10 Tips to Consider When Planning a Wedding

Since being married for over a month, and now an expert I've complied 10 things brides should know before getting married (totally all my opinion). So many people have asked Mark and I what was our favourite part, what did we regret etc so I thought it would make a good post because I know so many people getting married!

1. Take time for pictures.

It doesn't matter if you're spending $5000+ on photos or $1000 this is something I would highly recommend. You will have these pics for the rest of your life and even if pictures aren't the top thing on your list allotting more time will keep you relaxed, which is always the main goal. Mark and I had 2 hours for before pictures and barely got everything in on time… which leads me to my second suggestion

2. Make sure you get good family pictures.

 My only regret in the entire day [ if you only have one regret, I'd say you did great! ] is not getting more shots with my parents and siblings. It was my intention to get more but we ran out of time …. make sure you make family photos are priority… family is forever and they aren't going anywhere.. you want good pics.. maybe take them first before the wedding party?

3. Have someone in charge.

This can't be someone in the wedding party or a family member. If you are broke and can't hire a wedding planner (like us!) you still need someone who is at the ceremony early making sure everything is in place and everything is running smoothly. Sometimes the venue you hire will have someone but you need a friend that knows YOU and knows what you want/do when situations comes up.We had an amazing family friend who was there planning with me months before and I honestly wouldn't know what to do without her. For example: she ran to get the bouquet so I could throw it for the girls- your mother and wedding party shouldn't be worried or have to think about these details. Find someone who loves you and loves weddings! I can't stress this one enough. You'll be so thankful. 

4. Make an outline of the ceremony and reception.

Organization is key. Organization makes you relax. Make a write-up [ a month in advance ] of how the ceremony and reception are going to flow.. write as much as you know and add times when things approximately are to happen. Then when things change you can easily modify it and the schedule of the day doesn't seem overwhelming. I thought I would have to make a separate document for our MC's with the flow of the reception however my outlines were so detailed because I had been working on them for a month I didn't need to. I printed out a bunch of these and gave one to my family friend (see point 3), pastor, parents, MC's, sound booth people so everyone knew what to do and we were all on the same page= WIN!

5. Promise yourself to enjoy the day... whatever happens.

Throughout the entire engagement process everyone told me to just enjoy the day because it goes by so fast. Their advice is correct however I would advise brides to take it one step further. I woke up and told myself out loud "Maddie this is your day. The day you dreamt of since you were 5… nothing and no one can take this day away from you." It sounds dumb but consciously tell yourself something like that before you step out of bed. Honestly, everyone noticed. Even my hair dresser said I was the most relaxed bride she's ever seen… I had so much fun and just adored my wedding.. it was perfect… not because everything went perfectly but because I had a great attitude and ended up marrying my best friend. I can 100% look back on my day and say, "yes it went by fast, but I enjoyed and soaked up every minute" - I want every bride reading this post to be able to say the same

6. Your wedding will not be like your pinterest board.

I stopped going on pinterest about 5 months before my wedding. It was not worth it to me. My original ideas I pinned in a private board to keep me organized but after I knew what I wanted I left it. Unless you have an unlimited budget.. your wedding will not look like anything you pinned so realize that right now and stop worrying about it! It's super liberating to let false expectations go early.

7. Sit down with your fiancé and talk about what is important to the both of you.

This is key. Your partner is part of the wedding planning, include him/her. Mark and I talked a lot about what we wanted our guests to get out of the wedding, what 'atmosphere' we wanted and how we could glorify God throughout the ceremony and reception. So no, I didn't drag him along when I had to pick centrepieces but I can say now that we planned our dream wedding [ not just mine ] which is so important. Have those conversations with your fiancĂ© - it made the process easier and the wedding day went so well because it was what we both envisioned together. 

8. Have a first look.

I'm traditional and yet I would suggest every bride to do a first look. Obviously this is all my opinion but here's why I loved it. Some of my favourite memories of the entire wedding is the alone moments I got with my man at our first look. There wasn't a lot of alone time after that so I cherished our first look.  My hair looked great, my make-up was perfect and I hadn't had time to cry yet = perfect for pictures. Third, it made me relax (remember that's the key!). Seeing Mark without 120 people seeing Mark the same time I did let us talk and hang out while taking pictures which made us both relax and be in the right mindset for the rest of the day. Fourth, we didn't make our guests wait for hours as we got pictures taken.. we actually had time to go downstairs and be with our guests.. it was wonderful. Fifth, it didn't ruin walking down the aisle at all.. it was still everything I dreamt of and was the moment I was the most emotional. I could go on and on… 

9. Have a theme.

Even if you hate themed things [aka-me!] having a theme keeps you in line and the wedding flows a lot better. For example, our theme was "personal." Our goal was to keep our wedding feeling intimate for us and our guests. This led me to spend time writing hand written notes to each guest because I wanted them to feel loved. This led to us spending a lot of money on christmas lights to make an intimate cozy winter location that didn't feel like a church. Keeping a theme allows you to think clearly about the day. Be creative with your theme like we did!

10. Keep what's most important at the center.
What's the main goal? Getting married. It will happen even if it rains, your dress gets dirty, you hair falls out [ happened to me ] and anything else you can think of going wrong. You have a wedding day so you can start a marriage with your partner… keep that your focus!

Anything to add? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


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