There’s nothing like a wedding to encourage unsolicited advice! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless “tips” from friends and family, we’ve hunted out the best (and genuinely helpful) suggestions from real brides who’ve been there and know what really works.
Focus on the Important Things
“Write down the top five things you and your partner want for the day at the very beginning and be prepared to compromise on anything else,” says Jo N, from Yorkshire. “It means there’s room to make your family happy without losing sight of the important stuff.”
Save a Few Pennies
“The most sensible budgeting advice I heard was to write your wedding budget, leave it for a few days, come back to it with fresh eyes and immediately slash it by 10 to 20 per cent,” says Sarah J, from south Wales.
Splash Out (Wisely)
“It’s worth spending money on a good photographer,” says Jo P, from London. “My only regret was asking a friend to take our reception photos, instead of a professional — none of his images came out properly!” Shereen L, from London, suggests going one step further. “Hire a videographer. Photos are great but every time I re-watch our wedding video, I relive the day all over again.”
Plan Your Priorities
“Unless you have an endless budget, you can’t have everything exactly the way you want it. Pick what is important to you — for me, it’s the location, venue and dress — and simplify other things,” says Emma A, from London. “Or get married abroad. It’s a great way to slash the guest list and you can do something more special with your budget.”
Don’t Have DIY Pressure
“If you’re not naturally crafty, don’t feel you have to be on your wedding day,” says Eimear O, from the Scottish Borders. “I have been to so many weddings with the most amazing handmade details and at first I really felt under pressure to do the same, but it’s just not my forte, so why would I? You can buy lots of nice touches from places like notonthehighstreet.com, or rely on beautiful flowers and easy touches like candles. No one will remember the handmade napkins!”
Add a Personal Touch
“As an alternative to a guest book, have an engagement photo done then get it enlarged on a wide mount so there’s plenty of room around it,” says Celia S, from London. “Put it on a table somewhere people will see it and get them to sign, with a short comment if they like. Make sure you use permanent pens so when you frame it, the writing doesn’t fade. I still look at ours all the time, it’s a great memory.”
Image credited to Photo Forrester
“You’ll never wear a dress for so long again so make sure it’s as comfortable as possible,” says Emma M, from County Down. “The actual advice I heard was ‘it should feel like a nightdress’. I’m pleased to say I achieved long, white and feeling (but not looking) like a nightie.”
Managing the Dress
“My top practical tip is on how to go to the loo in your wedding dress,” reveals Melissa V, in Cheshire. “Sit facing the wall so that your train remains behind you — then you don’t even need a bridesmaid to help you.”
Trial then Order
“Hold off buying your hair accessory until after your trial to ensure you get one for the hair that suits you best, as opposed to building a hairstyle around an accessory, and risk it not suiting you,” says Phoebe C, from Lancashire.
Make Time to Stop
“The best advice I was given was to try to stop every hour, look around and take everything in,” says Catherine M, from Staffordshire. “Everyone tells you the day goes so fast and it’s true, but this makes sure you take a few minutes together to enjoy the moment.”
Don’t Worry About the Weather
“I obsessed about the probability of rain for a week beforehand,” says Olivia C, from London. “It was cloudy and did rain! But it was still the perfect day. Looking back, I would have enjoyed the day even more had I just accepted it might not be sunny and not fretted about it.”
Relive the Moment
“My husband had our first dance song on his iPhone so we could listen and dance our dance again by ourselves after the wedding,” says Annie C, from Oxfordshire.
Keep a Few Secrets
“Try not to share too much in advance with guests,” suggests Suzi R, from Hertfordshire. “That way you can retain the mystery… and prevent unrequested advice.”