Best Advice for a Bride-to-Be

via The Wedding Chicks

In case you haven’t heard, I’m getting married in September? Have I mentioned that to y’all before? Ha!

Stephen and I have been perusing the web in search of good ideas of things to make our wedding and reception both memorable and personal. One of my favorite recent finds was this DIY Message in a Bottle Guestbook idea from The Wedding Chicks.

Unlike the traditional signature-only guest book of ‘ye olden days of nuptials, guests can write down words of wisdom to the bride and groom about marriage and drop it inside the bottle for the couple to read later. It makes for great little mementos of the day!

Along those same lines, I wanted to get advice from you married girls out there, both newlywed and veteran wives.

So I pose the question to you today, dear friends:

What is the best advice you were given before you got married? What would you tell other engaged couples? Any words of wisdom would be mucho appreciated!

And to my single ladies out there, bookmark this page and when you find your Mr. Right perhaps you can benefit from this advice, too!

Be blessed, lovelies-


  1. Make sure you have a needle and thread on hand at your wedding. We had so sew one of my bridesmaids into her dress and I know a girl who had to be sewn into her wedding dress. Schedule plenty of time during the day so you don't feel rushed. Know of one thought that will always make you laugh. I was fine until I was about to walk down the aisle and then lost it and had to have something funny that always made me laugh when I thought about it so that I wouldn't cry. Congratulations!

  2. Love the message in a bottle idea! We had our guests sign a pink and green oar that we now display in our home.

    As for advice from a newlywed: enjoy every moment of the planning process! Being engaged is such fun and it goes by so fast... let this time be an exciting stage and bond with your Fiancé as you plan the big day together. Make sure your wedding day reflects YOU as a couple! Best of luck to you my dear - kisses!

  3. I will make sure to come back and read all of the advice. I'm not engaged, but have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. Someday this will be very helpful! Congrats to you!

  4. Don't let the small things bug you. Compromise, and realize he's a man- they think differently than we do.

  5. Hi! One bit of advice...when I was engaged I tried not to stress about all the wedding details. I know so many girls that stress so bad and then end up not enjoying anything because they are too worried about details! I mean, I wanted everything perfect..but just remember something will go wrong on your day but when it does just keep going and remember the main reason for the day..you are getting a husband! :)

    Enjoy every second...it goes by way to fast!!! :)

  6. Take a deep breath and do your best to remember the day. It goes by SO FREAKIN' FAST! Delegate tasks. Don't go over your budget. Don't sweat the small stuff and ENJOY!

  7. Favorite day of advice I received: stop every so often and take it all in - make mental notes of what you're hearing, who you're with and what is going on in that moment ... the several times I did this are what I remember and love most from our wedding day!! Believe it or not, most of the other important details I've already forgotten about in 2 years and I am a detail oriented person!

  8. I love the idea of a huge photo mat for all the wedding guests to sign. I think it would be so neat to be able to see our wedding portrait every day surrounded by messages from those we love. We've been married almost 20 years, so there are a lot of things I would have done differently about our wedding day, but it was still beautiful and perfect. Be sure and include lots of special touches that will make your wedding day uniquely yours.

    As far as marital advice, just treasure and respect each other, and always treat each other with love. Kiss him before you leave in the morning, and greet him at the door in the evenings with a smile and a kiss. Those first few moments every morning and evening will set the tone for the rest of that day! Make your marriage the priority, even when you have children in the future. I spent the first ten years or so of our marriage trying to "fix" the things I didn't like about my hubby, and it breaks my heart now that I spent so much time worrying about all the tiny details instead of focusing on the "bigger picture" and appreciating all of the wonderful things about him. I have learned now that it is not worth my time or his for me to question his clothing choices, lack of help with the housework, or the amount of time he spends in the recliner watching TV, lol. He is a good man, he adores me, and he spends his free time at home with us, so I became a happy and thankful girl once I figured all that out.

    Oh, and when I'm irritated with him, I was taught by a friend to ask myself, "In ten years, will THIS matter?" The answer is usually no, and it reminds me of how grateful I am to have him in my life.

    Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. You will be a beautiful bride. I enjoy reading your blog!

  9. Advice: You only look as good as your spouse.
    Meaning: If you put him/her down, belittle, talk negatively about them, you will appear to others in the same manner. Always uplift one another. They payoff is HUGE and you will reap great rewards.

  10. I just got married in April and I knew I would be a crying mess during the ceremony. A close friend told us and our families that if you cry at the rehearsal and you won't cry at the wedding. It worked for us! No tears were shed at the actual ceremony (but lots during the rehearsal!).

  11. Good idea about the "will this matter in 10 years?" question, Heather. My hubby and I got into it yesterday because he bought the wrong toothpaste for our daughter. Seriously??

