Use the Bathroom
Use the bathroom. You’re going to be taking photos, greeting guests and preparing for your first dance as husband and wife, so it might be hard to find a lot of time to visit the restroom during the reception. Before you get back in that limo, be sure to take a bathroom break–and don’t forget to take a few bridesmaids with you to help maneuver the dress while you pee.
Retouch your makeup. You kissed your groom and maybe even shed a tear or two swapping your vows, so you’re definitely in need of a little retouching before moving on. Bring along a small purse that you can keep in the car (or have a friend or family member hold on it) that has everything you need–oil blotting papers, concealer, lip gloss, etc.–to make sure you look picture perfect all day.
Spend alone time with groom. You’re finally husband and wife, and there’s nothing rude about sneaking away for a few minutes for some alone time. It will give him time to gush over how gorgeous you look and for the both of you to reflect on the ceremony. In fact, in Jewish tradition, couples spend alone time in another room to signify their new status as husband and wife.
Eat something! One big bridal complaint: Many don’t get to sample the delicious food at their own wedding! You spent so much time agonizing over the menu, you deserve to enjoy it along with your guests. And since you’ll likely be drinking during the party, it’s best to do so on a full stomach anyway.
Slip into comfortable shoes. If you plan to take outdoor photos, you don’t want your heels sinking into the grass. Or at the very least, you’ll want to be able to dance during the reception. (Despite what Carrie Bradshaw might say, your feet will hurt once you spend a few hours in heels). Be sure to bring a pair of flats so you never have to go barefoot during the event (unless you’re getting hitched on the beach!).
Take Off Your Veil
Take off your veil. If you don’t want to wear it all night or for the first dance, it’s probably easiest to take it off right after the ceremony since you’ll have to be super careful not to ruin your ‘do during the process. This is a task you maid of honor or mom can help you with.
Put your engagement ring back on.During the ceremony, you’ll want to leave your ring finger on your left hand free so your groom can slip on your wedding band. You can simply move your engagement ring to your right hand or have someone hold it for you until after your vows, when you can slip it back on for the reception. Remember: The band is usually worn closest to your heart on your left hand.
Check Out Your Ceremony Space
Check out your ceremony space. Another thing a bride forgets is to really see the ceremony space, says Mystique Latese, founder of Coordinator for a Day. “Often she is brought into the church or the ceremony location as part of a covert operation in order to keep her out of sight. The only moment she experiences the space is when she walks down the aisle.” Take the time to see the flowers and the décor, see the altar where you stood and the space
Thank Wedding Party
Thank your parents and bridal party. It’s a great time to also have a private moment where you express you gratitude for all they have done for you and your groom on this special day. It’s also an opportunity for these close friends and family members to have the bride and groom all to themselves for a final moment before they have to share you with the rest of the guests. “The next phase of the wedding day is a flurry of food and fun and after the ceremony is a perfect time for private moments such as these,” says Latese.
Collect Sentimental Items
Collect ceremony items. Don’t leave behind anything of value–sentimental or otherwise–at the ceremony space. Extra programs, the unity candle, the Ketubah, or family photos that might have been on the altar are things that can easily be forgotten during the excitement that occurs after your vows. Assign a friend or family member to gather everything and hold onto it for you until you get back from the honeymoon.