Some advice passed down from generation to generation, heart to heart, and internet post to canvas painting on sale at Marshall's...
On buying the dress:
"When getting a designer gown, start selections and alteration about five to eight months in advance so that the price tag matches it worth! Also, it may take some time to make and get to the store on time."
"Retail gowns will arrive at a shop faster and aren't normally as particular/fussy with alterations. More often than not, you can try these dresses on and feel their fit accordingly. This process should go down maybe two or three months previous to the big day."
"A hand me down gown you'll know if you're wearing well before. However, if you're wearing Mom's, Grandmom's, Sister's, next door neighbor's, make sure that it fits you--not only physically, but emotionally and the desired effect you wanted to pull off on your big day."
"When it comes to the fit of a gown, every bride is different. A gown should make you feel like a beautiful princess, but a comfortable, beautiful princess. Make sure your dress fits your body for you."
"Price: always keep a budget and options in mind. Sometimes one dress may seem too good to be true, but at least you know what your taste is. Keep a variety available."
"The bridal party dresses, accessories as well as characters are 100% YOUR choice (the bride.) Their colors, styles what have you, are YOUR choice--not Mom, Dad, Aunt Helen, etc."
"Keep our bridal party as large or as small as you feel comfortable with."
"The Maid of Honor is an important position and you only get one pick. Don't consider it a life or death decision because you'll drive yourself bonkers over it and make it about these ladies when this day should be about you. Suggestion: have more than one sister that you can't choose among? Pick a best pal and put the sisters in the bridal party! Or title them ALL maids of honor. Who's gonna call you on it?"
On wedding planning:
"Pinterest in your friend."
"Get someone qualified to review contracts that you are signing. It's always good to know that you did everything you could to get everything done."
"Plan all of your versions of your wedding and then combine your favorite elements."
"Have some perspective help, but don't lose your own vision."
"Do a little each day."
"Set up a special email address just for wedding planning."
"Research it all."
"Keep a few TO DO lists."
Be careful of hiccups!
"Ask people to put their phones away during the ceremony. Everyone is gonna want pictures, but that's why you hired a photographer."
"Make sure you have time to spend with your new hubby during the special day. So many people want your attention, but don't forget to take some time together."
"Delegate tasks to your bridal party and anyone else willing to help!"
"Wake up super early, and stay up really late."
"Organize the day the best you can. Like, punch up a list of all of the people you MUST get a pic with, that way you know you're getting the photos you want. You have to be chill though, even if things don't go 100% as planned."
"EAT DURING THE LUNCH/DINNER."
"Never go to bed mad, or your marriage will be very sad. Your sex will be better, your heart unfettered, and you'll both be happy and glad."
"Alway assume he's trying to help, not insinuating or accusing. Save the aggravation for a real fight."
"There is more than one way to do it." -Tim Toady
"Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy."
"What counts in making a happy marriage is not how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility." -Leo Tolstoy
"If you fight, fight naked."
"Kiss before bed and goodbye."
"Don't fight when you're angry."
"The wedding is not a be all end all--this is an event about love and celebration. Let it happen. Enjoy yourself, this is the first day of the rest of your life."