    My advice is more a "be prepared" sort of thing. Marriage will be harder than you realize, and he will drive you crazier than you thought he could. Recognizing that fact as a given (rather than a shocker than makes you think "oh no, my marriage is doomed!") will help you see the big picture. Maybe I was just naive, but I think most brides are, in a way!

  12. Day of wedding...EAT your cake and kiss, it will be the sweetest kiss you ever have.

    Marriage....COMMUNICATION!! Talk about everything:)

  13. I love the idea of the message in the bottle. Very nice!

    For day of advice: I suggest picking a couple of people who aren't in the wedding (Since everyone couldn't be a bridesmaid, I made the people I sadly couldn't have as bridesmaids and had them do this) and talking to them was as good as talking to me at the wedding. Everyone was told that what they said was as good as me saying it. Apparently a couple of big things came up on the day of and they solved the problems. I never even knew about them. If I had, I would have been stressed. This made my wedding day SO much better. I also had a firm no asking the bride anything rule in place. I had all of my bridesmaids there to back me up on it. Even my dad did. My mom was trying to get me to think about something other than walking down the aisle and even my dad told her to go figure it out! All of this helped make my day PERFECT!

    Also, make sure you have a couple "fun" pictures from the wedding. Everyone's favorite picture from our wedding is where I turned to my hubby with the cake knife and pretended that I was going to stab him...It really captured who we are as a couple.

    For newlywed/marriage advice: I suggest waiting to have kids. I have had so many people tell me that they were glad they had waited to have kids or wished they would have and I've taken that to heart. Even the life we live is better for not having kids right now. We can travel on a whim (and have!) and we have a chance to really work on our marriage. So many people have said that a baby just amplifies the problems in a marriage, so it's good to have a good marriage solidly in place first.

  14. When my sisters got married , one person said dont go to bed angry/mad !

    Cute message in a bottle idea for the guests :)

  15. Thanks for doing this post :)! Us brides to be need all the advice we can get!

  16. I just stubbled across your blog today! Super cute!!

    Also, I just got married in April and we had a photo book made with all our favorite engagement photos in it and our guests signed in the white spaces- it was so fun to read them all the next day :). I think the message bottle is cute but it might be hard to keep them all in order but you could always make a collage after and display it in you home.

    My advice would be to just try and take everything in the day of. I was totally planning obsessed leading up to the wedding and the day of it felt like everything happened so fast and there are some parts that seem like a dream to me now. I wish I would have eaten more and tried to slow down a little bit but other than that just be happy, things are probably gonna go wrong but you just have to let them- honestly they might make it MORE memorable.

  17. Take a look at pintrest.com, there are tons of wedding ideas on there.

  18. Um, this is awesome! I am in the process of planning a wedding myself and I will definatley be bookmarking this and coming back and reading all the comments...such a clever idea!!

  19. Remember to dance. So many of my friends had gotten married before me and their biggest complaint was that they spent a majority of the reception going table to table thanking everyone for being there. Well I wasn't going to do that I enjoyed every moment of our reception. If you invited them to your wedding they should already know how thankful you are that they are there.

    Just enjoy every single moment. Things will go wrong (I had a bridesmaid tell me she wasn't coming 2 days before the wedding) but nothing can ever take away from the true meaning of the day! It will be the best day ever no matter what!

    You are going to be such a beautiful bride!

  20. Wedding advice--if you don't spend money on anything else, spend it on a photographer. And if you want those magazine-esque photos of your and your hubby, see each other BEFORE the wedding. I did not follow this advise because our family is traditional and didn't want us to see each other before the ceremony. But as a result we didn't get good pictures because we were rushed to the ceremony. Seeing each other beforehand would not have made walking down the aisle any less special. Also, make the day personal with lots of little extra touches because that is what you and your guests will remember most.

    Marriage advice--be willing to let things go that don't really matter. Being right is less important than being happy! Build each other up, even when you are tired or had a bad day yourself. Your spouse will notice this and return the favor when you need it!

  21. I agree with the post above the photos will be the most treasured thing. Don't sweat it, things will pose problems along the way but as long as you say "I do" nothing else really matters. It's not about a day, it's about a marriage put more into that then the wedding. My last wedding piece of advice is pack for the honeymoon after the wedding... take a day to rest and prepare without the stress of last minute wedding details.

    Marriage advice... it's cliche but "love, honour and RESPECT" him and put the Lord first :) marriage is tough but totally worth it!!

  22. Things will not go 100% perfect and as expected the entire day. And it's OK. I'm speaking from almost 9 years after my own wedding experience. Like the above poster said, getting married is the most important thing about the entire day. We originally wanted to get married in Hawaii, but began to worry about everyone who couldn't go and listened to everyone else and had our wedding in our hometown. To this day, we wish we would've done it our way.

    Respect, communication and laughter are the things that make my marriage work.

