You Got This! The BEST Wedding Planning Advice from GWS Couples

wedding planning advice

Need a little advice? We know—unsolicited advice is rarely welcome, but we happen to know QUITE a few folks who have, as they say, been there done that. For every real wedding we share here on GWS, we ask couples what advice they’d share with those who are planning now. It’s genuinely a treasure trove of helpful tidbits and *just breathe* moments.

We thought it’d be a good idea to collect some of the most practical bits of advice right here, from couples who pulled off some seriously gorgeous wedding days. And who better to help you truly make the wedding planning process easier than our friends at Squarespace? A wedding website from Squarespace is one of the most efficient tools you can invest in, and we’ll show you how as we peruse the tips below!

By the way—you can sign up for Squarespace with our code (GWS18) to get 10% off your first purchase! Take our advice: that’s a good deal. Now, let’s hear from our couples!

You (Two) Do You

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Alisha Tova from Ella + Brandon’s Handmade New Orleans Wedding

Make sure that you’re making decisions based on what YOU TWO want for that day, and your wedding will be authentic to you and your partner. If you enjoy the experience you designed, everyone else will too.

Make the Planning Fun

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Lauren Scotti Photography from Izzy + Tony’s Modern Countryside Wedding

Try to make every moment of planning special, but don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in the check list of planning a wedding and go down an Instagram spiral, but sitting down on the couch with a glass of wine with your partner and jamming out to your future wedding playlist is REALLY fun! Try to make the most of the planning process, you will definitely miss it when it’s gone!

Squarespace Tip!

Turn up the music, grab the wine, and peruse Squarespace’s wedding website templates! There are nine unique templates to capture the spirit of you two as a couple, each with beautiful scrolling pages and an all-in-one platform that makes you look like a pro—no matter your experience. Settle in together and choose your favorite photos, fonts and colors, then get to creating!

Remember What Makes it Memorable—and Don’t Stress the Rest

best wedding planning advice from real couplesphoto by Studio Castillero from Afton + Reid’s Whimsical Wedding at The New Children’s Museum

Make step one of the process an honest conversation about the atmosphere you want to create on your wedding day and the absolute must-haves that will make or break that vision. It always helped us to think back on weddings we’d attended over the years and remember what it was that struck us as most well-done and memorable.

Listen to Wisdom

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Catalina Jean Photography from Karta + Siri’s Bohemian Wedding with a Sikh Ceremony

Listen to advice! Don’t just hear it, really listen and give it credit because the reality is you’ve never planned a wedding before (or at least not many) and there is wisdom in other’s experience. I loved planning my wedding, and I know that’s not the case for everyone, but I would say try to find at least one aspect that you can find joy in.

Lets RSVPs do Double Duty

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Kindred Weddings from Zai + Phil’s Glamping Wedding

In the RSVP form, ask your guests if they have any disability or accessibility needs that you should know about.

We were able to make a few small changes here and there with regard to seating options, tent locations, food, and transportation that made it possible for several of our loved ones to attend who might not otherwise be able to join or stay very long. We wouldn’t have known about their needs if we hadn’t included that question about accessibility on our RSVP form. They were touched by the gesture, and it meant so much to us to have them present—and comfortable.

Squarespace Tip!

Streamline the RSVP process with an RSVP form directly on your wedding website. The forms are totally customizable so you can get all the info you need—from meal request to accessibility needs. All RSVPs will integrate with your email or a spreadsheet, making responses easy to organize and filter.

When Planning Doesn’t Come Naturally…

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Rustic White Photography from Jenna + Michael’s Southern Boho Wedding

I suggest keeping a running list of ideas on a note in your phone or a journal, if you’re old school like me. Whether you like it or not (admittedly, I did not), wedding planning will be on your mind 24/7 and you never know what will inspire a decor element, or when a great idea will hit you. This helped me tremendously throughout the entire process.

Embrace the Adventure When Things Go Wrong

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Sara Byrne from Alicia + Daniel’s Relocated-at-the-Last-Minute Oregon Wedding

Our advice to those planning a wedding currently is don’t be scared to let the little details go. After abandoning all of our hard-planned details due to the relocation, we fell in love with the simple effortless wedding that came together on a beach—one which we had never seen or even envisioned getting married on. It made every second of the day an adventure!

