Things Couples Would Do Differently
I’ve interviewed dozens couples after their weddings and asked them, “If you were planning your wedding all over again, what would you do differently and WHY?”
They gave the same answers over and over again. It comes down to these 7 reasons:
1. Spent the Money To Hire a Professional.
Erin knew she wanted a professional photographer, but she had a limited budget. So she found a photojournalistic, professional non-wedding photographer and struck a bargain. She saved $2,000 because the photographer did not specialize in weddings. But now she regrets not having any “traditional” wedding photos taken.
Tara purchased flowers online at a deep discount. Because she was talented in this area, she wanted to arrange the centerpieces herself. She did save hundreds on the cost of her flowers. But there was a problem… time. She explains, “Boxes of flowers showed up a few days before wedding, and I ran out of hours trying to put them together. It would have saved my sanity if I’d paid someone else to do it.”
With any DIY, make sure you have the skills, and more importantly- the time, to pull it off. Hiring a pro may be the way to go.
2. Given Myself More Time To Plan.
Amanda was a bride and a professional photographer. She planned her wedding for May… her busiest time of the year. She had months to plan and figured she would have more than enough time for everything. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time. Her photography business was booming. Amanda had planned to send invitations to her B list… but she never found the time to actually do it. “I regret not sending those invites,” she said.
Allowing MORE time is always better than LESS.
3. Communicated Better About MONEY.
Money is a touchy subject, especially if your parents are paying for some of your wedding. Stacy was fortunate enough to have both her parents and her future in-laws chip in toward the wedding. She thanked them for their contributions and went about setting up her budget. Then:
“You’re spending that much on a dress?” her mother asked. “I wouldn’t spend that much.”
“You bought wedding favors? Don’t you know they’re a waste of money?”
Talking about the money beforehand would have saved lots of drama down the road. Stacy wishes she had said, “Thanks so much! What would you like to pay for, specifically?” It’s very direct, but it would have allowed them to contribute to parts of her wedding that were most important to them.
4. Been Less Stressed When I Was Planning.
Mary delegated planning tasks to her family members and to her fiancé, letting them gather information for her to make the final decisions. “I made my decisions and then I started second-guessing myself,” Mary said. “I kept worrying about whether I’d made the right choice, instead of enjoying what it felt like to be engaged.”
Mary told me that in the end, she discovered that all her planning and research paid off. “I should have trusted myself, instead of worrying. Everything turned out fine.” Christine agrees. “My fiancé had it right; once we made a decision he just let go and was confident that we made the right choice.”
It was vital to trust themselves to make the right decisions and then let go. Keeping yourself tied up in knots with worry takes the fun out of getting married.
5. Savored My Engagement More.
Lisa dove right into planning. “I’d been casually shopping around for a dress months before Aaron proposed,” Lisa admitted. She then booked the photographer and location right away. She got so busy she forgot to notice what it felt like to be engaged. “Looking back, I wished I had slowed down my engagement and let it last longer.” she said.
It’s important to take the time to enjoy the experience. Every few moments, slow down, take a deep breath, and reflect. “This is my wedding I’m planning. I’m getting married!”
No matter how long your engagement, it’s going to FLY. Take the time to savor it.
6. Taken More Formal Portraits With My Family.
Kristin hired a photojournalistic photographer for her wedding (notice a trend here)? She instructed her to take candids. That was great on the wedding day. But afterward, Kristin had a lot of regrets. “I gave my photographer a list of what I wanted,” Kristin said, “but I didn’t get one shot with my grandmother. I wish I’d been more specific, and got some portraits”
Michelle was dead set against “cheesy” posed shots. “I hated the idea of having our photographer position us for a shot. But when I look at other people’s wedding albums, those are the really great photos. I wish I’d taken more posed shots.”
Nobody wants to be pushed around on their wedding day, but if you want pictures with your closest family members, consider posed photos as a way to capture those memories.
7. Invited Fewer Guests.
By cutting in areas of lesser importance, Rebecca was able to have her dream wedding. “My one regret,” she said, “was having so many people. I chose an average location for my wedding so that I could invite everyone on my list. But I wish I hadn’t invited those ‘obligated’ guests. I could have invited fewer people and afforded a much nicer place.”
Brooke found herself in a similar situation. “I only had so much money to spend,” she told me. “My parents pressured me to invite a lot of their friends. There were people at my wedding that I didn’t even know!”
On your wedding day, you owe it to yourself to be surrounded by your closest family and friends.