20 Top Wedding Planning Tips from Newlywed Brides
If you’re a bride (or groom) just starting out on your wedding planning journey, then this post is for you (oh and you might want to also read this, and this one too!) Or actually, even if you’ve reached that halfway point, or if your countdown is into just double figures, you will still appreciate the words shared in this post. Because I have turned to a few of the fabulous couples whose weddings I have published on these pages for their top tips for staying sane on the run up to, and during, your big day….
They’ve walked down the aisle, they’ve said “I Do” and danced the night away. So who else could be better placed to offer words of support, solace and wisdom to help you survive the wedding planning process, and make the very most of your big day? These couples have survived the stresses of guest list creating, DIYing, and navigated the
1. Don’t fixate on every detail.
Photography by Chris Spira
“Figure out what your priorities are and put your energy into making those things stand out. And take time to step back and observe the day…stand off the the side and just take it all in.” – Kate. You can see more of her and Andre’s Speakeasy inspired soiree here.
2. Make your wedding to do list into fun dates!
Photography by Onelove Photography
In fact Bess had not 1 but 5 must read Pearls of Wedding Wisdom…..
“1. Take every opportunity to turn a wedding task into a fun date or activity. Turn a food tasting into an impromptu overnight getaway or date night, stuff invitation envelopes as a catch up session with a group of friends, or work on budgeting together over a mimosa brunch.
2. Things WILL happen that you didn’t plan for, that you can’t plan for. Perhaps it won’t be an epic snowstorm the night before your wedding, or a city wide power outage the day of, but it will be something. I promise that these are the very things that will lead to some of your favorite stories and memories.
3. Build in some private time with your new husband or wife right after you get married and before you join the party to appreciate each other, that moment, and everything and everyone around you. This was some of the best advice I was given by a close friend. I’ll never forget it.
4. Pick vendors whose work you love, but more importantly, who you love as people. They can be the most unexpected support system you have on your big day.
5. Remember to take care of yourself. There are times you will feel overwhelmed. Remember to do things that help you keep perspective. Get a massage, exercise, sit with a good friend and cry or laugh, read, go outside, hold a puppy….”
See more of Bess & Austin’s romantic snowdusted winter wedding here.
3. Learn to dance.
Photography by Lara Hotz
“We would highly recommend doing a fun wedding dance – not only was it the highlight of our night doing that for our family and friends, but the weekly dance lessons were a whole lot of fun, and meant that we spent time having fun together and relaxing in the lead up to the wedding.” suggests the fabulous Kate – you can see her bold & beautiful wedding here.
4. Let go of the little things.
Photography by Taylor & Porter
“Friends who got married the year before we did told me to enjoy the day and not worry about the little details – on the day you won’t notice (or care) if things are a bit different to how you planned. And I would give the same advice to any bride planning her big day, because they were right!” says Michelle, who wore a 1940s dress for her delightful Summer wedding.
5. Follow your heart!
Photography by Nadia Meli
“Always go by your heart and it you have a dream try to make it come true! And wait until you really find your soul mate no matter how long it takes. Then life is just a piece of cake and a lot of fun!” advises Manuela. And it’s easy to see why when you see how she made mer own dream of a destination wedding a reality!
6. Book an engagement session.
Photography by Lavara Photography
Eva, whose elegant Spring wedding was divine!, says “Do an engagement shoot beforehand if possible. I am convinced our photos turned out better because we knew what to expect and didn’t feel quite so awkward in front of the camera at the start of our big day.”
7. Have Fun!
Photography by Lara Hotz
Sonia has a whole string of pearls of wisdom to share with you….
“1. No one will know if anything goes wrong, so don’t act that it has and it will fly under the radar.
2. Somewhere in the craziness of the day make sure to take a moment together because once the ceremony is over you’ll barely even see each other as you make sure to talk to everyone in the room.
3. Don’t expect to eat. You’re far too busy. Have a decent meal before you leave the house.
4. This day is about you and the person you love. Only have the people with you who support and encourage this.
Also, HAVE FUN WITH IT! Make it about you and your partner, because that is what the day is all about. We were told many times over just how “us” our wedding was, and even though a lot of what we did was popular at the time it was the only time they’d seen it done to truly represent the couple as opposed to trying to have the picture perfect wedding.”
And if you haven’t seen her 1950s inspired woodland wedding, with the most incredible getaway, then do take a squiz here.