  23. I agree with the photographer comment. Having an awesome photographer will make the day. An experienced one also helps the day go smoothly. We also spent the extra money on a videographer. It was so worth it because he caught things on video that we never saw. It was awesome. Almost 7 year later, I do take it out around my anniversary. Enjoy your day and remember that it is your day...make sure you make time to enjoy each other!

  24. What a sweet idea!
    Agree with what everyone said about photographer & videographer! For the wedding, as amazing as it was to be marrying my love, I think the big 'moment' for both of us was realizing that we had everyone we love so much in the same place at one time, something that may never happen again! Sure the day was about us but we took some to mingle with guests and introduced friends to friends. It was the biggest party of our lives and knowing that they all came together to show their support for us made us feel so loved. We had more 'me' time on the honeymoon ;)
    My marriage advice is to realize that your relationship changes with time & to not forget your commitment. There are growing pains, challenges and daily routines can get mundane and take a toll. At the end of the day, knowing that things won't always be the same makes us more prepared when they change. Honestly, we're in our 7 year itch phase right now - NEVER thought it would happen! The best thing for us has been opening up to others about our struggles. So many couples try to play the everything is perfect card which is just unrealistic sometimes! Hope this doesn't sound negative... its not a bad thing, it's just growing pains. At the beginning of our relationship I started a 'reasons why I love him' list. I don't think I ever shared it with him, just something for myself. I had no idea how many times I would refer to it over the years to remind me of the little things that meant so much. From silly nicknames to quirky habits that I otherwise would have forgotten...it makes me giggle and brings back sweet memories :)
    Gosh I've rambled (and could keep going!) Best of luck with everything!

  25. The best advice I got was: In the end this is your wedding. If someone gives you advice, accept it gracefully, and if you like it and it's you then go for it! But this is YOUR WEDDING. In the end you need to do what you and your fiance want. If someone else really wants something incorporated into the wedding that badly THEN THEY CAN GO HAVE THEIR OWN. Do what you want to do. Because you only get married once. It's not about everyone else, it is about you, your future husband, and the beautiful union you're about to make.
    Oh, and make sure you're wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. :)

  26. I wanted to give you some marriage advice that my husband's cousin gave me. It may seem extreme - but at one of my showers everyone wrote advice on cards and I kept them - hers was "Don't threaten a divorce unless you mean it!" That certainly is extreme, but when you're simply in a relationship it was so easy to just walk away for a bit - and now it will be just the two of you.

    As for the wedding - have fun. I guess I agree with the photographer, but I would spend a lot of money on a fun band or DJ, you want to remember the FUN you had - you will never have another day where you are completely the center of attention. Just let loose ... don't worry about any details on the day of.

  27. My advice is that it's one day, and don't over spend. The wedding is a fun time, but the marriage is what needs to last forever. Save your money and spend it on something important - down payment on a house, debt paydown, etc, something that keeps your future safe, not just that one single day.

    I also agree on two other points other commenters had. The photographer is important, don't use someone you know unless they are a proven professional. And it's YOUR DAY. If you get any trouble from anyone...tell them to back off, in whatever terms you like.

    Our 15th wedding anniversary is Wednesday :)

  28. I love this idea! We had the usual guest book, but we also had a time capsule where the guests filled in how many times they think we'll move, how many kids we'll have, how many pets,etc in 10 years. It was so fun to make and I know they'll be fun to read in 10 years!

  29. Wedding advice- focus on the marriage and not the wedding day, it will make things much better for all parties involved :).

    Marriage advice- tell your spouse when you have a problem or when you are frustrated with him, it will keep anger from building up and keeps the lines of communication open between you two.

  30. A good photographer it DEFINITELY worth their weight in gold! Pictures are the only thing you'll have left so I would suggest spending a big chunk of your budget on that. An earlier post mentioned that you need to see each other before the ceremony to have magazine like pictures but I have to disagree. I'm a bit old fashioned and didn't want to see my husband before he saw me coming down the aisle...and let me tell you...The pictures of HIS face were priceless! Of course, to each his/her own, but my husband and I didn't see each other and I still, after 8 months of marriage, have people coming up to me on the street telling me they were the best wedding pictures they'd ever seen. It's all about preference!

    Don't sweat the small stuff. People will not notice the little things that we fret over...Remember, it is your day!

    And lastly, but most important, always keeps God as the foundation of your marriage. Abide by His Biblical teachings and things will run a lot smoother and you'll have so much joy in your marriage.


  31. Marriage advice: Don't keep score. Keeping score is the quickest way to discontment and arguments. Accept that there are going to be times in your lives together when you are giving alot more of yourself and then there will be times when he is giving more of himself. It will ebb and flow with the changing seasons of your lives and it really does not matter who does more around the house or compromises more or sacrifices more. You are both in it 100% - whatever your 100% at that point in your life is. And sometimes his 100% isn't going to be as much as yours. Sometimes his 100% will be way more than yours. If you don't keep score, you can rest in each other when you need to and carry the family through when you can.


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