12 Things Brides Regret Not Doing At Their Wedding

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Bride and bridesmaids on the wedding day

Wedding planning is filled with many do’s and don’ts, but there are things that lots of brides clearly regret not doing for their wedding.

do vs don't

We reviewed over 10,000 comments from real brides to learn the top things they would have changed if they were to plan their wedding again. We have included a list of the 12 most common answers – things that you may want to think twice about before crossing them off of your wedding planning list.

The Dress Switch? The Open Bar? Subscription Boxes? Picture Perfect Arms? Keep reading as #10, #11 & #12 had stirred up quite a storm among the brides.

1. Paying Extra For Non-Watermarked Photos

Photo by @JoseVilla

Save to Happy Couple by @josevilla

The idea of watermarked photos isn’t necessarily a bad one. It can certainly save you some money. However, here are a few things to consider:

  • some packages offer high-resolution options with unmarked photos for print and marked photos for social media, as a compromise
  • if you plan to submit your photos to wedding blogs to be published or to post on social media, keep in mind that most blogs prefer unwatermarked wedding photos
  • some photographer’s logos can be very distracting on the photos. Look for photographers who have tastefully integrated their watermark or logo so that it does not compromise the images

In the end, you are doing this only once and there are no re-takes, so choose carefully, or agree to purchase non-watermarked photos at a later time.

What brides said:

Randi M: “I don’t regret not having a videographer at all! They’re so much money and nobody ever actually cares enough to watch it besides you! My pictures were perfect and that’s all we needed.” (Up Votes: 10)

Tracy H: “The only regret is my photographer didn’t get any pics of just me in my dress. We were trying to do pics so quickly we moved over it and I’m so sad we missed it.” (Up Votes: 5)

2.The Open Bar Dilemma

Many guests expect that weddings have an open bar if alcohol is being served. This causes lots of stress for many couples as they fret over the costs.

Offering only wine, beer and a signature drink will help you save considerably, so you can have an open bar and still keep the costs under control.

What brides said:

Sarah Relkey: “On what planet should I feel obligated to provide an open bar? The event is about the union of two people, not making it easy for people to get wasted.” (Up Votes: 79)

Kerry Huband: “Well, we made people pay for their drinks after the meal. We couldn’t afford a 3000 bar bill!! It should be about the day and not spending money on everyone else.” (Up Votes: 59)

Jess Blankush: “It is not tacky to have a cash bar. Some people think the day is more about actually getting to be married to the person you love and not so much about worrying what is and is not tacky.” (Up Votes: 58)

No matter what kind of alcohol you choose, it’s crucial to not go over the top. When planning the number of spirits and drinks for the wedding, just follow these practical rules - one serving per person per hour of a reception. So if you have a 5hr reception and 100 guests, plan for 500 servings.
Pro Tip

3. “Miss To Mrs” Subscription Box

With many weddings being moved to 2022 and beyond, subscription boxes for brides are the hottest trend right now. Brides want to feel special and stay excited throughout their planning journey.

Packed with fun wedding-themed merch, wedding planning tips, bridal-themed apparel, decor elements, party essentials, and lots more, boxes like Miss To Mrs™ Bridal Subscription Box are carefully curated to celebrate your engagement and help plan the big day.

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What brides said:

Alexus J: “Amongst all the craziness, receiving these boxes really helped me feel special and excited again! It’s a great way to celebrate being a bride-to-be.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Emma K: “I subscribed a year and a half before my wedding and got my boxes every 2 months. The variety of items is just AMAZING. Makes me feel like a bridal princess. 10/10 would recommend!” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


4. Skipping Ceremony Food

Your reception is not the only time you might need some snacks for your guests. It is not a very good idea to keep the guests hungry while you are having your wedding photoset.

Your guests will really appreciate a light snack bar, providing different options such as cheese and fruits.

Pro tips:

  • 8 pieces of veggies with dip, 4 ounces of cheese and 1½ pounds of crackers per 20 guests, 1 pint of dip per 10 guests.
  • Consider how long guests will be waiting before dinner. On average, guests will eat 6 to 8 appetizers per hour.
  • If you have a long intermission between the ceremony and reception, more appetizers are better.
  • Appetizers will typically help keep your buffet cost down since guests will eat about 10% less at dinner if appetizers are served.

What brides said:

Carina Polimeni: “I regret not eating any of my wedding cake! Make sure you get to taste at least some of every course – the reception is the most expensive part of the day so you may as well!!” (Up Votes: 107)

5. Not Giving the Photographer A Photo Checklist

When you got your beautiful photos, it’s sometimes surprising to see just how few family pics you actually have, or that you don’t have a photo of you in your wedding dress. During the rush and nervousness, it can be hard to keep everything in mind.

