Win cash and help new brides – share your advice!

by jaime on July 24, 2012

The one thing every bride needs most of all isn’t a perfect dress (okay, well maybe she needs that too!) – it’s advice. She needs to know how to manage the stress of the big day, the marriage that comes after and so much more.

And now, you can win big just by helping out all our awesome readers! Share anything from funny tips to seriously sage advice with our brides-to-be and you’ll not only be featured on the site, you’ll score some financial perks, too! Prizes will be provided in the form of Visa Gift Cards (sorry, I can’t just mail cash!) for the winners. You can also choose the gift card of your choice (Amazon, anyone?!) if you’d prefer. There is big money available here, so enter now!

First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $50
Third Prize: $25

How to win: Enter your advice in the comments by July 31st. The top ten entries will be selected by me and voted on by our readers – if you’re one of the top three, you win! Be sure to leave a valid email address (only used to contact you if you’re a finalist or winner!) when you comment.

Need ideas? Check out our great Tips from Beyond post as well as Angela’s Brides on a Budget post.

Good luck, and happy planning!



Erin July 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

Bad attitude from a bridesmaid? No problem, you have other people there who are happy for you. Groom’s family driving you nuts? Who cares? You’re marrying him, not them. Weather’s not ideal? A little rain won’t dilute the vows you’re making. Don’t waste your wedding day being upset about trivial things! Take a deep breath and focus on the positives… and don’t stress! (Stress and anxiety always show up in photos!)

Amanda Ibarra July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

It’s ok to say “No”…graciously
During wedding planning time, it seems that people come out of the woodworks to let you know their suggestions of what you “should do” to make your wedding better. While some of give advice that may be helpful, others may not. It is your day, and your turn to make the decisions. In my Aunt’s wedding, she appointed my mother to be the buffer between the bride and the well-intented-advice-givers. My mother would note all the suggestions, thank those who gave them, filtered through them, then passed the useful suggestions to the bride. This took stress from the bride who was such a people pleaser! Please do not feel as though you have to please anyone else or incorporate everyone else’s ideas. When it’s all said and done, you should be happy with the wedding you planned.

Tiffany Winner July 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Don’t be afraid to buy secondhand items such as decor, jewelry, and even dresses. Nobody will ever know and you save money to spend on other items. Save where you can so you can splurge where you want to!
[email protected]

Amanda Ibarra July 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

You don’t have to do everything on your own. If you’re doing a DIY crafty wedding, enlist crafty friends and throw a craft party! (Complete with wedding movies and music for added inspiration) It’s normal to think that the only person who can do anything right is yourself, but that will overwhelm you. Trust your friends and family to help you get things done along the way.

Kristen July 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

After being in the same relationship for 15 years and married for 10, I can honestly say the best advice I can give is communication.
No matter what happens in your marriage (and there will be plenty of ups and downs), you’ll be guaranteed to make it through if you remember to communicate with each other about what you’re thinking and feeling, in everything from little problems to big decisions. Not communicating is what leads to blow-ups, fights, and distances.

KristinD July 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Have hopes and dreams! I want to continue to grow with my husband and what better way than to continue to have hopes and dreams about the future. Right now it’s about the wedding, then children, and everything else in between. Having fun is always the key! Remember the wedding is about you and your husband – no one else!

Bre July 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Planning a wedding is hard work and can end up feeling like a full-time job. My fiance and decided to have a few designated weekends where we didn’t talk about wedding planning and it did wonders on our relationship. Your engagement is such a happy time but can easily be overlooked as such if you’re constantly talking about the little details instead of the overall picture– a marriage.

Another tip, do your research! You may want to hurry to cross things off your list but trust me, you will be so much happier if you take the time to make sure you’re making the right decision. We spent about 2 months researching photographers and videographers because we knew that it was so important to us. We were able to get some amazing high-quality vendors yet in our budget all because we took the time to look. And realize that you will be working with these people on the most important day of your life. Make sure you click with them!

sandy July 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Like in real estate, don’t fall in love with the first dress you see, or the first location you see. Let your gut do the talking – and take your time. I learned that the hard way. I bought the most gorgeous dress at a trunk sale, and never ended up wearing it because the dream wedding I planned (with my husband’s young daughters standing up for me) blew up in my face after the relationships with those girls went south.

