If you’re about to begin planning your wedding day, then the best thing to remember is that it’s the couple’s day and no one else’s! This means that, ultimately, you can do things how you want. But, if you need some direction on the well-known dos and don’ts of weddings, check out these 20 important pieces of advice.
DON’T: HAVE YOUR CELL PHONE ON YOU
Today is your special day. There is no need for you to have your phone with you for any reason. In a world where cell phones and technology suck up a lot of our days, value this day as one when you and your partner are completely in the moment.
If you have your phone on hand, there is a good chance you’ll become sidetracked by it. Do not worry about checking emails and notifications on your special day. Save the messages for the next morning, or later in the week after you’ve fully enjoyed the moment and spent time with those people who are with you on this memorable day.
DO: ACCEPT HELP FROM OTHERS
A lot of brides try to do all of the preparation for their wedding on their own, but this is not feasible! You may not know it at the beginning, but, as you get closer to your special day, there will be a whole lot of things to take care of that you surely won’t be able to do all on your own.
If you don’t have a wedding planner who can take care of all of the little details and appointments for you, then you should certainly accept the help of your friends and family.
At the end of the day, everyone wants your day to be just as special as you do! Give them the chance to help, and you’ll be glad that you did.
DON’T: HAVE A CASH BAR
When you invite guests to your wedding, you’re asking if they will attend a party that you’re hosting on your special day. Your guests have probably traveled a little ways, and they’ve surely gotten you a wedding gift or donation.
Having a cash bar won’t be fun for guests if they have to bring wads of cash to pay for a full day of celebrating. It is especially inconvenient if you are located in an area where there is no bank or ATMs close by. To avoid upsetting your guests, provide an open bar so that they know they’re taken care of, and they know that their presence is appreciated.
DO: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FIANCÉ/FIANCÉE
When you’re planning a wedding, it’s not surprising that one partner is always more gung-ho about planning the occasion than the other. More often than not, if you’re a bride and groom combination, then your groom may not feel the need to be quite as included in the process as you are.
However, it’s important that he feel good about the event and that he’s looking forward to it. Have those regular date nights you always have, and try to keep wedding talk to a specific day or time when he’s happy to chat about it. Just because he isn’t as interested in the process, doesn’t mean he’s not excited to be a part of it!
DON’T: LET YOUR PARENTS DICTATE THE GUEST LIST
For many years it was the responsibility of the bride’s parents to pay for most of the wedding costs. Because parents used to pay for most of the event, they were generally the deciding factor for the guest list and who would be attending.
Nowadays, many couples pay for or help to pay for their own wedding, as well as the groom’s parents. This changes the dynamic of the guest list, because the bride and groom have more control over the funds and ultimately have the deciding vote. While you should ask your parents for their preferred guest list, this will be a reference for your final list. Do not let parents determine who will be at your wedding, or have them force you into inviting their friends or social groups that you barely know. Make sure that you make this known to both set of parents.
DO: STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
When you’re going through the process of planning your wedding, make sure that you take a step back and look at the big picture every once in a while. This will help you to avoid getting overwhelmed by tiny things about which you can’t make
decisions, and you’ll be able to cut out things you realize you don’t need.
You may start with a budget, but it can get lost when you’re comparing more expensive options with more affordable ones—they may look prettier now, but, when you look at the big picture, either option will look fantastic.
Stick to your budget so that, at the end of the wedding, you’re happy with all of the decisions you made. Your wedding day is meant for you and your partner to get married and have fun! At the end of the day, you aren’t going to be worried about that extra vase or that additional mini bar. Keep to your budget, and both you and your partner will be so glad you did.
DON’T: FORGET TO BE GRATEFUL
Have you looked around you lately? Chances are you have a lot of people working hard for you to make your day special. Have you already had an amazing wedding shower? Make sure those people know how grateful you are for such an awesome day. Your wedding day is a day to be truly grateful for—you’ve found the love of your life, and everyone wants to celebrate with you!
Don’t forget to be grateful—make sure to take the time to thank people personally, and send out thank you cards to all those who brought you a gift or put in extra work for your big day. Even if you’re too busy right now to send cards or favors, even saying the words will mean a lot to others.
DO: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INTERNET
If you’re short of ideas, you’ll find everything you could ever need on the internet. There you will find so much inspiration that you’ll almost have too many ideas! There you will find ideas for decorations, wedding invitations, flowers, music, and more.
Apps like Pinterest are great for getting some color and dress ideas, and you can create personal folders with your favorite things, to refer to later when you’re planning that component. The internet will be your friend, so take advantage of it!
DON’T: KEEP CHANGING YOUR MIND
While we suggest taking advantage of the internet, we also warn against using it too much. Because there are so many ideas, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and to struggle with making one decision. That’s what happens when everything looks so cute!