What brides said:
Zo Dee: “We had a “reveal” photo session, so we actually had all of our photos with us and the bridal party took place prior to the wedding. It was set up beautifully so that I walked up to my husband and his reaction was all captured, it was private and beautiful. That way as soon as the ceremony was finished we got to spend all afternoon/evening with our family and friends instead of missing out on quality time with all those beautiful people that traveled so far to see us. I absolutely would not do it any other way.” (Up Votes: 231)

Discuss this with your photographer in advance:

  • How many family pictures you would like to have, pictures with bridesmaids, etc;
  • Discuss camera angles, poses, locations;
  • Tell them what moments you’d like captured ( the reception, father-daughter dance, etc);
  • Anything you think is important to have in the wedding photos, as well as things to exclude.


6. 1st Dance Song

A surprising point on the list of things brides regret is the 1st dance song. Your first dance is much more than just a music track. Listen to the lyrics and your heart, but try not to overthink it. It is very romantic to pick a song that can be yours – and bring back sweet memories.

Take a few choreography lessons. Usually, 5-6 lessons are enough even for a couple who has never danced before. Start your dance practice at least 1-1.5 months prior to the wedding.
Pro Tip

7. Hotel For the Wedding Night

Newlyweds are usually so exhausted, that they need to just be able to relax. So don’t hesitate to book a hotel room in a 4 or 5-star hotel for the wedding night.

When booking, mention that it will be your first night as a married couple to get some compliments from the hotel administration. In addition, you can order some extra services such as:

  • fresh fruits in the room;
  • a bottle of good champagne on ice;
  • desserts like cake, strawberries or chocolate;
  • have breakfast included.

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8. Picture-Perfect Arms

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Save to brides regret not doing at their wedding picture perfect arms

One of the first things that brides do when they start getting ready for the wedding is to work hard at the gym. While it is important to stay fit, don’t overdo it.

What brides said:

– Sara Leslie: “Seriously? Having “picture-perfect arms” is on this list? At the end of the day, after your wedding is done and you have married the person of your dreams, you’re going to fret over the appearance of your arms? That’s insane.” (Up Votes: 73)

– Koshinsky Diana: “Well I gotta say I def have been distracted by untoned arms in a sleeveless dress. Dresses are made to flatter the body but not completely expose different arms. This is also coming from my own experience of what I saw in pictures before I toned them and after. The before ones I was like wtf? Why did I ever wear tank tops? But in the big scheme of things, it is the last thought and the article states if you work out, just doesn’t forget the arms.” (Up Votes: 120)

The appearance of the arms depends a lot on the pose. Don’t keep them too close to your body – squished, they will look twice their actual size in the photos. When taking pictures with flowers, aim to hold your arms below the belly line. This slight bend will make your arms just perfect. Another great pose is to hold your hands on your waist, which elongates your legs and draws attention to your slimmest attributes.
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9. Wedding Day Essentials Kit

It’s insanely important to look your best and have perfect makeup during the wedding, so make sure you have the following items in your wedding beauty bag:

  1. Thermal water. It will help you keep it together and refresh your face after spending time in rooms with literally no air, on long trips by car and during long receptions and late dance parties.
  2. Powder and concealer. The wedding isn’t a one-hour event, so be ready to check your makeup often.
  3. Lipstick. Don’t bother with the idea of changing the color of your lips after the reception. It has to be the same lipstick throughout the whole event.
  4. Blotting paper. You need to shine, but your nose doesn’t need to have that oily look in your pics.
  5. Perfume or scented water. The bride needs to smell good!

10. The Dress Switch

Brides are very mixed on this topic. Some wish they wore their dress longer, others wish they had something more comfortable to dance in. We think a lot depends on the style of the dress you chose and that perhaps you need to be extra careful if you are renting your dress.

Consider having two dresses – one for the ceremony and one for the reception, especially if you have a ballroom gown or a mermaid style dress. Also, there is an alternative option – a transformer wedding dress with a removable skirt or train. It can be easily transformed from a poofy to a cozy and simple outfit.

What brides said:
– Cindy King Walker: “I wore my dress until after the first dance and father-daughter dance then was planning on changing into jeans and a very pretty white shirt for the rest of the reception but my sister had lost my shirt and I only had a dark brown halter top. I should have just worn my dress for the rest of the night. Except I am grateful I didn’t because we dropped the cake on us and it would have ruined my dress. All in all, great day.” (Up Votes: 26)

– Savannah Scott: “The only thing I regretted was not wearing my dress longer. I had a very small wedding and the reception was at a restaurant so I decided to change into a different dress for the reception. Looking back, my wedding dress cost so much money and was so gorgeous, and I’ll never really have an opportunity to wear it again… I wish I wore it longer for sure.” (Up Votes: 29)


11. Comfortable Wedding Shoes

Yes, the wedding heels are nice, but you will feel so much better slipping into something more forgiving for the reception. So go for something less stylish, but more comfortable. Elegant lace ballet flats or Mary Janes are just perfect after the ceremony is over.


12. A Quality Moment

Last, but not least, take a break for the two of you, go somewhere quiet and just savor the moment you two have been waiting for.

What brides said:
– James Nadia: “Never regret anything as long as you marry the man of your dreams. It’s not about your wedding – your marriage is what counts.” (Up Votes: 267)

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In Summary

We hope you found some good advice! Choose what you think is right for you and will make you the happiest bride.

Never regret anything. It’s your wedding day! Good luck & enjoy!