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I've been there. It's been about a year and a half since I had the most stunning, gorgeous wedding imaginable. You might think I would've been so extremely happy about that day, but honestly... I made a lot of mistakes and I have some regrets.
I don't want ANY bride to have any of those negative feelings about her wedding day that I had. The truth is, so many of my mistakes could've been easily avoided. So, I'm making this post in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes. I remember reading a lot of blog posts before my wedding day, but NEVER reading anything about "mistakes to avoid." I truly thought I knew it all, but I was so wrong. I wish I would've known some of this stuff. With that being said, maybe you can learn from my experiences!
#1 Don't Fight with Your Mom
You guys. 1 year after my wedding, my mom died. She was only 50, she was my best friend in the world. She was diagnosed out of the blue with a rare aggressive cancer that following summer, and died within months. When I was getting married, I didn't put a ton of importance on my mom.
Why? I was so caught up in everything else. I wanted everything to be perfect. I should have done more, she was the mother of the bride! I think I just took her for granted so much. I wish I wouldn't have argued with her during the planning process. During my wedding planning, I got so frustrated with her because she wanted so badly to be involved that she got upset when I did things with other people. Instead of me being sensitive to the fact that she is my mother and wants to help her daughter plan the most exciting day... I got mad and yelled at her. I told her she needed to calm down and not be selfish because it was MY wedding. OH MY GOSH why did I say that? How hard was it of me to understand she wanted to also be there for important moments leading up to the wedding! She was my best friend in the world, once again... I was taking her for granted. She also wanted me to use the champagne glasses her and my dad used at their wedding. I told her they were outdated and I wanted to get my own glasses that would match my wedding decor. I ended up using her glasses anyway (and now I'm glad I did), but I feel bad about saying what I said. I also didn't get that many great pictures with her. I got some... but looking back, I didn't get half of the great photos you should have with your mom on your wedding day. Include your mom as much as you can... if she annoys you when you're planning the wedding or she gets overly sentimental about it and thinks you're not including her enough, brush it off... smile, and make her feel more included (even if you think she's wrong and driving you crazy.) She's your mama. This is just as important to her as it is you. She wants to do all the things with you when it comes to this wedding! Use the champagne glasses, take all the photos, make her feel important. I promise, it's not worth it to argue about one single thing. Love you mom.
#2 Don't Get So Caught Up in the Planning that You Forget the Most Important Things
I can say without a doubt that I became so obsessed with having this big lavish wedding that I forgot about the most important thing... the fact that I was getting married! I spent more time fantasizing over the decor and napkin colors, then the fact that I was blessed enough to marry my soul mate, my real soulmate! I became more obsessed with inviting as many people as possible, then actually inviting just the people I truly wanted there. I spent so much time trying to make everything perfect... I missed out on some of the most important things. Focus on what's truly important.
#3 When You Walk Down the Aisle, Be in the Moment
This brings me to my next point. I set myself up for disappointment. I had such high expectations for my wedding that when things didn't go exactly as I pictured, I was very let down. For example, it rained cats and dogs on my wedding day. I had literally 25 people not show up because of the rain. These are people we had paid for and had RSVP'd! When I was walking down the aisle, instead of looking straight ahead to my groom and being so grateful for that moment... I was thinking about all the empty seats in the ceremony! I was thinking "oh my gosh this is a lot of wasted money, where is everyone?!" Can you believe that was going through my mind? I wasn't living in the moment, at all! Don't do what I did. I wish I wouldn't have cared so much about how everything was panning out, after all... I couldn't control it. I wish I would've just focused on the love of my life. Also, I wish I wouldn't have had such high expectations, that's never a good thing and it caused my anxiety to be through the roof.
#4 Don't Forget to Write the Letter!
Let me just say I did one hell of a job getting gifts for my bridesmaids, groomsmen and family members. I made sure everyone had a super unique and special gift from the bride and groom that made them feel special and thanked them for being there for our wedding. What did I not do? I didn't get a gift or write a letter to the groom! Why?! I remember being so exhausted from making sure everyone had the perfect gifts and notes and knew
how we felt about them... that I thought "eh, my husband knows I love him, we've been
together forever." I even told him, "we don't need to worry about doing that and adding another thing to our to-do lists." Oh my gosh. I seriously regret that now. I should've sat down and wrote a letter to him that would confess all of my ooey gooey love for him and had my maid of honor deliver it to him in his groom's suite upstairs as everyone was getting ready.
