Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before my Wedding

1. Trial your hair and make up. This one is probably my biggest warning. I didn’t get to do this because we had a destination wedding, but I wish I had just skipped the added cost and had a friend do it. It’s not that who I hired did a bad job, it was lovely and I keep getting compliments, but it wasn’t what I envisioned, which freaked me out and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wish I knew what it was going to look like before hand, same with my make up.

I didn’t have bridesmaids and the ceremony was very casual. I wanted the the gorgeous sunrise and Nick and I to be the only focus. You can’t tell from this photo but my girlfriends Ariana and Darcie both randomly wore coral colored dresses which played out nicely! 

2. If there is an aspect of your wedding that you just love, love, love and can’t live without it …  you should prepare yourself that you might have to live without it. Things happen and you just never know what or when. Don’t assume that because it’s your day it will go your way. Sorry but it’s the truth. Keep this in your head the whole time and you might put a lot less pressure on yourself.

We served donuts with frosting and sprinkles (from Duck Donuts, a local gem in the Outer Banks) and had a Barefoot Bubbly mimosa toast at our families beach house by the pool after the ceremony on the beach.  Later we had a casual brunch and cake.

3. Take video. Even if it’s just your friends grabbing some video on their phones, you will be glad you have it (as usual, you were right mom). I kept fighting this idea, saying it wasn’t necessary, but I was a ball of nerves and now I wish that I had something to see those moments over again as a calm, normal person.

The ceremony was my favorite part of the whole day. As I mentioned here I loved our officiant and it was the most beautiful 30 minutes of my entire life.

4. Don’t change your routine. For example, If you put self tanner on usually, do it the night before your wedding. I was nervous and tired, yet I couldn’t sleep and skipped my normal beauty regiment since I had to be up for the sunrise ceremony. The result is me thinking I look pink from too much sun at the beach. If you get 8 hours of sleep normally, make sure that’s what you get the night before, and if you don’t eat crappy food, don’t tell yourself it’s okay to indulge because it’s your big day, your stomach WILL hurt.

Photography was something I stressed about and wanted to really reflect my sunrise wedding vision. Julie Dreelin nailed it, the photos are exactly what I wanted and I couldn’t be happier. Do splurge on the photos. They are important.

5. Remember, you’re a real person not a magazine model. I know that sounds harsh but I read too much Style Me Pretty and Martha Stewart Weddings before my big day and really wanted everything to just be perfect, including me. I had this idea of what I wanted to look like and then friends unedited photos started rolling in on Facebook. Oh they just keep coming and coming. Even though I knew my dress was pretty and that I looked nice, I still felt disappointed. Keep your expectations in check.

Venue: On the beach in Southern Shores, North Carolina (Outer Banks)
Officiant: Rev. Jay Bowman
Photographer: Julie Dreelin, Beach Productions
Duck Donuts
Pink Barefoot Bubbly
The Black Pelican

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12 Responses to “Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before my Wedding”

  1. Made in Sonoma posted on August 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm (#)

    Your wedding looks so sweet and intimate. I love all the special touches that make it your own.

    I also appreciate your tips! Mine isn’t until next July, but I love hearing other girls thoughts. I’m going to try really hard not to stress, and get as much done as I can a month before the wedding, so that there is less pressure.

    One thing I’m worried about is that I won’t be able to sleep AT ALL the night before. I can’t even get sleep the night before leaving on a plane…

    • Michelle O replied on August 24th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      I can’t wait until I get to see photos from your wedding! This whole year wait is going to kill me haha. Let me know if you ever need any other tips or advice Kelli 🙂

      I totally didn’t sleep and it was bad because it was a sunrise wedding so basically my whole wedding day (and night out with our friends later) I was crazy and sleep deprived.

  2. Meeling posted on August 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm (#)

    Lovely! Your photos are gorgeous.

    We had an ocean side bluff wedding in California. Very small, just us, 2 others, the photographer and the officiant. I’m kind of a stubborn person and at a time like this, I’m so glad I was. I listened to my own heart and did what I wanted. I did my own hair & my own makeup, wore the dress I wanted. If I had listened to all the suggestions (as well meaning as they were) I would have ended up wearing something that wasn’t me, and having my hair and makeup done, not the way I wanted.

    You are so right – don’t expect everything will go just as planned – something always takes an unexpected turn!

  3. Sierra posted on August 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm (#)

    I totally agree about the video. I added a videographer two week out from my wedding and it was the best decision I ever made. I love our wedding video and I cannot recommend the service enough. They capture so many details of the day and gives a great indication of the energy of the event.

  4. Erica posted on August 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm (#)

    I can’t imagine why you aren’t happy with the way you looked on your wedding day! You are too self-critical by far. You looked lovely, ethereal, and your arms don’t look big at ALL. There isn’t one perfect shape or size in this world – learn to love yours!

  5. Michelle O posted on August 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm (#)

    Thanks Erica 🙂 I am working on it.

  6. Ellen B Cookery posted on August 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm (#)

    What a beautiful wedding!

  7. Ashley Lynn posted on August 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm (#)

    By far the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen! I am so sad we could not be there but so thankful it all turned out so amazing for you both! xo

  8. Ditch The Wheat posted on August 25, 2012 at 3:15 am (#)

    Thank you for the wedding advice! I never thought about a lot of your points.

  9. Not Alone in 'Lona posted on August 26, 2012 at 9:59 am (#)

    I love reading your awesome blog and just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Leibster Blog Award. You can see more info at

    Thanks for all the great tips!!!

  10. Anonymous posted on August 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm (#)

    To all you sweet brides to be- no one sleeps before Christmas morning – why expect to sleep before your wedding day ?

    ( heavens you generation X’ers are so hard on yourseleves!)

    You are the princess’ -come- Queen in your very own fairy tale. Rest is good, but even on my wedding day – I still felt that my feet weren’t even touching the floor~ its magic…and all good.

    I am Michelle’s Mom , and I tried to tell her that the one and the only thing that will ever matter – You Love Nick, He loves you, and as long as you both show up nothing else matters !!!

    God Bless you – May all your dreams come true ~

  11. Emily posted on September 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm (#)

    You have a lovely blog and you looked AMAZING on your wedding day!

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