My husband and I just celebrated our four year wedding anniversary, and we were talking about our favorite parts of our wedding and our wedding regrets – the things we’d do over again if we had a chance. (I didn’t work in the wedding industry at the time, and I have learned so much through this experience!)
I will say that overall we look back on our wedding with really fond memories, and there are lots of things I’m SO glad we did (you can see that list too). But, hindsight is 20/20 and I wanted to share our biggest wedding regrets to help you avoid these mistakes!
I Wish We had A Friday Night Wedding
Our wedding week itinerary went something like this: Wednesday night some family arrived in town; Thursday night we had a welcome party at our house for out of town family; Friday we set up our venue and had our rehearsal dinner; Saturday we got married. By the end of Saturday night, I was so tired.
I wish that instead of front-loading the week with activities, we had a Friday night wedding and planned some lowkey activities with guests for the day after.
This would have allowed for more time to hang out with guests. Plus, recounting the wedding festivities the day after would have extended the celebration and helped with the post wedding blues.
I Regret Not Writing Our Own Wedding Vows
We wrote a lot of our ceremony (picking meaningful readings, for example), but we decided to exchange traditional vows instead of writing our own.
Honestly, I do think it’s special that by reciting traditional vows you’re part of a lineage of other couples who have used those same words.
However, when else are you going to write your own vows?! I wish we had written our own and shared them privately ahead of time during our first look. I think this would have been super meaningful!
One of Our Biggest Financial Wedding Regrets: Our Custom Cocktail
Like many couples, we wanted a tasty signature cocktail. The good news is that the drink was really popular with our guests (we went with a maple bourbon lemonade cocktail).
The bad news is that we didn’t realize that there were some premium ingredients, which drove our bar bill up by about $1,000. Oops!
Lesson learned: if you’re offering a custom cocktail anticipate that they will be the most popular option of the night, and plan your choice or budget accordingly.
I Wish We Had Fireworks
At the time, I just couldn’t make one more decision, but looking back I wish we had prioritized this! I love fireworks, and it would have been such a fun way to celebrate our summer wedding. (Thinking about fireworks for your wedding? Here is everything you need to know.)
Maybe fireworks aren’t your thing, but if there’s some kind of special activity, design choice, etc. make it a priority!
Big Wedding Regrets: Not Hiring a Day Of Coordinator
I’m a planner at heart (and a former professional event planner) so I didn’t really think I needed help. And, for the most part, I was able to stay in “bride mode” on my wedding day. However, there were a few times I slipped into planner mode because I hadn’t passed certain tasks off to anyone else.
The most cringe-worthy example? I wrote a check to one of our vendors at our reception. I wish I handed off every single “administrative” task to a trusted professional and partied a little harder.
If a day of coordinator truly isn’t in your budget, I recommend asking a trusted friend or family member to handle anything that comes up on the wedding day.
One of My Biggest Wedding Regrets: Too Much Stress
It’s cliché for a reason. I wish I stressed less throughout the process. I think there’s so much pressure for your wedding to be the most amazing five hours of your life… and that kind of pressure can make the entire process less fun. If you can reframe and think about your wedding more as the whole season – the engagement, the dreaming/planning, the shower, etc. – it takes a bit of the pressure off the main event and allows you to enjoy the entire season more!
Learn From My Mistakes
I share our biggest wedding planning regrets because I hope that they inspire you to have thoughtful conversation with your partner about what you want your wedding to feel like. I’m cheering you on!
Want More Wedding Planning Support?
I created the Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide based on the spreadsheets I created to plan my wedding, the lessons I learned, and TONS of invaluable advice from our community. It’s the guide I wish I had when I was planning my wedding!