After “I Do”: Wedding Regrets

Catch up on the entire After “I Do” series here! And if you have a burning question you’d like to see discussed, submit it here!

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After your wedding, what were some of your immediate regrets in regards to the wedding day? Now that time has gone by, do you have different/additional regrets, or do you no longer regret those initial regrets?

Immediate regrets: taking my frustrations out on friends and family members during the day. I had hoped that I would be able to play it cool and let things roll off my back on the big day, but I didn’t. When people upset me or things stressed me out, people knew. I still feel terrible about this. Also, I wish I had been more specific about our playlist or used an iPod. You can read about our DJ-related screw ups in my archives—I’m not going to belabor that point. :)

Later regrets: OMG I DID NOT GET A PICTURE WITH MY MOTHER. We were LITERALLY together ALL DAY and we do not have a posed photograph that is just the two of us! Also, if I had to get married again, I would probably have a smaller bridal party.

The other little things that bugged me after the wedding (wish I had used real flowers on the cake instead of gum paste, wish I hadn’t raised the waistline of my dress, etc.) have faded in the year since our big day…your regrets will too! :)

Oddly enough, I didn’t have any regrets the day of the wedding. It was only after we got our pictures back that I regretted not giving our photographer a list of must-have photos. When I looked at other brides’ photos I never thought, “What photos are missing here that are must haves?” so I didn’t see a point in making the list. I wish now that I had a photo of my garter being put on and our entire bridal party together.

I’ve already talked about what one of my biggest wedding regrets was—my father and brother missing the wedding was a huge downer for me. I truly regretted my final decision for days, weeks, and now months after the wedding. But, today, after learning my father has continued his same actions and has no belief that he did anything wrong, I know I did in fact make the right decision.

Overall, I have very few regrets. The wedding was perfection (despite minor mishaps), and I truly enjoyed nearly every minute of it. But, I do have one that will live with me forever!

I regret our DJ’s “surprise” that he had up his sleeve. In our pre-wedding meeting he stated that he had a good idea of what music to play (based on info we had provided him) and that he would even have a few surprises in store. Little did I know that his surprise was a ploy to get people to the dance floor that backfired terribly. I just rewitnessed the embarrassment the other day after veiwing our wedding footage from a friend, and I still cringe in pain watching it happen.

His ploy was to drag us newlyweds out onto the dance floor and to have our guests circle around us and sing “My Girl” to us. Umm, hello awkwardness! We stood there, not quite knowing what to do, aside from trying to dance and hide the redness in our cheeks. This awkward display was supposed to transition into a more upbeat song, “Wild Thing,” to get the crowd moving and dancing. Only issue…no one started dancing…instead they continued to stand around us while they sang “Wild Thing.” I never saw so many confused people in my life. Ugh, it was so awkward, and I am grateful that I don’t suffer from severe anxiety because it would have been hell.

On the day of the wedding, I didn’t really have any regrets. Sure, if I had it to do over again I think a smaller, less expensive wedding would have been just as lovely, and I would have much less money guilt. But it wasn’t a hugely extravagant affair, really, so I can’t say I regret that.

A year later, I have one BIG HUGE GIGANTIC ENORMOUS regret, which is the videographer we hired. Instead of going with a friend’s recommendation (who we knew did a great job), we opted to save a couple hundred dollars and hire someone we found on Craigslist. We don’t even have a BAD video; we have NO video, and I’m really, really sad about it. I don’t know if we ever will have it.

Immediate regret: Not hiring a kick-ass DJ. Ours was terrible and no one danced, and people left early! Another: my dress. I still wish I had waited and gotten a dress I loved.

Afterward, I grew to love our wedding as is. (Mostly—I still kind of wish we’d had a different DJ and I’d had a different dress.) The funny thing to me is that everything I loved about our wedding then, I still love just as much now.

The only regret I have is not kicking my husband’s college friends out of our bridal suite at the end of the night. They had given us a group gift and were really excited for us to open it, but had no sense that giving us a gift as a group in our hotel room at the end of our wedding night was probably not how we wanted to spend our time.

Aside from that, though, there really isn’t anything that I would change.

Hmm. My biggest regret is not getting a professional picture of just me and my sister. I have one with my whole family and with my sister and my friend/officiant, but not one of just me and my sister. If you understand what my sister means to me and the huge role she played in our wedding, you’d understand why it breaks my heart a little. Not devastating, but I do wish I had taken the time to ask the photographer for that picture—not only to have it for memories, but to show my sister that I remembered to carve out time for her.

I also would have been less snippy during the family portraits (think drill sergeant with my photog saying soothing things like “It’s OK, don’t worry, stop baring your teeth…”), but that wasn’t a huge deal. That’s just my personality.

I feel very lucky that there was nothing about the wedding to cause real regret or distress—I know this is not always the case, and I know others have had experiences that would have put me in tears/frustration/anger immediately. The good and the bad can be out of our control. Yes, there is a certain degree to which you can “let go,” but some things go beyond that point, and I’m blabbing about this mostly to help dispel the myth that your wedding day will be perfect and that as long as *you* don’t sweat the small things, everything will be OK (like it all depends on you and only if you f*&% up will you have regrets). Because sometimes things happen that can’t be brushed off or dealt with by a smile, and that sucks. On the other hand, most of the day will be incredibly awesome, and that awesomeness doesn’t get cancelled out by the sucky stuff.

A little background for those who don’t remember: Mr. MJ and I got married on 09-09-2009 at a courthouse with seven guests. We had dinner at a nice restaurant with them afterward. Our reception was a barbecue held three days later at my in-laws’ home. We only had a professional photographer at the ceremony. Everything else was shot by us and our families/guests.

