Given the popularity of this priceless post we have allocated a quarterly yearly slot to round up the very best nuggets of advice from the real brides that have graced our pretty Brides Up North pages over the last few months.
For these are the ladies fully in the know of the beautiful, if not at times bumpy, wedding planning journey that you brides-to-be have ahead of you as you pull together all the elements of your dream day.
From budget and timeline tips to advice on the venue, theme and supplier choices, our certified newlyweds share where it’s worth investing your time, money and stress and when it’s time to just full on Frozen-style let it go!
Within their clued-up comments, we’re thrilled to hear how we at Brides Up North have helped to play a part in the planning of their gorgeous celebrations; from taking inspiration from our beautiful featured real weddings, to using our handy online directory to locate top local suppliers and also visiting our Luxury Wedding Shows that we host at wow-worthy venues across the north, directly linking couples and industry pros to take care of every wedding detail while providing an abundance of inspiration.
We hope you too will use and benefit from such fabulous resources as well as the priceless knowledge that our fully-fledged brides are about to impart as they complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”
Click on the links to see each wedding in full.
samantha says: My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to try to keep everyone happy; it is your day, so it’s the only time you can be truly selfish. We worried too much about everyone else throughout the whole process. Funnily enough, my best friend gave me the same advice! I would also say relax and don’t let the small things on the days leading up to it, and on the day, get to you. So many small things did not go exactly to plan for us, but it doesn’t dampen your mood on the day. The most important thing is having your friends and family around you – all the laughter, happy tears, dancing, eating good food and celebrating while they watch you marry your best friend. It is the most amazing day, no matter what.
linsey says: Don’t worry about the weather – you can’t control it so try not to waste time stressing about it. Think about how to keep the day interesting and enjoyable for your guests. For us, we knew that if we could see our family and friends enjoying themselves then this would make the day even more perfect! In the run up to the wedding, I also spent a lot of time looking at the real weddings section on Brides Up North – it was so helpful to get tips from other brides and to get a feel for the types of things that we wanted to incorporate into our wedding day.
stacey says: Don’t settle for anything less than you want. If there are suppliers you really want, get them booked in as soon as you can. We knew the suppliers we wanted to make our day special and each one made it perfect.
emma says: Definitely get a videographer! We were unsure for a long time but so pleased we did in the end. The guest messages definitely made us chuckle! Also, take time out to be on your own, just the two of you. We had a 25-minute journey between the ceremony and reception that meant we had some time alone before greeting all of our guests. Finally, when looking for suppliers, the online directory on Brides Up North was extremely helpful. I followed Brides up North on Instagram and took a lot of inspiration from the real weddings section too.
natalie says: Enjoy every minute of the planning. I never really understood why brides were stressed before the wedding. I really enjoyed the whole process. I particularly liked choosing the flowers and also liked creating all of the finishing touches.
zoe says: Think about what wedding you want. Don’t worry about what other people will think. I know that people thought we were ‘doing too much’ or ‘doing the wrong things’ because they couldn’t see the bigger picture but, in the end, everyone could see it all came together and was worth it. I like to be organised and have things written down, so make lots of lists, talk to lots of different suppliers and don’t rush into booking the first one you see. Just remember it’s all about you as a couple and it will come through in your day.
sophie says: Give yourself lots of time the few days before the wedding to get things sorted – there were lots of last-minute bits we were running around doing and I was pretty organised, so it’s always worth having the time as a contingency.
caroline says: Trust your suppliers. You’ll have chosen them for a reason, so let them do their thing! We also put them all in touch with each other, which meant they could chat to each other without us being the middle man – much quicker! My other tip is to do a full ‘run of show’ and contact sheet and give it to everyone who is part of your day. Then everyone is kept in the loop and you don’t get plagued with a million questions in the run-up to the big day.
lucie says: Choose a venue that suits you as a couple. I would say that picking and choosing the bits that actually matter to you is really important, and also helps you to prioritise and budget. At the end of the day, the most important part is the vows and making sure you’re in an environment that feels right to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. The rest of it is detail, and no amount of flowers or hours spent agonising over stationery colours will matter as much to you both on the day itself. Also, during the planning, we went to several Brides Up North wedding fairs at Denton Hall, which were a very handy way to catch up with all our suppliers and generally think about where we wanted to display things on our day. I visited the Brides Up North website too. I didn’t really do overwhelming amounts of research, but for me looking at real weddings on the blog was the best way to get inspiration or to think of extra details. It’s also a great way to track down tried and tested suppliers.
