We asked recently married brides this question:
“If you could plan your wedding and do it all again, what would you do differently?“
When it comes to planning a wedding hindsight is always 20/20 so we asked recently married women from a popular wedding FaceBook Group, if they could do it all again what would they do differently and we got some surprising results, many of which came up again and again.
The results are presented here with advice so you may avoid having these same regrets about your wedding day.
Wedding planning advice – The Top 10 things brides would DO differently
1. Plan better re Photography
The biggest regret about the wedding day was related to wedding photography.
- Brides overall felt that they either hadn't chosen the best photographer for their needs and their photos either came out poorly, the poses weren't to the bride and grooms personal style or key people were missing from the photos.
Wedding planning advice
Professional wedding photographers have a portfolio which demonstrates the poses they place the bride and groom in, the guest groupings and any elements of ‘flair and editing tricks they add later for effect.
It is important to discuss your own personal tastes re different styles of photography to ensure the photographer will be able to accommodate them. I have added some wedding photos here to demonstrate the variety of ‘styles' when it comes to wedding photos.
If you want something a little different to standard photographs, you will need to find a good match for your own tastes and shop around. Check the photographers portfolios, show them styles you like, discuss groupings and timings for photos and read reviews.
Meet with the photographer
Discuss how best to ensure the group photos took place in the right place at the right time before everyone starts wandering about.
The friend, family photographer option
If you can't afford a professional photographer and you are reliant on the services of an enthusiastic guest to take pics, you can still have all the conversations relating to planning as above. Enlist some help from the best man or maid of honour in organising the guests to help this happen. make sure as the photographer is also a guest that they get a chance to appear in some pics too!!
2. Have a Videographer
Many brides regretted not having a videographer to make a wedding video as the day went so fast they would have liked the chance to watch it all back. This was quite a common regret when it came to things they chose to leave out of the wedding plan.
3. Don't Let others dominate
Many brides felt that others (usually moms or bridesmaids) had too much say in their wedding planning and that when the day arrived it wasn't at all what they themselves wanted. They felt that if they could get married all over again they would insist they do the planning themselves or at least have more say. Vow renewal was a popular idea for compensating for this disappointment.
There are many reasons why others take over our wedding planning and mainly it is all with good intentions and a desire to help us out with time, costs and lack of imagination on our own part. If you want to have a wedding that is all ‘your way' then there is no other way but to have a clear image you can communicate to others (with moodboards) who are helping you plan your day.
You need to be firm that is your (and your partners of course) day and you want it this way. Be firm … do not be afraid to say no. DO however appreciate their efforts and consideration and be mindful they're only trying to help. People do not use up their own valuable time for people they do not care about.
4. Have fewer bridesmaids
It is very sad how often brides fall out with their friends and family who are bridesmaids when it comes to the day and often some time before. Common fall outs with bridesmaids are discussed here. Many brides felt that if they were getting married all over again, they'd have fewer bridesmaids to eliminate rows, costs and tricky situations arising.
5. Have a sit down meal instead of a buffet
Most brides quake in their glass slippers with the thought of making seating plans because it is fraught with problems. However after the wedding many who had buffet style reception food with unplanned seating found various problems.
- Queuing for food – guests becoming irritable
- Food running out of supply before everyone was fed
- Lack of seating for some
The way to have a buffet and eliminate these problems is all in the planning. You can have a sit down meal with a seating plan and ‘buffet food', just as in a restaurant with a Carvery. Guests can go and get their food and return to their allocated seat and table. This ensures everyone is seated.
You can reduce queues and hungry guests by having guests come up for their food in order and of course have enough food available. Have an allocated person to ensure this goes smoothly.
6. Have the wedding earlier
Some brides who had mid afternoon weddings felt that the day went to fast and they felt if they were getting married again they'd book the ceremony earlier so they had a longer day. The only thing I will say about this is that guests aren't as enthusiastic about being out all morning, noon and night as the bride and groom might be. So give this some thought.
7. Mingle more
Brides felt that there were guests they didn't spend much time talking to and if getting married again they'd make more effort to mingle. This is one of those things with weddings, as the married couple you do get very little to relax and just enjoy the day as there is a lot of mingling going on. People may have travelled a long way to see you married, perhaps took time off work. It is important to greet them and have a chat. But with a lot of guests that is a LOT of chatting and there are of course some people you'd rather spend more time with not least you new spouse!
Wear comfy shoes and prepare yourself is the only advice I can give re this as the only way to reduce the need to mingle is to have a smaller guest list.
8. Spend more time with new hubby on the day
If you are not both ‘mingling' and thanking your guests, then he is most likely being commandeered by his best mates and having a good time while you do all the work and worrying. Avoid this by having a conversation about how you both would like to spend your day in this respect and set clear boundaries to ensure you do get some romantic couple time.
There is no reason why, during a long wedding day you can't both disappear for an hour for some romantic time in your hotel room or to just put your feet up and rest a while, gather your thoughts and reflect on the day so far. You may not even be missed as there is so much going on. Ensure though you don't disappear when you're meant to be posing for photos!! And of course let key people know where you are so they do not worry. Set an alarm so you're not gone too long.
9. Cut the Cake Sooner
A number of brides forgot to cut the cake until very late in the day, many guests had already left. Decide the best time to cut your cake, after the meal or before and no later and have a named person to facilitate this.
10. Don't get drunk the night before
A few bride and grooms were hung over on their wedding day due to drinking heavily the night before. Have your stag or hen do days or even weeks before the wedding and take it easy on the night before your wedding. Have a no drinking rule as it is easy to get carried away.
I hope this list helps ensure your wedding goes without a hiccup!
Meanwhile if you are a recently married bride who can add to this list, please do so in comments.
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