Regrets…regrets. Hmm. A minor one: I almost immediately hated my green shoes and sash after the wedding. I was already growing less fond of them before the wedding, and perhaps I should have listened to myself about that. I’d have felt prettier if I’d liked my accessories more. Of course this is not a big deal at all in the long run. Our wedding day really went off without a hitch. I can’t complain. The reception was wonderful, too—my MIL did a great job.

My big reception regret? I drank too much. I could say “it wasn’t my fault” because some relatives played “kidnap the bride” and “made” me take several shots, some of which were straight Patron. But, really, I’m an adult and could have put my foot down and owned up to my limits. I felt very ill before it was even 10:30 PM and insisted that Mr. MJ bring me home. Instead of hanging with friends he hadn’t seen in years, he had to drive my whining, drunk ass home and load me up with Tylenol. Our reception lasted until 2:00 AM, but without our presence.

My longterm regrets are picture-related: I regret not having brought a camera to our little dinner after the ceremony. I didn’t even think of it. The ambiance was lovely and the food was awesome, yet I did not bring a camera to document it, and no one else took any pictures either. And an additional picture regret: as a result of my bad judgement at our barbecue, there are very few photos of the reception (since I had tasked myself with taking them).

I’m really quite happy with our wedding as a whole. Aside from a few undocumented moments and a couple of unfortunate choices on my part, it was wonderful! We are still content with the type of wedding we chose, the money we spent, and the wedding as a whole. Oh, and the marriage is pretty sweet, too.

My regrets immediately after the wedding were guest related. I felt like I barely got to spend time talking to anyone as long as I wanted to. We had about 100 guests, and many of those were from out of town or overseas, so in everyday life I dont get to see them that often. And when I finally had the opportunity at my wedding to be with them, there was no time. I dont regret how many people we invited, but I do regret prioritising some extra photo time over spending time with our guests.

I regret not taking dance lessons as well. It wasn’t in our budget, and two days before the wedding we kind of fumbled our way through a practice run; it wasn’t terrible, but bumbling around in my big dress on the day just wasnt as graceful as I had imagined it. Oh well, we still had fun. :)

I regret having three bridesmaids because I thought that is what I “should” do rather than what I really wanted. My sisters were always going to be bridesmaids, and they were wonderful. But I chose my third bridesmaid too quickly and, in the end, she wasn’t the best choice as she didn’t really understand what it meant to be a bridesmaid and, therefore, was more of a stress than a help. If I did it over, I would just have my sisters standing next to me.

But my biggest regret actually occurred pre-wedding. The week before was so stressful, with everyone asking a million questions and wanting to rely on me for every single decision, that I just wanted to give up. Now I feel like I wasted that last week with so many people I loved around me because all I could think about was how miserable and tired I was. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have left so many things to the last minute, and I would have had someone other than myself know the answers to the questions people were asking.

All in all, none of those regrets mars the happiness I feel when I think about our wedding. I always knew that things wouldn’t go exactly the way I planned, and I think having that in mind helped me brush aside the small problems on the day and not let them irk me afterward.

I totally regret not appointing a couple of “point people.” I really needed someone to field all the questions that come with planning and executing your own wedding. I wrote about the whole stressball here. I don’t think now that I necessarily needed a coordinator—I just needed a couple of people to know the entire plan like I did so they could field all the madness. Since I didn’t, I was alone in the barrage of questioning, and never able to relax and enjoy the wedding. It sucked. Big time. I like to look at my photos and pretend everything went exactly how it looks in those pretty pretty pictures. But then I start thinking too hard about the real day, and my heart starts pounding, and my head hurts, and I have to stop and take deep yoga breaths.

So, if you have a planner, CONGRATS! You will not explode from stress-overload. And if you don’t, get a couple of bossy, ballsy girlfriends in a room the week or two before your wedding, and fill them in on the entire game plan. You will thank me later when you’re dazed from your love coma and living it up on your wedding day.

My biggest wedding regret is choosing a bridesmaid who turned out to not really be there for me on my wedding day and thereafter. It was a huge disappointment, as this person was someone I considered one of my best friends in the world. I feel like I missed out on those shiny happy moments of hanging out, relaxing, and sipping champagne with my best girlfriends in the hours before the wedding because there was so much tension surrounding her presence.

I never blogged about in on Weddingbee because I didn’t want to go into detail and possibly hurt her, as she is still a person I care about, even though we’re not really friends anymore.

If I had the wedding to do over again, there are a dozen things I’d do differently, but ultimately that is the only “important” thing I’d change. I would make sure that the women standing up with me were people I knew would support me no matter what. I would have asked my brother’s girlfriend and my sister-in-law, J. Dawg—two amazing women who I consider to be the sisters I never had—to be bridesmaids, in addition to the two awesome ladies who were there for me.

I had a LOT of wedding regrets after the wedding. I had so many that I wrote about them in three parts: one, two, and three.

If I try hard, I can come up with a few now, but on the whole, I’m happy with how things came out. Was it a perfect day? No, but that’s fine. We’re happy now, and I think that’s all that matters.

Hmm, wedding regrets. I don’t have many, honestly, but here are the few I do have.

1. Not booking the photographer for the whole night. We booked Jessica for five hours, but I wish we would have sprung for seven or eight. It wasn’t a huge deal, but I would have liked to have photos of the reception food, speeches, the favors I worked my ass off on and have literally no pictures of, and us making our “exit” at the end of the night.

2. Not hiring a videographer. Fortunately, a friend of ours graciously recorded the ceremony for us, set it to music, etc. I’m happy that we have it and we can look back on our wedding day, but I wish we had professional-quality video of everything, including getting ready and the reception.

3. One more videography-related regret. We have footage of my MIL attempting to kick our dogs on video, so I get to relive my anger and disgust for her every time I watch it. I still might try to go back and edit that portion out eventually…

4. Last, but certainly not least, my MIL. This sounds horrible, but I honestly wish she hadn’t been there. She acted so miserable and negative throughout the entire wedding and reception that, for the first few weeks afterward, when I looked back on the day, her actions really put a damper on the whole memory for me. Nowadays when I recall the wedding, I just try to pretend that she wasn’t even there. Sad, but true.

