Advice from the Newlyweds - Post your "I Do-over" for the brides to be!

jessiepilot
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Comments

Please share advice about what you'd have done differently if you knew then what you know now.


Is there something you'd do-over?


Would you get more sleep?    Not have a certain Bridesmaid?  Hire a coordinator?





Dos:



  • Making our own chuppah (canopy).  I hadn't sewed since junior high school (40 years ago), and I nearly gave up in the middle of this one.  However, it really made both the ceremony and reception venues.

  • Having our entire ceremony text in the programs.  This made it a lot easier for our guests to follow along and know when they were supposed to do what.

  • Having a friend do a video of our wedding.  I really didn't like the quality of most of the professional wedding videos I looked at.  Often, they seemed to have music added over the video of most of the ceremony, so that the only part one could actually hear was the vows.  We wanted to be able to see and hear our ceremony as a whole.  Our videographer friend was able to capture what everyone said.

  • Renting a house for all our guests for before and after the wedding.  We got a chance to see them in a relaxed atmosphere.  We were able to have home-cooked meals there, instead of taking everyone out to a reception.

  • Having the luncheon after the ceremony at a restaurant.  With a destination wedding, this meant that we did not have to be having numerous vendors for venue rental, catering, decoration, etc., but instead could leave it all to the restaurant.

  • Arranging to have someone come to us to do hair and make-up, first for the ceremony and then for the reception.  This definitely simplified our lives.

  • Using a club we decorated ourselves instead of a typical reception venue for our reception.  This meant we could afford to have our reception at a venue that was convenient for our friends, without breaking the bank.

  • Buying rather than renting almost everything for the reception (plates, flatware, glasses, linens, lighting, etc.).  We were able to resell most of it already, which made it a lot cheaper than if we had rented.

  • Having an accoustic guitarist instead of a band or DJ for our reception.  She was excellent, and our friends danced all night.

  • Reception lighting.  We had paper lanterns, uplighting, candle centerpieces, and lantern menus.  It really made our venue sparkle, at minimal cost.

  • The DIY "photobooth."  Our guests had lots of fun with it, and we got hundreds of pictures.

  • Not being overly concerned about "tradition."  We did things that were fun for us and for our guests.  We got comments afterward that it was so refreshing to have a party everyone could enjoy, instead of having a bunch of boring things scheduled just because it was tradition.


Don'ts:



  • Not having a written list of what needed to be where for the ceremony.  At the last moment, we were trying not to be seen by our guests, and certain things (like the pen for signing the ketubah) didn't get put out.

  • Not giving a "must take" list to our photographer.  He got gorgeous photos of us and our attendants.  However, he took no photos at all of the person who did the reading, or the seven people who did blessings.

  • Not getting a written contract with the friend who bought, prepared, and served the food.  She more than doubled the cost of her services a few weeks before the reception, and it was like pulling teeth to get her to tell us what the food itself would cost.

  • Not getting the lighting for the paper lanterns put together ahead of time.  Decoration ended up being quite rushed.

  • Not having a back-up plan for decorating the cake.  Baking the cake took longer than anticipated, and there wasn't time to do the planned decorations.

  • Using a glass for breaking that wouldn't break even when the two of us stood on it.


However, in spite of all this, our wedding was wonderful!




  • I would not have forgotten my garters....and i would've taken more pix after the ceremony with just DH...but other than that....our day went PERFECTLY!!



  • I would have taken the extra time to get more pics of me and my husband instead of worrying about the guests waiting and I would have stressed to my photog my must have shots instead of trying to be easy



  • I would have made sure DH and I had more alone time after the wedding.  By the time all our family and friends left Maui we only got one and a half days alone until we had to go back to California.  Not enough time at all!



  • It's weird.....lately I've been thinking about this a lot for some reason.  Maybe now that I'm farther away from the wedding, I'm starting to think of the things that weren't so positive??  Anyway, I think I would have spent more money investing in my hair/makeup.  I wanted to find someone that had reasonable prices for my BM's so I didn't go with other people because of that.  Even though I was willing and able to spend more on my own services.  Not that I didn't like how I looked....but I think I would have done it a little differently.



