If you could change anything about your wedding day, what would it be?
We recently asked this question of a group of past brides and received so much valuable feedback! If you're planning a wedding, do yourself a favor and check out this list. And if your big day has already come and gone, we want to know: What would you do differently if you had a do-over? Catch up with us on social media at @daintyjewellsblog, and let us know.
1. INVEST IN GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY. (AND DON'T USE FRIENDS & FAMILY.)
C: I wish I would have spent more on the photographer! I was trying to save money and squeeze everything I wanted into my budget. But now I wish I would have spent less on anything & everything, and more on the photographer!
J: Same about the photographer, and I wish I would have had a videographer as well!
J: I would take ALL of the money I spent on food and cake to have (good) professional photos if I could change anything. My mom's friend did them, and while I’m glad I had some, I wish I would’ve just spent the money on good ones.
B: Hiring a professional photographer is #1! We had a family member do it (she had been doing "photography" for a while), and she showed up with a cheap camera, and the pictures are terrible.
K: I wish I had a video. The day goes by soo fast, it's almost a blur. It would be so nice to be able to watch my wedding.
K: We were worried about getting pictures of everyone else and didn’t get hardly any of just my husband and me alone -- which is obviously more important than pics with each bridesmaid. I cherish all the pictures I have, I just didn’t have but one of my husband and me that I really liked.
B: I wish I'd had a small, intimate wedding, like immediate family, and then a very good photographer. I wish I'd had a videographer too, but it's my photos that I still look back at and love to this day. I also loved our small wedding. We put all our money into the honeymoon. The only thing I wish we'd had was a videographer.
A: I loved everything about my wedding except there are a few pictures that I wish I had. I would suggest to any bride that you make a list of pictures that are must-haves and give that to your photographer. I had a great photographer and LOVE what we have, I just didn't give him a list of everything I wanted.
A: I wish I had gotten a videographer. And I should have gotten pictures after we all ate, because we were trying to get all the pictures, and I never got to sit down with my husband and eat. It was awful.
H: I wish I would have spent more money on a photographer and had the wedding videoed. I used a photographer that was just learning, and my pictures were terrible.
A: I wish I'd spent more money on a more experienced photographer, had fewer bridesmaids, and had a shorter reception.
A: I actually spent most of my wedding budget on an amazing photographer/video, and it was the BEST thing we did! Ten years later, I’m so thankful for amazing pictures and video.
2. DON'T USE FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR CONVENIENCE.
L: I wish I would’ve gone to an actual bakery for my wedding cake. A childhood friend's mom ran the bakery at a local grocery store, and we trusted her to oversee my cake. Long story short, it wasn’t made until 4 pm the day of (which is when it was scheduled to be delivered), and it was entirely the wrong cake. Shape, color, everything. So my cake looks awkward and doesn’t match in my pics.
A: I wish I had done my own hair instead of having someone do it. I didn’t like how it turned out.
3. THINK AND RETHINK THE DATE.
H: I would change the date! We got married on December 12 because I wanted a Christmas wedding and didn’t want to wait until spring. Now, as pastors, with one child’s birthday on December 10, with teaching college that is always in finals that weekend, and now with kids’ school Christmas events around the same time, getting a chance to go somewhere together is HARD. I don’t know when I would have had it instead, but not in December!
B: The date! We got married in July, which is great weather in WA, but not so great weather for honeymoon and anniversary trips. We take any anniversary trips during cooler months now. I don't like 100-degree weather or humidity. Ha!
A: I would probably change our date. We got married around the 4th of July and right during youth camp season (which we're in charge of). It makes anniversary trips interesting.
4. HAVE A WEDDING COORDINATOR.
L: For me, my number one regret for SURE was not having a wedding helper! I was the first one in my family to get married, and we didn’t really know about having someone to oversee everything...because I’m normally the one who does that for everything that ever happens in my family, and I guess I just didn’t think about it for me. I was so "head in the clouds" that a lot of stuff just went wacko.
