What is your best advice for other brides planning a wedding?

February 4, 2013 | By

Question by Michele @ Bridal University: What is your best advice for other brides planning a wedding?
Whether you are in the midst of wedding planning now, or were happily wedded years ago, what tips, ideas or advice can you share with other brides? What do you wish you had done differently, or what are you glad you did? What unique, personal touches did you include in your own wedding? Do you have any cool ideas on: party favors, wedding party gifts, bridesmaids attire, invitations/programs, child attendants, showers/bachelor(ette) parties, the ceremony/vows/etc, wedding cake, photography/videography, the honeymoon? (These are just 'prompts' to spark your memory - you don't have to answer them all!!) I am finishing my wedding planner/workbook and would like to include tips from real-life brides. Your input and ideas would be a huge help!!

Best answer:

Answer by BAG LADY
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET AND STAY WITHIN IT

Give your answer to this question below!

HOMEMADE WEDDING CRAFTS
bridesmaid invitation ideas

Image by Salicia
A COLLAGE OF MY HOMEMADE CRAFTS FOR MY DAUGHTER'S WEDDING. WEDDING CRAFTS CONSISTED OF - SIGN FOR PARASOL FAVOURS FOR OUR LADY GUESTS, DOLLY BAG (MADE BY A LOVELY LADY ON A POPULAR AUCTION SITE) WELCOME DOOR HANGS WITH LETTER OF GREETINGS FROM BRIDE & GROOM FOR STOPOVER GUESTS, SMALL CANDLES FOR FAMILY SADLY NO LONGER WITH US ( TO BE PLACED BESIDE MEMORIAL CANDLE), ORDER OF SERVICE, DECORATED JARS FOR CANDY /SWEETIE BAR, FUN SWEEPSTAKE (TO BE PLACED ON GUEST TABLES), TABLE NAME CARD, MINI CANDLES FOR LIGHTING UNITY TAPERS, GUEST NAME CARD, CANDY BAR SERVING SPOONS, WEDDING SCROLL FAVOURS, BOOKMARK FAVOURS, CHAMPAGNE FLUTE FAVOUR, CANDLE FAVOURS, TAKEHOME GIFT TAGS, EVENING WEDDING INVITATIONS, RSVP'S, FAN FAVOUR TAGS, WEDDING DAY INVITATIONS, DECORATED TABLE WEIGHTS FOR TABLE DECOR, BRIDAL PARTY THANK YOU GIFTS, WEDDING VENUE FLOOR PLAN. THE DOOR HANGS IDEA COURTESY OF MARTHA STEWART MANY THANKS XX

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Comments (19)

  1. Fayth

    Not from me personally, but my friend was so rushed trying to get everything done that she didn’t have time to enjoy her wedding.

    My advice would be to plan every detail way in advance and make sure that you have someone that you totally trust to handle things on the actual day, so you don’t have to think about anything, and you can enjoy your day in peace.

  2. kill_yr_television

    As a wedding vendor, you have a vested interest in fostering the “It’s YOUR day for your DREAM wedding; do WHATEVER you want!” attitude and it’s attendant orgy of self-indulgence and overspending. So you may not like advice from a Higher Authority, in the person of Judith Manners (aka Miss Manners). But I will post it here in the hope that a few brides will use their heads for something besides holding a veil up.

    You, out there in Brideland, you sweet thing … Are you planning your wedding so that it will be perfect in every detail? Do you expect it to be the happiest day of your life? Miss Manners sincerely hopes not.

    Few of those who prattle about that “happiest day” seem to consider the dour expectations this suggests about the marriage from its second day on. They don’t realize that a wedding reception is basically a large party, and is therefore not perfectible because there are too variables, not to mention too many people who one thought would not accept the invitation. At any rate, someone whose idea of ultimate happiness is a day spent at a big party, even spent being the center of attention at a very marvelous big party, is too immature to get married.

    This notion of a wedding persists, often working directly against the purpose of a wedding, which is to create a new family, and not to put cracks and strains in old ones. Miss Manners’ advice to young brides is to plan weddings that will be pretty and festive, but not to attempt to make them grand on a scale unrelated to the rest of their lives, and not to expect them to be perfect. Many an otherwise lovely bride has turned ugly attempting to create a “dream” occasion and to make everyone else conform with her conception of their roles in it.

