If you’re a bride-to-be, you’ve more than likely come to the inevitable conclusion that planning a wedding is a lot of work. From booking sites and saving dates to finding flowers and inviting guests, wedding planning can take its toll on any future Mr. and Mrs. But stress is the last thing you need on the most photographed day of your life… it’s bad for your complexion :)
So, the one question I’ve found myself asking brides over and over again is, “If you had it to do all over again, what’s the one thing you would change about your wedding day?” Because while everyone who’s ever been married can offer 1001 pearls of wisdom, many of them aren’t pertinent to my particular taste or style. Buuuuuut, if I can avoid a potential wedding day disaster by learning through other bridal debacles, I might as well take advantage. Here are some of the “do over” moments from former brides, still working in the wedding biz!
- Carolyn Siderys, Merchandise/Marketing Manager for Marilyn’s Keepsakes (Married in 1982): “If you truly favor something – whether it’s a flower, a color, a theme, whatever – do NOT let someone intimidate you into doing something else.” When Carolyn met with her florist, she knew exactly what she wanted. Armed only with the idea of her perfect bridal bouquet, she informed the florist she wanted a timeless look of fully blossomed, ivory roses, but after several back and forths with the florist, he convinced her to do something that would coordinate with her Fall Wedding. On the day of her wedding, Carolyn’s hope for a “timeless” bouquet looked more like a “timed out” display. “It was a dead arrangement – filled with brown baby’s breath and completely, closed roses… not exactly an accessory a bride wants to ‘polish’ her look.”
- Amy Furrow, Bridal Consultant/Customer Service Rep for Marilyn’s Keepsakes (Married in 2007): “I would’ve invited less people for sure. I like the idea of having a more intimate setting of close family and friends.” Amy said it’s important to invite people you’ll still be excited to see in your wedding album, no matter how many years pass between looks. Having a smaller guest list will also keep costs down and sanity up. While you might think it’s a great idea to include your mom’s cousin’s dog breeder when the invites are sent, you just may end up changing your mind years (or let’s be honest – weeks) later.
- Lindsey Kroemer, Wedding Photographer (Married in 2006): A new trend that seems to be making its way into more and more weddings is having the bride and groom face the guests during the ceremony. “I wish we would’ve taken the more traditional approach and kept our backs to the guests while the priest faced everyone.” While good in theory, because it allows your loved ones to see YOU during your celebration, it doesn’t always work out for the best. She says it’s important to not only consider ceremony site, photography rules but everyone should realize that just as clearly as your guests can see you, you can see your guests. This can make it less about you and yours and more about you and your dramatically sobbing, insanely waving aunt three rows back.
- Cheryl Simms, Wedding Accessory Sales Consultant (Married 1995): “I encourage everyone to wait at least a day before hopping on a plane and flying off to honeymoon.” Cheryl cringes as she remembers her early flight after a late, late night of 100 smiles and 1000 dances. “Your body needs a minute to recover, because there’s nothing worse than starting a vacation in a bad mood.”
- Tammy Kopitzke, Bridal Store Consultant & Service Rep (Married in 1979): “It’s been such a joy helping my daughter plan her wedding. Everything from big decisions to small details are discussed, and while she makes the final call, it’s really great to be included, which is why I wish I would’ve asked my mom for more help,” Tammy says. “I was young and stupid and thought I could do it all.” In the end, however, she would’ve loved the extra advice. Since weddings can be such a special time for mothers and daughters to bond, Tammy would encourage every girl to let their mothers be a part of the fun!
- Tonya Copley, Marketing Manager for Online Bridal Stores (Married in 1999): “I would have reconsidered having an open bar. I married a fraternity boy, and all his ‘brothers’ were all too eager to turn our reception into a frat house thrown down.” While this may not always be the case, it’s important to consider the expense as well. Some reception sites may charge a flat fee per person, while others may charge by the bottle… which depending on the number of guests who enjoy a good drink (or two or 12), could get pretty costly.
And even though I’m not a bride who can talk about what I would do differently, I’ve been to enough weddings to know one thing for certain. No matter how dolled up (or down) you choose to get, be sure to still look like you! Every bride wants to look incredible, but there’s no sense in looking amazing, if you don’t look like yourself… after all, the man waiting at the other end of the aisle already thinks you’re the prettiest woman ever… so make sure he gets to see you!