dramatic night portrait at Under the Woods

Top 18 Wedding Day Tips for Brides

It’s finally the day you’ve been waiting for—the big wedding day. There are so many things to do and people to see, but don’t forget some brides advice! Today we’re going to go over some of the top 10 bridal tips that will ensure your wedding is a success.

Before the Wedding Day

The majority of these wedding tips will focus on things you’re doing on the actual wedding day, but I wanted to start with a few things you can do right before the wedding day.

1. Get plenty of rest the night before your wedding day.

I know you will be thinking of everything the night before your wedding, but it is very important you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make you grumpy, tired, and impact your thinking.

sunset photo in a field

Try doing something relaxing an hour or so before you plan on going to sleep. Turn off the TV or anything else that might stimulate you. If you’re still struggling to sleep, turn on some music or an audiobook.

2. Emergency Kit

A great way to prepare for any issue is an emergency kit. You never know when you might need scissors, string, or a bobby pin. Having an emergency kit means you can handle tons of situations without having to send someone out to find things last minute.

There are plenty of options for an emergency kit. Just search for it on Google and you can find some ideas.

3. Give yourself plenty of time on your wedding day.

A day only has 24 hours, and there’s nothing you can do to add more time. It’s important that you create a schedule with plenty of time.

bride and groom laughing

If possible, try to take care of some things the day before like decorating. I know this isn’t always possible, but if your venue lets you, do the majority of the work the day before.

With your timeline, plan out what is happening for the entire day. I know that might sound stressful, but if you don’t have structure, things can fall behind quickly.

Give yourself some wiggle room. For everything you plan, add in extra time. If you think it will take an hour, put it as 1.5 or 2.

On the wedding day, get ready early so you can enjoy some time alone before all the craziness begins. Let the bride go first with hair and makeup, so she can do other things while the maid of honor and other bridesmaids are finishing up.

4. Break-in your shoes before the big day

It always amazes me that girls can walk around in certain shoes. I pick shoes out based on comfort. If you’ve got some beautiful shoes that might hurt your feet, try them out way before the wedding. See if you can keep them clean but wear them enough to break them in. This way, your feet won’t be killing you on your wedding day and you can stay on the dance floor.

sparkly wedding shoes

5. Have your maid of honor practice bustling your dress before the wedding day.

There are certain things you only do on a wedding day. Bustling a dress is one of those, so most people have very little experience doing it. Have your maid of honor practice several times with you before the wedding. You won’t want to waste anytime at the reception, so this practice can save you lots of time and stress.

wedding dress hanging in doorway

Before the Wedding Ceremony

A large portion of your day will happen before the ceremony. You’ll spend time with friends and family, do photos, and get ready for everything. What happens in this time can affect the rest of the day.

6. A calm inner circle

I hate drama, and it can be toxic on a wedding day. You will be getting ready several hours before the wedding ceremony, and in that time, keep things calm. Don’t let anybody in the room that is going to start stirring things up. If there is someone known for doing that and he or she is in the wedding party, warn them beforehand that you don’t want drama.

bride with fun bridesmaids

7. Have Fun with Some Great Music

One way to keep things light and fun is with music. While you are getting ready, have some music on for everyone to listen to. I suggest you make your own playlist with songs that connect with your bridal party. It could be songs from high school or things you listened to together.

guys dancing at wedding

The Wedding Ceremony

The reason everyone is gathered is to see you two get married. The wedding ceremony is only a short part of the day, but it really is the reason for the big day. Make sure it goes smoothly.

8. Walk Down the Aisle Slowly

One of the most magical moments during a wedding ceremony is when you walk down the aisle. Everyone will be looking at you and your spouse will be getting emotional. Make sure you make the most of this moment.

bride walking slowly down the aisle

The biggest problem I see is walking too quickly. This is a big moment, so take your time. Everyone will enjoy it more, and it will give your wedding photographer more time to get all the photos.

9. Take a Moment to Look at the Audience and Bridal Party

Most ceremonies last 15-30 minutes these days. Set up a time in the ceremony to pause and turn and look at all of your guests and the bridal party.

outside wedding ceremony

Usually the couple faces each other or forward the entire time, and won’t see anyone else. This way, you can make eye contact with everyone there and can share that moment.

