Sorry for the delay!! We've been busy busy this weekend wrapping up post-wedding items! Also my computer has been having issues so I lost the draft of this I started
Here we go:
Continuation from Day 2: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1051950/faith4keeps-wedding-review-day-2-of-5-de-stress-rehearsal-and-photo-tour
Day 3 - Wedding Day - Saturday!
This is a very general timeline. I've stripped out much of the minute-by-minute pieces for the purposes of this thread. Would be happy to share if anyone is interested:
8am - 8:30am - Friends start to arrive, hair & makeup arrives, photographer arrives in hotel suite
9:15am-9:40am - Get in dress, photos, etc.
9:45am - First look photos
10:40am - Meet with officiant
11am - Wedding invitation time
11:15am - Actual wedding start time*
11:40am - Family photos
12:15pm - On a shuttle to Cosmopolitan
12:30pm - Grand Entrance
1:00 pm - Toasts
1:30pm - Cake
2pm - Must be out of room
2-2:30pm - More photos in suite at Cosmopolitan
7:45pm - Meet guests at Tropicana for strip tour
8-10pm - Strip tour on party bus
*Note: I had read a lot of conflicting advice about wedding time vs. invitation time. My coordinator gave me the great advice that most people, particularly people who have been married before, will arrive ~20 mins before the invitation time, so planning on a "late" wedding time is very rude. At any rate, although we went back to coordinating based on a wedding time of 11am, I planned my timeline based on the idea that we would run about 15-20 mins behind, so that is reflected in the above timeline.
7am - WAKE UP! I can't remember if I woke up to my alarm or not, but I do know I slept pretty soundly. Would highly recommend the sleeping pill method for night before the wedding. I got up, showered, and packed. I was checking out of the Tropicana and into Cosmopolitan...on my wedding day...with an 11am wedding...I know. But it ended up working out OK because we put 2 helpful friends in charge of getting both mine and my groom's bags from our current hotels over to the Cosmopolitan's bell desk. Once I was packed, I had quite a bit of time until everyone arrived. So I sat and reflected. I read some great advice that says "be emotionally present". I thought about the meaning of the day and focused on how I wanted to experience the day - happy, joyful, but while still making a serious commitment. After my friend started waking up, we set out all of our leftover food from the bachelorette party, which ended up being a great add to the morning. Quite a few people were waiting until the reception to eat, including me, so it was nice to have some cheese, crackers, hummus, etc. lying around.
8:15am - My little sister arrives with Starbucks in hand marked "For the Bride!" which made for great pictures. She also brought over a silky white robe for me to get ready in. While I was changing into that, hair and makeup arrive (GlamSquad). They were pretty adamant that I sit immediately so they could get to work. They had 7 other weddings that day but apparently, that's a slow day for them - normally they have 15! I asked for a half up half down hairstyle that was soft and romantic. He got to work on curling my hair. Our photographer arrived soon after and started snapping photos. Hair stylist ask for my veil and I told him about the hole the steamer found. One look at it and he said, "This is not a hole. It's a steamer burn.". The guy that was with him agreed. So- I'll need to figure that out at some point, and maybe ask the steaming company for some compensation? Not sure how to handle that situation since I have no real idea when the hole happened.
My soon to be SIL arrive and both my sister and SIL did a great job of keeping things light and fun. People had asked me if they should come dressed & ready and I had said that it was up to them what they wanted to do, but that there was plenty of space in our room to get ready if they wanted to. Photographer gave everyone a little prep session that they should always be acting like this is THE BEST DAY EVER so that she doesn't get photos of people randomly frowning. Haha. I had my SIL turn on some music which I eventually asked for 80s radio, and that was a GREAT decision. Highly recommend 80s music for happy, light, airy, fun getting ready music!