That’s all! In my opinion, the first two are negligible regrets. Would it have been nice? Sure, but it’s not the end of the world. The last two, regarding my MIL, are the only real, big regrets that I have, but for the most part I’ve moved on and accepted how she acted, and now I just feel sorry for her. Plus, I got a wonderful husband out of the whole deal, so I definitely won out in the end! ;)

I think my biggest wedding regret is how upset I got over all the things that went wrong. I SO wish that I could’ve been a Zen bride, bothered by nothing, but that simply was not the case. I cried (out of anger, frustration, etc.) three different times during the course of the event, and I hate that I was so stressed and upset during various parts.

I also regret trusting some vendors as much as I did because it seriously came back to bite me in the ass. Things like our dance floor being way too small, the cook tent being set up too far away from the main tent, the cocktail-hour tent being too small, etc. probably could have been avoided if I’d just been a bit more firm in asking for specifics from vendors.

Siiiiiiiigh. It is hard for me when I think about my wedding because, in spite of all the awesome parts, I do still think about the negatives, and I would give my left arm to rewind the clock and punch out the weather gods in order to get a day with no rain.

But, when it comes down to it, the good far outweighs the bad, and I really did love our wedding with all my heart.

Many things did not go according to plan on our wedding day. The days leading up to the wedding were filled with stress and drama, but in the end everything came together perfectly. After so much hard work, our wedding turned out to be a dream; it truly was the perfect day filled only with happiness.

I do, however, have one regret. Like Mrs. Earrings, I wish that we would have been able to spend more time with our guests. We decided to do formal pictures after the ceremony and, once we were finished and got seated, dinner had been served. People were already leaving by the time we were finished eating. I regret not visiting each table to say hello before we ate. I’ve had a few people tell me how lovely the wedding was, and I never even noticed they were there! That really made me upset. The night went by SO QUICKLY, I sometimes feel like the time we had wasn’t used as well as it should have been.

Immediate regret: Not printing my programs early enough to go over them with both of our immediate families. There was a lot of confusion, and the people that matter most to me felt a bit hurt that I didn’t take that time. I still regret it, but must look at it as a learning opportunity! Also, there were a few very important people that somehow were overlooked on the guest list. Then and now, I regret not having them there! Finally, I should have made a list of photos that were important to capture at the wedding because there were so many people and moments that we missed. I don’t regret this as much now, but I just kind of wish I had those photos!

Honestly, as far as things I actually had control over, I don’t really have many wedding regrets other than not hiring a videographer. I had my heart set on a cinematic masterpiece of a video, and when I realized that we couldn’t afford it, I kind of bailed and just entrusted our Flip camera to a friend in a church pew. We do have some snippets of video from our ceremony…but she forgot one of the most important parts, in my opinion: our vows. That makes my heart clench just a little bit every time I think about it. So, yes, I wish I could have figured out a way to make pro videography work.

We obviously didn’t have any control over it, but the torrential rain was a huge disappointment—like Trail Mix said, I wish I could rewind and go back and “punch out the weather gods in order to get a day with no rain.” But, rain or no rain, I still am really happy with how our wedding turned out.

Two regrets. One, the salon assured me that one makeup artist was fine for seven people. Well, she fell behind. We were late getting back to the hotel and late getting pictures started, and I was not so Zen about it. I really wanted pictures to be done before the wedding, and we ended up taking pictures of the two of us during the cocktail reception. If only we’d had another makeup artist; we had four people to do hair—why only one makeup artist??!

Second, I wish I would have splurged on something for me. I rented my wedding purse; I sold my wedding bracelet because I didn’t love it; I bought my shoes on sale; and I loaned my wrap to a friend, who lost it. I wish I would have spluged on one of those items to hold as a keepsake. Although my dress was/is pretty kick ass.

Oh, one more. I wish I would have let go a bit more on the day. The timeline thing really stressed me out, and I had totally over-prepared that part. Also, during the wedding reception, I cancelled our plans to do the Hora. Oh well.

Immediately after our wedding, my only regret was that it all went by so quickly! I really wish we’d opted to add an extra hour to our reception. Or I should have kept a better eye on the clock and taken time to dance with my husband more than just during our first dance.

As far as other immediate regrets…well, I had to go back to look at the blog post I wrote about the little things that went wrong and how to overcome them—I didn’t even remember most of these things now that we’re eight months past our wedding.

Today, my only real regret is that we didn’t get a photo of Mr. Cola with my immediate family. But hopefully there will be many, many more family gatherings to come where we can get that photo, even if we won’t be in our wedding attire. Other than that, all the little things that went awry are pretty much forgotten, and only the happy memories from our beautiful day remain!

Immediately after our wedding, I regretted that I didn’t take a little more special time with Mr. Octo during our reception. We spent most of the time alongside each other, but we were so excited to see our friends and family, and so determined to make time for them, that we didn’t spend a lot of time actually talking to each other. During the dancing portion of the reception, we danced together (or near each other) during the fast songs, but bailed during the slow songs to get a new drink, go to the bathroom, or chat with people. I remember waking up the next morning and thinking, “Other than the fact that we got married, I kind of feel like I barely saw him yesterday!” I was a little bummed that we didn’t make more time to connect and check in but, honestly, that regret gets less and less over time. I have the rest of my life to share special private moments with him, and I treasure the memories I have with our guests.

