Photo: Annie Randall Photography
1. It Goes by Fast
Your wedding day really does go by in the blink of an eye. Be sure to take in the entire experience, and have a moment or two (or five!) with your partner to ensure that you soak it all in.
2. It's All in the Details
Little details add up but make all the difference. The week of the wedding we purchased gift bags, snacks, and other small trinkets for our hotel guests. Although this was an ‘unnecessary’ and unplanned expense, the goodie bags with personalized notes of gratitude made our traveling guests feel important and appreciated upon arrival.
3. You Can't Please Everyone
It’s practically impossible to please all of your guests at your wedding. From everyone hoping for individual photos (people with big families – this just isn’t feasible), to not staying exactly on the timeline for cake cutting – it’s okay to breath deep and enjoy the moments, don’t let the noise of others taint your day.
4. Include Your Partner in the Planning Process
Although stereotypically the grooms don’t care much when it comes to wedding planning, you may be surprised. Conner cared about the processional song, the DJ, and more.
5. All the Feels
You may be overwhelmed with emotion. I used to say that I would turn around and try again if Conner didn’t cry as I walked down the aisle…little did I know I would be giggling with pure joy throughout the entire ceremony. Safe to say, neither of us cried and that was okay.
6. Be Vigilant with Vendors
Just because a contract is signed likely doesn’t mean they can’t back out. Be sure to read the fine print of your vendor contracts. We signed a contract and paid the downpayment for our original DJ, then a month later received the money back with an email informing us he had to cancel for a family wedding. Moments like these can be frustrating but we found peace in knowing that whatever we ended up with would be meant for our day, even if that means scrambling for a new DJ at a higher cost.
7. You Don't Always Have a "This is THE Dress" Reaction
For me, no dress is "the dress." As a former Miss USA I have worn countless extravagant gowns. Although, I saved white for my wedding day, I still never had the feeling they portray in shows or movies when the bride just knows when it’s the one. I encourage you to try on lots and take photos to look back on because that’s what you’ll have forever to remember the big day from. I finally chose which was the most bridal and classic.
8. Communicate with Your Photographer
If you want a sneak peek album or separate videos, chat it out with your photographer/videographer before the big day. During planning it’s easy to get distracted and think you communicated expectations, make a list and cross points off as you discuss them with your relevant vendors. People can’t read minds.
9. Always Tip
Don’t forget about tips when allocating budget, and get specific – I didn’t know until after the wedding that we had 16 chefs in the kitchen! That’s a lot of tips.
10. Let the Experts Do Their Job
I already knew this but hope it can be helpful for you. I am not a florist. I am not a table scanning genius. I am not a designer, videographer, or venue owner. With this, I delegated creations to my vendors who are the experts. For example, I sent my talented florist photos of examples I loved and expressed color expectations but did not have her mock any center pieces or bouquets, this way I didn’t have any expectations and would therefore not know if it ended up right or wrong. This relieved me of unnecessary stress and I would highly suggest taking this into account.
– Sarah Rose Summers is a model, influencer, and former Miss USA 2018. She married her longtime boyfriend Connor Combs in October 2019.