Last month I married my best friend surrounded by our closest friends and family members on a beautiful day that came out of a year of planning. In gearing myself up the big day, I read countless articles on tips for brides, tips for the day, tips for saving money etc. While these were pretty useful, they all said the same thing and in being a bride myself, I realised there were a lot of lessons I learnt that I wish I’d read beforehand. So, I thought I’d compile my top 10 realistic tips for brides whether you’re newly engaged or still in the planning process. These tips will also come in handy for Maid of Honours, Bridesmaids and basically anyone who is involved in helping to plan a wedding!
1. Utilise your friends and family
Can your bestie whip up a cake with her eyes closed? Is your auntie a florist? How about your sister, is she any good at crafting? My number one tip is to look at your friends, family, work colleagues and distant acquaintances for help, you never know, it could save you hundreds of pounds and you can’t do it all on your own! My sisters were a huge help when planning my wedding as they are both super organised and creative. One of my sisters actually made the bunting for the whole marquee, and it looked so much better than anything you could buy. The people who love you probably want to help anyway, so start handing those jobs out and save yourself a LOT of time, money and stress.
2. Stop worrying about it being THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE
If your wedding day is the best day of your life EVER, then that’s kinda depressing. I mean, what about the rest of your life, the one you’ve just about to begin with your new wife/husband? It’s just one day, and if you put too much pressure on yourself to enjoy it, it’ll never live up to your expectations.
3. Give yourself enough time to get ready on the day, but not TOO much time
I went to get my hair done at 9am, and started my make-up around 11am. I didn’t get married until 3pm so although I was ready in really good time, I think I was ready TOO early. Because what did I start doing with my spare time? WORRYING. That’s what. Throughout the time I was waiting around for other people to arrive, having a couple of glasses of bucks fizz, I started to feel really, really nervous. All morning I’d been totally zen, but as the hours went by and I had nothing to do but wait, I had worked myself up so much that I was almost shaking by the time I walked up the aisle. So, yeah, maybe get ready a bit later or have something planned for the waiting time, there’s more than you think!
4. Don’t worry about those family members who don’t get on
We all probably have a family member or two who don’t get on, but who are both invited to the wedding. This happened to me and I spent months worrying about it, wondering if it would be awkward or if there would be some tension. Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. Anyone really worth coming to your wedding would hate to ruin your day, and as everyone is having such a great time, you’ll probably forget all about it, I know I did. I just wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about it in the run-up.
5. Ask everyone to take photos
This is something I wish we’d done at our wedding, as I’m sure people took photos but I’ve barely seen any! Of course you’ll get your professional photos, but you can’t beat drunken selfies with your best friends, or some impromptu shots of your guests on the dance-floor. Some guests might think you don’t want them taking lots of photos because of your photographer, but if you do, let them know! If we could do it again we would have mentioned it in the groom’s speech.
6. Eat something light beforehand, as you won’t eat at the wedding
I barely ate anything at my actual wedding. The combination of nerves, excitement and being photographed all day meant I didn’t have much of an appetite when it came round to the meal. We had an afternoon tea style meal, and it was all amazing, I’ll leave a list of the vendors we used at the bottom of this post. Oh, also, if you get married later on in the day (such as 3pm) you might not need to book in as much food as you think. We served dinner to our guests about half 4 in the afternoon, and had some extra vendors coming about 7pm for some evening treats. Everyone was still really full and had moved on to drinking so barely anyone ate it, I’m still glad we had that extra food just in case, but we definitely did not need as much as we had.
7. You might not, ahem, do the deed
I came across this on ONE wedding article, just one! Weddings are tiring, and there’s a lot of alcohol and food and general merriment long into the night. You might not be up for doing the horizontal tango that night, and that’s OK. It’s really not a big deal. Likewise, if you do, that’s OK too. Let it be natural, rather than worry about doing what tradition tells you to do.
8. Bring some spare shoes!
There are two reasons you should bring a pair of shoes and not make the mistake I did!! Number one is because your feet might be killing after being in heels all day and you need to give them a break. Number two is because your shoes may BREAK half way through the evening. This is what happened to me; one of the straps on my shoes snapped near the end of the night, and I didn’t bring a back up pair, cue the bride walking around with no shoes on cringe.
9. Get eyelash extensions
I have to admit, recently I have really gotten into eyelash extensions. There’s a range of styles available depending on how dramatic you want them, but my favourite is Russian volume. I really love that you can wake up with gorgeous lashes, and it takes half the time to do my make-up. Russian volume lashes are made up of around 2 to 5 lashes placed on each individual lash, creating a fanned out, really pretty look. I had them done for my wedding and it meant I didn’t have to worry about mascara as my lashes looked naturally voluminous. I really recommend getting them if you’re getting married, but make sure you get a trial beforehand. They should continue to look good for a few weeks so if you’re going on honeymoon soon after the wedding, you’ll be able to go make-up free, which is what you want for holidays really.
10. Debenhams is your friend
This might seem like an odd tip compared to the rest of this list, but honestly, Debenhams is such a great place for affordable wedding supplies. Unintentionally, I ended up buying a lot from Debenhams. It has a huge wedding range, from bridal dresses to invitations and I found myself going back time and again and finding bargains. Note: Similar shops will also stock similar bridal items but I found this store to be the best one.
The way I saw it is that most of the things you’ll use on your wedding day will be used for that day only, so why spend more? If you save £100 through buying your shoes from the high street, you have £100 extra to use on your honeymoon. Again, I’ll leave a list of the amazing finds I’ve seen or used myself at the bottom of this post.
So there you have it, these are my top 10 realistic wedding tips for brides that you may not have thought of. I hope they help you have a wonderful wedding, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments!
Sandra Bishop Catering (Doncaster area)
Sweet Candy Dreams (Doncaster area – we hired the hog dog and popcorn machine)
Vintage headpiece (similar to my own)
Ginger Ray (for amazing decorations)
Other wedding tips posts you may have missed
Hope this was helpful, let me know if you liked it in the comments!