(Closed) If you could go back to the planning stage…

posted 12 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
1078 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

Take your time with the dress shopping! I wish I had spent more time thinking about what I "really" wanted, instead of buying the first one I really liked….

Post # 4
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

Worried less. I know, I know, everybody says that. πŸ™‚

But really, I think I would have tried to get the perspective earlier that the thing that counts is that we are getting married. Are there a lot of things that I wish we could have been able to do? Heck yes there are, and I still keep them around for the visions of my fantasy wedding, but in reality, there was nothing to be done, so I just had to enjoy what we were able to have. Life is much sweeter and simpler when you are able to let go of what you can’t have.

I also would have put a return address on our invitations, which we were stupid about because we thought it wouldn’t be necessary if we were doing online and phone RSVPs. My poor great-aunt just sent our wedding gift to the church we got married in because it was the only address in the invitation suite. Oops. πŸ™‚

Post # 5
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Splurge on an a awesome photog.  I hate mine and after 5 months, we still haven’t gotten all the things promised in the contract (which is virtually mute anyway, since we hate the pictures).

Post # 6
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Ummmm I’m not married yet but the first thing I would do would be cut the guest list by 100 people at least  and have the casual clambake on the beach I alwasy wanted rather than my mom’s over the top wedding in a mansion with 100 people from her side alone (not including my father’s guest list or mine or my fiance’s or fiances family…)


Sorry that turned into a big ole vent…


My wedding is in 4 months and my dad is giving us $30,000 for the wedding with the option to keep anything left over….insanely generous I know… only we’re already over that line and my mom is still going nuts.  Remember its only 1 day and in 5-6 hours it will be over and all the energy you spent agonizing over the menu and photographers and favors and invites and music and seating charts and guest lists and all the other crap that goes with it is all over.

THat’s my advice.    Goodluck!!!!


Post # 7
2025 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would have created guidelines for the guest list before we started on it. Who are we inviting and why? Who are we definetly not inviting? What cousins are we ending with?  With a huge family like his, it can get dicey.

 I would have then put ____seats are reserved in you honor on the RSVP card so that there was no disputing who was acutally invited. The guest list was my headache and if I had rules in place, I would not have had to budge the day invites went out and Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law start calling to add more friends!!!

Post # 8
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

But you WILL always have the pictures so I’m with rosychicklet on that one!

Post # 9
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I would have definitely spent more time on picking out my dress and probably tried to lose a little more weight. I would’ve hired a different officiant because he totally messed up the ceremony. I also would’ve contacted him hours before the wedding to make sure he shows up earlier than 5 minutes before the wedding. I would’ve given more time to decorate for the reception because there were things that didn’t get done because we didn’t have enough time: like putting lights inside the paper lanterns we hung and making sure all the bowls and cylinders had the right amount of water in them so that the latex flowers inside don’t catch on fire during the reception. I also would’ve handled the caterer differently because he stalled in telling us the amount we owed until the freaking reception. And it was about a thousand more than what we had thought it would be. I probably wouldn’t have stressed so much about the programs because we had way more than what we needed. I also would’ve made sure that the photographer got our son in the pics with the guys, he was our ringbearer and he wasn’t in any of the pics with the groom and groomsmen. I may have done our invitations differently just because I’ve seen so many really cool designs that I didn’t think of when I was making ours. I wouldn’t have made our envelopes either because they ended up being a bigger pain than it was worth while trying to save the cost. I thinks that about it…lol.

Post # 10
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

I think I would have tried to take a few more candid shots with my family and wedding party, I would have spent a bitmore time thinking about what dress to buy, and I would have booked hair/makeup MUCH earlier, but that’s about it!  I didn’t have the RSVP problem at all and my DOC helped all the day of things go so smoothly.

