Couples Biggest Regrets on Their Wedding Day. Don't Be That Guy...
Photo Credit: Whirlwind Love Photography
Listen...Your wedding day is one of thee most important days of your life! So don't you want to go into it being as knowledgeable and prepared as much as possible? After all, you shouldn't be trying to do this more than once (no shade if this isn't your first time by the way(!!!)). So take it from the couples we surveyed, who learned some hard hitting truths that they wish they would have known while planning their wedding. Please don't be the couple that says shoulda, coulda, woulda!
1.) Forgoing Professional Vendors
This is such a major regret amongst couples that is not often discussed enough. Skimping on certain professional vendors while maintaining the highest standards will definitely impact your overall wedding experience. While budget concerns may have largely influenced you to book your niece who is currently interested in photography, and just bought herself a DSLR, you might be left with mediocre photos. Not that there is anything wrong with mediocre photos for learning and experience. However you thought that because your niece recently purchased a brand new DSLR camera, you were going to get those Pinterest-worthy photos you're continuously skimming through on your Pinterest account. The truth is that those portraits took years of learning, skills, practice, and techniques to get them to look like that. And quiet as it's kept, you don't want to end up holding a grudge against your niece if the photos do not turn out the way you anticipated.
Or let's imagine another scenario...Where maybe you don't trust anyone but yourself to do your makeup and now your hand is shaking so much the day of your wedding from nerves, running late, and the overall stress, that you can't even get your lashes on properly (Yes, this is a true story). My point is, don't be the super frugal couple who unnecessarily stresses out about the price of vendors if you can indeed afford it. Especially, if you're paying below the industry standard and you are still hoping to get exactly what you want. Remember, when something sounds too good to be true, that means it usually is!
2.) Not Doing An Unplugged Ceremony
Since we already addressed the elephant in the room with DSLR cameras, we've already established that it's not the camera taking these vogue-worthy pictures, but more so the highly skilled photographer behind the lens that's making the magic happen! That's not to say that a good camera isn't key, but a true professional can more or less use any camera and still make magic happen. An unplugged ceremony is when the couple makes it mandatory that their guests put away all electronic devices including phones, cameras, and camcorders. They do this in efforts to give the photographer (that they remitted a decent amount of money to), free reign to do their job under the best circumstances.
I cannot tell you the amount of nightmare stories I've heard and read about, where couples blame the photographer or videographer for their Aunt Sally being in the shot. Listen, photographers and videographers (especially, the real good ones) do their very best working in the craziest of scenarios, but even the best ones struggle when Uncle Frank is obstructing the view of the kissing shot, or the first look when the groom sees the bride. Your photographer and videographer cannot necessarily yell at your family members (even though clients will literally tell them to do so; Yes, true story). Inevitably, there will be times that the vendors' hands are tied in certain scenarios. Unfortunately, that isn't widely understood amongst couples because there are plenty of times I've seen couples verbally attack a photographer for missing a shot even when their Uncle Frank was clearly 2 feet away from the couple and blocking the kissing shot. Listen, please don't leave it up to your photo and video vendors to do a somersault over the shoulders of your relatives. You don't want them to push your uncle out of the way either, or have to Photoshop 20 people out of an important shot.
I highly recommend posting a big enough sign, and having an official announcement made at the start of the ceremony, that it will be an "unplugged ceremony." This gives your photo & video vendors the most ideal circumstances to perform at their highest level. Plus, I'd guess that you'd definitely prefer seeing the professional photos over Uncle Frank's. And no worries, Uncle Frank can still certainly test out his new DSLR camera and go crazy during the wedding reception!
3.) Not Hiring A Wedding Designer or Wedding Planner
You might think this is a shameless plug but, no, it isn't. Listen, I'm an actual Event Designer and Professional Planner myself, and I can, shamelessly, admit that I will need the assistance of both for my future wedding. It's overwhelming planning a wedding (or any event for that matter) and it's better to have more professional hands on deck providing help and guidance with your decisions as opposed to none. I usually roll my eyes when I hear couples say they do not need a planner and end up stressing throughout the wedding planning process, (especially at the 1-month mark) from overwhelm, (which by the way, read my blog post, "Do These 8 Things To Eliminate Stress," to reduce your wedding stress if you've been experiencing bridal burnout). I mean as a bonafide Wedding Planner myself, I can honestly say that it's never an easy job. Especially if you want to do it well. I will say that usually those who claim it isn't hard may not have extremely high standards, which is fine, but even the simplest of weddings is a decent amount of work to put together, and you will not believe the amount of couples who come to me afterwards and say they regretted not hiring an extra pair of hands to help them out. A Wedding Planner manages so much of the technicalities like handling incoming inquiries from guests, bridal party members, planning out the logistics, and overall execution. Not to mention, the setting up and breaking down of the entire production, and handling the behind and front of the scene details that you may not otherwise think about like whose packing and delivering the wedding guest hotel bags, whose handling your wedding gifts at the end of the day...? And let's not forget the Wedding Designer who is responsible for executing your dream vision that you saw on Pinterest. Each of these job titles is to be respected in their own right because they are far from easy. And, if you're in need of a 2-in-1 Wedding Designer & Wedding Planner combo then make sure to holla at ya girl here!