Instead of marrying and celebrating at the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier in Chicago, we ended up at a rental synagogue in a loft bldg late on a Wednesday afternoon, and my second dress reminds me of a bad prom dress or what a younger mother would wear to her daughter’s wedding. Ouch. I was out over $3K for that beautiful mermaid dress, 15 lbs heavier from the stress, and miserable that I gave up Crystal Gardens.

Becca Spence July 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

My best advice is to remember to be thankful for all of the people and things that have to come together, even in small ways, to make your wedding happen.

Even the smallest detail, one that may seem insignificant, combines with the others to let each moment occur– approved vacation time, a photographer returning a phone call, a stranger’s smile and congratulations. Consider, in awe, all that had to come together for every moment.

You will be nicer to the people around you, you will be able to be more present and appreciative during the process of planning, which I would argue is just as important to you feel married than the wedding itself, and instead of being disappointed if things don’t perfectly match your expectations, you can find joy in all the wonderful things that do happen!

Shyda July 29, 2012 at 10:47 am

Remember that it’s most important to enjoy your day as a couple, but also allow your family to celebrate with you too. My parents didn’t get the wedding they dreamed of and neither did my fiance’s, so being able to throw their children one was a pretty big deal– plus, we were the first kids in both families to tie the knot. Allow them something that they can claim as “their” contribution, without taking over the whole wedding. This gives you all a better balance on what to expect and who is involved in what. Communication is key! Delegate tasks to your bridesmaids too! Ask them for help setting up (if you don’t have a coordinator) and getting guests on the dance floor! Also, make it fun for your fiance! He’s likely knot going to enjoy the long shopping trips looking for the perfect pair of shoes, but I know my guy LOVES going cake and dinner tasting, so I made sure to turn those into dates: even though we are doing wedding stuff, we can talk about other things while having a good time. Finally, for brides on a budget: get creative! I’m learning all kinds of new skills while saving tons of money! Plus, it adds to the sentimental factor throughout the whole process and I get people involved more (eg my little brother help me stamp the wax monograms on invites).

Caroline Srygley July 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Don’t just practice your hair and makeup in the mirror. Take pictures! What looks good in bathroom lighting might look completely different in pictures taken outside/in different lighting, etc. A friend thought she bought the perfect face powder for her wedding day, but when she got her photos back she looked like a ghost! Her terrible situation could have been avoided if she had just snapped a few pictures of herself wearing the makeup before the big day!

Shanda July 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Before you do any planning set your budget and your guest list! Those two things will determine a lot of the rest of the wedding, And make sure to budget for your wedding licence the rest is kinda pointless if you don’t have that!

Remember no matter if it rains, snows, or everything goes wrong at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend and that is the important thing!

ashley p July 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

always remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in all of this. Join a forum group like WeddingBee or the Knot any of the other great sites out there or a Facebook group where there are other brides planning their weddings too so there is someone to vent to when no one else understands or you have an irrational wedding fear. Having the support system of other amazing people going through the same things and who will remind you when you are about to pull your hair out over something that it doesn’t matter as long as you get to marry the love of your life. Having someone able to put things back into perspective is beyond priceless. don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! you never know who you may meet!

Ann S. July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Everyone tells you that your wedding day will fly by – and it does – so take a step back mentally and really enjoy every moment of your celebration. From the moment you wake up, relish in the fact that this is your wedding day! It’s finally here! When you get together with your bridesmaids to get beautified, relax and enjoy this special time together. Laugh as often and you can. As you are about to walk down the aisle, relfect on how you will be walking toward the person who loves and understands you more than anyone in the world. Really listen to the verses, prayers, readings, blessings and wishes that are offered during your ceremony. Hug as many family and friends as possible. Pause during your reception to look at your guests and remember that all of these people are here today because they love you and your partner and support your union. You’ve worked so hard planning, organizing, delegating and seeing to all of the details. Take off your wedding-planning hat for the day, put on your veil and have a fabulous time! You deserve it!

Kim August 3, 2012 at 12:40 am

Once you get engaged, do not tell people they are invited to the wedding until AFTER you’ve found a venue and finalized your budget. It will save you from an awkward situation later if venue or budget issues arise and you can’t invite everyone whom you’ve planned.

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