The Wedding Survival Guide
At the end of the day, future brides/grooms want to learn and know wedding tips from first-hand, ex-couples who have been there and survived the wedding hullabaloo. Advice is abundant in a lot of other wedding resources, but most of these advices, especially from published sources, are editorial. Here's a survival guide, from real-life wedding veterans and we will not edit out anything they have to say. We asked them one simple question: "What did you wish you knew before the wedding but nobody told you?" The result of this research was very raw and honest, which we've compiled for you.

I'll start it off with my own two cents:
1. Nothing beats having a raw video of your bridal walk. Ask a friend if he/she can do it for you. I super regret not having a copy of my bridal walk....

2. Always have extra copies of your wedding props inside your bridal room because your photog/videog may not have another opportunity to shoot them. My coordinator reminded me of this...but I didn't have extras for the other props and I forgot to have them brought to my room before the ceremony so ending, there were some wedding details that were no longer taken photos of.

3. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you will know who your real friends are when you are planning a wedding. I never knew this before, and was only able to validate this when I asked other former brides and grooms because they too, experienced it. If this happens to you, know that in the other side of the rainbow, your real friends will shine and you will find out that these are the friends you can keep forever.

4. Early on, you have to accept that you will not be able to finalize your guest list 'till the very last minute and you will have to work on your seat plan or other details, 'till the very last minute. From my end, our guest list was very few but it was crucial for me to know my final head count because we had DIY welcome kits, we had personalized seat plans even for the ceremony itself, escort cards, and we had hotel vacancy issues to resolve. But no, I ended up being the "bad guy" for trying to follow-up some of the guests. Eventually, you'll just have to accept that the guest list will be revised 'till the very last minute.

5. My last advice is, if you want to survive your wedding smoothly and without drama, then simply don't fall into the trap of becoming a bridezilla. My ex-bride friends who were calm, well-poised, well-mannered, and treated their vendors nicely, had the smoothest and most beautiful weddings I have gone to. While those who were bridezillas, had a lot of problems along the way. Simply because I think negative attracts more negative, and positive attracts more positive. My coordinator assigned to me, my own personal bride assistant for the wedding. When I asked her what were the most memorable weddings she's ever experienced--her answer was simple. She said: "Pare-pareho lang lahat ng weddings namin. Sa dami, magkaka mukha na halos. Kaya ang favorite ko is yung brides na mababait. Yung mga hindi bridezilla".

Here are the tips we've gathered from other former brides and grooms. To protect their identity, all will be referred through anonymous names. Also, please note that the views and opinions of these real-life wedding "veterans" may not necessarily be the same views we have, but we felt it was important for them to be able to voice out their concerns so that in turn, those who are still in the planning stage, may learn from their experiences.
"For grooms: If you are a sweaty groom, there's make-up for guys that would make you look like you're not sweaty. I know this is the most "unmacho" advice pero kaysa naman mag mukha kang mantika." -- Ex-Groom alias Lando

"I wish I kept a little video documentary from the moment I woke up to the time I slept because it's something that I want to relive over and over again. Because I tend to miss it." --- Ex-Groom alias Kung Fu Panda

I had a problem with our videographer who would not upload our video to their official site because we are not a high profile client! --ie. the bride does not fancy a Vera Wang or the reception is not in a posh location (meaning it is not Australia/ Bali/USA) .. I chased our videographer to upload our video to Vimeo. This is too disappointing since we would like to see our SDE in the UK. We had regrets in getting them!!! They are not partners, but mere suppliers! I love their SDE but I hate their service! They don't even bother to have a pre-prod maybe because we are not high-profile enough for their portfolio. This is very unfair. And I am now doing a lot of WOM (word-of-mouth) with regard to this. And they will not tell you that the full video will be available 6 months post the wedding!!! We should have opted for Jason (Magbanua). Oh well he's booked on that day. Our other suppliers are actually very nice and professional. This videographer lacked the servicing that I am expecting from a "supplier". In the future, I am thinking of having SDE for our 10th or silver anniversary (parang ang tagal pa nun) and I will never ever get them!!! And I will not recommend them to any of my friends!!! --Ex Groom alias Mr. UK
"I wish I finished everything completely a month before the wedding. I was still tying some loose ends till my wedding day. I also wish I hired a better coordinator. Someone who was more proactive and helped me with RSVP. I paid a lot with the one I got but got half the service I deserved."
---Ex Bride Kisses

Do not be WOWED by suppliers who use celebrity couples in their ads. These are sponsored. It doesn't exactly mean they were preferred by these celebs or that it means they are actually good. ---Ex Bride Burns

"I had a problem with my bridal gown designer. My gown was literally falling apart on the big day. When my designer apologized, he was trying to explain that he had been busy. So what if he was busy? We are ALL busy. And I paid good money for that gown. Don't be impressed with designer names, my dears. Also look at the track record." ---Ex Bride Twinkle

"Get a good coordinator. Kahit gaano pa ka mahal yang wedding mo, if you don't get an expert to do your coordination, walang kwenta ang mahal mong wedding. Everything can just fall apart on the wedding day. On our wedding, I was the one closing the doors of the church for my own bridal entrance. Gusto niyo ba ng mga ganoong moments?" -- Ex Bride Yogurt

"I had a problem with our photographer. I wasn't completely happy with *toot*. They're very good with what they do, but I had problems with some things like communications and tardiness" -- Ex Bride Pearl 

Ask someone you can trust with your money, to take care of the balance payments. Right after the end of the reception program, reality will sink in, and you will be followed up with payments. Hindi ka pa nakaka upo at nakaka inom, bayad na agad. So ask a favor from your parents (moms are usually honored to do these things anyway to make them feel important), or your best friend (yung hindi kumukupit ah). -- Ex Groom Bieber

Would you like to share your own tips/advice too? Comment away! But please comment responsibly. While we want to help out future couples, we also don't want this blog entry to be a "bashing spree". If your advice or experience refers to a supplier, kindly refer to any bad experiences anonymously

Kai :)
follow us on twitter! @RebelliousBride


  1. I call myself the UNbride. and I wrote a bit about my bridal regrets which I wish every bride (even UNbrides) should know when preparing for a wedding. Take a look at my post here:

    At the end of the day, your wedding will NEVER be perfect. so just accept the booboos because what's more important is that you are starting a beautiful life with the one that you love.

