That Dancing Swan… 50 top wedding tips from real couples

If anyone actually has booked a dancing swan, I’d love to know… this was actually mentioned in a real wedding blog post featured a few months ago! It’s not something I’ve seen, and while I’m not about to tell you it’s something you NEED for your wedding I’d quite like to have one for my boyfriend’s birthday. I think he’d like the surprise…

Dancing swans aside, what can you learn from all of the brides and grooms who’ve had their weddings featured on the English Wedding Blog in the last year?

 Tierney Photography theatre wedding blog

Image credit Tierney Photography

Quite a lot.

I hope you find this blog post useful – and do feel free to add your own advice in the comments box at the end!

Make it personal

Do your own thing and don’t be swayed by anyone… Lois and Gary

Try to speak to every guest, espe­cially older/close rel­a­tives who love to have you all to them­selves for a while. And don’t sweat the small stuff; the things that go a bit off-plan add to your wed­ding day story! Ryan and Andrea

Be spe­cific about what you want, it is your day and the two of you should be 100% happy with every deci­sion you make. Don’t be talked out of some­thing you really want. Katie and Craig

Stay true to your­self and who you are as a cou­ple and do not let the wed­ding become big­ger than life. It is so easy nowa­days with so many won­der­ful and cre­ative ideas, wed­ding blogs and mag­a­zines around to lose track of what it’s all about– YOU and YOUR GROOM. Have an inspi­ra­tional browse around, then pick your style and stick to it. Trust your­self and it will turn out even more per­fect than you could have pic­tured it! Lydia and Lloyd

Don’t let any­body dic­tate your day — do what you want to do and be your­self. That is what will make your day memorable. Emma and Alex

You only get to do it once so make sure you do it the way you (both) want to, don’t worry too much about keep­ing every­one else happy (they will be on the day as long as you are!), and come the day what will be will be, just enjoy it, together. AJ and Ed

Sit down at the begin­ning and run through your ‘loves’ indi­vid­u­ally and as a cou­ple, this should deter­mine what you spend money on and what you reflect on your day Vic and Chris

Remem­ber that all that really mat­ters is the two of you and the love you have for one another Simon and Katie

You must trust your own tastes and instincts. I fret­ted A LOT over what other peo­ple would think about our wed­ding but in the end I just went with things that I loved and I wouldn’t change a thing! Michelle and David


wedding blog

Photo credit Darren Williams Photography

Keep calm and marry on…

Do not stress. Things will go wrong – it is inevitable but roll with it. Oliver and Nichola

Savour every sin­gle moment as the next day it will all feel like a dream!!! Emily and Gavin

Make sure there is one per­son who you trust to run the day for you on the day, after all the plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion it is good to allow your­self to let go on the day and get oth­ers to worry about things. Oh and don’t wear a watch! Austin and Carys

Do not stress. Plan and get things done early so you can enjoy it. It’s soooo spe­cial. I didn’t stress once (except when my cake fell over on the jour­ney to the venue the night before) Kelly and Anthony

Enjoy every moment and if things don’t quite go to plan don’t worry-no one else will realise! Hannah and Steve

Go fish­ing a week or so before. If it isn’t orga­nized then, it prob­a­bly won’t be, so give your­self some time away from the stress! (I’d advise prob­a­bly clear­ing this with your wife-to-be before­hand though…) Wiz and Jeremy

wedding photography blog

Photo credit Alexis Jaworski

Just relax and let your­self par­tic­i­pate, don’t focus on all the things you organised/arranged, what will be will be. Get into the spirit and go with the flow. Lucy and Dimitri

Make sure you take a moment to sit back and take in what’s going on around you. The day goes by so fast that it’s easy to miss the lit­tle things. Nicola and Tim

It’s easy to get car­ried away with finer details of the day but it’s worth remind­ing your­self that your guests aren’t going to remem­ber whether the table­cloth matched your favours. It’s all about the atmos­phere and it’s a much bet­ter atmos­phere for every­one if you’re hav­ing fun. James and Laura

Enjoy all of it as much as you can includ­ing the build up and prepa­ra­tions, don’t get too stressed out– just go with it and it will be awesome! Steven and Rachel

Try not to worry if every­one is enjoy­ing them­selves, they are! I spent a lot of time wor­ry­ing over every­one else that I for­got to relax at some points. All your guests will be so happy for you and shar­ing the spe­cial day with you that you really do not need to be con­cerned. Relax and take it all in! Katie and Craig

Relax and let go of the lit­tle things you may be wor­ried about like the weather or the flow­ers. All that mat­ters is the peo­ple who are there to cel­e­brate with you. Claire and Ryan

You will have heard it before but it really is true. Don’t panic if lit­tle things go wrong, they always will but no one will notice and it makes for a good story afterwards. Anoushka and Dan

Use your spendybuttons wisely

Try not to spend too much money on things you do not need because the day goes really quickly and you won’t even see that danc­ing swan you thought you had to have and spent lots of money on! Abi and Mikael

Make sure you def­i­nitely eat and drink your expen­sive food (as I didn’t eat any­thing) Rahele and Michalis

If you are get­ting your own suit, con­sider get­ting one made bespoke, rather than off the rack. The cost dif­fer­ence is neg­li­gi­ble and it is cut just for you so it fits per­fectly. You can then choose every lit­tle detail. Go with a cut that isn’t a tra­di­tional wed­ding suit so that you can wear it again. Wiz and Jeremy

Be super organised and plan, plan, plan!

