So, you’re getting married and you want everything to be perfect, right? After all, this is a once in a lifetime experience during which every bride deserves to feel their absolute best. But as we all know, perfection doesn’t exist. There are bound to be mishaps along the way, and once the day is set in motion, it’s difficult to change course. We’ve rounded up our list of top things brides regret most, and we’ll cover topics like, “Am I spending too much on my wedding?” to things you wish you did on your wedding day.
While wedding regrets are absolutely normal, our hope is to help guide brides to make the best decisions possible, and even shed light on topics that you may or may not have already thought of.
1. NOT SPENDING ENOUGH MONEY - OR SPENDING TOO MUCH
We get it. Creating a wedding budget is hard work. And where did this fictitious, made-up number even come from? Your parents; your friends; some blog article you read?
Creating an unrealistic wedding budget that will put you, your spouse-to-be, or your families in debt is probably too much. And budgeting is important, which is why we’ve included this as the #1 things brides regret.
However, many brides look back and regret having nickel and dimed the entire experience. Consider the handful of things that are your top priorities: this might include your dream wedding venue, that wedding dress you’ve been dreaming of since childhood, a skilled photographer that you vibe with, or your dream floral setup that creates the whole mood.
Don’t skimp on those items. Choose to spend less on the items that aren’t as high of a priority; that you could do without, or look back on and it make no difference one way or the other. Then, spend more of your budget on the big-ticket items that will help create memories to last a lifetime.
2. NOT EATING THROUGHOUT THE WEDDING DAY
Trust us when we say: you’re going to be overwhelmingly busy on your wedding day. Between last minute veil steaming, hair, makeup, bridal photos, and all that jazz, who has time to stop and eat? By the time dinner rolls around, you’re hangry or fidgety because it’s 6PM and you haven’t eaten a thing all day. This quickly becomes on of the most crucial things brides regret not doing.
Make eating a priority. If you’re at a hotel, order room service the day before the wedding for scheduled delivery to snack on while getting ready. If you’re not at a hotel, services like GrubHub and UberEats makes food delivery a breeze. Try asking your caterer to set aside a plate to be delivered pre-wedding.
Delegate a bridesmaid or even a trusted guest to save some appetizers for you whilst you’re off taking all those gorgeous couples’ photos.
3. PACK A WEDDING DAY ESSENTIALS KIT
This is an absolute MUST. You will need a goodie bag of items on your wedding day with items that you will 100% use, and a few that are for “just in case” moments that you’ll want to have on hand, if and when those mishaps occur. You’ll quickly add this to the top of your list of “things brides regret” if you forget this tip.
- Lipstick. If you’re having a makeup artist create your wedding day look, ask ahead which color and brand they will be using so that you can purchase your own.
- Bleach Pen / Shout Wipes. Take caution of any delicate fabrics that don’t jive with bleach.
- Bobby pins, mini hairspray, and lots of safety pins.
- Blotting papers. You’ll be glowing on your wedding day but let’s keep that skin from looking slick and oily
- Female care products. Here’s to hoping that Aunt Flo steers clear of your wedding day, but bring some extra goodies just in case she pays a visit
- Mini sewing kit
- Deodorant, breath mints, and a mini mirror
- Advil and any prescription medications
Check out this comprehensive checklist from Loverly for an even greater list.
4. NOT CHOOSING THE DRESS YOU WANTED
Weddings can often feel political. You have two families joining together and everyone seems to have an opinion about everything. While it’s a lovely sentiment to be able to include your loved ones in such an important day, don’t forget that it is your & your fiancé’s wedding.
When surveying brides about things they regret not doing, “listening to their own voice” was HUGE.
Choose the dress that you look and feel your best in, and that you absolutely love. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up looking back and regretting the dress choice, when it was made to appease your bridal party. Remember: a happy bride is the most beautiful bride!
Check out a few of our favorites here.
5. NOT GIVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER A PHOTO CHECKLIST
Did we already mention that you’re going to be crazy busy on your wedding day? Because, you will. And remembering exactly what photos you wanted will likely slip your mind when there are so many other things to think about. Give them a checklist before the wedding and consider delegating one trusted member from each party who can help organize the chaos.
Here is an example photo checklist for consideration:
- Bridal Party
- Members of the family + Bride and Groom / Bride (group family members together and think of who may or may not want to be photographed together)
- Any specific locations around your resort or wedding venue that might photograph well
- Just you and your newlywed spouse after saying “I do!”
- Bride + Groom/Bride as the bride walks down the aisle
- Any sentimental gifts exchanged before / during the wedding
- First dance, and dances with Mother, Father, etc.
6. PREP FOR YOUR PHOTOS
Now, we’re not suggesting you go out and take any modeling classes or Photography 101 to understand lighting and angles. But we are suggesting that you get to know your “good” angles, and your “bad” angles.
