1. Choose bridesmaids VERY wisely.
“Choose bridesmaids wisely. Pick those who know how to put up with YOU and you know how to put up with in intense situations. They could make the day more stressful or dramatic (alcohol, money, or lack of attention on them). I could not imagine my kids looking at my wedding album and not knowing a bridesmaid, a person who I thought was my closest of close friend. It is not worth the drama. Stick to sisters and childhood friends. I got lucky, but many friends did not.” —Submitted by Jillian Breska (via Facebook)
2. And you can totally let them pick out their own dresses!
“Letting the bridesmaids pick out their own dresses is a decision I’m still very happy I made. They looked wonderful and there was no stress or grumbling over budgets. We made a lot of wedding party decisions based on that and it’s something I think more couples should keep in mind. No one needs a flask or another pair of earrings — cover half the cost of their hair or tux instead!” —Submitted by Kelsea Tooley (via Facebook)
3. Think about a day-of coordinator.
“Hire a day-of wedding coordinator! The discounts they can get you and referrals to good vendors will save you the cost of the coordinator, maybe more — plus having peace of mind on your big day, it’s so worth it. Don’t make your bridesmaids or family members run around trying to find people for pictures or call vendors that are late.” —Submitted by Erica Perry (via Facebook)
4. And the day of your wedding? YOU NEED TO EAT SOMETHING.
“EAT BREAKFAST! I was so busy rushing around the morning of my wedding that I didn’t eat anything. By the time I got to the reception at, oh, 5 o’clock, I was utterly famished, to the point of being lightheaded. And then every time I tried to take bite of dinner, somebody was tapping their glass with their fork to get my husband and me to kiss. I just wanted to eat my frickin’ food!” —Submitted by Sydney Riggs (via Facebook)
5. And definitely take some of your reception food to go for post-wedding leftovers! You did pay for them, after all.
“Have someone (a bridesmaid?) make up a box of food from the reception to take to your hotel room… Neither of us ate anything at the reception, which made the next day pretty rough…” —Submitted by Alex Meyer Horn (via Facebook)
6. Werk your inner Gisele and practice posing.
“I would have practiced posing for our photos in the mirror. Ours turned out fine (and some of them were great), but I don’t like how I look in a lot of them and it could have been avoided if I’d practiced looking fierce and fabulous a bit more. Plus, my hair was a bit weird looking from certain angles, so I should have taken some posed shots after my hair and makeup trial (which BTW is a must!)” —Submitted by lizaa454311122
7. Doing a “first look” can help you feel more calm.
“See each other before the ceremony. For the love of all that is holy, if I had just gotten to hug my darling groom, we wouldn’t have been so racked with nerves and actually enjoyed the ceremony portion (and looked less pale and nervous in our pre-ceremony photos).” —Submitted by Heather Vickers Kwok (via Facebook)
8. Tell your photographer what you want in advance.
“Give the photographers a list of pictures you want beforehand. You won’t remember all the cute Pinterest ideas the day of the wedding.” —Submitted by Jessica Simpson Hatcher (via Facebook)
9. And don’t forget photos of the guests!
“I wish we had gotten more pictures of our guests. Our photographer is truly an artist and took some amazing artistic shots of the bridal party, but I wish she did a better job capturing the love and friendship of our guests. It’s only normal for a bride to want beautiful pictures of herself and her husband, but don’t forget about everyone else!” —Submitted by Jordan Juarez (via Facebook)
10. #SocialMedia is obviously a big deal, so figure out how to incorporate it — or not — into your wedding.
“Discuss sharing photos on social media BEFORE the wedding, and let your friends and family know whether or not it’s OK with you if they share, or if you would prefer that they don’t. I had a HUGE fight with my brother because I shared photos during the reception, and he thought it was an “unwritten rule” that the bride and groom share pictures when they are ready. In this day and age, with everyone posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, think about it, and discuss ahead of time so there are no hard feelings after the fact.” —Submitted by Rebecca Carpenter (via Facebook)
11. And definitely try to hire a videographer. Wedding videos are the BEST.
“Get a videographer! The day goes by so fast and you will forget the little things about the speeches and the ceremony. If it’s all on video, you can watch it again anytime you want! One thing I wish I had done with our wedding.” — ubmitted by Amy Stephenson (via Facebook)
