Wedding Planning Advice From Brides Who Have Been There

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Kristen & Macksuel’s
Country Club Wedding

Photography: Roberta Mauro Photography,  Videography: Golden Wolf Films,  Venue: Black Swan Country Club @ Georgetown, MA,  Makeup: Brittney Eileen Makeup ArtistryHair: Cristina Foulds,  Cake and Favors: Suga Suga Portland,  Florist: A Whole Bunch Flower Market,  Pastries: LaCascia’s Bakery and Deli,  DJ: 617 Weddings,  Photo booth: Baltazar Entertainment

1.  Invite who YOU want to invite, not who everyone says you should.

We struggled with the guest list the most. We are in our mid to late twenties so we still have lots of close friends and family friends that definitely added up when it came down to invite them all. We had invited 190, 175 had RSVPed and 165 came. We were a little upset that people weren’t more considerate about the fact that we pre payed for the plates but it didn’t interfere with the day at all. It took us over a week to realize they were missing.

2. Don’t concentrate so much on decorations like signs and table runners etc.

People will never remember what they looked like or said. The only good thing about them is they photograph well, and when I look back at my photographs I look at pictures of my husband and I and our beautiful bridal party. It may look beautiful that day but it won’t be what you remember of the night.

3.  Make your own decisions.

We were in an interesting position because my husband is Brazilian and I am American and we were bringing two cultures together that are very different. We had people who wanted certain types of music, food, traditions that were outdated and lots of requests that just weren’t us from both sides. We made the final call on everything and everyone loved it in the end, so I guess it worked out!

4. If you’re contemplating a fun first dance, DO IT!

My husband and I love to dance, and we listen to every type of music. My dream had always been to have a compilation of songs and we did it! We accomplished it, not without a hinge though. The groom forgot how to do the cotton eyed joe, but let me tell you it was the most amazing and fun surprise for our guests. You don’t need to factor in lessons if you don’t want to. We only practiced three times and it all fell together.

5.  Don’t be so concerned with the weather.

We decided to get married in May so it wouldn’t be too hot. And sure enough, my Sunday wedding was the only day it rained and was cloudy out of the whole week. It wasn’t ideal for pictures outside because the girls were so cold. BUT the overcast in them was just breathtaking for me and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

6.  Hire a great photographer.

Pictures make all the difference! Find someone who makes you comfortable and at ease. Like it all comes natural! There were times I was so over it and just wanted to go hang out with my girls and relax but my photographer kept me going. And I’m so grateful she did because I would’ve missed all the pictures if I decided to stop.

7.  Have patience with your fiancé.

I can’t tell you how many times I fought with my husband over silly things like missing a meeting or picking certain songs to have played. Every time someone would ask him how planning was going he would say “As long as she is happy, I am happy.” But then would proceed to let me make all the decisions! Some help, does help. But at the end of the day the groom usually just goes with the flow. My husband was my shoulder to cry on and number to call when things went wrong or not planned.

8.  If you can fit it into your budget, hire a videographer.

I can’t express this one enough! We weren’t going to have one but someone told us how important it really was and let me tell you, it was one of my favorite parts of the aftermath of the whole wedding. The video was just everything we loved about the day put into a 7 minute mini movie and an hour long film of pure LOVE!

9.  Don’t make such a big deal about flowers

This part of the wedding had the potential to be the most expensive. I went into planning wanting the tall vases with beautiful bunches of flowers on top and when I heard the price tag.. I brought my expectations down drastically. Now that I look back I’m glad I chose smaller ones because my guests got to actually see across the table and everyone loved the centerpieces just as much as if they were big and extravagant. Not one centerpiece was left at the end of the night!

10.  Let the fact you just got married, sink in!

We sat at our head table (just the two of us) and looked out at the crowd and just watched everyone. I was so worried everyone would be staring at us sitting up there but really it was the opposite. We were so blessed and appreciative that all of those people were here for us and to share such a special moment in our lives.

11. Make sure to tell your coordinator exactly how you want things done.

I was lucky enough to have a couple of awesome women who set up everything for me but a couple things that really meant a lot to me to look great for pictures didn’t turn out how I wanted. Example, my dessert table. I make desserts for a living so having my fancy cool table that I always dreamed about and envisioned not turn out how I wanted made me a little disappointed. Just make sure to be aggressive in how YOU WANT IT DONE! People “ok’d” the crap out of me the whole planning process but I wish I could’ve just told them “this is how I want it to look and that’s that”.

12.  Last but not least. If you do not want a cake because let’s be honest not every eats cake at a wedding, you don’t have to have it.

I am a cake decorator as well and have always said I wouldn’t have a cake. Luckily my best friend from culinary school who was also a bridesmaid made us a “dummy cake” which was just for decoration and pictures. The top tier was real so we had the obvious cake to cut into but everything else was mini pastries of everything you could think of! So what makes you happy, whether it’s donuts or a candy bar.

13.  Remember, to have fun!!

This is the biggest day of your life and you will always have these memories. Don’t sweat the small stuff and at the end of the day if something goes wrong or not the way you liked it, you are married to the love of your life and that’s all that matters.

Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.

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