Things You Need To Know Before Your Wedding Day

Leading up to your wedding, there will be a million things going through your head on a daily basis. There might be worries of family disputes, of tripping whilst walking up the aisle, a make up disaster or of bad weather, and that's just the wedding day! That's not the honeymoon or the fact you are committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life. These are all completely normal thoughts to have but here are some of the things I wish I knew before my wedding day that might just help you out.

1. Wear comfy shoes!
     - A wedding is usually an all day event, it's all well and good thinking 'people might see my feet so I should spend £100 on beautiful uncomfortable shoes', but if you have a long dress (e.g. down to the floor) no-one will be looking at your feet anyway and you will regret spending that amount of money on a pair of shoes you will likely only wear once and that cause you pain or discomfort on the day. If you really want to wear a pretty pair of heels and aren't fussed by the cost, go ahead, but I would suggest asking your maid of honour or bridesmaid to stash some comfy flats somewhere too, just in case you want to switch out of them later on.

2. Do make up and hair trials
    - This will work wonders at putting your mind at ease of exactly what you will look like on the day, but also it will help your make up artists and hair stylists as they will know exactly what you want on the day. Also, if there are any problems with the products or with the hair and make up, it's not too late to adjust it or change stylist at this stage. This is definitely worth the money and I wish I had done a make up trial before my wedding day. If you are doing your own make up or hair or even if a friend or family member is doing it, practise first and try different looks and products so you know you are 100% happy with it.

3. Try on as many wedding dresses as you can! 
    - Whether you are buying a wedding dress new, second hand, having it made for you or borrowing it, one of my main pieces of advice for a Bride to Be is to go into different bridal shops and try on as many styles of dress as possible! I loved certain styles of dress on other people, I loved the idea of lace sleeves in photos and on other models. One of the first styles of dress I tried on had lace sleeves and although it looked good, it didn't feel like me. I felt like I was trying to be far more elegant and sophisticated than I am by nature! Then, I thought I would want straps on the dress but when I tried them on, I actually much preferred strapless on me. Take someone (or a small group) along with you to try dresses on, ask them to take photos of you in different styles of dress so you can compare them and don't rush the decision. I've seen so many posts on Facebook groups saying "I've changed my mind on my dress and now I don't know what to do".

4. Understand that you cannot keep every guest happy 
    - This is your day, for you and your partner. You will most likely not be able to keep every single guest happy when it comes to your seating plan, venue of the wedding, menu choice etc. As long as the main bulk are happy, you can be
happy - even if they aren't, if you and your partner are happy, that's all that matters. You will find on the day that guests will generally eat what they are given, they will speak to whoever they are sat with and often divorced family members will speak civilly at the wedding. But even if these things don't happen, you will not care by the time you get to the day. These seem like such huge issues when planning a wedding, but on the day you are too busy struggling to take everything in and not be overwhelmed by it all.

5. Choose your bridesmaids and maid of honours wisely
   - This is a huge decision, you will have photos of you on possibly the most important day of your life and these people will be in the majority of the photos. You don't want to choose someone and fall out with them a few months down the line and then be annoyed that you can't crop them out of the photos. Also, you want someone to get ready with you, put your mind at ease on the day, someone who will do everything they can to help you out and be one step ahead. I'm an ex smoker and I use an e-cigarette; I didn't want to walk around carrying an e-cigarette on the day but I could guarantee I could rely on my maid of honour to stash it for me and check if I needed nicotine regularly. My bridesmaids were also asked to do a poem during the service at the last minute and even though they were not the most confident of speakers in general, they all agreed without question and did an amazing job at reading it.

6. Choose your guest list wisely 
  - We only had 50 guests at our wedding as we didn't want work colleagues and people we didn't really know that well, we wanted close family and friends, and trust me, 50 people may not seem like a lot, but on the day you are overwhelmed by how many people are there to see you, how many people you need to go round and thank for coming or even just say hi to, especially if your guests are travelling to attend your wedding. You might want to bring in rules about who can bring plus 1 guests, as you don't want to be surrounded by people you don't know and you don't want to look back on the photos and not recognise or be able to name half of the guests. This may piss people off in the short term, but it will benefit you in the long term! We only had 2 guests at our wedding that we hadn't met before - one of our guests brought a plus one and a few months later, they had split up so we would have been better off not allowing any plus ones we hadn't met.

7. Don't let other people take over the planning of your wedding
   - Unless you want them to of course! What I mean by this is don't let someone tell you that you shouldn't wear that dress or shouldn't have that cake if that is what you want. As I said before, you will not be able to keep everyone happy and this is your day. Make sure your partner is happy with your choices (maybe not the dress if you want to be traditional!) and run your ideas past your bridesmaids and maid of honour but don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something you have your heart set on. You will regret not putting your foot down.

8. Don't stress about the little things. 
   - Yes, right now it may feel like that is impossible, but try to think realistically about things. If you are worried about walking up the aisle and tripping, remember that you will have your partner by your side or you father or whoever is giving you away (there are no rules with weddings, you can have whoever you want give you away) and if you wer
e to trip, they will likely steady you so you will not fall on your face. Also, how many times do you walk around all day without tripping? Just remember to focus on your partner and not on the number of guests you have looking at you, the walking up the aisle really doesn't last long, it will be over in a few minutes! If you are worried about your divorced parents having to be in the same room all day, chances are, there will be enough guests that they can speak to that they could stay on opposite sides of the room for most of the day. They are also unlikely to cause a huge scene on their daughter or sons wedding day. If you have serious concerns, try to discuss it with them before hand.

9. Spend wisely
   - If you are paying for your own wedding, getting a loan, borrowing from family or being given a budget by a family member, spend the money wisely! You can often find amazing wedding items on places like eBay, Amazon on Gumtree or second hand wedding pages on Facebook. Remember, second hand items have probably only been used once before! Everything does not have to cost a fortune for your wedding to be memorable and look beautiful. We paid for our own wedding and the entire day cost £6000. Of that amount, our venue including food was £4000 and we also paid for bridesmaid dresses, bridesmaid hair and make up, a photographer etc. This is nothing in comparison to the UK average which is around £22,000. A few of our guests offered to buy something for the wedding as a wedding present - two of our close friends sourced, paid for and picked up our cake as our wedding present. If you already live with your partner and can't think of wedding presents that you might like or need, you can always ask people to help out with this sort of thing.

10. Do your research on everything
   - Before booking your venue, make sure you read reviews online, especially wedding reviews if they do a lot of weddings. Try to find reviews for your make up artists or stylists, for your photographer and anyone else involved in your wedding before you book them. You want to make sure that everything will run as smoothly as possible on the day, that everyone will turn up on time and have everything they need with them. It won't take much to stress you out on the day! As long as you are planning with enough time in advance, you can afford to be picky and shop around to ensure you are 100% happy with your choices.

11. Remember the true meaning behind the day
   - This may sound cheesy (I'm really not the romantic type), but amongst all the chaos of wedding planning and preparations and amongst the whirlwind that your wedding day is, try to remember the true meaning of the day. You will become a wife or husband, your partner will become your official lifelong companion. You are doing this because you want your family and friends to experience and share the joining of two people who love each other enough to go through all this stress and sign a piece of paper committing to each other. You don't always get another shot at a wedding (you can obviously do a vow renewal later down the line) so you want to make sure you are happy with every decision and choice. You will have fond memories and photos to look back on, appreciate every person who attended your wedding and your friends and family will likely talk about this one day often for the rest of your life.

I hope this has helped or given ideas to any brides to be! I hope your wedding day goes smoothly and I wish you all the best in your marriage.

Sarah (aka. Pale Princess) x