    A warning that one has strayed too far afield is an excessive preoccupation with everything’s being done “right”. Weddings are rare events in most people’s lives, and Miss Manners has no objections to the participants’ seeking advice on correct form. She dispenses such advice herself, right and left. But if one needs professional direction — not just help or advice — in every aspect of the wedding, it may mean that one hs wondered into completely foreign social territory and should think about heading home. One’s wedding should be a heightened version of one’s best social life, not an occasion for people to attempt to play grand and unfamiliar roles in a fantasy play.

    Another warning about expecting a perfect day is that this carries a built-in potential for disappointment. (There are adults who go through life expecting other people to make their birthdays perfect for them and if you ever meet one of these, watch out. Nothing will ever be enough for them.)

    What Miss Manners wishes all brides is NOT the happiest days of their lives, but a jolly gathering of family and friends, in which they are the object of general admiration but EVERYONE has a good time. They will then have some happiness left over with which to live happily every after.

  3. Jamie-Girl

    Congratulations! The only thing that you have to remember is that this day is only about you and your husband to be, no one else. Just relax & try to focus on the reason you fell in love in the first place. That will help you stay calm and help you to remember why your really doing this to begin with. I wish I had more of a hand in planning my wedding though, things were nothing like I wanted them. Make sure that you dont settle for something you dont really care for. You’ll end up regretting it later. It’s your wedding and your choice. What you say goes. GoodLuck!

  4. Heather R

    I have one tip.

    My wedding was in 2004.

    Instead of place cards and favors, we had a bunch of blank CD’s made with our names, the date and a picture on it. Then we burned 10-12 songs that meant a lot to my husband and I on it. I put the CD’s in semi-clear envelopes and slid in a card that I printed out with the same picture on it and the couples name and the word table on it. Then when we did table seating, my mom and I just wrote in marker the table number and we slid them into the sleeve with the CD. They were on the table near the guest book, and couples picked up the CD and knew where they sat. I got a lot of complements on the table card/favor.

    My sister just got engaged and I can’t wait to help her plan her wedding. I would love to be a wedding planner.

  5. kllr.queen

    PLAN

    The bigger the production the more that can go wrong

    Delegate …… Wisely

    PLAN

    Get your friends and family involved.

    Remember your Mum just wants the best for you

    No. He doesn’t understand, but he loves you and is still trying

    PLAN

    Chose a theme. Colour or style. Stick to it

    Eat the reception food before the wedding so you know if it sucks

    PLAN

    Have a backup plan

    Find your most Anal obsessive friend. Recruit them…..Very good at details.

    Allocate a budget. Stick to it

    Remember it is just 1 day and you have the rest of your lives together. What is more important a dress you will wear once or a house?

    Did I mention you should PLAN

  6. angel_devil_downhearted

    always keep your budget in mind and never try to go over it or you will find yourself in debt real fast

  7. Kootie Guru

    Buy a wedding planner. It will be your best friend though out the whole roller coaster ride. It will keep you right on track as far as which items you should have by a certain time frame. It will help you answer questions like “When should we get fitted for our rings?” or “What would be the best order for the wedding party to enter and exit the ceremony?”

  8. danac210

    Get very familiar with theknot.com, they were a huge help to me. They will walk you through every step up until your big day. I tried to focus on the big picture like, how happy my fiancee and I were going to be together instead of getting cought up in all the details. Be patient with your friends and family, they will give tons of uninvited suggestions, but even though it is annoying, remember they mean well. We had all our married relatives bring framed pics of their wedding and displayed them on the cake table, everyone felt included and loved seeing their photo on our table. For favors, stick with food, everyone loves to eat and the little trinkets just get thrown away. For bridesmaids gifts try to do something different and personal for each girl. For example, if one girl likes shopping give her giftcards to her favorite stores, or if a girl likes cooking give her cooking supplies or cooking classes. They will appreciate being treated as individuals. invitationsbydawn.com has great, economic invites.Congrats and good luck.

  9. WedEvents

    First and foremost, determine who is paying and who is the final decision-maker. This will eliminate unnecessary arguments and provide some guidance. Second, plan ahead! Don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. Plan early so you can enjoy yourself. Third, when picking out favors, remember that a lot of times they are left behind, but if you choose something that is edible, i.e. chocolates, cookies, wine, the favors will be worth the money spent.

