Matt Tyler

The Best Wedding Advice From Real Brides

Practical tips and advice from real brides just like you

17 Sep 2018

Planning a wedding can, at times, feel overwhelming. The upside? You're not alone! At BRIDES' we're constantly hearing fantastic tips and advice from real life brides. So to help you keep calm and plan the best day of your life, here we share just some of our favourite words of wisdom.

On Marrying Abroad:

"I would especially recommend hiring a wedding planner for anyone who wants to plan a destination wedding, but doesn't speak the language of the country." - Jessica Psaila

"Marrying on a private island meant we had to factor in the logistics of getting items - and people - to a private island. We chartered a plane for the bridal party and immediate family, and we had our table and chairs built at the venue, as transporting them was so expensive." - Catilin Bond

"Do as the locals do and you'll nail it! Why go all the way to France and then ask for something totally un-French, such as sushi (apparently people do!)? - Jade Sprowson

"Consider having your legal ceremony at home and having a blessing abroad instead. To avoid any legal issues, we actually married 'for real' in Amsterdam three months after our Italian 'wedding' - it took so much stress out of everything." - Geraldine van Osteeg

"When planning a destination wedding, make sure you tally up potential costs. And be aware that local suppliers can work differently from those at home." - Hend Krichen

"Help your guests 'acclimatise' to your chosen country before the big day: we made welcome packs and organised tapas and a flamenco show accompanied by local sherry." - Marisa McGarry

"We also hired a chef for the whole time – our biggest extravagance. But this was well worth the cost, as it meant no one had to be busy in the kitchen or away from the other guests and unable to relax." - Natalie Powell

Manu Mendoza

On Marrying At Home:

"If you're hosting at home, you don't have an army of venue staff to attend to your guests. So if your priority is to spend time with them, or you're worried about leaving them unentertained, ask your photographer to take reportage-style shots as you mingle, rather than separating everybody for individual pictures." - Rachel Smoker

"If your family want to get involved in the planning process, let them. I loved hosting our more relaxed wedding brunch at the in-laws' house" - Alexandra Edwards

"Even marrying at home, the little extras such as confetti, gifts and pamper boxes in the powder room added up, so make sure you budget for them." - Tiffany Rushton

On The Planning Process:

"Make sure you listen to people's advice. Doing this throughout the planning process meant nothing eluded us." - Dalvinder Mutto

"Once you have made a decision on something, stick to it. Sometimes, the longer you have to plan, the more confusing it can become." - Caroline Robinson

"Trust your gut. If you're not sure about a detail or supplier, continue looking. You don't have to decide immediately." - Sian Morgan Jones

On Your Suppliers:

"Don't try to do everything yourself (like I did!). Paying a little extra for help, such as with producing the stationery, saves stress in the long run." - Rana Haddad

"Finding a venue with fantastic service will help you immensely on the day." - Hui Xe

"If you're thinking of forgoing a videographer - don't! Watching my video has stopped me from getting bridal blues." - Danielle Fox

"If you can, get an on-the-day coordinator. You want to fully enjoy the big day without logistical distractions." - Elise Boroian

"Our venue was a working farm that breeds sheep and cattle. From the moment we saw it, we knew we wanted to marry there... But old farm kitchens can be small, so pick caterers who have worked at your venue before." - Kelsey Morgan Jones

Jeff Langhorne

"If there is something that you want for your special day but are struggling to find it, don't be afraid to ask. Most suppliers are open to suggestion - and happy to accommodate special requests for less expense than you might expect." - Sarah Lawton

"Invest in a photographer who understands your vision and vibe. It's worth spending a bit extra as these are memories you will keep forever." - Sophie Louise Williams

"Our catering company was probably the best supplier we had. It's easy to think that all they do is serve food, but ours took care of so much more. They set up the tables very nicely and the owners were always there to ensure everything was being done professionally and efficiently." - Marviana De Souza

On Breaking Traditions:

"If you want to make a speech, do it! For me, it was important that one of 'the gals' got to speak in the midst of three male speeches. I was so nervous but, in the end, it was one of my favourite moments." - Amy Holt

"My wife and I both had 'bridesmen', mainly because our closest friends are guys. Our friends John and Clive had a best man and a best woman at their wedding, too. There's no 'normal'!" - Lotte Jeffs

"Instead of hymns and readings, we broke our ceremony up with an informal singalong. Conducted by Lewis’ musically-minded younger brother, it featured two of our favourite romantic songs: My Girl and Stand By Me." - Becky Freeth

"We changed up a few other traditions that we felt didn't suit us. We met each other at the bottom of the aisle rather than be given away and opted for a first fight rather than a first dance (I hate dancing and we fight all the time, so why not?!). We also had what we called a centre table rather than a top table. And our hilarious female friends were MCs during the speeches." - Cormac Friel

Bernardo Gouveia

On Keeping Traditions:

"My parents wanted to include lots of Indian elements in the celebration, and brought lots of fabric and lanterns to add colour to our venue. To get guests involved, my aunts also gifted all the men lapel pins and scarves, while women were given rings and purses. All of them were made with traditional Indian motifs and colours." - Mrija Gupta

Alan Law

On Handling Imperfections:

"Little hiccups on the day can be a good thing - our officiant had terrible feedback on her microphone at the start of the ceremony, but it ended up breaking the ice and making everyone laugh." - Luciana Bellini

"You can't guarantee the British weather, so make sure you have great lighting. We hired a specialist company and it made all the difference - they turned the venue into a winter wonderland." - Annie Budgen

"As any July bride would, I feared it would rain on my wedding day... And though I would never have chosen a rainy day, it actually added a romantic haze, helped our fairy lights twinkle brighter, kept our guests huddled close together and gave us the midsummer romance we'd dreamed of." - Emma-Claire Crook

On Saving Money:

"You can save a lot of money by doing a little DIY - just so long as you don't mind getting burnt by the glue gun!" - Naomi Rowland

"Get lots of your friends involved. It made the process so much fun - and it's free labour!" - Rosie O'Brien

"Trying to keep the guest list to a minimum is difficult - it's tough telling some people they can't bring their partners. But it's better to be cut-throat rather than seeing random faces staring back at you." - Victoria Albamese

Ria Mishaal

"The best ways I was able to save money was through my wedding jewellery, which was 'something borrowed'. It was also a lot cheaper to have made my cathedral-length veil made by a local seamstress in Ipswich." - Leslie Salema

Zibi Photography

On Spending Money

"It's crazy because we initially though that confetti was one of those unnecessary purchases but, at the last minute, found a great deal at Shropshire Petals. I’m so happy we changed our minds and spent that little extra. It’s such a fun memory and resulted in my favourite shot from the whole wedding album." - Chevon Morgan