What not to do for your wedding?
Top 10 Wedding Don’ts
Adhere to these guidelines and make sure your wedding is a hit for you and your guests.
By: Denise Schipani
Of course you want to have a fabulous big day, so you must plan accordingly to avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. Take a look at these all-too-common “please don’ts.” (Psst! They’re all avoidable.) Remember: Forewarned is forearmed!
1. Don’t be superbride.
You’re smart, you’re focused, you’re energetic. But you’re still one woman. Superbrides—those engaged gals who devote every waking hour to wedding planning, brushing aside all offers of help—eventually run out of steam and end up near the big day with favors unassembled, invitations unstamped, shoes undyed, heads uncounted. How to avoid this fate? Call in your trusty sidekicks before you’re really scrambling. Here’s a little secret: People want to help. So do yourself a huge favor and accept their kind offers. Then, once you’ve got a cadre of pals stuffing your envelopes, sit back and have your toenails polished. You deserve it.
2. Don’t have a cash bar.
Forcing guests to reach into their sequined clutches every time they want to enjoy a celebratory champagne or a refreshing gin and tonic is just plain rude. Think of it like this: You invite people to a party—your wedding, for heaven’s sake!—and then you ask them to shell out for part of the fun. It’s a recipe for bad feelings! Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a top-shelf bar; in fact, there are plenty of other ways to serve and save. You could offer wine and beer only or create a signature cocktail. You might have an open bar during the cocktail hour only and serve wine at dinner. Ask your caterer to suggest lower-cost options.
3. Don’t include registry info on invites.
Registering is a good thing for everyone. When gift buyers are steered to the things you actually want and need, it saves them time—and saves you from having to contend with a pile of cut-crystal candy bowls. Registry info, however, does not belong on your wedding invitation. Why? Giving wedding gifts is never mandatory, though the vast majority of attendees will naturally want to do just that. Best way to get the message across is by word of mouth on the part of your mother or your bridesmaids or on bridal-shower invites.
4. Don’t be bossy with your bridesmaids.
In the most traditional sense, your bridesmaids, in particular your maid of honor, are there to stand up for you as you take your vows, to act as witnesses to this solemn event. Somewhere along the line, bridesmaids have become, well, more like maids, and to an extent there’s nothing wrong with that. These are your sisters, cousins, best friends, future in-laws, and there’s something sort of sweet about the way they gather around you, wearing finery you picked out, helping you pin up your bustle, holding your flowers. But some brides ask (or worse, demand) far more: They expect their bridesmaids to shell out for needlessly expensive outfits, to run endless errands, to wear their hair just so, to attend (and buy gifts for) countless all-for-you parties. Don’t let this happen. Be sensitive to how you’d feel if the tables were turned. Gifts to the maids are always welcome, of course, but a little kindness and care go a lot further than any pashmina shawl or monogrammed trinket.
5. Don’t make guests cool their heels for hours between ceremony and reception.
I once attended a lovely wedding in a quaint wooden church in a rural area. Beautiful. Then I checked my invite. What?! The reception was scheduled for much later in the day, at a location that was a good 45-minute drive away. Sometimes it can be hard to plan a perfectly seamless schedule, especially if your heart is set on sites that are wildly inconvenient to one another or if your ceremony and reception times don’t line up. But do your best. If you really must wed at, say, your childhood church, confine your search for reception locales to local spots. If that’s truly impossible or if you can’t avoid a time gap, provide transportation and/or a comfortable spot for guests to hang out while they wait.
6. Don’t plan a difficult destination wedding.
Ah, the lure of the exotic faraway wedding—you can just picture it, can’t you? Exchanging vows on top of a volcano in Hawaii… or how about in a ski gondola or on a majestic slope in the Austrian Alps? Hmmm, nice idea, but will Grandma Gert be up to the trip? Will your college pals drain their bank accounts to get there? No, and no. Destination weddings can be terrific, but as with any wedding, it’s not only about you, it’s also about your guests. While some friends and families welcome—and can afford—an Alpine adventure, others will end up resenting the cost and hassle or simply decline the invitation. Make it easy for everyone by (a) choosing a well-traveled locale, (b) planning well in advance and (c) providing information and help (securing group rates, for example). Bon voyage!
7. Don’t go DIY crazy.
You know that clever bride who sewed her own dress and designed and made her own invitations? Or the one who baked her own three-tiered cake? Everyone’s in awe of the girls who can do these things, and I say good for them—if they did it because they really, really wanted to, and if they managed not to get stressed out. The point of these projects is to use your craft/sewing/baking/designing skills to save money and to put a one-of-a-kind stamp on some aspect of the wedding. But if you are really not the hands-on type, don’t drive yourself crazy hot-gluing tulle and folding fiddly favors until 3 a.m. Do only what you can, and beg, borrow or buy the rest.