As for later regrets, I go back and forth. We chose to spend as minimally as possible on almost all of our reception decor, so our linens, chairs, and flowers were as basic as they come. I have to admit that I sometimes cringe a little at our reception pictures and wish it had looked just a little prettier, or more special. On the other hand, the upgrades I wished for were all quite expensive, and I’m pretty sure that if I had gone for them, I’d be here telling you that I regretted spending so much extra money on nonessential aesthetic items just for the sake of pictures. While I am still a little bummed about it, I think I made the right choice in the end.

First regret right after the wedding: not checking weather.com to get the history on the day I chose as our wedding date. Had I checked it, I would have realized that for the past five years it rained that day. Oops. And I still regret not having the outdoor wedding that we planned, but I was really proud of myself for accepting that there was nothing I could do about the weather and telling myself to just move on and enjoy the day as it unfolded in front of me. Other than that, I really have very few regrets about our wedding day. I’ve never felt quite so happy, loved, or in love as I did on my wedding day. How can you have regrets about that?

I regret not making a timeline or something to hand out to everyone involved. I was under the impression that everyone cared as much as I did. When the caterer came up to me and was like, “So, what time did you want us to bring out appetizers?” and my mom was like, “Were we supposed to be doing something for the cocktail hour?” I realized something written down for everyone to refer to would’ve been helpful. I told everyone what would be happening and expected them to understand. A lot of little problems could have been avoided if I had created a hard-copy timeline for everyone to have.

My only regret is continuing to work with a vendor (hello, David’s Bridal) after things went sort of wrong multiple times. It wasn’t a big thing, just the only thing that didn’t feel really RIGHT about our wedding. In the end, after dealing with lots of little bumps (nothing to end the vendor relationship in itself), the dress was really not comfortable on our wedding day!

That said, it looked nice, and I was able to change into another kick-ass outfit. So it did make me appreciate even more the vendor relationships we had that were amazing. My advice would be, though, if something doesn’t feel right, scrap it. You can find something that DOES feel right.

I can’t really think of any regrets, but there are a handful of things I wish I would have paid more attention to. I wish I had…

1. Been more specific with my florist that I REALLY wanted the flower girls to drop petals and not just hold flower baskets.

2. Remembered to change back into my gorgeous purple heels for our garter/bouquet toss and our motorcycle getaway.

3. Changed my lipstick to my classic red for the reception.

4. Asked one of the pro photogs to accompany us to tables as we greeted guests.

5. Eaten more cake!

I honestly would not change anything about my wedding day. Mr. A and I really enjoyed how well the day flowed from one event to the next. Our vendors were so pleasant and accommodating. Everyone had a wonderful time.

I only wish I was able to eat a few more slices of that red velvet cake…

I do no have a single regret! Lots of things seemed to go wrong during the days before the wedding, and I had certainly had it up to here with pre-wedding insomnia, but my attitude on the day itself was very different. Nothing could have ruined my mood on the day that I was marrying Mr. Taffy! :) We were on our own little cloud. :)

I have very, very few regrets about our wedding day, which makes me really happy. I will say that the biggest regret I can think of is that I didn’t take the time (or have my DOC take the time) to very specifically go over the ceremony music with our DJ.

He was a really great DJ, but he didn’t pause as long as I would have liked him to in between the bridesmaids walking down the aisle and me entering. (We wanted to shut the doors to the room so I could position myself without everyone seeing me, and we barely got the doors shut before the song started playing.) And there was another little awkward moment when the ceremony was finished and he didn’t immediately start playing our exit song. Mr. Cardy and I weren’t sure what to do and kind of just stood there awkwardly for a second while we waited to see if it would start. Definitely not a big deal, I just wish it would have gone a bit smoother.

I regret not eloping. JK. Sort of.

I’m happy to report that, at this point at least, I don’t have any regrets about our wedding. There are definitely a few things that did not go perfectly, like how the song I chose for our interlude did not actually last the length of our interlude, but I can’t say that I regret that. I didn’t expect absolute perfection from our wedding, so minor things like that really don’t bother me.

I don’t even regret the fact that Edward was at our wedding because I love that we have such a funny story to tell and a great reason to be completely in charge of the guest lists for any future events we host!

However, now that I’ve said that, I’m sure once I start my recaps I’ll come up with a whole bunch of regrets. Oh well…

Since I’m an older bee, many people don’t know that I did a series after I was married of the things I wish I had done better and the things I loved, loved, loved about our big day. You can see the series here by using the links at the bottom of the post to access all the former posts.

As far as how I feel about those things I wished I had done differently three-and-a-half years and one baby later…only one of them still matters. I was too proud to walk down the aisle even a minute late and, because of that, some of my guests missed most of our ceremony.

I get it—people are supposed to arrive on time. I was THAT bride who swore up and down my wedding wouldn’t be late, as I had always judged those whose weddings were. Come hell or high water, I was going down that aisle at 5:00 PM sharp! Now I know I should have let it go.

A wedding is fun. You have everyone there for the whole night anyway—why not give some wiggle room for people who may have gotten lost on the way, may have gone to a different wedding by mistake, may just have a poor sense of timing, so that the people you love are all there for your wedding?

Now those things I did do that that I was so glad I did…I’m still glad I did every one of ‘em. And isn’t that a greater testimony than focusing on what I didn’t like?

I think, overall, Mr. Beagle and I were blessed with a really wonderful wedding day. We both look back on it with happy memories. If I could do it all again, a few things I would have changed are:

1) Hire a videographer. I’m really sad that I can’t remember our ceremony, and I remember feeling so happy and loved during it.

2) Take more pictures with our wedding party. I was a little “over” the picture taking after our ceremony and really just wanted to get them over with so that I could hang out with my new husband. ;) If I could go back, I would take group pics before the ceremony.

3) My biggest regret was not having my mom there. Knowing what I know now, I would have scrapped all my plans just to have a small ceremony with her present.

I feel really lucky that there aren’t things I regret about our wedding days. I think there are some little things that linger nine months later, and I think if we could do them over, we would. They range from the incredibly silly to things we could have planned for.

