Wedding planning can be such an exciting time leading up until your big day.  But let’s be real!  It can also become stressful with so many decisions to make.  But don’t fret!  We’re here to keep you sane and focused on your journey to finding the right vendors, and staying inspired up until you walk down the aisle.  So if you’re in search of sound advice take it from the brides who know best!  Keep scrolling for 10 wedding planning tips from real Philadelphia brides!

“Make sure you enjoy the journey, not just the destination. It may sound corny, but wedding planning is months and months of your life, and the wedding is only one day! Try your best to enjoy as much of the wedding planning as possible, because a lot of those things are really fun too. Also, as much as you can plan in advance before the day of (i.e., photo shot list, vendor arrival times, timeline, etc.) to ensure things run smoothly, the better. Once things get rolling, there are so many moving parts and you will just want to enjoy your day to the fullest.” – Kelly

Real Wedding: A Romantic Fairytale Wedding At Aldie Mansion

“Outsource. You are only two people, and you can’t do everything yourself. And, you won’t be as stressed leading up to the wedding if you aren’t exhausted from trying to do it all yourself. You will thank yourself if you enlist the help of trusted friends and family members, along with a day-of coordinator, if your budget allows for it (or if your venue already has one). Having a reliable day-of coordinator helps in the weeks leading up to the wedding, by coordinating with the other vendors (so that you can focus on other things!) and helps to minimize the things your friends and family need to do the day of the wedding, thereby allowing them more time to enjoy the festivities. We were lucky enough to have two coordinators — one from Green Valley, and one that we hired (given our multiple sites and complicated logistics for the day)– and they did a fantastic job of working together to make sure everything got done properly.” – Renu

Real Wedding: Elegant Multicultural Indian Wedding At Green Valley Country Club

“Plan out your timeline for key decisions. One decision impacts another decision so get organized up front to prevent unneeded stress. Also, your wedding photos are key to reliving so many special memories of your wedding day. Don’t underestimate the need for a great photographer. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the final products, and the joy I relive every time I look at those photos is worth every penny. (Bartlett Pair Photography)” – Brooke

Real Wedding: Scenic Ballroom Wedding at The Delaware River

“Try to enjoy every minute! I know everyone says that, but it really is true. It flies by so fast and before you know it you’re saying ‘I Do.’ Also, if you or your fiancé have something special you would like to do for the wedding whether it be big or small, just do it! This is your time to shine as a couple, so do what is going to make the two of you happy and don’t worry about what other people think.” – Nina

Real Wedding: Classic Chic New Jersey Wedding At The Merion

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you HAVE to do something, whether it’s tradition or not. This day is about you and your partner and if you don’t want to do it, don’t. Be clear with people about what you want, and don’t be afraid to tell people no. Whatever you can’t remember specifically about the last nice wedding you went to, your guests probably won’t remember about yours, so focus on the things that are most important to the two of you – ours was food and location. And lastly, if you can afford a videographer, get one. It was out of our budget but it really does go as fast as they say it will.” – Heather

Real Wedding: Eclectic Wedding at Material Culture by Iris and Echo Photography

“Give yourselves some time if you are set on specific details that you want for your wedding. Vendors book up early, so if you have a certain date in mind, a florist or photographer you want to work with, don’t hesitate to reach out and reserve your date with them. It is your day, but keep in mind who is attending your wedding. We made small accommodations to make our guests feel important. And remember to try and enjoy the wedding planning process. Things might go wrong and there will be stress, but that at the end of the day you will be married and that’s the most important part!” – Melissa

Real Wedding: Italian Garden Wedding At The Atrium at Curtis Center

“The best advice we received when planning our wedding was to focus on the emotions that you wanted to evoke. Everything else can be sculpted around that vision, and it’s the emotion that your guests will remember and take with them. Also, if you can, find ways to extend the celebration. We had our families here the week before to help prepare, we had all of our guests at the rehearsal dinner, and we had a bagel breakfast from Schmear for post-wedding brunch. It’s so nice to see all your favorite people in one place, that using anyway to extend the visit is so special (and appreciated by your guests)!

One of the best things we both did was to take time to create small surprises throughout the wedding for our guests and each other. Katie’s gift to her mother was a custom handkerchief with her mother’s lace as a border. My mom and I are both happy criers and we definitely inherited it from my grandma. I arranged for there to be a soft pretzel station as people left because that’s John’s favorite snack. John worked with the designer to change the table numbers to the names of all the old favorite spots that we would go when we lived in Louisiana and to incorporate clarinet bells into the table design in a super chic way. Those little surprises gave us something to get excited about while planning, and seeing each other’s reactions was priceless!” – Kate

Real Wedding: Black Tie Wedding at Perelman Quadrangle by True Fold Media

“Be a team and work together. Some partners might want to be more involved while others might let you take the lead. Regardless of which style your partner may be, make sure to involve them and get their opinion, even if you know the answer already. This isn’t ‘YOUR’ wedding…. it’s your wedding to each other, where you become partners in life forever. Work together, be there for each other, and try to not lose focus on what brought you to this day.” -Deonna

Real Wedding: Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Ties The Knot at Anthony Wayne House

“The best advice I would give is to figure out what your priorities are and frame your wedding around them. Weddings are expensive and it is easy to spend a lot of money on everything. For us, having great food and a great time at the wedding was the most important. Because of that, we chose Union Trust because their food was excellent and the space gave us plenty of room for our guests to mingle…and most importantly, dance! Other things, like invitations, flowers, etc. were a second priority so we could spend money in the areas that mattered the most to us.” – Liz

Real Wedding: Classic Philadelphia Wedding at Union Trust

“Some of the best advice I received was about choosing vendors, especially photographers, videographers, and event coordinators. Of course, you’ll fall in love with the images on your screen, but it’s so important to make sure you LIKE the people behind the work and make sure their personality is a fit. They are around you all day and really shape the flow and energy of the day. We were fortunate to have an amazing team around us on our wedding day.” – Alli

Real Wedding: Classic Wedding at The Ballroom at Ellis Preserve