Real Brides’ Best Wedding Advice

Planning Advice From Real Brides Genevieve Leiper Photography

After going through the process themselves these brides learned a thing or two from the wedding planning experiences, whether it’s what to spend on or the best way to plan their seating arrangements. If you’re still in the midst of planning your wedding (congrats!) then you can learn from these brides so you can avoid making the same mistakes. Here’s a few great pieces of brides who’ve been there:

Take your time during photos!! Nobody gave me this advice! After the ceremony, I felt rushed and it was hot, and I rushed my photos. We were in a hurry to get to the reception. I had tons of poses I wanted to do, but with all the chaos and me being hot and cranky, I just focused on getting a few. After the fact, I was sooooo bummed, that I didn’t slow my ass down and just get my photos the way I wanted them. So, take your time and don’t rush your wedding photos! — Janel Cassondra Falcon

Get the venue and date you want immediately (unless you plan to have a long engagement)…then relax and enjoy for a bit. — Erin Costino

Don’t worry if your vision when you start planning changes by the time your big day come around. About 90% of the things i started off with changed by my wedding day. I planned for 15 months. — Natalie LeClaire

Start gathering ideas in a binder and plan out your vision. That way you can share it with your potential vendors to give them an idea of exactly what u have in mind. Having an organized binder makes it easy for your vendors  to tell you what they can and cannot do. Trust me it helps tremendously. My wedding coordinator loved that I was so organized. — Evelina Johnson Buendia

Stay within your budget. Don’t let anyone bump your guest list up. If your planning to pay for 100…pay for 100. Family and Friends will try to invite everyone and their grandmothers…sure you want them to share in your day….but you have to stay within you budget. Everytime my fiance would bump our list up I would make the cash register sound. He caught on when they told him how much to expect to pay for if we invited everyone in the world. Thank God we only have 98 RSVPs. Well within budget! — China Payne

Use a giant dry erase board when figuring out seating!! –Elaine Capone Keay

Organize, delegate, and don’t do anything because you feel obligated. Also, be prepared for lame surprises (like uninvited guests). — Alexandra Staehling

Focus on what you truly want to make you happy. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you want things you never thought of until a person tried to sell them to you. — Marjani J Coffey

Plan for the money you have not the money you think you’ll have. I got seriously hurt half way through our engagement and was out of work for months. We had to change our plans and fast. – Morgan Dorval

Want more? Of course you do!

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  • 08/18/13 at 10:23

    Thanks for sharing the advice.

  • 08/22/13 at 09:05

    I love your advice! A little planning can save so much on the wedding day. A dollar here, a dollar there and it’s $100 down and counting!

  • Tammy
    09/24/13 at 10:04

    Our wedding is in March of 2014. I was wondering if anyone would be so kind to give me some words of advise regarding registries. My soon to be husband and I are having trouble because we already live together in a lovely home and don’t really have any needs that would require a registry. What do couples such as ourselves do in this case?

  • kb
    08/05/14 at 07:47

    I like that you give the photographer credit, but what about the florist, planner, etc?

  • 09/20/14 at 09:08

    Great advice. It’s not possible to over-communicate or be too organized. I love helping brides write itineraries for this very reason.

  • 09/21/14 at 07:16

    The best way to start is to read lots of wedding blogs for advice especially those blogs written by Simone Hill. Even a wedding planner like me usually gets lots of new ideas from blogs. It is also the best way to avoid making mistakes in a costly wedding, of course we don’t want to make mistakes and ruin my reputation. So its best to read a lot and stay updated from learning of others. I agree with early reservations for your wedding reception. Usually the months of August, June, September and July can get fully booked so fast at Villa Marcello.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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