From sleeping tablets to beauty touch-up tips, the best wedding day advice from 19 brides.

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Weddings are a big deal. Sure it’s only one day, but it’s one important day. You want to get it right.

Can I let you in on a little secret though? Things will go wrong. Just like things go wrong every other day of the year!

At my wedding we totally forgot to serve the cake. Late in the night I saw my bestie’s mum cutting it up for us (cheers Deb!).

Make peace with the fact that you can’t control every tiny little thing and trust me, you’ll already be on your way to properly enjoying your wedding.

Want the best advice? Listen to the brides who have been there. Here’s what they want you to know.

Amy, 37.

“Spend the most on photos. It’s the only element of your wedding day that will jog your memory, as you get further away from it. I wish I’d worried less about whether there was a gluten free dessert option and worried more about making sure I had a picture for every moment”.

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Kate, 36.

“Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. I took half a sleeping tablet and slept beautifully – woke up refreshed and relaxed!”

Nicole, 28.

“Don’t stress out about what other people are wearing. No one is looking at them! No matter how many hideous dress options your sisters sends you, just let her do her and you do you!”

Sara, 30.

“If you’re transporting your dress for an overseas wedding, you need to consider the flight (whether to buy an extra seat or how to stow it overhead) but also the airport – it’s a hotspot for potential spills and stains. One of my friends told me to line the wedding dress bag with one (or two!) of those dry-cleaning plastic bags for extra protection. She didn’t do this and as her dress went through security some of the oil from the rubber flaps of the scanner seeped through the bag and onto the dress! The lesson? Double bag!”

Georgie, 36.

“Don’t ask too many people for their opinions on things!”

Should you have a wishing well on your big day?

Alex, 30.

“In the lead up to the wedding, when you’re chasing RSVPs, making final decisions and lump payments, it’s easy to get caught up in the people who are letting you down. It’s inevitable that someone will decline last minute, or be less enthusiastic than you’d expect. Try not to make that your focus. While you’re in the wedding haze, it’s hard to remember that people have their own stuff going on too, accept that and don’t let them shape how you feel about the wedding. Focus on the people who are going all out for you. Your besties who are planning your bridal shower, your dad going over and over his speech, your aunt who’s making your cake – these are the people who are as excited as you. Focus on them and how lucky you are to have them.”

Nat, 35.

“Trust YOUR instinct when it comes to your dress. Mum hated my dress, she didn’t think it was bridal enough and tried to change my mind. But I didn’t and on the day, she loved it.”

Lauren, 33.

“When you see the pure joy on your parent’s face, you realise that your day is as important to them as it is to you. So don’t sweat all the stuff they ask you to do as you’re planning.”

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Alexandra, 30.

“Seating charts are like extra hard cryptic crosswords, but with emotions. You can’t please everyone, so do what works for you. My best advice is to sit the oldies closer to the dancefloor. Everyone else will abandon their tables as soon as the music starts. Make sure they are close so they can watch and still be part of it, and not left all the way at the other end.”

Hannah, 34.

“I wish I’d had a little beauty bag on hand for touch ups. The 37 degree day meant by cocktail hour my concealer had slipped off and my hair was sweaty. You do SO much smiling, cheek kissing and hugging, don’t underestimate what that does to your hair and makeup!”

Steph, 28.

“Go with your gut. For most couples, the wedding day is an intimate event so whilst some may cause a bit of drama when they are not invited, in my mind they are only reinforcing why you made the right decision in the first place!”

Georgie, 36.

“If you have a hubby-to-be that wants to have a say about everything (like I did!) give him a job that will distract him long enough for you to lock things in before he has a chance to ask.”

Lex, 35.

“Start building your playlist the second you get engaged! Don’t try and think of a million songs you love at the last minute. Shazaam away for months, and you won’t get overwhelmed.”

Nic, 28.

“If you are opting for shapewear, make sure you have worn the exact ones for a whole day before so you know how the fabric feels against your skin. TMI I know, but sweaty thigh chafe on the day is not cute (or so I’ve heard).”

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Amie, 36.

“When it comes to destination weddings, do as the locals do! It’s their turf and usually their way is that way for good reason. We chose to have a Balinese Buffet – the food was just divine because our caterers were cooking what they eat themselves! We also made the controversial decision to invest in a local shamen (a rain mover) instead of a marquee so we could have our wedding under the stars. We were assured by our event planners the shamen had a 90% success rate and we figured it was worth the risk (we had perfect weather!)”

Lauren, 33.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you really want. I wanted a small wedding, which meant telling a few people we weren’t able to invite their partners (who we hadn’t met yet). This was hard but we stuck by it as we only wanted people who knew at our wedding. I also didn’t want cars or to do the tossing of the bouquet. My mum was horrified that I wouldn’t want things like that and really tried to push me, but I stuck to my guns. Ultimately it’s your day and you should do things your way.”

Natalie, 35.

“We got married in January and I really wanted vintage cars, but I opted for a more modern style to ensure there was air conditioning. Take the season into consideration.”

Alice, 27.

“Don’t be freaked out the first quotes you get. Especially if they’re for the venue or catering. It may sound like a LOT of money, but you’ll likely soon realise that throwing a fully catered party for 100+ people does actually cost quite a lot. Take a deep breath. Then divide the number so you know how much it costs per head. That often makes it seem more reasonable.”

Amie, 36.

“Know your audience and location. We mistakenly organised wine and beer for our Bali wedding like we would in Australia. But the combination of a tropical location with the hot weather meant guests mostly wanted cocktails and nearly no wine was consumed (not to mention a late-night dash by our planner to organise more spirits when we ran out!)”

Alexis Teasdale is a freelance writer, party planner and was the editor of Cosmopolitan Bride, so she really knows her stuff. 
Love weddings or getting married and need to ask all the questions about venues, flowers, photographers, wedding dresses, EVERYTHING? Come join Mamamia’s wedding planning podcast Facebook group Hitched.

Have any wedding tips? Let us know in the comments down below!

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