The 5 Wedding Tips Real Brides Want You to Know

You’ve heard the advice to get a good sleep the night before and try to stay “in the moment.” But what are the super-specific, insidery tricks to pulling off a dream (read: no snafus, no drama) wedding? Real Simple readers share their best been-there-done-that wisdom.


Hold the Phone(s)

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It’s fine—and actually recommended—to ask your guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony. “You are paying your photographer big money, and the last thing you want are photos of you walking down the aisle with everyone holding up their phones.” —Mary Robertson McConnell


Plan It and Chill

No matter what, stand by the wedding picks you and your partner make. “If you let other people's opinions do the decision-making for you, it may cause resentment later. And do your best to stress as little as possible! I hate that I can see the worry behind my smile in a lot of my wedding pictures.” —Emily Kirchmann


Schedule a Snack

In the midst of all the excitement, you probably won’t feel hungry—but fueling up before the ceremony should be on your to-do list, right up there with having your hair and makeup done. “You may not have a chance to eat during the reception, so it’s a good idea to eat well before you walk down the aisle.”—Kim Johnson Lavergne


It Pays to Go Pro

It’s tempting to accept a friend’s (free or low-cost) offer to contribute the flower-arranging, music playing, or another service for the wedding—but it’s also a big risk for your once-in-a-lifetime occasion. “If you can afford it, use a professional DJ or band and be clear on what you want—and, more importantly, what you don't want. We used a relative to save money and he created the playlist himself, so we barely heard anything we liked.” —Hollie Barto


Pair Up

Make a point of greeting your guests (at least part of the time) as a twosome. “During your reception, mingle and circulate with your spouse instead of separately. Some couples become so busy making sure they say hello to each guest that they don't get to spend time with each other!” —Morgan Michaud