# 5 Don't Compete
I am really starting to sound like a bridezilla aren't I? The funny thing is, I was so "people pleasing" to everyone during the wedding planning process, I tried to come across as this chill and lax bride who was just "happy with everything." Deep down, I knew what I wanted and I wanted it all to be big and extravagant and blow every other wedding out of the water. I spent so much time making every decision not out of love, but out of: "will this impress my guests? Will this make my cousin feel like her wedding was lame compared to mine?" You see, my cousin didn't include me at all in her wedding so I was out for vengeance, so silly and not worth it! It wasn't supposed to be about me anyway! It was supposed to be about her and her fiance, and that's what she focused on. Could she have included me? Yes absolutely, but it was her wedding and her choice. So again, don't do this competing thing! Make decisions out of love and what you TRULY want, not what you think will impress others or make you look like you're having a wedding that's "better than everyone else's." If you want a big beautiful wedding that's great, and you should do it because you want it, not because you're trying to compete with others. Looking back, I would've did things a lot different!
#6 If You Want an All Night Party... Don't Do It On a Sunday
My mother-in-law told me we should have the wedding on a Sunday, to save money. I only saved about $1,000 and I regretted having it on a Sunday almost immediately. People left so early, and I spent so much money for this wedding for them to leave early! I could've cut $1,000 somewhere else and had the wedding on a Saturday. I wish I would've put some thought into the timing before I jumped to a date and time.
#7 Be Clear With Your Photographer!
I was so excited to see all of my wedding photos, only to see I had a ton of gorgeous photos... without my guests in them! I wanted my photographer to go around and take pictures of each table so I could remember who all was there for our special day. Our photographer did not do this, and it's something that has upset me and probably always will! I regret not being very clear with my photographer that I wanted lots of photos of the people there.
#8 Don't Buy the 1st Dress You Try On!
My mom and I went to a Black Friday Sale. I saw a dress that was 3 sizes too big but it was gorgeous and on sale for $600! Yes, $600. This dress was a sample from an amazing designer and the dress was worth thousands. It was not the dress style I had in mind, but I knew with some alterations I could make it perfect. Plus, the cost was a steal. My mom begged me to try on other dresses but I told her nope, I found the one. Flash forward to the outrageous alteration bill, ridiculous headaches and not getting the end result I had pictured... we spent more money on that dress than if we were to go do more shopping and found the actual dress I wanted! I suggest you try on multiple dresses and visit multiple dress shops. Don't jump just because something is on sale... and don't forget to find out in advance what kind of money you're going to get into when it comes to alterations!
#9 I Hated My Makeup
...and I started crying at our "first look." Not because I was so happy to see my groom, but because I could tell right away he wasn't a fan of my look. I was trying to save money in my budget so I hired a friend of my hairdresser. She wasn't a pro, she just "played around" with makeup. She was an amazingly kind person and also did hair... but makeup was something she was still learning. I didn't like the look she did, it was just too over the top for me. As soon as my groom saw me, I could tell he thought it was overkill but he told me I was beautiful. I wanted him to cry and confess his love for me, darn it! Instead, he was distracted by all of the glitter on my eyes! (He later admitted it to me, and I cried again! Haha!) Yes, we laugh about it now and say how great it looks in the photos (because it really does!!) I would recommend hiring a professional that has experience (we have articles on this!) and do a trial before the wedding.
In the End
I truly did have an amazing wedding in the end. I just made very silly mistakes that I wish I wouldn't have and ended up with some regrets. I really hope this article may have opened your eyes to a few things and helps you to prevent some of those mistakes!
Happy wedding planning!
Disclaimer I am not a professional of any kind and this is for entertainment purposes only. This is just my personal experience and is not to be taken as any kind of professional or personal advice.