After the Wedding Ceremony

It’s time to do some more photos and rock out at the reception. Here are a few more tips.

10. Take time to yourself after the ceremony

The wedding ceremony is over. You just finished photos and the reception is packed and everyone is excited to see you. Pause, and take a few minutes to be together. You just got married, and it might be a few hours before things calm down and you get to talk. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes, but take a minute or two to be alone.

bride and groom after wedding ceremony

11. Do your homework and find a unique shot

Being a wedding photographer, I see a lot of the same photos over and over again. There’s nothing wrong with that. They are beautiful photos, but your relationship is unique, so wouldn’t it be nice if you have at least one photo that was really different?

epic night shot with wedding couple

There are plenty of ideas out there, but the key is to take some of the things people have done and put your own twist on it. You can find a really interesting backdrop, use props, try out some interesting lighting, or plenty of other things. The point is when people see this photo, they will love it because it is different and represents your relationship.

wedding photo with sparklers

If you like this type of photography, look around on my site and see some of the interesting things I have done in the past.

12. Prioritize your people

It’s important to spend time with your guests, but that doesn’t mean all guests are considered equal. Your reception time will be limited, and you don’t want to spend all your time talking to people that you’re not close with.

bride with groomsmen

Focus on the people that are really special. This might be family, the best man, high school or college friends, or a guest you haven’t seen in a long time.

General Wedding Day Tips

These last tips might be some of the most important, and they didn’t really fit into a certain spot, so I thought we’d end with them.

13. Eat and Stay hydrated

Another thing that can cause you to zonk out is being hungry or dehydrated. Make sure to eat and drink throughout the day to keep your energy up. Most likely you will be eating while doing hair/makeup, but most brides forget to drink water. It’s important to drink water before the heavy drinking begins.

14. Hold your bouquet low.

Recently, I was editing some photos, and I got to the exit with the bride and the groom. I had told them to stop and kiss, but I forgot to mention the flowers. She held the bouquet up high and I couldn’t see their faces.

bride holding bouquet

Throughout the entire day, make sure you hold your bouquet lower. This will show off more of your dress and your face. In general, I say around the bellybutton.

15. Pick a Comfortable Outfit for the Day

You want your wedding dress to be beautiful, and I know you spent a long time picking your wedding dress, but make sure you are comfortable. Your wedding day will be a long one with you being in the dress for up to 7 hours. You don’t want that time to be miserable. Make sure you can move around comfortably and sit down.

If you’ve already bought the dress and know it will be uncomfortable, another option is to change during the reception. You can switch into a more comfortable, lighter dress for dancing at the reception.

16. Don’t be afraid to ask.

It’s common for people to talk about being a bridezilla, and I don’t think any bride wants to be that way. While there are some brides that are over the top, it is ok to give your opinion or ask for something.

If something is bothering you, please speak up. Talk to your vendors, your wedding planner, or someone in the wedding party. Most likely they will do everything they can to help and it won’t even bother them.

17. Something will go wrong on your Wedding day

Life is crazy, so expect something to go wrong on your wedding day. At that point, you’ve done everything you can to avoid problems and make the day wonderful, so don’t stress over every little thing. Most likely, no one will notice if the DJ played the wrong song or the caterer brought the wrong type of rolls. Just do your best to fix what you can, and remember the main point is you are getting married. All the other things don’t matter compared to that.

rain on your wedding day

18. Be in the Moment

Here’s the best advice I can give you. Be in the moment.

Your wedding day is going to fly by. I hear that all the time. Before you know it, it will be over and all that time planning for it will have paid off. Throughout the entire day, purposely think about the things happening. Focus on the things your mom or dad says. Focus on the way your husband looks at you. Focus on the feelings you are having. That’s the best way to really enjoy your wedding day and create strong memories.


I love weddings, and I hope your wedding day goes perfectly. All the things I mentioned and the tips were either things I’ve seen personally or something a married couple told me later. Take into consideration all the things said, and my wish is for you to have the best wedding day possible.

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