  • Strangely enough...I think I would have danced less??? :)  I was on the dance floor the ENTIRE night with my girl friends.  Because of that, I realized that I didn't get to talk to as many of the guests as I would have liked...especially those that weren't ever on the dance floor! :)  



  • I would have been more clear with our officiant about our vows.  I just assumed that he was going to have us repeat the entire vows (i.e. better or worse, sickness and health, etc) after he said each line.  Instead, he said the entire thing and we just got to say "I do" afterward.  I'm really bummed that I didn't get to say those words.  I thought he understood what we wanted but as he was saying the words, I had the realization that I wasn't going to get to say them. :(



  • I would have insisted on the photog getting more detail shots, I would have brought flip flops for myself to the reception.



  • One thing I DID do and highly recommend to every other bride, I got all of the planning finished the week before the wedding. I had nothing to do the week of the wedding and really got to enjoy spending fun time with my family and friends. Plus, it let me get lots of sleep and be nice to people because I wasn't stressing about anything.



  • I was thinking the OPPOSITE about the dancing....we hardly danced AT ALL!!!!  we spent most of the nite chatting with people..i feel like i missed out a little on that....



  • we did the same for our vows...said "i do" but we did the "repeat after me" thing for the exchanging of the rings...



  • That's the thing...we only got to say "i do" after HE said the vows and we said "take this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment" after the exchange of rings.  but we didn't get to say the actual vows.  i REALLY wanted to!  i even remember telling him that we liked the idea of saying the same words that my parents, his parents, and other couples for generations have said.  guess it didn't sink in.  so now i know...never assume that people know what you're thinking....SPELL it out!! :)



  • That's really good advice for future brides....funny....i've spent a lot of time thinking about it too....I was able to view the rest of the images online today...and there were things in  there i don't even remember....so more advice would be to HIRE A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER!! DON'T SKIMP HERE!! (i love our photog!!)



  • There are a couple things that I had seen other brides be bummed about later that we made sure we did so we didnt miss out and Im so glad we did:

  • We wrote our own vows

  • My dad offiated

  • we saw each other before the ceremony to spend time together

  • we did TTD pics

  • I hired three coordinators

  • we had a live band

  • we took dance lessons

  • we took our non-drinking parents into consideration and had an espresso bar

  • we paid a good chunk for our photographer

  • Over all, those are the things that looking back, i would have regretted not having.  Im a little bummbed that whoever had our video camera was an IDIOT and didnt get our first dance - but someone else had taped it, so no worried.  We (I) poored our hearts and souls into that wedding, and Im proud of every detail.



  • I don't know why i've been thinking about it lately....for the first few months, all i remembered was the great, rosey stuff!  lately i've been picking everything apart and lamenting about things.  maybe i'm going through withdrawals?? :)



  • I thought everything went perfectly for my wedding.  I would suggest NOT to go out to your bachelorette party the night before the wedding....I have a beautiful picture of myself the morning of the wedding day, and I look aweful.  Also, wear comfortable shoes!  I got converse, and no one saw them, but I was so comfortable the entire night.  One more thing; hire a videographer!  I am so glad I did, because there were so many moments I want to relive.



  • I'd hire a videographer... I could kick myself!



  • I would have hired a better videographer and I would have picked another dress.  My video turned out well but not fantastic like my photography did and while I liked my dress, I see ones now that I am dying for (and were just as much as mine). 



  • Oh, also, we would've taken dance lessons and did a choreographed first dance, just a simple foxtrot or something...rather than the "8th grade sway"



  • i'm sooooo happy we made room for videography....i know we missed sooo much that day!



  • aww, jax...i love the jr. high sway!!  we totally rocked that....and it made our song feel sooooooooo long!!  










  • oh, and totally silly but i would have had the seamstress add additional crinoline to the skirt of my dress to poof it out more.  i didn't even think of it at the time but now looking at my dress, i would have liked it to have just a bit more poof! ha!  the things that matter to us, i swear....



  • I would have saved up more money first because there are so many things I should have spent more money on (better venue, catering, PRO-photog, videographer, uplighting) okay pretty much my whole wedding lol I would have had like 18 photographers haha or at least 2 good ones, I would have spent more time taking pics with my hubby because we have no good ones :(



  • haha beatie...i would've had my seamstress make the front of mine a tiny bit shorter...i had it shortened...but i still kept stepping on it!!  


 



  • and we cut our song short...we gave the DJ the "high sign" and he faded it out after a couple of minutes....



  • I second jharkins advice - get all your projects done a week before if all possible. I paid the price for putting my projects off. I loss lots of sleep and didn't really get to enjoy hanging out with friends and family before the wedding day.  With lack of sleep came poor judgement. I agreed to some last minute changes that I wish I hadn't.



