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

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 number of questions. One of these questions being advice for other couples. 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.

S6 Photography

(photo by S6 Photography)

On the Day of the Wedding

  • Be prepared for things not to go to plan on the day and go with it.
  • Enjoy the day, it goes by so quickly, and don’t worry about it being absolutely perfect, it’s the things that sometimes don’t go as planned that turn out the best.
  • Cherish every single moment of the day – stand back for 2 mins and try to take it all in. Take the time to get different photos with the photographer, I really feel this paid off as the photos are so worth it.
  • Everyone has always said to me the day goes so fast so try and take it all in at some point during the day and that is the best advice I got. Try and sit back and take in that its your wedding day and just enjoy it.
  • Don’t worry about minutiae of the decorations on the day, especially in a large venue and concentrate on the bigger picture.
  • My friend managed the day for me, it was fantastic to know I could trust her to do exactly what I wanted, without me having to get involved – I wrote a 6 page blow by blow briefing, there was no need for me to do anything!
  • When the moment finally arrives, try and relax and savour it. Nothing else matters. Just have fun, because it’s over before you know it. And trust me, you will be wishing you could do it all again!
  • We were really conscious about enjoying ourselves and not spending all day separate doing the rounds. So once everyone was as the evening reception and we had greeted them we spent the rest of the evening dancing
  • Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Live the moment, because you’ll never get it back.

Jess Petrie Photography

(photo by  Jess Petrie)


  • Make a scrap book and fill it with cuttings from magazines, photos, fabric swatches and anything else to build up a picture of exactly what you want. This is also helpful when meeting florists, hairdressers etc. to give them a clear idea of your vision for the day.
  • Work out what is most important to you. Be organised – I laughed at Simon’s spreadsheet but it really did help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – it’s amazing who wants to help, and how many recommendations people have.
  • No matter what you will stress about the wedding the whole time you are planning it but once the day is there you completely forget about all the little things you worried about and the day just makes it all worth it. Just enjoy planning the wedding and try not to let it control your life!
  • Whilst it is important to plan, try and be a bit flexible
  • Research, lots! Searching for our venue became easier once we had decided on things we definitely did and did not want for our day.

Belinda McCarthy

(photo  by Belinda McCarthy)

General Advice

  • Remember to have fun and accept help
  • Don’t stress too much about the guest list, generally the people you want to be there will be the ones who make the effort to come!
  • For all the future bride & groom, they just need to know that they don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to have the perfect wedding. The day is about themselves and what they like not about their guests.
  • Think outside the box, not every wedding has to be a bride wearing a white dress, the venue to be a vineyard or a wedding venue and the decoration to be flowers. Try to imagine it as if it wasn’t a wedding, you will see things differently.
  • Do not get caught up in the overwhelming options that wedding websites and ideas throw at you. Try to narrow things down to what you must have that is important to you, and forget the rest. It’s about the marriage and community more than the cute decorations or expensive dress.
  • Choose a really good photographer, we spent the most amount of money on the photographer and we are both so glad we did because at the end of it all they are the biggest thing that help you relive your wedding day.
  • Have top 3 key things that are important to you because things will go wrong but as long as those 3 are covered everything else will really not matter in the long run (even if it feels like the end of the world at the time!)
  • I would also recommend setting up an Instagram account for your wedding and giving everyone the username and password so they can upload there photos during the day. The day after it gave us an alternative view of the wedding and of our guests having a great time – it replaces the need to develop those blurred, and possibly censored, disposable camera shots from Boots!
  • Relax. Have things your way, but keep it in perspective – the marriage is more important than the wedding.
  • A great tip is just be yourself in front of the camera! We are rubbish at having our pictures taken! Trying to smile in the right place and keeping your eyes open is never easy; just relax, laugh and have fun. In the end these are the pictures that reflect your day.
  • I’m no professional, but no one should stress over such a special day. It always has a way of working out. Just make the best of the situation and concentrate on the special things and your soon to be spouse

Nicola Thompson Photography

(photo by Nicola Thompson)

DIY Weddings

  • I’m going to pass on the advice that several DIY brides have given to me: HIRE A DAY-OF-COORDINATOR! No matter how organized you are, or how confident you are in your DIY abilities, I think a day-of-coordinator is really there for your peace of mind. I was able to enjoy myself and not worry about what was supposed to happen next because I knew I could count on Cindy to take care of it. They are also very experienced with weddings (i.e. what could go wrong) and will bring up scenarios you had never even considered. Seriously, it was one of the best decisions we made during the whole process
  • If you plan a very crafty wedding then I’d recommend having something to fill the gap even post honeymoon should you take one having lots of projects to come back to helps to fill the wedding void.
  • If you are not particularly crafty get some help. Its fun to do your own wedding but I plan events for a living so it wasn’t as scary for me as it seemed to everyone else I told my plans to. Get a head start and don’t leave anything till the last minute
  • If you’re planning a DIY wedding, make sure you give yourself enough time on the morning of the wedding day with your select wedding party to relax.

Leentje Loves Light

(photo by Leentje Loves Light)

Making it Personal

  • Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that there are elements that must be present at your wedding. We decided against so many aspects of traditional weddings (i.e, cake, bouquet toss, etc.) because they didn’t match our personalities, and that’s all right!
  • Remember is you are planning your day and it should be as you want not what the family think you should have
  • It’s your wedding. We had loads of people ask us to change things or can we just… As harsh as it seems it has to be your day, you’ll bare the brunt of the debt for it too so make sure its something you will enjoy. If your friends and family love you, they will enjoy just how perfect for you it is!
  • I think there was a feeling at times that we were trying to be a little subversive in our approach by rejecting a lot of traditional wedding values but nothing could be further from the truth. At the end of the day it was a wedding, just like any other wedding; we got married, we ate, we drank, we danced! Weddings are brilliant, whether it’s a totally traditional package affair or a casual knees up in a garden. Don’t feel you need to adhere to a prescribed structure but equally don’t bother trying to bend over backwards trying to be different because it’s all been done before and it will all be done again. Do what feels right and what best represents you as a couple and keep it fun – for both of you.
  • I would encourage anyone who wants a wedding, that isn’t the norm, to give it a go, there a lots of people out there who are happy to muck in and help!
  • Make the day all about you, make it a reflection of who you are, not what you think other people might want, and plan it together, so you both feel invested
  • Do what you want – you only do it once and it’ll be worth it!
  • Do what you want! There are no rules so don’t feel like you have to conform. It’s about you and the day should reflect you both as a couple

Paul Joseph Photography

(photo by Paul Joseph Photography)


  • Remember that it is a shared responsibility to organise the wedding. Wedding suppliers that are otherwise wonderful can be very prone to only talk to the bride – I was constantly forwarding emails on to Rich – but the day is about both of you. Make the big decisions jointly and split up the tasks and it gets a lot easier.
  • Although it felt a bit control-freaky at the time, we were glad that we’d created a plan for the whole weekend with timings and printed it out for the staff, the ushers and the bridesmaids. It helped things to run smoothly and meant everyone knew where they had to be.
  • You can do it! Just breathe. Try not to get stressed. Make a spreadsheet. Ask for help and enjoy your day.
  •  Send the invites out earlier than you need to. It can be a struggle to get RSVPs and you need this for your plans and budget
  • If anyone offers to help, let them. We wanted to make a lot ourselves but we couldn’t have done everything without all our family & friends help washing the vintage china, making bunting in France, baking cakes, growing flowers, collecting Rose petals for confetti! We were so lucky that so many people helped.

S6 Photography

(photo by S6 Photography)

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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