– Ask a Real Bride – Wedding Mistakes You Wish You Could Fix

No matter how meticulously you plan, there is bound to be something about your wedding day you look back on and wish you could change. In today’s edition of “Ask a Real Bride,” we take a look at the biggest wedding day regrets: from makeup mishaps to missing memorable moments, I hope this list of “regrets” will help brides-to-be avoid their own!

Not Hiring a Videographer

Far and away, this was the most common mistake brides I polled wished they could re-do! Every couple hears the advice to splurge on their photographer, but oftentimes, this leaves no room in the budget for a videographer. Unfortunately, pictures just can’t capture everything video can!

Video by Hope Media.

Take a look at this video from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. The music, laughter, and movement bring a rush of emotion that captures the day in a way that’s different than flipping through a photo album. And without video, it’s impossible to capture one of the most meaningful aspects of the wedding: the speeches!

“I would have hired a videographer to capture the amazing speeches. I’m so sad I can’t go back and listen to them!”—Mandy Z.

If you’re reading this and on the fence about videography at your wedding, just go for it!

Not Enough Intimate Moments

Too often, the day you spent months planning flies by in a blur, with very little meaningful time spent with your groom. These brides wish they could’ve made time for more of those sweet moments—read on for what they would’ve done differently:

“I would see Jeff before our ceremony and have a ‘first look!'” –Jessica H.

An emotional first look captured by Lauren Louise Photography

Forget the traditional superstition about seeing your groom before the ceremony bringing bad luck: going for a “first look” means the moment you see each other for the first time will be more intimate than spotting each other from a distance as you walk down the aisle. Plus you’ll be less rushed between the ceremony and reception, allowing your photographer to capture your wedding portraits while you’re relaxed (and before you’ve cried!).

“I would’ve taken more pictures! We were worried about how long the guests were waiting and should’ve focused on capturing the moment.” –Jessica W.

Another unique, intimate idea is to enjoy a private “last dance” with your groom before the wedding is over (check out this post for details). Send your guests outside to prepare for your send-off,  and enjoy a quiet, intimate moment with your new husband. A last dance also gives you a chance to take a final look at your reception site and decor (something I feel like I couldn’t soak in a room full of people).

Private last dance wedding reception
Photo Source: The Thrifty Pineapple

“I was photographing a wedding that the couple had a last dance with just the two of them. I thought that was really sweet and a great way to appreciate the whole day. Wish I had thought of that on my wedding day!” –Jenna L.

“I see a lot of people do this after the guests head outside for the send off. The pictures of the couple dancing in an empty ballroom are to die for!”—Ally A.

At some point in the planning process, many brides begin to feel more like event planners, with their focus on details like flowers, food, and music; but focusing on your spouse-to-be will help create the romantic, intimate moments you’ll remember forever!

When I asked what she would change about her wedding, my friend Diana wrote:

…”a different groom! But in all seriousness, now that I am doing this the second time around I am more mindful of what WE as a couple want. It’s our day; no one else’s. The first time around intimacy was sacrificed for a “big frat party” as my mom refers to it! My goal as a bride now is being true to myself and my partner…and 34 guests (thank God for small families).”

Too Much (or too little) Makeup

My personal wedding day regret is my makeup: I wish I had let my makeup artist put a little more on my face! I was so worried about not looking like myself that I went a little too “natural,” and I think I could’ve done with a little more color!

Natural wedding day makeup
My “natural” wedding day look—I wish I had gone for more color! Photo courtesy of Kallima Photography

However, the other extreme can be just as regrettable:

“I think I would have done my own hair and makeup to feel more like myself!”–Joy H.

The takeaway: do trial runs with potential makeup artists, and take pictures of yourself after the trial! Don’t settle until you’re in love with your look!

Not Hiring a Planner

“I wish I had hired a real day of planner/coordinator. My dad’s friend said she was doing it and she really dropped the ball and caused unnecessary stress the day of the wedding.” –Camile L.

Hiring a planner, or at least a day-of-coordinator, is worth the splurge! You’ll feel more relaxed knowing the details are in the capable hands of a pro.

Foregoing Tradition

I love new trends and unique weddings, but beware: leaving certain traditions out of your big day might leave to some wedding day regret!

Take it from me: I ditched the traditional cake cutting because I felt like everyone was having such a great time and I didn’t want to ruin the flow of the night. I now realize that’s the traditional signal for older guests to leave, and I feel bad that we skipped it! I would definitely go back and make the cake cutting more ceremonial.

Nevada Wedding | Elopement | Lauren Louise Photography
Elopements are unique, intimate, and a lot less stressful—but you may miss some of the traditions! This couple, photographed by Lauren Louise Photography, brought their parents along for their desert elopement!

Another bride writes about her non-traditional wedding:

“We eloped on a beautiful private beach in Hawaii and although it was romantic and intimate and we both still shed tears of joy. But in hindsight, I would’ve loved to have had our parents and siblings there. I didn’t think at the time, and I definitely miss the fact that I didn’t have them there to share it with and also to hear what my Dad’s speech would’ve been.” –Marlena C.

Not Being Comfortable in My Dress

“I wish I didn’t pick a constricting dress. Literally could only move from my knee down… I was happy with photos but could barely get in and out of car.” –Victoria M.

During your dress fittings, try sitting in a chair, walking around, and dancing. You want to look AND feel great in your dress!

Not Capturing Moments with Friends

“There are a few close friends that attended my wedding that I didn’t get photos with. Wish I had asked the professional photographer to snag a shot. Or even asked my friend to grab her phone for a quick selfie.” –Victoria B.

Wedding App Signage | Wedding Hashtag signage
Wedpics and Instagram Hashtag Sign via The DoodleCoop

Your photographer might be so busy capturing the “big” moments that they miss capturing you with your guests. One idea is to try a wedding app. WeddingMix is an app designed for sharing photos and videos privately among you and your wedding guests, ensuring that you get to see pictures of you and your friends. Click the links above to research the details and features of each app, and see which one is the best fit for your big day!

Not Splurging on the Honeymoon Instead!

As much as I love weddings, I definitely understand this bride’s perspective!

“I would of gotten married the night Jim proposed and went on a sick honeymoon with the money we spent on the wedding.” —Roxanne S.

Tropical Honeymoon

Thanks to our Real Brides (and Grooms!)

I hope that these wedding day regrets help future brides and grooms avoid their own missteps. But no matter what happens on your big day, there’s a lifetime of joy ahead of you!

Have a question for our real brides? Let us know what topic you’d like us to tackle next!

And for more etiquette inquiries, be sure to check out our recent Ask Cheryl posts!

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