Not a post title you ever thought you’d see on Southern Weddings, eh? :) If so, you’re right — we purposefully avoid the word “perfect,” because it’s pretty much the last thing we want you to strive for on your wedding day. Joyful, meaningful, emotional? Yes, yes, and yes. Perfect? No.
However — I truly believe that if you do just a few things on the day you say “I do,” you WILL have a perfect wedding, no matter what else happens or who says what or what your flowers looked like. Better yet, these things are all free. They may not be the normal wedding checklist items, but if you can do them all, I believe your wedding day will be joyful, meaningful, and — yes — perfect. Here goes!
Write each other wedding morning letters. You know that phrase, “how you start the day determines the day”? It definitely holds true on your wedding day! Starting with the sweet, grateful, reflective act of writing a letter to your fiance will put you in the perfect frame of mind for all that’s to come. Use your letter to share the things you love most about your future husband and the life you’re about to begin together, then exchange them at your first look or via your bridal party.
Vow something true to each other. Whether you choose to share personal promises or the traditional vows, make sure that the words you say to each other at your ceremony are deeply meaningful to you. Make your promises ones that you can actually keep (with grace and hard work!), not just things that sound good in the moment. Your wedding vows are what you will return to over and over in your marriage as a marker of the highest ideals for your relationship, so if you can make them real and true and heartfelt, the most important part of your wedding day will be a success.
Honor your most beloved people. One of the beautiful parts of a wedding is that it’s the best excuse to gather all of your loved ones in the same place — and then to honor them! If you spend the day loving on these people — telling them how much they mean to you, unveiling special surprises for them, handing them letters you’ve written, and inviting them into special moments — I guarantee you will end the day feeling filled with gratitude.
Stay together. With all those beloved people around, it’s tempting to get pulled in a million different directions to chat with and hug as many guests as you can. But if you can, stay by each other’s side as much as possible (holding hands is an effective way to do this!). That way, you’ll experience the day together, and as funny as it sounds, your memories of this most important day in your life will match. It will only sweeten the day for you, and will sweeten storytelling about your wedding for years to come!
Take a step back. Finally, we ask each of our real wedding couples for their best wedding advice, and this is the piece that comes up over and over again: at some point during your reception, step away from the party with your new husband and take in the scene. Imprint the view of all the people you love most laughing, talking, dancing, and enjoying each other and the celebration you’ve put together. It’s a mental picture that will make your heart swell for years, I promise, and it’s another perfect moment to let what happened that day wash over you and sink in.