- There is a lot to think about when you are planning a wedding.
- You might not get to do everything you wanted or realised things you were missing on the big day.
- These are the things I would have done differently, having been through it.
Six months ago, I had my fairytale wedding. It was picturesque, filled with love, and ran smoothly. That magical day went better than I had ever imagined. But like most things in life, there were aspects I wish I had done differently in terms of the planning and how the actual wedding day was carried out.
Learning from my own bridal experience and in reading about wedding etiquette since being married, I’ve discovered there were a few things I didn’t do that I wish I did. Most weren’t a huge deal, but some things could’ve made those closest to me feel more loved during such a special time of life.
Here are a few things I would have done differently that might save you some mistakes in your own wedding endeavours.
I would have sent out thank you cards for my bridal shower before the wedding.
My bridal shower was one month before my wedding, which is pretty standard, but my entire engagement was only three months. Because of that, it was an extremely busy time. Sending out thank you notes had totally slipped my mind in the midst of finalising the details of my wedding in that last month.
I ended up rushing out thank you cards a couple weeks after my honeymoon. It was not ideal since I was going to be sending another set of thank you notes to some of the same people just a few weeks later. Sending them out post-wedding just felt awkward and like I had under-appreciated my bridal shower guests.
I would have written a love letter to my husband-to-be before the wedding.
This is something that I actually learned about in watching “Jane the Virgin.” Jane’s minister advised the bride and groom to write a love letter to each other before the wedding expressing how they felt about each other. Later on in their marriage, when they were going through a rough time, they could look back at that letter to be reminded of their love.
Engagement really is such a special time to remember. Those feelings of longing for each other were only heightened for me and my fiancé when we were engaged. If we had expressed all of that in a letter, I can only imagine what a treasure it would have been to have to remember such a wonderful time in our lives.
I would have included my mum more in the wedding planning.
One of my biggest regrets during the wedding planning was not including my mother enough. Granted we live across the country from each other making it more of a challenge, but I wish I would have been more proactive in finding ways to make her feel more involved.
It was such a stressful three months that I was more focused on getting everything done efficiently and as quickly as possible which didn’t necessarily allow for much time to ask for suggestions from my mum every step of the way. I know she would have appreciated if I had asked for more help from her, as it was hard for her to not be able to do much from far away.
I would have purchased thank you gifts for my parents before the wedding.
During the wedding planning, I found lots of helpful resources on Pinterest and have since been using it post-wedding for home decorating ideas, organisation, etc. On my home page, I still get wedding pins and one that caught my attention was titled “13 Meaningful Gifts to Give Your Parents on Your Wedding Day.”
In looking more into this tradition, I learned that some brides get their parents a personalised thank you gift to show their appreciation for their love and support over the years such as a photo frame or a monogrammed handkerchief. I really wish I would have bought my parents something special like those on the list to show them how much I’ve cherished all they have done for me up until that monumental day.
I would have picked more bridesmaids that lived closer to me.
Four of my five bridesmaids lived a long distance from me. I don’t regret choosing my lifelong besties, but I would have liked to have also included other close friends who lived near me for extra support.
It’s tough to plan a wedding so far away from family since my husband and I met far far away from both of our hometowns, so having a few more bridesmaids nearby would have aided in that as well as added to the fun.
I would have spent more time with my bridesmaids.
To piggyback on that, I also wish I would have been able to have spent more time with my bridesmaids. Since most of them were flying in from out of town just a couple of days before the wedding, we really didn’t have time to bond much beforehand.
Looking back, I would have planned it out better so they all came earlier, allowing us to have a spa day or something else fun to show that I appreciate their friendship as well as their sacrifice to fly out for my wedding.
I wish I hired a wedding planner.
Wedding planning was one of the most stressful times of my life. As exciting as it all was, it wasn’t worth the anxiety of having to do most of it on my own. Plus, I had never been a part of a wedding before so it made it that much more challenging to figure out how it all was supposed to happen.
Having a wedding planner would have alleviated a lot of stress for me and my husband. And though there’s often a hefty price tag for wedding planners, it would have been well worth it in exchange for maintaining my sanity.
I wish we had invited the rest of our guests onto the dance floor during the bride and groom’s first dance.
This was something I only realised because of how awkward my husband and I felt when we had our first dance. Neither of us was very comfortable dancing and with hundreds of eyes staring at you for a whole song, it became obvious to everyone else how uncomfortable we were as well. Two and a half minutes never felt so long.
In hindsight, I would have had the emcee invite the rest of the guests onto the dance floor about thirty seconds into the song so everyone wasn’t staring at our bad dancing. Or it would have been fun to have choreographed a dance together if we had the time during our engagement.
I would have splurged on photography for the entire day, not just a few hours.
I had been given the advice to splurge on a photographer for my wedding because all you really have are the photos when you look back on that day. I followed that advice and found an excellent photographer, but I made the mistake of only hiring her team for part of the day since it was slightly cheaper.
This meant that all of the wedding events were dictated by the photographers’ time frame. We had the first dance followed by the cake cutting, and then the bouquet and garter toss were right after that. One thing was immediately after the next to make sure everything was shot within the photographer’s five hours. That also meant we missed out on photos of our sendoff, which I didn’t think was a big deal, but it bothers me now when I look back at our wedding album.
I would have used thank-you cards with a photo from the wedding.
This is a cool idea I got from a friend who sent me a thank you card from their wedding a month earlier. This couple used a professional photo from their wedding on the front of their thank you card with their note on the back.
Especially for those who couldn’t make it to the wedding, sending a photo card would have been a nice way to show those individuals what the day looked like without sending extra photos in the card.
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