12. Unless your theme is #VEGAS, try not to have TOO much fun.
“Only one glass of wine and champagne. I was having so much fun, I got hammered and wound up asleep by 9 p.m. Missed my after-party and someone stole a quarter of our wedding cards. I’m still married, it is still one of my top favorite days, and I had a blast. But seriously, two drinks only.” —Submitted by Shannon McLaughlin Hiller (via Facebook)
13. But that doesn’t mean you can’t loosen up a tad. Just stay hydrated!
“Have someone designated to make sure you always have a drink in your hand. You’re too busy to keep going to the bar.” —Submitted by Allicia Hayes (via Facebook)
14. If you’re throwing a reception, make sure you put enough time into thinking about the music.
“Skip the expensive flowers and spend the extra on a GOOD — like, really damn good — DJ. I cheaped out and got what I paid for. No good songs, nothing catered to the demographics, and he screwed up the bridesmaids’ entrance song.” —Submitted by Sunshine Then (via Facebook)
15. Wedding favors are not as important as you think they are.
“I would not have spent so much time on favors, because no one gives two shits about an artisan chocolate truffle in a hand-packed box tied with ribbon and a custom hand-cut leaf tied to it. Half of the people leave them. No one cares.” —Submitted by libbyh47c3bf161
17. Unless you’re obsessed with Cake Boss, it’s OK to take it easy with the desserts.
“People will not eat nearly as much cake as the bakery will try to tell you. You, your mother, and new in-laws really don’t need to be eating cake for the next two months.” —Submitted by emilyz4ca7794b4
18. A winter wedding might sound swell to you now, but think about travel restrictions.
“Don’t book your wedding during an unpredictable weather season! We had to adapt our December wedding during the worst ice storm in Dallas history. Twenty-plus guests couldn’t make it due to dangerous road conditions and canceled flights!” —Submitted by Morgan West Comiskey (via Facebook)
19. And do your research on your wedding location.
“Serious altitude sickness begins at 8,000 feet. I got married at 10,000. I live at sea level.” —Submitted by meghannf3
20. DIY is not for the faint of heart, y’all.
“I wish I’d known that DIY, although pretty and cost efficient, will essentially turn you into a twine-loving Lord Voldemort. You’ll become consumed by it, lose sight of reality, experience uncontrollable rage, and form an unhealthy obsession with The Chosen One (oh, hey, Martha).” —Submitted by whatjanedid
21. Really think about when you should have the rehearsal dinner.
“I wish I scheduled our rehearsal for later in the evening or on a different day other than the night before the wedding. Traffic was a nightmare and everyone was late and stressed. AND I wasn’t able to get over to our reception hall that night and so many things didn’t get put out (signs I stressed over making, Mad Libs for our wedding guests to do, etc.). If I had be there the night before, I could have made sure things were done right!” —Submitted by tiffanyb25
22. Don’t get lazy with the first dance.
“The first dance feels really long if you just sway back and forth. Even if you don’t sign up for professional dance lessons, do a trial run or two and plan on a couple extra moves to help break it up and make things more interesting. Oh, and do a dip at the end — it makes for great photos :).” —Submitted by Drea Tudor (Janssen)
23. You don’t have to splurge on a wedding gown.
“Instead of the flashy wedding dress, find a $300–$500 gown and buy it in white. I did this and waited for a huge sale and ended up with a $60 dress worth $400. It was still beautiful, and with some tailoring, it can look as luxurious as the thousand-dollar gowns. Remember, you’ll want more money for the beginning of your marriage and having a house/car/baby. Look for deals anywhere you can.” —Submitted by munchymann
24. But don’t forget about your feet.
“I wish I would have worn flats or sandals!” —Submitted by hillarymariem
25. Your wedding earrings may look good in pictures, but they could also be a pain.
“This is minuscule, but still… I wish I had worn French hook- or lobster-claw-fastened earrings. I wore post earrings, and after about 150 hugs from everyone, I was actually bleeding from the neck where the post had poked me repeatedly and had a scab there for two weeks!” —Submitted by emilyg35
26. And corsets are going to do exactly what you think they’ll do.
“That the stays or boning whatever its called to keep your dress in shape means sitting down hurts a lot and you should only stand/lie down so you don’t feel like dying and sit half-naked waiting for someone to run to your house and bring you any dress in your closet (apparently a second dress is a good idea).” —Submitted by rutherfordaj
27. When choosing your shapewear, keep your future bathroom breaks in mind.
“If you need to wear Spanx or shapewear under your wedding dress, get one with a pee hole.” —Bethany Wright (Facebook)