  • beatie - good point with the vows.



  • I think most of mine are pretty specific to my wedding, but I thought I'd share some of the things I would've done differently



  • I would've made my tea ceremony even earlier, to make more time for pictures. I thought 3 hours would be enough to change clothes, do our first look, and take pictures, but it all went really fast.



  • I would've remember to tell my DOC about our dance floor gobo! Ugh...what a waste of money!



  • I would've told my DJ to play music for our older guests first, and then play the young nightclub music later in the night



  • I would've gotten lipstick to reapply throughout the day. It didn't occur to me that once my MUA left, I'd have no lipstick to reapply. And there's a LOT of kissing that goes on!



  • I would've given my parents an itinerary of the day



  • I would've specified how large I wanted all the bouquets instead of relying on my florist's suggestion on what she gives "most brides"



  • I would've told the DJ and MCs exactly how I wanted our into the reception to play out



  • I would've remembered to have my dad give a toast



  • I would've checked out how my cleavage looked like when I was sitting down. Man, those babies just did not look right, ugh!



  • I would have maybe had two less singapore slings so i remembered more from the end of the night (things were a bit hazy the last hour) and also have taken a few more pictures with DH in the photobooth.



  • I really have no regrets about how our wedding went...That said, I wish that at least one of DH's family members could have been there.  It was their choice not to be (either finacially or physically impossible) and DH is okay with it, but it makes me sad not to have any of his family members in our photos.



  • Secondly, I was a major budgetzilla and I wish I would have stuck to my floral budget.  I ended going $250 over it and in hindsight, that really wasn't necessary. I loved our florals though!



  • The only thing I would have done differently (other than not having the loop on the back of my dress break right before the wedding) would be to spend a little more time walking around talking to people ... we really tried to hit every table ... but I know we missed a few and I would go back and make sure I got to those tables and chatted a little more ....once I started dancing that was it , I never left the dancefloor :)  But other than that ...nothing ...I have no real regrets It was a great day!



  • Great post! If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have eloped.  It has made politics for the formal ceremony really sticky.



  • Definitely good point about the projects....we did the same, but we really had no choice, as everything had to be shipped to CA beforehand...so we sent the last box off two weeks before the wedding....what a relief!!!



  • I haven't had much time to think about it, but a few things that pop in my mind instantly is:

  • -Taken more photos in the photobooth - we got bogged down talking to guests and then I literally danced all night.
    -Had a better idea of some pictures I wanted to have taken - I don't think I got one with just me and the groomsmen and vice versa. Also I didn't get one with just my sisters.
    -Also, the time seemed to slip away - my dad didn't get to make a toast, we didn't get my sorority song in (no big deal) but maybe I should have had a better plan for the band - like don't accept too many guest requests!! One lady had them play the CONGA - NOOOOO. It ended up being fun and getting people on the dance floor - but not something I wanted at my wedding!
    -One less bridesmaid - hate to say it - she was a tad bit difficult and I found myself trying to escape her during the whole planning process and wedding :/


  • Things I did do that I am SO glad I did:
    -Had a huge rehearsal dinner so I got to know most guests before the wedding
    -Photobooth - guests loved it even though i didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked
    -Videographer!! Because I don't remember a lot
    -Live band
    -Having a reveal moment before the ceremony - we got to hug and hold each other in private (well with everyone looking on of course from a distance)
    -Choosing the right officiant!! Our ceremony was SO personal..people were commenting at how beautiful it was - they laughed, they cried - they were connected to it. Get to know the person doing your wedding! I was converting so I was lucky to have to spend LOTS of time with my rabbi.
    -Hiring a Wedding Coordinator - she took care of EVERYTHING day of so I had no worries
    -Grilled cheese and mini sliders at the end of the night - guests loved this.



  • I would definitely have a must take list and be more anal about it. I would also have asked for pics of each table (our photog didn't do this) as there are people who have since passed and we don't have pics of them from the wedding.



  • I would have budgeted for uplights.



  • I would have picked a better videographer. Although the video is fine, she was over an hour late (missed our first look), her phone rang twice during the ceremony, and she did a horrible editing job.  BUT, it was so fun. I guess I'll have to rely on memories!!



