Every bride- or groom-to-be will have been given plenty of advice for their wedding day. Recommendations for music and food, inspiration for outfits and ideas on how to please even the hardest of guests. Some may be useful, but most will have been tips they had heard a hundred times over. Here, former brides share the advice they wish they had received before their big day. Read on and take all this to heart to ensure your day is everything you hoped for and more.

Samantha Francis Baker

Don’t be afraid to give each of your closest guests a task, so you remain stress-free during the day. One can be in charge of managing the guest book to make sure everyone signs it. One could make sure you’re well hydrated throughout the day. Choose someone to oversee music and ensure you don’t forget to do your first dance, like I almost did. Finally, an important one, task someone with ensuring that nobody eats the wedding cake before you cut it! Another big piece of advice? Remember that entertainment is more important than flowers when figuring out where to spend your budget.

Zeynab El-Helw

The most important advice I could give for a wedding is to ensure you have your closest circle with you. Whether you opt for a grand celebration or something more intimate, they will be the first people you lock eyes with. They will be the people you dance the night away with and spend that special day with. They will also be the people captured in your memories for the rest of your life.

The second piece of advice I would stand by is to enjoy yourself. This means ensuring you choose a wedding dress that you want to wear and that it is comfortable. I wanted an extravagant gown for my wedding, but I also made sure that it was removable. By the night’s end, I was wearing something very comfortable and had switched from heels to sneakers.

Rohma Nomani-Theunissen

My advice would be to surprise your guests with a choreographed first dance! Not only is it great entertainment on the big day, but it’s an entertaining, bonding activity for you and your fiancé during the hectic pre-wedding period. Also, when else will you ever learn to do the Rumba or Viennese Waltz together?

Laura Chahine

We were initially planning on having a big wedding with hundreds of people. Then Covid hit, so we ended up having a very intimate civil ceremony in Paris with our families in October 2020 amid the lockdowns. A year later, for our wedding anniversary, we decided to throw a party in Dubai and planned it all in just a few weeks. We were under 100 people, and it was truly magical.

My advice would be to downsize and have your wedding as intimate as possible to allow you to spend time with all your guests. It would also be a good way of simplifying things. For the “big wedding”, I was being picky about all sorts of things, like the exact type of flowers I wanted on the table, even though they weren’t in season. I quickly realized that these were not the most important details.

Farah El Alfy

My biggest piece of advice would be to invest in a second, shorter dress to change into. After the ceremony, dinner and first dance, you want to be able to move about, see all our guests and party the night away with ease. I regret not doing that. Another piece of advice is to make sure you use the bathroom before putting your big dress on. You’re nervous, you’re excited, and the last thing you want to do is squeeze into a tiny bathroom stall before walking down the aisle!