10 Tips & Tricks from Past Brides/Grooms

A little while ago, I made a post on Facebook asking my former newlywed friends to tell me somethings about their weddings - what were they so glad they did, and what was something they did, and wished they didn't spend their money on. I had so many amazing responses so i'm going to share 10 of the best pieces of advice I received:

1. Trust Your GutA good friend of ours said when he and his future wife found the venue they loved, they knew instantly.  It didn't matter what anyone else thought or wanted, when they knew, they knew. If you find something you really love, it doesn't matter who else likes it. Trust your instincts and go for what you both want because it's your day and that's what matters. 

2. Three Most Important Things: Make a list of the things most important to you on your big day like pictures, food, drinks, decor, etc. and out of all of them, pick the top 3 you can't go without. For me, number one is pictures. A friend of mine got married in May and she said the best thing they did was hire an amazing photographer. Her photo's came back absolutely stunning and she will have those to remember the day forever. I took her advice and we spent a little more on a photographer, but I know they are going to deliver amazing photos and memories of us and our families to last a lifetime. So spend that extra money on those 3 things you feel are the most important to the two of you! 

3. Decide Where You Can Save: To go along with three important things, it's also important to know where you can save some extra money. A friend said she wished she didn't spend as much on flowers because their wedding got rained out and the outdoor decorations/flowers they purchased were no longer usable. Another friend said she was so glad they didn't spend a ton on invitations because in reality, they just get thrown out anyway. Someone else wished they didn't spend as much on wedding favors. Figuring out what's least important to you and your S/O will help keep you in line with your budget and allow you to put that extra money in other areas. There are also so many other ways to save on these things like email invitations, favors that double as dessert instead of cake and fake flowers instead of real flowers. Be creative and have fun with it, too! 

4. Deciding on a Videographer: This was a big one. I had so many people tell me they were either so glad they had one or wished they did. This is completely up to you. A lot of videographers in Nashville only splice together top highlights and deliver an 8-10 minute video. While that's great, sometimes it misses some of the best things that happened. If you go with a videographer, make sure they offer exactly what you are looking for and you're paying for what it's worth. 

5. Less Expensive Dress: I was honestly surprised that more than one person said they wished they didn't spend as much on a dress as they did. Personally, I want something simple and easy so for me, i'd rather spend the money elsewhere. But for some brides, the dress is the most important. Again, this is one of those things completely up to your preference and if it is one of the three things on your list, then you get it girl! 

6. DIY Decor: Pinterest is the biggest blessing in a brides life (or at least mine). Like I said earlier, because I know where I want most of our money to go, I have to make some sacrifices in other places. But that doesn't mean we can't still have some of the things we may not need! For instance, our venue is extremely beautiful on it's own. The reception area has beautiful brick walls with industrial chic chandeliers so all we really will have to do in there is decorate the tables and that's it. The outside is surrounded by greenery and wood accents so there won't even need to be decorations! For the tables, i'm looking at fake vines and some candles - keeping the greenery from the outside and incorporating the beautiful simplicity of the inside. We can get candles at Walmart for super cheap and Michael's and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have coupons so we can get fake vines and greens there! DIY doesn't have to mean making things from scratch! It's taking an expensive idea and putting your own frugal spin on it!

7. Photobooth: There are so many ways you can have a photobooth at your wedding for guests! This can double as fun and a favor for them! Whether you get an actual booth that prints photos (check some DJ's - they may have a package that includes their service and a booth), you can buy fun props and set up an instant camera, or set up props and have guests take their own photos! No matter what you decide, you can never go wrong with a few dollar store props and extra laughs! 

8. Take Time for Yourselves: A friend said that on their way from the ceremony to the reception, they took a separate car from everyone else and were able to spend 20 minutes truly enjoying each other as an officially married couple! I've been told the day goes so fast, that you forget to stop and take it all in. Taking time for just the two of you, even if that's sneaking away at the reception, will give you both a chance to bask in the light of your new marriage and celebrate that you're officially husband and wife!!

9. Wedding Websites: Take advantage of the free websites offered for brides! The Knot and Wedding Wire were the two most suggested to me. The Knot has been great for keeping track of our guest list They also give you your own wedding website to design to help guests RSVP, learn more about the wedding, area and accommodations. Wedding Wire has a great budgeting tool where you can track estimated cost, actual cost, and down payments! I found that extremely helpful to keep track of who and how much we've already paid!

10. It's Your Day & That's All That Matters: This was the number one given advice. While getting ideas from others is great, never forget that the day is about the two of you. So many people said they wouldn't change a thing about their wedding day because it was THEIR wedding day. You can spend all the money you want on flowers and decorations and a venue and food, but at the end of the day, the most priceless thing you have is your love for each other. Take a moment, standing at the ceremony and really look around at everyone there supporting and loving you as a couple. Your love and their love is irreplaceable and the one thing I want more than anything at our wedding is for there to be so much love that is consumes the venue. I couldn't be any luckier to be marrying Justin. Getting to stand in front of our closest family and friends to make it official is the biggest dream come true. That is what I want to remember - that is what I want everyone to remember, forever. 

Love always -