This is going to be all about perspective, and what looks amazing in your photographers’ eyes, might not be a photo you want to display on your walls.
- Have a chat with your photographer / videographer to clue them in on any good sides you might have, or poses that you’d like photographed.
- It might sound cheesy, but practice your wedding kiss. This is one photo you’re going to want to share; so figuring out what kind of smooch looks best on camera to you and your spouse is crucial!
- Make sure you or your makeup artist are using creams and powders that will not reflect light if someone decides to snap a photo with flash. Nobody needs their face to look 5 shades lighter than their body tone.
- Consider lifting and positioning your body in a way that looks flattering to you in photos.
We love this guide from Brides Magazine on just this topic!
7. INVITING TOO MANY GUESTS
Let’s be real: your list of 500 guests is sure to include relatives of friends of relatives whom you have never met or even heard of. The thought of excluding anyone (and the dreaded guilt that accompanies that), is something no bride wants to grapple with.
Including guests that you don’t know or want to include on your special day not only drastically increases the budget, but it takes away from precious time that you could spend with your newlywed spouse, and close friends and family. It’s customary for the Bride and Groom/Bride to pay a visit to each table and thank their guests for attending. By the time you’ve visited your 50th table, the reception is halfway over!
Consider cutting your list to friends and family that you’ve spoken to within the last year, and set up a Zoom meeting for others to tune in, if they’d like to view the ceremony.
8. NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME WITH YOUR GUESTS
Speaking of oversized weddings, having too many guests can mean subtracting precious time you could have spent with the ones who matter most to you.
When we interviewed brides on things they regret from their wedding day, this was high on the list.
Chances are, some, if not many or even all of your guests have traveled great distances to celebrate your nuptials. Make sure to check in with each of your treasured guests, and thank them for being a part of your special day!
9. NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE
While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your day, don’t forget to spend time with your newlywed spouse. This day is after all, all about the two of you and the love that you share! Setting time aside for photos of just the two of you can be a good way to get some extra face time. Consider having a sweetheart table that separates you from the rest of your guests so that you have a few moments to chit chat in between visiting guests and speeches.
10. NOT HIRING A DAY-OF WEDDING COORDINATOR / PLANNER
If you decide that having a wedding planner isn’t within your budget, consider looking for a coordinator who offers day-of or week-of coordination. Let’s say it again for the third time: you’re going to be crazy busy on the day of your wedding (and week of, if we’re being realistic.)
Spending a few extra dollars to have a professional come in will alleviate a load of stress! And the last thing you want to be on your wedding day is stressed.
If you’re located in Las Vegas, here are just a few of our preferred wedding planner vendors:
Diana from Book Simply Elegant
Nikki from Cactus Canyon Events
11. WORRYING TOO MUCH, AND NOT BEING FULLY "PRESENT"
The flowers, the guests, the music, the dress, the catering, the bar, the weather…there are so many things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Understand that mishaps are bound to occur. Something will go wrong. That’s Murphy’s law, right?
The best thing you can do is plan ahead of time, and then let things go when they don’t go quite according to plan. The day that is meant to be one of the happiest days in your life can quickly become the most stressful day of your life if you allow those mishaps to consume you. Sit back and try your best to enjoy every moment of this special day!
12. CHOREOGRAPH YOUR FIRST DANCE
OK, who doesn’t want to pull a “Dirty Dancing,” run and lift?! We all secretly do, right?
When we say “choreograph,” that’s not what we mean. It doesn’t even need to involve taking dance lessons with your spouse-to-be. If you can’t get yourself into a dance class and don’t have any dancing skills, there are countless video tutorials across the internet sporting some basic movements that even the most uncoordinated of the bunch can follow along.
Now, why would you regret not choreographing something for you first dance? Google “first wedding dance” and you’ll find a slew of couples that swayed back and forth for 5 minutes as their guests were lulled into boredom. Having something a little extra will help make it a memorable moment, and learning to dance with your new partner is a great couple-building exercise!
Wedding Cake Floral Bouquet
13. WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE...
There’s a reason why wedding planners have are a career for many. Planning a wedding is no joke, and understanding the wedding timeline can be confusing. Here’s a few tips on how far out you should plan to book / buy so that you’re not scrambling last minute, and making snap decisions that you’ll come to regret:
- Popular venues will sometimes book up a year in advanced. Be prepared to pick your spot 1 year in advanced, if possible.
- Destination weddings require advanced notice: allow 8 months – 1 year for guests to book flights and hotel stays.
- Wedding dress / accessory shopping should ideally begin 8-9 months in advanced. Most designers require 4-6 month turn around time for made-to-order gowns, and you’ll need extra time for alterations. Rush production is often available for a fee.
- Photographers / Videographers should be booked 6-8 months in advanced (longer for the exceptionally busy talent).
- Exceptionally talented wedding planners may only accept limited clients, and therefore should be booked 7 months – 1 year in advanced whenever possible.