What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

With most things in life, there’s a learning curve. You didn’t just hop in the driver’s seat your first time behind the wheel and drive perfectly, did you? (For some of us, depth perception is still a bit of a struggle. . . . ) You don’t expect a toddler to walk before they crawl, or a puppy to know not to piddle on the carpet, so why do we expect brides (and grooms, for that matter) to know how to plan a wedding if they’ve never done so before?

I was a complete novice four years ago planning my own nuptials in Sacramento from 3,000 miles away (I was living in New York at the time). Though I read plenty of wedding blogs and received lots of advice (both requested and unsolicited), there was nothing that could truly prepare me for the maiden voyage that was making us man and wife. And boy, do I wish someone had handed me a guidebook before I embarked.

Case in point: As I sat in my childhood bathroom (I got married in my dad’s backyard) having my face spruced up by my stellar hair-and-makeup gal Angel (find her on Facebook as Farishta Afzili—“Angel” is a nickname), the photographer I’d hired based on a recommendation from a friend stormed into the bathroom, demanding why I wasn’t ready yet. Confused, I calmly informed her that it was only 3 p.m. and the ceremony wouldn’t start until 5 p.m. She un-calmly informed me that I was supposed to have been ready two hours before the ceremony to have photos taken with my soon-to-be-husband outside—a scheduling requirement that had in no way been communicated to me during our months of correspondence. I told her that I’d finish as soon as possible but that we could always take photos after the ceremony—isn’t that done most of the time?

She stormed out and proceeded to pace back and forth in the hallway, checking in every 10 minutes to see if we were done. By the fourth time she sallied forth, Angel smiled sweetly and said to her, “You know, she’s never gotten married before.”

That’s when it hit me: That’s right! I’ve never done this before! I’m muddling through with nary a clue (and lots of moral support from my fiancé) and this lady has the gall to make me feel like I’m doing something wrong?

Long story short, we took the photos after the ceremony, Angel is my hero (and does my hair to this day) and I will not be recommending my photographer to anyone anytime soon.

And for future reference: Find out exactly what time you need to be ready so you can have as many (unharried) photos taken as possible. Worry lines can kind of ruin the makeup.

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