I collected some tips and advice from past brides on what they would do differently or what was a lifesaver in regards to their wedding! Here are some great ones…
Accept the fact that there will be at least one thing on your big day that will not go according to plan, but roll with it anyway because in the grand scheme, it doesn’t matter! (This is absolutely true and something I tell brides at almost every wedding)
This goes for the bride (and anyone attending the wedding, really), go ahead and take photos of special moments, but don’t have your phone in hand all night. Live in the moment! Be totally present. It goes by so quickly!
Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to everyone in your bridal party (as well as mother of the bride, MIL, fiancé, etc). They are happy to help you as the bride, and the less on your shoulders, the better!
Don’t plan anything extra on the day of your wedding (i.e. Bridal luncheon)…too much stress.
Don’t drink or drink VERY LITTLE so you make sure you remember every moment.
Best advice I was given – stop and look around during every part of the day and take it in.
I loved my wedding dress but I think it would have been nice to change into something else at the reception after the first dances.
Oh and make sure the hair and makeup people stick to the schedule! Mine went over causing us not to take my bridesmaids pictures.
Food. Do not forget to eat! Breakfast Is a must. Plus Lunch/snacks depending when dinner is.
Posture. Even though you have plenty of things going through your mind and things to remember while you’re at the alter, integrate in your mind to keep nice posture.
If your wedding is going to be outside, always have a backup plan in case of rain.
Let someone else plan it so you can enjoy it!
Do what YOU & your groom want and not what everyone else wants you to.
Don’t go cheap on the photographer or videographer. We trusted acquaintances with that very important task and it didn’t go over very well.
Doing a first look was the best thing for us. It allowed for some amazing pictures of just the two of us while not under pressure, it was still a wonderful reveal even if it wasn’t at the ceremony and it made the after ceremony pictures not take as long so we could get back to our guests faster.
Having a pre-ceremony cocktail hour where guests could bring their drinks to their seats was great because it allowed friends and family to catch up and it was cool seeing how relaxed and more kick backed the guests seemed.
I think our best reception idea was having pizza and snacks show up near the end of the night. After all of the dancing and partying, having warm food show up was a big hit!
Have engagement photos done. You get to know your photographer and how it feels to have them photograph and pose you. On the big day you will be relieved to already know “what you’re doing” and you’ll be way more at ease in the photos. This is especially true of the grooms who may be less than comfortable having their pictures taken.
Don’t take on more than you can handle. A lot of things seem like a good idea until it’s all actually happening.
EAT!!! Even if you have to ask your bridesmaids or mom or someone to bring you food or anything really that you need. They’ll be happy to help you, all you need to do is ask.
More photos of the bride and groom, less of everyone else. I was so wrapped up in wanting tons of creative wedding party photos and a million family/friend combos, I had a way too elaborate shot list. If I could go back I would have done more group photos of family and the bridal party and focused on time for my new husband and I to have pictures done of us.
Skip party favors. Seriously. Spend that money on something more important in the day or at least reception.
Have a good DJ. Lame entertainment can really kill a vibe. Look for a DJ who comes highly recommended or you’ve seen before and know you like their style.
Rebecca (beauty advice from a makeup artist and past bride)
Listen to me. Your wedding is NOT the right setting for “smokey eye” makeup. Makeup artists have a wide interpretation of what “smokey eye” looks like. If you’re going to go with darker eye makeup, you might make your eyes appear too small and closed off in the photos. Those magazine photos with darker and sexy eye makeup have fantastic lighting and just the right posing. That isn’t going to be your wedding day. I suggest great eye liner and eyelashes with softer eye shadow colors so you don’t end up looking like you’re going to a bar instead of a wedding.
Freshly washed hair is not likely to hold up over an entire wedding day over “dirty hair.” Hair that isn’t freshly washed has better grip.
Do a trial run on your hair and makeup as possible and don’t stray far from the real you.
Reduce your sodium intake a couple weeks before the wedding, up your water drinking. It will help show off the contours of your face and reduce puffiness.
Have a professional groom your eyebrows 1-2 weeks before the wedding to truly give your face a polished look.
Avoid bold nailpolish so your fingers aren’t the center of attention in all of your wedding photos.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post!!!