(Closed) What do you wish you would of done?

posted 6 years ago in Recaps
Post # 2
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I can definitely answer that.  Our wedding was by no means a disaster, but certain vendors could have been A LOT better.  For starters, our flowers sucked.  My florist was just, ugh, how do I put this, annoyed with me and I wish we just had the guts to call it quits.  She sends me a $5K quote, and I very politely said, that is too much.  So instead of cutting the budget on quality, I just cut quantity.  Meaning, I told her to go nuts on the bouquets as they’ll double as centrepieces, but we’ll get rid of everything else.  So for 6 bouquets and 6 boutonnieres, she carged me $1100.  I was fine with that, because I was under the assumption they would be phenomenal.  I sent her pics of what I wanted, and I even found my dream bouquet and said ‘make mine exactly like this, spare no expense!’.  I also told her my least fave flower is red roses.  SO. wedding day.  She drops off the flowers.  You will never guess what my 5 bridesmaids bouquets looked like.  ALL RED ROSES.  When I asked about it, she said “Well, you just didn’t have the budget for anything else, so….” I didnt’ want to lose it on her and get all bridezilla like, so I just dealt with it.  Flowers don’t make or break weddings.  But I was dispointed because I was SOOOOO excited about these flowers. SIGH.  Lesson? If you don’t get along with one of your vendors, cut ties.  Communicate very clearly.  Make sure to get what you want.

Photography: I WISH to the ends of the earth and back I hired my dream photographer.  Our photos weren’t bad, but for what we were hoping for, they kind of fell flat.  Everyone says it, but until you go through it, you don’t understand how important wedding photos are.  It is ALL you have left.  Had I known how much photos would have meant to me after the wedding, I would have cut anything and everything I could just to get my dream photographer…. which brings me to…

THE DRESS: I spent almost $3K on my look. I know now that had I spent $300 on a gorgeous beachy gown (ie. Reformation Wedding), I would have looked just as gorgeous if not better…. I wish I had taken my dress money and poured it into photography.

MAKE UP AND HAIR: PLEASE DO A TRIAL.  I hired my friends (both amazing pro artists) to do this.  It certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t how I wanted to look.  I put too much trust in their taste and didn’t communicate enough at all.  By the time my hair and make up was done, it was time for the ceremony and I pretty much looked the opposite of how I wanted. (I wanted to be a bombshell siren, instead was cute and antique looking.  Really not my style at all. Anyway).

Things we could have done without: favours (glad we didn’t. no one noticed, no one cared), cake (no one eats cake, no one cares), 

Things I’m super happy we invested in: CHAIRS!  I personally dislike chair covers – they immediately look like banquet hall, budget-like (IMO), so we invested in good chiavari chairs.  They made such a beautiful impact once you walked into the room!  DIY Flowers: I ordered wholesale flowers and bud vases, and these lined our tables, looked really gorgeous! DAY OF COORDINATOR: so absolutely necessary.  We only had 60 people at our wedding, but I can’t imagine anything getting done without our coordinator. 

That sums up my experience…. hope that helps!

Post # 3
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I am right in the beginning planning stages, so commenting to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 4
1198 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

oh man. i dont really regret or wish things were much different, but i will share my experience because i’m very glad i did things my way instead of listening to people: 

dress shopping; i refused to invite my family because i knew they would be full of unhelpful criticism. i also didn’t want to bring my best friends cos they would be too nice. so i brought my now-husband and 2 good friends who could be neutral 3rd parties. my mother had no idea what my dress looked like until the day itself. oh and i bought my dress preowned (but unworn) from preownedweddingdresses.com

invite list: i picked a tiny location and told my parents “you can invite anyone you want, but it has to be x number of people. NO MORE THAN THAT.” and they couldn’t sneakily invite more because the place literally would not hold more than x number of people. 

hair and makeup: i went for a trial and brought my sister. it was a disaster. it became a session of what she and the stylist wanted. i went home and cried. the next time, i brought my husband and established what exactly i wanted. but i’m also glad that i did let the stylist have some input because in the end he did know best once i laid out what kind of look i wanted. 

shoes: i splurged on these and spent some time breaking them in about 2 weeks before the wedding. no one could really see them, but i was so happy with them! 

wedding bands: everyone discouraged me from a full eternity ring. one place i went to (a mid range store) claimed that it would be terribly expensive, about USD3000. i went back to the (high end!) store that my husband had bought my ering from and the service was fabulous. my full eternity ended up costing USD1700. TAKE THAT, MID RANGE STORE! 

flowers: everyone quoted me crazy prices!! i spent a couple of days searching on the internet, and finally found a very lovely woman who was super helpful and was able to do exactly what i wanted at way less than the other florists were quoting. and because i wasnt quite able to articulate what i wanted (all these flower colours have such misleading names!), she patiently went through all the options with me so i could make the right decision. and she sent me photos taken in different lightings because she knew the colour i wanted wasn’t the coloured i asked for, because the pic i sent her was in a particular lighting. 

day of: i did not budget enough time for hair and make up!! we started late, but luckily the guests were still arriving when i was done. hair and make up will take at least an hour and a half!! 

everything else: i’m so glad i didn’t listen to all those people who tried to convince me i needed to DIY all these decorations you see on pinterest, or that a wedding isn’t a wedding without a huge fancy cake, that i didn’t have enough flowers, etc etc. in the end, everyone had a great time and i was really very very happy. 

sorry for the essay, but hopefully someone will find this helpful! 

Post # 5
215 posts
Helper bee

A second shooter. I ADORED my wedding photos, but having a second shooter to capture the moments/angles our photographer couldn’t, would have been amazing. Even a photographer as talanted and amazing as ours cannot be in two places at once.