29. On the big day, make someone your point person.
“I wish I had known that no matter how clear the details of the wedding are on the invitations and the website, EVERYONE will still try to text and call you on the wedding day asking for directions. Put a family member or your maid of honor (whoever knows your timeline forwards and backwards) in charge of your phone to keep your stress level down so that you can focus on your big day!” —Submitted by alisonm49267d843
30. On that note, make sure everything is clearly stated on the invite to begin with.
“I wish I would have put when to be at the hall for the reception on our invitations! I had made them myself and completely forgot. Then, the day of the wedding, after the ceremony, our pastor told everyone to be at the hall at 5 p.m. We had planned for them to be there at 4 p.m.!!! Everything had to get [switched] around and we almost didn’t have our first dance photographed. It all worked out but would have saved so much confusion and stress!” —Submitted by cassiem43d5ec80e
31. Invite who YOU want to invite.
“There were 500 people at our wedding. Number of people my husband and I knew and cared for? Maybe 50, if that. It really isn’t about the show, it’s about who you want there to share your happiness with.” —Submitted by Silmyaf
32. Plus, you don’t have to invite co-workers — not every wedding turns out like The Office.
“Don’t feel like you have to invite co-workers and spouses just because they know you’re planning a wedding. I never saw the five of them again, and two of the husbands didn’t even show up.” —Submitted by Jennifer Baum (via Facebook)
33. Roll with the punches.
“I wish someone had told me that it’s not going to be perfect. It’s not going to ruin your day if the napkins aren’t exactly right, or if it rains or whatever else goes wrong. Because things WILL go wrong. You have to roll with it and take the time to enjoy it.” —Submitted by Courtney Hill Vial (via Facebook)
34. It’s OK to be selfish. It’s your day!
“It’s OK to be a little bit selfish. Everyone I know gave me big lectures about how it wasn’t ‘the bride’s day’ and I needed to be accommodating. I was so concerned with making every family member and friends happy that in the end, I made them happier than I made myself. I let a high school friend appoint herself maid of honor, got talked out of the bridesmaid dresses I really loved, and ended up with a delicious cake that did not match my vision at all. At the end of the day, I’m married to the man I love, so it was a successful wedding, but some of the memories of the day still sting.” —Claire Kubinec Sutliffe (via Facebook)
35. And don’t be afraid to take some time off during the week of your wedding.
“I wish I would have taken more time off work the week of the wedding. I’m a teacher and only took off Thursday and Friday — my wedding was on Friday. That week was the last week of school, and between needing to turn in grades, get moved into a new (to me) apartment, and get ready for the wedding, I didn’t have time to have fun with my bridesmaids, who mostly came from out of town, or any of my out-of-town family. The wedding was beautiful, and the party was fun, but I wish I would have spent more time with the family.” —Submitted by jesseh4ca9d2b48
36. Carve out some time to be with your S.O. on your wedding day.
“I wish I realized how little I would actually see my husband the day of our wedding. Between hanging with our respective halves of the bridal party in the morning to being deliberately kept apart before the ceremony, then greeting all our family and friends, dancing with different people, and being pulled apart for pictures, we hardly saw each other. For anybody planning their wedding I highly recommend building in time between the ceremony and reception to be alone with your new spouse. We drove ourselves between the ceremony site and reception site and those five minutes were well worthwhile!” —Submitted by Cait Taylor Crowl (via Facebook)
37. Because really, today is for you and your beau.
“Don’t have the wedding you think you’re supposed to have, have the wedding you and your fiancé want.” —Submitted by angelaa4c105986d
38. So try not to freak out about the tiniest of details. It’s not what matters in the end.
“No one will remember your tiny details — like monogram napkins, your perfect wedding program, or your cool bathroom baskets. Your guests will remember the way they felt as you say ‘I do.’ If you can’t remember what someone else’s place cards looked like, chances are no one will remember yours. The little stuff can add up to big $.” —Submitted by Megan Shannon (via Facebook)
39. Keep the day in perspective. You have a whole LIFETIME left with this person.
“I wish I knew that even though it’s an important day, it’s not the most important.” —Submitted by Toya Davis (via Facebook)
40. Pause. Breathe. Take it all in.
“Make sure that on the big day, every half hour or so, you stop and look around. These are the people you love the most in your life, here for you. So look at what they’re doing. Maybe they are laughing, or dancing, or sharing a conversation with someone they haven’t seen in a while. Take those memories of things that the photographer does not catch and cherish them.” —Submitted by kerrieschryver
41. And in the end, it’s OK to elope, you guys.
“I wish I had known that if I had eloped, everyone would have forgiven me once the grandchildren were born and that would have saved me a a boatload of money, time, and sanity. I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart’s wedding people are behind all this. #elope” —Submitted by whatdoitellmykids
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