1. Oddly enough, I loved being so tired the day after our wedding and waking up early to catch our flight to Costa Rica. However, in the end, I do kind of wish that we had taken a day so we could have had an after party with friends and family back at the hotel, and brunch with family before they left on Sunday.

2. I would have been a bit clearer about the timing of our ceremony. It went longer than I would have liked because I wasn’t as up front about the timing of each section. Readings, vows, etc. that I timed at two to three minutes each were much longer than I anticipated.

3. I’m pretty sure I ruined our first moment in my excitement. Hence, there are no real photos of my face when we first saw each other. Ha!

4. I’d have loved to pay the extra three hundred or whatever it was for the extra hour, to midnight. Our closest friends ending up getting the gip most on the night because of how hard we tried to welcome and speak with other guests. Thus, also see number one.

5. I loved, loved, loved my hair. However, in the last minute, I had the stylists create this loop in the back and it totally loosened the braids and completely destroyed the braid on the left side. The stylists tried so hard to fix it with out redoing it and, in the end, it looked wonderful—just not as wonderful as before I asked them to fix one thing that created bigger bloopers. It’s completely silly, but I’m still a bit sad about it.

In the moment, none of these things above had an impact on my mood or the day itself. It was an amazing, amazing, amazing day.

We had a wonderful and amazing wedding, and I feel like I’m lucky that I don’t have many regrets and the regrets themselves are very small.

1. I kind of regret not hiring a videographer, and I still go back and forth. I hate seeing myself on video and was determined that we didn’t need it, but now I kind of wish I had some of the footage to hear everything that was said and see it play out. In the end, I love photos the most and am glad we had a wonderful photographer.

2. I wish we had just bought Mr. Ducky a suit for the wedding and told everyone to wear a black suit. We went with rented tuxes, and the pants just did not fit well—seriously MC Hammer style, although Mr. Ducky’s weren’t as bad as a few of them. It’s really not a huge deal—there are just a few full-length pictures I don’t like as much because of the pants.

3. During the planning process there was some drama and lots of emotions from family, and I sometimes regretted planning such a big wedding. It was so stressful. Our day ended up being perfect and amazing, but still remembering parts of the process is hard and hurtful. So I don’t know if it’s a regret because I would not change our day, but before that I sometimes wished we had just eloped or done a small destination wedding.

4. I wish I had finished a few more of my DIY projects, but life got in the way, finishing school took priority, and there was general procrastination. Of course no one noticed, but I wish I had done some things further in advance to allow for some other projects.

I lost sleep on our honeymoon over lots of little things that went wrong on our wedding day—I got the music to our DJ (a friend) for the ceremony so late in the previous week that he didn’t get it and our ceremony music was really bad, by no fault of his. I know there were a bunch of other little things I lost sleep over, but those have all faded—I only remember the music thing. It’s amazing how music is tied so strongly to our memories. I’m not a music lover (I don’t own an iPod or a radio!), but the soundtrack from our day is still a very strong memory that will probably never fade.

There was one thing that pained me on our wedding day, one that I’ll never forget. Our venue coordinator got switched on us at the last minute, and we were placed with a new woman who treated all of my hardworking and wonderful friendors (including my own dad!!!) like crap. I cried a lot over that—we’d asked some of our closest friends to help us set up our day, and in turn they were yelled at and bossed around by this horrible, inexperienced woman. It was beyond my control, and I didn’t know about it until after the fact. To know that that happened on our wedding day was devastating—and realizing that if I’d just thrown money at the problem and hired a competent coordinator instead of relying on friends and the “free” venue coordinator, none of that would have happened.

The sting of that mean mean woman treating my hardworking friends like crap hasn’t faded even after two years. I regret that I never went into the venue afterward to air my greivences. I was so angry at them—we never went back to obtain the top tier of our cake because I was so upset and didn’t want to run into any of the event-coordination staff. I should have gone back, aired my grievances, demanded an apology from the woman. I regret that to this day. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. It’s definitely the sorest spot from our wedding day.

My regrets are minimal, but I did have a few:

1. We missed a few family photos at our reception venue. I feel bad about them, but my mom feels worse. That makes me sad. I kind of wish we had set up shop with our photographer during cocktail hour and allowed some family and friends to approach us for a photo if they wished.

2. I wish I had structured my “vision” of the music with our band a bit better. They were fabulous, but it strayed from what I wanted at times (too much booty shaking, not enough Sinatra/Buble/Bennett).

3. I wish I would have pulled my hair up as soon as we arrived at the reception venue for photos. It had gone flat.

All in all—not too many lessons learned. I’d do it all again in a minute!

I’m a weird girl…I actually spent quite a bit of time studying bridal regrets when I was planning our wedding. I looked and looked for lists like these and tried to plan around the ones I saw most commonly. We had a wonderful wedding day, and I’m so happy that it was stress free and a great memory. Still, there are a few things I’d advise:

1. Don’t be afraid to be a “bridezilla” (and that is a stupid misogynist concept anyway) with your potential vendors. I hate that word, but I was so worried about being perceived as one that, early on, I was more timid than I should have been.

The inverse of this is that you shouldn’t hire anyone that even remotely requires you to be forceful. If you think for one second that you will have to remind, restate, or reinforce what you want with someone, politely let them go and hire someone else that “gets” it.

I followed my own rule with all my vendors (and loved them!) except one: the florist. In retrospect, he probably thinks I’m a weirdo for all those floral inspiration photos I sent him. But if I’d felt from the beginning that he was listening to me, I never would have had the need to do that. Go with your gut first. The rest can work itself out.

2. If you love your mother, tell your photographers in advance who she is. I’d planned to have time specifically with Mom on the wedding day, but my grandmother got sick and it just didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. I agonized for months that there were no photographs of Mom and me together but, luckily, my photographers knew who she was and captured every single fleeting moment we had together, and I burst into tears of relief when I saw the shots.

