With experience, comes wisdom.
Along the years, we’ve learned some wedding planning tips and tricks from working with different vendors and brides.
How I WISH I knew these when we planned our own wedding!
I thought I could share some of the most important wedding planning tips that might just save you time… and maybe some money.
Here’s the 20 wedding planning tips we’ve got for you after 7+ years of experience in the wedding industry.
The list is long, so let’s dive in, one at a time.
Create a separate email for wedding admin
The best way to stay organised and not be swamped with Spam on your personal or work email is to create a separate email just for your wedding admin.
All in one place, you can both access and things are easy peasy (had no idea few years back!)
Spend ethically/ wisely
We live in such a consumerist world. Surrounded by plastic and stuff we don’t really need but we still buy.
Here’s a list of things you would certainly never use again after your wedding day:
- Bridal robes – personalised (why not some chic linen ones instead, that can also double as gifts for the bridesmaids?
- Bridesmaids slippers – personalised, of course – so NOT necessary nor stylish
- HIS/HERS T-shirt – please tell me one other time you think you might wear it again (except for pyjamas, when nobody can see you)
- Personalised groom’s underpants – enough said
- Garter – who started this trend anyway?
- Personalised glasses – I doubt any Christmas party would look fancy with personalised glasses with your wedding date, from 7 years ago…
- Personalised Shoes – Wifey for Lifey; Really!?
Please, think of creative and Earth-friendly ways of creating memories for your wedding day! There’s so many other options you could try than all of those personalised items media tries to sell you!
“You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in. ” Eliezer Yudkowsky
On your wedding day, it’s time to relax. Rain or shine, you are getting married. There’s nothing else you can do last minute, so Put Your Phone Down, please. Better yet, have it packed in your overnight bag. If vendors have your bridesmaids’ numbers for URGENT matters, that’s more than enough.
Dress nicely in the AM
On the morning of the wedding preparations, you would still be photographed.
Something with a low neck or a zipper would be much more practical when you have your hair done and need to change into the wedding dress. Otherwise, scissors may be necessary.
Baking powder is magic
This is a trick I’ve learned in Holland from a bride who had to keep her field flowers overnight. What she did was to add baking powder in the water. The flowers looked absolutely perfect for her wedding the next day!
Bride – last for hair and make-up
There’s several practical reasons why we advice brides to be last for their hair and make-up:
- Firstly, your hair as a bride needs to last as long as possible. Do allow around 2 h to have it done + a bit extra for getting dressed.
- Secondly, it’s a good time for your photographer to arrive in the morning. Your bridesmaids are all pretty and made-up instead of spinning in circles and trying to hide away from the camera. It happens every time, I promise.
I hope this 2 should be good enough reasons for you to schedule your morning around this.
New shoes- ouch!
Whether they are bridal shoes or grooms shoes, your feet would hurt. A smart thing to do would be to actually wear them around the house plenty of times until they’d feel comfortable.
It’s one of those things that are SO basic but I’ve seen people ditch their thousands of pounds worth of shoes for comfortable flats. They can be your best friend or worst enemy on the day.
Crochet hook (number 4.5 / 5 for your wedding dress)
If 20 minutes later your bridesmaids are still struggling to button your dress, worry not, we have the solution – a crochet hook! It does the job in under 5 minutes and no nails will be harmed in the process.
Lunch + vendors meals
A wedding day is filled with excitement, adrenalin and you most likely forget important things – like eating.
As a bride you should absolutely be a priority to eat in the morning and lunch time as well as for the bridesmaids or whoever is with you in the morning. Your parents, friends, photographer, children, everyone needs to be fed to keep people standing ’till the end.
Keep it simple – croissants, fruits, sandwiches, dried fruits, they all are more than enough to keep everyone energised and happy!
Champagne doesn’t count as food. Unless there’s a bucket of strawberries in.
This is a mistake we see at so many events – people don’t really consider transportation before the wedding ceremony. Ordering a taxi the same day is never a good idea because they can be quite unpredictable, especially in the countryside! So please, do book your taxi at least one day in advance. It’s way less stressful!
Have clear signs
Couple of junctions before the wedding venue/ church/ cocktail hour location/ make sure there’s very clear signs people can follow.
Balloons, written signs, a unicorn, whatever you can imagine, but please use them!
You don’t want to have a big surprise and get stressed out on your wedding day when vendors or guests get lost on the way (I’ve seen it happen more than once)…
Confetti shots are some of our favourite moments of the day and everyone loves them. What we’ve discovered, though, is that there’s so many different types of confetti and some of them.. just stick with you throughout the day.
Some couples choose lavender confetti because it sounds nice and also churches would accept natural flowers than paper, of course.
What we found, though, is that lavender, or rice or other tiny bits of flower petals are such a pain once the shot is done. They stick in your hair (looking like dandruff in photos all day long), in your dress, and other bits you can imagine yourself. So please, try and avoid them.
