1) Don't worry about what anyone else thinks!
It's your day. You have it just as you want it. It doesn't matter if Auntie Marie doesn't like the colour lilac, and it doesn't matter if Grandad dislikes the bagpipes, if you want lilac and bagpipes then you have them!
2) Ensure you set aside at least 45 - 90 minutes to do your portraits.
Depending on whether you're having photographs on site or in a beauty spot, whether you have loads of family photos on your list or just your own newlywed portraits, make sure you leave enough time between the ceremony and meal / reception to do these. You'll want to ensure your friends and family can have a mingle (and they'll want to congratulate you after the ceremony) so do factor this in when planning your day.
3) If you want a flower arch, try not to put it right at the altar where you'll be standing.
I have shot many weddings where an arch has been over the top of the couple during their ceremony. It looks pretty of course but depending on how big it is, it can completely obscure the view of some of your guests (and y'know, it's obligatory to catch the Best Man handing over the rings, or Mum and Dad sobbing happy tears in the front row!). If you're having an arch, why not pop it at the doorway when you walk in, or behind the signing table so the photographs look super pretty?
4) Have an unplugged ceremony!
An unplugged ceremony is where your guests are invited to turn off their phones and cameras during the ceremony. Not only does this mean they are truly 'present' for your vows, but it also means there's no chance of Uncle Bob hopping into the middle of the aisle and getting right in the shot as you kiss or walk down the aisle after signing the register.
5) Don't fret on the big day.
What will happen, will happen. If things don't go quite to plan, then so be it. Guaranteed you're going to have the best day, even if the cake starts leaning or if it pours down in the middle of August. Rain on your wedding day is meant to be good luck, by the way!!
6) Do your speeches after your wedding breakfast.
Speeches can be long sometimes (I've shot some that were 20+ minutes long!) so if you were to do speeches before the meal or between courses, this could back the kitchen up or delay them in getting hot food to the tables. It's much easier to do speeches after the meal, as sometimes a little 'Dutch Courage' can help with nerves and your guests will be happy and full. It also allows your suppliers (other than the venue / restaurant) to take a much needed break and have their own lunches whilst you eat.
7) Set aside some time for YOU.
That's right... some time for just you two! Disappear for 10-20 minutes before the evening celebrations get underway, have that moment away from everyone else and away from the hustle and bustle. Because wedding days can be really full on and they whizz by so quickly.
8) Savour every moment!
And I mean every moment. Because it'll flash by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, all you have left are the memories, photographs and keepsakes. Cherish the time you have with your family and friends (because how often does everyone get together like this?) and just have the best time!
These opinions are my own of course... Whatever you chose to do for your big day - just have an amazing time!