  10. hoodphotography

    You do NOT have to spend a million dollars (figurativly speaking of course) to have a wonderful day. Remember, this is the first day of the rest of your life.

    Write your own vows. They mean the most to you.

    Have children involved! They are SO cute.

    Make sure to get a great photographer. When the wedding is over, all you have left is the marriage and the pics! But do not break the bank….there are many individuals and companies out there that dont charge an arm and a leg.

    Good Luck!

  11. biggirld2000

    Plan, plan, plan. Try to think of any and everything that is involved in any wedding you have gone to. Make an outline, keep all of your notes together in one booklet, hold on to it for dear life. Good planning will lead to no “ooops, we forgot” on the wedding day. Try to have everything lined out at least two weeks prior to the wedding. Take everyone into consideration, from fiance’, yours/his parents, your/his friends, relatives. It’s your day, it’s your way but don’t make decisions that you will regret for the rest of your life. Be considerate. .

  12. Diane E

    i was married last sept best advice go to weddingchannals.com is awesome site……… also be sure an take time fer jus u each day…… the last week fer sure…… pamper yurself mornin of yur wedding…… an relax an lov da day….

  13. barrwiese

    Remember the mantra. No matter what obstacles you face, what trauma comes your way, repeat this phrase and smile, “When this is done, I am going to be Mrs. (insert groom’s name here).” The rest is just trimming.

    (And, ask a friend to have a car waiting, with a full tank of gas, to be the get away driver> This is just in case you change your mind at the last minute. Knowing that you have options is calming.)

  14. flonehotmamacal

    I just got married on May 6th of this year. After it is over now I have a lot of things i would have done differantly….Make sure you have a babysitter if you already have kids…and not one who is staying for the reception. Have someone cater and decorate…it was less expensive but more stressful! Dont stress out about everything! Have a honeymoon and ENJOY YOUR DAY! it will be over in an instant make the best of it…..if you stress out about everything youll miss the fun! My wedding ceremony was perfect! The only thing I would have changed is my reception. My family didnt get to enjoy it because they were cleaning up the food and all that. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOME ONE CATER that will do everything….cleaning up and all!

  15. bmwm3z06

    if u r having music.
    u want to make sure u know what u want.

    i play violin at weddings and alot of the time the bride and groom dont know what they want…

    it is very annoying when people r going back nd forth for bout 15 20 min

    soo u need to plan out what u exactly want and figure out how u want the bridesmaids to walk down and the grooms men to walk …alll before the reshersal for the wedding …sooo things willl go smoothly

  16. mightymite1957

    Just two tips, make sure to delegate some things, this will take some of the stress off of you, and will keep some people (especially moms) from feeling left out. Buy some of those disposible cameras to put on the tables at the reception, and ask your guests to take pictures of each other. There is always someone that you wish the photographer had captured, but by the time you see your wedding proofs, it is too late. Most of all, have fun! Congrats!

  17. basketcase88

    First off, congratulations on your upcoming marriage! May you have a healthy, happy union.

    After being very happily married for 18+ years, my advise is this: You don’t want the wedding to overshadow the marriage. A wedding is just for 1 day, but your marriage should last your lifetime. Rule number 1: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number 2: It’s all small stuff. Don’t get so wrapped up in the knitty gritty of wedding planning that you forget the most important reason which is why you’re there in the first place. Good luck and best wishes to you both!

  18. Linda M

    Recent wedding experiences included lousy food (many guests were vomiting a few hours after) and a photographer who didn’t notice that the cap was on the lens until the wedding reception was nearly over! Both brides were devastated! Hope this helps and gives you a few ideas. (1) have more cameras and take additional photos besides your hired photographer and (2) check out the food PRIOR to your wedding. Good luck.

  19. Courtney T

    I just got married on June 3, 2006.
    I would say that
    1) Developing a budget saves a lot of stress
    2) Decide what YOU want before you start talking to family members and your bridal party. Otherwise, everyone has some kind of problem with your choices.
    3) Take care of everything as soon as you can. Make your favors early, make your programs early, anything that can be done in advance, do it! Don’t waste too much time and then spend the week before your wedding scrambling to get things done.
    4) Don’t choose people for your bridal party who are irresponsible! It will save you so much grief!