sarah says: Make sure you make time for yourself and invest in a photographer you trust to take great pictures and who you would want to hang out with for 12 hours! Also, make whatever decisions feel right for the two of you. Changing my dress with three months to go felt like a crazy thing to embark on, but it was the best decision I made – I felt a million dollars!
rachel says: Get the big things booked in as soon as possible; you are therefore more likely to get the suppliers you want before they get booked up and you have a good idea of how much everything is going to cost well in advance. We wouldn’t recommend a two-year engagement like we had but it was the time we needed to save up for everything we wanted; it was worth it, but it did get a little stressful thinking of the wedding for two whole years. Also, don’t worry about getting around all your guests on the day – just take everything in and enjoy the moment. The only thing we wish we’d had that we didn’t was a live band for the reception.
emma says: Throughout the wedding planning process, I visited Brides Up North to look for local suppliers and read the real weddings with a similar theme so I could get more ideas on what we wanted our wedding to look like. Myself and my maids of honours also visited a wedding fair in Leeds, held by Brides Up North, which we fully enjoyed, particularly sampling the cakes and prosecco on offer!
katy says: Get people to help you, don’t try to do everything yourself! People helped us with all sorts – the wedding playlist, teaching us to dance, making the cake – you name it! Not only does it take some of the stress away, but everyone feels a part of your wedding, which makes it even more special. We got a group of us together to make the decorations about six weeks before the wedding. It was a great way to power through making them all and we had a lovely day spending time together getting excited for the big day. Also, if you’re going on your honeymoon straight afterwards, make sure you have the first few days to just relax, recover and enjoy being newlyweds. We love packing loads into our trips, but boy did we need a few days to just veg out on the beach after it all. It’s more emotionally exhausting than you realise!
alex says: Enjoy every single part of the planning process. It’s a cliché but the day itself will go by in flash – it may not even go to plan (although we were lucky that ours did) – but the wedding process is so much more. Enjoy your engagement, searching for venues, meeting with suppliers, dress shopping, the hens and stags; it’s all part of it, so enjoy every second.
lucy says: Having a DIY wedding was much more challenging than we anticipated, mainly in terms of building an infrastructure around the effort and ensuring the costs for this don’t spiral. So, if you do something similar, make sure you talk through with your marquee/ tipi provider what they require in terms of electricity and water, and how they can support you in this area of your planning. There are so many things to think about, from how you can facilitate your caterer, and whether you need a generator, through to organising suitable toilets. Totem Tipi were amazing in helping us to understand all of this and without this level of advice we would have been struggling.
holly says: Do exactly what you want to do on your day – just because it doesn’t fit the ‘regular mould’ of a wedding day doesn’t make it any less special. Early in your planning, sit down together and work out what your top priorities are for your day and keep those as your focus.
emma says: Accept help from people. There were so many family and friends who helped with different aspects of our day. We couldn’t have done it without them and they made our day even more special. Also, there were also some aspects of our day that were a complete surprise to us. We hadn’t seen the wedding cake, we’d given Milly the florist free reign over the flowers and the decorations, and it was so lovely as the bride and groom to have some surprises waiting for us at the venue, rather than knowing every detail inside out.
rebecca says: The Brides Up North site gave us a great starting point when searching for suppliers. The main element we found useful though was definitely the Brides Up North wedding fairs; it’s important to meet your suppliers in person as the people you work with are often far more influential to your day than the products they offer.
ashleigh says: Start getting ready early on the day of the wedding! The only time I felt any stress or nerves was whilst getting ready in case I was late! My other top tip would be to take in every moment and make a mental note. I got told that so many times before the big day and now I think back and remember so many lovely details.
charlotte says: If you are planning a fairly large wedding and know you are going to have a lot going on, get a wedding planner. If you are as meticulous as me, having someone else also with an eye for detail takes a huge weight off your mind on the day. Our day definitely would not have run as smoothly if we didn’t have Helen Eriksen involved. We also found Brides Up North helpful when looking up local suppliers for our day.