I. We didn't spend the night before our wedding apart, and I am so happy about this decision: The day before the wedding, we just decided to book an extra night in the hotel and stay together, and this is what I found out: it was perfect. Instead of being away from each other (we have been living together for a long time, so we were used to sleeping in the same bed), it was normal, comfortable, and stress free. With all the excitement and commotion of the impending day, it was nice to have some semblance of routine together. We are both social people, but having some quiet alone time let us prepare for the next day without feeling overwhelmed. We also got to talk about how wonderful the rehearsal dinner was, how we were so excited to see everyone again, and all the things we were looking forward to the next day -- this not only allowed us to have more time together that weekend, it also gave us time to reflect and process together what was happening. Not traditional at all, but totally worth it if you ask me!
2. We included our pups and made plans early: Our two dogs Frodo and Roni are our children, and we couldn't imagine having our day without them. Along the way, it got a bit tricky as the church would not allow pets to be a part of the ceremony and the reception only allowed service dogs. What we did very early on, was make sure a friend of the family (thanks, Madeline!) could watch them the day-of and bring them to the photos post-ceremony. It was such a great moment watching them run up to us and stand in all the group photos!
3. I planned a 'craft day' extravaganza and it helped SO MUCH!: Since day one of being engaged, so many of my friends and family showed support and asked "how can I help"? If you have started the process of planning, it can be overwhelming even to delegate what needs to be done or how exactly you can receive help. When I really thought about it, the thing that made the most sense were things that took the most time, and the intricate decorations I had Pinned and planned for were starting to make me a bit anxious. So, I planned a day for my local friends to come over for snacks, drinks, and crafting! Not only did it help tremendously with my planning and work, it also was an awesome way to casually hang out with my friends without the stress and rush. I love that day and will remember it fondly!
4. Write down what you won't remember: Our dear friend Kathleen actually was the one who suggested doing this! Since the day goes by so quickly, it's almost hard to keep up with what's happening in the moment, let alone years down the line. My husband and I spent some time the day after writing down our thoughts, feelings, and memories from the day before. For example, I wrote about what the bridesmaids and I chatted about the morning of and what music we listened to! I love remembering little things like that, and now I have them recorded forever. Our plan is to bring out our notes on each anniversary to remember the day. :)