8. Don’t let parents steamroll your invite list.
Back in the days when parents footed the bill and brides were barely out of high school, the guest list was more Mom and Dad’s idea of a good party than the couple’s. Times have changed, but that doesn’t stop some pushy parents from insisting on having the whole book club, golf club or garden club at the wedding. Brush up on your negotiating skills and start early. Once you have a budget in mind, you can rough out the number of guests it’s feasible to invite. Then ask both sets of parents for invite lists, in order of preference, so you can cut from the bottom if necessary. Stay in charge!
9. Don’t forget about your fiancé.
It may not seem like something you’d do, but plenty of women surprise themselves. We’ve got our heads stuck in a glossary of floral terms (stephanotis? anemone?) when all our men know is that there will be flowers at the wedding. We’re neglecting our regular TV and pizza night in favor of dress fittings. Hey, listen up: You’re not just having a wedding, you’re getting married—to that guy over there, sitting on the couch, munching a cold slice of pizza. Put aside the bridal to-do lists and go give him a hug, would you? This is not just party-planning time, it’s major life transition time. So talk to each other. Talk about your life together. Talk about what color you want to paint the bedroom, what you want to name the puppy you’ll adopt—whatever. Anything but flowers and crab-cake appetizers, please.
10. Don’t bow to bridal peer pressure.
It’s insidious. You just got back from a friend’s wedding and you’re battling the green monster: She had an eight-piece band while you booked a DJ. She had Dom Perignon, you’re having sparkling wine. Well, stop right there. If you scramble your plans to best hers: 1) You’ll go over budget, and 2) You’ll hate yourself for it. Worse, you’ll veer off the course you set for your own dream wedding. She made her wedding hers. And you’re making your wedding yours. And that’s an “I do!”
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Week Of Wedding Checklist: What To Do The Week Before Your Wedding!
The final countdown is on. It’s the week before your wedding! No matter how big or small a celebration you’re having, there are certain things you won’t want to forget in the days leading up to your I Dos. Here’s a handy checklist to help you wrap up all the loose ends in advance—so you can kick back, relax, and soak in every moment of the big day.
Venue + Vendors
- Give your venue and/or caterer the final guest count. Make sure you know the date this final count is required—and submit it by then! Otherwise, you may be stuck paying for the original (read: higher) number of guests you quoted.
- Finalize the wedding timeline with vendors and the wedding party—make sure to give out copies, too!
- Confirm dates, times, locations, services, etc. with your venue & vendor team (Or have your Wedding Coordinator do it for you!) Basically make sure everyone knows where they need to be, what time, and what for. Some examples include:
- Go over pickup times and locations with your limousine / transportation vendors.
- Make sure your floral designer / rental company / DJ / cake maker, etc. has early access to the event space for delivery and/or setup.
- Double check that your officiant has your preferred readings, your photographer has your shot list, your DJ has your playlist, etc.
- Pro Tip: Pack all decor and day-of items in clear plastic storage tubs with locking lids. Write out what’s in each tub and attach a label to the top. This is also super helpful for your wedding planner to be able to pack stuff back up at the end of the night!
Actual photo of Hayley’s wedding bin!
Wedding Party + VIP Guests
- Pow-wow with your wedding party, ushers, and VIP guests to make sure everyone’s aware of their wedding-day duties.
- Designate someone for «wedding photo round-up» duty. During your formal portraits, it’ll be handy to have a close friend or family member in charge of gathering together the necessary VIPs for their photos.
- Assign someone to pack up your gifts/belongings after the reception.* This could include personal items but also wedding accessories like your guest book, toasting flutes, and cake-cutting utensils. And don’t forget about the top tier of your cake, if you want to save it for your first anniversary!
- Ask your most responsible friend or family member to hand out final payments and tips over the course of the event.*
- If needed, assign someone to return any rental items or tuxedos the day after the wedding.
- Check in with anyone making speeches. Are they good to go? Nothing too embarrassing, right? Right??
- Grab some water and snacks to have on hand for the getting-ready rooms.* If you’re anything like us, you’ll also want champagne and OJ for mimosas!
- Wrap any gifts you’ll be giving to your future spouse, family, or wedding party. Or simply write them heartfelt notes to open on the day-of.
- Drop off welcome bags to guest hotels, if you’re doing them.
*These tasks are typically taken care of by the wedding coordinator—but if you don’t have one, you’ll want to ask someone you trust to handle.
Attire + Beauty
- Pick up your perfectly-tailored gown, pantsuit, or tux. Swoon.