  • I loved our wedding and have no regrets...BUT, like everyone else, I have thought a leeetle bit about what I would do differently if I were to do it again.  One thing is that I go more all-out with my hair and makeup for our City Hall ceremony.  I had thought about it and hadn't wanted to be too overdone or constume-y, especially since it was at 1 in the afternoon, but looking at how dramatic the setting looked in our pictures, I realize that pin-curls with a little netting or feather haripiece and some bright red lipstick would have been awesome.  I also didn't want to spend the money on a H&M artist for two different days, but now I think it would have been worth it.  The other thing is that I would have put some more thought into the cake-cutting.  It never occurred to me to plan the cake-cutting other than to pick a song to play - but when we got up there, everybody seemed to expect us to say something - so I did, but since I hadn't thought about it ahead of time, it was kind of awkward.  It's a great time to thank everyone for being there, etc., but I should have planned it.  But the bottom line is, while I want to offer these lessons learned so other brides can benefit from my experience, these kinds of details don't matter - what matters is enjoying the emotions of your wedding to the fullest (and that's what we did). =)



  • Thanks for posting this--it really helps me to plan out the things that I hadn't thought much about yet (like the must have photos etc).



  • This is a dangerous topic as i can't seem to stop thinking about this already.  beatie i'm right there with you except my thoughts started a week after.  i guess our "rosyness" from the wedding didn't last long as we had to immediately go into thinking about his grandma's health, surgeries, hospitals, family staying with us...etc. and though GOD knows how glad i am that she was alright and that we had our angels there to help her....it really changed the whole wedding and just married experience for us.  (if you don't know what i'm talking about-- DH's grandma had a heart attack at the reception and had to be revived and taken to the hospital).  she's thankfully doing much better, but is still in reno with DH's family cause she's not strong enough to travel back to HI.


        but i'll just bullet them here


        glad we did:



  • fabulous full length colored linens

  • top-notch photogs and videogs and we had 2 of each there to capture the moments

  • chivari chairs-- they really did make a difference in our mostly beige room

  • uplights-- very dramatic behind our head table

  • splurged on DJ, he really handled all of the complexities well

  • hired a DOC

  • went with our guts and fought for what we wanted (i.e. no cake and cookie buffet instead)

  • splurged on fabulous ceremony location

  • girls stay at a hotel the night before

  • having snacks with us at all times

  • MAKING A SCHEDULE AND ITINERARY FOR EVERYONE a week ahead of time--this was a biggie.  and i mean everyone-- photog, videog, DOC, DJ, our wedding party, and our immediate families.


        wish i'd done



  • hired a professional seamstress for alterations.  my bustle was awful and the dress was too big.  you really get what you pay for.

  • chosen a different color BM dress. at first we weren't going with full length blue linens so i wanted the BM dress to pop the color.  but when i look at pics now it was just too much.  i would've picked a neutral like mocha or light grey and gone with that.

  • i wish my man or his GM's wore his light grey suit that we talked about...the colors are so harsh vs. the BM dresses. but they were on sale and they chose what they wanted so i had no control

  • i wouldn't have "trusted" so much with vendors i hadn't personally researched and came recommended by our DOC.  i.e., i would have taken control to communicate what i wanted instead of relying on our DOC to relay it.  not cause she wasn't fabulous-- she just wasn't me so how could she possibly read my mind?  what this translated to was-->

  • i would've asked for a floral mock-up of everything, even if i had to shell out extra $$.  i hated the BM bouquets, half the centerpieces, and the corsages. 

  • i would've asked for pics of my location with up-lighting to determine how many we would need to have the desired effect--- OR i would've shown the up-lighting company pics of what I want the venue to look like, and see if it's possible

  • i know it's bad to nitpick because the important thing is we're married to our honey's .....but really, we spend so much time planning and SO MUCH money, it's hard not to be dissatisfied when things don't go as agreed upon.

  • this is why in the end, we have to concede that not everything will go as planned-- and this is out of our control.  like DH's grandma's heart attack.  and sometimes it will be our fault.  like i totally spaced on bringing some of the cookies for the buffet.  my bad.  thanks for reading all this crap-- it feels cathartic now

  • beatie- i want to do the same thing, say the vows. im glad you posted about that...off the email the officiant lol

  • It's been 3 weeks and few day after wedding,but I never stop thinking about 'my bracelet' (<-----missing in my jewelry box that day) not even a minute.  Even when I see any Topic about 'Bracelet' my heart breaks.... sigh~  Because, the bracelet... nothing is major. 

