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.
50 - Not spending enough money, or spending too much
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 like Allister Freeman, 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.
49 - 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.
48 - Choreograph your first dance
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? Search “first wedding dance tutorial” by Ballroom Feed on YouTube 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!
47 - 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.
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!
46 - Not hiring a wedding 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 wedding planner like Katrina Otter Weddings come in will alleviate a load of stress! And the last thing you want to be on your wedding day is stressed.
45 - 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.
44 - 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.
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!
43 - Inviting too many guests
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.
42 - Prep for your photos
We highly suggest 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.
41 - 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.
Choose the dress that you look and feel your best in on Yourdress website, 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!
40 - You ignore your folks
Chances are, your parents are contributing some funds. That means they will want a say in the planning. Make a list of the no-compromise details you and your fiancé are unwilling to forgo on your wedding day. If parents are paying, that doesn’t give them the right to veto these decisions. But if money comes with the condition that Mom and Dad have the final say, be prepared to lose those funds if your vision doesn’t fit theirs. Be proactive and prevent bruised egos by including your parents in your planning from the get-go. Invite them to dress fittings, ask for their opinions on cake design, and take advantage of their talents—like having them design a monogram or advise on the menu.
39 - You allow a free-for-all with toasts
Some guests often misinterpret a toast to be a speech, and they talk forever, cutting into a couple’s well-laid schedule. The best way to make sure you don’t lose valuable dance and party time is to preplan the toasts with your wedding planner or emcee. That will ensure the microphone is somewhat controlled and not just anybody can get up and babble. This is also an important way to avoid “roasts” by inebriated guests who should know better.
38 - You ignore your brows
Some brides focus exclusively on their eye makeup, forgetting their face-framing brows. If you don’t regularly have yours shaped, find an aesthetician at least three months before your wedding so you can take several test runs with enough time for regrowth. Then schedule an appointment a week before your walk down the aisle to allow for post-waxing or threading redness to subside.
37 - You overdo the spray tan
If you opt to spray tan, practice a couple of times beginning a few months before your wedding and check out Sienna’s bridal spray tan tips. This will allow you to find the right formula, adjust it, and gauge how long your tan will last. Also make sure your makeup artist is aware to ensure your foundation is consistent with the spray-tanned rest of you. You may even need to play with body bronzer to give you a seamless head-to-toe glow.
36 - You only have a cash bar
The bar bill amounts to one of the reception’s biggest expenses, so it’s understandable that not every couple can afford hours and hours of open bar boozing. But there are many ways to save big without having to resort to a cash bar, including serving two signature cocktails, wine, and beer, or asking your venue for a corkage option. This will allow you to keep unopened bottles, which you can then return, if allowed in your state.
35 - You don't schedule maintenance appointments with your jeweler
It is very important to schedule maintenance appointments with your jeweler at least once a year to make sure the prongs are tight, the diamond isn’t loose, and there are no hairline cracks in the shank. All-around maintenance is vital. Check out Olivier Laudus for more wedding jewellery inspiration.
34 - You don't consider your venue while planning your decor
It’s important to consider your reception space when designing table schemes, lounge areas, and floral arrangements. If you have a large window with a fabulous view, make that a central part of your décor. Don’t go crazy spending money on other things when the venue is already gorgeous.
33 - You forget to set parental boundaries
Most brides experience some conflict with their parents or future in-laws during the planning process. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but the earlier you discuss what’s bothering you, the better. Make time to talk to them in person, and open by thanking them for the nice things they have done for you. Follow with a frank explanation why their decisions or actions are causing problems.
32 - You invite non-wedding guests to your pre-wedding parties
The bridal shower is intended to be a celebration with the bride’s nearest and dearest, so every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list. The same goes for your bachelorette party. Don’t invite anyone to these pre-wedding parties if they’re not invited to the main event.
31 - You don't account for hidden costs
From last-minute seamstress charges to cash tips for deliveries, most brides rack up hundreds in extra fees the week before the wedding. While it’s logical that some surprise charges will crop up, spend some time creating a wedding planning and budgeting spreadsheet by the Noteur of anticipated week-of fees so you have the correct funds at your disposal.
30 - You put your ring through needless wear and tear
A diamond is one of the world’s hardest natural materials, but that doesn’t mean a cut and polished diamond cannot chip. Sometimes the table of a cut diamond can be susceptible to wear and tear. Be sure not to knock it against other hard materials. Mappin and Webb offers extensive, high-quality wedding rings that suit any taste.
