14 brides share their biggest wedding regrets
Weddings are often described as fairytale. Brides are blushing. Grooms are dashing. Venues look like what dreams are made of, decorated with flowers, lights, and candles. With all of the planning that goes into the event, you are sure to have no regrets about your big day, right?
However, a year or two or ten later, a bride may look back on her wedding day and wish she would have done something a little different. Whether it meant wishing she had hired a band, or wondering exactly how delicious her meal was because she never even took a bite, or not inviting great uncle Bram, who may or may not, have overindulged at the bar.
Regrets, some brides have had a few. We have compiled some wedding regrets from brides who have been-there-and-done-that, and would choose to do it a little differently if they could go back again.
Read these and let some regrets serve as advice for you in the planning process of your upcoming nuptials:
The Dinner and Drinks
Sara A. — “Some guests took it upon themselves to hand out drinks — even to those who did not want any — so there was a lot of waste. I would also pass on the traditional wedding cake if I could do it over again.”
Wendy F. — “Rather than opting for an open bar, my husband and I subsidized our guests’ drinks, paying $1 toward each drink, trying to keep our costs low. In retrospect, thinking of all of the people who travelled to come to our wedding, we should have made the party more of a priority, opening up the bar and providing drinks for everyone, even if it meant trimming the guest list so we could have afforded it.”
Ashley D. — “If we could go back and change anything it would be to do a plated dinner rather than a buffet. I feel like we would have enjoyed the meal more, had we, and our guests, not been getting up to get our plates and moving around one another.”
Sabrina R. — “I would invite less people — not my parents’ friends or people I never see. Today, I would care more about the quality of the food. Less invites means more money for food.”
Chantal V. — “I would sit and eat dinner if I could do it again. I was so busy chatting and visiting with everyone that all of the food was put away and I was starving by midnight.”
Sara A. — “We didn’t have a DJ — we just played our own music — but I would have liked one.”
Ashley C. —“After dinner and the speeches, we started making our way around the tables to say hi to everyone, but we only made it to about three tables and kept getting interrupted or distracted. There were some guests that I didn’t even talk to. I thought a receiving line seemed stuffy so I didn’t want one. But, maybe if we had one, I would have at least got to thank everyone individually for coming.”
Ashley W. — “I think the one thing I would go back and change is that our parents wanted more of a formal, large wedding and we would have preferred something smaller and less formal. We initially were going to rent a few chalets somewhere and just have a catered BBQ kind-of-thing. But our parents wanted us to invite the world and offered to pay for the whole dinner, as they knew we didn’t want to have crazy costs. So it was a hard deal to turn down…but I wish we had kept it a little more informal.”
Jennifer G. – “I would have rented my wedding dress, rather than buy it. There it sits in my basement, all $2500 of it. What a waste.”
Ellen T. — “I would change my wedding dress. The styles are amazing now. Whereas in 2002, it was either pick a plain dress or have too much froufrou.” (She chose plain.)
Heather L. — “If I could relive my wedding day, I wouldn’t have such a big wedding or spend so much money. I would have a small wedding with just my friends and family.”
Lyanne T. — “I loved our wedding and we had everything we wanted — open bar, limo, perfect venue, perfect photographer, my favourite flowers, brought in a DJ from Toronto, candy bar, midnight buffet, etc. So we ended up spending way too much money! Looking back, I wish we had scaled back and saved more.”
Sara A. — “We had my cousin do the photography. It is just a hobby of his and I wish we had some more professional photos.”
Lauri M. — “We had a late wedding — it was in the evening with an outdoor ceremony. It ended up starting late and our photos were almost in the dark. If I could do it again, I would have the photos taken in the daytime, when we were all fresh and ready, and bollocks to the whole not-seeing-the-groom (before the wedding) business!”
Erin N. — “I would have hired a professional photographer. We had a friend from work do our photos and although they are okay, I wish we had spent the extra cash for nicer quality photos.”
Wendy F. — “We had to drive four hours the next morning to get to the airport to leave for our honeymoon. I would definitely leave a day in between the wedding and the honeymoon if I could do it over again.”
Selena F. — “I wish I’d waited a day to leave for our honeymoon. The 4 a.m. flight on our wedding night was a bad idea.”
So if you find yourself stressing out while planning these areas of your wedding, take these brides’ advice to heart. But also keep in mind another tidbit of advice that came from most of these brides: don’t sweat the small stuff. As Chantal V. put it, “No one knows what should have been there or what is missing, so who cares?”
Sure, there might be a regret or two years after the fact. But the regrets might come whether you opt for the open bar or the dry wedding. The regrets might come whether you splurge on the dress, cake, dinner — the whole nine yards — or go for a small, intimate, less-formal event, sporting an outfit you threw together a half hour before the “I dos”.
The regrets might come when you carefully plan the numbers for your event and have your tipsy grandmother sneak her tipsy childhood friend, Carol, into your reception.
That last one, with the tipsy grandma and her tipsy friend, seriously happened at my wedding. But you know what? I can’t think about my wedding, and my grandma, without thinking about her sneaking in Carol and it always brings a smile to my face. Sometimes the regrets end up being the stories. The laughs. The really good bits.
So prepare as best you can. Use the advice from past brides. But mostly, don’t forget to enjoy the day. Eat the meal. Dance to the music. And wear the shit out of the dress.