There’s so many natural alternatives to small confetti:
- confetti bubbles
- big rose petals (personal favourite)
- fresh wildflowers ( larger size, please)
- confetti paper strings
While we’re at this, why don’t you check this alternative wedding confetti ideas ? There’s some extra information here on the types of confetti you can choose from for your wedding. It’s also another way to save some money because anyone can easily go out on the fields in the Summer or Spring and simply gather lots of wild flowers to dry. Bridesmaids can also be involved and gives them something fun to do!
Although they may sound boring for some I think these are essential. Making sure you show value and appreciation for your family taking part in the event, is priceless.
Also, people don’t stay forever and that might be one of your last memories of them. So make sure it’s documented!
- Plan between 10-15 group shots maximum. Too much will be over tiring and not pleasant any more.
- Plan to have them during daylight
- Elderly people first on the list.
- Make sure you let your photographer know if someone very important is present and must have a photograph taken.
For an entire post about formal wedding group shots, please check the link, you will also get to download a PDF to help you get started with your list!
Bride and groom portraits
I know, you probably aren’t a model. It will shock you, but we actually love photographing ordinary people and making them feel and look amazing.
For that to happen , we would need at least 15-20 minutes during the canapés, when people won’t notice you missing for a few minutes.
A very important tip, though, please don’t schedule any speeches during Sunset time because if weather is good and there’s an epic Sunset, we would have to literally kidnap you for an entire 5 minutes! Some of our most favourite light ever is in the evening, it’s called the golden hour!
Avoid tall (flower) arrangements on the bride and grooms table (at least)
Ok, ok, they look pretty nice in pictures, when everything is set up and nobody is in the room.
BUT! It is so freaking hard and almost impossible to have a nice photo of people at the table, when something 1m high is standing right in front of them!
There are always faces covered and no matter how much of a ninja photographer you were, there’s no way you will be able to get good photos!
It may be my personal preference, but there was more than one occasion when I had to remove the decor from the main table so I could get a good shoot of the people’s faces during the speeches.
Sorry if this is a bummer, but you’ll thank me later.
Too many decorations left over ?
- Start a business maybe?
Have someone collect everything. Go enjoy your honeymoon, then come back and sell it, or even start a business if you loved the process of crafting and designing.
- If you splashed money on flowers, what about donating your wedding flowers to a nursing home? They could bring a smile or two instead of being chucked away.
Phones and speeches don’t go together
We love technology, too. But not when it comes to wedding speeches, I am sorry. There’s just something really off when a bride, groom or anyone else who is having a speech is reading it from their phones. The old pen and paper is still very much appreciated by everyone listening. You could actually keep that in a keepsake box for your children to get inspired from!
Entertainment – makes or breaks the party
The entertainment is what makes or breaks the atmosphere during the wedding party.
No matter how much money you’ve invested in the venue, food, vendors, if your reception has nothing exciting, people won’t have much to remember.
Wouldn’t you want your friends and family to remember your day by how fun it all was? And how often do you get your best friends all in one place? One thing I’ve learned, no matter the age, people love to have fun and they’re always up for games and for striking a silly pose!
For more in depth ideas on wedding entertainment, definitely check this entire blog we created only on this idea!
Here’s some ideas on how to make your wedding day stick in people’s minds:
- Live band
- Awesome DJ
- Games before dinner starts
Heads or tails/ Answer fun questions/ treasure hunt
- Games during the reception
- Photo booth
- Selfie stick on dinner tables
- Outdoor games
- Bonfire (with snacks, of course)
- Musical chairs
- Make sure you get long sparklers for your wedding day.
- Have plenty of matches for many people to start lighting the sparklers in the same time.
- One guest always gets more excited so he’ll be first to light it – that’s why they need to be long!
- Safety first – so have jars of sand ready for leftovers
- Everyone should light them in the same time
- Mind your hair!
- Sparklers photographs make for some beautiful memories, but make sure they last long enough and the bride and groom should definitely hold one, too!
There’s a slight possibility some things won’t go as planned. There’s an even bigger chance that your lifelong dream of marrying a prince coming on a white horse won’t happen (unless you asked for a LandRover, then lucky you!).
If it rains instead of the beautiful sunny day you asked for, don’t worry, we’re all waterproof.
Seriously, stressing won’t help but might make people uncomfortable around you on the wedding day. You should just enjoy and think of all the free time you’ll have after wedding admin is finished!
Here you have almost 20 tips to help you better plan and organise your wedding day. We’ve seen all this happen, so please note this down and you’ll be rocking your wedding planning!
For more wedding planning suggestions, you can have a look at our blog, as we love sharing some wisdom we gather from shooting weddings all around.
Best of all, HAVE FUN during the process!
All images used were taken by Green Antlers Photography.
Hey, we’re Diana & Sam!
We are a photographer husband and wife team based in the beautiful Cotswolds area. We love the outdoors and shoot primarily non – traditional barn weddings and elopements for the adventurous wild at heart couple. We help remove the stress and pressure from your wedding day and do our best to make you feel at ease and extremely relaxed in front of the camera, so you will dearly remember your experience. We are also founders of Mad Hat Photo Booth, a wedding and events photo booth hire!