Advice From the Married Side – Real Brides’ Wedding Advice

advice from the married side

This afternoon it’s the return of  ‘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 mumber 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 or so 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.

Toast of Leeds

(Photo credit Toast of Leeds)

General Advice

  • Advice for the bride would be to not choose your dress too early, unlike I did! I bought a dress 12 months before but then changed my mind. Thankfully, Lesley at Lace Bridal was very understanding and I was able to find another dress (Clara) in the same shop.
  • I would recommend keeping the night guests to a minimum. Were so glad we did this as we spent the day chatting to our day guests and the night partying and not worrying that I hadn’t spent enough time with people.
  • If we were to do it again we would get married earlier on in the day. At the time of booking 2pm was the earliest they offered but 12pm would be much better as the day flies by in a flash!
  • Include the things you love – for us it was being outdoors, blowing bubbles and bourbon biscuits with tea to name a few.
  • Dance like a maniac all night!! It’s the best party you’ll ever attend and it’s all for YOU TWO!
  • There may be things that don’t go how you wanted them to or something you think you could have done differently, but at the end of the day the wedding day itself is really only a drop in the ocean, your lives together before and after that day will make any dress disasters or table setting blunders pale into insignificance.
  • Keep an eye on how much the groom is drinking in the evening ha ha! Especially when you have a free bar!
  • Surround yourself with people you trust, who care about your wedding day as much as you and who you know will be willing and able to help you out and keep you calm. Its suprising how many things have to be done in the morning that neither the bride nor groom can do and also how frequently suppliers can call you the day before you get married wanting to triple check everything!
  • Although each decision seems so important during the planning process, when you look back you won’t remember the wording of your invite or the carefully crafted table plan – you’ll remember the smiles on people’s faces and the thrill of having all your favourite people in the world in one room.
  • Expect your families to have expectations. It’s fine that they do, just be clear about what is important to you.
  • Just enjoy every moment, we had so much fun just planning it an organising everything, particularly because we did most things ourselves, it was great to see it all come together. Our day ran perfectly, I think just because we were both just so relaxed and looking forward to being married.
  • Try not to stress about things too much, even if something did go slightly wrong it’s probably only you that will notice, everyone else is too busy having a good time!
  • I would say to focus on the details. All of the big things, once you’ve got them in place, take care of themselves. Getting all the small things in place are the things that make your wedding day special.
  • I think for any bride my main tip is once you see something that you like: whether it is your dress, shoes or even flowers, be confident in your decision and don’t feel the need to keep looking! I feel having to plan from so far away was a saving grace for us in these scenarios!
  • On the lead up, and on the day itself, remember to enjoy ALL of it! As I was home from Australia for the wedding for only 3 weeks, I made a point of enjoying each day and whoever I was spending time with. I think this type of focus, made me so much more relaxed on the day of the wedding and so much more relaxed to enjoy it all!
  • I also think it’s important to try not to stress about the little things – at the end of the day nobody but you will probably ever notice.
  • Matt’s advice would be to get your band nailed down early especially if you want something a little different. They’re hard to find and get booked up fast.
Debs Ivelja

(Photo credit Debs Ivelja)

On The day of The Wedding

  • Enjoy your day together – Charlie and I hung out loads on our day and still got to speak and laugh with all our family and friends.
  • Just Smile! The day goes by in a flash of camera and well wishing, and it really is all too much to take in. My greatest piece of advice would be to take time and step back during the day and just look at everyone enjoying themselves. It really is amazing to look at your family and friends and see them celebrating your day.
  • Be prepared to be emotional – the whole day is an emotional roller coaster but all good!
  • Remember to spend some time together to step back and watch your guests enjoy your special day.
  • Don’t get stressed and focus on the detail of the day, let your day flow naturally. Every bride and groom wants their wedding day to go to plan, you spend months planning every detail. When the day arrives the main focus should be for you to enjoy the special day and take it all in.
  • Memory shots – a tip given to me by a work colleague. Imagine you are taking virtual photographs and take a memory shot so you remember some key parts of the day- these will be some of the memories you’ll take away from the day. Be warned the time just flies by when you are having fun! Our wedding day, feels like it only lasted 20 minutes in total, we want to go back and do it all over again.
  • Give the ushers, bestman and father-of-the-groom a detailed list of timings and things to do. I also shared the timings for the day with the photographer and caterers so they knew what was happeneing and when
  • Try to savour every moment of the big day as it flies by so quickly.
  • My biggest tip is to look after you and your partner. Although weddings seem all about the couple, so much of it is dedicated to making other people happy. Do things that will make you and your partner happy. Plan some time to be alone together. Giggle like kids. And EAT, do not forget to eat! I was so busy chatting that I hardly had any sweets from our dessert table.
  • Give yourself ridiculous amounts of time to get ready. I totally underestimated how long it would take when you’re taking your time, as I usually just whack some make up on in a rush.
  • It will fly by so try and stop every so often and take it all in.
  • Have a good breakfast, and get your best man/bridesmaid/whoever it might be to keep a banana or snack nearby. And some water – we had to go with gin in a tin, as it was the only thing to hand!
Claire Penn

