5 Things I Wish I Did At My Own Wedding

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We all have our share of regrets, from questionable haircuts to impulsive texts. Yet, when it comes to weddings, the stakes feel higher, and the regrets more significant. In my role as a wedding planner, I often encounter couples anxious about making decisions they might later rue. Although dwelling on “what ifs” and “should haves” is not my style, reflecting on my wedding day has offered some valuable insights. So, let’s take a light-hearted look back at what I would tweak if given another chance.

01. A Private Dinner Before Mingling

Contrary to what many think, your wedding day may not offer much alone time. Amidst the whirlwind of photo sessions, greetings, and celebrations, finding a moment of tranquility with your partner is precious. In hindsight, a private meal to savor and relax together before the reception would have been invaluable. I often think back to how wonderful it would have been for my husband and me to steal a few minutes away to enjoy our first meal as a married couple in peace.

Ensuring you’ve eaten in peace also means you’re more prepared to mingle with your guests afterward, free from interruptions during your meal. It’s a small change that could make a big difference in how you experience your wedding day.

02. Limit the Guest Count

Navigating the guest list is often one of the most daunting tasks in wedding planning. Deciding who gets an invite to your special day can become a tangled web of expectations and emotions, with input from every corner, including your own family.

Reflecting on my wedding, I truly cherished the presence of each guest, but if I could do it over, I’d opt for a smaller gathering. A lengthy guest list not only stretches your budget—considering the cost of meals, drinks, and every piece of cutlery—but it also spreads your attention thin. The desire to personally connect with each guest can turn your wedding into a whirlwind of greetings and gratitude, possibly detracting from the intimate, joyous experience you envisioned. Choosing a more intimate celebration can afford you more quality time with each guest and create a more personal and memorable experience for everyone involved.

03. More Film Photography

For those who adore a touch of nostalgia, like me, opting for more film photography is a choice you won’t regret. Reflecting on my wedding, my photographer, Lexi Chase—an absolute gem—captured as many moments on film as possible. These film shots turned out to be some of my most treasured images. There’s something about film photography that brings a timeless and classic feel to your wedding memories. It’s the warmth, the grain, and the way it captures light that adds an extra layer of nostalgia to each moment.

In hindsight, including more film in my photography package would have added even more of that cherished, vintage vibe to our wedding day memories.

04. Budget for the Personal Details

In the whirlwind of wedding planning, it’s easy to let the budget overshadow the smaller, personal touches that make your day uniquely yours. However, these details can significantly enhance the experience, making it more intimate and reflective of your personal journey. Allocating funds for 3-5 special elements can transform your event, adding layers of meaning and personality.

Whether it’s incorporating your pet’s name into the cocktail menu, creating a seating chart that tells your love story, penning heartfelt notes to your guests, or choosing a menu filled with your favorite dishes, these are the elements that will stand out in your and your guests’ memories. Prioritizing these personal touches in your budget ensures your wedding day is a true reflection of you and your partner’s unique bond.

05. Let Go of the Stress

This may feel obvious or cliche, but truly your wedding day is such a sweet, special day regardless of what goes right or wrong. My own wedding had its share of surprises: an unexpected thunderstorm, a cake mishap during transport, and a vanished champagne tower. Yet, these incidents became memorable quirks of our celebration.

Rain can bring the charm of cozy, romantic photos; a toppled cake can still delight the taste buds; and an unexpected heat wave can lead to whimsical additions like stylish fans that become a hit in photos.

These moments, experienced during Brett’s and my wedding, enriched our day in unforeseen ways. We got to marvel at the fact that the rain held off just long enough for our ceremony, before the skies opened. This little moment that could have been overwhelming became a moment of gratitude to the Lord. Embracing the unexpected allows you to enjoy the profound beauty of the day, remembering that it’s the imperfections that often make the sweetest memories.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be a day full of love, joy, and new chapters. I hope you can learn from my experience just a bit, adopting this advice to fit your own vision for your big day. Embrace the journey and focus on what matters most.

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