By Amina Jade
*Originally posted on Amina Jade
On February 20th, 2021 I was able to marry my best friend after more than two years of waiting to say, "I do." The pandemic played a huge role in the dramatic wait, however, it was well worth it! I always imagined our wedding day would be one to remember, but truly, the reality of us celebrating our nuptials exceeded our expectations. Long story short -- it was a movie! You just had to be there.
Pivoting our wedding plans due to COVID was a tall task, but not impossible thanks to some amazing tips I received along the way. Here's a look at five tips that helped our big day turn out picture perfect.
1. Delegate Wedding Day Duties
Girl, please don't try and do everything by yourself. In fact, the only thing you should be doing on your wedding day is showing up. All of your day-of tasks should be assigned to your planner, day-of coordinator, bridesmaids, or other close friends and relatives of your choice. I'm guilty of being a control freak at times, so it took everything in my soul for me to take my hands off the wheel and trust those I had delegated specific tasks to. And I have to admit it was the best decision I made going into my wedding day. I was free to be in the moment and take in every single emotion from start to finish.
2. Hire a Bridal Stylist
I know, a bridal stylist. Who actually needs that?! Trust me, I thought the same thing at first, but after my big day I'm a believer! Hiring a bridal stylist alleviated so much stress when it came to my vision for not only my wedding day looks, but also my bridesmaids, mother of the bride and groom, and much more. Everything from accessories to undergarments were on one. single. accord.
Not to mention my bridal stylist also doubled as a day-of coordinator making sure not only my looks were ready to go, but also my bridesmaids. I'm telling you, it's well worth the investment even if you have a wedding planner. You planner will be handling a million things leading up to the ceremony. Having an extra pair of hands always helps!
3. Same Day COVID Testing
Being a bride already carries a bit of stress, but being a bride in the middle of a panoramic?! That's some next level stuff. In addition to reducing our initial guest count to meet CDC guidelines and requiring the use of face masks, my husband and I decided to also require COVID testing in order to attend the wedding. Guests could send their PCR results to our planner no earlier that 72-hours before the wedding, and we also provided a link to same-day testing sites near our venue. I know it seems like over-kill and a big ask, but what would've been worse was our loved ones contracting COVID from our celebration, which we thankfully did not have to deal with.
4. Good Food + Music + Drinks
If you splurge on anything for your wedding day please do it on food, drinks, and a fire DJ! No one will remember your floral arrangements. Sorry not sorry. All people want to remember is how lit they were with you! Also, as an added bonus you should most definitely splurge on your photo and video team. It's one of the only physical things you're actually able to walk away with so why not go all out?! We sure did.
5. Slow Down & Take it in
The most useful tip I received leading up to our wedding day was to savor every moment. The day will absolutely fly by! I made sure to be intentional about being present for every single second of that day. I don't even remember opening Instagram or Twitter before I walked down the aisle. Every smile, every joke, all the nerves. I wanted to feel everything. I laughed, I cried, and was completely shook before walking down the aisle. All those emotions I still hold with me today when I think about our big day.
Another pro-tip: Please eat all that delicious food you paid for and drink up!
Planning a wedding or have tips of your own? Drop them below and feel free to share your questions. You can also check out our wedding day spread in the Black Bride 1998 summer issue for more vendors and tips!
Amina Jade is a media maven with a passion for sports and entertainment! Hailing from the concrete jungle of New York City, Amina has always had big dreams of working in front of the camera and telling the stories of athletes and change-makers from all walks of life. Her career in TV began well before graduating from the University of Miami where she took on several production and on-air roles for networks like NBC, ESPNU, FOX, and her campus station UMTV. Amina's passion for sports, work ethic, and contagious personality have landed her opportunities to tell stories for 6 News Lawrence, Big Ten Network, WCIU in Chicago, BET Networks, and most recently Stadium Sports Network.