How to Prepare for Your Wedding Weekend

As your wedding grows closer, so does your excitement. It can be hard to focus when you’re thinking of everything that still has to be done. Set yourself up for a flawless wedding weekend by taking some time to plan ahead. Follow these tips and be fully prepared for your wedding weekend.

Wedding Weekend

Pack Early

Take some time to think about what you’ll need to pack in case you need to do some shopping. Thinking ahead will allow you to find the perfect outfits, shoes, jewelry and anything else you might need for the big weekend.

A wedding weekend typically involves a rehearsal dinner, a welcome reception, hair and makeup appointments, and a brunch the next morning.  Keep these events in mind as you’re packing to ensure you don’t forget anything. Create a list of any items you might need.  Give yourself enough time to purchase them prior to your wedding weekend.

Pro-tip: Find and pack all of the smaller, easy to overlook things that you’ll need as soon as you have them.

Wedding Weekend

Shop Savvy

Wedding weekends are a very special experience.  However the costs can really add up. While you’re shopping, finding any ways to save can be a big help.  This doesn’t mean you have to splurge on new items or pay full retail price.

  1. Shop Second-hand. By shopping secondhand, you don’t need to sacrifice the style or comfort of your favorite yoga pants.   Find discounted styles on an online consignment store and feel good in your new pants knowing how much money you saved!
  2. Another easy way to save money would be to take advantage of any rewards points you’ve been saving up and forgot to use.
  3. From any cosmetics you may need, or to booking the hotel for the weekend, check out the different savings programs to earn points on the stuff you were already going to buy.

Wedding Weekend


Ahead of the wedding, things can start to get a bit hectic getting all your ducks in a row. It’s important to set aside some time to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Whether you take time to meditate or exercise, be sure you experiment with reliable ways of de-stressing to ensure you’re in a good place to enjoy the festivities. With a wedding weekend, you’re extending the amount of time you’ll be in the spotlight and how much time people will be wanting your attention. Self-care is a great preventative measure to ensure you’re able to be fully present and genuinely savor all the celebrations.

Wedding Weekend


Photo: Christina Lilly Photography

Florals: WaterLily Designs

Venue: Navesink Country Club

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jenny Yoo

Bride’s Dress: Francesca Miranda

Makeup: Make Me Up Eva

Hair: Evolution Salon

Wedding First Dance Songs

I am a sucker for first dances at weddings. I get choked up watching these milestone moments at every single wedding.  Songs are so tied to our emotions.   It is hard to give specific suggestions on wedding first dance songs, father-daughter songs, or mother-son songs but I am going to give some any way!


For starters, my first dance song with my husband was “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.  When we were dating, Lucas would make me mix cds.   At the time (circa 2001), that was OUR song.   We felt like the luckiest people in the world to have met. When it came time to pick our first dance song in 2010, that made the most sense. It was sentimental and sweet and “us”.


Since becoming a mother to a little boy, I have to say that the mother-son songs get me good.  I can imagine the day when I will be dancing with my son.   At that time he will probably be taller than me.  I daydream about what I will say to him and how happy he will be that day as he becomes a husband.

As my mind starts to wander  about first dance songs, here are some contenders I have come up with.

Days Like This by Van Morrison
I imagine this song as my constant maternal reminder to my son that when life gets hard and marriage feels like work to remember days like this. “When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this” I hope he will always look back on his wedding day as one of the best days of his life.

Stand by Me by Ben E King
I danced to this song with my dad at my wedding and I love the idea of passing our first dance on. Even though I know he will now have his spouse to stand by him, unfortunately he can’t get rid of me.

Forever Young  by Bob Dylan

Have you ever seen the series Parenthood? It is one of my all time favorite shows and I devoured it when I was pregnant. This song is in the opening and I absolutely love the sentiments.  Bob Dylan’s version is the classic, but I also love Norah Jones’s rendition.

Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles

In the same vein as Stand by Me, my husband danced with his mom to Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone as did his brothers. I love family traditions so this may become another favorite.

The best advice  is to go with a song regardless of whether or not it fits the mold.  Choose a song that gives you a goosebumps.

Photo credit: Christina Lilly Photography