Don’t get me wrong. My wedding was Ah-Mazing. And I’m not really one who enjoys using the word ‘regret’. Buuut if I am being honest, there are a few things about my big day that I wished would have turned out differently.
I was engaged in February 2015 and married in October 2015. We planned an executed a pretty freaking amazing wedding in 8 months. This seemed like a totally reasonable amount of time to me, but it may as well have been 8 weeks based on how some of our friends and family reacted (8 weeks can be doable, too!). Overall, I never felt rushed and I never felt like we were missing anything or making sacrifices, but there were a few things that happened that I would love a do-over for.
To be clear, these aren’t mistakes. I have a different perspective now, and it’ easier for me to see that some things that seemed so important really weren’t, and things I was more indifferent about could have used some more attention. Like…
1- Rushing My Dress Purchase
My wedding dress shopping experience left a bad enough taste in my mouth that I’ve written an entire post on that alone. One of the things I left out of that post (it was already long enough) was that I unnecessarily rushed the purchase of my dress to fall in line with a trunk sale for one of the designers I had been eyeballing. There was a dollar value discount to be had that worked out to be less 7% off the price of the dress. In the long run, that was really nothing to jump at. But, I was obsessed with spending as little money as possible to get the nice things that I wanted.
The dress was purchased, and I cried at least twice and second guessed my decision for months. Not exactly tears of joy.
Though I ended up with a beautiful dress that made me very happy, I strongly urge future brides to take your time shopping and spread your appointments out so you don’t get overwhelmed with the experience.
2- Bridesmaid Dress Fiasco
There’s no easy way to describe the failure that was my bridesmaid dress selection process.
There weren’t very many things in my wedding that I was picky about (ie. eggshell tablecloths vs baby powder white… I mean, I’m for sure going to spill something all over any light colored linens so I’ll take whatever is the cheapest, thanks.)
But for some reason, I knew what I wanted in the bridesmaid dresses. I wanted long, printed bridesmaid’s dresses. Turns out, long printed dresses weren’t in style. The one’s that were, were over $500. This was an issue for me because I was not comfortable asking my girls to spend that kind of money. So I looked at other styles but didn’t like anything I saw and I was losing time. It got to the point where every attempt to find dresses ended pointless arguments with my mom, who was trying her best to help me. She was the one who ended up finding the dress that my girls wore, 8 weeks before my wedding. The store then screwed up the order (THREE TIMES. UGH.) and one of my girls– who happened to be 7 months pregnant at the time – got her dress the day before my wedding and had to get it altered. So stressful.
3- The List
This is the closest I will get to actual regret about my wedding — the fact that we left some friends’ invites too late due to our overpopulated guest list. Budget-wise, it was important to us to stick to a moderate guest list. I have a huge family that lives in Western Canada, and we tried to get those invites out first so we would know how many were in or out. That group was the biggest variable due to the cost of traveling, time of year, and the fact that we were having a child-free wedding (which can be an immediate decline, for some). Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good grasp on our numbers until way too late in the game, which meant that some of our friends weren’t able to make it.
The biggest kick in the pants was that there were people who no-showed on the day of. Friends. Who no-showed. Like…. what?
Our venue coordinator told us to expect that anywhere up to 10% of our attending guests wouldn’t come, and I almost laughed at her. There’s no way in hell our people who have RSVPd yes will not be coming. But sure enough, some didn’t. 6 people. At the end of the day, having a few extra people from the get-go wouldn’t have broken our budget, and would have made me feel a lot better about myself.
4- Properly Scheduling Hair+Makeup
To this day, this still irks me even though I know I should let it go. My makeup artist showed up 45 minutes late, and ultimately effed the entire day’s timeline. For those who don’t know, your timeline can make or break your day. Needless to say — I. WAS. FURIOUS. She also tried to double book me, which means she tried to tell us — on the morning of my wedding –that she had to leave at 2pm latest to go to another client. WHAT? If you pay someone for the day and she doesn’t get set up until 10am and has 6 ladies to do (at an hour per person)… yeah, no. That’s not going to work. And that is super unprofessional. She also tried to get gas money from my girls while I was having pictures taken when a travel fee was already included in her fee. I had this prearranged in an envelope with my girls so luckily they told her where to stick it. In hindsight, even though I sent her a map, separate written directions, and estimated drive time information, I should have told her to be there 30-45 min before her actual start time.
5- Flip-Flopping on My Wedding Party Florals
From the start I didn’t want elaborate flowers for my girls, I actually didn’t want any flowers. I didn’t even carry a bouquet. There’s no good reason, I just felt it was unnecessary. Then I started listening to other people’s opinions and began thinking maybe it would be awkward if they weren’t holding anything at all? So I decided on one large silk flower. Which was actually very pretty. And then I was all, “Oh, is that too plain? Should it have ribbons? It should have ribbons. That would look pretty flowing in the wind.” I was still deciding this the morning of my wedding AT THE VENUE. Ugh.
Imagine us all glue-gunning freaking vintage ribbons to oversized silk flowers at noon on my wedding day.
And, no. They didn’t look pretty flowing in the wind. They didn’t flow at all. I would have been totally fine if there were no flowers at all and should have stuck with that.
6- Not Practicing My Speech
Our newlywed speech will go down in history as the longest wedding speech of all time. Seriously. It was 43 minutes long. Forty-three. My cousin timed it. Best part is, it started with my husband saying something to the effect of, “I just don’t know what to say…” We are now a running (well-meaning) joke among our families and guests. I’ll be honest, aside from the 3 paragraphs that were actually written, I had no idea what I was going to say until 5 minutes before I got up to speak. I was making notes on my phone during dessert. We broke all our own rules:
- Less than 10 minutes per person
- Use a timer
- Don’t mention every group of people in the room
- Make sure our paper is easy to read
Fail, fail, fail. It certainly didn’t feel like 43 minutes… to us, lol. I was told after that no-one was allowed to go to the bar during our speech which means it was the longest 43 minutes of our guests’ lives. BUT, I will say that I’m not sorry for saying what I wanted to say, to the people I said it to. That’s the only time in my life I will have all of my most special people in one room. It was important to me that I acknowledged them.
The thing that sucked is that we ate up a good amount of our band/dance floor time, and that’s what I felt bad about. Other than that it is pretty much a #sorrynotsorry situation, lol.
7- Not Paying Someone to Clean Up
If you are planning a wedding and deciding whether or not to save money on the tear-down of your venue – DON’T DO IT. And by that I mean, just pay the money. If there is one time in your life to hire someone to clean, this is it. Also, there’s no bigger buzzkill than watching people throw your table centers (you just paid $$$ for) straight into the garbage at 1:30 am. Pay whatever they want, to whoever will take care of that for you. We didn’t and spent nearly 2 hours putting shit away. All I wanted to do was make an after party a reality. We got to our hotel at 2:30am, completely exhausted.
If you are planning a wedding, did any of my points stick out for you? If you have had a wedding, what might you have done differently? Share with me in the comments!
Want more wedding stuff? Check out my post: 7 Reasons Why Wedding Dress Shopping is the Worst
Don’t worry — it’s not all bad 🙂 Stay tuned for: 7 Things I LOVED About My Wedding.
All photos: Melissa Sung Photography