If you invite people you don't really want at the wedding, assuming they won't come, prepare for unwanted guests!
"We got so much random advice before our wedding last November, but the craziest to me was to take photos weeks before the big day in my wedding dress with my fiancé. This is really popular in Utah, where I live, and it's so strange to me! How are your photos supposed to look natural? The idea is that you're not as stressed on your wedding day taking photos, but it just seems so forced and fake. We ended up scheduling another shoot the weekend after our honeymoon to get more photos just in case we didn't get everything we wanted on our wedding day. It turned out wonderfully because we were able to get beautiful, relaxed photos. I've been telling all my friends to do this because we weren't stressed on our wedding day taking photos for three hours." —Brittany
"I was advised to get out thank-you cards within a month of the reception. This is unrealistic. You are exhausted after spending upwards of a year doing wedding planning, and for many people a honeymoon immediately follows. As long as thank-you cards are out six to eight weeks post reception, you're fine. Confession: I got my cards out three months after, which was a bit delayed, but no one blinked an eye." —Ann
"The worst advice, which I heard over and over, is 'Make it all about you.' This isn't your 13th birthday, and you don't need a crown and a spotlight. This is a chance to come together and celebrate with your entire family. Make the wedding about us and them and we and the new family you now have together." —Brandi
"My fiancé was finishing up his service overseas in the year before the wedding, so he couldn't help out much on planning details. I was told not to bother with a wedding planner because my mom, MIL, and I could handle everything. Ugh—nightmare! The moms didn't agree on anything but that I had no good ideas. I 'fired' them and got a planner four months before the wedding. Best decision I ever made." —Sheila
"In the build-up to the wedding, I was advised to spend the reception personally greeting every single person. If your reception is 150+ people, you're basically taking your entire reception to talk to people other than your new spouse. Many of those people are dates or plus-ones who you have no relationship with. I learned the hard way it's better to try to stop by each table and do a blanket hello. A personal greeting to every person just isn't realistic." —Megan
"My cousin said, 'Oh, invite everybody. Send them invitations. Most of them won't come.' Wrong!!!! I invited lots of relatives I hadn't seen in years as a courtesy, assuming they'd issue a polite no. Alas, they came in droves. Not only did this add to the cost of the wedding, but also there was a concern the venue couldn't accommodate everybody. Lesson learned: Invite only the people you really want with you celebrating your happiness." —Debbi
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, is a New York City–based marriage therapist and author.