Top 5 Lessons from Downton Abbey's wedding

I'm not ashamed to admit, I'm a big Downton Abbey fan. With the Season 3 premiere this week, I was especially thrilled because it featured the much anticipated wedding of Mary and Matthew! Not only was it entertaining, I venture to say it was educational as well. Here are the top 5 lessons from Mary and Matthew’s wedding every engaged couple should keep in mind:

1. Overlook family drama and invite everyone you want to your wedding – even if they’re an embarrassing chauffeur.

Listen, even the Dowager Countess knew it was important that Lady Sybil and her new low-class husband be at Mary’s wedding, despite the fact that they would incite gossip and really piss off the Earl of Grantham.  Weddings are a great time to unite family and bring people together. Try to overlook any past differences, drama, or incidents – especially if you truly want someone to be there for your big celebration.

2. Talk about your budget before spending a sh!t ton on your wedding – your Dad might be bankrupt.

Dudes. Even if your parents are paying for your wedding, be sure to talk and communicate with them about the budget and their expectations. You’re gonna feel like a real jerk when you find out you spent money they didn’t have and you now have to guilt your husband into helping out financially. Speaking of which…

3. Weddings are a great time to bring some joy in the midst of sorrow.

The Earl and Countess were super bummed by their financial woes. While I cannot stand her bizzarro accent, Cora brought some kick-ass American wisdom to the situation when she reminded him “I'm glad we have a wedding to celebrate. Let's make sure it's a great day...and enjoy our lovely home and the lovely people we spend our life among." Amen.

4. It’s ok to bend tradition

There was a lot of talk of tradition in the premiere episode. But my favorite (and frankly, the sexiest) moment was when Mary and Matthew learned how to honor tradition – but bend it slightly. Their eyes-closed kiss to make sure he didn’t see her before the wedding was a perfect example of how to make tradition fun.

5. Sleeves are officially in

Another gorgeous Brit, Kate Middleton, already jump-started this trend. But I officially claim this to be the year of the sleeves when it comes to bridal fashion. And thank god, might I add. Strapless dresses are lovely, but so happy to see sleeves making a comeback (some of my modern favorites, here, here, and here).