT, despite all that might have seemingly gone wrong. Remember: Everyone doesn’t get to go! So those who are not there now, were no meant to be. Enjoy EVERY moment of your time with your spouse, even when you do not want to. And continue to shine your light so all can see! PS – I hope you got the picture of your moms. xoox

  3. Avatar Tamika Felder Campbell says:

    This list is spot on!

  4. Avatar Sonya-Marie says:

    It is critical to keep things in perspective when considering your wedding. While your wedding day is certainly important, it isn’t THE most important part of the journey: it’s just the beginning.

  5. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    @Andrea – Thank you! Funny thing is this shot was captured with a camera phone.

    @Robyn – Many thanks for this comment. I never thought about it that way. And you have a great memory, re: the photo of my moms. There was a lot of picture taking that day but I’m pretty sure we did get that shot. ;-)

    @ Tamika – Thanks, fellow newlywed!

    @Sonya – Duly noted, cuz. I try to stress that as frequently possible on Triple B. It is the reason I included Marriage Matters here from the site’s inception. I think most of our wedding guests would agree Mr. TK and I at least tried to be mindful of this throughout our planning. It fact, our wedding invitations, ceremony and reception all had ways of driving the marriage > wedding point home.

  6. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    Oh and for everyone that did piss me off, there were at least 5 people who went above and beyond to help ensure the weekend went as smoothly as possible. From Mr.TK’s godmothers arriving to Charlotte early to help label water bottles, make runs to Michael’s and set up coffee machines (Thanks again, Connie!) to my creative sister-in-law working tirelessly for weeks to ensure my reception space was gorgeous, to my cousin secretly picking up the groom’s cake and delivering it to the venue before the ceremony start time, we received an abundance of love and support that weekend. Those thank you cards are going to be jam-packed!
    Takeaway: In life we can see the glass half empty or half full — the choice is ours. Wedding planning is no exception.

  7. A wedding day is such an emotionally charged event that people are bound to rub each other the wrong way…I learned that too the hard way…The funny thing is that I found out about even more behind-the-scenes wedding drama after hubby and I returned from our honeymoon…but all that drama mixed in with all of the love is the recipe for a wonderfully real day…

  8. Plus, the main objective is getting married and beginning a new life together…all that offer stuff is just the background…

  9. Avatar Hope Weaver says:

    I just want to say thank you. For everything, not just this list. I started following you after your episode of “Something Borrowed, Something New” and I have been ever grateful for the information you have shared. I do however, believe that this list may just be the most helpful of all. I have heard all of this same info from people repeatedly during my journey but today it makes much more sense and means more. Is that because it is coming from a brand new bride OR could it be that my wedding is a mere 9 days away at this point. I don’t know but I very thankful.

  10. Totally not promoting myself, but that is the value of having a day-of planner (at least)— so that at a great deal of these types of things are taken care of by someone other than your family and guests, which eases your stress. I plan to share this on my blog, too. :)
    Can I say that your dress looks GORGEOUS?! I love the detailing on the bottom, and you guys look happy and adorbs. Congrats!! :) xoxo Sugar

  11. It is truly the fastest day of your life! Imagine 6 weeks to plan a wedding that kinda was happening with or without a plan. I’m glad overall it was a happy occasion. Those drama spots will turn into jokes later and those good moments will be even sweeter. Overall you were an awsome bride and surrounded by love and positivity.

  12. @Jackie – Thanks for weighing in fellow newlywed!

    @Hope – Your comment helped make my weekend. I truly appreciate you leaving it. Sometimes I feel like the hard work and time put into Triple B is in vain but then folks like you remind me of why I launched this blog in the first place. Enjoy your wedding day and take in every single second of your bliss! May your marriage be happy and healthy.

    @Sugar – Many thanks for the dress kudos! I loved my dress from an aesthetic standpoint but knowing that I’m the only person in the world with it AND that it is a remix of my beloved mother’s wedding dress makes it pretty freakin’ amazing to the 20th power – LOL! Oh and I had a great day of (more like 2 months of) wedding coordinator, Summer McLane of My Simply Perfect Events. She made my weekend a lot less stressful and I would definitely hire her again. #s 4 & 5 of this list are bound to happen to any bride — to some degree at least — regardless of how excellent her planner is…FYI – I used a bit of creative license in this post — I didn’t even have limos for my wedding. ;-)

    @Mahogany – THANK YOU SO MUCH! xo

  13. It was a memorable occasion that everyone seemed so happy just to be invited to be “in the house!” You are so right that the wedding day is just the beginning – a marriage journey occurs over a lifetime together. Wish you and Mr TK the best always. With Love, Aunt Zee

  14. I appreciate how open and honest you are to us. You have helped me so much in my own planning.

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