Don’t be afraid of hav­ing an early wed­ding; although it means an early start it gives you more time to spend with friends and fam­ily — it goes so quickly! Adam and Kate

Learn to be firm and con­fi­dent with your own opin­ions and wed­ding desires. Make lists, lots and lots of lists. I had a wed­ding folder and took a wed­ding note­book every­where with me for the year lead­ing up to our wed­ding. You will get tips and ideas from the most ran­dom places. Louise and Ben

Stay calm, be super organ­ised all the way through so the week before the wed­ding you can relax. Spread­sheet every­thing, and make timeta­bles for the day per­son­alised to key peo­ple you are rely­ing on – and talk them through it at length! Annabel and Anthony

Have a wed­ding web­site – that enabled us to allow peo­ple to RSVP and put their menu choices online. Adam and Kate

Ask for help! We found that most of our close fam­ily and friends were really keen to help with lit­tle jobs. Lizzie and Chris

wedding blog

Photo credit Butterworth Photography

Don’t worry about plan­ning every­thing down to the minute on the day, things will prob­a­bly take longer than you expect on the day, and tim­ings may go out of the win­dow, but it doesn’t mat­ter – it espe­cially helps to have a mas­ter of cer­e­monies so you don’t have to worry about keep­ing every­one in line! Emma and Tom

Plan but remem­ber you can’t plan for every­thing and don’t stress if things don’t go quite as planned! Colin and Louise

Make time to spend time as a cou­ple and have peo­ple who can con­trol the day for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing Laura and Stuart

The right wedding suppliers…

Spend time look­ing for a good pho­tog­ra­pher that you feel com­fort­able with and who appre­ci­ates the venues. Hannah and Steve

Make sure some­one is tak­ing lots of pho­tos as it is all a big blur to the bride and groom and is lovely to look through pho­tos after the day is over. Hayley and Joe

Con­sider a wed­ding video, we were not sure but were so glad we did. We’ve already watched it 4 times! Kate and Adam

Book the sup­pli­ers that can only do one wed­ding a day first and do it well in advance. This ensures you get the day you really want and not hav­ing to com­pro­mise because the sup­plier you want isn’t avail­able. These include recep­tion venue, cars, pho­tog­ra­pher and hair & make up. Book all of the other sup­pli­ers after the key play­ers in the day are booked. Austin and Carys

Have a wed­ding videogr­apher, I love watch­ing the speeches back! Colin and Louise

Choose your sup­pli­ers wisely. I naively ini­tially thought as wed­dings are roman­tic and fluffy and dreamy that all the sup­pli­ers involved would be too! Err no. As I said my thoughts are not for every­one, I seemed to come across quite a lot of cold, money grab­bing and unre­li­able wed­ding folk. It’s a cruel wed­ding world out there and I rec­om­mend you always have a very clear idea of what you want. Louise and Ben

Other stuff you might not have considered!

Choose your brides­maids wisely. They help with the prepa­ra­tions and also on the day and I would rec­om­mend ask­ing peo­ple who know you very well and who can realise what needs to be done with­out hav­ing to be asked every time. I got a bit tear­ful just before walk­ing down the aisle and a few stern words from one of my brides­maids (who is one of my old­est friends) helped me pull myself together within seconds. Camilla and Luke

Don’t drink too much and defo have a receiv­ing line…what’s half an hour if you get to speak to all your guests? This is a big regret of ours as you just don’t get time through­out the day otherwise. Anna and Craig

Wished we had made time to stop and appre­ci­ate the day so try to make time for that. Also wished I had popped back to the room to check hair and make-up later on — this might have also given me a chance to take 5 mins for myself to think about what was hap­pen­ing. Carol and David

And rely on your fam­ily, friends and brides­maids .… at the end of the day every­one is there to cel­e­brate you and your hus­band which is the only thing that mat­ters and cre­ates the most incred­i­ble feel­ing of love, warmth and fun on the day! Annabel and Anthony

Dance all the time! (make sure you have soft insoles in your shoes, brides) Rahele and Michalis

wedding photography Chris Hanley

Photo credit Chris Hanley Photography

Make sure one of the grooms­men has got a pair of scis­sors with him for unpick­ing all the pock­ets on the suits, and that some­one knows how to fold pocket squares. Emma and Tom

Stop wor­ry­ing about silly lit­tle things, they end up not being very impor­tant when you’re there expe­ri­enc­ing your spe­cial moment!! Gavin and Emily

I asked for advice from a lot of my friends who had already had a ‘white wed­ding’ type ‘do’ . What they would do again or change about their day? 100% of them said their dress!! That is a fash­ion thing, I sup­pose. I am sure they all loved them at the time. Louise and Ben

Don’t worry as much as I did about mak­ing sure you speak to all your guests. They will come to you! Jennifer and William

I would always advise brides to have a veil. I just loved wear­ing it and even wore it the day after the wed­ding with jeans and a jumper when we had close friends and fam­ily to my mum and dads house to rem­i­nisce about the day. Zoe and Mark

My friends said not to drink too much as the day will fly by and if you get too tipsy you will miss bits. That was good advice and it’s a night­mare con­stantly look­ing for some­one to help you go to the loo! So I am going to give that bit of drink­ing advice as dou­ble strength, though don’t dehydrate! Louise and Ben

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.




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