1. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
When you're getting married so many people volunteer themselves to help, so let them! It's easier on you and you can get a lot done! I had a craft day a few months before the wedding and we were able to put all the invitations together and address them, roll silverware, put together smaller decorations for the reception, and the bridesmaids put together some details for the bridal shower. It was so much fun to get together and it gives people a chance who aren't in the bridal party to be involved.
2. Try everything out before hand- and PHOTOGRAPH it!
This applies to your hair, make-up, dress, jewelry, centerpieces etc. Anything that you can attempt to do before hand- do it! AND photograph it! For example, a cute side pony can be perfect for your dress, but it only looks good photographed from one side. A necklace you bought might be too simple to show up in pictures or may overwhelm your overall look. Try a nail/hair/make-up salon BEFORE your big day appointments. I went to a brand new nail salon thinking how difficult can it be for nails? Boy was I wrong! I ended up having my nails done and re-done a total of 3 times. It's such a small thing, and I easily could have done it myself if worse came to worse, but was such a headache. These things, might cost money, but it's well worth it so there's no surprises or meltdowns the day-of.
3. No matter the cost, get two photographers.
I love, LOVE, love our pictures, but I consider myself a "picture" person and would have loved to have 1000s of pictures instead of 100s. There were a few pictures we missed out on because we didn't have two photographers, but our one photographer got some amazing shots. We didn't have two because we just couldn't afford it, but looking back now I would have picked up some extra shifts or started serving again to make the extra cash.
4. Have a first look
Unless you're BIG on not seeing each other before the wedding or surprising him down the aisle, I recommend a first look 100%. It was the only time Matt and I had to ourselves, a few moments to talk and share our love. We didn't even notice our photographer, he gave us our private time for each other. It was wonderful, like our little secret. Also, you can get some great pictures and aren't in as big of a rush before the wedding as you are between the ceremony and reception.
5. Make sure to go over your day-of itinerary with your coordinator.
You need to both be on the same page, and not just think that you are. Also make an itinerary for all of your bridal party, family members, and parents of your ring bearers/children. This makes it easier on you if everyone has all of the times, addresses, phone numbers etc. and know where to be and when and how to get a hold of you or the groom if they need to.
6. On the day of your wedding, be calm.
Everyone couldn't believe how calm I was on the big day. I wasn't freaking out, anything that went awry I had let it go. That week, we had a death in the family and the funeral was the day of our rehearsal dinner. It was a horrible time for everyone, but there was nothing we could do. I wasn't able to be there for any set up or explanation to others on what needed to be done. Which wouldn't have been a problem had I used a venue for the event, but we were having it in a backyard of my family's home. I had to have a lot of faith in my family and friends that things would get done without me. Trust me, there was a few things that didn't go as planned, but they were so minimal to the whole picture. There's nothing you can do about it anyways. Think about it, if you show up at your venue and the flowers or linens are wrong- what are you going to do? Absolutely nothing. So don't sweat it.
I think those are my biggest pieces of advice that I learned from my own wedding. If possible, ask all your friends who are married what they wish they would have done or what they would have done differently. Even better, ask your venue or wedding coordinator for references, ask the brides who have used them before what advice they have for working with them.
So married ladies, what's your piece of advice for future brides out there?
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