If you want to make sure you look nice all night, give one of your bridesmaids the specific task of reminding you to touch up your makeup (and ask them to carry your lipstick, blotting powder etc in their bag - I had NO IDEA where my fancy purse was for most of the night!) It's a big night for them too, and if you don't delegate it as a job for one person, it will get forgotten. By halfway through the reception I look shiny in all my pics.
If you have stepkids or other child guests that you think might act up while their parents are in the wedding (sister's kids, BMs kids etc) buddy them each up with a family member they know and quietly ask that person beforehand to sit with them and be their minder. If there are groups of siblings that tend to rev each other up, sit them with adults sandwiched in between. My stepsons were surprisingly great during the ceremony (I honestly expected rowdiness as they weren't happy about Dad getting married) but I think having their uncles and aunts on patrol helped, plus I didn't have to worry about them starting to squabble during the vows!
Our guests all LOVED their out of town bags. We wrote personal notes in each one thanking them for coming, and I baked super easy biscuits, bought choccies from a confectionery warehouse and put in some bottles of water, a photocopied map and some cute guides to Brisbane. People raved about them and I think it made them feel special and appreciated.
Check your undies under your dress before the day. My dress is very light and flowing and the waistband of my expensive "invisible" knickers left a line in a few of the pictures. Not a disaster, but I noticed!
Honestly, get a script for some sleeping pills and try them out before the day. We got back to the hotel from pre-wedding drinks on the Friday night before the wedding to find that the hotel was holding another wedding and it was incredibly noisy. My sister was in tears because she didn't think she'd sleep, and I was super wound up - three of us ended up taking the still.nox I'd brought and we were all so grateful to get to sleep!
Umm - have your speech written before the morning of the wedding!!!! I was so busy it kept getting pushed back and back. Luckily I've done a lot of public speaking and knew it would be fine, but it was still a stress.
If you can/it's your thing, try to go to the gym for a quick session on the morning of the wedding - it really helped my stress and energy levels and my arms looked toned because I spent ten minutes doing some light weights.
Other people have said it, but tuck a hanky into the handle of your bouquet. I did and was so glad.
Ask very social friends (couples can be good) to be in charge of mingling and introducing themselves and other guests during cocktail hour while you're having your photos done. Some people have a knack for socialising and they'll feel honoured to be asked. It really helped the two "sides" get to know each other - I was surprised by some of the unlikely friendships that sprang up!
Don't have more than one or two photo locations. Honestly, it's not worth the stress! On the day, I didn't feel like going anywhere extra and was so glad we had our bridal party shots at the ceremony venue. (The MASSIVE hailstorm happening at the time also encouraged us to stay put!)
Make sure your MC doesn't start speeches etc until he/she can see that you and your husband are there and ready. Ours got a bit caught up on the timeline and started while I was in the bathroom having my dress bustled. And then later I had to drag my husband off the deck where he was on the phone to his mum because the DJ was announcing our first dance without either of us there!
I was glad we didn't tie ourselves down to a particular leaving time, e.g. by having cars booked or setting up a sparkler exit etc. We decided to just see how we felt and on the night we really wanted to stay to the bitter end and were the last to leave, waiting for taxis out on the road with our stayer guests. It was great!
If you leave the next morning for your honeymoon, ask your mum or someone to go around while you're away and tidy up your house a little bit if anyone got ready for the wedding there. Between the groom, four groomsmen, brother-in-law and three stepsons our house was TRASHED. My mum kindly did it without asking (it took her and dad all day!), but if I'd thought of it I wouldn't have left it to chance.
It's obviously a budget issue, but we were so grateful to have decided to book a videographer! My brother couldn't come unexpectedly, and my husband's mum hurt her back badly and couldn't be there either. It was such a comfort that we could show them the video - my M-I-L cried with happiness when she realised she could still see our wedding. Plus it's really cute - my husband loves it even more than me has shown approximately twenty seven thousand people so far!
Here's the teaser...http://www.lumina-mp.com/blog/2011/10/1 ... ipops.html