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Sure, weddings tend to be all about the details, but the day itself is a total blur. (Flowers! Photos! Your future in-laws!) That’s why we asked real bride Dara to take us through the motions of her recent Florida nuptials to her adorbs groom, Lincoln. Here, exactly what was going through her head before, during and after ‘I do.’

RELATED: 13 Real Brides Share Their Best Ever Wedding Advice

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On Getting Ready

“I woke up feeling a little anxious even though at the time I thought I was being super chill. In retrospect, I think I channeled that nervous energy in one weird direction: hydration. I don’t remember being nervous about anything besides having enough water, hence the Kate Spade cup. But one of my bridesmaids led a yoga sesh before everything started, and it just cleared the air. And once the hair and makeup started I was very, very relaxed. It’s fun to be pampered…and hydrated.”

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On Hair and Makeup

“My advice for this is to bring photos. I bookmarked my favorite Anne Hathaway looks since we have the same coloring (or so I tell myself) and figured that would give them a good sense of what I wanted. My makeup trial was six months before the wedding, so when it got closer to the date, I looked at the pics and emailed the makeup artist with a few tweaks. (For example: I wound up wanting less lash and eye shadow.) As for my hair, I brought a picture of Jessica Alba—as I do anytime I’m getting my hair done—and my hairstylist just nailed it.”

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On Scheduling a First Look With Her Groom

“I loved the first look. It was a really lovely, private moment (minus the photographers and our parents peeking in). Different families have different traditions, so I think it’s about whatever works for you. For us, we’re very happy we got a lot of great photos and, most importantly, I got to fix Lincoln’s hair. (If I had seen what he did to it at the ceremony, I don’t think I’d be married right now.) Timing-wise, our first look was a little after 2 p.m. I think we took photos for the next two hours, rested around 5 and got married at 6:30. Boom.”

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On Choosing Her Flowers

“I learned that Pinterest boards aren’t just for you to imagine your dream wedding, they’re actually remarkably helpful to vendors to see what you’re thinking. I would have never been able to tell my florist specific flowers, but I could show her a ton of inspiration for things I liked and things I didn’t like. That, paired with a price point and you’re golden.”

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…And Her Bridesmaids’ Dresses

“I copied a couple of my friends who had done similar things and sent an email with a color palette and some parameters. I will admit, choosing the palette felt like making a life or death decision. (It’s not.) Plus, if you don’t work with colors on the regular, describing them can get tricky (e.g., saying things like 'pink but not, like, pink. Ya know?’). Something that helped me visualize it all was to pick out dresses I could see my bridesmaids wearing and then work backwards using a color finder plugin or Photoshop. I made a little collage thingy to send to my bridesmaids and show my florist.”

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On the Ceremony

“The biggest thing we did to personalize our ceremony was ask our dear friend to marry us. We wanted a Jewish wedding, but since we both live far from where we were raised, we never established a connection with a rabbi in New York. So we basically asked our friend to pretend to be a rabbi. He got some hot tips from his real rabbi to prepare and pepper in the traditions we wanted, but also infused the room with lots of humor. Also, Lincoln’s mom is jazz flautist, so she and a good friend played us down the aisle.”

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On Her Favorite Detail

“Part of the reason we chose our venue is because it’s already so beautifully decorated and unique. So we were pretty straightforward when it came to place cards and tablescapes. For example, the banyan tree behind the place card holder is actually always lit like that with decorative orchids (but don’t you dare tell anyone). My favorite splurge was definitely the band. We requested a lot of funk, disco and pop (specifically some Flo Rida because I have to be true to myself), and they just killed it and kept the party alive. Also, the food. We’re a very food forward family and we really brought it home with some local haunts’ late night cuisine: doughnuts, biscuits and eggs, cinnamon rolls and ice cream.”

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On the Best Piece of Advice She Received

“It felt really weird at first to be treated like the ACTUAL QUEEN, but that’s just what happens. So accept it and ask for water as much as you want if you’re freaking out about staying hydrated.”

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On Taking It All In

“After the ceremony, I think I just felt really happy. We had a yihud (the modern version where you sit down for a second and eat fancy mini hot dogs, not the consummate-the-marriage version), which gave me and Lincoln time to take a beat.” 

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On Her Confetti Send-Off

“I have to give my wedding planner props for the confetti toss. She passed around a basket with these tubes that everyone takes and shakes at the same time. Everyone thinks they’re immune to confetti. But they’re not. It’s the most contagious, addictive party trick out there: You just keep tossing it up the rest of the night. I married Lincoln that night. But I fell in love with confetti.”

Dara’s Vendors
Wedding Planner: Great Events
Photographer: Alisha Siegel Photography
Flowers: Libby’s Flowers
Music: Flavor | Tropics Entertainment
Hair and Makeup: Duality Artistry
Venue: Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club
Dress: Theia

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