3. There are a bunch of little ideas that I forgot to mention to people and, of course, they never happened. For instance, we had a “heritage-photo table” with pictures of some of our guests. We intended for them to take their photos home but forgot to tell them, so now we have a box of framed photos in our house that we need to get rid of. Also, we’d wanted to be pelted with rose petals on our wedding day but couldn’t quite coordinate with the florist (above), and I never conveyed to anyone how much I really wanted this to happen. I still cringe a bit when I see all those vases of unused rose petals at our wedding! I just want to reach into the photo and toss them in the air!

4. Hire a planner! I got this idea because I was my mom’s de facto wedding planner when she remarried six years ago, and we both regret it. I was emphatic that if I was having any wedding at all, I’d have a planner. It was one of the best wedding decisions we ever made.

5. Do consider others’ perspectives of your wedding. I regret not asking my cousin, who initially lived far away but moved to the area well after our engagement, if she wanted to be a bridesmaid. In general, I underestimated how excited people would be for us, and we didn’t really ask anyone for help. Once I realized that and saw how happy she was, I regretted not including her more. (I just asked my closest friends, who volunteered to help out and lived nearby.)

Right after the wedding, I was exhausted. I actually wished I had not done all the DIY-ing that I had. I wished I had hired a planner to do more of it. I wished I had given my photographer a shot list. I wished I had spoken up more about things I had envisioned and shared them with more people so that they would get done. I wished I had planned more of the musical choices. I wished I had been more organized. It tooke me about three months to start to regain clarity and get over the exhaustion. It took writing my recap about walking down the aisle for me to realize that I needed three months to recuperate from the wedding planning and from being a bride, and to start enjoying the memories we created.

We are six months post-wedding, and the mishaps and mistakes are just part of the wedding day we had. They add to the “character” of our wedding memories. I actually wouldn’t change anything because I’m afraid that wishing that it had gone differently would mean losing the good things that I cherish from that day. Our biggest goal was to see our families together and happy. We absolutely achieved that. I say leave well enough alone. I’m ready to just be a guest from now on.

My only true and lasting regret: not spending more money to hire a competent photographer, period!

