IT’S GONNA BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE
Well, that’s what everyone tells you and prepares you for. As an editorial writer for Today’s Bride Magazine, I spent an entire summer writing a section called “Real Weddings.” This part of the mag was dedicated to showing off legit northeast Ohio weddings, everything from the venue details to favors and the grand exits. I loved learning about each unique bride and how they customized their nuptials. One question I always asked was “is there anything you’d do differently?” Did they regret anything or wish they could re-do a certain aspect? I know, I know – sounds like a major buzzkill. It definitely wasn’t the most fun part of the interview, but brides are eager to share their experiences and advice for future brides-to-be. While some were affected by elements nobody could plan for (crazy Ohio weather) and others were just plain weird (an intoxicated ex mother-in-law showed up to the ceremony…in jeans) many of the incidents are simple things that you can avoid with a little extra planning. These are the most common regrets and how to avoid them:
“I SHOULD’VE HIRED A VIDEOGRAPHER”
BRIDES! LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TELL YOU THIS: GET THE VIDEOGRAPHER. Seriously – I had to reword the word “regret” so many times for the magazine that I almost had a synonym-induced mental breakdown. Videography is still considered sort of new, and while pulling out the wedding album (or Facebook album) is fine, videographers are able to capture the most significant moments of your wedding day and sync them together. What they produce is something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life! Splurge on the videographer and axe the favors or something minor.
“WE HIRED MY COUSIN TO MAKE OUR CAKE AND IT LOOKED LIKE A HEAP OF FUNFETTI FLAVORED DIRTY LAUNDRY”
Enlisting family or friends as vendors. Yeah – everyone has college bestie who takes pretty good photos, or that cousin who can bake a mean cake, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire them for your big day. I’ve had many brides tell me they wanted to use a family member’s skill set to save money (and out of the goodness of their heart) but unless the relative is a wedding professional, you’re more than likely going to be less than thrilled with the final product.
“I’M NOT CRAFTY AT ALL, BUT I RANDOMLY DECIDED I WAS SUDDENLY AN ARTIST AND CHOSE TO DIY THE CENTERPIECES. THEY WERE SO AWFUL.”
TONS of brides-to-be set their wedding budget and (with the influence of Pinterest) choose to DIY décor elements to save some benji’s. The problem? Nine out of ten times, the finished projects don’t always turn out as cute as the Pinterest preview. I’ve had a few brides tell me that the cost of DIY’ing was actually more expensive than just choosing a vendor – so that’s a lot of time and $$$ invested in nothing but disappointment. Etsy is your wedding vendor bff.
“I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE MYSELF.”
I’ve heard this phrase a bunch in regards to the bride’s wedding day look. Skyscraper heels, heavy hair extensions, bright red lipstick – these are all bold beauty moves. If you’re not a regular heel type of gal, avoid 6″ pumps. Going for a dramatic look with extensions? Make sure you wear them multiple times before the big day to get used to them (and cut/dye them to match your hair!) If you’re not that into makeup, don’t go all out on a smokey eye. It sounds obvious, but with the big day, brides are always told to do something outside of their comfort zones. Who cares if you had gorgeous cascading curls if you were cringing in all your photos? Looking and feeling like yourself, feeling comfortable, is the absolute most important thing.
“IF I COULD GO BACK, I’D LIMIT THE WEDDING PARTY.”
I don’t think I’ll ever understand giant wedding parties – to me, it just seems so ehhhhh. I feel like 6+ is a lot, too many opinions and people to entertain. I remember a CLE bride vented to me about how her maid of honor and a bridesmaid were fighting over a groomsman and eventually scrapped at the reception! The groomsman (who must’ve been super handsome or something) had a girlfriend. LISTEN: Any girl who is willing to PHYSICALLY (or verbally, for that matter!) fight someone ON YOUR WEDDING DAY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. When you get a huge group together, there’s gonna be drama. Anyone invited to your wedding should feel grateful, you don’t need to include your first college roommate, your new co-worker or any B whose gonna throw ‘bows in the venue parking lot in between toasts.
“I NEVER STOPPED TO “TAKE IT IN.” I WAS TOO CONCERNED WITH THE GUESTS’ EXPECTATIONS. I WANTED TO LEAVE THE RECEPTION EARLY – I WAS EXHAUSTED!”
After months of planning, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the minor details of the big day. Here’s the big thing to remember: your wedding day will end. Your marriage will not (hopefully!) For your sanity, and your groom’s sake, please take time to smile, to greet your loved ones, to kiss your new hubby, to enjoy the first moments of your marriage. If you don’t, you’ll regret it forever. Take at least 10 minutes to be alone with your groom at some point. Even if you’re multitasking, just reflect upon it for a few minutes before it’s over.
“AS WE WERE GETTING READY IN THE BRIDAL SUITE, I WAS STARTING TO GET NERVOUS. I KEPT REQUESTING CHAMPAGNE AND DURING THE CEREMONY I WAS WAAAY MORE TIPSY THAN I SHOULD’VE BEEN. A FEW MISPLACED AWKWARD GIGGLES CONFIRMED THAT.”
Save the heavy drinking for the reception! I didn’t think this was that common until the fourth bride revealed that she had tossed back a few too many pre-ceremony. When she explained, she said she wished she could’ve felt her groom’s words more – doesn’t that sorta break your heart? A little liquid courage never hurt nobody, but make sure your maid of honor knows when to set the limit. You don’t want your “I do!” to be interrupted by a *hiccup*
“I LITERALLY LET THE WRONG COLOR OF NAPKINS RUIN THE ENTIRE MORNING. I SUCK.”
Hey girl – we’re not here to judge. You put so much time, effort and money into even the littlest of details that when they don’t come out as planned it’s stressful! It’s tough, but you can’t let those minor issues distract you even for 1 second. Bridezillas beware – some small stuff might not go according to plan, but at the end of the day, you’re marrying the love of your life.