29 - You don't match your bouquet to your dress
Heavy, awkward bouquets are impossible to clutch gracefully, and they end up covering more of the dress than many brides would like. Bring a photo of your dress to your floral appointments so your florist can see what you will be wearing and match the shape and size of your bouquet correctly.
28 - You get DIY happy
Tempted to cut your budget by playing florist and photographer? Think again. Tackling your own flowers means you’ll be buying and arranging your stems the morning of your wedding, then delivering them to your venue when you should be relaxing with family. And while your cousin may have thousands of Instagram followers, she’s unlikely to capture the lighting, get an assortment of candids, or anticipate the day’s flow the way a professional photographer would.
27 - You overcomplicate your invites
Brides often stuff their invitations with hotel contacts and maps for their out-of-town guests. Save the paper and the hassle by sending a group email to out-of-towners, which can include information on hotels, restaurants, directions, and points of interest. Guests can print the information if they choose or simply pull it up on their smartphones when they arrive in town.
26 - You overschedule your photographer
While a detailed list of the day’s itinerary and the who’s who for family portraits is essential, if you micromanage your photographer, you miss out on unplanned shots that are essential to a great album. Instead, once you’ve provided the photographer with these basics, give them leeway to capture the best shots without having to check on a list throughout the day.
25 - You don't make enough time for hair and makeup
The time spent getting ready should be as relaxed and fun as possible, but once you find yourself behind schedule, the pressure can build to catch up. Work on a day-of plan with your hair and makeup pros, then pad the time your wedding party has with each pro to ensure you’re properly photographed before you leave for the ceremony.
24 - You go trendy with your lipstick
Skip the trendy red-carpet looks and opt for you, but better. Nude lip color is all the rage, especially when paired with a smoky eye, but nude can make your lips completely disappear, especially in group photos. Consider a neutral color that has a fresh kiss of berry, peach, or rose, enough to distinguish your lips from the rest of your complexion.
23 - You think you're a professional cake baker
While asking your mom to make your favorite dishes or baking 50 pies yourself the week of the wedding might seem like a way to personalize the day and save money, the menu is really best left to a caterer. A professional will know how to properly estimate the amount of food to buy, how to prepare a meal on a large scale, when to serve different courses, and how to accommodate guests with dietary needs or restrictions. Visit The Cake Architect website to order bespoke wedding cakes.
22 - You overdose on hair product
It’s tempting to load up on lotions, serums, and sprays, but greasy hair isn’t exactly an ideal look under your veil. Limit smoothing and antifrizz products to a few drops, and go easy on your roots. On the night before your wedding, skip the intensive hair masks and instead shampoo your hair and condition only the ends.
21 - You don't do your floral research
Read up on flower costs, temperament, and fragrance before you select your arrangements. The peonies you love may be cost-prohibitive if you are getting married when they are not in season, and lilacs, gardenias, lilies of the valley, and hydrangeas may wilt in the hot summer sun. Don’t put perfume-y flowers like lilies on the tables, since they can overpower the food. If you must have them, carry them in your bouquet.
20 - You don't think beyond "per head"
Couples often build their budget around a per-head price, forgetting the extras—flowers, band, photographer—that aren’t included in most venues’ packages. These extras can often double the price per head, sending couples way over budget. Instead, think in terms of a fixed total and divvy each element by a percentage of that amount.
19 - You get ring envy
Every bride has a different idea of what her dream engagement ring will look like. Once you have that shiny stone on your finger, don’t start comparing your ring with anyone else’s.
18 - You limit yourself when it comes to dresses
When trying on gowns, remember that not every style dress flatters every figure. Piecemeal gowns, for example, or those in which the bodice is one style and then the hip or skirt is a completely different fabric or texture…don’t transition smoothly and can visually cut the body in unflattering ways. Likewise, thin fabrics such as silk charmeuse or chiffon skim the body and tend to magnify every little detail.
17 - You overdecorate
While you may be tempted to adorn your tables with odds and ends reminiscent of your backgrounds, travels, and interests, remember that tasteful, well-placed arrangements impress without cluttering or overwhelming your guests’ view.
16 - You forget the power of paper
We’ve conceded many great things to the digital realm, but physical invitations and thoughtful handwritten thank you notes will never go out of style. Enjoy the process of designing them with a talented stationer such as the Papier or editing them yourself with premade styles.
15 - You set predictable tables
Chances are, you and your guests have attended countless weddings with uniform round tables topped by a single floral arrangement. Add some personality by changing it up. The room looks more interesting when each table is different. Try experimenting with table shape, alternating round, square, and rectangular tables. Then mix larger vases with small groupings of greenery or bud vases with a single bloom.
