We asked past brides to share their wedding advice for new brides. Read on for the top ideas before you plan your wedding.
Wedding Advice #1 from Kayla E. Your Dream Wedding Within Your Budget
“We started planning our wedding without a budget and things quickly got out of control. I almost fainted when I added up the full costs of the wedding items I thought needed. Thank goodness I added them up before I actually started buying.
So, we stepped back and set a realistic budget and worked within it. And the strange thing is we never missed those insignificant details that the wedding industry was trying to sell as necessities for our “perfect wedding”.”
Set up your budget. First, decide what parts of the wedding day are most important to you. Spend money there. And cut spending in areas that are not as important to you. You’ll have your dream wedding, and no one will miss what is not there.
Wedding Advice #2 from Nikita K.: Compromise With Your Partner
Compromising on your dream wedding is difficult. You may have been dreaming about this day since you were very small. My FH Don wanted to get married with just the two of us and the officiant present while I always wanted a huge wedding with all my friends and family. After a lot of discussion (okay, and some arguing) we compromised on a wedding with close friends and family, about 70 people. Turns out it was the perfect wedding size for both of us.
It’s your partner’s wedding too. Compromising is the best way to start a new marriage.
Wedding Advice #3 from Emma B.: Find Your Comfort Point
“It is your wedding. So only do what you are comfortable with doing.
Forget the pre and post wedding events that are not really for you. We did not have an engagement party or a bachelorette party. I did not want them, so I asked that we not have them.
We also skipped the after-wedding brunch since we didn’t have out of town guests. Instead we ordered pizza to enjoy while we spent the day opening wedding gifts with our immediate family on the day after our wedding. It felt wonderful to relax and relive the day in our comfy clothes with our families.”
Plan your wedding events around what you want, not what others expect.
Wedding Advice #4 from Jess K.: An Imperfect Wedding
“If I could have one wish, it would be that someone had told me my wedding was not going to be perfect, and that the little slip-ups did not matter. I spent too much time on my wedding day stressing about the unimportant things. Sadly, I don’t remember much about the best parts of my wedding. I was too focused on perfect and what could go wrong.”
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.
Let it go. By the time your wedding day arrives there is little you can do to change anything. Relax and enjoy the day.
Wedding Advice #5 from Amber H.: Not What It “Should Be”
“There is no standard for what your wedding “should be” anymore. Hurray! It is whatever you want it to be. Now, decide what you want and go for it.
Aunt Ella was loud and persistent in her opinion that we have a formal, traditional, church wedding. We wanted a more informal civil ceremony.
It just took some courage for us to tell her what we wanted and address her objections.
We told her gently several times that we were not interested in formal church wedding, and finally explained the subject was closed. We also told her it was important to both of us to have her as part of our special day. While she may not have agreed, she did stop pushing the issue.”
There are many options for weddings today. The best part of today’s weddings is that you can pick and choose what works for you. If you do not care about something, don’t spend money on it. Traditions are not rules.
Wedding Advice #6 from Laura A.: Decide When You Are Calm
Don’t ever make a major wedding decision when you are tired, frustrated, or stressed. Don’t make decisions when you are overly happy either.
My sister-in-law kept pushing us to use the same venue she used for her reception. I got so frustrated, I finally caved in to her. The result was that our wedding looked more like Joanie’s reception than our own wedding. I wish I had just said no to her and selected our own venue.”
Wait until you are in a calm place emotionally to make major decisions about your wedding.
Wedding Advice #7 from Helen M.: Ignore Your Fairytale
“This is going to sound harsh but the one thing I wish someone had told me was to ignore my fairytale picture of what my wedding dress should look like.
I am very short, and a little heavy, but had my heart set on a princess ball gown since I was a little girl. No one would tell me the truth when dress shopping because they did not want to hurt my feelings.
Looking back on my wedding pictures, I look more like a fluffy white poof ball than a bride. I looked a lot shorter than I am, and was hidden in layers of fabric. A style that elongated my look with less fabric would have been a better choice.”
Trust your dress consultant. She/he is experienced in creating the best look for every bride based on size and style.
Wedding Advice #8 from Jen D.: The Best Advice
Jen says: “Help me understand this. You are going to spend tons of money, endless hours of your time and you are not going to get what you want for your wedding? You’re kidding me, right?”
This is your day. Own it.
Wedding Advice #9 from Lutica F.: Stop Looking
Once you make your wedding decisions, stop second guessing. You will simplify your wedding planning and feel less stress when you stop looking for more ideas after your decision is made.
I changed the shade of our bridesmaids’ dresses three times and in the end it really did not matter. What a waste or time, I could have spent on the vital details of my wedding – like writing our own vows.”
Comparison is the enemy of your wedding peace and joy. The only competition you have is in your mirror.
Wedding Advice #10 from Ashley: Stay True to Your Vision
“Before you start your wedding planning, and throughout the process, take the time to envision the total picture of how you want to remember you wedding day. Write it down and refer to it when faced with wedding decisions. Ask yourself “Does this support my wedding vision, or is my money better spent?” It is easy to make decisions when you are focused on the memories you are making.”
There are thousands of wedding items available. Stick to your vision and refuse to be dazzled by something that looks nice online, but does not fit your wedding theme or style.
Wedding Advice #11 from Jackie G.: Set Realistic Expectations
“Just because you saw it on Pinterest or at another wedding does not mean it is going to be practical or even possible for your wedding.” Products, like flowers, styles of venues and rental items may be not available in your area – or are prohibitively expensive.
If you cannot find something locally, research why it is not available before insisting you must have it. There is probably a good reason. “The flowers we loved online were too fragile for our cold climate. We looked for a hearty substitute, but when we could not find it, we looked to other ideas”.
Be realistic in your expectations and watch wedding planning stress evaporate.
Bonus Tip from Rita at Ceremonies: Just One Sentence
The sentence that has killed more wedding dreams than anything else in the world:
“What Would People Say?”
It does not matter. There are no opinions (except perhaps your partner’s) that should be important enough to you to take away your dream wedding.
Today is all about you. Do what makes you and your partner happy.
Thank you to all the brides who contributed to this post. For those who did not make it this time, we love your tips and just ran out of space. We will be sharing more tips in future posts.
If you have a tip you would like to share, we’d love to hear from you. It can be anything wedding related that will help other brides. After all, you are the expert.
Forward your ideas and comments either by posting them in the comments or sending me an email.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links.
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