My 10 pieces of advice to other brides

1) Get help for day of. Either hire someone (a DOC) or make sure you have really good and reliable friends and family to help you and assign them specific tasks so they know what they are doing for you. Having a go to person other than me to take care of stuff was a HUGE stress relief. My DOC did much more than I even saw - I was talking to my mom after the wedding and she started listing all the things she saw my DOC doing - she originally didnt think a DOC was a good idea but after seeing her in action it totally changed her mind.

2) Plan as much as you want up until the rehearsal dinner but once that hits you are done! Give it to someone else to take care of. It was so nice to have Friday night and the day Saturday just to hang out and then get my hair and make up done for the wedding and not worry about setting anything up or making sure someone was where they were supposed to be.

3) Take a moment alone or a few moments alone with your husband during your wedding day. It is so busy saying hi to everyone that the moments when it is just you two are really special. We drove ourselves to the reception which for us was the perfect time to just hang out me and him.

4) Hire a good photographer. That is the only thing I am really still worrying about 3 weeks out from the wedding is my pictures. In the grand scheme of things we will be fine, but if I could have alleviated that stress by spending a bit more and hiring someone really good I would have done that. I think too that the day goes by so fast that looking at pictures help jog your memory and remember details you may have forgotten.

5) DIY projects - I am actually all for DIY projects as those who know me might have guessed :). While you see a lot of brides telling you not to go overboard with DIY stuff, I have to say that seeing all of it in place that day was fantastic! It made all the hard work worth it. Now if you are not crafty, dont overwhelm yourself, but if you have the time and patience then I think it is worth it. It gives the wedding a personal touch that buying things straight out would loose.

6) Choose your bridal party carefully! I ended up being so happy with my girls that I choose come the wedding but for a while there I wasnt. I ended up with an MIA bridesmaid that just kinda stopped hanging out with me or returning my phone calls and for a bit I was regretting asking her. I would recommend waiting as long as you can to ask your girls. I asked too early and it was a bit of a headache.

7) Get your FI to help you! It is not just you getting married so it should not be just you planning. Granted I did much more than Joe but he helped with all the big decisions. I was also surprised with how crafty he was - he ended up finishing much of the paper assembly work. If I hadnt asked him for help I would have never found that out and I think he appreciated that WE put this wedding together for US not that it was just "my" day.

8) If you are going to do Favors for your guests - think of what your guests will enjoy. Would they like a donation to a charity or a photo coaster or would they prefer a photobooth or a candy bar or a cookie bar? From what I have seen the entertaining or eatable favors go over the best with guests so if I were to do it again I would have gone in that direction.  

9) Give yourself some time off both before and after your wedding. I took Thursday and Friday off before my Sat wedding and I wish I had Wed, Thus, and Friday off. Not that I couldnt get everything done but things just kept coming up. I got a flat tire and had to get that fixed, had to do a last minute unplanned pickup for bar supplies, and had to get my SIL from the airport...all things I had not planned on having to do. I had time to do it all since I had planned ahead as much as I could but it would have been nice to have time to relax. And after the wedding we didnt leave for the HM till Tuesday morning but I wish we had one more day. There was so much to do like organize our gifts, deposit money, and hang out with OOT family that was in town for the wedding that it would have been nice to have another day in there.

10) Dont stress the small things on your wedding day. Things will not go 100% perfect. Something will go wrong - maybe it will be something really small but something will happen. I just focused on what that day really meant so none of the things that went wrong bothered me that day. After the fact, I did go over everything in my head and contact a few vendors with concerns but none of that got to me on my actual wedding day and I am so happy I did that. That day was about Joe and I and us getting married. My photographer getting there late, stepping on my veil, and the flower girl pomander falling apart really didnt make a difference in the fact that the day was amazing and I am now married!