  • Also, I noticed the candle on the alter wasn't lit.   We had only one candle, somebody forgot to light. 

  • Not invited certain people/ & changed our BP a little

  • Not try to be soooo accomodating- it will work out either way

  • Voiced my opinion to the caterer or choose a different one!

  • I spent almost 2 hours filling out the photography sheet they gave me, yet I didn't see it that day- I wish I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT IT and took my time.  There were a few important pictures I missed out on (family wise)

  • Done better Bridal Party/ family pics- like creative, etc.

  • lost weight

  • I wish I would have spent at least 10 minutes lol talking to some of HIS family I had never met.  It was hard to spend time with everyone I guess.

  • Overall we did okay on budget, but still think it would have been nice to spend less?

  • slowed down- and had them do my bustle better.  It was not right and the whole night it was bugging me lol dragging, ripping, etc.   ~ HMM :)

  • ohhhhhh and definitely GET A VIDEOGRAPHER IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously- we watch the 'friends' videos and reminisce.  It would be nice to have a professional one!!!  You see things you don't even remember lol and it makes me cry!



  • greeted guests at each table. we totally forgot!



  • dollar dance! we forgot!



  • danced less (i agree beatie!) we danced the whole time! probably why we forgot to greet everyone!



  • re-applied lip gloss. i didnt at all not once!



  • not headbutted the hanging flower pomanders. what was i thinking! it was in my way during the ceremony and my soccer instincts came out and i did it. ugh!



  • hired someone to plan and take over my wedding coordination. i'm still traumatized.



  • slept more than 3 hours each night. i was soo out of it and loopy!


 



  • worn stud earrings instead of my dangly ones. DH gave me a necklace right before the wedding and it clashed with my earrings.



  • hired a different dj for sure!



  • had more must take shots. i'm worried we wont have enough variety



  • had photog and videographer take pics of our guests at tables, etc.



  • one i'm really sad about: i wish i didnt forget the new Waterford crystal cross I bought to be placed at our alter. i wanted to "pass it down" to be used for future family weddings. :*(



  • yep - I agree with Jackie - I would've taken more photos of just us, and made sure we got more family pics... I have NONE with just my mom (my fault!)



  • Things went almost perfectly, but looking through my photos now, we didn't take a single posed shot with just DH and I, so we're going to have to do a TTD shoot. I was so worried during photos about getting the shots his family wanted that we rushed right past the photos of just the two of us. Boo!



  • I was sooooo glad we chose to see each other before the ceremony and do our formal pics and family pics then...we spent about 3 hours and got every shot I wanted! I am also glad we did more just me and him pics after the wedding.


The few things I would have done differently:



  • hired a haristylist and MUA to come to my hotel room - we drove (not far) to the salon and it would have been much more relaxing and less of a strain on the timeline had I found someone to come to the room.

  • This is an *almost* regret - I chose not to hire a videographer but thank goodness a guest decided to bring his and videoed the whole ceremony and first dances - I love the video!! If we had not had that I would be hugely disapppointed!

  • I forgot to keep in mind that the bathrooms in the venue would be open to the public all day before the ceremony (we set up the decor in the room early in the AM) and I put the bathroom baskets out then (duhhhhhh) so they were pretty much empty by 5PM when our ceremony was.

  • We had a DW and wish we would have either arrived a day sooner or stayed a day later - I was exhausted when we left for the HM.


Other things I would have regretted had we not done:



  • we had a family member perform the ceremony

  • we wrote the ceremony to make it exactly "us" and included vows we read aload to each other and ones the officiant read and we responded to with our "I do's"

  • we wrote down the vows we were reading to each other and had them printed on small cards he kept in his jacket pocket until that time.

  • had family members do readings

  • set up a photo share site and placed cards with directions at each place setting - we got a ton of extra photos that way.

  • had a caricature artist since we were not having dancing - that was a huge hit!!

  • were present for the cocktail hour - the winery set up a private tour for our guests for an hour between the ceremony and cocktail hour so they could flip the room and we could get more me and him pics.

  • saved on the extra room fee and had everything in the same room - ceremony, cocktail hour, reception dinner.

  • splurged on the transport to the ceremony for me and dad - a horse-drawn carriage, it was a wonderful, special moment for us.


Things I'm SOOOOOO GLAD i did...



