They say your wedding is supposed to be the most magical and perfect day of your life. And even if it isn’t (and spoiler alert: it shouldn’t be), you still don’t want to walk away from your big day with wedding regrets.
Your wedding is a big day – a day you have likely put a lot of time, thought and money into. It’s a celebration of your love and relationship, and the starting point of your marriage. And yet, many newlyweds admit to having wedding regrets.
What are the most common wedding regrets newlyweds have? And, more importantly, how can you avoid having these regrets about your wedding?
Wedding Regret #1: Not hiring a videographer
One of the most common wedding regrets is not hiring a videographer. While most couples opt for photography, not everyone thinks videography is necessary. You might be getting flashbacks to bad 80’s wedding videos. But modern videography isn’t like that.
These days, wedding videos can fit your style. From sweet and sentimental to MTV music video, your wedding video can be whatever you want it to be. You can hire professionals for full coverage of your day or just for certain portions (like your ceremony!). You can even crowdsource videos from your guests. At the end of the day, a wedding video is just a great way to help you remember and relive your wedding day.
Wedding Regret #2: Inviting people you didn’t really want to be there
Our good friend Aleisha of the Bridechilla Podcast refers to these people as “obligation guests.” Obligation guests are people you don’t exactly want at your wedding, but that you feel obligated to invite, like the cousin you haven’t seen since middle school, your mom’s friend from her bridge club or that one co-worker you don’t actually get along with.
Like Aleisha, we’re fans of ditching obligation guests whenever possible. The last thing you want to do when you’re walking up the aisle is see a face and think, “Who are you and why are you here?” And you certainly don’t want to be buying dinner for someone you don’t know or, worse, someone you don’t like! You should be able to surround yourself with loved ones who mean something to you on your wedding day, not people you have to fake a smile around.
Wedding Regret #3: Not spending enough time with loved ones
On the other side of the wedding regrets spectrum from obligation guests is not spending enough time with the people who are important to you. When you’re the star of the show, it can often feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions on your wedding day. Before you know it, the DJ is playing the last song of the night and you haven’t said more than, “Thanks for coming to my wedding!” to most of your guests.
It can be hard to prioritize spending time with loved ones on a day as busy as your wedding. But if taking time to catch up with people is important to you, work it into your wedding schedule ahead of time. You can do this by opting to take photos pre-ceremony, so you can socialize during your cocktail hour. Or you can host pre or post wedding events, like a brunch the next morning, to give you more time to see everyone.
Wedding Regret #4: DIY projects
Sometimes DIY can turn into DI-why?!? While the idea of making bouquets by hand, baking your own wedding cake or sewing together seat covers may sound genius, it’s not always the best plan. You may think you’ll save money by doing it yourself but you may end up wasting time, increasing your stress levels and calling in a professional last minute anyway. If you’re up until 3:00AM hot-gluing sequins to vases the week before your wedding, it’s time to put the glue gun down and step away.
Don’t get us wrong – we’re not against DIY. We love a good crafting session! But only when you go into it with the right mindset. Your DIY projects should be realistic, something you enjoy doing and something that will help to make your wedding more personal and meaningful. If you have no experience in the kitchen and hate baking, you shouldn’t be making your own wedding cake. That stress will cost you in the long run!
Wedding Regret #5: Trying too hard to please everyone
When it comes to weddings, it seems that everyone has an opinion. And sadly, trying to listen to so many opinions often means drowning out your own. One of the worst wedding regrets is looking back and realizing your whole wedding was saying yes to everyone but yourself.
From the moment you announce your engagement, you’ll likely have everyone from your best friend to your barista offering an opinion or asking a question. Set yourself up for success by having a go to line like, “Thanks so much for your thoughts! We’ll keep that in mind and definitely reach out if we need more information.” Accept opinions with a smile but know that the ultimate decision needs to sit well with you and your partner, no one else.
Wedding Regret #6: Missing out on photos with specific loved ones
Sadly, another wedding regret we hear a lot is newlyweds who are disappointed that they missed out on specific photos. Especially if the photos were with a loved one who might not be around for the next big occasion.
To avoid this wedding regret, it’s important you talk to your wedding photographer ahead of time. While most photographers don’t need a shot list and will be sure to capture all of the standard photos, if you have something specific in mind, you need to let it be known. Your photographer isn’t a mind reader! So if you want a photo with your three best friends from college because you haven’t all been in the same city since graduation, or with your great aunt on the dance floor, let your photographer know and they’ll make it happen.
Wedding Regret #7: Spending too much on things you don’t care about
A lot of wedding regrets fall into two categories – spending too much or not spending enough. Every couple is different and will have different priorities. But the general theme is that you regret spending too much money on things you just don’t care about.
Don’t get swept up in what things are supposed to cost and what wedding items are “must-have.” It doesn’t matter if your brother spent 50% of his wedding budget on florals. If you don’t care about flowers, don’t spend a lot of money on them. As you find yourself getting caught up in the wedding planning process, remember to step back and focus on what actually matters. Do you care about napkin colours and monogrammed glassware? Probably not. So don’t spend on it.
Wedding Regret #8: Not investing in things you do care about
On the other hand, another very common wedding regret is the exact opposite: not spending enough on the things you do care about. Again, this is going to look different for every couple. What matters most to you? That’s where you should be investing your time, effort and money.
If you’re huge foodies, take your time finding the best caterer, going to tastings (yum!) and shelling out a bit more for a dream menu. You can cut back on your budget in other areas where you don’t care as much. If you want our (pretty biased) opinion, investing in your ceremony is always a good idea!
Wedding Regret #9: Forgetting to eat
So let’s say you spend all that money on the fancy hors d’oeuvres, mouth watering entrees and amazing cake. But then the night ends and you realize, “Wait a minute. I didn’t get to eat any of it!” Many couples spend months picking out the best food options only to reach the end of their wedding day without having tasted any of it.
Don’t leave your wedding hungry! Not only is it sad to miss out on the food you spent so much time choosing, but it’s a bad idea to try and make it through the longest day of your life on an empty stomach. As the stars of the show, you might not have time to enjoy a proper sit down meal as you’ll be constantly pulled aside for photos, hugs, speeches and more. Talk to your caterer about saving you a plate or have a plate brought to you during your portrait session. Before the reception, ensure you have snacks on hand and that you make time in your schedule for breakfast!
Wedding Regret #10: Rushing through the day
While your wedding day will likely feel very long (especially if you’re wearing shoes that pinch your toes), it also goes by in a flash. Blink and you’ll miss it. But you don’t want to miss your own wedding day! This is a day that you will want to be present for and remember every moment.
To help push pause on your wedding day, build breaks into your wedding schedule. Instead of going straight to family photos after your ceremony, add ten minutes for you and your partner to sit alone in a room (maybe with some food!) and soak in the fact that you just got married! If your photographer says you need 30 minutes for your first look, allow 45 so you can spend some time together. Invite your parents to come and get ready with you, so you can drink mimosas together before the day gets started. Whenever possible, take time to breathe deep and appreciate the moment.
What are some wedding regrets you’re worried about? Or if you’re already married, what is your biggest wedding regret?
written by Riana Ang-Canning