It's easy to be wise after the event. Think to yourself - "Oh, I wish I'd .... "
And the thing about your wedding day is that you only get one shot at it. Get stuff wrong and there's no second chance. You can't do it again. It's done.
So here's a list of 20 wedding day hacks to consider that will help you to get it right. We've asked past brides what they'd do again if they had a chance and what their top hints and tips are for brides-to-be. Here it comes ...
- Get your wedding videoed. This is top of a bride's list of top regrets after the wedding and there's something about live footage vs just having stills photography. You'll look back in the years to come (maybe watch your wedding day with your kids) and get that lovely feeling all over again. Plus footage incorporates sound as well as vision, so you can hear the music you chose, the guests chatting, the birds singing in the trees ...
- Choose shoes you love and will wear again and again rather than formal wedding shoes. Really, are you going to wear those white or ivory shoes another time? Okay, you might want to wrap them up in tissue paper, put them in a box and take them out to stroke and admire from time to time. But if you've always lusted after a pair of Jimmy Choos, Louboutins or Manolo Blahniks then maybe now is the time to take the plunge. You could choose shoes or sandals in bronze or silver or a colour and get a lot more wear out of them than standard wedding shoes. And you know the sum - divide the cost by how much you'll wear the item and suddenly a purchase can seem like much better value.
- Don't take on too much wedding DIY. That's all I have to say on the matter. Be realistic.
- You don't have to have a top table if you don't want to. If it's going to spark off rows about who sits where, then just have a table for you and your other half.
- Flowers in season are much less expensive and much more eco friendly.
- On a tight budget? Look at sample sales for your wedding dress and get a designer dress for much, much less.
- Your bridesmaids frocks don't have to match. Just maybe tie together the theme with colour - but don't worry about matching designs. What suits one girl may not look so good on another. (Dessy has loads of different bridesmaid styles in plenty of colour choices.)
- Always fancied a tall tiered cake but thinking of the cost? Just have one or two real tiers - the rest can just be fake iced tiers. Nobody will know the difference.
- You don't have to have a fruit cake wedding cake if that's not your thing, even if your granny insists it's traditional. Have chocolate, sponge - maybe tiers with different flavours.
- Little children can make cute pageboys and flowergirls but may get stage fright at the last minute when they have to walk down the aisle. Be prepared.
- Have a list of must-have photographs for your photographer.
- But also a list of impromptu spur of the moment photographs taken by your photographer/friends.
- Eat a good breakfast on the day of your wedding. Fainting is not a good look.
- Have a singles table rather than mixing singles with couples. Much more fun and opportunity to do a bit of subtle matchmaking.
- Even in summer the evenings can be chilly. Treat yourself and your bridesmaids to perfectl color-matched pashminas so you don't shiver.
- If your in-laws want to contribute to your big day you could ask them to finance the wine or bubbly for the toasts.
- Save the dates are vital, particularly if you're having a destination wedding. They don't have to be cards - an e mail is good. Consider setting up a wedding website so you can keep everybody informed.
- If you're having a live band or DJ, then make sure there's a chill-out area somewhere for people who want to sit and chat (so they can hear one another).
- Don't skimp on food. If you're marrying early in the day and then serving dinner, your guests are going to need something to eat mid-afternoon.
- Set a wedding budget before you do anything. And stick to it. You don't want to start off married life with a worrying debt.
Have you any more tips to add?