  • carried out a theme.  our reception was BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL (i wish i had pics of it...no family took ANY!!!) the tables were simple blue and white, and they really popped.  i was going to try and incorporate another color, but i'm glad i stuck with something more streamlined.  it pulled the whole room together.  many people told us how much they loved the reception hall.

  • hired a witty officiant--- he kept us laughing and things light. (he is a friend of my mother's)

  • used the DOC that came with our venue...she was GREAT and there was not a hitch to be had.  anything that happened that went wrong i didn't know about

  • totally skipped the OOT bags.  they were done, they just had to be assembled and delivered, but with everything going on, we just passed on them.  no one noticed and our lives were a heck of a lot easier.

  • i didn't drink a lot at my bach party...i just enjoyed friends...that was really important to me

  • spent time with my mom on the day of the wedding.  those are moments i will remember forever :) 

  • solicited the help of everyone....if you had hands, you could help!!! :)

  • let our genuine emotion show the day of...people remember most how happy the couple is.  we held nothing back.  we also wrote a really, really meaningful ceremony and that was most people's favorite part.


Things I would change...



  • eaten our cake...we had no time to even try a bite...the only taste i got was shoving our faces full!!!

  • skipped the altar arrangements.  we had a beautiful arch already, plus it was too windy to use the arrangements on the pillars...so that was wasted money.  they were put off to the side in a hard to see place.

  • done a sweetheart table....our wedding party was too big to have everyone up front...all my bms wanted to be with their dh's anyway

  • i didn't sleep well the night before the wedding...i had built up the day for too long in my head and i was nervous about all of my DIYs getting done.  quite distracting.  it hit me the day AFTER the wedding how tired i was.

  • have had my bach part a week before the wedding.  it was a tame party, but we went to bed too late.

  • made a 1-page program.  they were a bioch to print and assemble...they were pretty tho.  don't kill yourself on the DIYs.



  • I would have hired a pro photographer and videographer, DH's boss is a photographer on the side and offered to give us his services for free BUT I didnt get any pics that I wanted :\








  • Allowed more time to get ready.  We ran way behind with hair that I didn’t have ample time to concentrate on my makeup and felt there were aspects of my hair I didn’t really like, but there was no more time to fuss with it.  We also had to cut out taking pre-ceremony pics with BMs because of running over schedule.  I should have questioned the timeline that only allocated 30 mins per BM for hair when each of my BMs has long, full hair and all wanted curly updos.



  • Taken more time for non-formal BP shots and shots with DH. 



  • Put aside touchup makeup for after the ceremony.  Looking at my bare lips in our pictures, I wish I had lip color accessible to touchup but I totally forgot.



  • Come up with a must-shot list.  I regret that there are no detail shots of my bouquet or the BM bouquets. 



  • Hired a planner that was better suited for my needs.




  • I would have been more prepared for the rehearsal...I felt like it was a little chaotic, but everyone said they thought it was fairly organized (who knows! ;D).



  • For the day of the wedding, I would have asked more friends to help at the reception. We had a buffet line of finger foods, and we were depending on friends to help us get the food out and replenish food when it was needed....didn't happen! Some of our church family realized what was going on and jumped in to save the day! So if you are depending on friends to help, make sure you have MORE than enough help!



  • Bring PLENTY of snacks to munch on before you head over to the ceremony...you will get really hungry really fast.



  • I am really glad that we did the first look...a lot of ladies are saying that they wished they would have had more time for taking pics with DH. I would have felt the exact same way if we hadn't of done the first look. This allowed us plenty of time for pics (from 11 AM - 1 PM). I highly recommend doing this!



  • I would have gotten a DOC! I might have even just gotten a coordiator for the last month.



  • I would have not rushed and taken my time researching more and deciding on vendors! Different photog. thats a given! maybe a different yacht company-more modern boat :)



  • made sure we had microphones for the ceremony-no one could hear what we were saying :( our venue said they would have microphones when wen I got up there...they didn't have them. So double check!



  • And for the getting ready everyone said they do the bride last so she looks fresh...I would have definately gone first so that while others are getting ready I could organize m thoughts and take time for myself and pictures instead of being rushed. Then I would have just gotten a quick refresher before the ceremony :)


 



  • My makeup artist says NEVER do the bride last...she does her brides second to last....so that if you're running late or pressed for time (like others have mentioned) then YOU'RE not the one with the crappy "rush job" hair and makeup.....



