Planning a wedding is hard – whether you're doing it yourself or you've hired a team of professional consultants and event designers. With all of the items on your to-do list, it can be easy to forget certain details in the planning process. Once the big day comes, there are even more opportunities to wish you had done something differently. Of course, every bride and every couple is different, but in an effort to help you avoid anything you may regret, we asked 15 real brides to share what they wish they had done differently. No matter what, your celebration will be the best day of your life – but minimizing wedding-day regrets will help you look back on your nuptials with a smile. Take a look at 15 wedding regrets from real brides, below. Having these in the back of your mind will ensure you don't make the same mistakes!
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Having Too Long of an Engagement
"[We both] agree that we would have planned a shorter engagement! We were so excited to start our family and live life together as a married couple. I think a one-year engagement would have been perfect. At the end of the day, however, we know that everything happened as it was meant to be."
Not Greeting Every Guest
"Looking back on the day, there’s one main thing I would’ve done differently. Of course, everything happens how it’s supposed to, but I would’ve liked to greet all of the guests to thank everyone for being there – either by walking to each table or [getting] on the mic. We got to spend time with lots of the guests but that would’ve been a nice unifying moment."
Spending Too Little Time on the Details
"If I did it again, I would just have been more patient and really taken some extra time to spend on the finer details. It can be hard to enjoy the planning process, especially if you’re doing it all by yourself from different states, but the time you put into it will carry over and be worth it when you get to enjoy the end result."
Underestimating Hair & Makeup Requests
"If there is one thing we would have done differently, it would have been to hire a separate team of makeup and hair artists to take care of our additional family members and have the bridal party get-ready room in a more private location. The day before and on the day of the wedding, we received a lot of requests for hair and makeup from extended family members, which was stressful to coordinate and didn’t allow for as many family photos prior to the ceremony."
Getting Too Stressed While Planning
"I wish I didn’t get so hung up in all of the details and let stress get to me in the planning process. My planner was truly amazing and had everything completely under control. At the end of the day, everything turned out perfectly."
Being Too Nervous
"[I would have tried] to be less nervous before the ceremony! It was such an amazing experience having everyone you love that’s important to you in the same place. All these people are there rooting for you, [so there's] no reason to be nervous! As always, that’seasier said than done."
Not Planning Enough Ahead of Time
"I wish I [had] not wait[ed] until the last minute to set some of the details. I had a neon sign that said 'Today is a good day' that I was supposed to install for the photo wall area, and it ended up being broken with no time to fix or replace it."
Missing Cocktail Hour
"[We] went to the bridal suite so I could put my hair in an updo, change into my second dress, and get more makeup. If we did it all again, we wouldn’t miss cocktail hour to do that. We felt we missed out on seeing people!"
Not "Slowing Down" the Day
"[I wish that I had tried to] slow it down the day of and be more in the moment. We really encouraged our guests to avoid taking photos and video and just join us in being live for the day, and I also wish I did a better job of that as well."
Running Behind Schedule
"My nerves got the best of me and I lost track of time getting ready before and after the ceremony. My biggest piece of advice for brides is to designate a person to keep everyone involved, including bridesmaids and the hair and makeup teams, on schedule. This will keep things from running late and will provide the ample time needed for photos and mingling with guests."
Not Spending Enough Time with Attendees
"[I regret that I didn't] allow myself even more time to really soak everything in on the day. I tried my best to be in the moment and not allow stress to take over, and I think I did okay! I wish I would have been able to spend more time with guests and friends as well."
Worrying Too Much
"I would just try to relax a little more. At the beginning of the reception, I noticed I was still worrying about how things were going instead of enjoying myself, but after about an hour or so, when I noticed everything was going perfectly and my vendor team was doing amazingly, I was able to relax a little more."
Not Dancing Enough
"I would [have made] it a point to enjoy myself more out on the dance floor... Everyone that knows [us] knows that we love to get down on the dance floor! We both were so preoccupied with trying to get to each and every guest that time was slipping away quickly!"
Having Too Short of a Reception
"I would definitely extend our reception time so that we would have enough time for pictures and partying. We were having so much fun; we didn’t want it to end!"
Forgetting to Freeze the Cake
"[I wish I had] remember[ed] to freeze my cake’s top tier for our one-year anniversary! Not only was it an incredible cake but I’m superstitious!"