Post # 11
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I wish I had:

  • forced my mom and Mother-In-Law to give me, in writing, their desired photos lists–instead, my mom made our photo session take 2x as long with last minute additions, and my Mother-In-Law was upset afterward that we have no photos of her friends
  • not second-guessed myself on my hair at the last minute–I wanted to trim it, my mom told me not to, so I didn’t, and it didn’t look as perfect as I’d hoped
  • done a full, TIMED, run-through of my makeup before the wedding–I did it myself and while it looked great, it took 3x as long as I expected and made me late and stressed
  • communicated better with my baker–my cake looked little like I thought it would because I wasn’t clear enough in my requests

 I’m very glad I:

  • hired a friend-of-a-friend to be my DOC–she was awesome and made me feel so much better
  • did my own invites, flowers, hair, and makeup–they all looked great, I got exactly what I wanted and saved money, and I didn’t have to deal with yet another vendor (even the hair and makeup issues mentioned above do not change my mind)
  • incorporated some cultural elements from both sides of the family into the celebrations–they were both fun and touching

Good luck!

Post # 12
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I definitely would have kept dress shopping until I found one I really loved.  I was just so sick of trying on dresses, I ended up settling.  Also, I would have made sure I found the right bra to wear under my dress.  I’ve got funky boob/armpit folds in our wedding pics, lol.

Post # 13
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

dress – I would have bought the one I really liked instead of the one everyone said I sohuld get

guest list – We were so afraid of having too many people and going over budget, we were really strict with the guest list. I wish I had include more of my friends

wedding vows – we didn’t meet with the minister before hand, only via email exchange (we had a destination wedding). he got our vows wrong. @[email protected] names were right, he just went with his version instead of the version we sent him

wedding gift – we didn’t expect people to give us gifts since we didn’t pay for any travel expense, so we didn’t assign someone to accept wedding gifts. we lost two gifts in the process. πŸ™

venue typo – our wedding sign said ‘weadding’….. LOL.

All in all, despite all these things, I still think our wedding day was perfect. πŸ™‚

Post # 14
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2020 - Majestic Colonial Resort, Punta Cana

Delegate the reception music list to someone else! I needlessly wasted so much time (and mental health) on it.

Post # 15
596 posts
Busy bee

– if you are not inviting someone, don’t talk about wedding stuff in front of them!  otherwise, they will assume they are invited.

– try not to get overwhelmed by all the unsolicited advice!  be sweet but firm and just say "thanks but we have my own style and preferences and we’ve already booked my venue / bought my dress / picked a caterer based on those preferences.  so enough wedding talk, what’s new with you?"

– don’t spend a lot of money or time on invitations.  no one remembers them or keeps them except for the two of you and maybe for your parents.

– be understanding if people cannot come, even if they are close friends that you expected to come. 

– don’t make your wedding a financial burden on your guests, wedding party, etc.

Post # 16
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

In general, I would spend less. We didn’t have an expensive wedding, relative to the national average, but it still seems like a lot now that we’re thinking about home remodels, having children, traveling, buying new cars, paying off school loans, etc. I think that we would have better uses of the money now.

But that wasn’t really your question!

If we were starting over, I would stick with my gut more. My big advice for brides now is to – before looking at magazines, going to stores, hanging out on websites – talk details with your groom. Thankfully, my husband and I took the time to individually consider what was important for us and to share those ideas with each other. Seriously, it’s a very important step, because it’s easy to loose sight of what you really want once planning takes on a life of it’s own.

BUT – I wish that we had talked about more concrete specifics. We basically both said "we want a wedding that’s really just a party where we get married. Nothing to formal, fancy, or structured." We patted ourselves on the back for wanting the same thing and proceeded – but the devil is in the details and really we hadn’t talked enough. For me, a casual wedding was a pretty setting, a short but traditional ceremony, and hor d’ouvres/cake/punch. For my husband, it was a big dinner and open bar, a live band, and only vows (not a real ceremony). He wanted to wear a tux; I wanted to wear a simple dress and have the wedding party in casual attire. I wanted my father to walk me down the aisle; he just wanted to stand up and say our vows like giving a toast. You see where I’m going. The big picture was the same, but the details were not. I wish that we would have talked them over sooner, because we didn’t really discover the impact of our early, big decisions (ie, venue, attire, etc) on our littler decision until it was too late to change course. We could have compromised earlier and saved ourselves a bunch of stress.

My other tip: Don’t spend money on things you don’t care about. Period. Don’t let other people convince you that you "need" something or that a particular item is something to "splurge" on if you truely don’t care about it. Save that money for something you DO care about. Those choices are truely individual; only you and your groom can make those decisions. Don’t forget that.

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