  • Have a good DJ- one who is going to MC the night they are the ones who keep the energy up. Just because they can play for a crowd doesn't mean they are a good wedding DJ. Also I could kick my in laws for hiring the videographer without us meeting him first. He was so rude, he cussed at the church coordinator in the church. He wouldn't turn his light off in the church as instructed. He also went up on the altar after being told not to and when our mom's came up for the candle lighting he told my mom to get out of the way. That is just some of the crap he pulled and there was a lot more. So make sure you are working with good people and that they know what you expect of them.


 



  • I would hire a videographer.. really wish we did.



  • Also, I would have also made sure I got more shots with DH and myself alone.. I don't feel like we have very many that aren't artsy.. hardly any close up of details, faces, etc..


 



  • I would have worked out more and spent less time trying to DIY so many things.


 



  • I would have shopped around for hairstylist more.... I didn't think that my hair looked as good as it could have....




  • I would have talked to the photog more about pictures and to get the family pictures done and then send the families to cocktail hour so that me and DH could have more time alone to take pictures....





  • I would have had a second dress if I would have known how hot my dress was going to be when I was dancing...





  • Other than these small details everything was perfect and no one really noticed this stuff :)



 




  • The only thing that I honestly thing that I would do over would be to add on an extra hour to my reception, it went by too fast. We had the option to do that but I thought people would be so tired because we had the huge Catholic wedding gap in between. When the night ended, almost all of our guests were still there and kinda puzzled that it was over. My biggest regret. Everything else is minimal, I could have saved a lot of money by DIYing ALL my flowers (minus my bouquet). We did the CP's and we could have done the BM flowers as well. I don't really get what the big deal is about floral arrangement and why some florists think they can charge so much money. So many of the arrangements I've seen that I adore among the brides here on PW were DIY-- could have saved so much money and put it toward something else.




  • I would have been extremely specific with my florist. I showed her pictures of what I wanted and she seemed like she would do that 100%, but when the day came there had been a lot of interpretation on the florist's part that didn't line up with my vision at all. If I could do the florist over again, I would.




  • I would have forgone the morning wedding and had it in the afternoon so that we could have had a normal length reception rather than the 4 hour one we got. We were a half hour late to the reception and then they didn't let us in for a half hour after that because of some kind of issue and then they didn't even bring the food out until after we were scheduled to be done eating so all of the things like the dances, the garter toss and cutting the cake were squashed into a 20 minute period before we had to run out the door to go get our photos taken on the beach before the sun set. In all we only spent about 3 hours at our reception and I didn't get to savour it at all. I regretted that from the moment it happened and will regret it forever now. We took the time to get the photos we wanted, but it made us miss out on the actual reception so we're in an opposit boat from some other couples.





  • I would have been way more specific with my DOC which honestly bit off more than she could chew and she was the reason I have been so upset about my wedding day. I wish I could have micromanaged more but I had too much champagne and didn't notice the:



 




  • Cookie favores I spent DAYS baking and stuffing not being put out (according to the DOC they were misplaced)





  • I bought 400 candles and she only put out like 1/3 of them. We had the whole estate! I wanted the whole place covered in candles. Before the ceremony my Bridal party and myself were lighting and adding candles to places.





  • My photographer was putting on our Mr and Mrs signs because the DOC didn't.





  • My cocktail tables that were rented never got put out!




  • I would have worked out more!


 


      Things I'd do differently:




  • I would have re-thought my Bridesmaids.  Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly, but I would have rather been surrounded around people that were more positive and supportive during the planning AND the wedding.

  • I wish I had researched our photog more...our expectations didn't match what we got (or paid for that matter).  If I knew then what I know now, I would have hired Carmen for the wedding (she did my b-pics and our TTD pics).

  • I might have found a different venue.  They were really unorganized and caused a lot of stress in the week leading up to the wedding, especially the day before.

  • I would have saved more money for lighting and other decor I would have liked.



       Things I'm glad we DID:



  • Hired a DOC...best money spent, by far!

  • We did "first look" pics before the ceremony.  It was wonderful to visit and get the initial nerves out of the way, leaving us to focus and enjoy each moment of the ceremony.

  • Bathroom baskets, bridal suite basket and groom's basket...the emergency items came in handy :)

  • Left for our Honeymoon 2 days after wedding.  This allowed us to have brunch with some of our guests the next morning and time to unwind just a bit before heading off on our HM.

