It’s all well and good listening to friends, family and even a professional when it comes to wedding planning advice. However, who’s better to ask than a REAL couple? Someone that’s already been there and done it? Well we’ve done the hard work for you. We approached past Brides & Grooms in search of their biggest wedding planning tips (as well as those all important regrets), in the hope that it will influence you and guide you to make the right decisions. Here’s a run-down of some of the most valuable advice…
In our opinion, your wedding photography and / or videography are the most important elements of your day and are where you should dedicate a chunk of your budget. It’s so important to find the right person that fits your style and personality as a couple.
Browse websites, magazines and wedding blogs to get a better idea of what kind of photographs you want. Then set aside time to sit down with your photographer and brief them on what you would like them to capture. Make sure you’re equipped with references and notes to make sure you’re clear from the start.
“I had envisioned several shots, but my mistake was to assume my photographer could read my mind. She was amazing, but unfortunately several things I wanted to capture were missed.”
“The wedding was amazing. But while I had an amazing photographer, I didn’t hire a professional videographer. So many wonderful moments were captured frozen in time, but there are no moving images.”
“My biggest wedding regret was having a family friend take photos instead of hiring a photographer. She had a lot of heart, but the pictures were really disappointing.”
One of our main pieces of advice for this section of your day is to tell your guests that your ceremony is due to start fifteen minutes before it actually does! This will help account for any late arrivals.
“I’d start the ceremony later in order to account for late arrivals.”
“I wish I had asked the celebrant to tell people to put their mobile phones away. We have so many lovely shots of the ceremony, but in everyone there are people in the background holding up their phones so you can’t see their faces.”
“I would have had a shorter ceremony. It was more than half an hour long, and I remember being bored standing up there, and I am sure those watching felt the same!”
Your reception is where you spend the majority of your day so it has to be right. It’s so important to chat with your partner to ensure you’re on the same page and in agreement with arrangements. Tech is a big part of the day. Why not talk to your partner about your tech stance before the wedding, and make sure it’s clear on the day. If you’re pro–social media, choose a great wedding hashtag and print it on your service guides. If you’d prefer a mobile phone–free day, ask your Coordinator to make an announcement during special photo moments.
“One of the things I would have done differently for my reception is include more time for speeches… we only let the best man speak, and looking back, I think it would have been nice to have heard from others.”
“I would have tried to have a smaller wedding. It went by so fast, I barely had a chance to go talk to guests.”
“What I regret is spending so much time worrying about little details — the seating plan, the music, the bridesmaids’ dresses… In the end, all the stress I put myself through leading up to the big day was avoidable. Your wedding is perfect regardless of whether certain details don’t work out the way you planned.”
There’s two types of people. You either love or hate getting stuck in to some good ol’ DIY. If you’re going to create your own items for your day, don’t forget to consider transportation arrangements and factor in how long it will take you to set up the items on the day.
“We wouldn’t have done DIY invitations. The amount of money we saved just wasn’t worth the time it took us to make them.”
“My biggest regret is not factoring in what a huge pain it would be taking everything down after the reception. The cost savings of DIY tend to disappear when you remember that you have to provide everything AND take it all down!”
“I ended up spending money on all the craft items, wasting my time, and then changing my mind and throwing them all out. I am all about a good DIY, but when it comes to a wedding, I don’t recommend DIY-ing anything, since it means you will have to either do the setup yourself or worry about explaining your vision for these items to someone else.”
So your wedding day is over and you have the excitement and novelty of your honeymoon to look forward to! We’d recommend jetting off not too long after your day to ensure you still have the just wed buzz.
“I don’t regret the actual honeymoon, but I do regret the fact that we put so much pressure on ourselves to find the perfect place and plan the perfect trip. The process became more stressful that it was fun. My advice to brides is to pick somewhere you both love and will enjoy yourselves, as opposed to worrying about whether or not it’s the most epic trip of your lives.”
“We booked our honeymoon really far in advance and without putting as much thought into it as we probably should have. By the time I realised I wanted to do something different it was too late/costly to change our entire game plan. We still had a great time, thank goodness.”
“Instead of leaving for our honeymoon the morning after the wedding — which ended at three in the morning! — we would have waited a day to take off for Costa Rica. The whole first day of the trip I was exhausted and hung over.”
And there we have it! Thank you to all the lovely Brides & Grooms that gave us their wedding regrets and top tips. We hope you gained some useful pieces of advice from this article and best of luck with your planning.
with CLAIRE BOON and SARAH MACKLIN of BOUQUET & BELLS
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