The wedding world is constantly growing and changing. It’s hard to keep up! If you have never planned a wedding before, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all the decisions that need to be made—especially since you don’t know what to expect. Learning from other’s mistakes can help guide you when you begin your own wedding planning. We asked 100 women about their biggest wedding regrets, and we learned a lot! Of course all brides are different, but perhaps their insight can help you avoid some common wedding day mistakes. They were asked, “What do you regret or wish you’d done differently for your wedding?” Here’s what they had to say:
38% | “I Should’ve Hired a Professional Photographer.”
Although most brides had pictures taken, not all hired a professional photographer. To many it might seem like a good idea to go with a friend, or a cheaper option, to save some money. BUT, in the end, lots of our brides wished they’d have splurged for the real deal. After all, the pictures are your keepsakes. They are what you look back on—forever physical evidence of your happiest day! If you decide a professional photographer is the way to go, make sure you take the time to find the right fit for you. Do your research! Find someone who knows what they are doing. To get a feel for their style, look at their portfolio, meet with them, and have a chat! You definitely want to feel comfortable with your photographer and feel confident in their skills.
19% | “I should have eloped instead.”
Many brides wished they had cut it off after the ceremony! Eloping not only saves money, but it saves a lot of stress as well. Keeping it intimate and personal steers drama away, and allows you to celebrate with your closest people. If some of your loved ones get offended that they didn’t make the invite list, you can always just say you are keeping costs low! This is an excellent option that can save you money AND unnecessary grief on your big day.
11% | “I should have hired a videographer.”
Several brides loved their photos, but wished they had a keepsake they could watch from their wedding day. Videography is a great way to replay your special moments—literally! You can watch your ceremony over and over again to relive the magic!
11% | “I wish I would have planned for myself and not for others.”
Your wedding is FOR YOU TWO! It’s a day to celebrate your love, and the uniting of your families. It can be tricky to balance planning the wedding of your dreams AND dealing with the opinions of others, but stick to your guns! One bride we interviewed told us the following, “I wish that I had stood up for myself. I wanted to please everyone involved. By the end, the only thing I loved about my wedding was my groom.” You probably have a vision for your perfect day, and it might not always match what others have envisioned for you. Never forget that it’s your vision that matters most! Opinions should be welcomed when asked for, but don’t be afraid to speak up and go with your gut. Everyone deserves a magical wedding day! We think you should love everything about it—not just your partner!
9% | “I wish I would have gotten my dream dress.”
Because most of us only wear our wedding dress once, some brides have a hard time justifying an expensive pick. Staying within your budget is important, but so is finding something you truly feel beautiful in. One bride told us, “Even if I’d just rented one, I would have loved it way more than the one that I wore.” If buying a dress directly from an expensive bridal shop doesn’t work for your budget, there are plenty of other options! Buying online and altering is a great way to cut costs. Renting is another excellent alternative to purchasing. And remember, you can still get the full “bridal” experience without buying in store. Go to a shop to try on different styles, cuts, and sizes of gowns. Not only will that help inform your purchase if you go the online route, but it is an experience you will never forget. You can still get your “Say Yes to the Dress” moment in a shop without paying through the nose.
8% | “I wish I would have planned activities for the reception.”
Your reception is one big party—which means guests often expect to be entertained. If you are worried about people sticking around to celebrate, plan a few activities to keep them busy! One of our brides told us that if she’d had a few activities planned for the reception, “It would have been way more fun. I would have been able to interact with the guests while still enjoying myself!” Planning a few events will help you feel like less of a host, and more like the guest of honor you are! Instead of running around trying to make sure everyone else is having a good time, you will be able to relax and enjoy the party you spent so much time planning! Here are a few ideas to help:
-Make your first dance a real showstopper! Whether you take classes, learn a few moves on Youtube, or set up a flash mob—planning an entertaining first dance will keep your guests happy and create lasting memories for you and your partner!
-Play games with your guests. There are tons to pick from. You could do the classic wedding shoe game, set up some yard games outside, or leave some games out on the tables for the kids!
-Provide entertainment. You could have a bounce house, a photo booth, or maybe even a performance!
4% | “I wish I had someone else do my hair and makeup.”
Your wedding day is like a puzzle! There are lots of moving pieces that need to be placed just right to make sure it all fits together beautifully. Getting picture perfect ready is one of them! It’s a piece that shouldn’t be stressful or rushed. No one wants to worry about not being ready on time, or not looking their best. Don’t know how to do hair? Have someone else do it for you! Worried about makeup mishaps caused by tears or sweat? Hire a professional who will use the best products and be ready for touch ups! You should feel absolutely gorgeous (and pampered) on your special day, so ask for help if you need it! It will be worth it when you’re dancing the night away and all your curls are still in place!
Words from the wise
So many brides told us that having friends or family help them out on their wedding day caused even MORE stress. It’s tricky telling someone you love that you don’t want their services—even if it could save you money! Tell them that you want them to enjoy your day without any added worry. Avoid the drama with loved ones at the wedding and ask someone else. Let a professional take the pressure so that you AND the people you love most can celebrate! There are some things that are just worth the price!