Engaged 101: Wedding Advice From Former Brides and Grooms
March 12, 2015
You are in the middle of planning your wedding, and have put a lot of thought and energy into those plans! Do you sometimes wish you had all of the answers and advice on planning your wedding? We asked former brides and grooms about what they wished they had known or done differently on their own wedding days. Here’s some helpful advice that former brides and grooms wish they had known or done differently before they said “I Do.”
Wedding Day Advice:
* “Don’t feel like you have to invite everybody!”
This is a great piece of advice because the more people you invite to your wedding, the more money you will end up spending. Narrowing down your guest list will cut down on the cost of invitations, postage, food, and cake.
* “Set a budget and stick to it! I was on a very small budget, but it came out great!”
Check out our previous post on how to have the wedding of your dreams on a budget. Before you start your wedding plans, sit down and budget how much you are willing to spend on your wedding.
* “Have a small wedding. All of our money could have been saved for all of life’s little surprises!”
Many people say that they wish they had saved the money spent on their wedding to put a down payment on a house, have a longer honeymoon, or save it for their future. Think about what is important to you on having your wedding, and spend money on what is important to you. You can pull off a small, intimate wedding on a small budget.
* “I wrote a tune for my wife to walk down the aisle to, and paid a professional to play it. He butchered it. Nobody knew but me, but I was upset! If you write a tune, play it yourself, record it yourself, or have a friend you trust play it.”
I’m glad the groom was the only one knew there was a problem! If you write a tune for your fiancé to walk down the aisle to (how romantic!), then you want to make sure the song is unforgettable and played correctly! How about calling On-Site Productions to help you with live entertainment!? We have live entertainment and DJ service options for you! Derek Sellers is a professional wedding singer, and he does this for a living! Derek Sellers will make sure that you will be glad you hired him. He will call you before your wedding day, and take care of all the details. He will make sure this doesn’t happen to you!
* “Eat before the wedding. The only thing we ate at our wedding was the bite of cake we fed each other. We were so busy talking to people and taking pictures, we didn’t get any time to eat.”
I actually had SO many of my friends give me this same piece of great advice for my wedding day. My husband and I actually sat down at our own table and ate our meal after we had our formal dances. We had spent so much time and money picking out our food--we were determined we would enjoy our wedding food--and we did! We also had our caterer pack us some wedding food into a picnic basket that we took with us! We had so much fun enjoying our wedding picnic basket later--and we couldn’t decide on who would eat the last bite of cake!
* “Pay for a professional DJ to keep your wedding running smoothly, and your guests dancing. The DJ can make or break your wedding reception!”
This is great advice. It’s true, a DJ can make or break your wedding reception. I’ve been to weddings where nobody was dancing, and I’ve been to weddings where the whole crowd was dancing! It was ALL because of the DJ! You want your guests to dance, and enjoy themselves. After all, you are paying someone to keep your party going--so hire a professional that will do a great job and help your reception flow. Check out our previous blog post on why you should hire a professional DJ. Call On-Site Productions today (205) 434-4040 to book your professional DJ and Emcee for your wedding! At On-Site Productions, our Djs let your photographer know when he will play the song for your first dance, and all of your formal songs--so your photographer is ready before the songs to your formal dances starts!
*Make a list of ALL the pictures you would like to have taken by your wedding photographer. Include as much information as you can to help your photographer know who should be in the pictures, and what you want to have documented. I wish I had made a list for my photographer. Don’t get me wrong, I love our wedding photos but there were pictures I still wish had been taken. For example, my husband’s aunt and uncle (which he is really close to) drove all the way from Illinois for our wedding. We don’t have a picture with them from our wedding day--which is so sad. For your family pictures on each side, include who (list the names) should be in each picture! I also made my husband a basket of little gifts and a scrapbook of why I loved him on our wedding day. I wish the photographer had taken a picture of the basket, and had taken pictures as he opened the basket so I could have seen his face as he opened the gifts. Make a list of everything you want documented--if you worked hard on all of the DIY details, if you want pictures of your cake and food, your dress before you get dressed, etc.--list it all! If you have any sweet surprises that will happen, let the photographer in on the secret so he will be ready to snap the pictures. Send the photographer pictures you have pinned to give him ideas of pictures you like for your wedding day. Don’t think you will remember all of the cute pictures you have pinned on Pinterest on your wedding day!
* Enjoy your day, it goes by so fast! Take a few minutes after you have gotten married, and spend a few minutes alone. When people tell you that they don’t remember their wedding day, they are serious! So many of my friends told me this, and I didn’t believe them. My wedding day was a whirl-wind, and it went by so fast! I wish I had taken a few minutes with my husband to soak in our wedding day. I’m so glad we had a videographer and a good photographer to go back and remember our day! Pay for a quality wedding video and photographer--you will not regret it!
* Forget the small stuff! I can’t tell you if the details I stressed over for so many months actually made it out for decorations or not!
* Make a checklist of everything you need to bring with you, and designate a specific person to be responsible for getting everything there and set up accordingly. This includes everything from the decorations to what you will need in your bridal suite to get dressed. I had a friend buy nice glow-sticks for their send off, and she forgot to bring them with her! Her coordinator went out and bought more glow-sticks, but she was sad the nice glow-sticks didn’t get used.
* Forget the superstition that it’s bad luck to see each other before wedding, and have first glance pictures. Your make-up and hair are going to look awesome before the ceremony (ladies, this makes for better pictures!). You will also feel more relaxed as you walk down the aisle because you have already seen each other. You can take a couple of other pictures after the ceremony, but having most of your pictures completed will allow for you to spend more time enjoying your reception with your guests.
* Talk to your guests at the reception. You can go around the tables and talk to the guests at each table. Take a minute and thank them for coming to your wedding, and make your guests feel welcome and thank them for coming.
Items to Bring with You:
* Bring a Bridal Emergency Kit with you. Pack items such as extra hairspray, make-up, Kleenex, safety pins, needle and thread, bobby pins--anything a bride might need in case of an emergency!
This is a great idea! I had a Bridal Emergency Kit with me in case I needed something. This came in handy, and I was prepared with items I may have forgotten otherwise!
* Pack some water bottles and snack foods to have in the bride’s dressing room.
You never know when you or a bridesmaid might need something to eat or drink. I had my favorite snack foods, candy, and soft drinks with me at the wedding. The snacks came in handy--especially for the groomsmen!
Enjoy your day, and just know that something will not go the way you planned. Relax and enjoy your wedding day--you only have one! At the end of the day after you've said your vows, cut the cake, and had your first dance talk about the day with your new spouse. You are married, and that's all that really matters! Enjoy your newlywed bliss! Happy wedding planning!