I couldn't see my hair & makeup while they were doing it but my little sister was giving them direction, which was making me a little nervous that it wasn't looking right to her. Hair doesn't take too long so they start in on the makeup. I wanted something natural and simple. They did a great job glamming me up just a bit. I was a little shocked when I went and looked in a mirror for the first time because I thought I looked like a doll! But immediately I was not happy with my hair. They had a thick 2" section on both sides right in front of my ear that was just dropped "framing" my face in a very obvious curling-iron looking curl. I asked for them to pull those pieces back because I thought it looked REALLY weird. They did. Take 2. Now I notice that some of the "down" pieces are already flat or looked like they haven't been curled at all. Hair guy says some pieces of my hair are being "stubborn". He makes another effort. I'm happy, so they leave and move on to the next wedding. However, it wasn't long before I was finding almost-straight pieces of my hair again. I had already packed and sent away my straightening iron (that I use to curl) so..... c'est la vie. I noted that he put a lot of my hair "up" and there was only 6-8 sections of hair that were left "down". My hair is really thick and full naturally, so this looked odd to me. Overall, I was a little disappointed with my hairstyle and I'll admit that in some photos I've seen already, if there are straight pieces showing they really bother me. I remember during the first look photos (later) I was trying to push that side of my hair back behind my shoulder. So 1) I wonder if the GlamSquad folks are really that good? and 2) I wonder if the fact that I had a blowout the day before, where she put smoothing products into my hair, affected the next day hairstyle. I'm not sure, but if I could do it all again, I would have done my own hair instead of getting a blowout the night before to avoid this mess. GlamSquad gets a C.
Somewhere in that time frame, around 8:45/9am, more guests started arriving to the suite. Recall that first look photos are at 9:45am so I really have to leave the suite by about 9:35am since it's a long walk. Here's where I made a few timeline mistakes: for anyone that was going be in "help me get in my dress" photos, I should have told them to be ready by 9:00am to help me put on my dress. I had not given anyone specific timeframes and then I had to wait around and until they were ready for me to take my next step in getting ready. This was the cause of all the pre-wedding delays we had: people were waiting until my hair & makeup was done to get ready for some reason.
By about 9:20am everyone (stepmom, stepsister, and my friend) were ready for get-in-dress photos. I had also under-estimated the time it was going to take to get in the dress. My dress was very simple, but I had the alterations team add loops for all the buttons to give it a cleaner look and so that my "team" could have something other to do than zip me up
Instead of taking about 3 mins to put on the dress, all those loops took about 10 mins. So that put us further behind.
We had to rush through all the other photos: me reading my groom's card (photographer had me wait until I was dressed), my grandmother giving me my "something old" for the day, me giving my friend a gift, and me giving my SIL a gift. At this point, photographer scrambled out of the room to meet my groom to position for first look photos.
I scrambled to grab everything last minute I needed: small purse with phone, tissues, ID and credit card, bobby pins, and hairspray. Also I was in charge of all the rings!
My sister was a LIFE SAVER that day. I didn't have official bridesmaids and while I was thankful for that throughout the planning process, throughout the wedding weekend I really, really wished I could have had some girlfriends to boss around. I know that sounds awful but I had this overarching feeling that people weren't really paying attention to me and my needs, and so they were enjoying their Las Vegas vacation and friends they were getting to see while I was absolutely freaking out and stressing about the event. My sister, however, was absolutely amazing and attentive especially throughout the wedding day. She was always near me and kept asking, "Do you need anything? Can I do anything?" and there were probably 10+ times throughout the day I was just like "Can you hold my purse? Can you come with me here? I need a bobby pin!". She really pulled through for me.
So when it was time to go down for first look photos, I was ready to go but then I realized how lonely and weird it would be to be a bride- in full hair, makeup, dress, veil- to be walking through a hotel by herself. As I was about to leave my sister asked, "Do you want someone to go with you?" and I was so happy she asked, and I had her come with me! It felt so much better to just have SOMEONE with me. So we got in the elevators and headed down to meet my groom!!
(Posting now so this doesn't get lost, I'll reply below with the next step in the story!)