5. DON'T LET OTHERS DICTATE WEDDING DETAILS/DECISIONS.
J: I felt obligated to use so many friends and relatives. I would keep the wedding party small and more personal if I could do it over.
L: I also wouldn't have had such a large wedding party.
K: I LOVED everything about my wedding, but my bridesmaids' dresses for sure are something I still get upset over. I was trying to think of everyone else -- their body shape, their budget, and modesty issues. Someone advised against my original thought regarding bridesmaid dresses, and I hate that I listened because the pictures are great, but the girls' dresses are so bleh to me. I would tell any bride, do what YOU want...It’s not anyone else’s wedding.
B: I would change the bridesmaids' dresses and some of my bridal party (I'd have less people). I’m a people-pleaser, so I added some people in that I didn’t really want to, but I felt bad if I didn’t. And I would use some of the songs I wanted to but didn't. There was this one song that I really wanted to walk down the aisle to because it meant something to my husband and me, but I was basically talked out of it because it didn’t have a big enough "entrance" moment for me in the song.
J: I regret not telling my FIL what to wear. Everyone wore black except him, and it bothers me in pictures. I know that sounds SO shallow, but it bugs me. It was one of the first things I noticed walking down the aisle.
E: I wish we would’ve had a small destination wedding. Or eloped! But my dad wouldn’t let that happen. And I wish we would’ve done first-look wedding photos. But I was trying to be all traditional and not let my husband see me until I walked down the aisle. I regret it a lot! My photographer took a lot of pics of my wedding, but not a lot of me and my husband. I would change that too. I would’ve loved my whole wedding to just be more intimate.
D: I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wishes we would have eloped or had a very small destination wedding! My biggest thing would be to choose your bridesmaids carefully and only have a few who honestly have your back and understand that it’s YOUR day. I also wish I would’ve just cared more. I just wanted to marry my husband and really didn’t care about the details of the wedding, but I regret that now. I would never in a million years tell my mom this, but it ended up being more of her dream wedding for her daughter than being my dream wedding, and that’s 100% my fault.
N: The biggest thing that sticks out in my memory the day of my wedding was that I was so worried about making everyone happy and all of their OPINIONS that I didn’t get to soak every single moment up as my special day. Biggest advice: Do what makes you happy, and do NOT care what everyone else thinks!
6. DON'T "SETTLE" DUE TO FINANCES.
J: I didn’t love my dress, but I settled because of money. If I had to do things again, I would’ve gotten a dress that truly made me feel special and put big money into the photography. We had a small, intimate wedding. I guess you would say it was a destination wedding because it was about six hours from home. Instead of a reception, everyone had dinner at a fine-dining restaurant together. I have the best memories from that dinner! Just laughing and ending the day on a high note with friends and family.
J: Because I was worried about whether or not we'd be able to go back to Bible college, I basically planned the easiest, cheapest wedding I could. The wedding was okay, but I really wish I had of tried harder to find a wedding dress I loved, even if it cost a little more. Same with bridesmaid dresses!
L: Definitely would have spent more money on a better photographer and a videographer. But we were fixing to move to Bible school, so I was trying to be budget-conscious.
7. DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.
J: Honestly, there is absolutely not one thing that I would change. I got married in a little chapel in the mountains of TN, there were only 20 people there, and we had the reception at a steakhouse. I got photos done later by a marvelous photographer, for dress purposes. The photos taken on the day were just candid photos, and I love them. There were a few people that came without an invite. If I could change anything, I would change my attitude about that. And I wasn't crazy about my hairdo.
8. WE ELOPED!
A: We eloped, and honestly, I don't have any regrets about it except that I'm wearing a jean skirt and Pumas in my wedding pics! Our pastor actually went with us and married us, but it was just us and his family. The hotel security guard took our pictures!
C: We eloped too, and I do wish we’d at least had a small ceremony.