Today I am pleased to be starting a new feature, ‘Advice From the Married Side’. I have so many amazing real weddings on the blog and for each one I feature I ask the brides a number of questions. One of these questions being advice for other brides. Sometimes the answers get lost amongst the pretty pictures of each wedding so I have decided that each month I will bring you a selection of these brides (and grooms) words of wisdom! I hope there will be something amongst these brides experiences that help you while planning your own wedding.
- Relax, it’s just one day that will last. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life. Make it fun and whimsical, invite your friends to be a part of it. A wedding is a celebration of you and your partner’s life together. In the words of the great Lionel: ‘It should be easy like Sunday morning’.
- As much as you might try not to get stressed, you more than likely will but that’s ok because it is the biggest day of your life…just try to go with it.
- Expect your budget to double from the first figure you have come up with before looking at anything…I was on a strict budget but there are so many beautiful wedding ideas out there it is so hard not to give in to a couple of them!
- – Take the week off work beforehand, if at all possible. This a) helped us get all our last minute bits and bobs done and b) got us into holiday / celebration mode well before the big day itself.
– Don’t be afraid to make what could be perceived as unpopular or unusual decisions – it’s your day, your way.
– We delayed our official honeymoon so a) we had something to look forward to after the wedding and b) it was one less thing to worry about before the wedding!
– If the bride and groom are up and boogieing and generally having a ball, people will follow you.
– Accept that you won’t get chance to talk to many people in-depth but it is a brilliant feeling having everyone there. We didn’t want a formal receiving line; instead, we managed to say hello to everyone and they got to congratulate us as they filed out of church which was a lovely start to married life.
– Kev and I sent each other wedding cards on the morning of the wedding – my wonderful husband gave a great piece of advice to his rather control-freaky bride-to-be: “enjoy every minute, what will happen, happens and if anything does go wrong remember that’s what bridesmaids are for
- Don’t stress yourselves! Just listen to your heart, be spontaneous! The way of love is to be able to laugh with each other!
- Stay calm and don’t be bullied
- It’s a cliché but don’t worry about the small things it will all work out and if it doesn’t, no one will ever know any way! And keep it as simple as possible if you are celebrating abroad.
Advice on the day
- Enjoy every minute, like everyone always says……it really does fly by but it is a truly amazing day and one you’ll never forget.” “We just wanted a relaxed day to remember and enjoy with all our friends and family
- On the day itself, relax and go with it. I know that everyone says this but it really does go so quickly so make the most of every minute.
- Take account of and try to remember every moment of the day whilst you are in it, it goes so quickly and you won’t want to forget a moment of it! You have worked so hard planning it all, now it is time for you to relax and enjoy!
- Just make sure that when it gets to even a week before the big day you enjoy every moment, because it won’t all go to plan but no one else will notice, just go with it and enjoy every second because it will be over in a flash! If we could of we would have liked to have sneaked off for a quiet drink after the service before the meal
- Take a minute during the day to stand back and take stock of everything. If you have done it the way you wanted it’s a chance to appreciate it
- It’s a cliché but definitely make sure you have some time together to reflect on the day and take it all in, it goes so quickly!
- I know it’s such a cliché but you do not realise until you’ve gone through it but really just enjoy the day, it just goes by so quickly. As I look back at our photos I feel like I’m looking at someone else’s wedding, I can’t believe it’s all over!! Smile, stand up straight, and no tears. It will be the happiest day of your life!
Organising a destination wedding is challenging, but definitely worth it. Tips for arranging a wedding in the Greek Islands are:
- Avoid getting married in the peak tourist season. We got married just at the beginning and it was perfect.
- If having a small wedding (under 50) no need to book a venue far in advance.
- Buy wedding lingerie/underwear and shoes after first/second wedding dress fitting not before.
- Read forums/blogs for ideas and advice.
- Be patient with suppliers etc as there is a big difference in our cultures.
- Select/taste your own wine and champagne.
- Live traditional musicians add a lot of atmosphere.
- Arrange activities for you and your guests leading up to the big day to get to know each other and share the experience.
- Get guests to stay in the same venues or close by.
- Allow enough time for makeup and hair before leaving for the ceremony.
- Relax and enjoy the day and soak up every minute as it fly’s by.
DIY/ Getting others to help
- For decorations less is more. Delegate tasks out so you don’t burn out! If you’re doing it in your own garden like we did, hire someone for on the day organisation, it’s worth the money!
- Forget your normal “control freak” ways and let people help you and rely on the fact that they actually know what they are doing! Oh and weddings can be planned in a short time frame, you just have to make decisions quickly.
