As a wedding photographer, every year I get the privilege of meeting a whole team of people who are actively planning their wedding. Not only do I get to observe what happens, but I can also ask them what they’d do differently – if anything at all! So I asked all the recently married couples what would be their wedding planning advice to those planning a wedding at the moment. Scroll down to suck up the wisdom! 

The number one piece of wedding planning advice from recently married couples is ‘Be True To Yourself!’

“Dare to be different, make sure it reflects you as a couple and don’t feel like you are being pushed down a particular route.”

“Do exactly what you want to do! It’s easy when you start planning to get a bit carried away and you end up deviating from what you actually had your heart set on. After a number of scrapped plans we went back to original plan of a simple registry office ceremony with only our closest family members there, and it couldn’t have gone better. We do plan on having a bigger party for our friends at some point but doing it this way meant that we removed most of the pressure and stress; we just got to enjoy ourselves!”

bride and groom sit on sofa at The Roost - london wedding venue - wedding planning advice

“Go for it and enjoy it as much as possible. We had a bit of stress in the run up but not too bad and the day itself more than made up for it – we had the best day ever (far better than we imagined) and it all felt worth it! My only real advice would be not to get swept up in other peoples expectations and stick with what feels right for you as a couple and make sure it reflects your personalities.”

“My best wedding planning advice is to do it your way! People mean well but their opinions can be very overwhelming. The only thing that matters is that you and your partner are on the same page.”

groom kisses bride on the cheek standing in victorian greenhouse and yeldersley hall wedding

“Stay true to who you are as a couple. Don’t be swayed by wedding cliches. Don’t feel as though you have to make compromises you won’t be happy with. Enjoy it. The planning and the day itself go by so quickly, so drink it all in.”

“Number one wedding planning advice would be follow your instincts, do what YOU want. The only things I regret about our day were the instances where I went against my first instinct and felt under pressure to do things because I ‘should’.”

bride hugs in to groom holding bouquet and wearing a bridal bomber jacket at marylebone town hall wedding

“My advice would be to not get too stressed out and do what makes you happy. Try to limit input from anyone else as it’s your day, and you should be able to express yourselves in your own individual style.”

“Our advice would be have things you want, that will make you feel special- don’t feel pressured to have things because they fit the ‘wedding’ tick list (unless that’s the kind of wedding you want of course).”

“One thing we’d do differently is try not to defend our choices to relatives with ideas of what a wedding should be.”

bride wearing sequin wedding dress dances with groom in the rain under umbrella at digbeth birmingham wedding

How to plan a stress free wedding – Don’t aim to do everything yourself

“Rely on your close friends and family to help, you won’t be able to do it all by yourself.”

“Be really clear on the day if you want people to actually do important jobs, we said ‘ok ushers can you do this’ and none of it happened, be specific and say to individuals ‘you are in charge of this!'”

“Delegate where you can. People will be happy to help.”

close up photo of bridesmaid helps bride put on her white sandal shoes - wedding planning advice

Wedding top tip – Hire in help where needed

“As our big day was only six weeks after we booked it meant that we had to make quick decisions and things couldn’t spiral. I felt so much calmer and relaxed about my own wedding than I had at other weddings where I was just a guest! If you do plan small ceremony definitely pay out for extras such as flowers and a photographer really made all difference. We have stunning photographs and it added to the sense of occasion.”

brightly coloured bridal bouquet with pink, yellow, orange and white flowers held by bride wearing white bridal jumpsuit from les heroines

“Biggest piece of advice is get a good photographer and I recommend Rowan! We almost didn’t have a photographer because of budget constraints but I am so glad we did – getting the photos after the wedding is so exciting, you get to see loads things you probably missed on the day and get to see all your guests having fun! Rowan’s pictures have captured exactly how the day felt and when I look at them I feel like I’m reliving the day which is priceless.”

“If you are not using a venue with a co-ordinator, hire one! Ours was amazing (and like a ninja). She ensured that suppliers were managed, the hall was tided up and items like the cake was cut up for the guest, whilst we were busy having fun.”

“One thing we would do differently was to get the cake delivered rather than collect and transport ourselves. We lost the bottom tier!”

“I had been in two minds about spending what felt like quite a lot of money on getting my hair and make-up done the morning of the wedding, as I don’t really do much dressing up. I’m so glad I did, as I felt super glamorous and fancy all dolled-up.”

“The only thing I would do differently is use a celebrant instead of the register office, that whole experience in the planning stage was a bit stressful and it would have been worth spending a bit more money to choose a person that you really like and tailor making your ceremony.”

Most importantly – Don’t sweat the small stuff

“Keep it simple and don’t get stressed if plans change last minute. We had a wet weather plan all year only for the sun to beam down so you just need to go with the flow!”

bride and groom standing chatting to wedding guests on london street

“Accept the things you can’t change, embrace the day and the planning. The wedding car, with the groom and best man were involved in an accident on the way to the venue. No one was hurt but it really puts it into prospective. Don’t stress about the little things, be grateful for everything and everyone. Do it how you want it. Choose florists, photographers etc because you like their work and allow them to do what they do best. Have fun, take time enjoy the day, don’t worry about people enjoying themselves, they make their own fun.”

bride bridesmaids toss greenery bouquet. Informal wedding photography by Parrot and Pineapple - wedding planning advice

“In the run up I wished I’d done so many things differently (not had a London wedding, had it more casual, had it smaller,….), but on the day everything went so well I am so glad I stayed with what we originally planned as I wouldn’t change a thing. I think my main advice would be don’t stress it, it may not be your perfect wedding ‘on paper’, but you’ll still love it.”

“I think my wedding planning advice would be to try and relax and enjoy the day. Try not to focus on all the tiny details, and trust that you and your friends and family will have a fantastic time regardless of the colour of your napkins for example. If you don’t fancy running around on the morning of the wedding go for decorations like dried flowers that you can get well in advance. We were able to set up the venue the day before too which was incredibly helpful.”

bride and groom stand in front of city tower block hugging and laughing image used on a blog post sharing wedding planning advice from real couples

“Don’t stress too much about the little things ! There will be hiccups on the day and things that don’t go to plan – for us it was a forgotten ring pillow made by a family friend, smashed jars of pick and mix and some lighting that kept tripping out all the electric – BUT nobody noticed! Everybody was too busy having a good time!”

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