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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 16, 2022

50 Brides on What They Wish They Knew Before Planning Their Wedding

If you’ve got a ring on your finger or your relationship is heading that way, keep reading for the crème de la crème of tips from brides that have been there, spilling the tea on everything they wish they knew before they tied the knot.

Whilst modern relationships might see trends being bucked and traditions thrown out, getting married for many is still considered the epitome of romance and a special day nothing can compare to- we’re a sucker for a happy ending! And whilst it’s really all about sharing memories and a commitment to a long term lover, forgetting about the stresses, expectations and challenges that come with planning a wedding, no matter how big or small, is easier said than done.

If you’ve got a ring on your finger or your relationship is heading that way, keep reading for the crème de la crème of tips from brides that have been there, spilling the tea on everything they wish they knew before they tied the knot. Spoiler: favours are a waste of money, you heard it here first…

  • A spreadsheet for everything is a must!
  • I wish I knew there was going to be a global pandemic- would have helped!
  • That just because he put a ring on it, doesn’t stop him being tw*t.
  • Skims open gusset shapewear is a MUST for toilet breaks in a big dress, just saying. 
  • When checking out venues, always ask if they have any plans for renovations- we booked our wedding 2 years in advance and they had renovated the whole room! Luckily it matched our colour scheme but I would imagine for others it may not have.
  • When you visit venues and see it set up looking beautiful, don’t assume that’s included in the venue’s packages- there will always be extra charges, even down to napkins and cutlery.
  • Don’t feel pressure to invite people that you don’t want there, only invite those that you love and you want to celebrate with. It’s your day, no one else’s.
  • I regret not doing less! I had a fairly traditional wedding but wish we had just eloped in the end as it didn’t feel very ‘us’.
  • All the little things you’re stressing about now won’t even cross your mind on the day.
  • Do what you want, not what would make others happy.
  • Don’t be shy! I wish I made the most of being a bride and took more photos.
  • Accept that a LOT will be done last minute even if you’re the most organised person ever.
  • I wish I knew how exhausted I would be at the end of the day. A luxury suite with a hot tub might not be worth the £££!
  • You will not care about napkin colours in the end.
  • A last dance with your new husband or wife when everyone has left is the best feeling in the world.
  • Favours- don’t bother! No one takes them home and you’ll be lumped with them all at the end.
  • What do you want to remember most about your wedding? Focus on that.
  • Avoid Instagram for inspo- you can end up in comparison central and it’s not a vibe.
  • You don’t need to spend a tonne of money to make it a magical day.
  • Screw tradition! 
  • Remember to enjoy the planning process- it can be exciting and fun if you want it to be.
  • Get a prenup. Nobody plans for divorce but you never know.
  • Things are going to go wrong, so let other people deal with it if you can.
  • Your guests are fine and having a nice time, promise.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • Get your hair and make-up trials done as early as possible, you won’t regret it!
  • Invite closer friends over family you don’t know well or see often. 
  • If you’re going to splurge on anything, let it be the photographer.
  • That no matter how hard you try, the day can often end up being for your family or other people. Elope!
  • Walk down the aisle slowly and truly try to take it all in.
  • I wish I’d kept things smaller and had a pizza reception, or whatever YOU want. 
  • I wish I knew May 2020 was a no-go date.
  • Don’t worry about it being Instagram-worthy. It flies by in the end!
  • The ‘traditional’ stuff won’t be missed.
  • Don’t forget to eat! You’ve paid for a delicious spread and you will regret not enjoying it. Plus it will help the Prosecco not go to your head so quickly. 
  • Be realistic about how much you want to spend and don’t put yourself into debt for the sake of flowers or bridesmaid dresses- you have a whole life to live with your new husband or wife and will be grateful for the money in other ways. 
  • Practise your first kiss and nail the perfect smooch for the ultimate money shot!
  • Have an engagement or pre wedding shoot with your photographer to get comfortable in front of the camera. 
  • If you don’t fancy a first dance, don’t do it!
  • Don’t be afraid to say no in whatever capacity.
  • You don’t need to lose weight, period.  
  • Make sure your bar is in the same room as the dance floor/main event so your guests aren’t always separated or spread out. Keep the good vibes flowing! 
  • Have a no phones policy during the ceremony and allow your photographer to capture the best bits- that’s what you’ve paid them for! 
  • Think about daylight savings if you’re getting married in the autumn or winter- you’re potentially losing a lot of light for photos and it can feel super rushed getting all the shots you want in a smaller window. 
  • Always have a wet weather plan.
  • Get the videographer. 
  • Try not to have anxiety about walking down the aisle, those watching you are your closest family and friends, no one is judging you!
  • Do a first look! I didn’t but friends that did have said it eased their nerves so much and was one of their favourite moments of the day.
  • PLEASE get a good DJ- it can be such a mood killer if the music isn’t to your taste and keeping the good vibes going.
  • Your bridesmaids don’t need matching pyjamas, I promise.
  • Don’t lose sight of other people’s finances and remember realistically not everyone’s year revolves around your big day!
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