Just like any major milestone in life, your wedding day is something you just have to experience to comprehend. Still, well before walking down the aisle, many brides-to-be feel like they actually do have a grip on major aspects of their Big Day and, as a result, end up blowing off solid advice. Hey, it happens to the best of us... (Guilty of it myself!)
But there are certain words of wisdom that are just too important to brush aside. Here, 10 tips brides often struggle to believe or even refuse to hear, but really do need to know:
1. Never cut corners on photography. When that over-in-a-flash day is over, the images captured are really the only "souvenir" you can continue to enjoy from the experience.
2. Similarly, don't skimp on or completely forgo videography. There are tons of new services (like the ones that let your friends shoot scenes from the day with their iPhone cameras) that promise video on the cheap(er), but if you actually want to be able to hear your vows, listen to the toasts given at your wedding, etc., you need to hire a professional.
3. A fake tan before the wedding is always a no-no. "You will look orange in your photos," warns wedding and event planner Jessica Masi of JCG Events in Miami, Florida. "And it doesn't matter how natural you think it will come out. It's not a pretty look -- definitely not timeless!"
4. Planners are well worth the expense. Some brides are lucky enough to have a Martha Stewart bridesmaid or mother who is more than happy to assist with all of the little details, but even then, that person has other responsibilities and duties on the wedding day. Best to have at least a day-of coordinator to be that person who steps in and puts out fires before they've even begun.
5. RSVPs always get messed up somehow, even if you sent your invitations out well in advance. There are always going to be stragglers or even people who say "yes" and then don't show up. That's why wedding experts recommend giving a final head count of a few less people than you believe you'll have in attendance. It's always easier to add, but you may get stuck having to pay for someone you subtract at the last moment.
6. The day really does fly by. Everyone told me this again and again, and somehow, I thought my experience would be different -- but of course it wasn't. It's a case for creating a schedule that actually builds in time for you to savor the day with your groom and loved ones. Also, see #1!
7. Your bridesmaids won't love the dress you choose. And nine times out of 10, they're not going to re-wear it, even if you picked it with that aspect in mind. But it's okay -- you do your best, and those who want to be there for you will simply do their duty and wear it anyway.
8. Wedding night sex is rarely all it's cracked up to be. (For evidence, just see what these brides had to say about it!) So don't put so much pressure on yourself! You're signing up for a whole lifetime of sexytimes anyway.
9. Cash bars are a nightmare. Unless your crowd is happy to be dry, or you're not getting married at night, the least a couple can do is a free cocktail hour with beer and wine and let people know to bring cash for the rest of the reception. This is a party after all, which leads us to...
10. The wedding isn't actually for you; it's for your friends and family. Otherwise, you would've just eloped, right? As one recent bride put it, "Instead of making it about 'your day' and everyone catering to you, make it about the people who love you and support you and throw them the party."
What are some other "tough love" pieces of advice brides need to hear?
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