Post # 6
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

View original reply
TonyClifton:  But… But… I love cake! In case you can’t tell from my username. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it probably depends on your crowd. My family is a bunch of dessert gluttons/connoisseurs so I know my cake will likely be demolished singlehandedly by them. 

These are all really helpful tips. Keep ’em coming for those of us still in the planning process!


Post # 7
709 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

My wedding is in a few weeks, so far I’m really happy: 

1. I haven’t compromised on what I want. Designer shoes? Sure. Dress only I like? Sure. Adding extra width to my wedding band so we can have it engraved? yes. Splurging on 2 pairs of admittedly overpriced “bride” and “mrs” underwear? Ok. Extra bridal portrait session I’m addition to our engagement session? Great. Those are off the top of my head but they were things I did just for me (which is really out of my character, Im usually frugal when it comes to things just for me) and haven’t broken the Bank. 

2. I’ve been so diligently personalizing our wedding, making it very “us”. One of my fears was that, being a destination wedding, was going to feel generic. 

3. Having my grandma do all of our floral in silk. We can take as much time as we want making sure all of it is perfect. 

4. Keeping it small. 30 people. 


Im a little unhappy about: 

1. Not getting a bridal shower. Not for the gifts, but just to be celebrated as a “bride” and have tea and such. It seems fun. I just hve zero friends here so there isn’t really a point. My 3 closest are very far away and are already flying in for my wedding. 

2. Not having a tasting of food or cake. Seems like a cute couples activity. But like I said, destination wedding. 

3. Not splurging on designer wine. Most of our guests won’t know. But a few might & be sadfish, but it wasn’t in our budget nor did it make sense given the % of wine-o guests & all the other drink choices. 


Post # 8
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

TonyClifton:  OMG I second your thought on chair covers! I thought I was the only one!! One of the main things I DID NOT want at my wedding were chair covers. They throw off the whole room and just look plain ol’ tacky to me. I budgeted nice chiavari chairs the moment I started planning my wedding. Luckily at one of the bridal shows I went to, they were having a 50% rental sale on chiavari chairs for the whole month of June. It brought my chairs down to $3.50 each! SO HAPPY. I know they just change the style of the room from plain to classy and elegant!

Post # 9
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

View original reply
jennayhoang:  I managed to sniff out a deal too – there’s a new vendor in my town and they were offering gold chiavari chairs for $4.50 a pop.  I find more than centrepieces, your chairs create the atmosphere in the room, simply becuase there are SO many of them.  If I had advice for brides, its splurge on chairs, and do simple centrepieces, like mercury votives or bud vases….

Post # 10
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

the other piece of advice i’ll offer up is for the planning.  first off, I immediately (and gently) told both sides of the family that we’re doing what we want and unless the opinion is solicited, we don’t really care if they do or don’t like something.  it sounds harsh, but getting that out of the way spared SO much drama.  any help we got from family, it was very clear to them that this was no strings attached.  I highly recommend that. (we paid for 90% ourselves and are a bit older i suppose, and in that vein I recommend waiting : )

I also really recommend starting the planning process with a fun date night with your fiance.  we didn’t do that, and the planning landed in my lap.  I was stressed throughout and my fiance was pretty typical groom about it (” I don’t care, pick whatever, as long as its not expensive! Flowers cost HOW MUCH!?! etc.”)  – I REALLY wish we took a night early in the engagement, order a bunch of takeout, and together flip through wedding blogs, magazines, drink wine and REALLY figure out what you BOTH want.  I know if we did that, our wedding would have looked totally different.  

Again, it wasn’t a disaster, it’s still emotionally the best day ever, but I do leave feeling, had we both planned it, instead of just me, it would have been so much more… sigh!  Just my two cents ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
2990 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I bought my wedding dress before we had secured our venue, thinking that we’d definitely get married at the Cliffhouse in San Francisco. But Dad and I were a thousand dollars short of being able to afford the venue and DH’s family refused to pay for anything. So we had to have a destination wedding on Catalina Island instead. I wore my big princess dress on an island in SoCal – it didn’t match the theme and I was uncomfortably hot. ๐Ÿ™

Pro tip: wait until you know where you’re getting married before buying a dress. 

My hair was messy in most of the wedding photos because my photographer had wild curly hair and thought that, even at its worst, my hair was “pretty and glossy.”

Pro tip: make sure your photographer has similar hair to yours so she can say, “Hey, your bangs aren’t sitting right” and fix them instead of thinking your messy hair looks pretty. 

Other than that, I’m happy with everything. Food, drinks, cake, and flowers were perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚ DH chose our location because I was so devastated about not being able to get married at the Cliffhouse, and he designed the candle centerpieces (we couldn’t afford floral arrangements, so we had rose petals scattered around $8 triple-wick candles on $1.65 glass candle-holders from a craft store. Guests liked those stupid candles so much that they started to fight over who got to take them home, haha). Great job, DH! <3

Post # 12
1355 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Modern, Classic, Fun

Commenting to follow!

Post # 13
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015 - City, State

I wish I had asked my seamstress to add more buttons for the bustle. DH stepped on it about an hour into the reception and it broke, so I was stuck holding it all night long!

Also, I wish my Maid/Matron of Honor and I had remembered to actually bustle my dress before the grand entrance!! I didn’t even realize it wasn’t bustled until after the first dance!!! lol

Post # 14
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

The day of the wedding give someone your cell phone. I just left mine in my room and didn’t even think about vendors calling. They will.

Other than that no regrets. We had a super simple, affordable wedding. I’m glad we made it what we wanted and didn’t pay attention to expectations or waste money on things we didn’t care about.

Post # 15
36 posts
  • Wedding: Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT

Commenting to follow! Just starting the planning process now. I noticed that someone had commented on having a 2nd shooter for your photographs. Can anyone else comment on this?

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