7 Things I Would Change About My Wedding
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’s 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 ones 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 in 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, merely 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 24 hrs before my wedding and STILL 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 travel, 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 maid of honour so luckily, when she asked for the extra cash, 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. The 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 the table centers you just paid $$$ for straight into the garbage at 1:30 am. Pay whatever they want, to whoever will take care of the cleanup for you. We didn’t and spent nearly 2 hours putting shit away, and we were the last people to leave. All I wanted to do was make an after party a reality. Instead, 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
These are all really great tips that I think every bride-to-be should read. Perhaps there would be less bridezillas in the world. 🙂
Ahh! This is such a great post! It also makes me glad that I’m not engaged yet, haha! But seriously, no one ever shows you the other side of wedding planning. You have some great tips among your regrets!
I really liked reading another brides perspective on their big day. I too loved my wedding, but felt rushed about my dress.
Great tips. I totally agree with the cleaning up! We had family clean up after ours and then also cleaned up after two of our siblings weddings. Everyone is already exhausted and then cleaning up is just a whole other thing to deal with.
I love honesty posts like these because weddings are HARD. I regret not eloping due to family drama but we secretly had a private ceremony for us after the” real wedding” and that’s that I will always remember as my wedding .:)
Ugh, I hear you, there are so many stresses! I would have hired a photographer to capture more… we had a friend do it and hired a videographer, which I love watching to this day… but I would have splurged on both looking back on it.
Ugh! Yes! Good things to share with those who are going through this process or have yet too! I have a list myself…I’m sure all brides do!
These are great advice and I agree to all these. There are so many things that i wished i should have done in my wedding day but I was glad it was over and done with.
Isi does it
Being the only single girl in my group of friends means that I help every single one of them during their weddings. And I cannot agree more with you in some of the points we have experienced the same things.
Good thing is like practice for mine, so we’ll see haha
Thanks for sharing yours!
My biggest regrets was not checking out more photographers and venues
I love this list, but I honestly can’t relate because I eloped! 😛 However, I hadn’t thought about clean up! EVER!
Love this article! It is so relatable…I agree with all of your points babe!
Love this list and the bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous. The only thing I change about my wedding is that I wouldn’t do it!
Love this! As perfect as weddings are we always wished we could change something about it!! Mine is def #1.
I totally feel you! I got married two years ago in may and feel awful that I have some regrets but I do! And some similar to yours, my makeup artist showed up STONED and did a shitty job, I could’ve done better haha!
New Labels Only
Love the advice. Definitely going to take your advice on board especially the cleaning up part!
I want a wedding redo. Everything went wrong with ours, but apparently that is good luck. We’re hoping to do a vow renewal for our ten year in Ireland.
The cleaning up after the wedding — i recently heard crazy stories because of deposits and such! I will make sure that I take your regrets into accountability for my wedding.
Your bridesmaids dresses are beautiful! My engagement party actually turned into my wedding (long story! Haha), sooooooooo I feel like I avoided all the stress and planning which was kinda nice!
This is amazing. Many people don’t take time to reflect about what they’d do differently, and for people who live weddings on the daily (ie, me) this is something I really appreciate hearing. LOVE this advice!
This is a great list for brides to be to read so they don’t make any mistakes they regret. The one that is the same for me was the bridesmaid dress. That part was so hard. Looking back I would have done it differently.
Interesting post. I was engaged two days ago and Im getting married in some months. Im very nervous about it I’m still in a shock haha!! I have no idea about how Im gonna prepare the wedding so Im gonna follow your tips it might be helpful for me. Thank you for sharing
I love this post. Weddings are for the bride and groom not everyone else. Keeping it special for yourselves and loving the moment is so important. Great perspective.
I am a wedding planner turned blogger and I come across this all this. As a professional planner, I typically guide my clients throughout the planning process. I am so glad you wrote this so other brides can relate.
Jae | Dreaming of Leaving
Awesome tips for brides-to-be so they dont make the same mistake, great post 🙂 xo
Although my wedding was 26 years ago, your points are totally resonating with me! The late invited, as we also had relatives from Canada, and my husband’ from Ohio. Had we sent them out a bit earlier they could r planned to come. The bridesmaids dresses! Wow! I get that! And back then it was s lot of money to only wear a dress once! Thanks for sharing this!
Seriously with the clean up crew! So worth the money!!! I put my wedding together in 6 weeks so luckily I didn’t have time to over think everything but I wish I would have gotten a clean up crew that’s for sure!
I am not planning my wedding any time soon but I will definitely keep this in mind to when I do start wedding planning it makes sense everything you said and I’m so sorry you had to clean everything after and didn’t get to your hotel until 2:30.
This is a great post and I think key points that a lot of brides do not think about (especially #7!) Thank you for sharing an honest raw post about your day!
I’m currently planning our wedding for November this year, and this is really helpful! Thanks for sharing some insight on some decisions I have coming up 🙂
-Clarissa @ The View From Here
Angela S Hathaway
Thanks for these tips! I don’t imagine I’ll be planning a wedding anytime in the near future, however, these are useful even for large-scale events! Will definitely keep these things in mind–they seem so trivial until the day of!
LOVE to hear your honest advice – super helpful 🙂 – thank you!