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Things I wish I'd known before my Wedding day

I'm lucky enough to be heading off to a preview of "Bride Wars" tonight - Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson's new movie. (Can't wait - will let you know how good it is tomorrow).

Therefore, I'm taking a day off blogging and handing over to the wonderful Livvy who's written a hugely helpful list of things she wish she's known before getting married.

Over to you, Livvy:

When I was about to get married I wished there was an article I could have read which were 'the five things I wish I'd have known before I got married' (re. organising the wedding not about marriage per se!).

So here goes. For what it's worth my top 10 wedding planning tips would be:

1. Don't forget your mother-in-law! Involve her in the wedding planning in some way so she feels involved, however small the task. Offer to go wedding dress shopping with her (you can always ensure that you have a couple of girlfriends there too if you think she may need diluting a little for you to spend an afternoon together!) or on an outing to source ideas for the table/ribbons/flowers etc.

2. Also give you mother-in-law a specific job to do for the wedding day itself, again however small. Ask her to be in charge of the arrangements for the confetti for example. Just be sure that you tell her whether you want real petals, what mix of colours you'd like and ask her to source a basket and some paper cones etc. Or if you're having a wedding at home, ask if she'd mind sourcing the hand cream and hand wash for the toilets, or making the car parking, toilet or wedding this way signs.

3. Time will creep up on you very quickly on the day itself, be ready at least half an hour before you're due so that you can enjoy a drink of champagne/tea or whatever your tipple with your mum and bridesmaids etc. Being rushed on your day is a horrid feeling, you want to be able to relax and enjoy it.

4. On the day itself, once the ceremony has taken place, the wedding can often pass in a complete blur with you and your newly-wed husband often off talking to different relatives and friends. Afterwards on the honeymoon, it's too easy to find yourselves dissecting the day and wishing you'd said or noticed things on the day itself. So I would advise you to interrupt and steal your hubby away a couple of times during the day to take some time to walk away from the crowds to share a few private moment and savour the day. It'll be your only chance to chat to one another without the fear of being interrupted. A number of people gave me this tip and it doesn't make sense until the day itself but it's a gem!

5. Ensure that the Best Man and Ushers are clear of their roles (even if it means you have to circulate a to-do list in advance). Don't assume they will know what they are doing! Work out who will carry the flowers from the Church to reception, who will fetch people as they are needed for photos (this may not be the Best man - you may want to nominate either the loudest or a couple who know the family members!), who will direct the cars, who will keep a list of taxi numbers and help people get home etc.

6. Water. Whether it's hot or a cold day make sure that one of the Bridesmaids and at least one Usher has a small bottle. Nerves and excitement can often leave you completely parched!

7. Make a list of formal pictures you want to capture, I can't tell you how many friends say they wished they'd remembered to get one of just their siblings with the bride and groom etc. It's difficult to remember on the day itself and the photographer can advise you of what is realistic, and how long it's likely to take.

8. Plan for extremes eg. umbrellas, hand held fan, shine control powder paper, insect repellent, lipstick to touch-up with. (We got caught out terribly with a midge attack the likes of which have never been seen before or since?!)

9. If you are having children at a wedding, be clear that the boundaries are understood, if of course you want any there at all (!). So many friends have said they found it so upsetting that toddlers and babies were not taken out when in tears during the service. Parents seem deaf to their own child's cries if they want to see the ceremony themselves. Sounds obvious that you'd take them out if they cry, but it's not at all.

10. If you are changing your name, be sure to book your honeymoon tickets in your correct name depending on when you plan to change your passport.

Article posted: 2009-01-27 10:00:25