8. Plan a wedding that represents you both.
Photography by Zac Wolf
“I think the most important piece of advice we can offer to couples that are going through the planning process is to stay true to your vision as a couple. It really is a representation of the two of you and you should be happy with the outcome. We really tried to stick to this while we were going through the process. And, on our wedding day, the best feeling was everyone’s comments about how they could see us individually and as a couple throughout the wedding.” says Caroline. And her fabulous stylish celebration can be seen here – her bridesmaids are not to be missed!
9. Don’t be swayed from what you really want!
Photography by Gantes Co
“Don’t feel guilty about being particular about each detail – every element adds up to creating the perfect wedding, so don’t let someone else’s opinion get in the way of what you really want.” says Amelia, who planned a timelessly beautiful wedding.
10. Choose vendors you love.
Photography by Elizabeth Fogarty
Kevan suggests the same advice she was given before her own romantic Spring wedding “Get a co-ordinator and love your photographer. So glad I followed that advice!”
11. Don’t rush it!
Photography by Marie-Michèle Hayeur Photography
Stéphanie, whose whimsical Alice in Wonderland themed wedding you can see here, advises “Have a long engagement! It allows you time to look and compare, to choose what you really want and to DIY a lot of things. Anne Shirley, of Green Gables, said: “Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them” and it is so true!”
12. Budget together.
Photography by Nicole Sarah
“Pick a budget together and work with by being as thrifty as you can, if you do some hunting you can find some good deals.” says Jennifer – and her intimate wedding was full of budget friendly ideas as well as charm (and you should see their sweet engagement shoot!)
13. Stay true to yourself.
Photography by Emily Wren
Tess had an elegant garden wedding and says “There is so much pressure around weddings being the perfect day, and it makes you think that you have to follow a lot of rules and control every detail. Your day will be beautiful no matter what — even if you forget to put flowers on the sweetheart table or end up sitting in the parking lot after everyone went home because you didn’t remember to arrange a taxi. Your love is the most important thing, and that’s what people will remember.”
14. Remember whose day it is!
Photography by Claire Morgan
“Relax and enjoy! And don’t let anybody else tell you what you should do – it is your day!” says Christina. If you missed her chic city celebration take a peek here, it is full of 1950s charm!
15. Don;t forget the aim is not perfection.
Photography by Anna Page
“I think couples should pick 3 things that are important to them and be completely unwavering on those 3 things, even if it’s unconventional. But be willing to let go and compromise on everything else. The aim is not perfection, but something that feels right for you. I tell brides all the time “you’re the only one with this wedding album in 20 years, not anyone else. So make it count for you and your fiance and you two only.” advises Erin, who wore a stunning 1930s wedding dress for her DIY wedding.
16. Make photography a priority!
Photography by Chloe Luka
“Hire a professional photographer! Your wedding pictures are what you will have left of your day, so find someone that can bring your vision to life.” says Lea, who created the most elegant barn reception for her modern vintage wedding.
Photography by Jac & Heath Photography
“Allow plenty of time for photos! We did and I don’t regret it at all!” is Clare’s top tip, and her wedding was perfection – with a high tea reception!
17. Love every minute!
Photography by Meredith Lord
“The planning will all be worth it!… And be happy! Weddings are fun, but even more so when its your own!” – Holly. You can see more of her Summer wedding in white here.
18. Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed.
Photography by Baylee Rae
“Everything will be perfect on your wedding day! And if for any reason something does not go as planned, it makes for a better story/memory. For instance Dustin and I took a dance lesson and yes we are terrible dancers and we ended up changing up our dance as we did our first dance but no one knew.” – Krista. If you missed her Southern wedding full of pretty pastels and 1950s elegance you can catch it here.
19. Have those dearest to you nearest to you!
Photography by Bless Photogaphy
“Pick bridesmaids who you know will go the extra mile for you! You will need all the help you can get and if it comes from your best friend/family member, you will feel extra special.” says Holly, whose bright and beautiful woodland wedding really is a must see.
And last but by no means least, here’s a pearl from groom Clint (you can see his and Leah’s wonderful wedding here)…..“Pay someone else to do it and enjoy your weekend without the stress!”:)
Photography by John Benavente
That is A LOT of fantastic pearls of wedding wisdom. So lovelies, take heart and keep them in mind as you continue on your wedding planning journey – these people know what they are talking about after all!