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.


(Photo by Stacy Paul Photography)

General Advice

  • Book a good photographer
  • Imagine your perfect wedding and then take elements out and see if you would actually miss it; keep it simple.
  • We also used lots of local suppliers which helped with costs and it’s just nice to do.
  • Think about what you wear in the morning as you will be photographed – we all forgot and our best woman wore a t-shirt saying “take me to the strippers”, and Sian had a vest with the cookie monster on which made it difficult when choosing photos for the album!
  • Remember why you want to get married and what is important to you both.
  • Get your family and friends involved – they feel more part of it, which is more fun for them, and you will just be bowled over by the effort people are willing to make for you. Never will you feel more lucky or more loved!! 
  • Do not try to put all your ideas in one day – try to enjoy its natural flow, the people who came just for you and each other
  • Don’t forget to listen during your ceremony rehearsal! Both Alan and I were stood at the front of the church panicking because neither of us could remember whether we were meant to say ‘I am’ or ‘I will’. Luckily for me, Alan had to go first and managed to pick the right one.
  • Make sure the groom is involved. It’s a day for the both of you and you should both feel part of it rather than just turning up to something someone else has organised.
  • If you’re worrying about the shade of the napkins you’ve lost touch with what the day is really about. 
  • It’s think it’s important to have a budget and ensure you include “misc” funds as they really add up. I dedicated a big amount to miscellaneous and I’m glad as I needed it from the favours to pumpkins to spray paint to toilet rentals…it’s essential to give yourself a significant buffer fund as it’s inevitable that things do & will come up. 


(photo by Paul Underhill)


  • The best decision was to hire a wedding planner. The best tips I can give to any couples is to be stressless and for that a wedding planner is the only solution.
  • It will be stressful planning a wedding, especially as it gets closer and if you don’t have enough time due to work commitments etc. So do your best to afford yourself time off from work the week before and remember it’s supposed to be fun
  • Avoid taking your stress out on your partner – spot you’re stressed and comfort each other before you blow your top! Also
  • Use a spreadsheet to plan your finances and take advantage of any offers
  • In hindsight, we wished we’d employed an on the day co-ordinator as our venue wasn’t really set up for weddings and there was quite a bit of organising to do throughout the day. Luckily we have an amazing set of friends and family who were more than willing to muck in. It would have been nice to take the pressure off them a little bit though
  • Chances are somebody, especially in the run up to the wedding, will try to interfere, make comments or generally be a pain. It’s part of organising a wedding so don’t stress – ignore it and make the day yours.
  • Throw ideas about and make decisions together as a couple, I think many couples have a similar vision of their day and so together you will make the best choices


(photo by Claire Penn Photography)

Making it Personal

  • Our best advice is to choose what you want as a couple, your guests will enjoy your choices because they enjoy you
  • When planning, be open to suggestions from other people but also be firm if there are any points that you feel are non-negotiable.
  • Make sure you concentrate on what you would like from your day instead of getting lost in what you think your guests will like.
  • Think about what is really important to each of you and make sure that you do those things above anything else.
  • Don’t stress about the small details as it’s not what makes the day special. 
  • Make it personal and a reflection of yourselves but also make sure your guests are enjoying themselves because it’s your friends and family which will help make the day extra special.
  • Don’t feel you have to stick to tradition if you don’t want to, really we just planned our day from scratch, editing out the bits we didn’t want and focusing on what we thought would make for a fun day.
  • Don’t follow convention and tradition too much and most of all enjoy it and feel the love.

(photo by Assassynation)

On TheDay

  • Tip for the day – appreciate the day for what it means to you both – enjoy the time and love of all your family and friends who are all in one place, on one day, for you.
  • On the day don’t rush too much, enjoy the lead up spending time with everyone! Lots of people say this but it’s true, take some time together to catch up and enjoy the party. It really does go by so fast.
  • Set time aside to be alone with your groom before the craziness starts and everyone wants time with you. I don’t remember most of the wedding day because I was so busy and going from person to person to say hi, etc. I do remember every moment of the 30 minutes Brad and I had to be with just one another.
  • Enjoy the process, not just the day. The wedding day is just the culmination of a thousand little conversations, discussions and activities that will bring you closer to your partner and closer to your families and friends. Inevitably the day itself will pass by in a flash, so appreciate the whole as well as those 24 short hours.
  • I know everyone say it, but just enjoy the day.  Every now and again take a step back and watch people and take it all in.  It goes by before you otherwise.  No-one will care if things aren’t quite in the right place, or don’t exactly match, or even if plans change the last minute.  People just want to just have fun and the more relaxing you make it, the more relaxed they’ll be.
  • Relax and enjoy it and don’t have this image in your mind of a perfect wedding day because things may change on the day. Many of the things that helped make the day so special were last minute changes or things we hadn’t planned.

(Photo by Paul Joseph Photography)

DIY Weddings

  • We delegated some of the DIY things out to our wedding party.
  • If you are going to ask people to make things for your wedding, make sure you give them some inspiration/ideas as to what you’d like at the outset
  • If you’re setting up the venue yourselves, don’t underestimate how long it will take to pack up cars/vans and ferry things around. The day before the wedding was complete chaos, even though we had lots of people helping us out – be prepared for this and make sure you buy snacks to feed the troops!
  • If you’ve got a DIY venue the last thing you want to be doing the day after is scrubbing toilets so hiring a cleaner is worth its weight in gold.
  • Recruit your friends and family to help out! Ours were all so willing to give up their time and skills to help us and it just made everything that much more special.
  • Although I loved the DIY aspect, the day before wedding was a bit busy/stressful so get as much help as possible and try not to be too controlling. I wish I’d left it to others and just relaxed. But just stay in the moment and go with the flow and enjoy.

(photo by Robbins Photographic)


  • Get friends and family to help you in your preparations. They love getting involved and it makes it very special. 
  • Be super organised, and you can never have too many lists. 
  • Start early, get as much done as you can and stick to what you like. We had some awful family illnesses in the month prior to the wedding. The groom was on crutches and mother of the bride in hospital but everything was ready to go apart from a day with my bridesmaids boxing stuff up ready so the focus could be on getting everyone well before the big day
  • Give yourselves a lot of time to plan everything and accept all the help you can.

(photo by Candid & Frank 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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