Planning a Wedding: 25 Things I Wish I Had Known!

Wedding tips from someone who has been up the aisle and back again and is still in one piece! By Amy Croffey at Weddings Online.

Bride and Groom


Image by Voyteck Photography

My wedding is done and dusted and all the intensive planning for over two years has come to an end. I decided to write down the things I learned along the way that I had wished I had known before the whole planning process. I hope they can help all other aspiring brides to have the best day possible!

Negotiate on price!! Don’t underestimate the power of being the customer. Remember we are in a recession after all! When I finally realised this and decided to shun my shyness, I saved some serious money. I didn’t have to act like a pushy contestant on The Apprentice either!

Chop the guest list. The quickest and easiest way to save money on a wedding is to cut down on guest list. Do you really need your third-cousin-twice-removed’s ex-girlfriend there? I think not. Be very vicious!

Look around. Especially for cakes, decor and other easily accessible wedding items – you will be very surprised at the difference in prices. For cake shopping, you could also get a friend to make it and have it iced in a shop – worth considering!

Don’t add an R.S.V.P date to your invitations. If you do send out a second-choice round of invites, there is a fair chance that people will get offended and you certainly don’t want annoyed guests.

Leave the kids at home. Most parents would like to have an excuse for a day away from their precious babies. Feeling like they are expected to bring the kids will just cause too much hassle for everyone involved. Plus they won’t enjoy the day like everyone else.

Wedding website. If I had known how many people would view our wedding website I would definitely have uploaded some better photos for our guests to see, it’s nice to be able to have something online that represents you as a couple also.

Sometimes the H2B is just not interested. If I had known how little an interest my poor hubbie would have in minuscule details, such as the flower girl’s shoes matching the napkins, then I wouldn’t have been so deflated when he shrugged after every question I threw at him for two years.

Different types of dresses. Apart from finding ‘the one’ amongst them, you will have plenty of laughs. Make sure to try on one over-the-top meringue style – just to say you did! Maybe you’ll suprise yourself and buy it!

Spare a thought for a spare bra. In case your dress fitter decides that you need a bra sewed into your dress. Walking to your car with everything hanging low is not a good look. I speak from experience!

Nappy pins are a Godsend. They are guaranteed to hold up any train, unlike the little loops of fabric dressmakers sew onto dresses.

Don’t wear makeup to your dress fittings. If you look good in a dress without the slap, imagine how great you will look on the big day! Also, you don’t need to worry about it rubbing off on the dresses!

Fake tan. Try a few different brands of fake tan. It will help you decide which one suits your skin-tone best and looks most natural.

Magic knickers. I am talking Bridget Jones style!

Don’t sweat the small stuff! I guarantee you no one noticed that my mass booklets matched with my colour scheme. Concentrate on the bigger things like your partner and the guests!

Sleep. Don’t live and breathe weddings seven days per week. Take time for the two of you so that you can both remember why you are getting married in the first place.

Sort out the pre-marriage course and legal documents ASAP. Most couples tend to book the band before they check out the legal process. You have to give three months notice to the state for a civil marriage, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

Book a videographer. You will float through the day so it is great to have the wedding on tape to help you relive and cherish every minute. You will be surprised to see moments that you may have missed.

Make sure the groomsmen suits are all intact. We never checked the zips and one had a breeze all day. A simple thing, but easily overlooked!

Make lists. They start out long, but bit by bit they get completed and give you a sense of control over the planning. Split them into months and you will find it easier to get everything completed in manageable chunks.

Bathroom breaks. Go to the bathroom before you leave for the church. With everything going on it’s easy to forget, and trust me, after the church it is hard to find the time!

Write down a list of the photos you want. It is easy to forget that you want a picture with your best friends when everything else is going on. You will regret it later if you forget.

Relish every moment and make sure to eat. It is easy to get so caught up in the excitement that you forget to eat. You’ll be hungry by 3am when it is much harder to find food!

Delegate, delegate, delegate. You are not a superwoman (sorry to burst that bubble) and you don’t want to tire yourself out or make yourself ill before the wedding!

‘Remember your guests’ – an important tip that my father-in-law gave me, which was commented on so much during the day. Let your guests know you are thinking of them by organising the day with them in mind! It will help you not just have a good wedding, but a great wedding!

Above all else, enjoy yourself! The planning and excitement will not last forever. It goes by in a breath and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it!

For more wedding advice from experienced brides see the Confetti Forums and our Inspiration pages!

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