*Oh and if you do not happen to have a Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator, then make sure to at least designate a trusted family member or friend with the responsibility to rally the troops and keep the wedding day organized and on schedule. After all, it shouldn't be you doing this on your wedding day!
4.) Having A Long Guest List
If you've been following me for a while, then you know that I am a hardcore proponent of minimizing your guest list! So many couples end up regretting inviting too many guests because not only did it end up costing them more, but they compromised on things they reallyyy wanted in order to accommodate their neighbor's mom's cousin twice removed, and maybe even threw in a colleague or boss that they cannot stand in real life. My point is, a lot of couples realize after the fact that they invited people that they could have definitely done without on their guest list. It may sound mean, but do you really want to invite your coworkers or do you think you have to?? Take it from me, when it comes to the decision between the getaway vintage car or 10 more guest plates...Choose the car!
5.) Doing A Traditional Registry
Believe it or not, many couples regret not doing a monetary registry, and that is because a traditional registry where you add plates, silverware, a toaster, blender, and everything else under the sun, ends up being extremely overwhelming to unpack and tends to start collecting dust rather quickly, as opposed to if you were to purchase a few things at a time and really take the time to shop thoroughly, read reviews, and get the things you really really want. Maybe, you prefer guests buying items on a registry for you, which is fine if this works better for you. You would think that I would consider requesting monetary gifts as a major faux pas (like how I always argue no cash bar; By the way, please don't. It is hella tacky), but I, personally, like to take my time when shopping, so that I don't feel rushed. I also would much rather accept monetary gifts to save for a first home fund or honeymoon fund instead of receiving lots of items that will take up lots of space. It might also be due to my new found love of a more minimalist approach to things, and the urge to lessen the need for excessive things. Another reason why monetary gifts have become such a popular choice among couples is because many of them already live together and have most of their houseware supplies taken care of. Believe me, it is only tacky if not done tastefully. Try saying something like:
" If you were thinking of giving a gift,
What would really make our day,
Is a contribution to our first home,
To Help us on our way..."
And if you'd still like a few things off of a registry then add:
If you are compelled by extreme generosity,
registries have been set up for your convenience
at ________ (whatever store(s) you choose)
Or you can even re-create this couple's message in the attached image! If you're interested in doing a monetary gift registry for your wedding, then you'll definitely love Birdie's cash registry, which is by far my favorite. It's received a lot of rave reviews. And, it's the most aesthetically pleasing registry that I've come across, which if you know me, is everything! It’s also the only zero–fee cash registry: No fees to receive gifts and no fees to transfer the cash to your bank account (other registries charge you up to 12% in fees). Your guests can send cash gifts instantly for your celebration. Monetary gifts are delivered to you via text or email without fees to the recipient. It also lets you choose from curated templates to make the link you share with your guests (via your wedding website, email, or text) super chic (like the attached). The disclaimer: Is that it will charge the gifter a small percentage (similar to a GoFundMe), but honestly, I personally don't mind that since I'd rather pay the fees as opposed to the giftee! Here is the Birdie link if you're interested in creating one for your wedding registry: https://affiliate.sendbirdie.com/affiliate/signup/
6.) Not Following Your Hearts
Last, but certainly not least, couples listening to everyone and everything except for what's in their hearts! This was the most relatable regret amongst most of the couples because sooo many of them listened to their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, work colleagues, heck even blog posts, and disregarded how theyyy personally felt with so many of their wedding decisions. Now don't get me wrong, it is certainly fine to ask for advice and garner feedback from people you trust, but your decisions should ultimately feel good to the both of you and should be your decisions. It's ok if you don't agree with someone, and it's ok to say "No, we'd actually prefer this," or "We are going to do this." Remember you're entering your marriage as a united front, so you might as well set the precedent and start practicing now (haha!!).