advice to brides from former brides

Brides-to-be always seem to have a lot of questions and former brides often have something to say after their big day is completed. If you’re an excited (or anxious) bride-to-be, take a minute to read these answers given by some of my favorite brides (who’ve all had fabulous weddings) when asked “if someone asked for your advice for her own wedding day, what would you say?”

The best advice I can give to other brides is, “it’s all about attitude!” The quicker you take on an easy- going attitude when it comes to your big day, the more perfect, fun and memorable it will be. If you start stressing out about every detail, big or small, YOU will make your day miserable. I had a quote for my wedding that I used over and over again… “It is what it is!” As soon as I embraced this quote/theme for my planning and the day itself, my husband and I were free to enjoy every second of our day. -Monica B

My best advice to brides would be to make sure that the people who are going to be part of your big day, (i.e. wedding party, photographer, decorator, wedding planner etc) fit well with your personality. It's a long day and you want to make sure you are surrounded by people that you enjoy. Other than that, sit back, relax and enjoy the day- it should be one of the best days of your life, not a day full of stress. -Kelly K

One of the biggest challenges I faced at my wedding was catering to the needs of my extremely diverse wedding party. On the bridesmaid side, we had a Chicago lawyer, a former firefighter and cowgirl, a pastry chef and my sister. On the groomsmen side, we had a hedge fund manager, a political advisor who flew in from Beirut, a theology teacher at a Catholic high school and my two brothers. The boys bonded, of course, at the bachelor party over exotic dancers and drinks. The girls were a little trickier. They were all in various stages of gaining or losing weight—my sister had just had a lap band surgery, the lawyer was dieting, and the pastry chef would be eight months pregnant at the wedding. What worked was having everyone buy their bridesmaid dresses at a retail chain store (the lawyer, unsure of which style she liked best, bought the whole line, and the pregnant pastry chef eventually made her own by copying one of the patterns at the chain store). As for trying to bridge my bridesmaids’ diverse backgrounds, I learned it was best to not even try. And to my surprise, everyone bonded at my bachelorette party—a trip down the south fork of the Payette--when the lawyer was thrown from the boat in a particularly vicious set of rapids and everyone had to pull together to rescue her. -Isabelle S

As a former bride and now a happily married woman, the best piece of advice I can give anyone is to enjoy every moment of your big day. As long as it took to arrive, the day will go by too quickly, so have fun and be proud of all your hard work. And don’t forget to bring some stain remover wipes just in case someone spills on the front of your beautiful dress. -Elizabeth E

Our wedding was just what we wanted. I'd go so far as to say it was downright perfect! Even so, here are 3 quick pieces of advice for new brides planning their Big Day: #1- Hire a day-of coordinator! Don't subject your friends to crazy relatives who decide they are officially in charge of everything. #2- Take engagement photos. It really helped us relax for the "real" photo shoot! #3- Take the time to write out a list of "must have" photos – people and poses. The photographer isn't a mind reader! -Jenny S

The best thing my husband and I did when planning our wedding was to hire a wedding planner. He took care of every detail - the timeline, set up, vendors, and clean up - and we were able to enjoy every moment of our big day without any unnecessary stress. Having a wedding planning enabled us to focus solely on each other and our guests, which made the day extremely special. - Kerri C.

Have a ‘go-to’ person in charge. That way the stress is off of you and your family or guests won’t feel they have to fill-in and help on your wedding day. -Teresa F.

Even the best-organized brides are going to feel stress and the main thing I tried to keep in mind both during the planning process and the day of was to try to enjoy it as much as possible. Prepare as much as you can, use checklists, pack your wedding night overnight bag/touchup kit the day before, but otherwise just try to soak it all in, because ideally you only do this once. Listen to others' input - especially those who have been recently married - but if something is important to you and/or your groom, do what YOU want to do. It's your day even though it's easy to have other people try to foist their idea of what the day should be like on you. Have (only one!) a glass of champagne as you are getting your hair and makeup done. Make sure to have a light snack - nothing that will stain - to help you get through the day. Play music you love while getting ready and just enjoy it all! -Camille F

I planned my wedding while living out of state, and it wasn't stressful at all. The reason: I hired great people, including Tana, who I trusted to make the vision for my wedding day a reality. Bottom line: hire good people whom you trust enough to do the job when you're not in town to do it. - Gemma L

Take time to pick out a personal signature fragrance for your wedding day- something light and pretty. I used Ralph Lauren’s Romance and whenever I wear it now it reminds me of my wedding. - Melissa E.

I think that the most important advice I can give any couple is to hire people that you believe are competent and who you will be able to be relaxed and at ease with on your big day because you know you are working with professionals. -Julia W

The two things I would recommend are have someone record the music and ceremony. You spend so much time picking out the perfect music for every part of the ceremony and choosing the perfect words for the vows and ceremony, it's great to listen to the CD and "relive" the day. The second: choose a photographer that (offers) a website. I had several people that were not able to attend the wedding, but I was able to give them the log on information for my website and they could see the pictures. Several of them felt as if they had been with me the entire day. -Martha E