Hindsight is the best teacher for your wedding
Right after saying the big YES comes the bigger and unique stress - planning a wedding. Bridezillas aren't called that for nothing, doesn't matter how far your wedding is, there are so many things that are bound to mess with your head.
Melanie Pinola of Lifehacker says hindsight is the best teacher for your wedding, and lists somethings all bride-to-be's should take note of:
You're Going to Offend, Disagree with, and Feel Guilty About at Least Someone During This Time: Having a wedding is like throwing a big party (which is normally stressful), except the party is really a huge fancy ball that everyone has expectations and opinions about. Some people will inevitably want to be in the spotlight or take over the planning. You might discover your fiancé/fiancée has absurd taste in napkin colors and is willing to fight you to the death about it—or worse, he/she doesn't care about the napkin color. You might feel evil as you cut people from your guest list or make your wedding party spend more money on formal clothing. Try to strike that delicate balance between knowing the wedding isn't just about you and knowing that it is, in the end, your day. I worried too much about what people thought of my wedding decisions and tried too much, I think, to make everyone who cared about it happy. Short of eloping, I think you have to consider other people's opinions—especially close family members with whom you're sharing this incredible event—but at the same time realize that feelings are probably going to get hurt. Looking back, that one day meant more to me and my husband (rightfully so) than to anyone else, and for that reason I would've liked to stress less about what everyone else wanted.
Being Indecisive Is Just as Bad as Being Bridezilla: I hate making decisions. I hate it so much I would rather wear t-shirts with holes in them than decide where and when to go shopping and try to pick out replacements. So weddings, with their millions of decisions you have to make (what color silverware for the table, seriously?) was pure torture for me. Not everyone has this problem, and many brides- and grooms-to-be jump into wedding planning like they've been planning it forever, but those millions of decisions can still wear you down. If you waver or are unsure about any decisions, just wait or do your best if the time calls for it ("do what you can, with what you have, where you are"). I couldn't have cared less about how my bridesmaids wore their hair, but it put stress on my wedding party and planners when I so vague about what I wanted. I remember dragging my bridesmaids through the streets of Manhattan and all of us rapidly getting depressed because I couldn't make a decision. Figure out what you want before you bring others into it—at least for the important stuff (see below).
Splurge on the Most Important Things: Your wedding is a momentous, wonderful (and hopefully once-in-a-lifetime) occasion, and for that reason, we tend go overboard making sure every little thing is going to be perfect and everyone is happy. That awesome day, though, will really be just a blip in your many years of life as a married couple—and the things you (and your wedding guests) will remember most just months after the event will probably not be the things you worried about most. So whether your budget is $100 or $100,000, concentrate on the things you'll remember most and don't stress about (and save more money on) the rest. Looking back, I think the best decision my husband and I made was the venue: It was affordable enough to accommodate all of our closest friends and family members, a wedding planner came with the deal, and the food was top notch. The experience with our loved ones was, after all, the main thing. However, we definitely could've cut corners or shopped around more for the flowers, limo, invitations, tux rentals, and all those other little things to save, because they just weren't that memorable. (Yes, even though they're in the photos.) You can save thousands on your wedding budget just by negotiating, shopping around, DIYing most of your wedding needs, and prioritizing the elements of your wedding that matter the most to you.
Vet Your Wedding Vendors As Thoroughly As Possible: Even if a vendor is recommended by someone you know or by your wedding planner, if their service is essential to your wedding going well, make sure you're absolutely on the same page. Maybe it was my wedding naivete, but after discussing with the DJ songs for each part of the wedding and the kinds of music we liked, I thought we had that whole part covered. In hindsight, I should've asked to see videos of their previous DJ events to see how they were live, because I was caught off guard when the reception turned into a hip hop party halfway through (thanks to a couple of guests' requests, but it seemed to alienate the older crowd) and strange DJ announcements like "Melanie has been dreaming of this day her whole life." Uh, what? In addition to interviewing them and seeing samples of their work, see if you can do a test run or see the vendors' work in an actual setting.
Make a Checklist of Photos You Want and Other Checklists: In a similar vein to much of the above, make sure your vendors know exactly the things you want to happen and keep yourself on track with checklists. It's not enough to just trust they know what they're doing, because when you look back you might think, "why didn't I get a shot of just the ring bearers and flower girls?" Make lots and lots of lists. Popsugar has a wedding day photo list, BuzzFeed has a collection of diagrams for planning every aspect of your wedding, and Real Simple offers another checklist. Previously mentioned The Knot offers other get-organized-with-premade-lists checklists. Save them to Evernote or Dropbox or whatever wedding folder you're creating and use them.
Skip the Rituals That Don't Really Matter to You: I'll never forget throwing the bouquet for the next bride-to-be to catch, only to hear its thud on the floor. My bridesmaids and female guests just weren't that crazy about that tradition (although, interesting enough, when my husband threw the garter, the guys all lept for it). Now it seems kind of funny, but I should've known better at the time. Don't feel obliged to include anything in your wedding just because it's tradition. Or because it's on someone else's schedule or wedding template.
Take It Easy with the Wedding Registry: It's so easy to get carried away with your registry. After all, you're trying to make it easier for your guests by suggesting a variety gifts in a wide price range—and it's the most effortless shopping you'll ever do, no pain of paying. Be careful what you wish for, though. I have no idea why I put a food steamer on my registry (other than my weakness for kitchen gadgets), but now that and other impractical (though much appreciated!) wedding gifts are just cluttering my basement.
Plan for the Worst: No matter how much you plan, something will deviate from the plan on that day. Plan for it. You're saying your vows outdoors? Make sure there's a place indoors (or storm equipment) just in case. Going to eat foods you've never had before? Make sure someone close to you is carrying allergy medicine. (Seriously, I broke out in hives during my reception from who knows what. Thankfully, my sister had Benadryl on her.) Whether it's the weather, the large gathering of incompatible people, or just Murphy's Law, prepare for something going wrong. Have a backup of everything possible. Here's a wedding emergency kit that can help (stain wipes and safety pins, of course!). Bring another copy of your vows, a makeup bag (or other toiletries), and so on. You know that scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral where the best man forgot the rings? What the heck, carry some vending machine rings if it makes you feel better.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate: I don't like asking for help, but if there's one time I could've used more help, it was during the wedding planning. People offered, of course, but I hadn't learned yet the art of delegating and relinquishing control. Find the small things on your checklists you can trust others with, and let them do it if they want to help you. And even if it seems your spouse-to-be is nonchalant about the whole affair and doesn't want to pitch it, still try to get him/her to pitch in. (It's good practice for the later years.)
Don't Break Your Ankle the Day Before Your Wedding: Don't do unusual, potentially dangerous activities like bowling right before your wedding. (I did twist my ankle the night before my wedding while bowling, which is a hazardous sport for me.)Seriously, take care of yourself and try not to stress. Your wedding day is going to be amazing, no matter how much or little you planned (and even if you're covered in hives and you're limping on one foot). Count that as the eleventh thing I wish I had known before the big day.