- You will have an epic explosion. No matter how calm, cool and collected you normally are, the explosion will occur. Expect it to take place within the two weeks leading up to your wedding. It will be a moment where something sets you off or stress gets the best of you, and you will freak the fuck out. Repeat after me: this is normal. This is good. Expect it. Embrace it. Bring wine. Call a friend. Then shake it off, and get it together, badass. You've got an aisle to walk.
- You'll need a bathroom plan. Let's get the most important thing out of the way here, because between signing contracts and selecting gorgeous centerpieces, I bet you aren't thinking about how to pee. But it's important, so let's discuss. I peed on my friend on my wedding day. Don't judge me; you try locating a toilet under a circus tent of organza. It ain't easy, sister, and you don't know who your true friends are until you tinkle on their legs and they still manage to hold your dress up for you. That's dedication. Here's the best tip I ever received: pee facing the toilet. Better accuracy, zero sprinklage, and no one has to dance around with pee-pee on their bridesmaid shoes.
- You might not eat. Sure, you have every intention of sampling all the food. Just as soon as you say hello to so-and-so, thank this-one-and-that-one, dance till your heels become flats, and remind the photographer for the forty-fifth time which one is your grandmother. If you keep dinner on your mind ahead of time, you'll increase your chances of enjoying that meal you so carefully chose for your wedding -- even if it's just a bite here, a bite there.
- You might not drink. For all of the reasons which apply to #2, so be it for this one. I must have had 10 drinks brought to me by our lovely bridal attendant at our reception hall -- but I was never drunk, because I think I was able to take a sip out of maybe two of them. Don't worry, you will naturally catch a nice buzz from the energy of the day (and you can unwind with some champagne and your hubs in the bridal suite, afterward).
- Some who you believe will be there for you, won't. Sad but true fact: weddings conjure up some weird shit in people, and because of this you might lose friends or be let down by others. It can be upsetting, but the faster we pull up our bridal spanks and face the realization, the easier we will get over this. This is due to a lot of factors: jealousy, because they are planning their own wedding, or you're simply at a time in your lives where you just plain drift apart. Some of your relationships will recover from this. For others, this will be the moment of truth as to who stays in your life. Stress little. Choose wisely. Keep dancing.
- Some who you wouldn't think would step up, will. Like a diamond in the rough, someone you least expect will step up and be there for you exactly at the time you need them. Remember this. Thank them. And if you can, return the favor when their time comes.
- Your favorite pictures may not be the ones you pose for. You might shell out a pretty penny on a photographer, but don't be surprised if you find that your favorite shot comes from the iPhone of the girlfriend of your fourth cousin twice-removed. This is why you MUST follow up with guests for photos. Email some of your guests after your wedding asking them to send you any pics they have. Or better yet, plan ahead with one of the many apps on the market that your guests can use to instantly share pictures as your wedding unfolds. You will find some gems, guaranteed -- and it's so much fun to see your wedding through the eyes of your guests!
- Not everything will go as planned. "Oh yes it will!" you say. "I spent hours of my time making sure of it. I paid good money! I left no room for error! It will be perfect." And it will be perfect -- in an imperfect way. You can't control everything. Trust me, it is better this way. Leave room for some magic.
- Your emotions will toy with you. If you're normally stone-cold, you may find yourself in tears. If you traditionally cry at the drop of a hat, you may discover that you somehow hold it together. It doesn't matter -- just hold the hand of your new spouse, let it flow, and enjoy this wild, crazy ride together.
A version of this post originally appeared on Alessandra Macaluso's blog, PunkWife. If you are getting married or know a bride-to-be, check out her book: "The Bitch's Bridal Bible: The Must-Have, Real- Deal Guide for Brides," available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also find Alessandra on Facebook and Twitter.
Alessandra is currently working on a cookbook filled with healthy, fresh and easy recipes for babies that the whole family can enjoy (because really, who wants to cook twice?). If you'd like to get on that mailing list, you can do so here: What a Good Eater.