The only thing that must happen at a wedding is that you and your partner get married. The rest is just gravy.
That said, it’s natural to look back after the wedding and think about which things you wish you would have done differently. We asked former brides and grooms to share their biggest big-day regrets. Learn from their experiences below:
I wish we had taken our bridal party pictures before the wedding.
“My biggest wedding regret, and my advice to all engaged couples, is get your wedding party pictures taken before the ceremony! *Gasp* I know, how dare I tell you to break that scared tradition of the groom seeing the bride.
But listen: It’ll save you a ton of stress and headache. The time spent on pictures between the ceremony and reception is long, tedious and frustrating.
For you, your party, and the guests. Everyone’s hungry, tired and ready to get the party started.
Our wedding party photos were completely rushed. And those are the ones you’ll cherish forever. Get the posed pictures out of the way in the beginning and enjoy your big day in the moment!” ― Lacey Rodgers
I wish we had more time to spend with our close friends and family.
“The biggest regret that I have about our wedding is not spending more time with our friends and favorite people at the reception.
I know it’s customary for the bride and groom to go around to every table and say hello to everyone, but we got held up talking to random people like our parents’ friends and distant family that we aren’t close to.
Our friends obviously understood and no one was mad or anything, but I definitely felt sad at the end of the night and wish we had been able to spend more time with the people who mean the most to us.
Maybe having a smaller, more intimate reception would have been better in hindsight.
I also regret not eating more wedding cake. I took a bite of my cake slice, got up to talk to someone, came back and the people working our wedding had cleared my plate.” ― Lauren E.
I wish we had chosen a different DJ.
“Our DJ was later arrested for a murder he had committed in the ’90s, so obviously wish our DJ hadn’t also been a murderer, but no one knew at the time.” ― Madison K.
I wish our families could have been there to celebrate with us.
“We had been together 15 years and had waited all that time for our love to be legalized.
We were so excited to finally be able to tie the knot. The only regret I had was that we couldn’t afford to have our family there.
We decided to have a destination wedding and honeymoon on Maui.
It was absolutely perfect. We had a sunset wedding on the beach. I only regret that my family couldn’t be with us to celebrate and my mom has since passed away.
After someone is gone, you realize that you maybe should have done things differently because there is no ‘do-over.’” ― Carrie H.
I wish I realized some deals are too good to be true.
“I tried to save money with the photo booth and bought a deal for one on Gilt. After a week, I figured I should probably see what the actual photos looked like and I asked the company to send me a sample.
They were atrocious and really cheesy looking. I couldn’t get my money back and I ended up just paying for a second, nicer photo booth.
I’m not against getting good deals, but I learned to always get samples first.” ― Laura Lane
I wish we had invited more people.
“We had to be very intentional with our guest list, because we had a big guest list and a small budget.
Looking back, we wish had invited our extended friends and family more liberally.
I wish I had been able to enjoy myself instead of trying to please everyone else.
“I wish I had spent less time and effort trying to play host to all the guests and remember that the day was about us spending time with loved ones.
My husband and I were the most sober out of everyone there at the end of the day because we barely had time to drink, relax and enjoy the moment.
I became so anxious from all the socializing that I couldn’t finish my food.” ― Debbie T.
I wish we hadn’t rushed our couples portraits.
“Personally, my biggest wedding related regret was not taking the time to have great wedding photos.
I was all over the place and we were running around like crazy.
Then, by the time it was time to take photos, it was getting dark outside. Our guest pictures were wonderful but the ones with me and wife were not what I had envisioned.” ― Sarah R.
I regret not trusting my own judgement when it came to my dress.
“One of my biggest regrets (that thankfully was undone) was listening to my seamstress when she told me my wedding dress was tight enough.
For reasons I will never understand, my seamstress insisted that making my dress tighter ― (even the tiniest bit) was impossible ― despite the fact I felt like I was swimming in it.
I took her word for it because she supposedly knows fabrics. I was presented with some document stating that I approved the dress.
I signed with quiet hesitation. I went home, put the dress in my closet, and kind of forgot about it.
Then, a bunch of stuff happened. My dad was sick at this time and his disease relapsed weeks before the wedding so him and I decided to arrange a little pre-wedding photo shoot.
I plucked my dress from the closet and with my sister’s assistance put it on and very loudly panicked. The dress was not tight enough.
I knew what I needed to do. Despite the documents I had signed, I needed to be that person. I needed to return to the dress shop with my dress and demand more alterations.
Finally, after 10 minutes of terse, passive-aggressive comments, the seamstresses agreed to bring it in a little. I tried on the dress and it was perfect.
So I guess my biggest almost regret was almost not being a pain in the ass and demanding my seamstress listen to me.” ― Erin Wotherspoon