The easiest way to not have any regrets during the wedding planning process is to listen to brides who have already been through it and wish they had done certain things differently. Trust us, you want to learn from their mistakes to make sure your day is as close to perfect as possible.
Spending too much money. Brides start off with a budget, but many find themselves overspending–and often on the smaller details. “I think since people (at least the lucky ones) don’t do this more than once or twice in their life, it is pretty easy to get caught up in that every little detail needs to be stunningly wonderful,” says recent bride Kristin Ford Hinrichs. “It is also difficult because there are so many details and I was not really aware of what things ‘should’ cost, such as invites, napkins, favors, etc.”
Skipping the videographer. “I have tons of photos, but decided to trim expenses by not hiring a videographer. I regret not having any video footage of us from that magical day,” says Taya Dunn Johnson of mrstdj.com.
Choosing the wrong venue. A few brides were not entirely thrilled with their venues, specifically selecting a venue that is too small with not enough dance space, or it is so large it feels empty even with 300 attendees. Some also copped to choosing a venue that was so remote most of their guests weren’t able to attend.
Letting the moms take over. “Most of the complaints I hear from my brides are about both the moms,” says Danielle Farrell of The Betty Brigade. “Usually, their own mother is super demanding, requiring things to be a certain way, not contributing to the budget, adding expensive last minute changes, etc. The flip side is the soon-to-be in-laws. Often they have requirements for their son having to do with how things need to be done, they add to the guest list without regard to cost, etc.”
Needing too much control. “My best friend and maid-of-honor was not in my wedding and it was my decision. I will regret that decision until the end of time,” says Becki Gervin. “While in the early stages of wedding planning, my best friend told me she was pregnant and due a week before my wedding. I started panicking. What if she was in the wedding? What if she couldn’t make it? How do I plan around this? My husband and I decided to ask her to step down because I was so stressed–how selfish of me, right? I often day dream of the ceremony and wish I had looked in to the crowd at her and asked her to stand up next to me–oh yes, she was there, she gave birth two weeks before my wedding to a beautiful little girl whom I adore.”
Sending out the save the dates too soon. Did you send out the save the dates to too many people–and then didn’t have the budget to invite all of them? You’re not alone. “We were planning a wedding in a year, so I felt very rushed about getting the save the dates out, and we definitely sent them out to too many people,” says Lynn Savo. “It made for some uncomfortable discussions later on.”
Hiring a friend. “The biggest mistake I made was letting an old high school friend talk me in to allowing her to photograph the wedding as a wedding gift,” recalls one anonymous bride. “She is a professional photographer, but I don’t think she’d done a lot of weddings. She only took three photos of my husband and me alone together during the wedding, and none of them were good. I was sad once the wedding was over and I realized we didn’t really have an official wedding shot of just the two of us.”
Not setting expectations for the bridal party. “I actually ran into this myself while planning my own wedding,” says Farrell. “While you don’t want to be bridezilla, you also can’t be ‘too nice.’ Talk with your bridal party ahead of time, tell them what you’re planning, if you’ve chosen the attire, footwear, accessories, etc. Set firm dates for ordering, discuss budgets with them, and try to find options that will work for everyone.”
For more wedding planning advice, check out 8 things you need a backup plan for at your wedding and how to not go into debt for your wedding.