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 12 most common answers – things that you may want to think twice about before crossing them off of your wedding planning list.
Picture perfect arms? The Dress Switch? Keep reading as #10, #11 and #12 had also stirred up quite a storm among brides.
1. Paying Extra For Non-Watermarked Photos
Source: @JoseVilla via Instagram
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:
– there are packages that offer high-resolution options with both unmarked photos and marked photos 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
– photographer logos can be very distracting on the photos, look for photographers that have tastefully integrated the watermark or logo that does not compromise the images.
In the end, you are doing this only once and there are no re-takes, so choose carefully.
What brides said:
– Randi Mahoney: “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 Hansen Rodriguez: “The only regret is my photographer didn’t get any pix of just me in my dress. We were trying to do pix so quickly we moved over it and 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 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)
Source: @Andrew_Bayda via Instagram
No matter which 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.
3. Bridal Box Subscription
FACT: Brides often forget to enjoy their engagement due to wedding planning stress and forget to treat themselves while trying to make everyone else happy.
What is a Bridal Box Subscription?
Bridal box subscription is a service that sends you a box full of wedding themed goodies to make wedding planning more fun and also help plan & prepare for the big day.
How does it work & when to subscribe?
Subscribe for a plan with the number of months left till your wedding day and enjoy a curate box full of bride-to-be goodies delivered to your doorstep.
You’ll get the best experience if you subscribe right after getting engaged.
What’s typically inside these boxes?
The boxes typically include full-size items such as wedding planners, vow books, cake toppers, robes, bridal apparel, bachelorette party essentials, and lots more fun and useful items to help with planning journey and pamper the bride-to-be!
Which Bridal Box should I get?
We have reviewed the top bridal boxes and Miss To Mrs™ Box Subscription was our clear favourite. Not only their boxes were most affordable, but the value for your money was far greater than the competition.
Why did we pick Miss To Mrs™ Box:
– Best value for your money & quality
– Boxes are tailored to your wedding date
– Monthly, Bi-Monthly, Quarterly plans
– $20.99 first box w/ code BOX30
– Subscribe yourself OR Gift it
– Ships Worldwide
Beware, most companies out there send “boxes of the month”, so we highly recommend you choose a company that tailors box contents based on your actual wedding date – you would not want to get Honeymoon items after just getting engaged.
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.
Source: @Marina.Scholze via Instagram
Your guests will really appreciate a light snack bar, providing different options such as cheese and fruits.
8 pieces of veggies with dip, 4 ounces of cheese, 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. A
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. 1st Dance Song
A surprising point on the list of the 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 before the wedding.
6. Hotel For Wedding Night
The newlyweds are usually so exhausted, that they need to be taken care of. So don’t hesitate to book a hotel not less than 4 stars for the wedding night.
Source: @VeromiaBridalwear via Instagram
When booking, mention that it will be your first married night together to get some compliments from the hotel administration, as well as order some extra services as:
- fresh fruits in the room;
- a bottle of good champagne on ice;
- desserts as a cake, strawberry or chocolate;
- breakfast included.
7. Not Giving Photographer A Photos Checklist
When you got your beautiful photos, it’s sometimes surprising to see just how few family pics you actually have, or not having a photo of you in your wedding dress. During the rush and nervousness, it can be hard to keep everything in mind.
Source: @JuliaAndGil via Instagram
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 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 the moments to be captured (during a reception, father-daughter dance, etc);
- Anything you think is important to have in the wedding photos, or NOT to have.
Make a photo checklist!
8. Picture-Perfect Arms
One of the first things that brides do when they get ready for the wedding is working 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 arm. 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 your working out just doesn’t forget arms.” (Up Votes: 120)
Source: @Moonlightbridal via Instagram
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 belly line. This slight bend will make your arms just perfect.
Another great pose is to hold your hands on the waist, which elongates your legs and draws attention to your smallest widths.
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9. Skin Savior
It’s insanely important to save your perfect look and makeup during the wedding, so that make sure you have the next items in your wedding beauty case:
- Thermal water. It will help put yourself together and refresh your face after spending time in rooms with literally no air, long trips by car, long reception and late dance parties.
- Powder and concealer. The wedding isn’t a one-hour event, so be ready to check your makeup often.
- Lipstick. Don’t flatter yourself if you come up with an idea to change the color of your lips after the reception. It has to be the same lipstick during the whole event.
- Matting serviettes. You need to shine, but your nose doesn’t need to have that oily look in the pics.
- Perfume or scented water. The bride must exhale fragrance!
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 perhaps 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 a worthy alternative option – a transformer wedding dress with removable skirt or train. It can be easily transformed from a poofy to a cozy and simple outfit.
Source: @OlgaNikiforova via Instagram
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 and 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. Shoe Savvy
Yes, the wedding heels are nice, but you will feel so much better slipping into something more forgiving for the reception.
Source: @BellabBelleShoes via Instagram
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
And 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)
Source: @Tali__Photography via Instagram
Take a break for the two of you, go somewhere quiet and just savor the moment you two have been waiting for.
If you made it this far, we hope you found some good advice. Don’t take all the advice literally, take what you think is right for you.
Never regret anything. It’s your wedding day! Good luck.
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