There were some other things that bugged me a bit post-wedding, but those were all pretty easy to forget about.

~~~

What about you? What are your wedding day regrets? Have they faded with time?

BLOGGER

beehive

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  1. Member
    brooch 1760 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:23 pm

    Looooooooooooooooove this! Thank you ladies!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    periwinkle, Guest @ 7:24 pm

    I should have eaten more cake!
    I should have told the photographer who dh’s family members were so he could get some shots of them. I barely knew them, so I forgot all about it.
    I should have gotten a decent night’s sleep the night before — nerves and lack of sleep made me quite sick the morning of the wedding.
    I wish I’d loved my dress.
    I wish we’d had more time to spend with our out-of-town family. We did come back the following afternoon and open gifts with them, though.

  3. Member
    frozen yogurt 2600 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:30 pm

    @pug I love you! You are hilarious!

  4. Member
    plantains 2672 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:48 pm

    This is my fabourite of the After I Do seris so far. Really helps to put things in perspective. Also nice to see Mrs Argyle back.

  5. Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:58 pm

    I really loved reading this! Thanks ladies for the honesty. :)

  6. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:30 pm

    Wow. I just asked Mr. P to pretty please with a cherry on top read this.

  7. Member
    maureen9004 2465 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:30 pm

    Love this post.

    In an alternate universe I would have asked my brother to be maid (man) of honor. My sister, who I love, was MOH- she has always been a hot mess and my wedding brought out her ugly. I also wouldn’t have invited my husband’s college sports pals or the girl who introduced us. She puked all over my dress and we spent our wedding night driving her and her vehicle home.

  8. Member
    kayakgirl73 2593 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:31 pm

    1. Not making sure the photog had my shot list.

    2.Not doing a first look, if we had done one we could have had pictures of us outside before the weather turned.

    3. Better organization especially before the ceremony.

    4. Start hair appointments earlier.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 8:41 pm

    Giving the DJ a playlist beyond our key songs for the dances. I was having so much fun dancing, that I didn’t realize that the DJ didn’t play any songs that my parents and older family members liked. I regret not paying closer attention to make sure that they had as much fun as I did!

  10. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 8:52 pm

    fantabulous post, thank you!

  11. Member
    IvyClimb 2612 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:54 pm

    What a great post. Thanks so much to all the bees for being so honest. It’s hard to write in a public forum that there was a single thing you wish had gone differently on your wedding day, but when we do so, I think it helps all of us to feel like it’s okay that everything isn’t perfect.

  12. Member
    PitBulLover 8411 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 9:26 pm

    Thank you so much ladies! I am 6 months out from my wedding today and the regrets fade as time goes by, but this makes me remember that no wedding was perfect even if the pictures make it seem so!

  13. Member
    kmark 24 posts, Newbee @ 9:48 pm

    @ Mrs. Lamb- you are the first person I have heard say this, even as a joke and thank you, because it made me feel a lot less lonely! I am extremely happy being married, but I regret having my wedding. It feels kind of good to say it- I really wish I could talk about my disappointment and my reasons for it and how sorry I am that I can’t go back in time and have a do-over, but its such an awkward thing to bring up in real life that I haven’t really had the opportunity to get it off my chest in the 8+ months since my wedding.

  14. Member
    kentuckygirl 166 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:57 pm

    Great post, thank you ladies! I made a list as I was reading this!

  15. Member
    Sunlavender 567 posts, Busy bee @ 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the tips. It’s so helpful to have your hindsight. Hopefully they save a few regrets from future brides (myself included!) from having themselves.

  16. Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:27 pm

    This was a great post with some good tips to look out for in our own weddings. Thank you!

  17. Member
    Lilacgal 380 posts, Helper bee @ 10:50 pm

    Wow! This is so amazingly helpful to read this BEFORE the big day! Thanks to all!

  18. Member
    Chocolatte 198 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:22 pm

    thank you for all your time and wisdom ladies!

  19. Member
    ReadyAsICanBe 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:53 pm

    Great post ladies! thanks for the tips, there ins no such thing as too much prepping and I am ready for something to not go as planned :-)

  20. Member
    LittleBruin 164 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:54 am

    Thank you so much ladies! This is a great post!

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Julie, Guest @ 3:58 am

    Great post! I was just thinking of my regrets in anticipation of my sister-in-law’s wedding. I actually don’t regret not getting a videographer.

    I do regret my grandmother refusing to smile and not booting her out of photos when she wouldn’t behave but I know one day I’ll cherish the few I got.

    I regret not just eloping or having a destination wedding a lot. I loved my wedding but I think I did it for everyone else.

    I regret having a bridal party. We only had 2 people each but it was more than we needed. I would have loved the intimacy of just the two of us alone while our families and friends were behind us supporting us.

  22. Member
    amyellabella 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:56 am

    This is fantastic, thank you so much!

  23. Member
    Gerbera 4481 posts, Honey bee @ 7:50 am

    Immediate regrets: Pictures. I worried that I didn’t get pictures with just my mom, just my brothers, just the kids. I was bummed that I didn’t have time to get pictures with the groomsmen because guests arrived way too early!
    Once I got our pro pics back I realized that it was OK. There were plenty of pictures with the kids, there were pictures with my brothers, etc. I still feel bummed I didn’t get pictures with the groomsmen solely. But there’s nothing I could have done to change that!
    Overall, we were both really really happy with our wedding. It was such a great day, we were surrounded by people who love us and were happy for us and happy to be there. We waited quite a while to get engaged to have that so we are happy we did because we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  24. Member
    MrsSl82be 9010 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:36 am

    1 Spent more time with my husband. I felt like we were together a good bit at the reception, but the only pics we have during is traditions, but no dancing (except the first dance). But then again, we did get some great dancing pics, just wish one or two were us together.

    2. Putting together a list of must haves for pics. We got some really great pics, and I loved our photographers, but there are a couple pics I wish we could have gotten that we didn’t.

    3. THAT IT DIDN’T RAIN!!!! I am still really upset about this, since I didn’t get the pics that i wanted cuz I had picked places that were outside. THankfully, my SIL is a photographer, so we are hopefully going to be able to get pics of me and the hubs at least in the places I originally wanted eventually

    4, Not paying for a photo booth. We wanted to DIY, and I picked someone last minute to control it that I shouldn’t have, so it never happened. But, my bff knew how important it was, so she took it upon herself to bring all the props to the reception, and we got some great pics from that. So, even though i didn’t get photobooth pics, we still got some great pics thanks to her :)

    5. That I didn’t make sure we had food available before the ceremony. I was so hungry and cranky from the rain, that I ended up getting into an argument with my bff and the hubs :(

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Audra, Guest @ 9:40 am

    Great post!

    My small regret is not listening to my instinct regarding my hair stylist. During the hiring and trial process, I started feeling like she wasn’t listening to my requests and wasn’t open to my needs. I had already booked her once I started feeling this way so I felt like I just had to “suck it up” and deal with it. Ultimately, on the wedding day even though my hair wasn’t at all like I wanted (or like the trail) I just put a happy face on because I knew there wasn’t anything I could do at that point. And my bridesmaids later confided in me that they weren’t really all that happy with their hairstyles (or lack there of) either. I’m glad it didn’t ruin my day, but looking back at my pictures I realize how much I didn’t like my hair. Lesson learned? Trust your gut!

  26. Member
    Piccateer 172 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:00 am

