Everyone who has gotten married will tell you to ‘enjoy the moment’ on your wedding day, because it all goes by so quickly. And it’s true – your wedding day comes once in a lifetime – the rush of emotions you experience on that day are priceless.  This post is inspired by a precious gift given to me by my sister and Maid of Honor on my wedding day,  a moment that I think all brides should experience.

At the end of her toast, my sister called my husband and I up to come stand with her on stage at our reception. “Take a moment, look around you.”  She said.  ”This is the most amazing day. Soak it all in. Are you soaking? Soak.”  We stood there, gazing out at our guests a little self conscious and teary eyed, but in awe.  What an amazing sight, and what an amazing moment it was to look out and consciously soak in the fact that we had 200 of our closest family and friends together celebrating us.  Don’t our facial expressions say it all?

Photo credit: Kevin Chin Photography

I think what made this one of the more memorable moments of my wedding was that it was ‘forced’ on us, right then and there. So, in the spirit of enjoying the moments, I put together a mental checklist of specific things to take a moment to soak in and appreciate on your big day.

Soak up…

1. The feeling of opening your eyes the morning of your wedding – the moment when you think to yourself “today is my wedding day”.  Lie there awhile. Enjoy it.  And then you can dive into the craziness of the day.
2. The image of your freshly steamed dress dress hanging just before you put it on.
3. Your walk down the aisle.  You’ve probably dreamed of this moment since you were a little girl. Emotions may be overwhelming, but listen to the music, make eye contact with your guests, smile, and be sure to remember the look on your groom’s face.
4. Your “I Do’s”. This is what getting married is all about. Too many couples become overwhelmed with not messing up their vows and forget the significance of the words they are speaking.
5. Your beautiful decor. Just before the guests enter the cocktail reception or dinner location,  take a peek at how stunning it all looks – from the personal touches to the centerpieces to the DIY projects you spent hours perfecting.
6.  Your photo session. These are the pictures you will be staring at for the rest of your life. Don’t stress too much about it being picture perfect, but enjoy the moment of being with your new husband and your wedding party.
7. The energy and life of your party.  This is one of the few (or quite possibly only) times of your life when all of your friends from all the stages of your life will be next to you.
8. The presence of your older guests.  The ones who might not make it onto the dance floor, the ones who raised you, the ones who travelled to be part of your special day, even though you are not close. Take the time to give them a big hug and acknowledge how much their presence means to you.
9. Dinner time. So many brides and grooms feel anxious once they sit down to have a bite. They feel the constant need to be mingling, greeting guests and making sure things are running smoothly and sitting down feels strangely odd. But do try to enjoy this time – even if its only for 10 minutes. Savor the food, have a little champagne and allow yourself to relax.
10. The last few moments of your wedding reception.  It flies by so quickly, but the memories will last a lifetime.

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