Advice From the Married Side – Real Brides Advice From Their Wedding Day

advice from the married side This afternoon it’s a welcome return to a feature I started a few weeks ago called ‘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.

Advice From the Married Side (Photo Credit: The Image Garden)

General Advice

  • Enjoy every minute and don’t get upset about anything that you think is going wrong – these things don’t matter. Having your best friends and family all together for the only time in your life is all that matters; you can’t go wrong!
  • I would also recommend making the most of your time together with everyone. We invited all of our closest friends and family to the wedding and were lucky to have help from them to prep the marquee in the days before the wedding. We also invited a big group of friends and family to dinner and drinks in the local pub the night before the wedding, followed by a lunch with the bridal party and family in the marquee the day after the wedding. I wouldn’t have changed this for the world. It’s so hard to see everyone on the day but doing it this way we had lots of time to spend with everyone.
  • Don’t spend excessive amounts of money – it is only one day. Enjoy it, try and relax – for us, having the photographers before the ceremony worked really well.
  • Weddings don’t have to cost the earth, literally or figuratively, so try to be mindful of not creating lots of waste and sourcing your materials ethically and locally, or better still have a go at making them yourself.
  • Do what you want to do, not what you think you should be doing. Do what feels natural and right for you.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves for it to be ‘the best day of your life’, it will be, but if you worry too much that it won’t be, it won’t be!
  • Have fun, relax and don’t worry!
  • Plan it together. I know a lot of couples where the woman planned the entire thing and the man was just fine with that, but I wanted Josh to feel a part of this day that we were creating so I involved him in everything. And looking back, he wouldn’t change a thing. He loved being involved in the planning and decision making. And he is now a lifetime customer of Etsy!

Advice From the Married Side - Victoria Phipps (Photo Credit: Victoria Phipps)


  • Book everything in advance, especially before January and you’ll save yourself a fortune. You’ll also get the things you want rather than being stressed because you’ve run out of time
  • Try and be as organised as possible before the big day. Ensure that everyone involved in the running of the day has detailed instructions to follow so that you can relax and just enjoy the day.
  • Try and take care of little loose ends as early as possible (place names, gifts etc). Last minute rushes are almost always inevitable but can be stressful and costly!
  • Decide what your priorities are in terms of spending – what elements are most important to you?
  • Plan ahead and try to get things sorted and done well in advance – even then you’ll still find it a mad dash to get everything together in the last couple of days.
  • A spreadsheet with absolutely everything recorded within is essential for planning. (Guest details and gifts received, suppliers, timings, budget etc.)
  • Advice for couples planning their big day…start now! There is nothing worse than saving everything for the last minute. Photographers, locations, bakeries, etc. all book up quickly especially if you’re getting married during a popular season.
  • Another word of advice, hire a coordinator. We hired one for month-of and it was the best advice I was given. I would have surely lost my mind had she not stepped in in those last few weeks to take over and handle everything.

Advice From the Married Side - Wildflwoer Studios (Photo Credit: Wildflower Studio)


Personalise your wedding

  • Certainly do something individual that means something to you both. Choose good food and get a great cake.
  • Go with your heart and plan it like you really want it. Don’t worry about what other people say
  • I’d advise people to be a bit quirky and make the wedding suit your personalities, make it fun and imaginative! Spend less on the grand things and concentrate more on the little details. We wrote our own vows too and that was so special.
  • Keep it simple, keep it fun, make the decisions for YOU and not for your guests after all, this special day will be your memory forever, they’ll move on to the next wedding.
  • Be true to yourself and remember that weddings are about a celebration of love and commit the two people getting married are making to each other, rather than trying to accommodate all the wants and needs of wedding guests.
  • It was such a lovely opportunity to be as creative as possible and add personal touches. It was great to hear people say that it was a really personal wedding and how much it reflected the two of us.

Advice from the married side - Source Images (Photo Credit:  Source Images)


Getting Help

  • What made our wedding day were all the moments that led up to it. Our family and friends were involved in every last detail and we will never be able to thank them enough for making it so special. Let people help you and give them things to do that they’ll enjoy and be good at.

Advice From the Married Side - Helen-Cawte (Photo Credit:  Helen Cawte)


Humanist/Outdoor Weddings/Blessings

  • We were extremely lucky with the weather. It was clear and sunny for the wedding day and luckily it only rained on the day before and after. If a couple is planning an outdoor wedding, we would advise them to have a plan B in case of bad weather.
  • We had a Humanist celebrant performing the ceremony (we were officially married at a registrar a week before). We can’t recommend this choice enough. We had filled in a large questionnaire beforehand and this made the ceremony very personal and meaningful to us.

Advice From the Married Side - Claire Penn (Photo Credit: Claire Penn)


On The day of The Wedding

  • Take time for yourselves. Joe and I had lots of time together on our own straight after the ceremony whilst having our photos taken in one of the fields and later in the evening. Although we were having our photos taken by Sharon it felt like a very private moment between us and an opportunity to take it all in and to realise that we were actually married!
  • On the day itself, relax and enjoy yourself – the whole reason for having a wedding is to celebrate a marriage, so don’t let stress get in the way at any cost.
  • Don’t stress – nothing ever goes exactly according to plan, and if something goes wrong don’t dwell on it, you and all your guests will still have the most amazing day. Don’t be a bridezilla!
  • On the day itself, it’s too late to change anything. Stuff won’t go to plan. We were an hour late to our reception due to having photos on the beach and me having memory loss about how to get there (and back!) despite it being a route I’ve done a million times, and we made a stop to see my Grandma who was too poorly to come to the wedding so that she could see us on the day and we could get some photos with. Anyway it was all still perfect and it didn’t change a thing in the grand scheme of things. Our Mums were a bit worried but the guests said they’d forgotten about us they were having such a good time enjoying the prosecco and canapés!
  • Tips for the big day, stay calm and remember to soak it all in. It goes by in the blink of an eye. Sometime during the reception, take a moment with just the two of you, step aside and look out over your day. Everyone is there to celebrate you two, and nothing else. It’s an incredible feeling of love that truly needs to be experienced.

Advice From the Married Side -  Front focus photography (Photo Credit:  Front focus photography)


Weddings Abroad

I’d recommend to anyone else doing a wedding abroad that they not only go out and visit the space before booking but also do it around the time of year that you plan to get married. We married in early September but our venue-seeking pre trip was in November the year before and the whole terrain and venue looked totally different. It was also difficult to tell where the sun fell at the time we planned to have the ceremony (which is a consideration when you are having an outdoor wedding)
The venue is the key and from there you will get recommendations from one supplier to the next. Always ask for quotes first, the more Spanish speaking suppliers were harder to pin down to a fixed cost. Transport was the biggest problem as the roads were very remote and not many taxis were able to find the venue so we were lucky to have the time before the day to discover this and befriend a few taxi drivers in advance who did multiple runs on the wedding night.

Advice From the Married Side - Ana Lui (Photo Credit:  Ana Lui)


I hope you found these pieces of advice helpful if you are in the process of organising your wedding. If you are already married is there anything you would like to add ? 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? any questions just email me [email protected]


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