    From the day we got engaged I said I wanted to spend most of our budget on a great photographer. Then my mom said that she had a good friend who’s boyfriend was a videographer who was trying to bolster his photography business and would give us a deep discount. So I reluctantly agreed. The couple broke up about a month before the wedding, but he agreed to still shoot the wedding and it was awkward. Yeah, I got a great deal on photography and a video, but the quality is just not there. I desperately wanted gorgeous pictures, and I really got just ok pictures. I regret it all the time.

  27. Member
    panther 1112 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:06 am

    This post is soooo helpful!

  28. Member
    juliebeannn 73 posts, Worker bee @ 11:46 am

    thank you for this post! it definitely shines a lot of insight for us brides-to-be.

  29. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 12:02 pm

    thanks for the great post, lots of things to think about before I get to the big day!

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    CapeCayman, Guest @ 12:11 pm

    Thanks for this post!
    Our photographer got lost going to our second photo spot, which made us rush through the bridal party photos to get to the church on time. The next day, I realized we didn’t get a single photo of just me and my bridesmaids and was sooo upset about it. 6 months, I still go over in my head all the shots I wish we had gotten – he missed a lot of the “detail shots” that I was hoping for also (still looking at wedding blogs doesn’t help!)…. but it is SO good to hear that I am not the only one! :)
    My advice- don’t expect your photographer to get every single shot that has ever been featured on Style Me Pretty :) But make sure you tell them the top shots that you can’t live without!

  31. Member
    mrsbowieii 704 posts, Busy bee @ 1:37 pm

    This was a great post and it helps me know that alot of things I am dealing with right now are not just my own family drama. Thank you.

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Molly, Guest @ 3:32 pm

    Wow, reading this (and the many replies) has given me goosebumps! I’m working so hard on so many diy projects in order to help DD avoid as much last-minute stress as possible. Thank you so much for all these honest wedding assessments, it really will help future brides try to avoid some of the same problems. Congratulations and happy marriages to you all!

  33. Member
    kamiie 116 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:06 am

    I regret:

    1. Not investing in a better DJ. I wanted a huge dance party, and the wedding was not due to the DJ.

    2. Picking my bridal party too quickly

    3. Not researching my vendors more. My DJ and Florist SUCKED. Fortunately my mom did most of the flowers, but my florist charged me way too much for what she gave me. The cake was gorgeous, but also way over priced.

    4. Not caring more and being more specific about what my jr. bridesmaid and flowergirl wore.

  34. Member
    mrscash 715 posts, Busy bee @ 6:50 pm

    Once again, fellow bees, I am finding encouragement in your own stories/regrets and a good place to rant my own!
    1. Not interviewing more florists because I HATED my wedding flowers. The bouquets were nothing like what I described, the centerpieces were ugly and had flowers and colors I never mentioned, there were other things I had asked for that simply never came to fruition. My main color was mustard yellow against a neutral palette of honey and dark brown (fall wedding with forest theme) and I wanted very little white – not only were there white flowers everywhere but off-pink ones! And dark red ones! I was so disappointed when I first saw my bouquet and the florist was nowhere around to make any last minute changes, and still get sad looking at the photos of it. And yes I had a sample one made and had told her changes, she had implemented one or two but not the rest. Really wish I could have interviewed more than just her and one other florist so I could’ve had someone create my dream bouquet.
    2. I wish I’d DIYed more, or else asked people to help me DIY some things. There were a few things my DH and did but I was also stressed and working full-time so had some stuff done on etsy, like the favors and table numbers. I was going to have “welcome” and “eat drink be married” signs made on etsy, and somehow didn’t properly confirm the order and so they were never made and I realized I should have just made them myself. I probably could have even done the bouquets myself and not had regret #1, and could have put some of the decor out myself at the wedding (the day-of planner put some of my stuff out but not all, I didn’t get to check). Really, for those ladies out there who are control freaks – DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY. Unless you’re 100% confident in your vendors you may not be happy otherwise.
    3. Creating our wedding album, there are lots of wedding shots I regret not taking, especially with our bridal party. My “must-have” list included a bunch of family portrait combinations, and not nearly enough fun pictures with the bridal party. I see so many I wish we had on Pinterest. I also didn’t get a shot with my mom and grandma together, and we don’t have any of my DH getting ready although with that last one we’re actually recreating it this week with his photographer buddy! While I’m not doing to get back in my dress and have my hair and makeup done again, having him put his suit back on is easy enough.
    4. There’s a few family members I didn’t invite because of parent divorce issues and not wanting to piss off other relatives, and I really wish I had, especially because I ended up seeing them at a funeral of another relative a few days after my wedding! Trust me, it doesn’t get much more awkward than that.

  35. Member
    smilebeth 8 posts, Newbee @ 8:45 am

    Hi!

    After dating for 3 years we got married! We did the long distance thing. I have moved to his town that i like. He has a house and two boys in school -made sense. I finally found a job after a year of looking and applying. I moved, planned our small wedding, and worked my old job (till they found a replacement via laptop) while learning my new job.

    For the most part thigns have gone great, and b/c we kept the wedding small it worked out. It was a great day and everyone made it. My brother and neices made it from Montana. My father made it and i really didn’t think he would (long story) spinal cord injury 13years now.

    i made sure there were two charge video cameras – my fiance’s son was supposed to use one to record (which he did) then stopped when the wedding started. He was a groomsman and i thought he’d catch the walking part. NOPE! other camera. i made sure it got to the wedding think anyone could help me remember to ask someone to record. nope. My dad did bring his old recorder and my brother wound up getting some stuff with that one – but not the walk down the asile. i’m sick. i’ve tried to not be upset about it but i’m so sad. i lay down at night and its all i can think about. what i didn’t get. how wrong is that!! i know it will never happen again and i didn’t get to see my neices walk down the isile.

    I did have pictures taken and there are a couple of them walking down the isile but its just not the same!! Lots of great pictures – but not one of just me and my grandma or aunts. They all got there early like I asked. I had it on the picture list. And I forgot until the pictures came back! I just want to cry and cry. I’m 35 i waited a long time for this. I wanted to enjoy it b/c the day went so fast. we had a small wedding at the church and cake reception.

    Anyone have advice? My husband has been great but i know he’s tired of hearing it. lol I’m counting my blessing i know it doesn’t sound like it but i just can’t stop the sound track of if you just would have made sure someone got the video. You didn’t get a picture with your grandma and aunts.

    Thanks!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Joann, Guest @ 8:18 am

    It’s been over a month and I still regret not dying my hair to my natural color. I had highlights and the way they styled my hair for my wedding the highlights looked thicker. I also regret not hiring a videographer. My hubby said he would get his friend to record with his professional camera but that never happened. The day went by so fast so it would have been nice to see it on video. I wish my cake table didn’t look so plain and we got sparklers because I wanted a picture with my husband and I in the middle of a line of lit sparklers but my wedding coordinator had everyone light them too soon so I was not able to get the picture taken. Any advice on how you stopped focusing on your wedding day regrets?

  37. Member
    penguin 3471 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:35 am

    @joann – I think it just goes away with time – I remember my regrets just EATING away at me on our honeymoon…such a shame of a way to spend a couple sleepless nights on our honeymoon…but it was what it was! The regrets will fade as the year goes on. I hardly remember what I regret now (5 years later) but it surges back sometimes when I’m watching someone else plan their wedding (or helping). Honestly things like reading this post were helpful to me, to realize that virtually EVERYONE regrets something from their wedding day, and it’s not a big deal or anything to be ashamed about. You put a lot of effort into the day and it’s totally ok to wish some things went better – don’t let people cut you down by just dismissing you and saying “oh well you’re married now so just forget about it.” The regrets will eventually fade :)

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