Before I got married 15 September 2018 I read a lot of advise from former brides so I could best prepare myself for the big day, and even just planning for the big day. I took all their advice into consideration, and now having lived through my fairytale wedding, and been married for a few months I believe I can finally pass on the feedback I genuinely think brides-to-be should know.
Not everything will go exactly how you planned it but it'll still be amazing
I went into wedding planning with the knowledge that of course, not everything goes to plan but it's all going to be okay. At the end of the day, it's not the wedding dress, the cake, how the flowers are arranged, or how many people attended that make your wedding day an important day in your life.
What makes you wedding day special is that you're marrying the love of your life. You're committing to mutually love, respect, honour, and provide for each other.
If something on your wedding day isn't going quite how you planned just brush it off, and take in all the other blessings around you that make that day special. For example if something goes wrong, look at your partner, and say you love them so it's all going to be okay.
Give your contractors clear due dates for everything, and have all agreements in writing
When booking third parties to do any service for your wedding make sure they know exactly the day, and time each component is to be expected. Most contractors have their own lead time so ensure you enquire first, set reasonable expectations by certain dates, and set up a plan for compensation if these deliverables are not met by that time.
For example, I got married in September 2018, and I still have not received my wedding highlights video file (1 minute) or the day recap (90 minutes).
While there was a verbal agreement of 6 months for completion, there was never a formal due date assigned. We have spend months chasing up our videos with continuous dates promised to us but these dates have flown by.
On the other hand, our photography team sent up the first 100 photos within 3 hours of our reception finishing at 12pm, and sent the remaining thousand within a month.
If a contractor doesn't respond, or doesn't state something directly, enquire or run
Everyone knows weddings generally cost a lot of money especially when it comes to contractors. When the word "wedding" is attached to any quote it's usually much more expensive.
The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on a contractor just for them to have poor communication with you, or just take your money without providing the service or product.
If a contractor is not providing reasonable responses to responsible questions within a reasonable time frame, it's best to find someone else.
Have a list of photos you want done but be realistic
Wedding photographers have done so many weddings that they have a general idea of what photos couples want, and what looks good. Make sure you provide a list of people you want photos with, and a mood board of the kinds of photos you want taken so you both go into the booking with the same desired outcome.
But remember, you need to be realistic. If you've set 1 hour for photos but there's not enough time for your whole list to be completed then you need to rank the photos in order of importance. If you want a sunset photo but it's lunch time you need to be realistic. If you want a photo with all your guests but some leave as soon as it's time for photo then your photographer can't just wrangle everyone out of their cars.
Figure out what photos are most important to you, communicate them to your photographer ahead of the day, and be realistic as the day plans out. At the end of the day, the photos aren't the most important part of your wedding day so there's no point stressing over whether you got all the photos you want.
What's important is capturing the love on the day. And with that, let your photographer have some time to just take candid photos of you.
Write a letter to your partner to read on the day
One of my favourite parts of getting ready was reading the letter my now husband wrote for me to read on the morning of our wedding.
Tell your partner how much you love them, something to make them laugh, share some cherished memories between you, and let them know that you're so excited to see them today.
If you don't have a bar tab, set one. Whatever it is, it'll probably triple.
For our guest package it included beers, wines, ciders, and soft drinks. We had 141 guests, and had set a $1500 bar tab as well as 4 cocktails on tap at $150 a dispenser refill. We thought that would be enough for 141 guests.
Yeah we were wrong...by about $4000. Hey, it's a party after all.
Take it all in
Seriously, it's your wedding day so you two should enjoy every moment possible. Count every blessing, you paid for it!
When you walk down the aisle, look around at everything. When you're in your reception, take a moment to just watch everyone having a great time. Take 15 minutes or so, just the two of you in a different room to hug, and talk about the fact you're now happily married.
Eat all the courses you paid for even if your dress gets tight. Bring a comfy pair of shoes, and dance like a maniac to the DJ or band playing your favourite songs.
End the night with no regrets.