Essential top tips and advice for brides - from other brides!
When it comes to planning your wedding there really is no one better to advise brides than the people who’ve been there and done it already - other brides! So, we asked some of the fabulous real brides from our blog for their planning essentials and key advice. Below they’ve shared all their top tips, from creating mood boards and hiring videographers to careful budgeting and trying as much cake as possible!
Interested? Then read on for everything you need to know - and plenty of things you won’t even have thought of - from our brilliant WED2B brides…
“My advice for brides is to make sure you book your suppliers well in advance to get who you want,” says Becky. “We booked our photographer, Kerry Woods Photography, over two years in advance because she’s so in demand. It was a similar time for our hair and make-up artist too. Also, if we could do the day all over again, I would try to save some money from other areas and hire a videographer. Other than that, there’s nothing I would change. It was just perfect! Good luck to all future brides-to-be!”
My advice for brides would be…
1. Remember the confetti. Don’t forget to bring baskets of it with you and delegate someone to hand it out.
2. Find a place that’s nice for photographs that guests also have to walk through to get to the drinks reception. This way you can meet and greet guests and snap pictures of them as they come through. We didn't do the whole group photo thing though, as I always think that the most stressful part of a wedding is trying to find the guests who’ve wandered off!
3. Ask for full bottles of wine to be placed on the tables, rather than being poured by staff. Otherwise, I feel like staff often pour your second glass when you’ve barely taken a sip of your first!
4. Enjoy every single second and don't stress. You don't notice anything that goes wrong on the day!
“If we were to have our wedding day all over again I would make sure I was ready in the morning as early as possible, to avoid the last-minute rush,” says Sally. “We were also advised to try and spend as much time together as we could. The day goes so quickly and it’s easy to get caught up with guests, rather than enjoying your wedding day together. We are so glad for that advice, as we had the best time when we were together!”
“Try not to give in to the pressure to have everything,” says Cantara. “There were times I’d panic that we didn’t have enough decorations or flowers. Or I doubted my decision to not have light-up letters, for example, but it was all fine. Pick what feels right for you, suits your style and fits your budget. Also, enjoy the process of wedding planning. It can be a bit stressful at times, but remember that you’re creating the most special day with the love of your life and you’ll miss the planning when it’s over. Finally, make a mood board. I found it so helpful to see all my ideas in one place. I also sent it to our suppliers, so that they understood what we were aiming for. Mine’s on Pinterest here, if you want to have a look at it.”
My advice for brides would be…
1. Start saving early and shop around for your venue, entertainment, outfits, photographer, etc. Before you pay any non-refundable deposits, ask yourself one final time if the wedding really needs it and if you can afford it.
2. Enlist the help of friends and family in the preparations too. I wish I’d taken them up on their offers of help, instead of being a control freak and doing it all myself!
3. Most importantly, on the days leading up to the wedding and on the day itself, don’t sweat the small stuff. When the day comes around you'll no longer care about stationery, confetti and what music is playing! The most important thing is that you get married, with all your loved ones around you.
“My top advice for brides would be don’t get too caught up in the wedding planning,” says Charlotte. “I literally did it all in three months and if I’d started a year before I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. Set a budget and stick to it. I wanted a photo booth, however, we didn’t want to spend another £400 on top of everything else, so we didn’t have one. To be honest, I didn’t miss it and it didn’t make our wedding any less perfect or special. Make sure you give hair and makeup artist enough time. Mine came five hours before my wedding, which gave me and my bridesmaids an hour each, and it was only just enough time. Lastly, go and sample loads of wedding cake just for the fun of it. You can never eat too much cake!”
“Make sure you and your spouse work as a team,” says Stephanie. “I really couldn't have done it without Will's help. And don't break the bank trying to please other people. Your day is all about you so just enjoy it and take it all in. You'll remember the moments the most, not how pretty your tables looked. Enjoy every minute!”
“Stick to your budget,” says Danielle. “You can definitely achieve exactly what you want within a small budget. Our day was perfect and our budget was £5,000. Do some research to get the best prices on things and don't settle for something if it’s not really what you want. It will niggle at the back of your mind if you do and you don’t want to be thinking back on it after your wedding day, wishing you’d done it differently. If we could do it again, I wish I’d have asked a bridesmaid or groomsmen to come and grab us so we could have some alone time. The day goes by so quickly and everyone's pulling you in different directions. I wish we’d had a private moment alone to let it all sink in.”
“Take time to enjoy being husband and wife,” says Clare. “Don’t go around checking everyone is OK. If there’s a problem, they’ll come to you. You didn’t pay for such a special day to be chasing everyone around. If you want to dance the night away on the dance floor or be propped up against the bar, then do it. I would also say, make the day how you would like it, don’t worry about other people’s opinions. And lastly, don’t fret about the small things, no one will notice it apart from you.”
“Make sure you’re comfortable,” says Rachel. “You won’t enjoy yourself as much if you’re not. Luckily my dress and shoes were super comfy and I was able to wear them all day long. I didn’t have to worry about sitting down a particular way or how I was going to get to the toilet! Also, get a videographer. This was honestly one of the best investments for us and we watch our video all of the time. We didn’t decide to get one until quite last minute and we were very lucky the videographers we wanted were available! The day goes so fast and they are able to capture those special moments you might miss.”
My advice for brides would be…
- Became a spreadsheet guru. I set up columns for everything we wanted with the budget at the bottom. It really helped me monitor where we were.
- Have a strict guest list policy. If we hadn’t spoken to or seen someone for over six months then they weren’t invited. Family was strictly immediate and it was adults only, as this saved us a lot of money and set the tone for the wedding.
- Research suppliers before you pay anything, as there are a lot of scams. Read the reviews, meet up with them, if possible, and only pay a deposit. Make sure there’s a set contract and read all the small print.
- Don’t be afraid to change certain elements of the wedding. For example, I had candelabras rather than flowers on tables, which saved money.
- And, finally, remain calm. This is your big day so enjoy it. Enjoy every moment of being fussed over and being the centre of attention because the actual day goes in the blink of an eye!”