  2. I agree with the other tip. never, never assume that your friends or relatives can do the coordination for you. great, expensive weddings fail because of the lack of professional coordination. I was maid of honor once to my friend, her wannabe coordinator sucked... she was not in the hotel during the preps, she left early during the church, she didn't even text the wedding entourage the night/days/weeks before to inform them about the call time. Don't trust coordinator volunteers. Get experienced professionals, not friends!

  3. May I share, too?

    I think the best advice I can give as an ex-bride was the advice I got from my own coordinator in my wedding – don’t stress about your wedding on your wedding day. Don’t ask questions, and don’t expect for everything to be perfect because some things are bound not go as planned. In other words, wing it. A bridesmaid is late? Let her be late! She won’t be in pictorials, or she won’t march – big deal. Seating chart is missing or wasn’t followed? Guests will find a way to find a place to sit– they can take care of themselves. Maid of honor saying horrible stuff in her speech because she was too drunk to speak cohesively? (True story – thankfully, not mine!) Let the hosts do their job to grab the mic from her. I guess what I’m saying is, let things happen however they will. There really isn’t much you can do anymore when mishaps happen, and just get through them all as relaxed as relaxed can be. It’s your day, your moment with your groom, so let all the bloopers go. On your wedding day, worrying about the details should be the job of your bridal party – not yours. Enjoy and just be the bride in your wedding, taking in every moment.

    That brings me to another important tip, from the point-of-view of the maid of honor. As the commenters above said, DON’T rely on volunteer coordinators, especially if they’ve never done wedding coordination before, and if you don’t trust their OCD level. I was tasked by my sister on her wedding day to simply help out and be her wedding emcee, but because her “coordinator” volunteer/friend didn’t do much coordinating, my head almost exploded with all the details she missed on the day of my sister’s wedding. Good thing I had our cousin to help me iron them out as the day went, but we really struggled with what the coordinator did (or didn’t do). Anyway, what was important was that the bride was having a good time, having no idea that we were like ducks frantically paddling underwater.

    Sorry if this is super long, but I felt compelled to share! :) Best wishes and congrats to all wedding-couples-to-be, especially to my dear friend Mica and Mark!

  4. @melgubster: I agree with you. If the wedding isn't perfect, to hell with it. For me, the most important thing was getting married to the man I love. Bow.

  5. Here are some tips I'd like to share:

    - The first, most important you should do is choose your wedding planner carefully. Choose early (I thought a year was enough; I was wrong). Trust should never be an issue, so choose a supplier who balances professionalism with empathy, and who has the vision that goes beyond planning a cookie-cutter wedding (read: D*** Events). Your planner has a lot to do with whether you will recall your wedding preps fondly or scathingly.

    - It was easier for me not to work with friends during the wedding preps, because I can demand for more without worrying too much about hurt feelings or losing a few wedding guests. If you do choose to work with friends, they should be specialists in the industry, and can prioritize your needs above all.

    - X, our photographer, gave us great, artful output, but their organizational skills left a lot to be desired. When you choose your suppliers, don't just mind the output. Look out for their ability to coordinate, their promptness, etc. Those factors will greatly affect the outcome of your wedding.

  6. Documents are the biggest bummer. As early as your first month, learn what documents/requirements you will need and make sure your names are spelled correctly. If you find out later on na may mali sa mga pangalan niyo, it will take you 2-3 weeks just to have it corrected. But note that you can't process all your documents this early. You can only do so, about 2 months before the wedding. But all I'm saying is, if at the onset you know that there are incorrect data on your documents, better get a head start.

  7. Also, contrary to what other people say na hassle ang CENOMAR, it is actually the easiest requirement out of all the documents you need. Kase the CENOMAR can be ordered from online. And in fairness to the NSO website, it's very efficient and yung sumasagot sa emails nila, mabilis mag reply

  8. Fair warning to all the brides who will walk down the aisle, make sure that you walk leisurely, not really slowly but at a good pace! Don't let the nerves get into you or else you will be sprinting down the aisle like me! Gosh, it was not a long aisle that i walked, it just took me 10 seconds to reach the end of it because the nerves kicked in! I was literally the running bride! hahaha

  9. Can I get recommendations for a good wedding coordinator? And a recommendation for a designer who won't just leave me to the wolves?


    Im scared na. Haha!

  10. Hi B!

    Since my wedding was in Boracay, I only have first-hand experience with my coordinator there. But from my previous wedding features in my other blog, Happy & Monthsary, there have been rave reviews for the following coordinators:

    1. Christine Ong-Te (Check the feature here:

    2. Jenny Lim (Check out the feature here:

    3. And Teena Barretto - Teena was highly recommended by Amanda Tirol (my coordinator in Boracay), because she specializes in creative weddings and she's also good.

    For the designer, I am very partial and biased to my own designer, Hindy Weber Tantoco because she is very, very hands-on, super creative, humble, and her taste level is just amazing.

    Hope this helps!

    Kai :)