- Try and do as much as you can yourself. It’s more satisfying! And get your family and friends involved. And think about what you can do yourself before you throw money at something
- I love making things and little details so I was in my element but it doesn’t suit everyone. Don’t get too bogged down by little things – it will all work out fine and you’ll have a fantastic day. Try to make it personal – that was really important to us. If you are going to make things, do it early and give yourself plenty of time. Get people involved – so many people did things for us for free or a really good deal by contacting people we knew. It really wouldn’t have been the same without their help.
- Start early, especially if you are doing a lot yourselves and don’t underestimate how long it will take you to do all your DIY projects. I ended up in mad scramble of crafting in the last few weeks and there were ideas I didn’t manage to finish. On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up about this – your guests will have no idea about the little details you didn’t quite get round to completing and your wedding is going to be amazing regardless!
- Don’t leave anything to the last minute. Have a plan for the day before but make sure you aren’t greeting guests or obliged to be anywhere. Particularly for the bride, this is the time to be winding down with absolutely no commitments.
- Pinterest was such a brilliant discovery, I got so many ideas from the site and drawing pictures together really helped to form the ideas for the wedding. eBay was also great for buying all the little bits and pieces.
Make sure you have an organised itinerary of the day, it’s a great help to everyone but more than anything, it means you know you’ve got everything covered.
Don’t pay attention to the lists in wedding magazines telling you what to do by when, that will only stress you out. Write your own to-do list that’s relevant to you and work at your own manageable pace.
We talked beforehand about engaging with the day, we were both worried about it all feeling a bit surreal…during the vows it was feeling slightly surreal, I remembered our chat, looked at Brendon, felt so happy and started crying my way through the rest of our vows (good tears)!
- Give ALL jobs on the actual day away to others in advance, prepare envelopes and instructions if you have to. Your only job should be turning up.Make wedding jobs into fun date nights together. We put aside a Friday every now and again where we wrote down a few things we had to sit down and get done like menu choices, an email update, reserach accommodation and flights…… we’d put on some good music, one would cook while the other read out the questions and decisions, poured some wine, had a few laughs, a few dances and a few giggles. It worked really well and took the chore out of the “to do” list.
- During the planning stages I found pinterest really helpful for collecting images which I liked. It helped to define what I really wanted and not get too confused by the plethora of wedding influences you can find on the web! I also collected a pinterest board of wedding photography I liked so when we met with our photographer Laura all I had to do was print it off to show her what we wanted.
I would also advise brides and grooms to discuss and really think carefully about what they want and how they want their wedding to look. There is so much wedding stuff out there you can really express your creativity, or not as the case maybe. But I’d really advise people to think outside of the box a little and not get bogged down in a theme or colour scheme. It’s your day, pick what you like and don’t worry about it too much
- Organisation is key, and certainly leaving enough time for each bit! Things always run over. Picking the right people for the most important jobs too – the best man and maid of honour. They need to be 100% reliable as you will be leaning on them more than you expect!
- Do everything in stages! Delegate the jobs! Enjoy every second, every guest that is there has come to celebrate with you!
Personally for you
- Make sure you enjoy it. At the end of the day, it only matters that you love it. And most of all – stop asking other people for advice! It makes you worry about everything and what other people will think. Screw everyone else!
- If you’re the sort of couple where the ‘normal wedding’ doesn’t quite do it for you, be different!! Stick to your guns and plan the crazy day you want, break every rule in the book if that’s what will make you happy. People will always try and tell you how things should be done, but that isn’t what weddings are about.
- If you would like a fun and a not-boring wedding, I suggest breaking up the day in two: lunch with close friends and relatives and after that a party with every other friends; it’s a perfect formula to simplify everything and a have a lot of fun!
- Let people help when they ask to. And it is your day, so do what you want. We didn’t have a formal sit down dinner, or table plans, or lots of speeches because it wasn’t right for us.
- Do what you want to do. No one liked our picnic idea; everyone thought we wouldn’t get 120 people seated in the village hall. Guess what? It all worked in the end! Have faith in your plans and don’t let anyone change your mind.
So do let me know what you think of the feature, was there anything in these words of wisdom that has resonated with you? is there something you would particularly like to ask me for advice?
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Amazing and comprehensive advice, thanks. We are thinking of getting married adroad next year and there are some great tips here.
Great advice. I can particularly relate to the idea of delegating, it’s something I’m going to be reluctant in doing but I know I need to and it’s also lovely knowing so many people want to help!!
I love the pic with the bully! So special, so vintage – I love it!