Once you’ve made a decision on dress, color, theme, etc., then stop looking at those themes on the internet. If you keep searching, you may end up changing your mind when it’s too late. This can also be a pain for your wedding planner and helpers, who are already purchasing things based on your previous decision. Once you’ve found something you love, stick with it
DO: HAVE YOUR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION AT THE SAME PLACE
This makes it so much easier for your guests and everyone else who is a part of the special day. Having the ceremony in one place and the reception very far away is hard for some guests, and they may not know what to do if the two events are far apart in time.
If you absolutely must have your ceremony and reception at certain places that aren’t close to each other, then consider providing transportation for your guests and things for them to do in between the events. Make sure you take care of elderly guests, and consider guests who are coming with children.
DON’T: ALLOW SPEECHES LONGER THAN 3 MINUTES
A lot of people will want to say something at your wedding, but don’t allow your wedding to turn into a snore fest for the other guests. Limit your guest speeches to the parents, maid of honor, best man, and married couple. This way, everyone can get to the dancing and celebrating!
If there are others who insist on saying something, then limit them to 3 minutes or less. Some weddings have speeches that last hours, and this is no fun for the other guests! Share your special words with the rest of the wedding party while you get ready, or the day after, at brunch.
DO: ACCOMMODATE CHILDREN
If you’re allowing children to attend your wedding, then you’ll want to make sure that you accommodate them accordingly. While it is the responsibility of the parents to watch them if they choose to bring them, you can always do a few things to allow the parents to enjoy their day as well.
Make sure the area is safe for children, or block off areas that are dangerous to them. Try to include them in the festivities by having a s’more bar or kid’s drink bar, and offer games and things for them to do if they get restless. If your location just isn’t
child-friendly, be sure to let parents know of this in the invitation.
DON’T: LET OTHERS MAKE YOUR DECISIONS
Your wedding day is important, and it should be a day filled with things that you love. That means that while you’re planning your big day you’ll want to make a lot of your own decisions. Even if people are trying to influence you a certain way or change your mind, make sure you make decisions based on what you love and not because of someone else.
A lot of these problems occur with things like dresses, decorations, and parties beforehand. You might have a wedding party attendee or family members who have strong opinions, but make sure that it’s what you want before you make a decision. At the end of the day, they should respect that it is your day and that you will ultimately pick what you love. Have a hard time saying no? There are some simple ways to reject someone’s offer or idea, but make sure to do it politely and with reason.
DO: HAVE YOUR HAIR DONE SECOND OR THIRD IN LINE
Many brides feel that they should have their hair and makeup done last on their wedding day, but this simply isn’t the case. If you have quite a few
bridesmaids, you’ll want to make sure that you’re scheduled to get your hair and makeup done somewhere in the middle of the pack. This ensures that your photographers can get some great shots before the ceremony, and so that you aren’t rushed after all of your
bridesmaids are done.
DON’T: CHANGE UP YOUR LOOK RIGHT BEFORE THE DAY
This kind of decision can be cause for disaster if it’s not done properly. If you’re hoping for a different cut and color before your big day, then do a trial run at least a year ahead of time to allow it to grow out if you don’t like it. Making drastic changes can be stressful, and adding that to your list of things to worry about won’t help at all!
DO: VISIT WITH EACH GUEST
You don’t have to spend twenty minutes with each group of guests you’ve invited, but it’s important to make your rounds and say thank you to everyone personally. This is really the part that most people look forward to after your reception.
It gives them the chance to congratulate you and tell you how great everything has been.
Even if you make some quick visits, and then dance up a storm with everyone together, this is much more special. Take care to spend some time with elderly guests who will be leaving earlier.
DON’T: FORGET TO OFFER A VEGETARIAN OPTION
More and more people are turning to healthier diets and animal-free options for their meals, so it will be important to have something they can enjoy on your day. If you’re doing set meals, make sure that one option is vegetarian, or give them lots of options, in the case of a buffet.
DO: SPEAK TO THE DJ AHEAD OF TIME
Nothing is worse than a DJ who plays music you hate all night at your wedding! Before the big day,
certainly get in touch with the person playing your music to give them an idea of the stuff that you like. You can even offer a list of 50 songs you’d love to hear or songs that have been a hit in your family for a long time.
DON’T: BE A BRIDEZILLA
If your guests remember anything on your wedding day, let it be how calm and beautiful the bride was—not how crazy and unreasonable she was! Being a bridezilla isn’t fun for anyone—and it’s very unnecessary! People in your wedding party will be looking forward to the events they’ve planned for you, and, if things aren’t going exactly as you pictured, just let it go.
There is no sense getting wound up about things you can’t change or about things that you should really be saying thank you for. If you recognize that you’re being bossy or unfair, take your exit and breathe. No one wants to be a part of a wedding where the bride seems unhappy simply because things aren’t perfect.
DO: HAVE AN ACCOUNT WHERE PHOTOS CAN BE SHARED
Lots of couples have their own website or Instagram account specifically for their wedding day. You can tell guests how to upload their photos or tell them to mark them with a specific hashtag so you can see everyone’s photos later on.bridesmaids are done.
This is great, because you can see anything funny that you missed, or add great photos that guests captured into your memory book. This also helps the photographers if they’re more interested in getting photos of you, as opposed to your guests.