I am certain most of the married ladies out there will agree with this post, at least to a degree. I'm talking about wedding day regret. Don't worry, my regret is not my choice of groom, but in the decisions I made in preparation for my wedding day.
I started to write this post 900 times before today, but always stopped. I never ever want my parents to think my wedding was less than what I wanted it to be. They provided such a wonderful day for Cal and I, and our family and friends. In fact, my wedding was exactly what I wanted: simple. Afterward, I heard a lot of feedback from our guests, and most of them told me how much they enjoyed themselves. Even though it was what I envisioned, I would still go back change a few things.
- Silk flowers: There is much debate over the use of silk vs real flowers. Silk flowers can be the bride-on-a-budget's best friend. (They can also be extremely expensive, if you're not careful!) I made my bouquets almost immediately after getting engaged. (I was so excited to get started!) Mom and I took our 40% off coupons to Micheal's and bought every hydrangea in sight.
My advice to brides: At the very least have your bouquets and boutonnieres made with real flowers. I used some silk rentals for decor, and those translated a little better in photos. If I had to do it over again, I'd definitely spend the extra money for real bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres.
- Your getting ready room: For the love of all things beautiful, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! Don't get ready in a classroom. Just. Don't. Why I didn't think about this, I'll never know. Katelyn James recently had a bride that got ready in a stairwell because the classroom wasn't a pretty enough setting. THANK GOODNESS Katelyn saved her bride.
My advice to brides: When you decide on your venue, scout out your "getting ready" room. If you're getting ready at home, arrange your bedroom, living room, sitting room, etc. to look good in photos. Ask your photographer to give you advice on this because they will know what makes a good backdrop setting. Natural light is key.
- Make time for pictures: Another detrimental mistake on my part. My wedding day timeline included about 15 minutes for photos after the ceremony. Cal and I didn't do a first look (at the time, it wasn't really a thing), and our reception was held in the same building as our ceremony. If I could time travel, this would be my biggest wedding day fix.
My advice to brides: Talk to your planner (or me if you don't have one) and your photographer. Insist you are given enough time to get the pictures you want. Have a shot list. Have a wedding day timeline that includes portraits for you and your groom. Also, go outside...take pictures outside...get pictures of you, your man, and your bridal party outside. Do I need to phrase that any other way? Please say you understand!
- Adults only: I am so torn about this. I included "adults only" on my invites. (I know some of you are cringing.) Let me explain and then maybe you'll understand why I did it. My father in law is the pastor of a good sized church in Hampton Roads. We were having an extremely difficult time cutting our guest list, so we decided to offer an open invite...to the entire church. (!!!!) We already had well over 200 people on our invite list. Because we didn't know what to expect, we asked that guests not bring their children. After it was all said and done, we had about 300 people come to our wedding. How blessed we are that those people wanted to share in our joy!
My advice to brides: I think I would leave this bit off. Most people will understand that only the people addressed on the envelope are invited, but in the event that they don't, children liven up the party. Who doesn't love a cute toddler tearin' up the dance floor?
- Details: Tiny, little details! When we started planning, I told Cal, my mom, and my planner that I wanted a garden party theme. In the end, my wedding mostly kept the theme, but I sacrificed some things. (A lot of our budget went towards catering. Food for an open invitation can get pretty pricey.) Also, I started to care less and less about the little details. I let my mom make most of the decisions because I was so fed up with planning and just wanted to be married. In hindsight, I would have tried a little harder. ;)
My advice to brides: If there are things you absolutely want included in your wedding, fight for them. If the color of your linens is super important, but they cost a bit more, maybe you can make cuts on something else.
Of course, my wedding day is still one of the best days of my life. Really, I wouldn't change a thing because a) I can't and b) it truly was a reflection of our love, which was most important of all.