Wedding advice from a former bride to a future one.

We got engaged in 2012, and married in we had A LOT of time to plan our wedding. We had also just moved into a new house so were absolutely skint (many Ikea trips were had). On the back of our new found hobby of spending every cent we had on the house, I decided to go all out DIY on our wedding. And this brings me to tip number one...

1. DIY is not for everyone.

Well I had mood boards and wedding magazines to bate the band, I had ideas running around my head 24/7, I had enlisted my family for on-demand slave labour when required; my friends were at one point almost choked to death in our kitchen by fly spray whilst washing out countless jam jars (and that's a story for another day), my amazing aunt decorated our church and made all our bouquets, my talented Dad made 20 aisle hooks and lanterns for our church, my super talented Dad sang at the church and had the church choir sing our entire wedding, my bridesmaid Shauna and her mam decorate 100+ jars and vintage books for the table settings, Mam made a delicious spread of food for guests after the ceremony before travelling to the reception, my then 85 year old grandmother made car ribbons with my particularly un-impressed father. So yeah, you could say I was in full dictator mode! Looking back none of this would've been possible without my amazing squad...I certainly wouldn't have done a fraction of this on my own. Carefully review your situation, if the help isn't there then maybe DIY is more of a DI don't!

2. Make a provisional guest list.

So the stickiest of sticky areas is always the guest list...there may be arguments, there may be tears, there might even be blood! Ok, not really but you get the idea. A very common mistake for those planning a large wedding, admittedly one we made ourselves, is in all the excitement of getting engaged, we went straight into viewing possible venues with no real idea of how many guests we would be having on the day. I was so focused on finding the right venue I completely ignored the fact our entire wedding party mightn't even fit inside! It even got the stage where we narrowed our choices down to the final two venues...thankfully we choose the larger of the two, as looking back I'm fairly sure the other option wouldn't have been big enough! So lesson learnt...make out a provisional list and have some idea of your numbers before even thinking about spending that Saturday checking out venues. This could really reduce your stress levels further down the line as you anxiously await your R.S.V.P's!

3. Invest in your lasting impressions.

I suppose this is shameless self promotion, but I cannot stress how often I hear of brides not researching various photographers and their various styles (be sure to figure out what style you like/dislike), or people not booking a wedding videographer. Let's face it guys, both products are the memories you will be left with long long after the dust has settled. I don't exactly watch our wedding video everyday, but the odd time I put it on I'm transported back to that morning and all the excitement that came with it. I love watching it and re-living the special moments of the day.

4. Listen to the Pros!

I mean the people in the business...a good wedding coordinator at your venue is worth their weight in gold! They know where to shop, who does what and who does it best. They see countless weddings being planned locally and they know what works and what doesn't. Your photographer is always a great resource for helping you...we work countless weddings and are there from the morning preparations to late night dancing. Ask me about wedding bands...seriously...we see so many,I always take note of particularly fun, quirky bands that are great fun. What I'm saying is, use the expertise at your disposal, don't try re-invent the wheel here...these guys know their stuff and they know the industry, so use that.

5. You gotta roll with it.

At the end of all the planning, making, doing, panicking, buying, selling, moving, shaking and a little bit of crying, the big day finally arrives. Wise words given to me from my bestie's big sister (yo Dee!) was to enjoy every single minute of the day itself, because no matter what happens at this point, there isn't a thing you can do about it, so just roll with it and enjoy. And believe me, the entire day flies by in a flash, so soak it up, eat the cake, throw the bouquet, and rock that boat.

Yours still watching Say Yes to the Dress loooooong after she's married,

Andrea x

#wedding #photography #galway #mayo #roscommon #sligo #bride #love

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