Many brides often ask themselves down the road, years after their nuptials, what they'd do differently if they could re-do their wedding. With bridal season fast approaching and the handful of women that I know personally who will be walking down the aisle this year, I thought I'd look back at my wedding and share some of the things I'd change.
Eleven and a half years ago, I got married. It was a total DIY wedding (before Pinterest made this a thing) and my fiance and I did the whole shebang ourselves from our engagement party to the moment our reception wound down and everyone went home. We have some good memories and some bad ones. These are the things I'd do differently.
THINK TWICE ABOUT THE LITTLE DETAILS
I cannot tell you how many hours went into all the minute details we included in our wedding events. We designed and printed our own invitations and inserts, including the little maps I painstakingly created in Publisher and stuffed into each envelope. We made over two hundred white chocolate daisy lollipops and wrapped them in little cellophane bags with hand-printed tags as our favors. I hand-stitched the ring bearer's pillow and glued satin and daisies on the flower girl's basket. I even decorated an old-school Radio Flyer wagon that my baby nephew would be pulled in during the processional.
What I'm getting at by telling you all of these details is that no matter how proud we were of the little touches we created for our day, no one remembers those things. I don't even remember half of that stuff a decade later. Think those tiny details through. Reserve your time and money on the kitschy stuff like personalized cocktail napkins and focus on the things that are truly important to you.
KEEP YOUR LOOK TIMELESS AND NOT TRENDY
Poofy cap sleeves. Dip-dyed shoes. Awful color palettes. These are the decisions brides cringe at when looking back through their wedding albums years later. Yes, all brides want their day to be beautiful and to be them but you don't want to dread looking back on your day because of poor fashion choices made.
When picking your bridal look (and the look of your bridesmaids) try to keep it timeless and refrain from following the trends. You want your day to be unique and not something over a million other people are also doing because it's the style or on Pinterest. Simple is ALWAYS better.
A BEAUTIFUL WEDDING DOES NOT A PERFECT MARRIAGE MAKE
Too many brides (myself included) put all their time, money and effort into making their weddings perfect, down to the final detail, thinking the marriage will reflect that twenty-four hours of Pinterestly-curated bliss. WRONG. Marriages take a lot of hard work - much more work than organizing any wedding day. You can not set your marriage on auto-pilot and expect the next fifty years to fly by with a smile on your face.
If I can give you one tip in this department, it would be to save as much money as you can on your wedding and put it in savings for a rainy day. Inevitably, one of you will lose your job. Or you will have a child sooner than you planned. Or you will not have planned for a $500 electric bill every month your first winter together. The idea is to make your wedding day special, yes but don't blow your entire life savings and make your parents mortgage their home on one day. Come in under your budget and start a little nest egg so you and your sweetie don't have to argue about how you're going to keep the lights on.
DON'T SWEAT THE LITTLE THINGS
Looking back on my wedding day, I wish I would have not been so concerned with following our timeline to the second. I wish I would have ignored the wrinkled tablecloths. I wish I would have put my checklist down. I wish I could have just enjoyed myself and my day.
At the end of the night, don't sweat the little things. Don't worry about the stuff you can't control and just have a blast. No wedding is perfect. Something will inevitably go wrong. Ignore that stuff and dance, because people will remember the bride who hiked her dress up and got down on the dance floor.