14 - You put your bridal bling in harm's way
Remove your ring when cleaning or touching harsh chemicals. Bleach and other cleaning agents can dull the finish of a ring and actually harm porous colored gemstones like emeralds. Mappin and Webb offers high-quality wedding rings and cleaning services to ensure your wedding ring is protected from harsh chemicals.
13 - You mistreat single friends
Sure, weddings are a great place to meet people, but don’t throw all your single friends haphazardly at one table. Instead, seat people based on their shared interests, not marital status. Go through your guest list and draw parallels. Connect guests with similar hobbies, jobs, or interests, and try to make everyone feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table.
12 - You don't say hello to everyone
These days, most couples forgo the formal post-ceremony receiving line. Instead, make it a point to circulate among the reception tables after dinner. If you have a large guest list, schedule the table greetings into the day-of timeline and make an effort to find something sincere and personal to say to each guest. Another idea is to hand-deliver your wedding favors as you make your table rounds, since it’s the perfect way to catch everyone.
11 - You send thank you notes late
Let’s set the record straight: You do not have a year to mail your thank you cards. Instead, for gifts received for the engagement party or shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities; for gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding; for gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank you note within three months; and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.
10 - You elope without thinking it through
Thinking of running away to Europe to tie the knot? Don’t forget to swing by your local city hall first. Make sure you check off everything on the legal to-do list. Remember, you still need an officiant and a witness to be legally married in the U.S. And many countries have different residency requirements in order to be married there officially, so don’t forget to get your marriage certificate at home before you jet off.
9 - Then you downplay your elopement
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean the day isn’t special; it’s still your wedding, and there is reason to be excited and celebrate. Don’t forget to indulge in the bridal aspects of your day. Get a special dress and a bouquet, and perhaps even set up a table, complete with your dream centerpiece and a bottle of champagne, for dinner for two. When you return home, announce your elopement to family and close friends.
8 - You don't feed your vendors
The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer. So plan on feeding any hired hands who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants (but not your florist or the ceremony musicians). Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee.
7 - You skimp on bridal party gifts
It’s important to thank your attendants with a tangible gift to show your appreciation. Sit down with your fiancé and consider what you’ve been asking financially of your wedding party. Many spend upward of £1,000 on flights, attire, and hotels. You’re certainly not required to match what they’ve spent, but the amount should convey a sincere gratitude for how much time, effort, and money they have put into your wedding. As a rule of thumb, something between £75 and £150 should suffice.
6 - You misplace your engagement ring
When in a public restroom, resist the temptation to remove your engagement ring while you’re washing your hands. The possibility that you might leave it on the ledge of the sink or, worse, drop it down the drain, is too great a risk to take.
5 - You feel obligated to rock an updo
Never worn an updo a day in your life? You don’t have to start on your wedding day. Wear your hair in whatever style makes you feel prettiest, whether it be an updo, an intricate fishtail braid you found on Pinterest, or simple waves. Visit Kenra Professional channel on YouTube to learn how to create an elegant-looking wedding updo.
4 - You're too strict with social media
Chances are your guests will understand if you ask them to avoid taking pictures during your ceremony or posting anything until after it’s over. They likely won’t be on board with your limiting their sharing the festivities on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook in the days preceding and following your wedding.
3 - You forget to have fun
Don’t forget the reason you’re doing all of this, and keep things in perspective. It’s all about starting your new life together, so make sure to set up the right foundation for a joyous future. Remember, it’s just one day in the journey.
2 - Not creating a wedding film (video memento)
Instead of hiring expensive videographers, why not take advantage of affordable and fun wedding apps, such as the Vidicrew app? Not only is this app relatively cheap, but you will also get your videos professionally edited for less.
1 - Not collecting the guests' photo and video content
Your photographer is only one person, they can’t be everywhere at once. Collect as many guest photos as possible to see the different perspectives!
Vidicrew is a wedding video app that allows your guests to easily add photos and videos to an online wedding album from any device. This includes a desktop, which is perfect for your guests who don’t have an iPhone or any smartphone for that matter. You can control who sees the photos using a specific code name for your album. Add your code to a sign, on your ceremony programs, or link it from your wedding website. Friends and family can finally share wedding images your photographer would not have captured – how awesome is that!
Planning a wedding is essentially a full-time job. There are so many details and so many people, vendors, and logistics that have to be managed, so it’s not hard to believe that sometimes a detail here and there gets overlooked.
How are you going to ensure a flawless wedding without forgetting anything? Leave your suggestions below!