- Have your own personal fashion show. You wouldn’t walk the runway without a dress rehearsal, right? Take some time this week to pull your entire wedding look together—from head to toe. Make sure you have all the pieces / undergarments / shoes / accessories / shapewear, etc. etc. that you’ll need to look your best.
- While you’re at it, break in those wedding shoes. Simply walking around the house will get your feet used to that fancy footwear without the risk of scuffing them up. (Unless they’re slippery. Then you’ll want to strategically scuff.)
- Put together a Wedding Day Emergency Kit. This is a small makeup bag filled with «just in case» items that can fix most of those little wedding-day problems.
- In desperate need of a massage? Now’s the time to squeeze one in.
- Enjoy a mani-pedi. And anything extra like eyelash or hair extensions.
- If you want a spray tan, get it now. Doing this a little earlier will allow your tan to fade into a more natural glow. Wait at least 8 hours before showering and moisturize daily.
- Get a nice hanger for your wedding attire. Most wedding photographers will take a photo of your wedding dress or suit, hanging in all its glory in front of some picturesque setting before you put it on.
- Clean your ring so it’s nice and sparkly for photos.
- Hydrate and eat clean. You want to not only look your best on your wedding day, but feel your best!
Destination Wedding + Honeymoon Prep
- Make packing a priority! If you’re having a destination wedding or honeymoon immediately following the festivities, triple-check that your suitcase is fully packed.
- Finalize and confirm hotel bookings, as well as flight numbers and arrival times for all the key players in your wedding.
- Do you have all necessary legal documents in hand? This may include passports, IDs, birth certificates, visas, vaccination cards, and anything else needed to make your destination wedding legit.
- Make sure you have the proper electrical converters so you can plug in your devices. You really need your hairdryer to work.
- Get foreign currency in advance, if possible.
- Pack your carry-on! Wedding attire, rings, and anything else of value should be in that bag. You don’t want lost luggage to ruin your wedding day. (Pack a steamer to remove any travel-induced wrinkles!)
- Apply for your marriage license as soon as you arrive at your destination.
- Don’t forget the rings and marriage license, if you want this union to be legal!
- Finalize and practice your vows, if you’re writing your own.
- Tie up all your personal loose ends. For example, if you’re taking time off work for your wedding and/or honeymoon, make sure you get all your ducks in a row first. Activate your email away message, wrap up any projects, cover your shifts, etc. You want all these nitty-gritty life responsibilities taken care of so you can fully relax and enjoy your celebration!
- Take some time for self care. Meditate and breathe, at the very least. And try to get a solid 8-hours of sleep the night before.
- Remember why you’re getting married in the first place. It’s not about the pomp and circumstance of this one day. It’s about the love you have with your partner and the life you’re about to build together.
Filed under Checklists, Expert Advice
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Advice For Grooms On Their Wedding Day
She said yes! Buying ring and getting down on one knee was where your responsibility stopped, surely? Now it’s time to relax until the big day, right? Wrong. Unless you really want to spend the months before your wedding firmly in the doghouse. As experts in the industry we live and breathe weddings! Let our experience help guide you through this new experience. We have condensed our advice to grooms on their wedding day into 11 top tips!
11 Tips For Grooms On Their Wedding Day
We have photographed hundreds of weddings across Manchester, the North West and the UK (as well as a few abroad) and know how stressful it can be for couples. We have picked up a few hints and tips along the way which will help you survive wedding planning! Here are our top 11 pieces of advice for grooms on their wedding day!
Want to get ahead of the game? Show your bride-to-be our bright, natural and contemporary wedding photography!
Before The Wedding Day Advice
Getting married is consistently featured as one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. It’s no wonder that wedding planning can cause friction for happy couples. But there are a few things you can do to make sure the months leading up to the big day run smoothly. It’s not all about just turning up on the day. Your future bride needs help and support in the build up to the event. If you think all your responsibility starts on the day then you are getting it wrong from the get go! Get in the wedding state of mind as soon as your fiancée starts looking at setting a date.
1) Don’t just say ‘yes’
While agreeing with your future wife is important, when you’re wedding planning sometimes ‘no’ is the answer. There is nothing more infuriating for a bride-to-be than her fiancé just blindly saying yes to everything she suggests. Having an opinion on even just a few key things (the venue, the food or the photos) will let her know that she’s got your support. Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful and knowing you’re on board will be a weight off her mind. And you want to know something about your wedding before you get there, right?
2) Be her shoulder to cry on
Have I mentioned that planning a wedding can be stressful? Your wife-to-be will probably have a hundred things running through her mind most of the time and it might be hard to keep up. It could be her control freak mum or a flaky bridesmaid causing her stress, there will always be something. Let her vent, give her a hug or just agree with her. Just make sure you don’t join in any family or friend bashing – now isn’t the time to share that you can’t stand Aunty Beryl either!