  • Met with Officiant and asked a lot of questions.  Our ceremony was very personal and very moving :)

  • We splurged a bit on our DJ.  It was money WELL spent.  Everyone was on the dance floor most (if not the entire) night.

  • We did a TTD session after the wedding.  It was so much fun to get back in the dress and be 'bride and groom' again :)  Plus, we absolutely treasure the pics!

  • DIY'd as much as I did.  We stayed within our overall budget without having to sacrafice items we really wanted because I DIY'd tons of stuff...all the stationary, aisle runner, backdrops, cake topper, half of the centerpieces, etc.

  • I'm so glad we asked a friend (filmaker) to video our wedding.  We don't have any fancy editing, but I'm so glad we have a DVD to look back on :)





  • i would maybe be a bit more insistent (or at least inquired) about certain details. i tried to go simple and low maintenance for the least amount of stress and to keep within our budget, but i wish i would have at least asked about certain things... 


    • flowers - would have loved hydrangeas!








  • DJ - i wish i would have followed up with him to make absolutely sure that he had all of the songs we requested! he played the most important ones, but there were one or two that he missed. and i wish i had put michael bolton on our DO NOT play list!!!!




  • photog - it started to rain in the evening, so we rushed through the outdoor photos as soon as we arrived at the reception venue. but i wish wish wish we would have taken a photo like this!





  • also, i would have worn heels that were just a bit higher. i slipped on my dress a few times during our first dance!



 




  • lastly, i wish i would have told at least one of my family members about our surprise first dance so that someone could have taken a video! everyone was so surprised that no one caught it on video! we do have great still photos of our dance and our pro videog definitely got it, but we are still waiting for him to get us the footage......



         but these are all minor things. i loved our day and we all had a great time!!!


        things that i am most happy with:




  • our church and our ceremony - our priest conducted such a beautiful, touching and personal ceremony for us. it was all we could have ever asked for!

  • our wedding party - we kept it small with our closest friends and family, and they were wonderful! zero drama!

  • dance lessons and our surprise choreographed first dance - just taking the classes and working on our first dance was a project in itself! we actually learned how to work better with each other, communicate better and it was a great way to spice up our workout routine. it was definitely my favorite part of planning our wedding! 



       Things I'm glad I did:



  • Followed through with small details that made our wedding "us"

  • Had a short 5 minute ceremony with our own vows

  • Had a TTD session (some of my fave wedding pics)

  • Hired a DOC...even though I was her first wedding, our DOC was amazing and handled everything to a "T"....she took a LOAD of stress off my back

  • Had a sweetheart table.  It was so nice to have "quiet" time away from the crowd for just David and I.

     



     



     




         The FEW things I would change if I could (if financially able):



  • Hire a videographer.  FI and I worked hard on our choreographed first dance, and it came out sooo well.  Everyone said how lovely it was, and I just wish I could've stood back and watched it all and relive it because it's all so surreal when it's happening!

  • Different DJ.  Don't get me wrong...he didn't suck.  Everyone was up and dancing ALL night long.  However, I didn't feel like he paid much attention to my requests.  I mean really, I only had 2 songs on my "must play" list, and I had to verbally ask him to play one of them at the END of the night while he was playing the LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT.  Unbelievable.

  • I hate to say it, but I kind of regret my photographer.  We got a lot of "nice" pictures, but we had such an amazing ceremony venue, and I know we could've gotten some killer pictures with the right 'artist'.  They were all good portraits, but there wasn't really any "wow" factor.

  • Otherwise, our day was perfect in both of our eyes!



  • Not married yet but my Mom gave a really good piece of advise for choosing bridesmads.  Don't feel obligated to have someone as a bridesmaid because....of what ever reason you feel they NEED to be in the wedding party.



  • I guess I would have started our wedding an hour earlier bc our time got cut short bc the dumb venue wasn't clear about the music. Since we missed cocktail hour -the night seemed so short! 



  • I wouldnt have made paddle fan programs-lol- I thought it would be hot but nope - it was chilly! lol 



  • We went to all the tables- but with our time change I feel like we didnt get a lot of time with our guests-- so i dk- more time but then we barley danced- ahh so torn. 


          But still I had such an amazing time....I still have a wedding high! 




  • EDIT: I would have not worn 4in heels walking around vegas all day and night- 5 days before my wedding- I had huge blisters- thank goodness for the blister bandaids- but at the end of the night my blisters were
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Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 12:04 am
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