Wedding advice for brides-to-be

If anyone had informed me about the true rollercoaster ride that a bride-to-be goes on before I started planning my wedding, I would’ve suggested to my fiancé that we elope.

Nothing can prepare you for the enormity of what goes into creating the big day. And if you think it will be all smiles and stress free, you’re in for a rude awakening.

In the past two and a half months of my engagement I have come to understand a number of things.

1. My fiancé is more than happy for me to plan this wedding on my own.

2. Planning a wedding although exhausting and stressful, can also be fun and exciting.

3. Always establish your budget before you begin wedding preparations.

4. Sit with your fiancé when planning your guest list. Don’t leave it up to him to sort out which people he would like to invite. Either it will take weeks to finalise the list, or everyone he has ever met will be invited.

5. Create a wedding board. On it include all the ideas that you really like, such as décor, flowers, wedding dress styles etc. It’s easier to find the perfect photographer or dress when you know what you like.

6. Your bridesmaids have differing opinions to you, and some voice them far more strongly than others. If you, like me, are easily upset by how other people deliver their opinions, it’s best to keep all decisions between you and your fiancé.

7. Utilizing a wedding venue requires far less work than planning a garden wedding.  Researching suppliers and comparing quotes is time consuming.

8. Go with friends' recommendations wherever possible.

9. Always try on the wedding dress you like in a room with ordinary lighting, and in the shoes you plan to wear. Boutiques place you on small pedestals that elongate your figure and make you look slimmer. If a particular dress speaks to you they often will put a veil on your head.

Suddenly it dawns on you that you are a bride and then the tears will fall. But the reality can be very different to the fantasy created. Take time to make your decision

10. There are times when it is okay to be a Bridezilla.

11. Photographers are expensive. Not all are good, and the amount of money they charge doesn’t necessarily mean the images they shoot are of a good quality. Research your photographer. Speak to friends who are able to point out what separates the average from the good and from the fantastic.

12. Don’t look at too many photographers. You will only confuse yourself in the end.

13. Weddings are expensive, but they are generally a one day affair. It is not necessary to spend a quarter of a million rand on it.

14. You don’t need a wedding planner, but they will make your life easier.

15. And finally, there are times when you will think that you’re making a mistake and feel like cancelling the wedding.

This is normal. Ride the wave of fear and anxiety, speak to close friends and family (especially those who are married), grab a cup of tea and calm down. It will pass, and you will return to feeling that all is right in the world.

Have any of your own tips to add? Share them with us below.

This guest article was contributed by Women24 reader, Candice Wiggett.

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