1) Have a bustle contingency plan This is absolutely the most important piece of advice that came about after my own wedding. If your dress has a train, an alterations person will make the necessary adjustments so that it bustles (folds-up securely) after the ceremony. I had that (obviously), but the material of my dress was so heavy that the bustle didn't stay. In hindsight, I should have gotten it double-bustled. Another word on this: bring safety pins, and even a sewing kit along for day-of blunders. By 6p, I literally had a wedding guest sew my train to the rest of my dress. (This was after the train fell for the 47th time).
2) Have a hair and make-up trial Whether or not you're getting your hair and make-up professionally done, I'd suggest doing a run through of exactly how you're wearing your hair and make-up before your wedding day. I wore more make-up and different hair than in regular life, and this allowed me to test how it would photograph, how the hair would look after 12 hours, etc. 3) Spray Tan Early If you're going to spray tan, do it three days prior to the wedding day, not two. (In all my rehearsal dinner photos I look like orange jelly on burnt toast. Not a good look).
4) Write EVERYTHING down on a master calendar With many weddings having many events over several days, it can be a challenge to remember all the details. ("Am I bringing the hard copies of the wedding readings to the rehearsal or to the church the morning of the wedding?" or "What's the rehearsal dinner address?") It saves a lot of headache, especially once the wedding-week arrives and you're trying to remember lots of little details.
5) Two words: Google Docs We had everything from the master guest list with addresses, to food choices, to table arrangements in Google Docs, and this helped so much. In the early days of wedding planning, we were constantly sending documents to each other titled "Guest List v3 Nov 21" or whatever. That gets confusing fast. Google docs allows everyone (the bride in Chicago, the MOB in Iowa... for instance) to see the same document and be sure it's the most up-to-date version.
6) Choose your bridal party - and people in your wedding ceremony - carefully After the wedding, I realized that one of the best decisions I made was who to have in my bridal party. I couldn't have picked better maids-of-honor, bridesmaids and personal attendants. The wedding would truly have not been the same - or wedding planning as fun for me - without them being beside me. Further, sitting on the alter watching an aunt walk up to do a reading, or an uncle and aunt walk down the aisle with the Communion gifts.... it added something to the ceremony that I hadn't full realized until I lived it. It was really