At this point in the wedding game, there's not much that's off the table. Archaic wedding rules should be broken, if that means making your big day more "you". But for every traditional rule you should toss, there are a few that should actually be followed — from sticking to your budget to buying a dress you can sit down in and everything in between.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming as it is, and following these rules will help lessen the stress that comes with such a special day.
Set a budget and stick with it.
It's easy to get into a warped mindset about money when you're planning a wedding and talking about thousands of dollars (or more!) at a time. Anything that's not thousands of dollars starts to feel "affordable" so it's easy to say yes to a lot of "small" purchases in the $100-$500 range. But here's the ugly truth: Those smaller purchases add up really fast and can leave you way, way over budget. So, be realistic about all of your wedding spending and make sure to stay organized and on top of how much you're actually spending.
Be clear about you guests' plus ones.
If you know the name of a guest's plus one, be sure to include it on the invitation so they know they're truly welcome at your big day. Otherwise, if you're allowing your guests to bring a plus one of their choosing, "and Guest" on the invitation will suffice.
Make it easy for your guests to RSVP.
This means include postage on your RSVP card. Or, if you're having guests RSVP online on your wedding website, make that very clear and easy. Remember not all of your guests spend their lives on the Internet — grandparent types might need some assistance.
Don't compare and/or compete with your friends' weddings.
Let's face it, thanks to Pinterest it's pretty hard not to compare your wedding to 8,492 other fancy ones on the Internet, but try to keep some perspective when it comes to people you actually know. Your wedding will be special in its own ways, even if you don't have a chocolate fountain like Mary or an $8,000 photographer like Katie
Make sure you get along with your photographer.
Even if you LOVE a photographer's work on Instagram, make sure you actually meet (or at least video chat) before you sign a contract. This is one of the vendors who'll be with you all day long on your wedding day, and if you absolutely can't stand the person, it's going to seriously impact the outcome of your pictures.
Be conscientious of your bridesmaids' budgets.
Weddings are expensive for everyone, even the bridesmaids. Between the dress, shoes, hair + makeup, and bachelorette party, there's a not-so-small price tag on taking part in your big day. For that reason, it's important to be open about costs and expectations with your gals in the beginning. Pick dresses that are in everyone's budgets — or even offer to help cover some costs if you can. Bottom line: Be a good friend.
Buy a dress you can actually sit in.
No matter how amazing your curves look in your wedding dress, make sure it's not so tight that you can't actually sit down in it — because you're going to want to/have to sit down for dinner and speeches. And the last thing you want is a ripped wedding halfway through your big day.
Send thank-you cards.
This should be a no-brainer. If someone buys you a wedding-related gift, follow up with a thank-you note. They'll really appreciate the effort and sentiment, which is definitely worth a few moments of your time.
Make the day about the people you love.
It's all fine and good if your parents want to invite some of their closest friends to your wedding (especially if they're footing the bill), but long gone are the days of seeing a bunch of unfamiliar faces on the best day of your life. Make sure your guest list is 90% comprised of people you know and love.
Don't try any new makeup the two weeks before your wedding.
It's great to refine your beauty routine before your wedding — likely the most photographed day of your life — but DO NOT try some new face cream or miracle serum in the days before you walk down the aisle. There's no telling how your skin will react to a new product, especially with nerves setting in, and you definitely don't want to be a splotchy bride. So stick to what you know for the final countdown.
Don't get a crazy spray tan.
Wanting a bronzed glow is perfectly acceptable for a bride, but your wedding day is not the time to go for the orange look. Be sure to schedule your spray tan for 2-3 days before the wedding or simply try gradual tanning lotion if that's more your style.