I can’t believe it’s already been two years since my wedding! Many of my friends are getting engaged and married which has made me think about what I would do now if I were to plan a wedding again. I have listed a few things below that I would have done differently, and a few things I don’t regret. Regret might be too strong of a word, because I don’t feel regret about anything on our wedding day, but looking back I would have done a couple things differently.
The first thing I regret is not journaling from the second we got engaged. I wish I had written down feelings I had, or my initial wedding ideas because it would have been so cool to look back and see what I was thinking throughout the process. I remedied this by purchasing the Southern Weddings Journal after the wedding and filling it out before I forgot all the little details.
I regret not taking more pictures of the process of planning the wedding. I wish I had someone take a picture of me hand-cutting out little pieces of paper for decorations or all the other ridiculous DIY things I took on. I wish I had a picture of us taste testing cake or going to Michael’s for the millionth time. Now, I take an abundance of photos of even mundane things we do because I know I enjoy to look back and remember.
(the only picture of me planning and it’s not even a good one)
I also wish I would have enjoyed the planning more. I am not sure I could control this, but I am a person who likes to plan, and then have back-up plans. Because of all my planning I had a very smooth wedding day, but I know that I over-planned and spent a little too much time planning instead of enjoying time with my husband-to-be.
I love some of the things I registered for, and regret others. It is hard to know what appliances and gadgets you will actually use if you haven’t used them before. I registered for a cocktail shaker and ice bucket because we like entertaining so much, but haven’t used either of them once (most of our friends drink beer or wine). We used gift money to purchase a rice cooker/steamer which is commonly on the “regrets” side of lists, but we use it almost every week. Just make sure to register for what you really want; don’t register for a toaster at Bed Bath & Beyond if you really love one that’s on Amazon. People will get you gift cards at the wedding to the places you registered at, so choose places you actually want to shop.
Though I did have enough insight to realize I wanted a video of the ceremony, I did not realize that I would really want a video of the best man and maid of honor speeches. The speeches they gave were so well written, personal and meaningful. I wish I had at least a transcript of what they said because even just 2 years later I’ve forgotten most of what was said.
Last but certainly not least, I wish I had thought more about thank you gifts for people involved in the wedding. I knew to get gifts for the parents, and all other “official” people in the wedding, but I should have budgeted more for gifts because it’s not just about the wedding. These gifts are meaningful ways to show appreciation for the support and love you have been shown your whole life because you are now transitioning into a whole new family of your own. The gifts don’t have to be expensive, but should be thoughtful.
(I should win daughter/daughter-in-law of the year for these ones)
What I don’t regret:
I don’t regret registering for plain white “everyday” china that we actually use regularly, for good Pyrex, for the white crock that holds our kitchen tools, and so many other things off our registry. I am glad that I didn’t get expensive glasses (because I hate the ones we originally thought would be awesome) and that I didn’t get everything I registered for (we registered for Calphalon stainless steel pans and got the Kirkland (Costco) ones for MUCH cheaper and they are amazing). It’s almost impossible to know what you’ll want or need in the future, so ask your spouse what they think and take into consideration what your parents say you’ll need.
I am so glad we hired Jamie May Photography. She is very good at her job and worth every penny. Now that the wedding is over, I am so glad we have all the pictures we have and they are such good quality! I have already made the pictures part of our home décor with printing one on canvas for our bedroom and putting the pictures in frames all around the house.
I’m glad I bought my wedding dress on craigslist. It may seem crazy, but I am really glad I didn’t spend more than I did on a wedding dress. All you need is a pretty dress for that one day, and you might not ever wear it again. You can still go to bridal shops and get the experience of trying on dresses, which I did, but I really liked the one I saw on craigslist better.
I am very glad I had my family involved heavily in the wedding planning process. I made it clear that what Shane and I decide is ultimately what would happen, but I am very glad I had all their opinions to consider when planning. Their knowledge helped with the seating chart/family issues, with logistics, and with all my crazy DIY projects. Having my family involved made it more meaningful to me.
Even though I love it in movies when there is a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” style reception with large families and lots of kids running around, that would have been a nightmare for my own wedding. It was much more comfortable for me to know that only people 21&up were at the reception.
I am so glad we had a sparkler exit early. We left our own party at 9:30pm and it was one of the best decisions we made. The sparkler exit made for really pretty pictures, and when we left the reception we weren’t exhausted so we could enjoy our wedding night. This also meant that the older generation could leave before it got too dark and not feel like they missed major parts of the reception. The park that we had the reception at closed at 10pm, so we told people they could come to an “after party” at the bar next to our hotel which is where we met up with people after we had gotten settled into our hotel room. That way, people who wanted to keep the party going could, and everyone else got home at a reasonable time.
(hah- why post a flattering picture when you have one that looks like this?)
As I said in the list of regrets, we took a video of the wedding ceremony. I do wish I had been more clear with the videographer what I wanted for the video, but I am so glad we have that video. Not having a video of the wedding was on every list of regrets I found online, so I knew this would likely be important to me after the wedding.
How about you? What do you “regret” or not regret about your wedding? Are you planning your wedding now? If so, I hope this list was helpful!