3) Select your best man with care
Know your mate who would lose his head if it wasn’t screwed on? Or the one who always drunkenly flirts with your fiancée’s little sister? Yup, you guessed it, they’re probably not the guys to put in charge on your big day. I’m not suggesting that you pick your old chemistry teacher because he’s the most responsible guy you know, but it’s important to have reliable people around you. Your wedding day is a stressful one and you will undoubtedly be nervous. Your best man needs to be able to keep you calm and get you to the church on time. Not need dragging out of a late night bar at 2am on your wedding day.
4) Help With Preparation
While your beautiful wife-to-be may have everything from the seating plan to the transport in hand, don’t forget you have your part to play too. When will you and your groomsmen pick up the suits? Have you got enough time to get a replacement or alterations should something go wrong? How much time do you need to get to the venue (before your other half!)? Your best man will help you, but it’s important to be prepared so the day runs smoothly. Writing a checklist can really help here. Also it feels really good when you can check off a task as complete.
5) Practice your speech
Your new father-in-law has reduced half the room to tears with his speech and now all eyes are on you. You’re probably nervous about what the best man has up his sleeve (though hopefully you picked someone who won’t stitch you up too badly) but it’s your turn. This is your chance to let everyone know just how wonderful your new wife is – so make sure you’ve had some practice beforehand. You might be able to wing it in front of the guests, but she will know. Take along some notes if you’re likely to be really nervous. Whatever you do, don’t watch Tom Fletcher’s wedding speech before the big day!
6) Help Plan Your Group Photos
One piece of advice we give every groom is to have a think about your wedding photos. During the drinks reception we will take the couple aside for their portraits and then capture the group photos. We give all our couples a list of shots which they can tweak to suit their wedding. Don’t let the bride decide this all on her own! If it’s important for you to have a photo with a particular family member, note this down and let us know! You can also book an engagement session before the wedding day to get comfortable in front of the camera. This is also a lovely gift to surprise your partner with. See our Manchester wedding photographer prices for more details.
What To Do On Your Wedding Day
Finally the big day has arrived! You’ve made it, but your stomach is churning with nerves. Knowing that you have a big day ahead will be a little bit daunting, or maybe just exciting. Remember that nerves and excitement are pretty much the same emotion. Psychologists top tip to keep anxiety at bay is to focus on the feeling of excitement. Studies have shown that students facing a big test when told to reframe their nerves as excitement actually performed better!
Here are some more tips for grooms on their wedding day. The following advice will make your day one to really remember!
7) Don’t forget to eat!
If you’re getting married in the afternoon, chances are this is the last opportunity you’ll have to eat for some time. Make sure to have a good breakfast, even if you don’t feel like it your future self will thank you. Drops in blood sugar levels can make feelings of nerves worse. Setting yourself up with a nutritious meal in the morning is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself calm. You can order the most amazing breakfast platters to make sure you and the groomsmen are well fueled for the day ahead.
8) Have a settler
You will be nervous, so it’s a good idea to take some time out before the wedding to prepare yourself. Whether it’s a beer at the local pub or a quick stroll to gather your thoughts, you’ll need a few minutes just to get your head together. A good best man is worth his weight in gold here. Having a drink is always a piece of advice given to grooms on their wedding day, but this is standard practice anyway! Make sure to keep off the strong stuff until later on though!
9) Don’t worry about the small stuff
Things can and do go wrong at weddings, but don’t let them spoil your day. It’s about you marrying the person you love, so don’t let the fact that the table flowers are a centimetre too short ruin your day (or your wife’s!). A great way to take away any stress on the day is to hire a toastmaster for your wedding. Their job is to run the day and deal with anything that might pop up. Plus your bride will be really impressed with you when you tell her all the reasons why you should have a toastmaster.
10) Take time out with your new wife
Your wedding day will pass in a blur of emotion, wine and good friends so it is easy to forget to spend time together. A good wedding photographer will give you some time out when taking your pictures but getting some time alone during the day will help you take it all in.
Have a read of our advice about picking a wedding photographer if you’ve not got one yet.
11) Enjoy it!
This probably sounds really obvious, but so many people spend the day stressing about everything and forget to have fun. This is your big day – enjoy it! It’s last on the list, but probably the most important bit of advice that should be given to grooms on their wedding day.
Get More Top Tips For Your Wedding Day!
We hope this has given you lots of practical tips for your wedding day and helped ease your pre wedding nerves. The main responsibility for the groom is to have fun and be relaxed. The day is about love, commitment and of course fun! Give our blog a go for more wedding tips.
- Wedding Advice For Grooms