I loved being able to get ready for the wedding at home. If you have this option, I highly recommend it. I also recommend having your beauty team on site. You just have to wake up, and start getting ready with no worry about forgetting any items you might need. Getting ready in a sentimental space makes it even more special.
My bridesmaids and I had a sleepover after the rehearsal dinner. We sat, talked, reminisced on good times while we watched the Great Gatsby. I was very restless. I went over mental lists, ensuring that all my plans were taken care of.
I checked my packed honeymoon bags multiple times, I went over my tasks for the next day, I checked on my sleeping bridesmaids. My mind wandered to Tobe my 2 year old. My mom was taking care of him so that I could enjoy the wedding festivities. Moms really are the best!
It’s not surprising that a bride’s mind wanders. There are many circumstances, unique to each bride, that needs to be planned out. These are not in the usual wedding planning checklists. The biggest one for me were finding appropriate care for my 2 year old on wedding day to free up my mom to enjoy the festivities. My other concern was figuring out the transportation needs of my family from Nigeria, who weren’t able to drive in the United States.
I had a strong desire to go right from the wedding reception to our wedding night hotel room, to brunch, and straight to our honeymoon, without coming back to our apartment. I wanted this because I desired the whole thing (from leaving our loft to go get married to the honeymoon) to be one event, uninterrupted by return trips to our apartment.
This created unique logistical challenges. I had to delegate family and my bridesmaids to move my gifts, dresses, etc, from the wedding back to our home and to transport our honeymoon suitcases to our wedding night hotel room.
On wedding day, I woke up before 7am, in time to set out breakfast. I surprisingly didn’t feel tired, thanks to my lifestyle as a resident and years to living on very little sleep. My one tip for anyone planning a sleepover with her bridesmaids is to make breakfast easy. As part of wedding preparations, stock up your fridge with breakfast food that you and your girls like, items that don’t require cooking. Also, don’t forget the champagne and orange juice for mimosas!
Our lovely make-up artist, Allison Bower showed up early to begin the process of getting ready, bridesmaids first. She was so much fun to work with, it was refreshing starting the morning with her.
Cute getting ready pictures are very important. I got the softest robes from bhldn for my bridesmaids as gifts. They looked great in the pictures. We steamed and hung them up the night before the wedding. For my getting ready outfit, I got the prettiest chemise from bhldn. I wanted something different from a robe. This chemise was so romantic and made me feel beautiful and bridal.
I took a shower after attempting to eat unsuccessfully. I was too excited. After I put on my cute chemise, work was started on my hair. Davina from Pomp and Artistry did my hair. Then Allison finished my makeup.
The bridal team had a very good schedule, crafted through team effort by me, Kelly our photographer, Rhiannon the designer, Allison, and Deanna of the beauty team. We were done getting ready, save for stepping into our dresses, an hour before our scheduled departure for church.
Everything was going as planned. Our vintage car, a silver 1961 Rolls Royce had arrived on time, via trailer from Detroit. Rhiannon, our wedding designer stopped by as scheduled to deliver the beautiful bouquets she made and to decorate the car with fresh flowers.
While my bridesmaids and I waited, I did a boudoir shoot. It was a present for Patrick that I ended up gifting to him at Christmas. A bridal boudoir is something I recommend. And yes, splurging on a beautiful bridal corset and excellent stockings is perfectly okay. I chose one from Simone and Perele and stockings from Falke. Although I wanted to wear a full corset and stockings under my dress, I didn’t. Most wedding dresses including mine have a built in corset. So after boudoir pictures, I swapped the elaborate corset for comfy, yet sexy, panties and a pair of identical bridal garters from Hanky Panky. I packed the corset in my overnight suitcase for the wedding night. We’ve all had those fantasies of our husband undoing our corsets on wedding night. I was planning to live mine.
Speaking of my husband, he and his groomsmen were hanging out and getting ready in his room at the downtown Grand Rapids JW Marriott close. Our second photographer Kaylea, got some great shots of the guys hanging out.
He gifted his groomsmen Dropp kits. It was a hit. I truly enjoyed seeing the pictures from the guys getting ready. My husband initially thought it was not worth having a photographer with him. I am so glad we ended up deciding to do it.
The girls and I had time to video-call my sister, to include her in the morning’s activities. My sister was my maid of honor but couldn’t attend the wedding. My brother was also unable to attend the wedding all thanks to the inconsiderate workings of the American embassy in Nigeria. I talk about this in A Sister’s Love blog post.
I also got to spend some time with my step daughter Leia that morning.
My mom came to join my bridesmaids and I when the time came to help me into my dress. This was one of the most emotional moments of the morning.
I felt truly blessed having my mom and my best friends helping me get ready to marry my One and Only.
Soon I was all ready, overnight suitcase in tow, and on my way to church.
Essential wedding planning details you might overlook...
Rounding up, Transporting your reception items: The design team was in charge of breaking down and removing anything they brought in and the other vendors took their stuff. So in the end, all I had to worry about was transporting my gifts, wedding dress, and top tier cake (that didn’t happen), cake knife set back to our apartment. I had this romantic idea of going from wedding reception in our vintage car, cans making noise to our hotel room, to brunch and then straight to our honeymoon and I worked hard to see this happen. It took a lot of delegating and planning. I am so glad it worked out just like I imagined. It was all a fairy tale come true.
Packing for the Honeymoon and Wedding Night: I put a lot of thought into my bridal Trousseau and because I love packing lists and tips, I will share one on backing for a honeymoon or romantic getaway soon. Having a separate overnight bag or suitcase for the wedding night is essential to keeping organized.