A Simple Way to Make Hard Decisions

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Martina Micko Photo from Kaila + Joe’s Dinner Party Wedding

Create and stick to a simple decision-making process. We only had a 6-month window to plan, so we had to get good at sifting through the myriad of options. My advice is to find a way to focus on the styles, prices, and options that are best for your day. My process was pick three options by price and style, then choose one from there.

Do it Together

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Jordan Voth from Peyton + Josh’s Tropical Lakeside Wedding

My biggest advice is to both get involved and enjoy the process. Josh would sometimes be hesitant about getting involved in certain areas but then when the day came and he got to see it come to life knowing he had a hand in the decisions, made it that much more special.

Squarespace Tip!

One of the most fun things to do together as a couple? Register! Squarespace’s integration with Zola allows you to register with Zola, then share your registry directly on your wedding websiteZola is basically the best because it’s a universal registry that let’s you ask for gifts, experiences, even funds for that first house. Your desired items will show up right there on your site, where guests can complete purchases in just a few clicks. Alternatively, you can link up separate registries and set up a donation block to receive cash gifts!

Plan With People You Like

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Pat Furey Photography from Julie +  Tom’s Colorful Upstate Wedding

Choose your vendors based on their portfolios and their personalities; liking the team you put together makes the process that much more fun!

Inspiration Over Imitation

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Eden Strader from Mikyla + Kyston’s Modern Boho Wedding

When looking through Pinterest, wedding magazines, etc. use what you see as inspiration but not imitation. I truly loved our wedding because it felt so unique to us. We pulled inspiration from so many different places but changed everything to reflect us. Your love is unique, and your wedding should reflect that!

Prioritize for Your Budget

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by AshGabes Photography from Ashley + Teo’s Celestial Themed Wedding

Pick 3 items that mean the most to you when it comes to your wedding. For us, it was hiring someone to do the work on the day of the wedding, good music, and good food. Those were the areas where we focused our funds. It made it easier in the long run to create a budget and not feel like we were scrimping in other areas.

How to Make a Themed Wedding Work

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Nick and Lauren Photography from Addie and James’s Star Wars Wedding

Incorporating your favorite binge-worthy TV show or novel is a wonderful way to add a unique touch of personality to your wedding that’s entirely you. Details are key, and providing the right atmosphere really allows your guests to immerse themselves in the story you’re wanting to tell. You have to believe in it to make it real and remember to have fun with it! Breathe life into the idea and watch it morph into something magical.

Squarespace Tip!

If you’re planning a themed wedding, or even a wedding with a common design element or motif, your wedding website is the PERFECT place to introduce the story to your guests! Use language and photos specific to your theme, select significant colors—get creative!

Minimize Stress with Plan-Free Dates

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by India Earl from Olivia + Will Boho Black Tie Wedding

Planning is all parts incredible, exciting, stressful and draining. Just as important as setting aside time together to plan, is setting aside time together to do anything but plan. We had specific date nights where we didn’t talk about planning (but inevitably talked about all of the things we were most excited for about the weekend). It helped compartmentalize the times we could get excited—without getting too stressed!

Make Social Media Work for You

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Brasspenny Photography from Anna + Scottie’s Rainy Texas Wedding

Instagram is the new Pinterest in my opinion! The post-saving tool was my best friend. I was able to save so many super-unique inspiration ideas from weddings all over the world, as well as find vendors in the area where I was getting married. Most venues have their own handle and will tag every vendor involved in the wedding, which then led me to their Instagram pages showcasing all of their great work.

Let it Go + Be in the Moment

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by Liz Morrow Studios from Kristina + Joe’s Moody Forest Elopement

Hang onto the things that really mean something to you, but pick no more than a handful of them, and be willing to be super flexible about the rest. The morning of the wedding, I woke up and decided: Nothing that happens today is allowed to upset me. I just let it all roll of my back—it was a day to be present and enjoy what was happening right in front of me.

Share the Memories

best wedding planning advice from real couples
photo by cara robbins studio from Hayley + Omar’s Festival-Inspired Wedding

Make your wedding album as soon as you receive your photos back. You are so excited to see the photos and relive it all that before the excitement wears off, use the momentum to make the book ASAP. Otherwise, I have heard it’s easy to put off for years.

Squarespace Tip!

Transform your wedding website into a digital memory box once the big day is over. Create galleries of photos from the day, share your wedding video, or even create a blog to remember your favorite honeymoon moments. (Pro tip: keep that registry up for last-minute well wishers!)

Happy planning!

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