(Photo credit Claire Penn)


  • For the planning, start early, and expect everything to take longer than you think it will. Doing a lot yourself is great, very rewarding, and will save you loads of money, but you need to weigh up the cost to your time and stress levels!
  • Accept help when it’s offered.
  • Remember what the most important thing is: marrying the person you love. On the day, get someone else to take care of the organisation and practicalities, consider your work done, sit back and enjoy!
  • Enjoy spending time with your friends and family whilst you plan your day. it’s a very special time for everyone and they will be so proud of you!
  • Make sure you know exactly what needs doing and when because everyone will want to help and have a lot of questions so if you already know what you need people to do this will mean you’ll be able to enjoy the experience rather than feel stressed by it – plus people really do want to get involved and feel a part of the day.
  • Also if you are organising all aspects of your wedding yourself you do need to be really organised and plan ahead. I had spreadsheets and timeframes and folders with dividers for each supplier as there were so many different ones involved
  • Enjoy the planning process and try not to stress about it. We had a great time planning the wedding together.
  • You can’t really decide anything about the day until you work out what’s important to you. We were clear that we wanted to spend the day with all the people we felt were important to us, and had shared in our relationship, and we hope will be around for the future. Everything else fitted in around that, and although we could only squeeze some in as evening guests, we’re really happy that we managed to make it all work.
  • Have a think through the day beforehand and work out if there’s little jobs that need handing over to other people – John’s brothers were great at making sure all the little bits fell into place.
  • To just relax and enjoy planning it all, it can be very daunting planning a wedding with so much to think about and organise. But it does all come together in the end and is worth every second spent planning.
  • Don’t just settle for anything search for what you really want because it will pay off in making the day exactly what you want.
  • Do a job a week to elevate the stress closer to the time and just enjoy the planning as well as the day, I loved planning the wedding and don’t know what all the fuss is about.
  • My advice would be to start planning as early as possible as there’s nothing worse than stressing out on the morning of your wedding!
Tux and Tales

(Photo credit Tux and Tales)

Personalise Your Wedding

  • The idea is that you only do it once, so do it your way! Think about how you want to feel on that special day and keep it in mind throughout. If there are traditional or expected elements (or guests for that matter!) that you don’t want, then just don’t have them! We didn’t have a cake or table favours…no-one cares! They are there to see the happiness on your faces and share your big day! Relax, take your time and enjoy the process.
  • Enjoy it, and plan the wedding you want – don’t be afraid to be different!
  • Show case your personality – It is really important that you choose things that represent who you are and push the boundaries of tradition. It is nice to be different!
  • Just do what you want. It’s such a whirlwind of a day for the bride and groom, and you’ll feel like you’ve barely seen anyone, but loads of people said that the day was very ‘us’ and so everything you put into the day is a way of keeping in touch with people through the day.
  • The only advice I would give is make sure you do what the two of you want. Make it feel like ‘you’ as you two are as a couple and have the most amazing fun with all of it. Don’t get stressed…its the most amazing day. If things don’t work out – who else is going to know and who cares?! If they are all your friends and family and there’s food & drink – everything is fine!
  • Little personal touches such as choosing your own entrance and exit music can make a day feel more individual and cost nothing.

Carly Bevan.

(Photo credit Carly Bevan)


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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