Now that the wedding is over two weeks behind me, I’m still looking back at it constantly. On that 1 week wedding anniversary, Sam and I kept looking at each other and saying “last week at this time we were dancing” or “this is the time that our ceremony started”. Usually in this space, I love to fight pre-concevied notions. In the past, I’ve mentioned that I hate the way that wedding dress shopping is made out to be this delightful montage of giggles, champagne and gorgeous dresses: it isn’t. So I fully expected the notion that the wedding is the happiest day of my life to ring false as well. Which isn’t to say that I wasn’t overjoyed at the thought of marrying Sam. I was. But I also was realistic in my expectations that there were definitely going to be things that go wrong on the day, I might be super stressed, etc rendering it a great, memorable, highly important day – but maybe not the best day of my life.
Now that it’s come and gone, I can say that the 23rd of July, 2016 was the best day of my life so far. It was truly wonderful. Did things go wrong? Of course they did. But I was in such a happy bubble that I didn’t even notice. There isn’t a thing that I would have changed about our day.
So my advice to other brides:
When people say the day goes by quickly, they really aren’t exaggerating. I know it’s an extremely long day, but for me everything just flew by. It seemed like we were hardly there at all. The day is a whirl of love and happiness and trying to talk to everyone is impossible. I started to feel guilty that there were some people that I barely spoke to; my favourite Aunt, for example, but it isn’t for lack of caring. You have to banish all of those guilty feelings to make the most of the day.
Definitely have a moment when it’s just the two of you to take everything in. Our photographer was a magician; he whisked Sam and I away to do some couple shots just when we were thinking that we needed some time together just to hold hands and be. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but just to have a few minutes where you can giggle and put your heads together alone really helps ground the day.
Things will not go to plan, and you just have to laugh it off. The biggest thing I was worried about was the weather. We were doing the ceremony outside (no marquee) and didn’t have a back up plan really. Luckily, the weather stayed dry and the big crises were averted. Smaller things didn’t go to plan and I can absolutely laugh at them. I was so rushed in the morning, in a happy ball of energy amongst all my girls, laughing and taking photos, that I never actually looked in the mirror to check my makeup/hair/dress before we left. For a very similar reason, the special perfume that I set aside to put on for my wedding day (and then to wear again at future special occasions): totally forgotten. It wasn’t until I was in the car, halfway there that I realised I’d no perfume and no deodorant on. There was this amazing post-ceremony moment where Sam and I hid in a utility closet in the village hall and he spritzed me with his cologne. Was it my pinterest perfect moment? No, but it was infinitely more “us”.
There will be a wedding come down. A few days after, I was still awash in newlywed happiness, but I was sad that I’d never get to live through our wedding day again. It was a sign of its perfection that I was sad that it had come and gone. This is especially true for expat weddings. The post-wedding blues are an oft-talked about thing, but as an expat they hit particularly hard. Not only are you letting go of wedding planning and the big day, but you spend the week afterwards constantly saying goodbye to all your nearest and dearest. My mom, brother and best friends were the last people to go home and I was an absolute mess after I’d taken them to Heathrow. A snotty ball of tears in his bed, is probably not how Sam expected his new bride to look. I was mourning the fact that I had to say goodbye to so many people that I love, that I very rarely get to see, and try to deal with the (very real) realisation that our wedding was probably the last and only time that both sides of our family and friends will all be together. It was really hard, but what got me through it was thinking about all the amazing memories that I have of them here in England in the lead up to the wedding, the day itself, and after the wedding.
How did you handle (or plan on handling) the post-wedding come down?