Advice For Brides-to-be!

Picture this illustration. Stay with me on this…You have one mountain, you have another mountain. Effectively two mountains then, shall we say. The goal is to get from one mountain to the other. It happens.

Then you stand on the second mountain, right at the peak, and go – “Wow, that just happened!”

You look at the mountain next to you, the one you just came from, and see other people climbing that mountain. You feel strangely compelled to write a blog about it, so you do (see below.)

Then a funny thing happens. You look around and sure enough, there’s a third mountain you see.

Now the goal is to get from the second mountain, the one on which you are currently standing, to the third mountain next to you. And what will happen once you get across to that mountain is you see another mountain, probably an even bigger one.

And then you will look back on the third mountain and the second mountain and the first mountain and know that you can look back but the journey is forward and ever continuing and there are always mountains to climb.

What does this mean? Well, lots of things. It could refer to mountain hiking or it could refer to big life changes – well, that’s what an abstract muser such as myself  thought.

And what does this have to do with pieces of advice for a bridey-to-be? Not much.

Then again, I’m standing on Mountain Two of life change and would like to offer my experiences and advice to any one standing on Mountain One (as described above) which for the purposes of this article happens to the Mountain of Engagement.

I’ve recently been there, done that – in other words: went through the engagement period and married my hunk, now am back in the happy daily grind – and would like to share what I can on the subject.
Image credit: Stephlee Photography

During my engagement period I received lots of great nuggets of advice.

For four months of my engagement I was not formally employed – in other words a freelance writer – and found myself with a lot of time to meet friends for coffee and the like as well as chat with family. Here were some of the tips I heard, paraphrased in my own words…

  • Ask for a discount.
    One bargain happy friend gave me this nugget straight up.
    Her mum was paying for the wedding and on a budget. My friend found her dream venue and then asked the price. They told her and then she said – “Look, my mum’s paying and we’re on a budget. What’s your best price?” to which the functions manager grumbled a, “Wait here a minute” before returning back and muttering that the best price that they could do was half the mentioned price. My friend, keeping a straight face, nodded and replied that would be fine. However, she wasn’t expecting that at all!!! Great that she asked hey – what a savings!
  • ‘Your Day, Your Way’
    Told by my fiance’s – now hubby’s aunty.
    This personally was my favourite piece of advice – for its not only its wisdom but also its assonance. It came to mind when making decisions. It sounds funny but it is actually your wedding – the bride and groom’s – and should MAINLY comprise of your wishes, not other peoples!
  • Enjoy it, soak it in
    This was told to me by so many people and I reiterate it in agreeance. So much planning, so much anticipation for ONE day. It’s an amazing day but MAKE IT GO SLOW FOR YOU if that’s possible! Steal a moment at the reception to stand back and take it all. Take your time getting out of the car at the church/ceremony. Everyone is there for you and your man. Let time stand still and breathe in the precious moment in history, your history.
    Image credit: Stephlee Photography

Andhere are some of my own …

  • When doing your budget, think of what is most important to you
    We’ve all done it before: coming up with a “budget” which is really just another name for a “wish list.” And it’s so easy to do with wedding “budgets” and so quickly to spiral out of control! Cars, flowers, dress, veil, alterations, invations, ceremony order of service, decorations, everything – there are so many things you can easily buy/hire/commision but is it really worth it? For some with budgets as pricey as a house deposit, this isn’t an issue, but for others – the reality is, it is. So take a breather away from your list of costs and ask yourself – what is MOST important to you? This will rarely just be one thing. For some, it’s about scrimping on the invite costs and rocking up to your ceremony in your dream car. For others, it’s about arriving in their uncle’s station wagon decked out with ribbon but the spectactular, fresh, generous helping of flowers around the venue/s. You know what REALLY matters to you. Remember this if/when the wedding budget starts to look unhealthy. 
  • Accept help
    No doubt you have heard this from friends, family and even probably people you hardly know well: “If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”
    Let me tell you, when people say this, they are genuine. People generally WANT to help. They love you and want to help support you and want you to accept their help if you need it. Often, we don’t accept help because we want to “do it all ourselves.” But doing that can make you tired, stressed and worried when in actual fact, you have the right to be relaxing and resting even before the special day! Disclaimer: make it’s actually help that you WANT, e.g. someone is not being helpful if they go against your stated wishes when it comes to planning!
  • The most important thing is a good photographer. Really
    When it came to our wedding, we wanted to scrimp on costs as much as we could. Our theory was that we wanted to enter married life as debt free as possible.   There are ways and areas you can tighten the belt on. Absolutely. But wedding photos? No way. Think of your photos as an investment which will only increase in years to come. How much do we cherish looking at our grandparent’s wedding photos? Our parents? Believe it or not, one day in generations to come, you will be proudly pulling these snaps out for kids/grandkids/neighbours/happy strangers to come? Let them be impressed I say! “In my day, this was the wedding fashion at the time…”

And the last tip and perhaps the most important one too. Please listen up and take this one to heart.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Or the big stuff.
    Changes happen. Bridal party members change. Certain guests invited have grudges against other certain guests. Your dad accidentally takes your groom’s corsage as he delivers it. You accidentally knock your lip on your car door (don’t ask me how I did that!) and “life” throws its curly ones at you.
    Don’t be distracted. It’s not about that. That can and will all fade away.
    Do you know what it’s about? You and your husband standing there in front of ten people or two hundred declaring your intention to be with each other for ever. That you’ll get through good things and bad things, weddings and health, riches and curveballs, as long as you both shall live. Shut out everything else and simplify. Remember the reason WHY you are doing this. That’s what it is all about. And not even the stress of a wedding (because let’s be honest, it can be stressful) can take that away!

All images used are copyright to Stephlee Photography (

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